Derrick Rose

Bulls Notes: Boylen, Hutchison, Harrison, Rose, Deng

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 ESPN.com. “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.”

Central Notes: Mitrou-Long, Markkanen, Griffin, Drummond

Injuries have thrust Pacers two-way players Naz Mitrou-Long and Brian Bowen into action more than anticipated in the early going, Mark Monteith of the team’s website notes. Backcourt injuries forced Indiana to play Mitrou-Long 14 minutes on Saturday one night after he scored 28 points for its G League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Bowen made a five-minute appearance in the loss to Milwaukee.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • 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.”
  • Injuries to Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose have contributed greatly to the Pistons’ 4-9 start. With some days off and both stars back in action, coach Dwane Casey is hoping to get things back on track, Keith Langlois of the team’s website writes. “We’ve got three or four days we can practice,” he said. “Before, there was one day in between.  … Sounds like an excuse. But it’s going to take a while for our guys to jell together, work together, learn each other. With Blake and Derrick back, for them to learn each other. It’s going to be a marathon.”
  • The Pistons will have to consider drastic changes if they don’t break the cycle of mediocrity soon, Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes. The trade for Griffin hasn’t resulted in a huge uptick in the team’s fortunes, Beard continues. Andre Drummond, who can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, hasn’t impacted winning significantly enough to warrant another long-term deal in many people’s minds, Beard adds.

Central Notes: Griffin, Rose, Garland, Warren

Pistons forward Blake Griffin will make his season debut Monday against the Timberwolves, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Griffin missed the first 10 games while rehabilitating a sore knee and hamstring that have bothered him since the preseason. He had a surgical procedure on his left knee after last season ended.

Griffin has gone through several practices without experiencing pain, which convinced the team he is ready to starting playing. Markieff Morris, who had been starting in Griffin’s absence, will likely move to the bench. After several seasons shortened by injuries, Griffin played 75 games last year and earned third-team All-NBA honors with a 24.5/7.5/5.4 line.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Derrick Rose has missed four straight games with a hamstring issue, but he tells Ben Stinar of The Big Lead that Pistons fans don’t need to be concerned about his health. “I feel good,” Rose said after Friday’s game. “I feel like I could play, but the organization, trainers, feel like I’ll need a little bit more time.” He also said he’s happy with his decision to come to Detroit in free agency after reviving his career in Minnesota last season. Rose has averaged 20.8 points and 6.3 assists off the bench in the six games he has played since joining the Pistons. “I feel like it’s home,” he said. “The franchise, the organization, the staff. We’re transparent about everything, they communicate to me, I communicate to them. It’s open dialogue about anything.”
  • Darius Garland‘s NBA career has gotten off to a rough start, but the Cavaliers aren’t panicking about their top draft pick, relays Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Cleveland was attracted to Garland because of his shooting, but through seven games he is averaging just 7.6 PPG while hitting 29.2% from the field and 25.9% from beyond the arc. “This is his 11th real game in the last 12 months,” an unidentified member of the organization told Fedor. “Of course, he’s going to struggle early on with NBA competition. We believe in this kid.”
  • The Pacers knew they were getting a scorer when they picked up T.J. Warren from the Suns, but he’s contributing on defense as well, observes Mark Montieth of NBA.com. “It’s hard to play defense when you’re 12-62 and the best player isn’t even trying to play defense or passing the ball,” said Trevor West, who serves as Warren’s trainer. “What people are seeing now is who T.J. actually is — a person who gets buckets on one end and locks people down at the other end. It’s personal for him. He doesn’t like getting scored on.”

Blake Griffin Cleared For All Basketball Activities

Blake Griffin, who has yet to play this season due to hamstring and knee soreness, has been cleared by the Pistons‘ medical staff to participate in all basketball-related activities, the team announced today in a press release.

It’s not yet clear if Griffin will make his season debut on Friday in Indiana. According to the Pistons’ announcement, the star forward has “begun a return to game action progression” and is being considered day-to-day for now.

