DeMar DeRozan

2023 NBA All-Star Reserves Announced

The league has announced its 2023 All-Star reserves during a pregame broadcast on TNT, as voted on by NBA head coaches. As usual, the list of 14 selections featured some interesting surprises.

For the Eastern Conference, coaches voted in Sixers center Joel Embiid (the reigning Player of the Month in the East), Heat center Bam Adebayo, Bulls wing DeMar DeRozan, Celtics wing Jaylen Brown, Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton, and Knicks forward Julius Randle.

Holiday, who is making his second overall All-star appearance this year, last earned an All-Star nod a decade ago while playing for Philadelphia.

Randle will receive a $1.2MM salary bonus as a result of being named an All-Star this season, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). Marks adds (via Twitter) that Holiday will get a $324K bonus. And as long as he appears in at least 65 contests this year, Brown will earn a $1.55MM bonus after having qualified for the All-Star game, Marks tweets.

Among the most notable omissions in the East were a handful of point guards: the Knicks’ Jalen Brunson, the Hawks’ Trae Young, the Cavaliers’ Darius Garland, and the Sixers’ James Harden. Miami swingman Jimmy Butler also missed out. Young, Harden and Butler all made the cut last season.

In the Western Conference, Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant, Kings center Domantas Sabonis, Thunder point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Clippers forward Paul George, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, and Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. were selected as reserves.

Being named to the All-Star team again this year will earn Sabonis a $1.3MM bonus, per Marks (Twitter link).

Lakers center Anthony Davis, Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox, Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, Suns guard Devin Booker, and Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon were among the Western Conference snubs.

Gilgeous-Alexander, Markkanen and Jackson are the lone first-time All-Stars among these 14 picks.

All-Star weekend tips off on February 17 in Salt Lake City. Los Angeles power forward LeBron James and Milwaukee power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, the captains of their respective conferences, will draft their teams ahead of the 2023 All-Star Game on Sunday, February 19.

Bulls Notes: Caruso, Vucevic, DeRozan, Trade Deadline

Multiple teams have contacted the Bulls to inquire about guard Alex Caruso, sources tell K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. It remains to be seen whether Chicago will seriously consider moving its top perimeter defender, but Johnson reiterates that the Knicks and Warriors – previously cited as as teams with interest – are still viewed as potential suitors for the 28-year-old.

On the latest episode of his Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports suggested that the Bulls would seek a substantial return if they were to make Caruso available.

“Someone told me last week that the Chicago Bulls think they could get two first-round picks for Alex Caruso,” Fischer said.

Caruso is an All-Defensive candidate on a team-friendly contract — he’s owed $9.5MM in 2023/24 and a partially guaranteed $9.9MM in ’24/25. Still, it’s hard to imagine a team giving up multiple first-rounders for him unless those picks include relatively heavy protections.

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • It would surprise rival executives if the Bulls do anything too drastic, such as trading DeMar DeRozan or Zach LaVine, at this year’s trade deadline, Johnson writes in both his aforementioned mailbag and a separate NBC Sports Chicago story. Of the team’s “big three,” Nikola Vucevic is the player to watch, according to Johnson, who notes that losing the big man for nothing this offseason would be a disaster for a front office that gave up several valuable assets to acquire him.
  • DeRozan said this week that he isn’t thinking about which players the Bulls could trade for at the deadline or when injured teammates might make it back in the second half, preferring to focus on what the team has available right now. “That’s exactly been my mindset my entire career, before I was in the NBA, everything,” DeRozan said, per Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “… Whatever cards you’re dealt with, let’s figure it out. … That’s just my mindset when it comes to everything, so I don’t really get caught up in waiting on Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) to walk through that door to help us. I don’t even think like that. You can be waiting forever for something like that.”
  • The Bulls “took a blowtorch to any belief lingering in even their most optimistic fans” with losses in Indiana and Charlotte this week, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic, who argues that the team as constructed is “unequivocally unfit for playoff basketball” and is in need of a trade deadline shake-up.

Central Notes: DeRozan, Caruso, McConnell, Haliburton, Stewart

With the February 9 trade deadline fast approaching, Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan knows that several teams could look quite different in a few weeks. He isn’t sure what Chicago’s front office will do, but says the current Bulls roster needs to focus on climbing up the standings.

