Bulls

Bulls 2016-17 NBA schedule released; Home opener vs. Celtics, Christmas Day against Spurs

Bulls 2016-17 NBA schedule released; Home opener vs. Celtics, Christmas Day against Spurs

The Bulls will open their 2016-17 regular season at home against the Boston Celtics and will play Christmas Day in San Antonio against the Spurs, the league announced Friday.

Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah will return to the United Center in the season's second week on Nov. 4. Less than a week later, Nov. 10, Dwyane Wade will return to Miami to face the Heat, the team with which he spent the first 13 years of his Hall of Fame career. Tom Thibodeau will bring his young Timberwolves team to Chicago on Dec. 13.

LeBron James and the defending-champion Cavaliers will first visit Chicago on Dec. 2. That's three months earlier than when Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors will return to the United Center on March 2.

[RELATED: Ten games to mark down on the Bulls' 2016-17 schedule]

The Bulls have a pair of six-game road trips, in late November and again to begin February leading up to the All-Star break. Their longest stretch of home games will occur in late February, when they play six of seven games at home from February 14 to March 4.

Here's a complete look at the Bulls' 2016-17 schedule.

Add Basketball Insiders to the list of fans of the Bulls offseason

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USA TODAY

Add Basketball Insiders to the list of fans of the Bulls offseason

Basketball Insiders is starting to roll out their NBA offseason grades and in a continued string of positive publicity for the Bulls, they received a “B"  for their moves this summer. 

The main reason for Basketball Insider's David Yapkowitz feeling great about the Bulls offseason was the fact that they made stable moves that added solid veteran talent to their young, upside-filled core. He addresses how Chicago would've loved for their woeful 22-60 record in the 2018-19 season to result in a top-3 pick but are still pleased with how things went on draft night because of the obvious fit of Coby White fits an obvious need at the one.

White is more of a scorer than a natural playmaker—likely part of the reason the Bulls didn't get an "A"—but Basketball Insiders note that White showed some playmaking skills at summer league, something we have touched on in recent days. 

Ultimately White finished Summer League averaging 4.8 assists and3.8 turnovers per game and looked like the exact type of prospect the Bulls need to kick their offense into high-gear sooner than later. Coby White love aside, Yapkowitz lauds the Bulls drafting Daniel Gafford in the second round as a replacement for Robin Lopez. 

Summer League isn’t always a great indicator of how a player will translate to the NBA, but Gafford was solid as a finisher around the rim and a shot blocker in the paint. He may end up becoming one of the steals of the draft.

-David Yapkowitz 

The Tomas Satoransky sign-and-trade was received well by most and Basketball Insiders were also fans of this move. Satoransky stands 6-foot-7 and is a career 40 percent 3-point shooter who will both provide additional spacing for LaVine and as function as a solid playmaker as well.

The addition of Satoransky allows the Bulls to bring the 19-year old White along slowly and Yapkowitz calls Satoransky "a perfect stop-gap as the starting point guard while White develops".

He also comments on Satoransky being a perfect fit next LaVine. The perfect fit label can also be applied to new Bulls forward Thaddeus Young, whose defensive versatility and leadership will be excellent boosts to this young Bulls squad. Basketball Insiders stated that Young will bring "consistency on and off the court.

Opinions on the Bulls offseason have been mostly positive and Basketball Insiders even touched on smaller moves, like the additions of two-way player Adam Mokoka and stretch-five Luke Kornet, being solid deals. 

The Eastern Conference will be wide-open next season with the departure of Kawhi Leonard to the West and if the Bulls offseason additions contribute as much as expected, the Bulls could have a legitimate shot at competing for a playoff spot in the bottom half of the conference.

Bulls reportedly agree to two-year, fully guaranteed deal with Luke Kornet

Bulls reportedly agree to two-year, fully guaranteed deal with Luke Kornet

According to a report from Shams Charania, the Bulls have agreed to a fully guaranteed,  two-year, $4.5 million deal with Luke Kornet. The 7-foot-1 big man out of Vanderbilt is a stretch-five with some shot-blocking ability as well. 

Last season Kornet shot a career-best 36.3 percent from the 3-point line on 193 attempts. He will likely get a chance to compete for a rotation spot in a very young Bulls frontcourt that contains third-year player Lauri Markkanen, second-year players Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison, and rookie Daniel Gafford.

Over 66 career games, Kornet has averaged 14.8 points, 6.2 rebounds. 2.5 assists and 1.9 blocks per 36 minutes.

Kornet played his best basketball of the season against the Bulls last year averaging 15 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2assists, and 3.3 blocks while shooting a scorching-hot 53.1 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from the 3-point line. The Bulls front office hopes those flashes against the Bulls were a forecast of what’s to come from the 24-year old Kornet.