Kris Dunn

Grizzlies, Bulls Discussed Kris Dunn, Justin Holiday Swap

The Bulls and Grizzlies have discussed a sign-and-trade for Justin Holiday that would send former top-10 pick Kris Dunn to Memphis, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune hears.

Holiday played for the Bulls last season before the team dealt him to the Grizzlies. Memphis made the December trade hoping to remain in the playoff hunt, surrendering two second-round picks to Chicago as well as Wayne Selden and MarShon Brooks (the wrong Brooks from the failed three-team trade with the Suns).

Chicago has made Dunn available in trade talks after drafting Coby White and acquiring Tomas Satoransky. Three of the team’s offseason goals were to add depth in the frontcourt, bring in point guard competition, and add outside shooting. The first two can be checked off the list.

Shooting on the wing remains on the Bulls’ wish list, Johnson adds. Holiday is a career 34.9% shooter from behind the arc.

Bulls Exploring Kris Dunn Trade

The Bulls are searching for a trade to move point guard Kris Dunn, who’s spent the past two seasons with the organization, according to Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link).

Dunn has dealt with various injuries during his time with Chicago, appearing in just 98 of a possible 164 games. He averaged 11.3 points, six assists, 1.5 steals and 30.2 minutes in 46 contests last season.

Dunn started his career with the Wolves and was traded to the Bulls as part of a Jimmy Butler package just one year after being drafted. Chicago also agreed to acquire Tomas Satoransky in a sign-and-trade with Washington and drafted Coby White in June, meaning Dunn could wind up being the odd man out of the rotation at point guard.

Several teams that have previously shown interest in adding a point guard have already found their respective resolutions, such as Boston with Kemba Walker, Phoenix with Ricky Rubio, Brooklyn with Kyrie Irving Charlotte with Terry Rozier and the Clippers with Patrick Beverley.

 

Central Notes: Dunn, Leuer, Doumbouya, Bucks, J.R. Smith

Bulls executive VP John Paxson insists that Kris Dunn still has a role despite the addition of North Carolina point guard Coby White with the team’s lottery selection, K.C. Johnson of Chicago Tribune reports. “We still value Kris very much,” Paxson said. “But competition is a part of this business. You have to have that. The goal for us is to be deeper, more talented. You see in our game today, the successful teams have versatile rosters. … And, hey, if he comes in, as we hope, in training camp in great shape and ready to roll, he has every chance to earn any spot he wants — just like any of our guys do.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • It’s uncertain whether veteran power forward Jon Leuer will play for the Bucks, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets. Milwaukee traded Tony Snell and its first-round pick to the Pistons for Leuer in an effort to clear cap space. Leuer is in the final year of his contract. GM Jon Horst told Leuer and his agent that he could be included in a future trade, Velazquez adds. Leuer appeared in 41 games last season after injuries limited him to eight games the previous season.
  • The Pistons were stunned that forward Sekou Doumbouya slipped just outside the lottery, allowing them to pick him with the No. 15 selection, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News. The Pistons watched him work out in Dallas but were convinced they had no chance to draft him. “He kept dropping and we had Plan A in place and we didn’t expect him to be there. Then Plan B came into place and it was the best plan of all — because we had him ranked very high on the board,” coach Dwane Casey said. “We were there at the workout in Dallas and we thought we were wasting our time because we saw all the teams in front of us.”
  • The Bucks didn’t get any players in the draft but it was for lack of trying, Velazquez reports in another tweet. The Bucks made calls on every second-round pick but didn’t want to give up future picks and discovered that it’s much tougher to simply buy picks now.
  • The Cavaliers were unable to unload J.R. Smith on draft night and it’s likely he’ll be waived before his contract becomes fully guaranteed at the end of the month, Joe Vardon of The Athletic reports. Cleveland doesn’t want to go over the luxury-tax line. Acquiring a player on a multi-year contract whose salary pushed them over the line was a deal breaker. Only $3.87MM of Smith’s $15.68MM salary is guaranteed.

Bulls Rumors: Ball, No. 7 Pick, Dunn, Asik

A report last month indicated that the Bulls and Lakers had “initial conversations” about Lonzo Ball prior to the 2019 trade deadline, and it sounds as if Chicago still has some interest in Ball. According to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, Ball’s pass-first mentality, defensive ability, and positional size intrigue the Bulls, who will be on the lookout for a point guard this offseason.