Everybody else in the league is going to do what they feel is best for them,” DeRozan said, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “I feel like, for us, we’re right there. We have to take advantage of the opportunity that’s in front of us.”

The Bulls are currently 21-24, the No. 10 seed in the East, but have gone 10-6 over their past 16 games, Cowley notes. DeRozan admits the first half of the 2022/23 season was a roller coaster.

We had a helluva first half with a lot of ups and downs,” DeRozan said. “Now it’s time to turn everything we went through into a positive. We’re right there. It’s a great opportunity this week to take it one game at a time and write our own story. That’s all we can worry about.”

Here’s more from the Central:

  • The Bulls have been cautious with Alex Caruso this season in an effort to have him available more often. His minutes have been cut back from 28.0 to 24.4 per game, and the veteran guard says he’s feeling the benefits, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “I feel good,” Caruso said. “Anything that’s hurting right now is not out of the ordinary for anybody else in the league. Shoulder feels just about 100 percent from the last time we played Atlanta. Head is good. Knees are good. Feet are good. Hands are a little beat up, but that’s kind of the NBA. Anybody that doesn’t have a couple sprained thumbs or fat finger at this point of the year probably isn’t playing hard enough.” The defensive stalwart was limited to 41 games in ’21/22, but will make his 40th appearance on Monday against the Hawks.
  • Including the game he was hurt, the Pacers have now dropped seven straight games since Tyrese Haliburton went down with elbow and knee injuries. While the team is obviously struggling overall, backup point guard T.J. McConnell has been playing his best basketball of the season during the recent stretch, writes Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. The 30-year-old, who is in the second year of a four-year contract, is averaging 15.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 8.3 APG and 1.7 SPG on .625/.750/1.000 shooting over his past seven contests, including a triple-double in Saturday’s loss to Phoenix.
  • Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle says Haliburton is making progress in his recovery, tweets Dopirak. The third-year guard’s elbow is evidently bothering him more than his knee at the moment, but he was able to go through the non-contact portions of Monday’s practice. Haliburton said a few days ago that he was targeting a return at the start of February.
  • Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart will be sidelined for Monday’s game against Milwaukee due to shoulder soreness, according to Keith Langlois of (Twitter link). It’s something that has been bothering him for a while — Stewart missed three straight games a couple weeks ago with the injury, returned for two contests, and is now out again.

Bulls Notes: DeRozan, Olympics, Dragic, Trade Deadline

DeMar DeRozan‘s next game will be the 1,000th of his career, putting him in a relatively small group of players to reach that number, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. DeRozan will be the 143rd player in the league’s 76-year history to appear in 1,000 games, although eight others have done it when combining ABA records. He credits the work ethic and love of sports he developed at an early age for helping him to remain in the league for so long.

“I have never, ever taken this for granted,” he said. “That’s one thing I stress to the younger guys now. I look back on my career, the amount of players I played with that just kind of suddenly disappear in the wind. As much as I love this game, when you look at it from that perspective, the game can be taken away from you at any minute.”

DeRozan, 33, has one year left on his current contract at $28.6MM. He told Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times that family considerations will play an important role in how long he decides to extend his career.

“We miss so much time sacrificing that we’ll never be able to get back with our kids,” he said after his children accompanied him on the team’s trip to Paris this week. “I want to be there for them, my daughters and my son. Give them everything that I went through. That will play a factor more than anything.’’

There’s more on the Bulls:

  • DeRozan indicated that he would be interested in returning to Paris for the 2024 Olympics if the opportunity arises, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. “It’ll be tough to say no,” said DeRozan, who won a gold medal with Team USA in 2016.
  • In a separate piece, Cowley points to Goran Dragic calling out the team for a lack of togetherness as the most pivotal moment of the season. Dragic’s harsh assessment came after Chicago gave up 150 points in a loss to Minnesota, and the Bulls are 10-6 since then. “I say you confront it, you call it out and you try to expose it,’’ coach Billy Donovan said. “And I appreciated Goran saying what he said because at the time, I think there was a lot of accuracy to what he was saying.’’
  • The Bulls have an opportunity to redefine their team heading into next month’s trade deadline, observes Danny Leroux of The Athletic. He notes that offers for DeRozan might be at their peak now because teams will want the opportunity to negotiate his next contract.

