Bulls

Bulls high on Trae Young, Collin Sexton, unafraid to take point guard in draft

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USA TODAY

Bulls high on Trae Young, Collin Sexton, unafraid to take point guard in draft

The phrase “positionless basketball” seems to apply to every spot but point guard, leaving many to believe Trae Young and Collin Sexton are unlikely choices for the Bulls.

But they have no such trepidation with taking either player, sources tell NBCSportsChicago.com. The Bulls appear enamored with Young and are high on Sexton and aren’t worried about how it would affect Kris Dunn’s development in the near future.

Young was a dynamo in his lone season at Oklahoma, drawing comparisons to Stephen Curry for his shooting range and even Steve Nash for his playmaking ability. He launched triples as if they were going out of style and was must-see-TV for the better part of the college season, before struggling in the last two months.

Young averaged 27.4 points and 8.7 assists for Oklahoma, shooting 36 percent from 3 while taking over 10 triples per game.

Oklahoma’s struggles were largely pinned on Young, but the Bulls believe he’ll be better in a pro setting where all of the defensive attention doesn’t fall on him, that he’s best-suited with good players around him where his court vision and creativeness will be on full display.

Young’s shooting is an element the Bulls don’t have at point guard with Kris Dunn, who cemented himself as a bonafide option early in the season and never looked back. Dunn was making strides before he was shut down, shooting 38 percent in March but shot 32 percent for the season.

The scouting report on Dunn is to give him the long jumper as opposed to crowding him on the perimeter, where he can use his quickness to explode to the basket and compromise defenses.

Having Young on the floor with Dunn, or even Sexton, would give the Bulls multiple ballhandlers and shot creators while also giving Dunn the opportunity to play off the ball more.

Taking that burden from Dunn was something the Bulls were going to have to negotiate next season, as Zach LaVine has the ability to create shots on his own. If the Bulls take a guard and expect him to contribute immediately, LaVine would have to slide down and play small forward in some instances.

Sexton isn’t the shooter Young is—nobody in this draft is—but he’s plenty explosive and the Bulls appear to like that about him. Sexton is bigger than Young, at 6-foot-3, long and wiry, although it looks like he can add bulk to his 190-pound frame.

Sexton can get to the rim as quick as anyone in college basketball and had little trouble finishing once he got there. At Alabama he was more of a scorer than distributor but still possessed the ability to create for his teammates.

With Dunn and LaVine on the roster, he would be able to develop at his own pace while bringing his open-court explosiveness in Fred Hoiberg’s pace-structured offense.

The Bulls have long said they would take the best player in the draft and their lack of fear in evaluating the likes of Young and Sexton could be proof of that.

Report: NBA and ESPN planning a televised H-O-R-S-E competition

Report: NBA and ESPN planning a televised H-O-R-S-E competition

The NBA and ESPN are teaming up to plan a televised H-O-R-S-E competition among "several high-profile players," according to reporting by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

It's the latest in a line of creative ideas from the NBA and ESPN to fill the void left by the indefinite suspension of live sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Friday night, ESPN broadcast the first half of the first round of a players-only NBA 2K20 tournament, to run through April 11.

No details have emerged as it relates to a timeline of events, which players would participate or what the format of the H-O-R-S-E competition would be.

Players would trade trick shots virtually, according to Wojnarowski. Many NBA players undoubtedly have private home gyms or courts from which they could safely compete.

This isn't the first time the NBA has waded into the H-O-R-S-E waters. In 2009 and 2010, H-O-R-S-E was broadcast on TNT as a regular part of All-Star weekend festivities before being cancelled in 2011 (Kevin Durant won the competition both years). And understandably so. This matchup, between Durant and Rajon Rondo, devolved into a standstill 3-point contest narrated by a boisterous Charles Barkley:

That event was a reclamation of a 32-player H-O-R-S-E tournament the league broadcast on CBS during the 1977-78 season, which Paul Westphal won over Rick Barry. Barry made the finals as a replacement for an injured Pete Maravich, who absolutely trounced his way through the tourney. 

At least there was some creativity back then:

Of course, all of the league's past H-O-R-S-E experiments were held in person with fans in attendance. It remains to be seen how they'll look to spice up this iteration of the competition.

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Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan highlight decorated Hall of Fame class

Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan highlight decorated Hall of Fame class

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced its official Class of 2020 on Saturday. And my word is it stacked:

Headlined by Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and the late Kobe Bryant, this is one of the most star-studded classes in history. Also set to be honored: 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, three-time NCAA-champion coach Kim Mulkey, five-time Division II National Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens, four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton, two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich and longtime FIBA executive Patrick Baumann.

There are some Chicago ties in here, too. Garnett famously spent a year of his high school career at Farragut Career Academy on the West Side of Chicago, receiving McDonald's All-American and national player of the year honors in 1995. Catchings won an IHSA Division AA state title as a freshman and Ms. Illinois Basketball as a sophomore in a stint at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire before embarking on her illustrious college and WNBA career.

And Tomjanovich, of course, coached the Houston Rockets teams that won the only two non-Bulls titles from 1991-1998 — teams that current Bulls coach Jim Boylen served as an assistant with

As of this writing, the Class of 2020 is set to be officially enshrined in Springfield, Mass., on Aug. 29.

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