The Pistons have held their own despite being hit hard by injuries to start the season, posting a 4-5 record to date. That mark has been good for the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference and has been accomplished with Reggie Jackson missing seven games and Derrick Rose missing three, in addition to Griffin’s season-long absence.

Here’s more on the Pistons as they prepare for the return of their All-NBA forward:

  • Rose (hamstring) and Tim Frazier (shoulder) are continuing their treatment and rehab programs and are still considered day-to-day, according to the press release issued today by the Pistons.
  • With Griffin on the shelf, Christian Wood has gotten the opportunity to play regular minutes and has taken advantage of that opportunity, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. While Wood is subject to occasional defensive lapses, he has averaged 8.8 PPG and 4.3 RPG in just 15.1 minutes per contest. He’s looking to show the Pistons he deserves to have his 2019/20 salary fully guaranteed in January.
  • In case you missed it, Pistons forward Markieff Morris joined his brother Marcus Morris in signing with Roc Nation Sports for representation. Sam Permut will be their agent, tweets Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal. The Morris twins were previously represented by Rich Paul and Klutch Sports.

Eastern Notes: Sabonis, Brown, Zizic, Hutchison, Morris, Rose

The Hawks were interested in making runs next summer at Pacers power forward Domantas Sabonis and Celtics forward Jaylen Brown if they had become restricted free agents, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. Atlanta is one of four teams, along with Charlotte, Cleveland and Memphis, that will have significant cap space in the offseason and thus could have put together a big offer sheet for either player. Sabonis signed a four-year, $74.9MM extension with the Pacers while Brown inked a four-year, $115MM deal with Boston.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • There’s a strong possibility the Cavaliers will try to bring back center Ante Zizic next summer even though they declined their fourth-year option on him, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. The Cavs can only offer Zizic a max of $3.87MM as a starting salary after declining the option. Zizic has been sidelined since the preseason with a foot injury.
  • Bulls forward Chandler Hutchison had hoped to return to action on Friday but he’ll be sidelined a little longer, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago relays. Hutchison has yet to play this season due to a hamstring injury. “Hutch is still working his way through. Don’t have anything new to report on that. We’ll see how that plays out,” coach Jim Boylen said. Hutchison spent the week practicing with their G League affiliate and pronounced himself ready to go on Thursday, the Windy City Bulls, Mark Schanowski of NBC Sports Chicago notes.
  • Knicks forward Marcus Morris was disappointed the Celtics didn’t show interest in re-signing him during free agency, Jay King of The Athletic reports. Morris wound up in New York on a one-year deal after backing out on a verbal agreement with San Antonio. “I thought it was a great possibility of me coming back here,” Morris said. “So, by me not even getting that opportunity or getting that chance to have that, I refuse to do anything with Boston.”
  • Derrick Rose signed a two-year, $15MM contract with the Pistons and he’s thrilled with his choice, Keith Langlois of the team’s website writes. Rose has gotten off to a strong start and he’s happy with the organization. “I feel great,” he said. “Even making the decision to come here. Every day that we’re in Detroit, my family is happy being there. I’m happy being there. You hear things from afar, you don’t know what to expect. But everything’s been up and up.”

Pistons Notes: Rose, Wood, Morris, Jackson

Derrick Rose has gotten off to a strong start with the Pistons but he’ll remain on a minutes limitation, James Edwards III of The Athletic relays. Rose, who signed a two-year, $15MM contract as a free agent this summer, averaged 25.3 PPG and 5.0 APG in his first three games despite playing 26.3 MPG.

“I got to watch his minutes,” coach Dwane Casey said. “I try to keep his minutes around 27, 28. That limits us to what we can do with him. … If it’s tight or close, we may fudge the numbers a little bit, but for the most part, we’re going to keep it around that number each and every night.”

