Chicago Bulls

Deng feeling "fine" after return

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Deng feeling "fine" after return

Luol Deng returned to the lineup on Saturday and helped the Bulls to a 103-90 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, scoring 21 points and pulling down 9 boards in 41 minutes of play.

Not really a stat line you expect from someone whos sat out the past seven games with a torn ligament in his left wrist.

It says a lot about him as a pro, said head coach Tom Thibodeau. Luol has a lot of physical and mental toughness. He stayed in great shape, prepared himself well, was diligent with his rehab and did all the things that you would expect a good pro to do. I saw how hard he was working on his conditioning so I knew that that part, he would be fine.

"The thing about Lu is not only is he a two-way player, but he plays with both units and he makes both units function well, he continued. We missed him some from that standpoint but in some ways, it was also good. It gave some other guys an opportunity to get more playing time and they responded well and were encouraged by that.

After Saturdays win, Deng mentioned that he originally planned to make his return Thursday night against the New York Knicks, but wanted to stay as close to doctors orders as possible.

I was going to play when we were in New York but if I played in New York Saturday was two weeks after sustaining the injury and I was told four to six weeks, rest it four weeks and then come back, said Deng after their win on Saturday.

I knew when I had the injury, the way it felt, I could recover quick. When we were in New York I was going to play but it got sore. I did some warming up with Scal Brain Scalabrine and John Lucas. We did a lot of three-on-three and one-on-one and it got sore the next day. We wanted to be smart and let it be two weeks.

As for any concern on how the wrist would respond after Saturdays game, Deng went through a full practice on Sunday without any limitations.

Hes fine, now, said Thibodeau. If he has a problem, well deal with it then but he said he feels good.

How Bulls helped Thunder pull off blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade

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USA TODAY

How Bulls helped Thunder pull off blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade

For all the Bulls fans who wanted to see the organization pull off a Carmelo Anthony trade over the years, they just got their wish.

Well, sort of.

According to The Vertical's Shams Charania, the Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks have agreed to a blockbuster trade which will send Anthony to the Thunder for Doug McDermott, Enes Kanter and the Bulls' 2018 second-round pick.

Coincidentally, the Bulls traded a comparable package to what the Thunder just surrendered for the 10-time NBA All-Star.

Just before the NBA's trade deadline last February, the Bulls sent McDermott, Taj Gibson and a 2018 second-round draft choice to the Thunder for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow.

As the Thunder load up for a postseason run in the Western Conference, the Bulls are in the midst of rebuilding year after trading Jimmy Butler earlier this offseason and not having much to show from their previous trade with the Thunder.

The Bulls let Lauvergne and Morrow depart via free agency this offseason, while Payne will start the season on the shelf after undergoing foot surgery.

After the deal becomes official via a league call on Monday, Anthony will join reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and All-Star Paul George in Oklahoma City.

The 33-year-old Anthony averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds for the Knicks last season.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls the worst team in NBA?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls the worst team in NBA?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Nick Shepkowski (670 The Score) and Dan Cahill (Chicago Sun-Times) join Kap on the panel. Jake Arrieta will return to the rotation to face the Brewers. Can he recapture his pre-injury form? Mike Glennon gets another start Sunday but should he get the hook if he struggles again?

Plus, the guys discuss the one metric that says the Bulls are the worst team in the NBA.