Chicago Bulls

Hamilton feels good after heavy workload vs. Washington

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Hamilton feels good after heavy workload vs. Washington

Without Derrick Rose and Luol Deng in the lineup on Monday, Richard Hamilton was poised for extended minutes. Hamilton played 34 minutes in Mondays loss to the Wizards, scoring 22 points on 9 of 20 shooting to go along with five rebounds and five assists. It was his most action since playing 36 minutes on Jan. 29 against Miami.

It was cool just to be out there, said Hamilton. I wanted to win, thats the biggest result at the end for me, but it was good to be out there playing in the second and fourth quarter.

Since returning to the lineup after missing 14 games with an injured right shoulder, hes averaging just 20.7 minutes per game.

Both he and head coach Tom Thibodeau acknowledge that they want to be smart with playing time and gradually build it up. But with five games remaining, the veteran shooting guard is ready for more.

Like Ive said, I think I can play the whole game, Hamilton said, smiling. Tonight was the first time that we really tested it over that 20 minutes limit, but I felt good especially on a back-to-back, so it was a good sign.

With Rose and Dengs status for Wednesdays game against the Charlotte Bobcats being uncertain, Thibodeau is pleased with what hes seen from the veteran shooting guard, who could be in line for another heavy workload.

The other guys have been together for a long time, said Thibodeau about the team still adjusting to what Hamilton brings. I think Rip is feeling really good. His lower body is great, so that part is good. The more they play together, the better they will be. Hes shown that hes a very good player moving without the ball, catch-and-shoot situations, running the floor and unselfish. Hes missed a lot of time, so hes still coming around with his timing and I think that will get better as time goes on.

Hamilton even admitted that he wants to take the brace off of his injured shoulder soon, but with as much time as hes missed already -- and only five games left until the playoffs - he wants to be cautious.

Hopefully I can take it off, he said. I dont want it on. Im still shooting a lot of my shots short. I want to take it off now, but its one of those things where if I take it off and it gets hit again and something happens, its bad. I think Ill take it off soon, though."

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.