Bulls

George Karl: Rajon Rondo is one of the most intelligent people

George Karl: Rajon Rondo is one of the most intelligent people

Former Sacramento Kings head coach George Karl joined Kap & Co. with David Kaplan on WMVP-AM on Thursday to weigh in on the Bulls' recent roster moves, including the signing of former Kings point guard Rajon Rondo — who Karl reportedly had a rocky relationship with during his tenure in Sacramento.

Despite their rocky past, Karl regarded Rondo as "definitely coachable" and "one of the most intelligent people and also basketball people."

The fifth-winningest coach in NBA history continued to say "there's book smart, street smart, and basketball smart, in my opinion, but Rajon is pretty intelligent all the way around."

[MORE: Rajon Rondo - The Bulls are Jimmy Butler's team]

Coming from one of the best coaches of all time in Karl, those comments say a lot about the type of player the Bulls are getting in Rondo.

Karl also dismissed the notion that Rondo was a hard player to coach.

"I think he wants to win basketball games," Karl said. "I think he's a competitor. The only problems I had with him were defensively he had lapses."

Karl also remained positive when saying he believes Rondo, the four-time NBA All-Star who won a title with the Boston Celtics in 2008, is going to have a different drive now that he has a two-year deal with the Bulls, as opposed to his previous one-year deal with the Kings.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

When Kaplan asked Karl if the Bulls will have a better backcourt with Rondo and Dwyane Wade as opposed to Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler (Butler will slide to the 3 this season), Karl choose the new duo.

"I think Rajon and Wade is going to be a better backcourt than last year," Karl said. "Rondo and Wade are tremendously different than Rose and whoever played back there. They upgraded their backcourt."

Does Karl think Rondo is better than Rose, however?

"I'm not going to go there."

Kendall Gill named to Illini Athletics Hall of Fame

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NBC SPORTS

Kendall Gill named to Illini Athletics Hall of Fame

Kendall Gill can add another bullet point to his resume.

NBC Sports Chicago's Bulls analyst was announced as a member of the University of Illinois' Athletics Hall of Fame for the Class of 2018. Gill enters in the same class as his coach at Illinois, Lou Henson, and former Bulls broadcaster Johnny "Red" Kerr.

Gill was a part of Illinois' 1989 Final Four team and earned consensus Second-Team All-America honors the following year as a senior when he led the Big Ten in scoring (20 points per game). He is third in program history in steals with 218.

He went on to have a 15-year NBA career, which included a stint with the Bulls.

Last year was the inaugural class for Illinois' hall of fame.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.

1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.

2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…

3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling.