Bulls free-agent options increase, minus Bogans?


Bulls free-agent options increase, minus Bogans?

The madness of the NBA's truncated and chaotic free-agency period has finally reached Chicago. While not exactly on the scale of the proposed, then league-cancelled three-team blockcuster deal that would have sent All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Lakers from the NBA-owned Hornets.

The saga of the Bulls' search for a starting shooting guard has taken its own twists and turns Friday.

On the first day of Bulls training camp, incumbent starting shooting guard Keith Bogans was pulled off the practice floor by the organization, as first reported by the Chicago Tribune. Bogans had a team option for 1.73 million for the upcoming season.

Adding to the intrigue is reports of the Pistons waiving longtime shooting guard Richard "Rip" Hamilton. The veteran has had a turbulent and injury-filled recent history -- including being part of a so-called "mutiny" against former Detroit head coach John Kuester last season -- but when healthy, his potent mid-range game, playoff and championship experience, ability to move without the ball and overall savvy play could bolster the Bulls' perimeter attack, although he's not quite the deep-shooting threat, lockdown defender, athlete or shot creator that would seem ideal fo the team's roster, as currently constructed.

Another available veteran whose best days could be behind him, but still possesses scoring ability is Vince Carter, waived by the Suns on Friday. No longer the high-flying athlete of his youth and still plagued by his career-long apathy to defense, the injury-prone Carter is still capable of explosive individual scoring games, as well as knocking down shots behind the three-point arc.

The Bulls, reportedly prepared to offer the full mid-level exception and also open to sign-and-trade possibilities, have added free-agent veteran shooting guard and Chicago native Luther Head to their preseason roster. Other non-guaranteed invites include returnees John Lucas III and Brian Scalabrine, while first-round draft pick Jimmy Butler, expected to sign a rookie contract soon, is also in camp.

The current number of players present at the Berto Center practice floor late Friday afternoon to 12.

Yolmer Sanchez enjoys brief outfield adventure

Yolmer Sanchez enjoys brief outfield adventure

PHOENIX -- Yolmer Sanchez did something Carlos never has on Tuesday night when he set foot in the outfield.

The White Sox second baseman took over in right field during Tuesday’s loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a double switch. Sanchez moved to right field to start the sixth inning and was tested as Jake Lamb’s fly ball found him immediately.

Afterward, Sanchez pumped his first and celebrated his catch. It was the first outfield appearance made by Sanchez in 820 professional games, including the minors and winter ball.

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“It was a good,” Sanchez said. “I’m not an outfielder but it was good. I was nervous when the first hitter fly ball. I was really nervous but after that I feel a little more calm. And looking good.”

“When you play this team there is a chance to double switch. I was ready. It was fun. Everything I can do to help the team I will be there. Infield, outfield, I’m going to be there.”

Sanchez only played one inning in the outfield as Avisail Garcia pinch hit for the pitcher in the top of the eighth and took over.

Nick Offerman wants Jon Lester to grow a Ron Swanson-esque mustache

Nick Offerman wants Jon Lester to grow a Ron Swanson-esque mustache

Nick Offerman gave Cubs ace Jon Lester a shout-out after the southpaw's incredible outing Tuesday night at Wrigley Field and it led to a delightful exchange:

Lester responded in kind, quoting Offerman's most famous character, Ron Swanson of "Parks and Rec" fame:

Offerman — a Chicago native who just waited out a two-hour rain delay Friday at Wrigley to sing the Seventh Inning Stretch — believes Lester has a little Ron Swanson in him, too.

Except for the mustache, of course.

But Lester is just fine stick with his standard beard:

Lester's dominance against the San Francisco Giants continued with Tuesday night's complete game effort. In his last three starts — including Game 1 of last fall's — Lester has a 0.69 ERA and 0.54 WHIP against the Giants, striking out 19 batters in 26 innings.