NBA Notebook: Boylan bringing 'swag' back to Milwaukee

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NBA Notebook: Boylan bringing 'swag' back to Milwaukee

Boylan bringing "swag" back

Milwaukee is now 2-0 under interim head coach Jim Boylan, a former Bulls assistant, who replaced ex-Bulls head coach Scott Skiles during the 2007-08 season, just as he did for the Bucks this week.

Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings, who scored a game-high 35 points, talked about Milwaukees recent coaching change.

At first, it was tough for me, just the fact that Skiles was my coach my first four years in the league, he said. Of course, Boylans been here for the four years, too. But I know the first night, when we first had him, it was a little different looking on the sideline and Skiles wasnt there. But Coach Boylan, hes been here for four years, weve worked together in the summertime, so he knows my game and I know what to expect from him.

Continued Jennings: I felt like I can do what I want. Ive got my swagger now. I can clown around, dance, do what I want. I might end up changing my hair back again. I think just overall, the confidence that the team has. Everybodys playing with confidence. Guys are just playing free. Were not really thinking right now; were just hooping.

Block Party

Bucks center Larry Sanders, the leagues leading shot-blocker, rejected seven Bulls shots on the evening, part of Milwaukees 15 total swats.

Boylan said about the third-year big man: Larrys presence around the basket is intimidating. Guys go in there and theyre looking for him.

After an uneven first two seasons, Sanders, who previously played power forward and initially appears undersized for his current position, seems to have found his niche as a defensive-minded energy player with an emerging offensive game.

Robinson reflects on Payton

While discussing the possibility of his hometown, Seattle, again getting an NBA franchise, Bulls backup point guard Nate Robinson was asked about reports that Sonics legend Gary Payton was nominated for the 2013 Basketball Hall of Fame class.

He should have been nominated. Him and Shawn Kemp, together, Robinson said. Theyre one player, together.

Robinson also reminisced about the Sonics loss to the Bulls in the 1996 NBA Finals.

At the same time I was sad, I was happy because I was a Michael Jordan fan. But to see my city in the championship, it was awesome. The city was going bonkers, he recounted. They gave them a run for their money. But Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, the guys here, they were rolling.

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."