Horace Grant

Bulls Notes: Wade, Butler, Grant, Rondo

Dwyane Wade calls his first half season in Chicago “average” and says he’s still adjusting to life with the Bulls, relays Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. Wade is still playing at an All-Star level, averaging 18.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists a game, but the team has been disappointing at 21-22. Because his $47MM deal includes a player option for next season, Wade will face another decision on his future this summer. Wade admits he left his “comfort zone” after 13 seasons in Miami. “Whenever I feel a certain way about anything, I always think about that, that I made the decision, and it’s a challenge that I wanted for myself,” he said. “Like I said maybe in the [introductory] presser or somewhere, the easiest for me to [have done is] to just ride off into the sunset in my comfort in Miami. And no one [would have] judged me at all. … But I made it a little more difficult than that because I’m a competitor, so I challenged myself.”

There’s more this morning from Chicago:

  • Wade’s future with the Bulls may be tied to Jimmy Butler‘s, Friedell writes in a separate piece. There are internal discussions in the organization about committing to a rebuilding process, which Wade wouldn’t be interested in at age 35. He said Butler played a key role in recruiting him to Chicago and will affect his decision when free agency arrives again. “One of the main reasons I’m here is Jimmy,” Wade said. “He’s the one who called me and got me to come here. So that’s a big part of my decision and everything else, is what Jimmy’s doing, what his future looks like and all that. And I’ve made it very clear. So I have no idea from that standpoint. You just have to wait and see and then see what works out.” Butler is signed through the 2019/20 season, but was the subject of multiple trade rumors last offseason.
  • Horace Grant, who serves as special advisor to president and chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf, says Chicago doesn’t need any drastic moves to reach the postseason. In a video posted on CSNChicago, the former Bull says the team just needs its key players to stay healthy. “I wouldn’t worry about trading anyone,” Grant said. “I wouldn’t worry about trading Jimmy or anything. I will find a way with the pieces that we have now, which I sincerely think that we’re going to make the playoffs, that we’re going to make a push.”
  • Rajon Rondo, who has had several run-ins with his coaches, would like to be an NBA head coach when he’s done playing, writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.

Central Notes: Grant, Irving, Ennis

The Bulls have officially announced that Horace Grant has been named special advisor to team president and chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf. “Horace is an incredible ambassador for the game of basketball. His ability to engage an audience, whether he is in a boardroom or a community center, will be invaluable to me and everyone at the Bulls as we continuously look for ways to grow our relationships with fans, corporate partners, and civic groups,” said Reinsdorf. “Every time we are together, he always has fantastic stories about his days with the Bulls, but he is also eager to share about his life today with his family and his travels with the NBA. Horace will bring a terrific energy to his role at the Bulls.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Kyrie Irving isn’t backing down from his proclamation that the Cavaliers are the team to beat in the NBA this season, despite the fact that the Warriors are the defending champions and have a shot to set the single-season mark for victories, Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media Group relays. “I mean, I feel that way and I was just being honest about it,” Irving said. “We all should feel that way as well, no matter if we’re going up and down. We still have the talent and we still have the belief. Whether we show it on a consistent basis, we know internally what we have and what we’re capable of when clicking on all cylinders. May not be perfect, may not be the prototypical team that everyone else sees, but I believe in these guys. I will go to war with these guys any day.
  • Bucks point guard Tyler Ennis has seen increased action recently and the second-year player has used those minutes to impress the coaching staff, writes Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He’s definitely putting himself in a better position,” coach Jason Kidd said of Ennis. “Taking advantage of the time on the floor. A lot of guys will say, ‘Can I get a chance?’ And when you do, some of them don’t respond. So now he’s responded. He’s worked on his game all year — the three, the floater. And we know he can pass the ball. He never gets rattled and is not afraid of taking a big shot.
  • Lorenzo Brown‘s second 10-day deal with the Pistons is set to expire this evening and the team is still undecided as to whether or not it will ink him for the remainder of the campaign, Rod Beard of The Detroit News notes (Twitter link).

Atlantic Notes: Sanchez, Grant, Stevens

Orlando Sanchez remains on the Knicks‘ radar as a player worth grooming for the future, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. The 26-year-old forward currently plays for New York’s D-League affiliate in Westchester, and the Knicks envision Sanchez making their roster out of training camp next season, Berman notes. Sanchez looks at the success that Langston Galloway has had turning a 10-day deal into a new contract as a source of inspiration, Berman adds.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Despite Celtics coach Brad Stevens owning a career NBA record of 41-86, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge insists that Stevens’ job is secure, Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald writes. “When I was going through things at Butler and we were having all kinds of success, I just kept learning how important it was to just keep coaching your team,” Stevens said. “Here we’re experiencing our fair share of growing pains and it’s the same answer. Here the biggest thing is our ownership and our leadership team. They’ve been very good with me and very supportive. As I said, at the end of the day you’re just coaching your team as best as you can every day.
  • The Celtics‘ challenge of trying to field a playoff-caliber team while trying to acquire talent and draft picks for the future is one that Ainge embraces, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com writes. “I would love to see our team in the playoffs, but I don’t want to see us back into the playoffs with a really bad record and not even have a fighting chance,” Ainge said. “If our team can keep getting better by developing, if we can make some deals at the trade deadline that put us in position to actually get into the playoffs and have a chance to win a playoff series, I think that would be a lot of fun.
  • The Knicks have spoken with Horace Grant regarding a position within the organization, Andy Adler of PIX 11 News reports (Twitter link). Adler adds that the former NBA player has met with coach Derek Fisher, and that the discussions could have been about a position on Fisher’s coaching staff. Grant has ties to team president Phil Jackson, who coached Grant in Chicago and with the Lakers, and he is familiar with the triangle offense as well.