Chicago Bulls

Top NBA all-time scorers from each state: Kirk Hinrich is on the list, Michael Jordan isn't

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USA TODAY

Top NBA all-time scorers from each state: Kirk Hinrich is on the list, Michael Jordan isn't

The NBA schedule will be released later on Monday, but other than that the offseason has come to a screeching halt.

Luckily, the team at HoopsHype (follow them here) put together an awesome graphic to pass the time.

It's a map of the all-time leading NBA scorers from each state (significant note: the team looked at where the player was born, not necessarily where they were raised).

So there's plenty to break down here as far as the Bulls are concerned.

Kicking things off right here in our home state, Dwyane Wade tops the Illinois-born players with 21,317 points (and counting). Hall of Famer Dan Issel scored 27,482 points but scored nearly half of those in six ABA seasons. Terry Cummings, Eddie Johnson and Isiah Thomas round out the top 5 in the Land of Lincoln.

Sioux city native Kirk Hinrich leads the way in Iowa with his 9,594 points. Raef LaFrentz is second with 5,690 points, while Nick Collison and Harrison Barnes round out the top 4. Barnes, at 4,605 points, has a pretty decent shot to catch Hinrich at just 25 years old.

The last Bulls player on the list is Chet Walker, whose 18,831 points lead the way in Mississippi. He could hang on to that distinction for a while, as current players Monta Ellis (17,111 points) and Al Jefferson (14,091) are on the tail ends of their careers.

Phil Jackson, who won six titles with the Bulls, leads the way in Montana with his 5,428 points.

Now, you'll notice a certain player missing from this map. You'll notice that in North Carolina, Walt Bellamy's name appears instead of Michael Jordan's. That, of course, is because Jordan was actually born in Brooklyn. Jordan's family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, when Jordan was a small child, but unfortunately that means he's lumped into the same state as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer.

Lottery reform might not be all bad for rebuilding Bulls

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USA TODAY

Lottery reform might not be all bad for rebuilding Bulls

At first glance, reports of the NBA pushing for major lottery reform might seem like terrible timing for rebuilding teams like the Bulls. The league's competition committee is trying to come up with a system that will discourage teams from tanking to improve their odds of winding up with the best possible draft position.

Under the current plan, the team that finishes with the worst record has a 25% chance of winding up with the top pick and selects no lower than fourth. The odds then decrease for teams that finish between two and 14.

The new plan would flatten the odds for the bottom four teams, all given a 14% chance to win the top pick in the lottery. The idea is teams will no longer have an extra incentive to lose if it doesn't help them end up with better draft position.

But here's where the Bulls come in. Even though the new plan is expected to be approved by league owners, it won't be implemented until the 2019 draft. That's crucial for a Bulls' team that is likely to have one of the worst records in the league in 2017-'18, but could improve pretty quickly with some good fortune in the summer of 2018.

If the Bulls land a Top 3 pick next June, they could draft one of two elite forward prospects, Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. or Duke's Marvin Bagley III, or 18-year-old international star Luka Doncic. Then they could go into free agency with somewhere between 40 and 50 million dollars of cap space to land a couple free agents to give the roster a big time boost.

I understand the Bulls' record in free agency has not been all that great over the years, and they're not going to convince LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George or Russell Westbrook to come to a rebuilding team. But with so few teams expected to have significant cap space, why couldn't the Bulls make a run at next level stars like DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas (if healthy) or DeAndre Jordan? Plus, they could always go the route of adding two solid rotation players like Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Wilson Chandler or Danny Green rather than shoot for one max contract All-Star.

Say the Bulls get Porter Jr. in the draft to handle the small forward spot, then sign Cousins in free agency to play center. All of a sudden you've got a starting line-up of Cousins, Lauri Markkanen, Porter, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn, all lottery picks. At that point, the Bulls wouldn't be thinking about finishing near the bottom of the league to improve draft position. They'd be thinking about what moves they could make to get back to the playoffs.

So, when you read these articles about lottery reform, don't look at it as a huge negative for the Bulls. If all goes according to plan, they'll only have one season of being in strong contention for the No. 1 pick, and the rules aren't expected to change for the 2018 lottery.

Former Bulls guard Jannero Pargo joins Windy City Bulls coaching staff

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AP

Former Bulls guard Jannero Pargo joins Windy City Bulls coaching staff

The Bulls organization officially welcomed back Jannero Pargo on Friday.

The Chicago native and former Bulls guard, who played with the team for parts of four seasons, was announced as a new assistant coach with the Windy City Bulls, the Bulls' G League affiliate, joining Josh Kreibich and Julian Terrell on new head coach Charlie Henry's staff.

Pargo averaged 13.5 points per game during the 2003-04 season and averaged 10.4 points per game during the Bulls' 2005 playoff series with the Washington Wizards.

Most notably, Pargo featured prominently in Game 4 of that series, helping to erase a 10-point deficit in the game's final minute with a trio of 3-pointers. The Bulls went on to lose the game on a Gilbert Arenas buzzer-beater seconds after Pargo tied the score at 110.

“We are very excited to add Jannero and Julian to our coaching staff as well as elevate Josh to an assistant,” Henry said in the announcement. “Jannero and Julian both bring a wealth of playing experience at the collegiate, NBA, G League and international levels that will be a tremendous asset to both our player development and game-planning this season. Josh’s experience in our inaugural season and his tireless work ethic will be invaluable in the growth of our team moving forward.”