Chicago Bulls

Word on the Street: Jackson believes Heat will win 72

Word on the Street: Jackson believes Heat will win 72

Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Phil Jackson: Heat could break Bulls record

Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Thursday that his Lakers can't break the 72-10 regular season record set by his 199596 Bulls team, despite their white-hot 8-0 start. However, Jackson said he believes that the star-studded Miami Heat can.

"I think this Miami team could," Jackson said. "I mean, they are talented enough to do that. They may not be deep enough yet, or have all their persons in place...If they stay together, they have a good chance. They have a very talented team." (LA Times)

Ricketts wants 200 million in Wrigley upgrades

Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts is asking the state for 200 million worth of renovations at Wrigley Field to help ensure the ballpark will survive as the home of the Cubs for the next 35 years. The Ricketts family has promised that the money will not be financed by new or increasing taxes. Rather, the family wants the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority to float as much as 300 million in bonds which will be paid over the next 35 years through already-in-place amusement taxes. (ChicagoBreakingBusiness)

Noah on Garnett: 'I don't like him'

It's no secret that Bulls' center Joakim Noah isn't a big fan of Boston's Kevin Garnett; but apparently he used to be. Noah told "The Waddle & Silvy Show" that he used to be a big fan of Garnett - he even had a poster of him in his room. But now Noah says that Garnett is just "mean," particularly towards particular players.

"And he was very mean to me my rookie year. And he's only mean to the young guys and the European players, for some reason. I don't know why, but that's who he doesn't like. He's not nice. I talk a lot of trash out there, but c'mon, be a little sensitive. Be sweet," said Noah. (Load O' Bull - Chicago Now)

Castro prepares for Dominican League

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is preparing to begin play in the Dominican Winter League for Leones de Escogido, a squad coached by former Cub outfielder Moises Alou. Castro hit .300 over 125 games in his first season with the Cubs and, while his offense was impressive, he also committed 27 errors. His defense is something that Castro says he wants to work on this winter.

"I came to work on my defense, primarily on my throw to first base," Castro said.(MLB.com)

Dye wants to play in 2011

Former White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye, a free agent who sat out the entire 2010 season, says he intends to play again in 2011. The 2005 World Series MVP, who is representing himself rather than using an agent, says he has been contacted by three teams; the Phillies, Rays, and Rockies.

When asked if money was an issue, Dye said, 'No, not at all. I just want to play for a contender and am open to playing other positions. But I wont do a minor league deal.'" (FoxSports)
Ex-Bull Nocioni fined 25,000

Ex-Bulls forward Andres Nocioni was fined 25,000 by the NBA for throwing his mouthpiece into the stands in the first quarter of the 76ers 109-103 loss to the Thunder on Wednesday night. The fine was announced Thursday by Stu Jackson, the NBA executive vice president of basketball operation. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

State of the Bulls: Stacked 2018 draft class

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USA TODAY

State of the Bulls: Stacked 2018 draft class

2018 draft class is loaded at the top

Quietly, you can bet Bulls' front office executives John Paxson and Gar Forman had a little celebration after hearing that prep star Marvin Bagley III was going to graduate from high school early and enroll at Duke for the 2017-18 season, making him eligible for the 2018 draft.

Bagley, a 6'11 power forward from Los Angeles, is being compared to longtime NBA star Chris Bosh, right down to his smooth left-handed shooting touch. Bagley averaged 24.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and two blocked shots during his junior season for Sierra Canyon H.S. He's also fared well against NBA competition at the highly-regarded Drew League in L.A. this summer. Bagley’s physical tools are off the charts, and you can count on Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski preparing him well for life in the NBA.

Most NBA scouts and execs expect the No. 1 overall pick to come down to either Bagley or Michael Porter Jr., who will play his one season of college basketball at Missouri. The 6'10 Porter averaged an amazing 34.8 points and 13.8 rebounds last season against Seattle high school competition. He's considered a more dynamic scorer than Bagley with more range on his jump shot. Some scouts believe he could quickly develop into one of the league's elite players with Kevin Durant-type length and shooting ability at the small forward position.