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Center Christian Wood beat out Joe Johnson for the final roster and made his first meaningful contribution against the Sixers on Saturday night, Rod Beard of the Detroit News notes. Wood, who was claimed off waivers, had 11 points and five rebounds in 19 minutes as Blake Griffin remains sidelined with hamstring and knee injuries. “I was able to show that I want to be in the rotation,” Wood said.
  • Forward Markieff Morris, who is starting while Griffin mends, was fined $35K by the league for directing inappropriate and offensive language toward a game official, according to a league press release. Morris, who joined Detroit on a two-year, $6.56MM contract, made those remarks during the loss to the Sixers.
  • Point guard Reggie Jackson underwent tests on his sore lower back, Keith Langlois of the team’s website tweets. Jackson, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, missed his second consecutive game on Monday. “The doctor’s going to read the results and see what it is,” Casey said.

Pistons Notes: Griffin, Jackson, Drummond, Doumbouya

The absence of Blake Griffin has led to offensive struggles for the Pistons’ starting unit during their first two games, Keith Langlois of the team’s website notes.

With Griffin sidelined for at least five games by hamstring and knee injuries, Markieff Morris has taken his spot in the lineup and Detroit got off to slow starts both times. The situation has become even more complicated due to Reggie Jackson‘s lower back tightness, which forced him to depart the 117-100 home loss to Atlanta early on Thursday.

Casey would prefer to limit the minutes of backup point guard Derrick Rose, who has averaged 23 points in his first two games with Detroit. If Jackson needs to miss games, Rose might have to start instead of the other point option, Tim Frazier, because the offense would have even further limitations without Rose’s playmaking.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Center Andre Drummond can opt of his contract after the season and enter unrestricted free agency. His opening-night performance showed that he’s going all out in his walk year, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. After he racked up 32 points and 23 rebounds in a season-opening victory at Indiana, Drummond responded to a question regarding Twitter #ContractYearDre by saying, “You know it.”
  • The fact that Griffin, who has a long injury history, started the season in street clothes could eventually lead the front office to hit the reset button, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press opines. Dealing Griffin is doubtful given those injury woes and that his max deal takes him through the 2021/22 season. But trade speculation has increased recently due to the possibility of the season going sour quickly, Ellis adds.
  • First-round pick Sekou Doumbouya isn’t expected to have much of an impact in his rookie season, senior adviser Ed Stefanski told Beard during a Q&A session. The 18-year-old was inactive during the first two games due to a concussion. “When we drafted him, we said early publicly that he’s going to take time to come around and we didn’t put any timetable on it,” Stefanski said. “We made a point that this year, early in the season, we didn’t expect him to be in that rotation. If he keeps playing well when February and March roll around, who knows? We’re not going to throw him to the wolves.”

Central Notes: Bledsoe, Giannis, Rose, Hutchison

Eric Bledsoe is expected to be ready for the Bucks‘ opener on Thursday, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relays.

“I kind of knew what it was, in a sense,” said Bledsoe, who suffered a rib cage injury earlier in the preseason. “I knew it wasn’t nothing serious… I knew I was going to bounce back.”

Bledsoe will join Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and newcomer Wesley Matthews in the Bucks’ starting lineup, Velazquez adds in the same piece. Matthews will take over for Malcolm Brogdon, who was traded to the Pacers this offseason.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today argues that the Bucks have done everything right to keep Antetokounmpo around long-term. Milwaukee can offer Giannis the super-max next summer.
  • How Derrick Rose performs will go a long way toward whether the Pistons make the postseason, Rod Beard of The Detroit News writes. Rose signed a two-year deal with the club this offseason.
  • There are plenty of questions surrounding second-year Bulls forward Chandler Hutchison, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times, who notes that it may be hard for the club to find rotation minutes for Hutchison even once he’s recovered from his hamstring injury.

