Chicago Bulls

NBA confirms opening day schedule

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NBA confirms opening day schedule

The NBA confirmed its five-game 2011-12 opening day slate Friday, featuring the Bulls playing the Lakers on Dec. 25.

Other Christmas Day games include the Celtics playing the Knicks in a renovated Madison Square Garden, a Finals rematch of the Heat against the Mavericks in Dallas, the Thunder and back-to-back league scoring champ Kevin Durant traveling to play two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard and the Magic in Orlando and the Warriors hosting their in-state rival Clippers and last season's Rookie of the Year, Blake Griffin.

The Bulls-Lakers matchup, taking place at Los Angeles' Staples Center, will tip off at 4 p.m. Central.

Each NBA team will play two preseason games toward the end of training camp, which opens Dec. 9. It is believed that the Bulls will play the Pacers in a home-and-away series.

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.