Central Notes: Cunningham, Hayes, DeRozan, Haliburton

Cade Cunningham pondered his choices for a long time before electing to undergo season-ending surgery on his left shin, but he’s convinced that he made the right choice, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Cunningham accompanied the Pistons on their flight to Paris for Thursday’s game, marking his first road trip with his teammates since having the operation last month.

The top pick in the 2021 draft was hesitant to miss so much of his second NBA season, and he did a lot of research to make sure surgery was the best option. Detroit’s front office let Cunningham make the final decision, and he consulted with other players who have been in similar situations, such as Jrue Holiday, Rodney McGruder and Tim Hardaway Jr., before making up his mind.

“It’s tough, man,” Cunningham said. “I’m so young into my career, and, to me, I feel like I still haven’t shown people who I am. I started to get a rhythm, but then my shin kept killing me. It was hard for me to put the entire season to the side, sit down and take care of it. After talking with everyone, I realized it’s a long game, and I have a lot more basketball to play. I just want to be able to play my game and not think about my body and try to overcompensate on different things.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Pistons guard Killian Hayes hopes to represent France in the World Cup tournament, according to a Eurohoops report. Hayes, who played for French teams in international youth tournaments, understands that it won’t be easy to win a spot on the team. “I feel ready and want to be part of this group,” Hayes said in an interview with L’Équipe. “Still, your place is not given. You have to fight for it. I discussed, particularly with Nicolas Batum, my state of mind and the training camp planned for this summer. I want to do it, and I want to train with the France team and try to earn my place.
  • The chance to promote the NBA with a game in Paris means a lot to Bulls players such as DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “To be able to compete and do something in front of a fan base you don’t normally get the chance to do something in front of, I don’t take the opportunity for granted one bit,” DeRozan said. “It’s an experience that lasts a lifetime.”
  • The Pacers are suffering from a lack of a closer while Tyrese Haliburton is sidelined with knee and elbow injuries, notes Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. Indiana has dropped three straight games without Haliburton and struggled to score in the second half of Monday’s loss at Milwaukee.

Bulls Notes: DeRozan, Vucevic, Ball, Karnisovas

Bulls All-Star forward DeMar DeRozan intends to return to action from a right quad strain on Thursday, reports K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

Chicago has gone 1-2 without the 6’6″ swingman, the team’s leading scorer and best player.

“You get a different perspective when you are sitting back and watching from afar,” DeRozan said of his absence. “We were just having too many lapses here and there, whether defensively or offensively, that put us in a hole and made it so tough for us to get back in a lot of games. And we’re still right there.”

If by “right there” he means barely in the play-in tournament bracket, then he’s right. At 20-24, the Bulls currently occupy the tenth seed in the East, though they are tied with the No. 11 Raptors.

There’s more out of the Windy City:

  • Bulls center Nikola Vucevic, a trade candidate given he’s on an expiring deal, tied his career high with 43 points in a 132-118 home win over the Warriors Sunday, writes Alex Shapiro of NBC Sports Chicago. Vucevic also contributed 13 points, four assists and four steals in a well-rounded effort. “He’s so dynamic because he can shoot the three, play the pocket, he can make the floater, the hook shot,” second-year guard Ayo Dosunmu raved. “He’s got all of that in his bag. He’s also unselfish, so sometimes he gets in the pick and roll, if he doesn’t have it he hits the weakside person.”
  • Starting Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball, who has missed just over a full calendar year following complications from two knee surgeries, conceded that he may not return to the floor for Chicago this season, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “I mean, naturally, yeah, everything is on a time schedule,” Ball said when asked if missing the entire season is a possibility. “I would love to play. I would never count that out. It’s a long year, I feel like we’re hitting our stride right now. So hopefully I can keep getting better, the team will keep getting better and we can meet up.” 
  • Chicago team president Arturas Karnisovas addressed fans during a recent appearance on NBC Sports Chicago’s Bulls Talk podcast. “I enjoy the fan base and how much they love the team and how involved they are,” Karnišovas said (h/t to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports for the transcription). “It’s not fun when we lose. I’m a very competitive person. That’s what you need to know. I don’t take losses lightly. I get emotional just like you. We’re trying to turn this around.”