Johnson’s latest article for The Tribune includes several other Bulls-related rumors and notes, so let’s round up the highlights…

  • Multiple league executives believe that top point guard prospects Darius Garland and Coby White received draft promises from teams that pick before the Bulls, says Johnson. If either Garland or White is available when Chicago is on the clock at No. 7, that player would be a good bet to end up in a Bulls uniform, Johnson adds.
  • League executives tell Johnson that Kris Dunn‘s trade value is “low to nonexistent,” so if the Bulls attempt to upgrade the point guard spot on the trade market, the former No. 5 pick is unlikely to be a major outgoing asset.
  • There’s internal optimism within the organization that the NBA will allow the Bulls to remove Omer Asik‘s cap charge from their books for medical reasons, Johnson writes. That would create an extra $3MM in cap space for the summer.
  • The Bulls may be more interested in restricted free agent point guards than many of the unrestricted options expected to be available. Johnson points to Terry Rozier and Malcolm Brogdon as two potential targets for the club.
  • The Bulls would also like to add a veteran big man in free agency, but the point guard position is the team’s top priority.

Bulls Notes: Bzdelik, Adams, Draft, Dunn

Former Rockets assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik could be a candidate to join Jim Boylen’s staff in Chicago, tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. The Rockets decided not to pursue a new contract with Bzdelik, who is considered the architect of the defense in Houston. He briefly retired from the game last fall before rejoining the Rockets in November.

The Bulls interviewed Bzdelik for an assistant’s job in 2002 and were interested in hiring him before he joined the Nuggets. He also interviewed with executive vice president John Paxson for Chicago’s head coaching position in 2008. Bzdelik hasn’t decided if he wants to keep coaching next season, but Johnson notes that the Bulls still have an opening to fill.

There’s more today from Chicago:

  • Mark Adams, an assistant at Texas Tech and a long-time friend of Boylen’s, had discussions about coming to the Bulls but decided to remain in Lubbock, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium.
  • The Bulls are looking at Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, Duke’s Cam Reddish and North Carolina’s Coby White as possibilities in next month’s draft, Johnson writes in a full story. Paxson said after the lottery that he is open to all possibilities with the No. 7 pick, including a trade. If the Bulls keep their selection, they could choose a defensive upgrade in Culver, a shooting specialist in Reddish or address a position of need by taking White. “I’m a point guard,” White said when asked where he projects himself in the NBA. “Put the ball in my hands.”
  • The Bulls may opt to give Kris Dunn another chance rather than chase a crop of free agent point guards that isn’t outstanding, speculates Sam Smith of NBA.com. Dunn only established himself as a scorer occasionally under coach Fred Hoiberg and he never gained the trust of Boylen once he took over the team, Smith adds. However, with D’Angelo Russell and Terry Rozier both being restricted free agents — and Ricky Rubio and Darren Collison as realistic alternatives — Chicago may decide to spend its free agent money elsewhere.

Bulls Notes: Dunn, Markkanen, Wings, Forman

On Tuesday, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote about how Bulls point guard Kris Dunn wanted to know what team personnel – i.e. head coach Jim Boylen and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson – were thinking in regard to Dunn’s future with the team.

As Cowley put it, it’s up for debate whether or not Dunn has the skills to be a starter in this league for a team on the back-end of a rebuilding project. That is, a team that expects to start competing for the playoffs sooner rather than later. As such, the question becomes whether the Bulls are truly committed to Dunn.

“I haven’t really talked to them (about that)”, Dunn said. “So once I talk to them, I’ll get a sense of what they’re thinking… It’s a business. They’re going to do what they’re going to do. I’m just going to control what I can control. I’m excited to get back in the gym and do what I do.”

Fortunately or perhaps unfortunately for Dunn, he got a pretty straightforward answer from Paxson earlier today, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Per Johnson, Paxson told the media that the Bulls have not yet given up on Dunn, but that the team needed to get better at the point guard position and that Dunn will have the opportunity this summer to show that he can improve his game to where Paxson and Boylen feel it needs to be.

