Bulls could bring in Mayo a number of ways


Bulls could bring in Mayo a number of ways

The Chicago Bulls interest in shooting guard O.J. Mayo is intriguing, given the teams financial question marks and need at the position. And there are a few scenarios where Mayo could land in the Windy City, giving the Bulls an impressive shooter with plenty of upside next season.
Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears first reported that the Bulls had interest in Mayo, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 draft, and that the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers also were interested.
The 24-year-old Mayo averaged 18.5 points per game his rookie season, followed by 17.5 points per game his sophomore season. But in the last two seasons, Mayo has seen his role and, subsequently, numbers diminish. Last season Mayo averaged 12.6 points per game, making 1.5 3-pointers on 36.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
It's not surprising the Bulls have shown interest in Mayo, but it may be a race against time for the Bulls to offer and potentially secure his services.
Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald laid out a handful of possible scenarios that would free up enough salary cap space to comfortably bring Mayo to Chicago.
As is the case with any of the Bulls' future free agency moves, much of it will hinge on what the Bulls plan to do with Omer Asik. The Bulls are yet to receive an offer sheet from the Rockets, who are waiting on the Knicks to match or decline Jeremy Lin's three-year, 25 million offer sheet.
Once the Rockets move to Asik's deal and send Chicago an offer sheet, the Bulls will have three days to either match or decline.
The Kyle Korver trade netted the Bulls a 5 million trade exception (equal to Korver's contract for next season) and cash considerations, the team announced today. That gives them the option to perform a sign-and-trade with Memphis for Mayo, surrendering draft picks in return and giving Mayo 5 million in his first year.
Involving Rip Hamilton's 5 million expiring contract for next season would also give the Bulls some leverage, but as of Monday afternoon there had not been any serious takers for the 34-year-old shooting guard.
Should Chicago decline Asik's offer sheet from the Rockets, the Bulls could use the full mid-level exception (5 million) to use on Mayo rather than the taxpayer mid-level exception (3 million), which Mayo would be less likely to sign. It also, of course, would give the Bulls more cap space to use in the future on signing Mayo and others to longer-term deals.
All this could be for naught if the Suns, a team with plenty of cap space, or any other team decides to break the bank on Mayo, who reportedly wants 10 million a year. That number won't happen, but if Phoenix offers Mayo anywhere near 7-8 million per year, the Bulls could not match.
There are scenarios where the Bulls could bring Mayo in, specifically via a sign-and-trade using the trade exception from the Korver trade. It could happen quickly, especially if the Bulls' brass knows what they plan to do with Asik.

Under Center Podcast: Bears trounced by Saints, and questions abound

USA Today Sports

Under Center Podcast: Bears trounced by Saints, and questions abound

Laurence Holmes is joined by Olin Kreutz, Matt Forte, Lance Briggs, and Alex Brown to break down the Bears' highly dispiriting 36-25 loss to the Saints at Soldier Field. The guys discuss why the loss was so disappointing and frustrating (2:00), the lack of progress for many players since last year (5:00), the possibility of somebody other than Nagy calling plays (10:00), whether the Bears can save their season and still make the playoffs (14:00), and the massive problems in the run game this season (22:00).

Listen here or via the embedded player below:


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Another lackluster return from Mitch Trubisky leaves the Bears offense in a state of panic

Another lackluster return from Mitch Trubisky leaves the Bears offense in a state of panic

Given Sunday’s parallels to the Bears’ 2018 clunker against the Rams, the spotlight on QB Mitch Trubisky may have been even brighter against the Saints than it usually is – which is saying something. 

Four quarters, 250 yards and one blowout loss later, the only thing that’s changed is that the Bears no longer have the luxury of hiding another subpar performance from their franchise quarterback behind a monstrous, game-changing defense. Trubisky’s numbers against New Orleans look better on paper, but the eye test told a much different – or similar, technically – story. 

“It's hard to pinpoint it,” he said after the 36-25 loss. “Just frustrating, ugly. Couldn't swing momentum in our way – couldn't really get going. Just sputtered out. We've just got to find ways to stay on the field, especially after 3rd down and move the chains and get going."

“I want to go back, watch and see like progression-wise [how he did],” Matt Nagy added. “I know there's one there early in the game where we missed a corner route on 3rd down, and Mitch knows -- he knows that he can connect on that. We've connected on it a lot in practice.” 

That specific miss sums up much of what’s plagued Trubisky through his time in Chicago. On 3rd-and-6, with Taylor Gabriel finding separation on a 20-yard corner route, the QB rushes through his throwing motion and misses an easy first down. 

“I'm going to go back and watch it because that's one of my favorite throws,” Trubisky said. “And I hit that every single time this week in practice, so why it didn't translate to the game is really frustrating for me. I felt like that's an easy throw that I make easily, and I just wasn't on the same page and didn't put it in the spot to give my guy a chance.” 

Another miss – this time overthrowing Anthony Miller on a seam route – provided a great example of the communication issues that have plagued the passing game. Miller had a step on two defenders, but according to Nagy and Trubisky, cut in on the route when the play directed that he cut out. 

“That's one of Anthony's really good routes that he runs,” Trubisky said. “And he separates and gets open, and I just felt like I had to get the ball out within that time because they created pressure up front. Someone slipped through, and from what I can remember, he just went inside, so I tried to throw a tight seam and give him a chance. But I was on the ground after that, so I'm going to have to go back on the film and watch it and correct it.” 

“Those are plays that you look at and you just -- you'd like to convert on those and connect.,” added Nagy.

The coach also conceded that Trubisky looked rusty on some throws, but was quick to credit the quarterback for making others (he didn’t specify which). Still, silver linings were little consolation to the Bears on Sunday night, and will continue to mean less and less as the season goes on. For being a team that supposedly has great weeks of practice, plenty of questions remain about where all that goes on Sundays. 

“Why it's not translating, I don't have a theory,” Trubisky added. “All I know is, go back to work and make sure that you put in all that work during the week to make sure it translates.”

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