Bulls Notes: Ball, Jones, Trade Assets, Donovan

Lonzo Ball isn’t close to returning, but he offered some hope to Bulls fans Friday by posting Instagram videos of himself dunking and running on a treadmill, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the torn meniscus that ended last season for Ball while the Bulls were 21-14 and fighting for the best record in the East. He was originally projected to miss six-to-eight weeks, but complications prevented him from returning at all. Those continued into the offseason and required an arthroscopic debridement in September that Ball is still working his way back from.

Coach Billy Donovan said the Instagram workouts are a sign of progress, but he cautioned that Ball still has a long way to go. He still feels discomfort in the knee, even though it has lessened, and hasn’t been medically cleared for cutting or full-speed running on the court every day.

“There’s going to be a pretty significant ramp-up period for him before he gets back on the floor,” Donovan explained. “Once they say, ‘Hey, he’s free to cut and sprint and take on contact,’ that’s just the first step of however long it’s going to take that process to get to a place where the medical guys and he feels comfortable that he’s built up enough endurance, strength and stamina that he can withstand coming back the next day and doing it again and doing it again.”

There’s more on the Bulls:

  • Derrick Jones Jr. has seen his playing time decrease this season, but he figures to get more minutes while Javonte Green is sidelined following knee surgery, Johnson adds in a separate story. Jones welcomes the opportunity, but doesn’t like the circumstances that caused it. “I’m happy I’m in the rotation now. But I’m also sad that my guy is out. That’s my brother and I’ve always said from day one that I want to see him be great,” Jones said. “We have a great relationship. That’s my ‘dawg.’ I want him back now.”
  • In another piece, Johnson identifies DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine as Chicago’s most valuable trade assets ahead of the February 9 deadline. Alex Caruso, Nikola Vucevic and Coby White also make the list, along with a first-round pick from Portland that’s lottery-protected through 2028.
  • In the wake of Friday’s loss to Oklahoma City, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic laments the team’s lack of an identity and wonders whether Donovan has already accomplished as much as he can with the current roster.

Central Notes: Green, Terry, Middleton, Haliburton

Bulls forward Javonte Green underwent a right knee scope on Wednesday, and Chicago reportedly expects him to return in around a month. After that news broke, head coach Billy Donovan explained why the team and Green opted for surgery, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times.

“He obviously had that bone bruise, which was causing him some problems,’’ Donovan said. “He did swell from it. Medical guys thought that this was something that could be managed if we backed off of him. They had a bunch of different therapies that they could try to do. They did that, and there really wasn’t much progress after a week.

“Given Javonte’s options with where we’re at in the season … obviously it was Javonte’s decision to do it, but I didn’t think from what I got from medical, and even what I got from Javonte, that there was a lot of progress with the interaction of just resting him,” Donovan continued.

Green is on the second year of a two-season, $3.5MM contract he signed with the Bulls, and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The 6’5″ vet has emerged as a tenacious, if undersized, defender, mostly playing small forward and power forward.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Rookie Bulls wing Dalen Terry is not currently in the rotation, even with the team missing key swingmen like DeMar DeRozan and Green. He is hoping to carve out rotation minutes at some point this season, Cowley writes in a separate piece. “I’m definitely anxious to get playing time,’’ Terry said. “With the position I’m in right now, it’s just like you’ve gotta embrace it, but you can’t ever get comfortable. I can’t get comfortable with learning every day and not playing. I just have to find that balance.’’
  • Bucks All-Star small forward Khris Middleton practiced with Milwaukee on Tuesday and was involved in the club’s subsequent shootaround Wednesday, but will require more practice reps before he can make his return to the floor, writes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He continues to try to progress from the knee soreness that has kept him shelved since December 15. “It’s the next ramp-up step in returning to playing,” Middleton said. “It went well. Really, no swelling that came back yesterday, feel pretty good today. I know people get frustrated, but it’s like a day-by-day thing where I have to put myself through these various steps and have to sustain it for a lot of time in order to be back playing without pain or swelling.”
  • Pacers star point guard Tyrese Haliburton suffered a left elbow sprain and left knee bone contusion, and is set to miss at least the next two weeks before he is reassessed. Bob Kravitz of The Athletic writes that the team seems to have found a long-term keeper in Haliburton, a player who might actually love Indiana back for once, much like Hall of Fame shooting guard Reggie Miller, who spent all of his 18 NBA seasons trying to bring a title to the Pacers.