There’s more out of Chicago this evening:

  • An official update from the team reports that big man Lauri Markkanen, after completing thorough examinations from cardiologists at both Rush University Medical Center and Johns Hopkins University, has been cleared to resume full basketball-related activities. Medical testing revealed that Markkanen’s symptoms (e.g. rapid heart rate) were primarily related to a combination of dehydration and nutrient deficiency.
  • In addition to his comments regarding Dunn, Paxson also iterated today (via the Bulls’ official Twitter handle) how the team is looking to add versatility to the wing position this off-season, with some lineups next year featuring Markkanen at the five and Otto Porter Jr. at the four.
  • As part of his story on Boylen’s extension, Cowley notes that Paxson quickly shot down the idea of demoting general manager Gar Forman, stating that Forman’s job is safe and reiterating that “(Forman is) very good at what he does.”

Bulls Notes: Blakeney, Tanking, Dunn, Valentine

Injuries to starting Bulls guards Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine give their backups a chance to improve their prospects of making the roster next season, Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago writes. Shaquille Harrison, Ryan Arcidiacono, Wayne Selden and Antonio Blakeney will get increased playing time.

Arcidiacono started the season slowly but is shooting 52% from the field and 44% from beyond the arc since the All-Star break, Strotman notes. The club can make him a restricted free agent by extending a $1.82MM qualifying offer.

Harrison, whose $1.59MM salary for next season is not guaranteed, is averaging 10.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 3.0 SPG while starting the last three games.

Blakeney’s $1.59MM contract is guaranteed for next season but that doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to be on the team next season, according to Strotman. He’s shooting just 42% from the field and averaging just 0.6 APG.

The Bulls can make Selden a restricted free agent by extending him a $1.93MM qualifying offer.

We have more on the Bulls:

  • The team appears to be in full tank mode entering the final eight games this season but coach Jim Boylen denies it, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “We’re trying to build a competitive spirit, a team that’s going to honor that Bulls across their chest and play for the city,” Boylen said. “We don’t feel shutting people down is a way to build that.”
  • Dunn is unlikely to play on Tuesday due to a back injury. He tried to tough it out against Utah on Saturday and earned kudos from his coach, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune notes.  “I want to give Kris credit for playing,” Boylen said. “He had more kinesio tape on him than a mummy. He tried to play and give us what he could. I love the fact that he tried it.”
  • Not only do the Bulls want rookies Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison to play on their summer league team, they’ll also ask Denzel Valentine if he’s interested in participating, Johnson reports in another article. Valentine has not played this season following surgery to reconstruct his left ankle. The Bulls have discussed playing in both the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and the Utah Jazz Summer League in Salt Lake City, Johnson adds.

Bulls Notes: LaVine, Dunn, Felicio, Boylen

Bulls head coach Jim Boylen and top scorer Zach LaVine told reporters earlier this week that they’d proceed cautiously with LaVine’s right knee injury, leading to some speculation that the team might consider shutting down the 24-year-old for the rest of the season. However, Boylen said today that LaVine is listed as probable on the injury report and will likely play vs. the Clippers on Friday, per K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).

LaVine, who said on Monday that it wouldn’t be smart to “go out there and try to risk anything right now,” is feeling much better a few days later. While the Bulls may have briefly considered the possibility of shutting him down and playing it safe, LaVine always hoped to return for the season’s final four weeks.

“That’s just not who I am,” LaVine said, per Johnson (Twitter link). “[Shutting it down]’s not what I do. It’s going to be good for the team. We can get our chemistry down, continue to play well, build things for next year.”

Here’s more out of Chicago:

  • Former fifth overall pick Kris Dunn has ceded some fourth-quarter minutes to Ryan Arcidiacono lately, prompting Mark Schanowski of NBC Sports Chicago to explore how much longer Dunn will be the Bulls’ No. 1 point guard. As Schanowski notes, Dunn is extension-eligible this offseason, but the team seems far more likely to address the position in the draft or free agency than to negotiate a long-term deal with the former Providence star.
  • Addressing the Dunn situation in his latest mailbag, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune says he thinks there will be an open competition at the point guard spot in the fall, with Dunn going up against whoever the Bulls acquire in the offseason.
  • Within his mailbag, Johnson also discusses the Bulls’ draft options, possible frontcourt offseason targets, and the plan for Cristiano Felicio, among other topics.
  • In an ESPN.com video, Adrian Wojnarowski says the Bulls are pleased with their direction going forward and intend to build around the four-player core of LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter, and Otto Porter. Wojnarowski also reiterates that Boylen will be back with the team next season, though he cautions there are no long-term guarantees for Chicago’s head coach.

The Deadline Deals That Didn’t Happen

The Raptors were close to acquiring Nikola Mirotic, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports on his podcast. The power forward would have been part of a three-team trade with the Pelicans and Magic in the proposed framework. Toronto didn’t have the expiring contracts that New Orleans was seeking and Mirotic was instead sent to the Bucks.

Toronto shifted its focus back to Marc Gasol and acquired the big man from Memphis in exchange for Jonas ValanciunasDelon WrightC.J. Miles, and a 2024 second-round pick.

The Hornets came close to acquiring Gasol before some “last-minute haggling,”  ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes. Charlotte had a lottery-protected first-round pick on the table for most of the week leading up to the deadline. Lowe passes along more deals that were discussed behind the scenes. Here are the highlights from his latest piece:

  • The Sixers offered two second-rounders to the Pelicans for Mirotic and prior to trading for Tobias Harris, Philadelphia and New Orleans discussed a Markelle Fultz-Mirotic swap. Fultz was dealt to the Magic for Jonathon Simmons and a pair of picks.
  • The Hornets pursued a deal for Harrison Barnes, dangling a first-round pick to the Mavericks, Lowe adds in the same piece. Dallas would have had to take back long-term money in the potential deal, something that it wasn’t willing to do.
  • The Nets and Grizzlies briefly discussed sending Allen Crabbe to Memphis along with a first-round pick (Denver’s 2019 selection) in exchange for Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green, sources tell Lowe. Tax concerns led Memphis to shy away from acquiring Crabbe, who will take home approximately $19MM next season.
  • Several teams attempted to pry Andrew Wiggins from the Wolves without giving up much in return. Minnesota was uninterested in giving Wiggins away.
  • Kris Dunn was available at the deadline but the Bulls weren’t looking to deal Zach LaVine. Lowe writes that Chicago may have only considered trading LaVine if it received an overwhelming offer, something that was unlikely to occur.

Bulls Notes: Lopez, Porter, Boylen, Portis

Although a report from ESPN on Thursday indicated that the Bulls and Robin Lopez are expected to engage in buyout talks now that the trade deadline has passed, executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson sounds like he expects Lopez to stick with the franchise for the rest of the season, as K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune relays.

“My feeling right now — it can change — is Robin will be with us,” Paxson said. “Our players love him. He’s a great teammate. We don’t feel it’s an absolute given that we have to just buy a guy out to help another team.”

Paxson acknowledged that the Bulls would “have a discussion” if Lopez’s representatives requested a buyout, but stressed that the club loves having the veteran center around. Previous reports have suggested that Lopez would likely sign with the Warriors if he’s released, so perhaps the Bulls’ front office also isn’t exactly eager to help out the two-time defending champions.

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • In explaining the trade for Otto Porter, Paxson said that the Bulls recognized they aren’t ready to pursue top free agents, which is why they didn’t mind committing future cap room to someone like Porter. “We’re not in the position to go after the big names, the franchise changers. We’re looking at things realistically,” Paxson said, per K.C. Johnson. “We also looked ahead to this summer, and even the summer beyond, at available wings and versatile players. There are no guarantees of getting players like that.”
  • The Bulls remain committed to having Jim Boylen continue as head coach of the team next season, Paxson said on Thursday (link via K.C. Johnson). “We’re working well together,” Paxson said. “Our objectives are the same. Jim’s doing the right things. From our seats, he’s promoting the right message to our players and what we expect.”
  • Speaking of Boylen, during a subsequent appearance on 670 The Score, Paxson pushed back on the narrative about the supposed near-mutiny that took place shortly after Boylen took over as the Bulls’ head coach, writes Michael Walton of NBC Sports Chicago. Despite reports, Paxson said that Bulls players never contacted the NBPA about Boylen’s tactics.
  • While Paxson said on Thursday that the Bulls continue to evaluate Kris Dunn, it’s becoming clear that the team will need to further address the point guard spot at some point, writes Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago. ESPN’s Zach Lowe previously reported that Dunn “was there to be had at the deadline.”
  • According to K.C. Johnson (Twitter link), before the Bulls traded Bobby Portis this week, they offered him a multiyear extension worth $40-50MM last fall. For four years, that’d be an annual average value around $10-12MM, but word around the league is that Portis will seek $16MM annually this summer, per Johnson.