Bulls

NBA Buzz: Former Chicago area prep star could be an option for Bulls

NBA Buzz: Former Chicago area prep star could be an option for Bulls

With all the attention devoted to the Bulls' options with the 7th overall pick, we sometimes forget they also have a selection in the 2nd round, No. 38 overall, which came from Memphis in the Justin Holiday trade.

It's possible that pick could be involved in a draft night trade or used to select a European player who might not come to the NBA for a few years, but if the Bulls are looking for someone who could possibly crack the rotation next season, there should be several good players available.

One of them is local product Admiral Schofield, a 6'6" swingman out of Tennessee. Schofield graduated from north suburban Zion-Benton high school in 2015, earning 2nd team All-State honors for Class 4A schools from the Associated Press. And even though he didn't get a chance to watch the Bulls' six championship runs, he learned about Michael Jordan very early in life.

At the recent NBA Draft Combine, Schofield told reporters, "Ever since I was young, my dad handed me these VHS tapes, His Airness, Air Time and Come Fly With Me. I used to play those over and over and over. I wanted to be just like Mike. Honestly, running back and forth, dunking on my Fisher-Price rim, just playing in the house and my family announcing, No. 23 Admiral Schofield! Having those dreams and being in the NBA has always been there. Michael Jordan really put that it my mind, that's always been my imagination, and you know what, it's coming to fruition now."

Schofield teamed with Grant Williams and Jordan Bone to lead Tennessee to a 31-6 record this past season. The Volunteers lost a Sweet 16 thriller to Purdue in the NCAA Tournament, 99-94, with Schofield scoring 21 points and pulling down 8 rebounds. At 6'6", 240 pounds with a 7-foot wingspan, Schofield's versatility should serve him well in the modern NBA.

"I'm a position-less player, and most teams see me that way, being able to guard 2 through 4, being able to switch and slow down the best scorers in the league, being able to knock down corner 3's. You know, come off pindowns, dribble-handoffs, different things. But really, just helping keeping the flow and impacting winning, just like I did at the University of Tennessee."

Schofield is a rare four-year collegian, whose experience and maturity should allow him to play immediately at the pro level. He averaged 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2 assists during his senior year at Tennessee, shooting 47 percent from the field and nearly 42 percent from 3-point range.

It's no secret the Bulls are looking to upgrade a bench unit that featured a number of G-League call-ups late last season. Schofield could be a fit as a backup shooting guard and small forward, but even though he likes the idea of playing in Chicago, he hopes to move out of the early 2nd round with strong showings during individual team workouts.

"It would be great to be able to play for the Bulls, be at home. Hopefully, I can go earlier than where they pick, or they move up to get me, that would be great. You know, I'm aiming for the 1st round right now. I think I deserve to be there, and I'll be working towards that."

But if Schofield can't achieve his goal of moving into the first round, a Chicago homecoming would be a nice consolation prize. After all, he already knows his way around, which gave him a built-in advantage during the draft combine. "It feels like I'm at home. When I first got here, before I started my real work, I got me some deep dish, went walking around on Michigan Avenue, really got the feel down. I haven't been back in a long time, so it's just great to feel like I'm being here at home."

Schofield wore No. 5 during his college career at Tennessee, the same number worn by the guy who will make the final call on draft night, Bulls' Executive Vice-President of Basketball Operations John Paxson. And, it just so happens that number is available on the current roster. Maybe it's not the No. 23 Schofield dreamed about as a child, but it still would be quite a story for the Chicago area high school star to play his NBA home games in the house that Jordan built.

AROUND THE ASSOCIATION

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We're now less than three weeks away from the NBA draft, and speculation is running wild about possible trades inside the top 10. Cleveland currently holds the 5th overall selection, and the Cavs have been rumored to be exploring what it might cost to acquire the No. 3  pick from the Knicks to draft high-scoring Duke swingman R.J. Barrett. New York reportedly likes Cam Reddish almost as much as Barrett, and might be willing to trade down to pick up a future draft pick.

The Cavs are all over the map right now, with reported interest in several players, including Reddish, Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver and Virginia forward De'Andre Hunter. If the Lakers pass on Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland with the 4th overall pick, don't discount the possibility of the Bulls making an offer to trade up to No. 5 to grab their point guard of the future. The cost would likely be their 7th overall pick and a top 10 protected 2020 1st round pick, but with so many young players already on the roster, the price would probably be worth it if the front office believes Garland is the right guy to run their offense for years to come.

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Reddish probably has the widest range of any lottery prospect right now, with mock drafts having him going anywhere from 4th to 10th. The well-respected Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders has Reddish going 4th to the Lakers, which could really shake up the top 10. Even though Reddish only shot 33 percent from the college 3-point line in his one season at Duke, some scouts believe he has as much "star" potential as any player outside the top 3. It's no secret the Lakers are looking for shooters to play with LeBron James, but they already have a pair of young forwards in Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. Unless of course, one or both of them wind up going to New Orleans in an Anthony Davis trade. The Lakers have also been linked to Garland, who's represented by James' agent, Rich Paul. Garland left the combine early after receiving a promise from a lottery team, which many speculated had to be the Lakers. But not every promise holds the same degree of certainty, and given all the dysfunction in the Lakers' organization right now, you'd have to believe GM Rob Pelinka, or whoever is calling the shots these days, would want to keep his (or her) options open with so many possible trade scenarios in play on draft night.

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Back to Davis, who met with the Pelicans' new front office boss David Griffin earlier this week. While Griffin is determined to convince Davis the future is bright in New Orleans with the upcoming addition of Zion Williamson, reports indicate AD hasn't changed his stance on his trade demand. Boston was believed to be in prime position to make the best offer for Davis, but if Kyrie Irving decides to leave in free agency, the Celtics might choose to build around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, along with veterans Al Horford and Gordon Hayward. That could force Griffin to turn back to the Lakers to find out if they'll make a "Godfather" offer of the No. 4 overall pick along with some combination of Ingram, Kuzma and Lonzo Ball for Davis. The Clippers and Knicks are also on AD's list of preferred trade destinations, but neither team has the same quality combination of young players and draft picks that the Celtics or Lakers can offer. Speculation about a possible Davis deal will generate the most buzz as we get closer to the draft on June 20th.

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And finally, as if things aren't crazy enough in the league as we brace for a titanic offseason, the Houston Rockets are looking to blow up the team that gave the Warriors their stiffest challenge in the Western Conference over the last two years. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports Rockets' GM Daryl Morey has let teams know he's willing to move anyone on the roster outside of James Harden in an attempt to get some salary cap flexibility and lottery picks. Good luck finding a taker for 34-year old point guard Chris Paul, who's due to make $38.5, $41.3 and $44.2 million dollars over the next three seasons.

Morey has found more interest in young center Clint Capela, who has four more years left on a lucrative contract he signed last summer, and NBA teams will also be interested in high-scoring 6th man Eric Gordon, who has one year left on his deal at an affordable $14 million.

The Rockets are also re-tooling their coaching staff, firing several of Mike D'Antoni's assistants. The 68-year old D'Antoni decided to break off negotiations about a contract extension, telling reporters he will be back for the 2019-20 season on the final year of his contract and then see where things go from there. Morey has long been known as one of the league's most aggressive executives, but given the Rockets' cap constraints, he'll have to be incredibly creative to give Harden a better supporting cast next season.

Top 'Last Dance' moments to get you through first Sunday without Michael Jordan

Top 'Last Dance' moments to get you through first Sunday without Michael Jordan

So you’re sitting around Sunday night, missing “The Last Dance.” We get it, we wish it was still on too.

To help us all get through this first week without it, we’ve compiled some of our favorite “Last Dance” stories so that we can remember the good times together.

Whether it’s your first time seeing some of these, or just a fun look back, we hope you enjoy.

Recounting the best quotes from “The Last Dance”

We’ve got Jordan, we’ve got Kobe Bryant, we’ve got Dennis Rodman-- and yes we’ve even got some Carmen Electra for you.

Michael Jordan jamming to different songs takes over Twitter

If there was one thing more fun than simply watching “The Last Dance,” it was talking with your friends and family about “The Last Dance.” Some of the after-show interviews with athletes, coaches and pundits added incredible insight. And sometimes a memelord would create something so fun that you couldn’t help but watch and laugh. This is one of those latter moments.

Rod Thorn: Michael Jordan didn’t ask for Isiah Thomas to be left off Dream Team

One of the biggest beefs in basketball has a light shined on it. But after all this time, there are still conflicting reports as to what happened back in 1992.

Did Utah pizza give Michael Jordan food poisoning and was it intentional?

The “flu game” is one of the most iconic performances in Michael Jordan’s career, but now we’ve learned it wasn’t the “flu game” at all! Certainly one of the most intriguing new wrinkles out of all the details we learned across the series.

