Bulls

2017 NBA Draft Profile: UCLA PG Lonzo Ball

2017 NBA Draft Profile: UCLA PG Lonzo Ball

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft we will provide profiles of more than 30 of the draft's top prospects.

Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA

6'6" | 190 lbs. | 19 years old

2016-17 stats:

14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 1.8 steals

Projection:

Top 3

Instant reaction: 4 takeaways from Bulls' preseason victory over Hawks

Instant reaction: 4 takeaways from Bulls' preseason victory over Hawks

The Bulls concluded their preseason schedule at 2-3 following Thursday’s 111-93 win over a Hawks team playing their regulars limited minutes at the United Center. Here are four takeaways:

Coby White is a baller

Those aren’t our words. They’re Jim Boylen’s.

“We’re developing Coby White as a basketball player,” Boylen said Wednesday. “We’re not going to put him in this situation where he’s a 1, a 2 or a 3. He’s a baller.”

White certainly was with a dominant second half in which he scored 21 of his 29 points and finished 6-for-8 from 3-point range.

At this point, it doesn’t matter if White ever passes the ball. This is the all-time leading scorer in North Carolina high school history and someone who even North Carolina coach Roy Williams didn’t expect to turn pro after one season.

White is clearly more a scorer than point guard at this point. And that’s fine. Give the Bulls credit for recognizing that and letting him play to his strengths rather than force-feed him.

Welcome to the preseason, Wendell Carter Jr.

With his status unknown until shortly before tipoff because he tweaked his surgically repaired left thumb, the second-year big man started and endured a slow first stretch in which he looked winded. Then, Carter made his presence known in a big way.

He blocked Brandon Goodwin’s driving layup and sprinted the floor to dunk off a Kris Dunn dish. He drew a taunting technical for dunking all over Bruno Fernando. He blocked Alex Len’s dunk attempt. He made a nice touch pass to Otto Porter Jr. for a basket.

In short, he showed why the organization remains so high on him. And in the process, he almost made people forget the sprained ankle, bruised tailbone and now tweaked thumb he has had this preseason.

Almost.

Carter still needs to prove he can stay on the floor. As coach Jim Boylen often says, reliability and availability are skills. But it’s a good sign for Carter to finish the preseason on a high note with eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

Kris Dunn dominated defensively before enduring foul trouble

The guard continues to say all the right things about his reserve role, embracing his identity as a disruptive defensive force.

Whether it was motivation to do right by that or memories of Trae Young scoring 49 points in these teams’ epic, four-overtime thriller from last season, Young had a first-half stretch in which he was all over the court. He had three steals and two assists before sitting with three fouls.

“I’m a professional, as we all are in here,” Dunn said. “We have to approach it in a professional manner. I’m with the Bulls. I’m going to play hard each game and each practice and try to help the team win.”

Dunn’s three quick fouls isn’t an issue either. He’s now in a role where he can afford to be that aggressive defensively.

Jim Boylen used a regular-season rotation

Carter started alongside Tomas Satoransky, Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen. Dunn played with a second unit that featured Coby White, Ryan Arcidiacono, Thad Young and Luke Kornet.

That means, at least for now, Denzel Valentine is the odd man out. Chandler Hutchison and Shaq Harrison have yet to play this preseason because of hamstring injuries. So perhaps the rotation will change.

But Boylen said pregame that he planned to use the final preseason game as a dress rehearsal for the regular season. Along those lines, the Bulls kept their newfound approach of launching 3-pointers intact. They took 46 overall, including Zach LaVine’s deep heave that beat the halftime buzzer as part of his 23 points in 25 minutes. LaVine continued to score almost effortlessly.

Jordan gets emotional at opening of 'The Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic'

jordan_snf.jpg
USA TODAY

Jordan gets emotional at opening of 'The Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic'

Michael Jordan is by no means new to philanthropic work, as the NBA Hall of Famer and owner of the Charlotte Hornets has long donated to many different causes, including rather recently, a $1 million donation to the relief efforts for Hurricane Dorian. In a new charitable effort, Jordan has gone and made a huge difference in the Charlotte community, helping to open up a  brand new Novant Health Medical Clinic.

“It’s not the financials but ... from the heart — a passion from what this city, this state has given back to me ... I can never repay what you have given to me. But this is a start.”

Jordan donated $7.2 million in order to help open up the two new Novant Health Clinics in Charlotte. He acknowledged that while he will always have his connections to "Illinois and other places", he knows "where it all begins", referring to North Carolina, as MJ grew up Wilmington. 

The Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinic features aluminum strips on the outside of the building that form an image of Jordan slam-dunking, but despite the Jordan branding on the building, he made it clear that the great day was not about him. 

“You see my name, but yet you see a lot of people behind me and the commitment, especially from my mom, about caring for other people and being a part of a community that matters.”

We saw the oft-reserved MJ start to tear up while discussing how important the cause was to him, “I can only give in gratitude for what I can never repay.”

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