NBA cancels preseason; regular season next?


NBA cancels preseason; regular season next?

Following Tuesday's NBA labor negotiations in New York, league commissioner David Stern announced that the remainder of NBA preseason games -- the league already announced the cancellation of exhibition games from Oct. 9-15, 43 in all, as well as the postponement of training camps, which were slated to begin this week -- will be cancelled. Stern added that if a deal between the league's owners and the players' association isn't reached by Monday, the first two weeks of the NBA's regular season will also be canceled.

Stern's comments followed a four-hour session in Manhattan, in which the union reportedly refused to give up more than a 53-percent share of basketball-related income, although various reports cite the league's willingness to take a 50-50 deal. Regardless of whether the latter scenario is true -- Stern and union executive director Billy Hunter had conflicting answers to questions about the intricacies of the reported informal proposal; Hunter also told reporters the union would now consider decertification, a tactic used by the NFLPA during its work stoppage and something reportedly being urged by several powerful player agents--no new meetings are on the docket.

For the Bulls, missing the rest of the preseason schedule means four games -- Oct. 19 against the Timberwolves in Sioux Falls, S.D., Oct. 21 against the Pacers at the United Center, Oct. 25 against the Bobcats in Charlotte and Oct. 27 against the Bucks in Chicago -- will be cancelled. If the first two weeks of the regular season are canceled, seven games -- against the defending champion Mavericks at Dallas on Nov. 1, against the Hornets in New Orleans on Nov. 2, the home opener against the Hawks on Nov. 5, against the Clippers at the United Center on Nov. 8, against the Thunder in Chicago on Nov. 10, a home game against the Kings on Nov. 12 and against the Wizards in Washington on Nov. 13 -- will be missed.

Aggrey Sam is's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Bulls exploring signing former Celtics shooting guard R.J. Hunter

Bulls exploring signing former Celtics shooting guard R.J. Hunter

According to CSN Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill, the Bulls are exploring signing former Celtics shooting guard R.J. Hunter.

The Bulls currently have one open roster spot.

Hunter, a first-round pick of the Celtics in 2015, appeared in 38 games as a rookie. He struggled from the field, shooting just 36.7 percent from the field and 30.2 percent from deep. He ultimately lost out on a roster spot this preseason in a crowded Celtics backcourt.

Hunter was the darling of the 2015 NCAA Tournament playing for his father at Georgia State. Hunter hit a game-winning 3-pointer against Baylor to propel the 14th-seeded Panthers to an opening-round win.

Hunter was a two-time Sun Belt Player of the Year, averaging 19.7 points per game as a junior.

The Bulls open their 2016-17 season tomorrow night against the Celtics.

Stay with for more updates on this story.

Rookie Denzel Valentine believes he'll play in Bulls' season opener

Rookie Denzel Valentine believes he'll play in Bulls' season opener

Showing no hesitation, Denzel Valentine stood some eight feet behind the 3-point line and launched a triple in Jimmy Butler’s face, then on the next possession, hit a corner triple that ended a contested 3-on-3 game following Bulls practice Wednesday.

He looks ready, sounds ready and most importantly, feels ready for the season opener Thursday night against the Boston Celtics after missing so much time with a right ankle sprain he suffered in the preseason opener well over two weeks ago.

“I think I’m going to suit up,” Valentine said. “Still have to talk to coach about it, but I think I’m going to suit up. I feel great.”

Assuming the Bulls play nine or 10 guys tomorrow night, Valentine should get some run against the Celtics considering how easily he adapts to the game—and the Bulls are in no position to discriminate if a guy can contribute, thus making Valentine’s recovery that much more important.

“It feels great right now. The staff, give them credit. They’ve done a great job of getting me back into great shape, getting my ankle stronger, so it feels great right now, and ready.”

It seemed the injury took longer than the initial prognosis, and even Valentine felt that, as the Bulls’ first-round draft pick was anxious to get back on the floor and learn the new system and teammates.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

“Yeah, that was my first ever actual ankle sprain. I’ve twisted my ankle a couple times in college, and I’m back in a couple days, practicing the next day,” he said. “But this one took a while. It was kind of frustrating because I thought it was going to be just like college, twist my ankle and be right back, but it was kind of an unfortunate accident. It took longer to heal. It actually took longer to heal than me actually being out there. It took time, but I’m ready now.”

Heck, he even has a new teammate in Michael Carter-Williams and that affects him being a primary ballhandler on the floor. Fred Hoiberg envisioned Valentine being able to play some point behind Rajon Rondo but with the recent trade, Valentine will likely play more on the wings behind Butler and Dwyane Wade.

It’s another change in the early stages of his career—one where he hasn’t been able to establish much continuity. Hopefully for Valentine, the worst of this is behind him.

“It’s very difficult, and being in Chicago, we’ve played all of our preseason games here, so there wasn’t no traveling like mid-season, so everybody is here pretty much every day practicing, and I’ve got to sit out at it,” Valentine said. “They kind of lose a little chemistry towards me, and the guys getting to play with me and me getting to know them on the court, so kind of lose a little bit of rhythm. But the good thing about me is I don’t need a whole lot of time with the team. I can kind of just sneak my way in and adapt.”