Chicago Bulls – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2019-12-07T05:03:57Z WordPress Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Otto Porter Jr. Will Miss At Least Two More Weeks]]> 2019-12-06T23:31:45Z 2019-12-06T17:59:58Z An MRI conducted Wednesday on Otto Porter Jr..’s injured left foot revealed “continued bone edema,” the Bulls announced in a press release. His condition will be reassessed in two weeks.

The team plans for Porter to eventually resume non-impact activities and targeted therapy. He is being evaluated by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Bob Anderson, who K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago notes also performed surgery on Denzel Valentine‘s ankle (Twitter link).

Porter hasn’t played since leaving the November 6 game in Atlanta with a bruised foot. He has appeared in just nine games in his first full season with the team.

Porter provided a boost to Chicago’s offense last season after being acquired in a February trade, averaging a career-best 17.5 points in 15 games. His scoring average is down to 11.2 PPG so far this year and his shooting percentage has fallen from 47.9% to 43.2%.

Luke Adams <![CDATA[Why Bulls Miss Otto Porter]]> 2019-12-03T05:00:03Z 2019-12-03T05:00:03Z
  • Otto Porter is the Bulls‘ highest-paid player and the team has badly missed his experience on both ends of the floor during his absence with a foot injury, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “He settles us down a bit, maybe at times we need that,” head coach Jim Boylen said of the veteran forward. “He makes timely shots. He’s one of our better shooters. And he has positional size, which is a huge part of that big wing position. We miss those things.”
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    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Bulls Notes: WCJ, LaVine, Porter Jr.]]> 2019-12-02T22:29:23Z 2019-12-02T21:56:17Z The Bulls are out to a rough start at 6-14 and Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago argues that Wendell Carter Jr. has been the only player to make the team better on both ends of the court. Chicago is better on both offense and defense in terms of net rating with WCJ on the floor and the team should utilize him more, Schaefer contends.

    Here’s more from Chicago:

    • The Zach LaVineLauri Markkanen pairing simply hasn’t meshed this season, Schaefer writes in the same piece. Both players have had peaks and valleys in their season with neither catching fire together and the Bulls have been outscored by 7.5 points per possession when the duo shares the floor.
    • Sam Smith of wonders if the Bulls can still make the playoffs. The scribe breaks down the field in the East and believes that Chicago can still make a run at the eighth seed in the conference.
    • Otto Porter Jr. (foot injury) is approaching the two-week mark of his originally estimated four-week absence. The wing said he feels better but there is still no exact timetable for this return, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune relays (Twitter link).
    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Bulls Notes: Hutchinson, LaVine, Markkanen]]> 2019-11-30T00:53:43Z 2019-11-29T23:50:18Z Chandler Hutchison‘s right shoulder contusion will keep him out through next week, the Bulls announced on their website. The wing suffered the injury in Tuesday’s contest against Golden State and there was fear that he suffered a dislocation or labrum tear.

    Here’s more from Chicago:

    • While Jim Boylen has clashed with Zach LaVine more than any other Bulls’ player, the coach knows just how much the team needs the shooting guard to stay in the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, Sam Smith of writes. LaVine has been Chicago’s best player this season and several other players have taken turns going through rough stretches.
    • The Bulls shouldn’t give up on Lauri Markkanen yet, Smith contends in the same piece. While putting him on the table in a trade offer for someone like San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge or Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis may solve a short-term problem, Markkanen has too much talent and untapped upside to sell low on.
    • Kris Dunn has been a pleasant surprise for the Bulls this season, Smith adds in the same piece. Dunn was the subject of trade chatter over the summer with the team adding point guard talent, but the former No. 5 overall pick has settled into a productive bench role with the team. Smith argues that Chicago should roll out more three-guard lineups with Dunn in them.
    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Northwest Notes: Anthony, Teague, Nader, Thunder]]> 2019-11-27T00:44:02Z 2019-11-26T16:40:31Z Monday marked Carmelo Anthony‘s best game since returning to the NBA, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Anthony led all scorers with 25 points in 31 minutes as the Trail Blazers won in Chicago. He got a nice reception from Bulls fans and drew accolades from players who are happy to see him back in the league.

    “I always advocated for him to be in the NBA,” Zach LaVine said. “… He’s better than a lot of people in the NBA, and he’s still getting it done. I think it was just bigger than that, and I’m glad to see him back here. Just not tonight.”

