Bulls don't believe Deng will require surgery

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Bulls don't believe Deng will require surgery

Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and John Lucas III are all available the former pair were in the starting lineup for the Bulls as they host the Nets. Taj Gibson is inactive Monday night and Luol Deng wont play either, though his situation is more complex.

Hes still consulting some doctors. Basically, an injured wrist and hes mapping out the course he wants to take, Thibodeau said of his starting small forward, who injured his left wrist in the fourth quarter of the Bulls home win Saturday over the Bobcats. Theres people that he wants to talk to. Hes gone down this road with an injured wrist before, so my guess would be it would be day-to-day.

Hes still gathering the information, Thibodeau continued about Deng, who had an MRI exam Sunday, though the results were apparently unavailable Monday. Lus an old-school guy. He came in, he goes, My wrist is injured. He said, I think Ill be fine. He said, Ive got a couple more doctors I want to talk to, and were going to go from there, so Im going to honor his request. He said hes able to move it and hes feeling better today, and he feels like itll be day-to-day. Im good with that.

Deng exited the game Saturday after suffering the injury, but re-entered the contest and was able to finish, though he had an ice pack on his wrist afterwards. Deng previously injured his right wrist earlier in his career and although the initial diagnosis for the injury Saturday was a sprain, the cautious approach raises the possibility that it could be more serious and require surgery, which would sideline him for more than the day-to-day timeline Thibodeau referenced.

I dont want to speak prematurely. I dont think hell need surgery, but again, theres more doctors that he has to talk to, so Im going to honor his request and well leave it at that, said Thibodeau, who started Ronnie Brewer in place of Deng. The team is very much involved. Its our doctors, in conjunction with some experts that he wants to talk to.

Well know more as he gets more information and again, he said it was a lot better today than it was yesterday, so thats what were going to go with, he added. You cant say enough about what he brings to our team, in all areas. You start with his leadership and toughness and the fact that hes our best defender, guards multiple positions, he plays to win, he does whatever you ask him to do, sets a great example in practice every day. So, you cant really say enough about him and hes having an All-Star type year.

That being said, were fortunate in the sense that we have great depth, so guys behind him Ronnie will start tonight with Lu out. We have Kyle Korver, we have Jimmy Butler, weve got Scal Brian Scalabrine. Weve got more than enough to win with, so we feel good about that.

Thibodeau was more definitive about Roses status.

Said Thibodeau: He says hes fine. The thing is, all the swelling is out of his toe, so hes moving fine. The thing is, in this league, youre going to get bumped and bruised. If you can play, you play and if you cant, you sit out. So, hes shown he has the ability to play through things. Were certainly not going to risk further injury with him. Were confident that hes ready to go.

Meanwhile, however, the coach will rely on his squads depth to see it through Dengs absence, whether prolonged or brief.

Well see how it unfolds. I think Jimmys done a good job. The one thing that we do have is, again, we have Kyle, we have Rip Rips getting into better shape now, so we can extend his minutes Scalabrine can also play three and four, Jimmy can also three and four, and he can also play the two, so we feel good about that, he said. Rip has shown, throughout his career, hes guarded one through three.

Bulls Talk Podcast: Gar Forman defends Jimmy Butler trade

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AP

Bulls Talk Podcast: Gar Forman defends Jimmy Butler trade

On the latest Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski, Will Perdue and Vincent Goodwill recap the Bulls' busy NBA Draft and the decision to trade Jimmy Butler to Minnesota. 

Bulls general manager Gar Forman joins the panel for an exclusive interview. He breaks down why the organization decided to move the three-time All-Star. 

Click here to Bulls Talk Podcast.

Nikola Mirotic and why the Bulls traded their second-round pick

Nikola Mirotic and why the Bulls traded their second-round pick

The Bulls entered rebuild mode on Thursday night after they dealt Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. They acquired a pair of guards in Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn, and the No. 7 pick which they used to select Arizona power forward Lauri Markkanen.

But the Bulls opted not to continue adding youth to their roster when they sold their second-round pick, No. 38 overall, to the Golden State Warriors. That pick was Oregon power forward Jordan Bell, who many considered a late first-round prospect.

The move was perplexing for a team that hours earlier had traded away its franchise player to start a youth movement. But VP John Paxson said after the draft that the decision to move the pick was based on team depth, hinting at a significant move the Bulls will make in free agency.

"We had some wings on our board that we had targeted that were the only way we were going to keep that (No. 38) pick, and they went before us. And drafting Lauri (Markkanen), and the fact that we have, Niko’s a restricted free agent we intend to bring back, Bobby Portis, we didn’t want to add another big and that’s really all that was left on our board."

Both Paxson and general manager Gar Forman have said since the season ended that Mirotic, who will become a restricted free agent on July 1, is part of their future plans. The Bulls will be able to match any contract that another team offers Mirotic, and they intend to keep the 26-year-old in Chicago. After Butler's departure, Mirotic is now the longest tenured member of the Bulls. He's been with the team for three seasons.

The wings Paxson may have been referring to include Miami's Devon Reed (32nd overall to Phoenix), Kansas State's Wesley Iwundu (33rd overall to Orlando) or SMU's Semi Ojeleye (Boston, 37th overall). Point guards Juwan Evans (Oklahoma State) and Sterling Brown (SMU) were still on the board and potential options, but the Bulls were set on looking for wing help after receiving point guard Kris Dunn and shooting guard Zach LaVine in the Butler trade.

The Bulls frontcourt depth looks filled, as Cristiano Felicio is expected to return behind Brook Lopez. Mirotic, Portis, Markkanen and Joffrey Lauvergne should make up the power forward depth chart. Opting against using the 38th pick, which Golden State bought for a whopping $3.5 million, also leaves the Bulls with room to add a 13th player in the fall.

"It keeps us at 12 roster spots and gives us real flexibility for our roster," Paxson said. "So we didn’t just want to use up a roster spot on a player that we probably wouldn’t have kept."