Scottie Pippen on Jerry Krause: ‘The greatest general manager in the game’

The beef between Pippen and Krause was well documented, especially early in the series. But by the end even Pippen had to give it up for Krause.

Why Scott Burrell appreciated Michael Jordan's harsh leadership style

Arguably the most emotional moment we saw during Jordan’s interviews was when he described his leadership style with his teammates. It’s clear Jordan pushed the Bulls very hard, and it’s easy to see how it could rub some people the wrong way. But not Scott Burrell.

How Bulls helped Scottie Pippen earn millions more on way out of Chicago

After one early episode of “The Last Dance,” many people on social media were incredulous that Pippen’s long-term contract was never renegotiated considering his important contributions to the team. However our K.C. Johnson set the record straight for how the Bulls made things right with Pippen when he was on his way out of town.

Why running it back would not have yielded the Bulls a seventh title in 1998-99

To finish this post off, we’re going back to K.C. Johnson who tells us why the 1998 title would’ve been the last for the Bulls dynasty, no matter if Jordan, Jackson and co. returned, or not.

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Recounting the best quotes from ‘The Last Dance’

Recounting the best quotes from ‘The Last Dance’

Cameo Division

“There's a knock on the door. It's Michael Jordan.”  — Carmen Electra, Episode 4

Michael Jordan barging into Dennis Rodman’s Chicago apartment to break up Rodman and Electra’s Vegas postgame is exactly the absurd place this documentary needed to go.

“Michael Jordan is the only player that could ever turn it on and off, and he never freakin’ turned it off.” — Roy Williams, Episode 2

Roy Williams’ time in this docuseries was far too short.

“I was better than Michael Jordan… For about three weeks.” — James Worthy, Episode 2

In fact, let’s stay on Jordan’s UNC years for a moment. That James freaking Worthy delivered this quote (he of the three NBA titles, Finals MVP, seven All-Star nods and on and on) says all you need to know about Jordan’s greatness — from the beginning.

“Alright. F**king Bulls**t.” — Ron Harper, Episode 4

In the moment, a delightful moment of candor from “1989 Cleveland Cavaliers member” (if all you watched was the docuseries) Ron Harper. In retrospect… Salacious! 

Michael Jordan being being Michael Jordan

“The Glove… I had no problem with The Glove.” — Michael Jordan, Episode 8

Michael Jordan is a walking, living, breathing meme. Cherish him forever.

 

“I didn’t want Bill Cartwright to have the ball with five seconds left. That’s not an equal opportunity offense. That’s f**king bulls**t.” — Michael Jordan, Episode 4

Jordan’s first impressions of the Triangle. Classic. And a meaningful tone-setter for his full evolution as a player — punctuated, later in this same episode, by Jordan conceding shots to an open and red-hot John Paxson in Game 5 of the 1991 Finals.

“Depends how f**king bad the headache is.” — Michael Jordan, Episode 2

Jordan’s response to Jerry Reinsdorf posing this analog to a potentially career-altering foot injury he suffered in his second season:

"If you had a terrible headache, and I gave you a bottle of pills, and nine of the pills would cure you, and one of the pills would kill you, would you take a pill?"

“'Depends on how f**king bad the headache is.'"

Doesn’t get more Jordan than that.

“That little Laker boy’s gonna take everybody one-on-one. He don’t let the game come to him. He just go out there and take. I’m going to make this s**t happen. I’m going to make this a one-on-one game. I figured after the first four attempts didn’t go in, he was gonna chill. After the first four attempts? If I was his teammate, I wouldn’t pass him the f**king ball! You want this ball again, brother, you better rebound.” — Michael Jordan, Episode 5

Well, except maybe this. Jordan ranting about a 19-year-old Kobe Bryant (“that little Laker boy”) in the locker room before the 1998 All-Star game twanged heart-strings I didn’t know I had.

“Everybody says I pushed off. Bulls**t. His energy was going that way. I didn't have to push him that way.” — Michael Jordan, Episode 10

Second point, somewhat conceded. But come on, Mike. You tapped a cheek.

“I knew that Jerry Krause loved Dan Majerle and just because Krause liked him was enough for me. You think he’s a great defensive player? OK, fine. I’m going to show you he’s not.” — Michael Jordan, Episode 6

Jordan’s 41-point average in the 1993 Finals is still an NBA Finals record.

“Clyde was a threat. I'm not saying he wasn't a threat. But me being compared to him, I took offense to that." — Michael Jordan, Episode 5

We could go all day with these.

