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.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa is heating up, but even a red-hot Sosa doesn't automatically equal wins for the Cubs.

Slammin' Sammy notched his first multi-homer game in 1998 in a 9-5 loss to Kevin Millwood and the Atlanta Braves. Sosa drove in 4 of the Cubs' 5 runs on a solo shot in the 4th inning and a three-run shot in the 8th. 

Sosa tallied 830 feet of homers in the game, with his first blast going 410 feet and the second shot measured at 420 feet.

The big game bumped Sosa's overall season slash line to .337/.411/.551 (.962 OPS) with 11 homers and 35 RBI.

Fun fact: Mickey Morandini hit second for the Cubs in this game and went 4-for-4, but somehow only scored one run despite hitting just in front of Sosa all game. That's because Morandini was caught stealing to end the 3rd inning, leaving Sosa to lead off the 4th inning with a solo blast.

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Anyone who lived through the Michael Jordan Bulls remembers those games when he was putting up tons of points, but the Bulls were still struggling overall.

Steve Kerr referenced one of those games to give advice to Kevin Durant during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The TNT broadcast caught the conversation and aired it late in the third quarter.

"When MJ was with the Bulls, we had a playoff game," Kerr began the story. "He kept trying to score and he was scoring, but we weren't getting anything going. Phil Jackson said 'Who's open?' He said, 'John Paxson.'"

Paxson famously hit the game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals to clinch the series. Kerr, who later hit his own championship-winning shot on an assist from Jordan in 1997, was trying to get to get his teammates involved.

"I want to trust your teammates early," Kerr said. "What you're doing is you're getting to the rim and then you're trying to hit him. I want you to trust the first guy and then move. Still attack, still look to score, but trust these guys, OK?"

Watch the video above to see the interaction.

Durant scored 29 points in Game 5 to lead the Warriors, but Houston took a 3-2 series lead with a 98-94 win.