Thibodeau, Mavs' Carlisle express appreciation for each other's teams

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Thibodeau, Mavs' Carlisle express appreciation for each other's teams

Dont include Rick Carlisle in the sector of observers who believe that after Thursdays loss at Miami, the Bulls are somehow no longer a contender. The Mavericks head coach, who won a championship last season, shared his high opinion of the team that defeated his short-handed squad following Saturdays game.

I dont know whos saying that. I saw a few highlights from that game, said Carlisle. Theres 220 possessions in an NBA game. Its easy for people on TV to sensationalize one or two plays, but over the course of a regular season, theres 15 or 20,000 possessions.

I look at their body of work over two years, I look at the coaching job that Thibodeau has done here and this team brings it every night, he continued. Thats why theyve got the best record.

It seems theres a mutual-admiration society between the two coaches, as Thibodeau waxed poetic about the Maverickswho lost defensive linchpin Tyson Chandler in the offseason, acquired Lamar Odom via trade and dealt with the subsequent drama that led to last seasons Sixth Man of the Year Award winner and reality-show star effectively being sent home on a paid vacation recentlya team that clinched a playoff berth this week, but chose to rest veteran guards Jason Kidd and Jason Terry, despite not being in position to host a first-round series.

When youre dealing with Nowitzki, it puts a lot of pressure on your defense and theyre unique because they invert their offense, said the Bulls head coach. Theyre the defending champion. Youre talking about a team with championship experience, so its a good test for usI dont think they get enough credit for their defense. Theyre very good defensively.

Theyre a well-balanced team. Carlisle does a great job with them, theyre deep, they have a lot of weapons, theyre skilled and they can hurt you in the pick-and-roll, post, catch-and-shoot. They can invert their offense and Nowitzki, because of his skill setyou have a seven-footer with a high releaseits very difficult to get to, and he and Terry are two very big fourth-quarter players for them. I didnt even talk about Kidd, he continued. They were sort of under the radar and I believe they won 57 or 58 games last year, and there was a sequence during that time where, I believe Nowitzki wasnt playing. He missed, I believe, seven or eight games, so if you factor in if he plays during that stretch, theyre probably a 60-win team and they were healthy, and playing well at the right time. which you have to be.

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."

Jimmy Butler's trainer is certainly not happy about trade

Jimmy Butler's trainer is certainly not happy about trade

No hard feelings from Jimmy Butler's camp, right? 

Wrong. 

Not long after the three-time All-Star was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, his trainer broke Twitter. 

 

It's not explicit, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who Gaines was tweeting about. More so, Gaines sent the harsh takedown from France, where he presumably is vacationing with Butler. 

It was reported that Butler wanted to stay in Chicago. TNT's David Aldridge even detailed that he rebuffed the opportunity to re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers if he was traded there. 

Obviously, emotions are running high.