Injury Notes: KAT, Kuminga, Wiseman, Green, DeRozan, LaVine, Sexton

Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns continues to recuperate from a right calf strain. According to Megan Ryan and Chris Hine of The Star Tribune (Twitter link), Towns shared a minor update on his health on Thursday, though he didn’t offer a specific timeline for a return just yet.

“It’s a long process,” Towns said. “Definitely was a significant injury… I can’t wait to be back playing for the Wolves, doing what I do best on another level. The great thing about being injured, it gives you a lot of time to think, and I’ve been able to kind of be a coach and be sitting back watching our team and seeing what I, where I can implement myself even more and do… things better than I did before I was injured.”

Through his 21 healthy games this season, Towns was his usual productive self, averaging 20.8 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 5.3 APG.

Here are a few more injury notes from around the NBA:

  • The Warriors have provided updates on the health statuses of several injured players (Twitter link). Second-year wing Jonathan Kuminga, out since spraining his right foot December 30, has joined his Golden State colleagues in practice for the first time today, while power forward JaMychal Green and center James Wiseman are set to rejoin the club in the next few days. Green has been out for the Warriors’ past 10 contests due to a combination of COVID-19 health and safety protocols and a right lower leg infection. Wiseman has missed Golden State’s last five games with a left ankle sprain. All three players are out for tonight’s game against the Spurs as they continue to recover.
  • Bulls All-Star small forward DeMar DeRozan is considered doubtful to suit up against the Thunder tomorrow night, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago (via Twitter). DeRozan suffered a right quad strain in a Chicago loss to the Celtics Monday, and missed the Bulls’ subsequent match on Wednesday. Johnson reports that DeRozan’s maximum-salaried teammate Zach LaVine is dealing with a right hand contusion, but is considered probable to play.
  • Jazz reserve guard Collin Sexton said today that he’ll return to the club on Friday following a five-game absence due to a hamstring injury, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). “Definitely excited to be back on the floor,” Sexton said. “We pushed it yesterday a lot, we’ve been pushing it this past week, and then pushed it again today. I feel good. I’m excited — I’m ready to go.”

Bulls Rumors: Williams, Caruso, White, Vucevic, DeRozan, Dosunmu

Based on his conversations with executives around the NBA, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype doesn’t believe Patrick Williams or Alex Caruso are on the trade block for the Bulls, as he told guest K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago in the latest episode of the HoopsHype podcast.

One executive who spoke to Scotto suggested the Bulls may have “devalued” Williams by holding onto him until now, but Johnson questions whether the No. 4 overall pick really had a ton of value last season or this past summer, given that a major injury limited him to 17 games in 2021/22.

Johnson and Scotto agree that Caruso would bring back a strong return if the Bulls were to make him available, with Johnson suggesting that Chicago could probably get a first-round pick and a player in exchange for the defensive-minded guard.

However, Johnson still believes the Bulls are more likely to buy than sell at the trade deadline. In that scenario, Johnson believes Coby White would be in whatever package Chicago sends out, perhaps packaged with Portland’s lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick. The Grizzlies previously had interest in White, Johnson adds, though it’s unclear if Memphis would still be a suitor at this point.

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • The general consensus among executives around the league, according to Scotto, is that the Bulls are likely to keep center Nikola Vucevic beyond this season. The veteran center wouldn’t have a ton of value on the trade market and there’s a belief that Chicago won’t want to lose him for nothing in free agency after giving up so much to acquire him from Orlando.
  • Johnson would be surprised if the Bulls move any of their Big Three at this season’s deadline, but suggests DeMar DeRozan would have the most trade value and that Zach LaVine would also draw interest. Johnson notes that Chicago will face an interesting decision on DeRozan this summer, since he’ll be entering a contract year and “you can bet” he’ll be seeking an extension.
  • One NBA exec, speaking to Scotto, had the following to say about Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu, who can be a restricted free agent this summer: “Nobody will put a big offer sheet on him. His situation reminds me of Josh Hart. He could get that type of contract or bet on himself and take the qualifying offer.” As a restricted free agent in 2021, Hart signed a three-year, $38MM contract that wasn’t fully guaranteed; Johnson believes Dosunmu could end up with a three- or four-year deal in the range of $10-12MM per year.