Raptors close to signing Lucas III


Raptors close to signing Lucas III

Steve Wojcik

The Bulls already lost their backup point guard last week when C.J. Watson agreed to a two-year deal to join the New Jersey Nets, and now it looks like Watson's backup is also on his way out of town.

ESPN's Marc Stein reported the Toronto Raptors and John Lucas III are in "advanced discussions to finalize the terms of a multi-year deal" to bring the 29-year-old point guard to Canada to serve as Kyle Lowry's primary backup.

Once the Bulls drafted Marquis Teague, it became apparent that Lucas III's future with the team was up in the air, and after coming to terms on a two-year deal with former Bull Kirk Hinrich, it became even more evident that Lucas III had likely played his final game with Chicago.

In a 2011-12 season marred by injuries to the Bulls' backcourt, Lucas III was one of the few guards who was able to maintain his health throughout the season. He averaged 7.5 points and 2.2 assists in 14.8 minutes per game, which includes a pair of 25-point performances, one in January vs. Washington and another in April against the Cavaliers.

After the season, it was clear that Lucas III's play had likely earned him a pay raise and a spot in a rotation. Unfortunately, that rotation will probably not belong to Tom Thibodeau.

Crosstown class: White Sox congratulate Cubs on World Series berth

Crosstown class: White Sox congratulate Cubs on World Series berth

The White Sox took to Twitter to congratulate the Cubs on their World Series berth.

Classy move by the South Side.

Five Things from Blackhawks-Maple Leafs: Richard Panik stays hot

Five Things from Blackhawks-Maple Leafs: Richard Panik stays hot

This Five Things was headed for a lot of negativity before the final three minutes of regulation. But thanks to the Blackhawks’ third-period comeback, this one won’t sting as much as Friday’s installment.

So while you all celebrate the Cubs going to a World Series, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 5-4 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

1. Waking up just in time. The Maple Leafs haven’t played their best hockey in third periods – entering Saturday’s game, they’d been outscored 6-1 in that frame. But for 17-plus minutes of the third it didn’t look like the Blackhawks were going to take advantage of that stat. But they would, salvaging a point out of nowhere with two goals within a minute (Artem Anisimov at 17:32 and Richard Panik at 18:32). Better late than never.

2. The Richard Panik show continues. The forward said he doesn’t think about Toronto anymore, that it’s all about the team he’s with now. But looking at his celebration on his game-tying goal late in the third period, there had to be a little motivation to score against the Leafs, right? The Blackhawks don’t care who the opponent is, and Panik now has six goals to start the season.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

3. Power play fizzles. Ah, thought we were going to talk about the other special teams? In a second. The bigger problem on Saturday was the Blackhawks’ advantage, on which they went 0-for-6. It took until overtime, when their fifth power play was a 4-on-3 for them to really generate anything against the Leafs.

4. Late-period goals hurt. The Blackhawks looked set to enter first intermission with a 1-0 lead but Tyler Bozak scored with just 14 seconds remaining. They could’ve had a 2-2 tie entering the second intermission but James van Riemsdyk scored with 1:44 remaining in the second. Again, the Blackhawks overcame that. But coach Joel Quenneville talked about the loss of momentum in games, and here are two examples of it.

5. The Auston Matthews show. The Leafs phenom didn’t score a goal on Saturday but there’s no doubt he had his effect. His speed was especially on display on William Nylander’s goal; Matthews drew several Blackhawks and Nylander had a rather open net on the rebound.