    The performance raised questions about whether the Bulls should have given Anthony an opportunity when they had the chance. After the Rockets exiled him last season, they shipped him to Chicago in January in a cost-saving move. The Bulls waived him 10 days later. Anthony might have been able to revive his career sooner in the Windy City, but as he said after last night’s game, “They didn’t ask.”

    There’s more from the Northwest Division:

    • Jeff Teague‘s acceptance of a bench role in Minnesota is a rare move for a player in the final year of his contract, notes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Teague met with coach Ryan Saunders over the weekend before the change was finalized, sources tell Krawczynski. Rookie Jarrett Culver started alongside Andrew Wiggins last night and helped the Timberwolves win in Atlanta. Wiggins has taken on more of the playmaking duties this year, leaving Teague without a defined role in the offense. With a $19MM expiring contract, Teague may draw some interest on the trade market before the February 7 deadline.
    • Abdel Nader can expect more playing time for the Thunder with Hamidou Diallo sidelined with an elbow injury, states Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. The third-year guard lives 15 minutes away from the team’s practice facility and sometimes works on his game until 3 a.m. “I’m a little bit crazy when it comes to the work I’ve gotta put in,” Nader said. “I wanna make sure my game feels tight — my shot, my handle, everything. That’s how I feel like I get better.”
    • Paul George and Russell Westbrook, who were the Thunder’s stars last year, had their first meeting of the season Friday when the Clippers hosted the Rockets and both have landed in better situations, contends Ben Golliver of The Washington Post.
    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Bulls Notes: Markkanen, LaVine, Carter, Kornet]]> 2019-11-27T00:42:04Z 2019-11-25T20:58:58Z Of all the issues holding down the Bulls, none is more baffling than the slow start by Lauri Markkanen, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. A tense two-game stretch ended on a positive note Saturday as Zach LaVine resolved trust issues with coach Jim Boylen and put up 49 points in a dramatic win at Charlotte. However, Cowley notes that Markkanen was on the bench as the Bulls finished off their comeback.

    “Well, I didn’t think Lauri played poorly,’’ Boylen said afterward. “He did not shoot the ball how we know he can shoot it. I did not think he played poorly. Just like Zach, just like Coby [White], just like [Kris Dunn], just like [Ryan Arcidiacono], just like everybody, Wendell [Carter], I’m going to keep coaching and my staff is going to keep coaching. Just try to keep leading these guys in the right direction. We’re going to keep looking at it.’’

    Markkanen’s scoring average is down about five points from last season and his shooting percentage has dropped from 43.0% to 35.4%. Cowley cites increasing concern in the organization that he and LaVine might not be effective together. Rumors of a possible Markkanen trade have emerged recently, although a source in the organization strongly denied it.

    There’s more Bulls news to pass along:

    • Chicago is giving fewer minutes to its best players than anyone else in the league, which may contribute to any chemistry issues between LaVine and Markkanen, notes Sam Smith of The Bulls have 10 players averaging at least 20 minutes per game, while most teams have six or seven. Both LaVine and Markkanen have seen their court time fall about 10% from last season.
    • Coaches are working with Carter to try to get his foul trouble under control, relays K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. The second-year center is averaging 12.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, but he’s also committing 4.2 fouls, which limits his time on the court. “I don’t know if it’s that I’m being too aggressive,” Carter said. “I talk to the refs. Every time I pick up my early fouls, I always try to ask them what exactly am I doing wrong. It seems my body is out of position or my hands are down. It’s just a concentration thing with me. I just have to go into the game knowing that I can’t be picking up early fouls.”
    • Backup center Luke Kornet has been cleared for basketball work a week after having nasal surgery, Johnson tweets.
    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Zach LaVine, Jim Boylen Address Trust Issue]]> 2019-11-26T00:36:12Z 2019-11-24T00:22:42Z Head coach Jim Boylen met with Zach LaVine today after the Bulls’ star complained about a lack of trust in last night’s game, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

    In comments relayed by Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, LaVine believed he was being singled out when Boylen removed him from Friday’s game after Miami built a 13-0 lead in the first 3:27. It was the latest in a series of slow starts that have contributed to Chicago’s disappointing 5-11 record.

    “I thought, ‘He needs a break,’” Boylen said to reporters. “I thought he needed to come in and think about it. I felt there were some defensive mistakes that didn’t need to be made. I thought he needed to come over and think about it for a minute.”