“He (George Karl) walked past me. And I look at Ahmad, I said, ‘Really?  Oh, so that’s how you going to play it?’ I said, ‘It’s a crock of s**t.’ We went to Carolina. We know Dean Smith. I see him in the summer.  We play golf. And you’re going to do this? OK, fine. That’s all I needed. It became personal.” — Michael Jordan, Episode 8

Seriously.

“You b**ch, f**k you.” — Michael Jordan to Larry Bird, Episode 9

God bless behind-the-scenes footage.

“You can show me whatever you want. There’s no way you can convince he wasn’t an a**hole.” — Michael Jordan, Episode 4

Pick any of the Isiah moments you please. This one represented one of the more poignant Jordan iPad reactions of the series.

Best of the Teammates

“Straight up b**ches.” — Horace Grant, Episode 4

Horace Grant got as real as it gets on the Pistons walk-off after the 1991 Eastern Conference finals. (A trend that’s continued in the wake of the series)

“I’m not going to f**k my summer up” — Scottie Pippen, Episode 1

Scottie Pippen got as relatable as it gets on the rationale behind putting off foot surgery until the beginning of the 1997-98 season. 

“I didn't win without Scottie Pippen, and that's why I consider him my best teammate of all time. He helped me so much in the way I approached the game, in the way I played the game. Whenever they speak Michael Jordan, they should speak Scottie Pippen.” — Episode 1

Frankly, the doc could have featured more of this.

“It’s boom, uh, click, and go back this way. Boom. Here, here. Click and go that way. Boom. That way. Click here, and go back this way.” — Dennis Rodman, Episode 3

 

I could listen to Dennis Rodman talk about rebounding basketballs all day. Other highlights from this segment:

  • “I want to go out there and get my nose broke.”

  • “I want to go out there and cut.”

  • “Something that’s just going to bring out the hurt. The pain. I want to feel that.”

“I don’t care, whatever. What’s up.” — Dennis Rodman, Episode 3

Rodman’s response to Phil Jackson asking if he wanted to play for the Bulls. On the nose, to be sure.

“He (Jordan) knows we would never play (cards) with him in the back (of the team plane), because it’s just too much money. But he would come up to the front and say, ‘What’re you guys doing? Mind if I play?’ And I remember John Paxson looking at him and going, ‘Why in the hell would you want to play with us? We’re playing for a dollar a hand.’ And I remember he looked at him he goes, ‘Because I want to say I got your money in my pocket.’” — Will Perdue, Episode 6

Not a gambling problem, a competition problem.

Moments of Candor

“Break.” — Michael Jordan, Episode 7

Preceded by a nearly tear-filled monologue on the rationale behind his teammate tyranny. One of the emotional heights of the series.

“Look, I don’t have to do this. I’m only doing it because it is who I am. That’s how I played the game. That was my mentality. If you don’t want to play that way, don’t play that way. Break.”

“I don’t get five championships here without him.” — Kobe Bryant, Episode 5

Bryant’s posthumous appearance, in which he details his relationship with Jordan, and the inspiration he derived from him, is equal parts surreal and powerful. In Bryant’s words, everything he did, he got from Jordan. Their bond was fraternal. 

“If I had to do it all over again there is no way I’d want to be considered a role model. It’s like a game that’s stacked against me. There’s no way I can win.” — Michael Jordan, Episode 6

This dovetails powerfully with a key quote from Tim Hallam, longtime Bulls PR maven: “I wouldn’t want to be like Mike. It’s an impossible task.”

“In my mind, I was thinking, ‘Alright, this is it. You’re going to retire Michael Jordan.” — Reggie Miller, Episode 8

A perfect cliffhanger for the finale of Episodes 9 and 10. Miller’s daydream nearly came to fruition — and perhaps should have.

“It’s one of those incidents where I wish it never happened. But if I had a chance to do it over again, I probably wouldn’t change it.” — Scottie Pippen on the 1.8 second game, Episode 7

Scottie Pippen is well aware the smudge Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference semis is on his legacy. But he stunningly revealed he wouldn’t change a thing about it.

“Yeah, let’s not get it wrong: He was an a**hole. He was a jerk. He crossed the line numerous times,” said Will Perdue, a teammate on the first three-peat teams. “But as time goes on and you think about what he was actually trying to accomplish, you’re like, ‘Yeah, he was a helluva teammate.’” — Will Perdue, Episode 7

If there was a mission statement for the entire docuseries, it would be this.

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