Kris Dunn

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/12/18

Here are Monday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Timberwolves have recalled rookie center Justin Patton from the G League, according to the team (Twitter link). Patton has yet to make his NBA debut, but looked good for the Iowa Wolves on Sunday, scoring a team-high 21 points.
  • Newly-acquired Raptors shooting guard Malachi Richardson has been assigned to the G League, the team announced today (via Twitter). Richardson doesn’t figure to get much run for a Toronto team with a deep bench, but he should have a chance to play major minutes for the Raptors 905 against Maine on Monday night.
  • The Bulls assigned a trio of players to the G League today, according to the club (Twitter link). Kris Dunn, Cristiano Felicio, and Noah Vonleh were sent to the Windy City Bulls for practice and will be recalled after that, the team announced.
  • Patrick McCaw, who has been spending time in the G League to get more minutes, was recalled by the Warriors today, the team confirmed in a press release. The Santa Cruz Warriors scored 131 points on Sunday, but McCaw had just six of them, on 2-of-11 shooting.

Bulls Notes: Paxson, Lopez, Holiday, Allen, Dunn

The Bulls were relatively quiet as the trade deadline passed on Thursday, completing a pair of minor deals involving Noah Vonleh and Jameer Nelson. Chicago’s major move came when the team dealt Nikola Mirotic to the Pelicans, which netted the team highly-coveted draft picks.

Vice president of basketball operations John Paxson, is happy with the Bulls’ moves and is excited about the future, Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times writes. Paxson compared draft picks to gold for teams as his franchise restocks for the future. In particular, Paxson likes having future high picks to go along with the young talent already on the roster.

“We look at it this way: We got the three young guys [Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn] when we made the [Jimmy Butler] trade for last year, we’re going to have two [first-round] picks most likely in this draft, and we’ve got Bobby [Portis] and Denzel [Valentine] as young guys,” Paxson said. “That’s seven young pieces, and we just need to continue to develop them, grow, and make the smart decisions, not get in a rush.’’

Check out other Bulls news and notes below:

  • Paxson said that the Bulls were offered several multiyear bad contracts in trade talks, but the team was not comfortable taking on significant money that went beyond the 2018/19 season, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Paxson added that the Bulls were comfortable taking Omer Asik in the Mirotic trade because he is set to make just $3MM in 2018/19.
  • While the Bulls could have traded Robin Lopez and/or Justin Holiday, Paxson said their value as veteran leaders and teammates was too important to the club, Johnson tweets.
  • Tony Allen, who was acquired as part of the Mirotic trade, was reportedly set to be waived by Chicago. However, Paxson said the team will have a discussion with Allen’s agent before deciding on his future, Nick Friedell of ESPN tweets.
  • Point guard Kris Dunn is out of concussion protocol but he is still not ready to return, per the Associated Press. Dunn has missed the Bulls’ past eight games; he’s averaging 13.7 PPG and 6.4 APG for Chicago this season.

Central Notes: Pistons, S. Johnson, Dunn, Bucks

The Disabled Player Exception the Pistons received doesn’t make them more likely to complete another deal before tomorrow’s trade deadline, writes Ansar Khan of MLive. Coach/executive Stan Van Gundy says tax concerns will limit the team’s ability to follow up last week’s blockbuster that brought Blake Griffin to Detroit.

“The chances of that helping us at all are very, very slim because it would take us into the [luxury] tax to begin with and we only have until March 12 to use it,” Van Gundy told reporters before tonight’s game. “I don’t expect it to be of much value, but you want to have every tool at your disposal.”

The Pistons’ DPE is valued at about $5.25MM, half the salary of Jon Leuer, who is out for the season with an ankle injury. The Griffin deal cost the team its top two scorers in Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley, but Van Gundy believes there are still enough good shooters on the roster.

There’s more news from the Central Division:

  • It might take a starter and a draft pick to pry Stanley Johnson away from the Pistons, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Johnson is among the team’s best defensive players and has increased his offensive production over the past five games, averaging 15 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
  • Bulls guard Kris Dunn returned to practice today for the first time since suffering a concussion after taking a hard fall in a January 17th game, writes Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago. Dunn has been ruled out for Friday’s game, but is hoping to play again before the All-Star break. However, coach Fred Hoiberg warned that may not be possible. “He hasn’t done anything,” Hoiberg said. “His inactivity will prevent him from playing anytime soon. But the important thing is he was able to do some non-contact drills, he’s been on the treadmill, he’s completed the bike portion.” The Bulls are 1-7 without Dunn, who sparked a streak of success after moving into the starting lineup in December.
  • The Bucks created a $1.9MM trade exception when they shipped Rashad Vaughn to the Nets on Monday, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. Milwaukee also has two other trade exceptions valued at $3,4MM and $5MM.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/6/18