    But that’s not how it was interpreted by LaVine, who has experienced an uneven relationship with Boylen since he took over as head coach last December. LaVine saw the move as a personal slight and an indication that he doesn’t have the trust of the coaching staff.

    “I feel I earned that trust, but I guess he feels differently,” LaVine said. “Other players around the league — and everybody’s situation isn’t the same — I feel other players around the league have that trust. I guess we haven’t got there.”

    Along with the team’s poor record, it has been a difficult season on a personal level for LaVine, who doesn’t look comfortable in a new system that emphasizes three-point shooting. After putting up career-high numbers last year with 23.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per night, LaVine’s scoring average has fallen to 19.8 PPG this season and his shooting percentage from the field has dropped to 40.9%.

    LaVine said he’s “trying my best” to maintain a good relationship with Boylen, but incidents like Friday’s make it challenging.

    “I’m playing my minutes and trying to do the best I can do,” LaVine said. “It’s tough, especially when you’re in a rut. If he doesn’t trust me, it’s hard to trust someone who doesn’t trust you.”

    Boylen told Johnson that he and LaVine had a “great talk” about the situation today and they share the “same goals” for the team. He added that “everything was explained” about what happened last night and LaVine was shown clips of the defensive mistakes that led to his brief benching. Boylen added that trust isn’t an issue (Twitter link).

    LaVine said he was candid with Boylen in their meeting, stating, “I let him know how I felt. We had a misunderstanding. We still have a lot to work on as a team — personal, coaching. We all have to be accountable for our actions.” (Twitter link).

    After being told that Boylen is holding him to a higher standard because he cares for him, LaVine responded, “That’s what he told me. To each his own. If that’s how he feels he has to coach me, that’s his prerogative. I can be coached any way. I don’t backlash a lot (Twitter link)But when I feel disrespected, sometimes I have to stand up for myself. We talked about the offense, the defense, personal stuff. I think it was good. We both want to win. If I’m not doing as good as I can do, it’s not gonna be good for team (Twitter link).

    “If he feels he has to get on me to help that, I’m all for that. I want to be a winning guy. I haven’t won anything in the NBA. That’s why it gets frustrating (Twitter link).”

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Bulls Notes: Boylen, Hutchison, Harrison, Rose, Deng]]> 2019-11-21T16:02:15Z 2019-11-21T16:02:15Z The 5-10 Bulls are off to a somewhat disappointing start to the 2019/20 season, but head coach Jim Boylen‘s standing within the franchise remains strong, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Asked about where things stand between him and team management, Boylen acknowledged that the club has been frustrated by its start and is seeking more consistency, but said the Bulls’ higher-ups have his back.

    “Since I’ve been here I’ve never felt more supported than I am right now,” Boylen said. “From ownership, management, and [vice president of basketball operations] John [Paxson]. We talk every day and we communicate, and we’re in step. We’re in step in a lot of ways, and we’re also in step in our frustration where we would like to play better more consistently.”

    Here’s more out of Chicago:

    • Chandler Hutchison, who had taken on an increased role in Otto Porter‘s absence, has an injury of his own. As Eric Woodyard of ESPN tweets, Hutchison missed Wednesday’s game due to sore shins and there’s no set timetable for his return, per Boylen.
    • Shaquille Harrison, the only player on the Bulls’ roster without a fully guaranteed salary for 2019/20, started in Hutchison’s place on Wednesday and is making a case to have his minimum-salary deal guaranteed. Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago has the story on Harrison’s impressive 15-point, 11-rebound outing vs. Detroit.
    • In an appearance on NBC Sports Chicago’s Bulls Talk podcast, Derrick Rose looked back on his time in Chicago and speculated that if “load management” had been common at the time, it may have helped extend his tenure as a Bull (video link).
    • Luol Deng, who signed a one-day contract to retire as a Bull earlier this year, was celebrated by the team on Wednesday and explained why he wanted to return to Chicago to make his retirement official. “It’s what made sense,” Deng said, per Woodyard at “Chicago means a lot to me when you look back, just at my career as a basketball player coming here as a young man, 19, but it’s a lot of history here and I wanted it to end the right way. The best way to do it is with familiar faces and people that know me very well.”
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Bulls’ Otto Porter Out At Least Two More Weeks]]> 2019-11-20T18:16:54Z 2019-11-20T15:29:34Z The Bulls will be without starting forward Otto Porter Jr. for at least a couple more weeks, the team announced today in a press release.

