Bulls

Andre Iguodala calls Kevin Durant the most talented scorer of all-time, has apparently never heard of Michael Jordan

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AP

Andre Iguodala calls Kevin Durant the most talented scorer of all-time, has apparently never heard of Michael Jordan

We'll consider Andre Iguodala both a good teammate and a prisoner of the moment. Because that's all we can think of to defend the comments he made to The Crossover in a piece published on Wednesday.

Iguodala touched a number of topics on the Warriors dynasty, his impressive golf game, LeBron James going to the Lakers and much more.

And one of those topics under the "more" category included Iguodala calling Durant the greatest scorer in the history of the NBA. Here's his full quote:

People don’t appreciate (Durant) enough. He's the most talented scorer of all-time. Hands down. He's a walking 30 points. He’ll get 30 on 12 shots. That’s very, very hard to do. Very efficient. Most guys need to feel the ball in their hands a lot to get a rhythm. He doesn’t.

Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were the two guys with unstoppable moves. MJ had the fadeaway and Kareem had the skyhook, but KD is a 7-footer who can hit a hesi pull-up from 50 feet out. That's his unstoppable move.

We'll start by saying Durant is the league's best scorer and an all-time great. He'll eventually crack the top 10 in all-time scoring leaders and he realistically has a shot to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most points in NBA history (though he'd likely need to leave the Warriors at some point to score that many points on his own). He's THAT good.

OK, now that that's out of the way, let's also add this. There isn't a greater, more talented scorer in the history of the NBA than Michael Jordan. His 30.12 points per game are the highest in NBA history, and a slight tick higher than Wilt Chamberlain's 30.07 points per game. Chamberlain also played in an era where, at 7-foot-1, he had his way on the interior in a much smaller game. The man averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds in 1962.

After Jordan and Chamberlain, the next player on the points per game list is Elgin Baylor (27.36), nearly three points per game lower than Jordan. Then it's LeBron James (27.15) followed by Durant (27.12).

To put the points per game gap between Jordan and Durant in context, if Durant plays all 82 games for the Warriors next season, he'd need to score 4,783 points, an average of 58.3 points per game, to get to Jordan's career mark of 30.12 points per game.

Then Durant would need to average 30.13 points per game the rest of his career to stay ahead of Jordan's career mark.

Look, Durant is otherwordly. There's never been a player with such length, quickness, athleticism and shooting prowess. But if we're talking the most naturally talented scorer of all-time, there's one correct answer.

Jimmy Butler may have gotten uninvited to the Wade's BBQ again

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USA TODAY

Jimmy Butler may have gotten uninvited to the Wade's BBQ again

Jimmy Butler is in hot water with the Wades ... again.

Maybe not really, but the two former Bulls teammates exchanged pleasantries on Instagram after Butler commented on a photo Dwyane Wade's wife Gabrielle Union posted poolside, saying: "WELL DAMN!!"

Wade, a three-time all-defensive second team, came to his wife's defense when Butler posted a video the next day with the caption: "The good, the bad, and the ugly...", prompting Wade to respond: "Put well damn in caps on my wife photo again and you're gonna see what the good, the bad and the ugly is like."

*Mic drop*

It appears this won't affect Butler getting an invite to the next get together. Or so he hopes...

"Well that escalated quickly," Butler responded to Wade. "Point noted.. I'm still coming to the bbq tho 😂😂😂"

SI names Lauri Markkanen a top-five candidate for a breakout season

SI names Lauri Markkanen a top-five candidate for a breakout season

Lauri Markkanen has been making headlines this offseason, mostly for bulking up considerably, and making appearances around Chicago at Nike camps and Jabari Parker’s camp, but as the season nears, his on-the-court exploits are starting to come up as well. On Thursday, Sports Illustrated put Lauri Markkanen on their list of five breakout candidates for the 2018-19 season

SI writer Michael Shapiro had this to say about Markkanen:


Markkanen has all the tools to be a future All-Star, and it looks as though he has the mindset, too. He seemed to take his matchup with Porzingis personally in early January, demanding the ball down the stretch en route to a career-high 33 points in a road victory. The Bulls enter 2018-19 on the outside of the East playoff picture, but Chicago is now home to the NBA’s newest unicorn.

High praise indeed for Markkanen, and well-deserved praise considering that he finished with a usage rate lower with the Bulls than his college stint at Arizona, yet still was able to have an impact on the Bulls. Shapiro mentioned Markkanen’s burgeoning off-the-dribble game as the skill that most stood out, and speaks to the Finnish big man’s All-Star potential. 

While the 21-year-old’s threes lived up to the hype, it was his prowess of the bounce that made the biggest impression. Markkanen showed a deft handle and array of canny fakes in the post, adding a mean streak to boot. The Finnisher lived up to his nickname, unafraid of contact and eager to fight for position in the post. The stereotype of the soft European big man doesn’t apply here.

The numbers back this up. 

Among the Bulls top 10 players in drives per game last season, Markkanen finished second in field percentage (on drives) at 46.1 percent. If that numbers rises, or more likely, Markkanen drives to the basket more, his scoring total will increase. And when it came to finishing around the paint in general, he shot  67.6 percent on shots from zero-to-three feet, making him the third best in that range out of the Bulls top nine rotation players last season. Yet among the same group of players, Markkanen ranked sixth in shot attempts from zero-to-three feet. With the presence of Wendell Carter Jr., and another year of internal growth from Bobby Portis- bigs that can stretch the floor -Markkanen should be the recipient of more plays putting him in a position to score around the basket.

On a roster that will surely give big minutes to Parker, Kris Dunn, Carter, Chandler Hutchison and a working-his-way-back to form Zach LaVine, Markkanen may be surest 3-point shooter on the floor. This means defenses will key in on his outside shot. If players are routinely closing out hard on Markkanen- as they should -this will open up more driving opportunities for the nimble seven-footer. 

The third or fourth season is usually when young players take the leap from good to great, but Markkanen will be playing with the most talented group of teammates he has ever been surrounded with. How he handles playing with this group will go a long way towards establishing what kind of player he will be in the future, specifically if he is an All-Star caliber talent. On the 2018-19 Bulls, someone will have to hover around a 20 percent usage rate, making them a clear third-option, whoever that player is, his last name should not be Markkanen.