Bulls reportedly sign Daequan Cook

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Bulls reportedly sign Daequan Cook

MIAMI According to an ESPN report, the Bulls have claimed shooting guard Daequan Cook off waivers. Cook, a three-point specialist, was waived by Houston after being acquired in the Rockets trade with Oklahoma City for James Harden in October.

Cooks agent, Mike Conley, Sr. the former track star and father of the Grizzlies point guard of the same name confirmed the signing. A six-year NBA veteran, Cooks best season was with the Heat, in 2008-09, when he averaged 9.1 points per game.

He played sparingly in Houston, his third professional team, and was waived by the Rockets on New Years Eve, according to reports. The Ohio State product is already familiar with some of his new teammates, having played with both Nazr Mohammed and Nate Robinson on the Thunder.

Shooter. Nate Robinson told CSNChicago.com before Fridays Bulls game in Miami. Thats what he does. Hes knockdown shooter. He can bring that fire and thats something that obviously theyre looking for, somebody that can put the ball in the basket, spread the defense, stuff like that. He plays hard and hes a competitor.

Mohammed concurred: Unbelievable shooting ability. Daequan, hes a great guy, shoots the leather off the ball. Hes a hard worker -- its a great program in OKC -- so it can definitely helps us.

Hes always been a good rebounder for his position. He battles, he can get off the bench and get you six, seven boards, the backup center continued. Were a defensive team, so hell be all right.

Predictably, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau didnt want to discuss the acquisition before the contest, saying, When it happens, Ill have thoughts.

Cook, who will be the 14th player on the Bulls roster, will receive the pro-rated veterans minimum for the remainder of the season, which wont put the team past the hard cap. To some observers, acquiring another shooting guard signals that the Bulls are committed to trading starter Rip Hamilton before next months league-wide trade deadline, a move that would bring the team under the luxury tax, something they historically havent paid.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will Gar Forman's plan work?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will Gar Forman's plan work?

On the latest edition of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, David Kaplan is joined by Rick Telander (Chicago Sun-Times) and Mark Carman (WGN Radio) to talk Bulls. 

The panel breaks down the trade with Oklahoma City and question whether the team is better or worse now. 

Later, the guys talk about the Blackhawks' trade for Tomas Jurco and also break down the upcoming Daytona 500. Finally, Telander discusses his five-part series chronicling the Orr High School basketball team as they excel on the court and try to survive off it. 

Listen to the SportsTalk Live Podcast below. 

Blackhawks acquire Tomas Jurco from Red Wings

Blackhawks acquire Tomas Jurco from Red Wings

General manager Stan Bowman saw the potential in Tomas Jurco several years ago.

For the 24-year-old forward, it wasn’t working out with the Detroit Red Wings. Perhaps a change of scenery, an opportunity on a team that could vie for another Stanley Cup, makes a difference. The Blackhawks are about to find out.

The Blackhawks acquired Jurco for a third-round pick in this year’s draft on Friday afternoon. The 24-year-old Jurco has played in 16 games with the Red Wings this season but has yet to collect a point. In four seasons with the Wings, Jurco had 15 goals and 24 assists in 159 games. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press that, “things haven’t worked out” for Jurco there and that he wanted to go elsewhere.

Jurco was on a bye as a member of the Red Wings but, now that he’s with the Blackhawks, the bye ends. Bowman was hopeful Jurco would join the Blackhawks at practice on Saturday. Also, to clear a roster spot for Jurco, the Blackhawks reassigned Vinnie Hinostroza to the Rockford IceHogs.

[RELATED: Nick Schmaltz gaining confidence, effectiveness with Blackhawks]

Bowman said he’s been watching Jurco for a few seasons now.

“We’ll be patient with him but we really think there’s a good fit there, looking at his skills and the style of hockey we play,” Bowman said. “He’s been an accomplished player at a lot of different levels. He’s shown flashes in the NHL, not as consistently as he or the Wings would like, but you can see the talent and potential. You have to have some patience with these guys. It doesn’t always come together right away. I’m not expecting him to carry our team but I think he can contribute.”

It was an under-the-radar trade for Bowman but that’s not surprising. In late January, Bowman said he probably wouldn’t do much at the trade deadline; he liked how the Blackhawks’ young players were progressing and figured, if that continued, the team would be in good shape. Since then the Blackhawks have won eight of their last nine and are just three points behind the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Wild. As the Blackhawks kept winning it looked like, if they did anything, it would be a depth move.

So will there be any more moves? At this point it doesn’t seem likely, be it on forward or defense – Bowman didn’t have an update on Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) but said he’s happy with the depth in Chicago and Rockford on defense. Bowman said he’ll keep talking but, “but it’s a little bit different than in previous years when I thought we definitely needed something and were lacking in an area.”

“I’ve had a feeling about our team, not just recently but even a month ago. I liked the way this group was starting to come together,” Bowman said. “We’ve seen that enhanced over the last couple of week here. We’ve seen players step up, [Nick] Schmaltz in particular. [Ryan] Hartman’s been good all year. We’ve seen Jonathan [Toews] become a dominant player again. It gives your team a confidence that you have balance, scoring in different lines. We just added a young player to help us now as well as in the future. There’s a lot to be excited about. I’m not expecting more trades. I can’t predict more will happen but I have a good feeling about this group right now.”