    According to the team, Porter underwent another MRI on his left foot on Tuesday and it revealed bone bruising not apparent on the original MRI. The 26-year-old will continue to receive treatment for the injury and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, per the Bulls.

    Porter has already missed the Bulls’ last five contests, having not played since he left the team’s November 6 game in Atlanta early due to that bruised left foot. The timing was unfortunate for the veteran forward, who struggled in his first seven games, with 10.0 PPG on 34.8% shooting, but appeared to be heating up in his last couple outings, with 15.5 PPG on 66.7% shooting.

    Chandler Hutchison, who started Chicago’s last five games, will continue to play an increased role while Porter is sidelined.

    [UPDATE: Hutchison will miss the Bulls’ Wednesday game vs. Detroit with an injury of his own.]

    Porter’s ability to return to the Bulls’ lineup and have a positive impact will be a major factor in his looming contract decision next offseason. He holds a $28.49MM player option for 2020/21 and may simply pick up that option if he has a down year. On the other hand, a strong, healthy finish could put him in position to opt out in search of a longer-term deal.

    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Luke Kornet Undergoes Nasal Surgery]]> 2019-11-18T23:41:50Z 2019-11-18T21:02:39Z Bulls big man Luke Kornet underwent a surgical procedure to correct a sinus obstruction and will be out an undetermined amount of time, according to a team press release.

    The 7’2” Kornet broke his nose last December while playing for the Knicks. After a prolonged period of treatment, the Bulls determined that surgery was necessary.

    Coach Jim Boylen told reporters, including NBC Sports Chicago’s Kelly Twardziak, that his initial understanding was that Kornet would be out a week or two. That projected timetable could change.

    “He had blockage and some issues from a previous fracture from when he was in New York. We just felt it was time to go in there and clean that thing out,” Boylen said. “That happened this morning at 6 AM. He’s out. Surgery went well. We’ll have more to report as we go. Originally, it was a seven-ten-day thing where he’d be back. I think it’s one of those things they don’t know until they get in there how extreme it is. But he had blockage and it needed to be done.”

    In 10 games this season, Kornet is averaging 4.0 PPG and 1.9 RPG in 11.6 MPG. He signed a two-year, $4.5MM deal in July.

    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[LaVine Wants To Get Markkanen Going]]> 2019-11-18T20:41:07Z 2019-11-18T20:04:33Z
  • Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen hasn’t reached the 20-point mark since scoring 35 points in the season opener and shooting guard Zach LaVine is looking to change that, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago relays. “He just doesn’t seem in rhythm right now man. It’s a new offense. And I think it has a part to do with it,” LaVine said. “We’ve just got to help him find it.”
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Bulls Notes: LaVine, Markkanen, Carter, Anthony]]> 2019-11-17T18:58:22Z 2019-11-17T18:58:22Z A lethargic offense has doomed the Bulls in a 4-9 start, but Zach LaVine doesn’t believe they need to change their approach, relays Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. The Bulls were 27th in offensive efficiency heading into Saturday, and although they are placing a new emphasis on 3-pointers, ranking eighth in the league in attempts at 35.5 per game, they are shooting just 32.5% from beyond the arc, which ranks 24th.

    “We get stagnant a lot out there,’’ LaVine said after Saturday’s loss to the Nets. “We’ll run one action and then everybody is staring at the person with the ball. We gotta get more fluid. I don’t feel a lot of people are in rhythm. When that happens, obviously everybody starts trying to do it themselves. It’s tough. I blame myself. I try to do that as well. I’m in the gym late. I’m putting up shots. I’m making sure I’m prepared so I can do everything I can to help. We gotta do a better job as a team.’’

    Coach Jim Boylen told reporters he plans to “stay the course” with the current approach and doesn’t expect any major changes in personnel or strategy.

