Bulls

Report: LeBron interested in Cavs signing Mike Dunleavy

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Report: LeBron interested in Cavs signing Mike Dunleavy

The Bulls won't be all that active on the free agent market this offseason, but they may have some competition for retaining their own.

A few things to note here. First, James opted out of the final year of his contract with the Cavaliers last week, but he's not going anywhere. He's simply restructuring his next contract around the new TV deal in 2016-17 - one that will inflate the NBA salary cap to unprecedented figures - and is waiting to see how the Cavaliers upgrade the roster around him before committing to Cleveland. But again, he isn't going anywhere.

[RELATED: A financial primer for Bulls free agency]

Second, Bulls general manager Gar Forman went on record that the Bulls want Dunleavy back. The sharpshooter has spent the last two seasons in Chicago, averaging 10.5 points and connecting on better than 39 percent of his 3-point attempts. He's proven to be a valuable piece of the Bulls' veteran rotation, and in Fred Hoiberg's up-tempo offense he'd be a solid fit on the perimeter. Many have speculated that it's highly likely Dunleavy returns to the Bulls, though playing with James has to be enticing.

The Cavs have plenty to figure out this offseason as well. Matthew Dellavedova, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert all are restricted free agents, while Kevin Love and JR Smith have opted out of their contracts. Cleveland is expected to retain the majority, if not all, of those players, though they certainly could use more firepower from the outside around James.

Free agency begins at 11:01 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Stay tuned.

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.