Here are the G League moves from around the Association today:

  • The Pistons sent recently acquired forward Brice Johnson to their G League affiliate in Grand Rapids, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com tweets. Johnson had previously played 23 games of action with Agua Caliente, the Clippers’ affiliate.
  • The Lakers have recalled center Ivica Zubac from South Bay, the team announced in a press release. He has averaged 21.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game during his stints with the affiliate.
  • The Cavaliers have brought Ante Zizic back up from a stint with the club’s G League affiliate in Canton, the team announced in a press release. Zizic has seen action in just 12 games with the big league club this year.
  • The Bulls assigned Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen to their G League affiliate today, with the intention of recalling them after practice, the team announced in a pair of tweets.

Bulls Notes: Nelson, Allen, Grant, Dunn

Newly acquired Bulls Jameer Nelson and Tony Allen shouldn’t get too comfortable in Chicago, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Both players served as salary fillers in the deal that sent Nikola Mirotic to New Orleans, and neither may remain with the Bulls after Thursday’s trade deadline.

‘‘We now have a situation where we’re invested in these young guys,’’ said VP of basketball operations John Paxson. ‘‘Our focus remains on growth and development of them. This is consistent with what we set out to do on draft night.’’

The term “young guys” doesn’t describe Nelson, who turns 36 next week, or Allen, who reached that age last month. They may be able to provide short-term help for a contender, but they don’t have a place on a rebuilding team like the Bulls. They also carry affordable, expiring deals, with salaries of about $1.43MM for Nelson and $1.47MM for Allen.

There’s more news today out of Chicago:

  • Cowley suggests in the same piece that Paxson would be willing to move anyone on the roster except Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn in exchange for a young player or draft pick, even if it means taking on a large salary in return. That’s what the Bulls did in the deal with the Pelicans, absorbing Omer Asik‘s contract to obtain a top-five protected first-rounder from New Orleans. “To acquire a [protected] first-round pick in the trade for Niko I think fits the direction this team is heading,” Paxson added. “Obviously, we’re going to have our pick, which will be a very high pick, and then we’ll see what happens with that New Orleans pick.’’
  • The Thunder have talked to the Bulls about acquiring Allen, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Oklahoma City needs defensive help in the backcourt after a ruptured patellar tendon knocked out Andre Roberson for the rest of the season. Chicago has been offering up point guard Jerian Grant around the league for several weeks, Johnson adds.
  • An illness has complicated Dunn’s return from a concussion he suffered January 17, Cowley writes in a separate story. Dunn was progressing through the early stages of concussion protocol before getting sick. He has been ruled out for Monday’s game at Sacramento and may not play again before the All-Star break. Dunn still needs to finish the protocol and get some practice time before he will be cleared to return.

Central Notes: Pacers, Bucks, Hill

The Pacers find themselves firmly in the Eastern Conference playoff conversation after a busy offseason but don’t expect the organization to start mortgaging its long-term future for short-term success.

The Fox Sports Indiana crew interviewed Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan on Saturday night about the team’s mindset as the February 8 trade deadline approaches.

We’ve had such a great chemistry, you’re reluctant to disrupt that,” Buchanan said. “You also want to do what’s right for the [Pacers] long term. We’re in no hurry to change up anything with this team.”

Of course Buchanan is well aware of where the Pacers stack up against the rest of the league. For that reason, the club is looking only for something sustainable that they can build around for the next three, four (five, six, seven) years.

Buchanan did note that one aspect the Pacers are always looking to shore up is shooting. “The way the league is going right now, shooting is a premium,” he said. “The more shooting you can put around a playmaker like Victor. Those guys need space.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • A unique characteristic of the Bucks franchise is that their three-pronged ownership group all make big franchise decisions together. David Aldridge of TNT recently wrote about that aspect of the organization, noting that there was a consensus about firing Jason Kidd.
  • The Cavaliers supposedly wanted the option of buying out Kings guard George Hill after this season, which is one reason the two teams couldn’t complete a trade, Brian Windhorst of ESPN reports (via Dan Feldman of NBC Sports). Currently Hill’s $19MM for 2018/19 is fully guaranteed. Only $1MM of Hill’s $18MM in 2019/20 is guaranteed, however.
  • The Bulls didn’t expect Kris Dunn back in the lineup when they played Portland on Wednesday but they did expect him to travel with the team. That is no longer the case, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune writes.

Central Notes: Parker, Turner, Wade

Injured Bucks forward Jabari Parker is still expected back in the lineup the week before the February 18 All-Star Game, Genaro Armas of The Associated Press writes. The 22-year-old is already practicing with the team without restrictions.

Parker’s return will come weeks after the Bucks fired the only NBA coach he ever knew. While there are conflicting accounts about Parker’s relationship with Jason Kidd, there’s no denying that he had a close one with assistant coach Frank Johnson, who was let go after Kidd was.

It was kind of really hard for me to accept,” Parker told Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, noting that he saw Johnson every day and looked forward to their time together. “Not having him by my side is really going to be hard for me.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • After a nine-game absence, Pacers big man Myles Turner needs to shake some rust off and work his way back into game shape, Clifton Brown of The Indianapolis Star writes. “You could see that he was a little hesitant,” head coach Nate McMillan said. “He had an open look that I’ve never seen Myles pass up. We knew he would be a little rusty. We wanted to be patient with him and really watch him.
  • The Cavaliers expect Dwyane Wade back in the lineup on Tuesday, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes. The guard has been out of action for two games following the death of his agent Henry Thomas. Thomas is said to have served as a father figure for Wade.
  • The Bulls have seen their offense stagnate without Kris Dunn, Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago writes. The sophomore guard’s absence has really driven home the impact that he has on the team when healthy.

Injury Notes: Zeller, Dunn, Lydon

The Hornets are expected to get  Cody Zeller involved in team scrimmages in a matter of days Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. The forward has been sidelined since undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in mid-December.

Zeller was a critical piece of the Hornets’ rotation before his injury and will look to settle back into his new role of manning the backup center position behind Dwight Howard as soon as he’s cleared to do so.

In 19 games of action for the Hornets, Zeller has averaged 7.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. His return will be much appreciated by a team that’s struggled mightily in the first half of 2017/18.

There are other injury updates to report on this evening:

  • Rookie forward Tyler Lydon will miss four months of action after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. The Nuggets revealed in a press release that Lydon went under the knife after an injury sustained on assignment in the G League.
  • We wrote last week that Bulls guard Kris Dunn was out indefinitely after entering the NBA’s concussion protocol. This week, Nick Friedell of ESPN writes that the guard’s symptoms haven’t changed much. Dun, who still suffers headaches, will take the comeback process slow and be out a while longer.
  • Pistons big man Jon Leuer underwent successful surgery on his left ankle and will miss the remainder of the 2017/18 campaign, Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweets. Leuer now faces a four-month recovery process.

Kris Dunn Out Indefinitely After Entering Concussion Protocol

The Bulls will be without sophomore guard Kris Dunn for an indefinite period of time after he entered the league’s concussion protocol on Wednesday, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune writes.

Dunn fell awkwardly after a dunk Wednesday night, landing face first on the United Center floor. Initial test results suggested that Dunn had been cleared of concussion symptoms, but he did fall hard enough to chip and dislocate his two front teeth.

Dunn will not travel with the team when it leaves for a three-game road trip on Friday.

In what’s been widely regarded as a breakout season, Dunn has averaged 13.7 points, 6.4 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game for the Bulls. Backup point guard Jerian Grant is expected to slide into the starting lineup during Dunn’s absence.

Bulls Notes: LaVine, Dunn, Future

Zach LaVine, the Bulls’ key acquisition in the offseason deal that sent Jimmy Butler to Minnesota, is nearing his season debut after a pair of practices with Chicago’s G League affiliate, per NBA.com. LaVine has been rehabbing from a torn ACL he suffered with the Timberwolves last season.

LaVine, 22, was averaging a career-high 18.9 PPG last season before his year was cut short due to injury. Despite their poor 13-24 record, the Bulls have looked better recently, behind the return of Nikola Mirotic and strong play from Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen. If LaVine can return to last year’s form — or anything close to it — Chicago will be incorporating an explosive guard who can score and dunk with the best of them. LaVine is a two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner.

However, LaVine’s impending return could alter the Bulls’ lineup and playing time for players such as Dunn.

Check out other news out of the Bulls organization below:

  • Speaking of Dunn, he has emerged as a closer for the Bulls, a trusted player who the team wants to have the ball in his hands late in games, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. However, with LaVine’s return on the horizon, head coach Fred Hoiberg realizes the team could be adding the team’s best scoring weapon. “Yeah, he is another guy that can give you that,’’ Hoiberg said. “[LaVine] obviously gives you another really good shot-maker. Probably the best shot-maker on the team.’’
  • Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago gives a similar take on the LaVine situation. After Dunn failed to make a potential game-winning shot against the Trail Blazers, it served as a reminder that the Bulls are playing without arguably their best shooter in LaVine.
  • After that loss to the Trail Blazers, the once-surging Bulls may need to accept their reality for this season, ESPN.com’s Nick Friedell writes. If the Bulls choose not to break up the roster, the team could reach 30 wins — especially with LaVine due back soon — but the front office’s goal was and is to secure the strongest draft position possible.
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