    There’s more Bulls news to pass along:

    • LaVine is vowing to help Lauri Markkanen rediscover his scoring touch, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. After averaging 18.7 points per game last season, Markkanen’s average has fallen to 14.5 PPG while shooting 38% from the field. “He just doesn’t seem in rhythm right now man. It’s a new offense. And I think it has a part to do with it,” LaVine said. “We just gotta help him find it. We’ve all gone through some struggles. I feel like everybody has been off rhythm in the beginning part of the year. I think everybody is shooting a lower field goal percentage than their (career) average. His spirits are still high. I know he’s worried about it but he’s not pressing yet. And I think that’s good to see. He hasn’t done anything out of character. He hasn’t lashed out or blamed anybody. He just wants to win. And that’s the type of player he is.”
    • Foul trouble continues to be an issue for second-year center Wendell Carter Jr., Cowley observes in a separate story. Coaches like Carter’s aggressiveness on defense, but he admits he needs to channel it to stay on the floor.
    • After taking Coby White in the first round this year, the Bulls could focus on another Tar Heel if they continue to flounder, Cowley suggests in another piece. Cole Anthony, who has drawn comparisons to Derrick Rose, comes highly recommended by White. “He’s everything that was advertised,’’ White said. “Good, athletic, strong, can knock it down, gets it done defensively, rebounds the ball.’’
    Clark Crum <![CDATA[Valentine Feels He Should Be In Rotation; Porter Injury Update]]> 2019-11-15T04:53:49Z 2019-11-15T00:39:47Z Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic analyzes why Bulls swingman Denzel Valentine, largely hampered by injuries so far in his NBA career, has yet to earn a role in the rotation during the 2019/20 campaign, his fourth season in the league after being taken in the lottery (14th overall) during the 2016 NBA Draft.

    Mayberry notes that while Valentine has put up some large numbers in the G League for the Windy City Bulls, his defensive struggles during the preseason are likely keeping him from earning a rotation spot under head coach Jim Boylen, who says a strong showing down in the G League won’t help Valentine earn playing time in the NBA.

    With additional insight on Valentine, Eric Woodyard of ESPN notes that when asked why the 25-year-old is out the rotation, the Bulls’ head coach told him, “Because I said so,” while Valentine told ESPN that he “feel(s) like (he) should play.” As such, Valentine’s role and his attitude toward that role will likely remain an interesting storyline to keep an eye on moving forward.

    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Kris Dunn Embracing New Role With Bulls]]> 2019-11-15T04:50:53Z 2019-11-14T23:00:51Z The Bulls drafted point guard Coby White with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 draft and that meant the end of the Kris Dunn in Chicago — right? Not exactly. The former top-five pick has carved out a bench role with the club and is drawing the praise of his coaching staff.

    “He just wants to win,” coach Jim Boylen said. “He’s the first guy in the breakfast room. You have to be in the building 45 minutes before [practice]. He’s in one hour, 45 minutes before. He does his workout 45 minutes before everybody else with Coach [Nate] Loenser. He is locked in. He cares. He always cared. And he’s playing winning basketball. I’m really happy for him.”

    Dunn’s defense has become a real asset for the club. He leads the league with 25 steals (Ben Simmons ranks second with 23 steals despite playing 69 more minutes than Dunn) and has helped the team level out at about league average on that side of the court (Chicago was 25th on defense last season, per

    “I take pride in my defense,” Dunn said. “The second unit, I think we have good defenders in our group. Archie [Ryan Arcidiacono], he’s a dog. Thad [Young], he’s a dog. Coby, he’s a dog. I could go on and on. We try to come in and bring great energy and try to maintain the lead or, if we’re down, try to get it back.”

    Chicago had talks with several clubs over the offseason about Dunn trades. Rival teams interested included the Grizzlies (in what would have been a sign-and-trade involving Justin Holiday). Dunn heard all the rumors, but says there are no hard feelings between him and the Bulls.

    “It’s a good team we have. I just wanted to be a part of it. We have a lot of talented players, a good group of guys. I wanted to buy into what Coach is preaching, buy into the system,” Dunn said. “All in all, I feel my game can go anywhere — starting, coming off the bench. Wherever you put me at, I’m a hooper.”

    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Bulls Center Cristiano Felicio To Miss Extended Time]]> 2019-11-13T05:03:04Z 2019-11-13T04:59:19Z Bulls center Cristiano Felicio suffered a broken right wrist on Monday during practice and, according to head coach Jim Boylen, will miss approximately four-to-eight weeks.

    “We had the X-ray. It did not show up on the X-ray. Then we had the CT scan and it showed up on the CT scan,” Boylen said via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “We’re going to do an MRI (Wednesday) just to let them give us a little more certainty on maybe how much separation there is in there and how much time it will be.”

    The big man signed a four-year, $32MM contract with Chicago during the 2017 offseason and hasn’t lived up to the expectations of the deal. Felicio hasn’t seen any minutes this season for the Bulls and has been used sparingly over the last two campaigns.