Im never going to admit it, man, Luol Deng told CSNChicago.com after Sundays Bulls overtime win at Detroit. Weve got a lot of guys, weve got depth. I think were going to start using our depth now.After playing nearly 45 minutes -- and scoring only two points, though he limited Pistons counterpart Tayshaun Princes scoring, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists -- Deng looked exhausted, as usual. Additionally, he suffered an injury to his ribs after taking a shot from Pistons guard Ben Gordon, a former teammate, as first reported by the Chicago Tribune.However, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau argued that while Deng currently leads the league in minutes per game, the fact that hes missed time with a torn ligament in his left wrist -- a factor in his up-and-down shooting nights -- means he hasnt had as much wear and tear as one might expect.If you studied his total minutes, you would see that hes had plenty of rest this year. If you compare his total minutes for the season, dont forget hes missed nine games this season, so its not a guy thats piled up a ton of minutes, said a testy Thibodeau about the All-Star, who ranks 20th in the league in total minutes entering Monday. Its a valid question. I think for him, he knew this is what it would be like. Some days, its better than others. He still helps us a lot when hes not scoring. He does so many other things, whether hes rebounding the ball or he creates space. When hes on the floor, theyre not leaving him, so theres more space for Derrick to operate. I think that three-point shot is huge. Well see how it goes. Hes getting time off in practice. Maybe we should have him practice and give him the games off, I dont know.Deng is almost like a safety blanket to Thibodeau because of his versatility, so even on the nights on which he doesnt produce much scoring -- Im not just out there for my defense, Deng bristled -- his versatility and the mere threat of his varied offensive game helps the Bulls.Thibodeau explained: Thats the value of him. Hes on a primary scorer every night, so hes such a big part of our defense, I know theres going to be nights when hes not shooting well. Im good with that because of his rebounding, his defense and his ability to shoot the three. Even when hes not shooting well, theyre not leaving him, so his man is going to be out of the paint and thats what Derrick needs. Derrick needs space. Luol has shown hes more than capable of hitting that big three, even on nights hes not shooting well. You leave him open, hes a clutch shooter. Hes going to make those.
On the latest Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and Kevin Anderson break down the Kyrie Irving trade rumors, Derrick Rose’s move to Cleveland, and Kendall’s appearance in the ‘Big 3’.
Kendall shares what it was like when he wanted out of Charlotte, and how Rose to the Cavs only works if Kyrie is gone.
The trio also explains why Bulls fans should not feel like they ‘missed out’ on trading for Irving. Plus behind-the-scenes of KG’s hometown return to the court.
Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:
At one time, Derrick Rose was cruising towards becoming one of the NBA's highest-paid players.
Not any longer.
The point guard agreed to terms with the Cleveland Cavaliers on a one-year, $2.1 million deal - otherwise known as the veterans minimum - on Tuesday. That's quite a fall from grace for the 2011 MVP.
To be fair, the 28-year-old could have pocketed more if he signed with a number of other teams, but he prioritzed winning this offseason.
Either way, for a guy coming off his best offensive season (18 points per game on 47 percent shooting) since 2012, the low salary is somewhat of a surprise.
To contextualize the deal, here's a look at former Bulls teammates who will bring home more bacon next season:
Player | 2017-2018 salary | 2016-2017 points per game | 2016-2017 rebounds per game | 2016-2017 assists per game
Jimmy Butler | $19.3 million | 23.9 points | 6.2 rebounds | 5.5 assists
Joakim Noah | $17.8 million | 5.0 points | 8.8 rebounds | 2.2 assists
Luol Deng | $17.1 million | 7.6 points | 5.3 rebounds | 1.3 assists
Pau Gasol | $16 million | 12.4 points | 7.8 rebounds | 2.3 assists
Taj Gibson | $14 million | 10.8 points | 6.2 rebounds | 0.9 assists
Omer Asik | $10.6 million | 2.7 points | 5.3 rebounds | 0.5 assists
Tom Thibodeau | $10 million | 24.2 "ice" yells per game
Tony Snell | $9.9 million | 8.5 points | 3.1 rebounds | 1.2 assists
E'Twaun Moore | $8.4 million | 9.6 points | 2.1 rebounds | 2.2 assists
Cristiano Felicio | $7.8 million | 4.8 points | 4.7 rebounds | 0.6 assists
D.J. Augustin | $7.2 million | 7.9 points | 1.5 rebounds | 2.7 asssists
Kyle Korver | $7.8 million |10.1 points | 2.8 rebounds | 1.6 assists
Marco Belinelli | $6.6 million | 10.5 points | 2.4 rebounds | 2.0 assists
Justin Holiday | $4.6 million | 7.7 points | 2.7 rebounds | 1.2 assists
Doug McDermott | $3.3 million | 9.0 points | 2.7 rebounds | 0.9 assists
* We're not sure the exact salary of Brian Scalabrine, but the Big 3 may be paying him more than $2.1 million. *