Bulls breathe sigh of relief with Jimmy Butler's knee strain


Bulls breathe sigh of relief with Jimmy Butler's knee strain

MINNEAPOLIS — Bulls fans who googled Lamaze exercises can breathe a bit easier since it was revealed Jimmy Butler’s nasty fall didn’t have a nasty conclusion, as his MRI revealed a strain in his left knee.

Not an ACL tear or any other serious injury that many feared to be the case when a wheelchair was required to cart him off the floor late in the second quarter of Friday night’s loss to the Denver Nuggets.

“Right now it’s a strain,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Saturday. “He’ll see our doctors in the morning, and we should get a better idea about the time frame and see what we can do for treatments.”

CSNChicago.com initially reported late Friday night that it was a hyperextension and that Butler wouldn’t miss significant time, as Butler’s headed back to Chicago for further examination and will miss Monday’s game in Charlotte.

At first glance it looked much worse, but now it’s looking as if he’ll miss a few games then be back to go down the stretch of the season.

“Sure, it’s scary,” Hoiberg said. “He took off, he heard a pop. You expect the worst when you hear that. It happened on the takeoff.”

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From the sight, it appeared he landed on his right leg awkwardly but immediately went to grab his left leg, the same knee he bumped Monday in Salt Lake City that caused him to miss his first game of the season Wednesday in Sacramento.

Now the question of "did he come back too soon?" will enter into the minds of many, but as everyone knows, Butler is a competitive junkie and will force himself on the floor even when he shouldn’t.

It’s just another chapter of more injuries to this Bulls team that clearly can’t afford one, let alone one to its best player.

“After you’ve been around awhile, you realize this sort of thing happens,” backup guard Kirk Hinrich said. “It’s rare when a team goes through a whole season without some sort of significant injury or guys in and out of the lineup. We have to focus on the job at hand. Anytime somebody goes down, an opportunity arises for somebody else and ultimately it will hopefully make our team a better team.”

Loyola's March Madness hero Donte Ingram will play with Bulls' Summer League team

Loyola's March Madness hero Donte Ingram will play with Bulls' Summer League team

Donte Ingram's 2018 keeps getting better and better.

The March Madness hero, who buried a game-winning 3-pointer in the first round of Loyola's win over Miami, will play on the Bulls' Summer League team.

Ingram, a Simeon Academy graduate, had himself an incredible senior season with the Ramblers, who advanced all the way to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed.

In five NCAA Tournament games Ingram averaged 7.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists for the Ramblers. He also had 18 points in the MVC Conference Championship Game to secure the Ramblers' March Madness berth.

He'll join first-round draft picks Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison on the Las Vegas Summer League team, which will begin play early next month.

Here's why the Bulls didn't take Michael Porter Jr. last night


Here's why the Bulls didn't take Michael Porter Jr. last night

There was angst and anger among the Bulls fan base following the team's selection of Wendell Carter in Thursday's NBA Draft. Though the team had been linked to Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. - and he was far and away the biggest fan favorite - the Bulls passed on the former No. 1 prospect, opting to play it safe and find a complement to Lauri Markkanen on the frontline.

Porter fell farther than just past the Bulls at No. 7. Cleveland opted for Collin Sexton. The Knicks and Sixers went with wings similar to Porter in Kevin Knox and Mikal Bridges.

Porter didn't hear his name called until the very last selection of the Lottery, with the Nuggets grabbing the 6-foot-10 scorer. It's a dice roll for Denver, but one it can afford after it won 47 games and was Game No. 82 away from making the postseason. They're a team on the rise that doesn't need an immediate contribution from a rookie. And that's good, because Porter might not be contributing at all in his rookie season.

Gar Forman and John Paxson were asked about whether Porter was in consideration at No. 7, and if his medicals played any part in the decision to pass.

And while Forman wouldn't address medical situations, he did say the Bulls were in contact with Porter throughout the draft process.

"We spent time with Mike, he’s a great young man," Paxson said. "We’re not gonna talk about medical things. We go through a diligent process every single year.

"This year we probably had more debate and dialogue as a staff. Varying degrees of opinion were really strong. We wish him the best out in Denver."

Paxson didn't say that "debate and dialogue" necessarily included Porter, but multiple reports said the Bulls weren't interested in Porter when it came down to choosing at No. 7.

And it makes sense. The Bulls are in a position where they're beginning to move along in their rebuild. They needed a contributor, and someone who could play right away. Porter wasn't that player, and he wasn't going to be a great fit with Markkanen and Zach LaVIne anyway.

It'll always be fun to think about what could have been, but the injury risk was simply too high for the Bulls to consider using an important 7th pick on a guy who might not play for 16 months.