Central Notes: Rose, Beilein, Giannis, Brogdon

Guard Derrick Rose signed with the Pistons because he feels the team can contend, Vince Ellis of the Free Press writes. Rose inked a two-year, $15MM deal with Detroit in free agency to lead its second unit. “I’ve had all the accolades in the past. I’m past that. Now I want to win,” he said. “The only thing on my résumé I’m missing is a championship and being here, seeing what happened last year with the Raptors in (the) East, you never know what can happen.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers are amazed by new coach John Beilein’s work ethic and the 66-year-old’s energy level, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “He has more energy than I do,” forward Larry Nance Jr. said. “He’s always going, always has something on his mind, always something he’s ready to talk about, teach and coach. It’s really exciting to see because as a player that’s what you want. You want somebody that is so eager to get started that they can’t even slow down.
  • The Bucks bet on continuity in their efforts to convince Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign a super-max extension next summer, Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes. They managed to re-sign Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and George Hill in free agency and only lost one starter, Malcolm Brogdon. “We brought back a big part of the group; we believe in continuity,” GM Jon Horst said. “We think that gives us an advantage to have continuity. … This group looks like they’re growing, looks like they’re getting better, looks like they fit and they make sense and that we can compete and sustain success for a long period of time with this group and that’s been the goal.”
  • Despite Brogdon’s departure, the Bucks have plenty of options at shooting guard and small forward, Ben Steele of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel points out. “I think the vision going forward is with the addition of Wes Matthews and Kyle Korver as wings that have proven that they are elite-level shooters and great defenders,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Got young guys like Donte (DiVincenzo), Pat (Connaughton) and Sterling (Brown) that are all proven to some degree.” Hill, who signed a three-year, $29MM deal, is another option for Budenholzer.

Derrick Rose Says Phil Jackson Ruined His Knicks Experience

Derrick Rose blames former Knicks president Phil Jackson and his insistence on running the triangle for messing up his time in New York, relays Marc Berman of the New York Post. The paper published a segment from Rose’s new book, “I’ll Show You” in which he is highly critical of the way the organization was run during his lone season there in 2016/17.

Rose explains that he was excited for a fresh start after being traded to the Knicks in the summer of 2016. He thought teaming up with Carmelo Anthony and Joakim Noah gave the team a chance to be successful, but he quickly realized it was a bad situation.

“I played through it, 60-some games, but I could tell right away it wasn’t the season I was expecting,” Rose wrote. “Lot of different priorities. Melo’s there. You know how he plays. Can’t change that. That’s what I realized being there. And he’s a great dude; I loved being around Melo. He ain’t gonna rub you the wrong way. Great dude, great spirit, great person, great teammate. … I liked Phil, but, come on, man, you’re still running the triangle? He was still forcing them to run it. I’m a slasher, a driving point guard. The triangle is okay, but not for the personnel we had. Melo couldn’t play that way, didn’t want to.”

Rose adds that coach Jeff Hornacek seemed to understand that an up-tempo style was a better fit for his personnel, but he was reluctant to challenge the front office because he was new to the job and had just been fired by the Suns. He believes Hornacek got tired of having meetings about the style of play, so he just accepted what Jackson wanted.

Rose also addresses the incident in January of 2017 when he failed to show up for a game and didn’t notify anyone from the organization. He explains that he was considering retirement and needed to go home to talk to his family.

“I had decided I was done playing,” Rose wrote. “I saw the same thing that was happening with the Bulls was going on with New York. I could tell that the season wasn’t going to be the season everyone thought, that I thought. I didn’t know if I wanted to hoop anymore. Especially when it started to feel like a business. Of course, you know it’s a business. They always say that. But you know it’s also hoopin’. But it had started to feel like all business, no joy. That’s when I wanted out. I wasn’t having fun.”

Rose admits that he handled the situation poorly and it probably cost him the trust of the organization. New York drafted point guard Frank Ntilikina after the season, and Rose headed to Cleveland in free agency.

“I loved New York,” Rose concluded. “We were losing but I felt I was playing great. I felt like they still could have built something — or attempted to. They got rid of me but I definitely wanted to stay there. It was a new way of basketball life for me, to not be sure where I was going to play next. I knew I’d be playing, so I just focused on working out, keep up with rehab, get in shape, and have to show you again.”