CHARLOTTE—Bulls backup point guard D.J. Augustin rejoined the team for Wednesday’s game against the Bobcats, the team that drafted him, after missing Monday’s home win over Orlando because of his wife giving birth to his son.
“Yeah, everything went great. They’re actually headed home right now. She had to stay in the hospital for two days, so I stayed the night before last with them,” a beaming Augustin said after the Bulls’ morning shootaround at Time Warner Cable Arena. “She was induced [into labor] Monday and we got there like four in the morning, and she had him at like 12:30, 1 o’clock, and everything went fine. He really came out quicker than expected because this was No. 2, so we were really surprised about that.”
Augustin, who also has a daughter, named the baby after himself—Darryl Augustin III—but the boy will go by the name Trey.
“I thought about Thibs, I thought about Gar. Jimmy’s been asking me to name him Jimmy. I gave them all consideration, but I had to go with Darryl,” quipped the floor general. “He’s going to be Trey. I never went by Darryl growing up. I always went with D.J., so he’s going to be Trey.”
“He was seven pounds, two ounces and he was 18 inches, so that was pretty big for 37 weeks. If he’d have stayed in 40 weeks, he would have been eight pounds, nine pounds, something like that,” continued the proud father. “He’s going to be a player. I don’t know how tall he’s going to be, but that’s all right. We can work on his floater.”
Butler ready for heavy workload
Tied for second in the NBA with Thunder All-Star and league scoring leader Kevin Durant at 38.5 minutes per game, Jimmy Butler is prepared for that number to increase in the postseason.
After all, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau set a precedent last spring by playing Butler the full 48 minutes in three consecutive contests in the team’s second-round series against Miami, in which Butler was tasked with guarding LeBron James. While he won’t have an individual matchup as difficult as the reigning league MVP, whether the Bulls play Brooklyn, featuring wing scorers like All-Star Joe Johnson, future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce, oversized point guard Shaun Livingston and instant-offense reserve Marcus Thornton, or Washington, with star second-year shooting guard Bradley Beal, Butler knows it won’t be easy, but is up for the challenge.
“Yeah, I’m ready. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help my team win,” he said. “If that’s 48 minutes, whatever it may be, I’ve just got to be prepared for everything.”
Thibodeau updates newest Bull’s status
When the Bulls signed big man Greg Smith earlier in the week, it was with the understanding that he wouldn’t contribute to the team this season.
First, the 23-year-old was still on Houston’s roster as of March 1, meaning he isn’t eligible to suit up in the playoffs. Second, the 6-foot-10, 250-pound, Fresno State product was limited to only 11 games for the Rockets this season because of a knee injury, something that the Bulls want him to focus on at the moment.
“His priority right now is to do the rehab part of it. We sent him home to get his stuff. He’s going to start with doing rehab twice a day. We feel good about that,” Thibodeau explained. “We wanted to give him an opportunity to get his stuff so he can get started on the rehab program.”
When healthy last season, Smith was the primary backup to former Bulls center Omer Asik, performing admirably and making it a possibility that he could serve in a similar role in Chicago next season.