International swingman Luka Doncic is also highly coveted by NBA teams. The 6'8 swingman has excellent shooting range, and is also capable of creating his own shot with outstanding ball-handling ability. Forget the stereotype of European players being mechanical and unable to compete athletically, Doncic is capable of being an 18-20 point scorer in the NBA and should go in the top five next June. He's considered one of the best international prospects in the last decade.

Two 7-footers also will hear their names called early on draft night 2018. University of Arizona freshman DeAndre Ayton averaged 19.8 points and 12 rebounds in high school last season, while Texas freshman center Mohamed Bomba has an incredible 7-foot-9 wingspan. Sure, the NBA has moved away from the traditional low post center, but teams are still looking to acquire agile big men like Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid, DeAndre Jordan, Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside. Depending on how they fare against top level college competition, Ayton and Bomba could round out the top five.

Other names to watch in the lottery portion of next year's draft include Texas A&M power forward Robert Williams, Michigan State's forward duo of Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr., and the latest one-and-dones from John Calipari's Kentucky program, center Nick Richards and small forward Jarred Vanderbilt.

In case you missed it, ESPN released its preseason win total expectations for the Eastern Conference on Wednesday, and the Bulls were dead last with a projected record of 26-56. Now, I'm not sure a team with veterans Dwyane Wade and Robin Lopez and the three young players acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota will be quite that bad, but if you're going to rebuild, the idea is to get the best draft pick possible, and the Bulls appear to be on course for a top-five selection depending on how the lottery falls.

If the Bulls are able to land an elite talent like Porter Jr., Bagley III or Doncic in the draft, then use their $40-50 million in cap space to land a couple of quality free agents, the rebuild might not be as painful as some fans are fearing.

Last dance for LeBron in Cleveland?

Well-connected NBA writer Chris Sheridan dropped this bomb on Twitter Wednesday, quoting an NBA source, "This will be LeBron's final season in Cleveland. He is 100 percent leaving. Relationship with owners beyond repair." Don’t forget, Sheridan was the first national writer to report James was going to leave Miami to go back to Cleveland in 2014, so his reports definitely warrant a little extra attention.

Okay, we've already heard countless rumors about James planning to join the Lakers after next season. He's built a mansion in Brentwood, is close with Magic Johnson and will be able to bring another superstar with him to L.A. like Paul George or Russell Westbrook. Plus, the Lakers have a number of talented young players in place like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. and a promising coach in Luke Walton.

Add in the likelihood Kyrie Irving will be traded before training camp opens and LeBron's long-standing poor relationship with Cavs' owner Dan Gilbert, and you have the perfect formula for another James' free agent decision next July. Although, I'm not sure why LeBron would want to go West, where Golden State is positioned to dominate the league for another five seasons, with strong challengers like the Rockets and Spurs still in place. 

But if we've learned anything from watching James over the years, he's clearly a man who wants to align the odds in his favor. So don't rule out anything when it comes to James' free agent decision. If the Cavs make a home run trade for Irving, maybe LeBron decided to plays out his career in his home state. If not, look for him to find a team with the cap space to bring in another top star to run with him.

Back in 2010, the Bulls carved out the cap space to add two max contract stars, but lost out to Pat Riley in Miami. This time around they won't be on James' July travel itinerary.

One thing we know for sure. Where LeBron plays in 2018 will be the number one story throughout the NBA season.

Report: Bulls expected to reach buyout agreement with Dwyane Wade

Report: Bulls expected to reach buyout agreement with Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade's homecoming may not last much longer. 

According to Nick Friedell's ESPN report, the Bulls are expected to reach a buyout agreement with the 12-time NBA All-Star "at some point in the next few months." 

The news comes two months after Wade picked up his player option, choosing $24 million over earning less on a more competitive team. 

If Gar Forman and John Paxson indeed decide to buy D-Wade out, the "Three Alphas," which consisted of Wade, Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo, would all be out just one season after coming together. 

The buyout may also mean more ping-pong balls in next year's stacked draft