Bulls

Did Bulls sign a Diamond in the rough?

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USA TODAY

Did Bulls sign a Diamond in the rough?

In rebuilding mode, the Bulls continue to take fliers on young players in the hope of getting a few diamonds in the rough.

In this case, the Bulls literally signed a Diamond in former Maryland center Diamond Stone.

The 6-foot-11 Stone was the 40th pick in the 2016 draft by the Pelicans, but began his NBA career with the Clippers after being traded on draft night. He played seven games with the Clippers, averaging 1.4 points in 3.4 minutes per game. He averaged 16.2 points and 7 rebounds in 13 games in the G League.

Stone's deal is partially guaranteed, meaning the Bulls could send him to the Windy City Bulls for more seasoning in the G League. Stone is 20 years old.

Stone was a McDonald's High School All-American before heading to Maryland. For the Terps, he was the AP Big Ten Newcomer of the Year and was third-team All-Big Ten as a freshman.

His pro career hasn't gotten off to a solid start. Falling to the second round and struggling for minutes as a rookie, and now finding a new team, means he has failed to make his mark yet. A rebuilding team like the Bulls could give him the opportunity, and more importantly the minutes, to prove he can play in the NBA.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Fred Hoiberg the coach of the future?

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Is Fred Hoiberg the coach of the future?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Hub Arkush (670 The Score/Pro Football Weekly) and Nick Friedell (ESPN.com) join Kap on the panel.  The Bears coordinators meet the media.  So how much will a new coaching staff improve the team?

Fred Hoiberg has the young Bulls playing hard.  So is he the coach of the future?

The Blackhawks are struggling to get their messaging right regarding Corey Crawford’s injury, John McDonough stands by Coach Q and Stan Bowman and Nick gives an impassioned defense of Sammy Sosa after Tom Ricketts says he needs to put everything on the table to be welcomed back to the Cubs.

11 Bulls - including Cameron Payne - received a player vote to start in the All-Star Game

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USA TODAY

11 Bulls - including Cameron Payne - received a player vote to start in the All-Star Game

Maybe the rest of the NBA has really taken notice of the Bulls' recent play. After all, they're 13-8 since a putrid 3-20 start and are within shouting distance (if you yell really loudly) of the No. 8 spot in the East.

So maybe that's why 11 different Bulls - including the infamous Cameron Payne - received at least one vote to start in the NBA All-Star Game in February. That, or the players could not care less about the voting process and made a mockery of it for a second straight year.

This could become a get-off-my-lawn story, and we could go on for hours about why the NBA should really reconsider giving players 25 percent of the vote on starters. Then again, as a whole they seemed to get it right in the East, with Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan in the backcourt, and LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid in the frontcourt. 

But instead of complaining, let's just get to the hilarious results and show you how the Bulls fared in both the player and fan voting (no Bulls received any media votes, because they shouldn't have).

Fun fact: The Bulls combined received 170,669 fan votes. That's about 5,000 less than Rockets center Clint Capela received. Their 31 combined player votes were two more than Carmelo Anthony received, so yeah.