Following their Game 4 victory, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins let the cat out of the bag regarding a personal issue involving Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson.
"I want to send my prayers out to John Paxson," Collins said. "(He) had a little bit of a heart surgery, he's not going to be able to be at Games 4 and 5. He's like a son to me. They've been hit with a lot of stuff, but Pax is so much the guts of that organization, I want to send out prayers to him. I hope you guys will too."
That remark raised some eyebrows, coming as a surprise to many and prompted a response from Paxson through a statement released by the Bulls:
"I have an arrhythmia issue I'm trying to get corrected. It is something I've had before and planned this procedure over one month ago. Nothing more to it than that and had not intended for it to be made public."
CSNChicago.com will update this story as more information becomes available.
As the NBA trade deadline unfolds, we're keeping an eye on all the rumors around the league, including the status of Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and other Bulls players.
Knicks, Timberwolves engaged in Ricky Rubio/Derrick Rose talks:
Sixers trade Nerlens Noel to Mavericks:
Celtics, Pacers talking Paul George (Nets pick included):
Thunder interested in both Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott
Suns shopping Brandon Knight
Rubio a target for Knicks
If the Bulls decide not to trade Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson might be the organization's most valuable piece on the market this deadline.
After the Toronto Raptors opted for Serge Ibaka over Gibson last week, the Bulls veteran power forward has now been linked to Ibaka's former team — the Oklahoma City Thunder:
The Thunder are 32-25, good for the No. 7 seed in the powerful Western Conference. But they're only a few games out of the No. 4 seed and could use some help at power forward alongside rookie Domantas Sabonis.
But Gibson isn't the only Bulls player drawing the eye of the Thunder:
The Bulls would likely be targeting draft picks in return for any package of players sent out to OKC.
The Thunder own their 2017 first round pick and if the season ended Thursday, that selection would be 19th overall.