Bulls

Bulls: Dwyane Wade second among guards, Jimmy Butler sixth among forwards in first All-Star voting

Bulls: Dwyane Wade second among guards, Jimmy Butler sixth among forwards in first All-Star voting

Dwyane Wade is second among guards and Jimmy Butler is sixth among forwards in the first NBA All-Star voting returns, the league revealed Thursday.

Wade, who has appeared in 12 All-Star Games (including 10 starts), received 278,052 votes, trailing only Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (543,030). LeBron James (595,288) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (500,663) were the only other players to receive more votes than Wade, who was the leading vote-getter among guards last season.

Wade's 10 All-Star Game starts are tied for 11th most in NBA history. If Wade were to start in 2016 for the Eastern Conference he would move into a tie for 7th most starts in NBA history. Only 12 players have appeared in 13 All-Star Games, though James will make it 13 by the time final votes are counted. Wade would also be the first Bulls starter in an All-Star Game since Pau Gasol in 2015.

Wade won the All-Star Game MVP in 2010 when he scored 28 points on 12-for-16 shooting and 11 assists in the East's 141-139 victory.

One of the most respected and well-liked players in the league, Wade's approval rating among fans - as seen by the sheer number of votes - is hardly surprising. But Wade's numbers have dipped in his 14th NBA season. His 18.5 points per game are the lowest since his rookie season and he's averaging a career-low in assists (3.1) and field-goal percentage (43.3 percent). Wade is ninth among guards in the East in Player Efficiency Rating (19.53).

Butler has received 189,066 votes, trailing James, Antetokounmpo, Kevin Love (250,347), Joel Embiid (221,984) and Carmelo Anthony (189,817) among forwards. Butler has made appearances in the last two All-Star Games and is a lock to make it again this season. There's also a real argument to be made that Butler should make his first start.

In 36 games Butler has averaged 25.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists. He trails only Antetokounmpo and James in Player Efficiency Rating among East forwards (26.34) and has molded himself into a legitimate MVP candidate.

Voting for this year's All-Star Game will be compiled and averaged in three categories. The fan vote will account for 50 percent of the voting, while the players vote and media vote will both count for 25 percent of the voting. Players will be ranked in each conference by frontcourt and backcourt, and their "score" will be averaged among the weighted three categories. The two backcourt players and three frontcourt players with the best score will be named starters (fan votes will be the tiebreaker if two players are tied after their scores are compiled).

Here are the first returns of voting by position in each conference:

Eastern Conference frontcourt

1. LeBron James (CLE) 595,288
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 500,663
3. Kevin Love (CLE) 250,347
4. Joel Embiid (PHI) 221,984
5. Carmelo Anthony (NY) 189,817
6. Jimmy Butler (CHI) 189,066
7. Kristaps Porzingis (NY) 184,166
8. Paul George (IND) 138,332
9. Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 72,628
10. Jabari Parker (MIL) 64, 141

Eastern Conference backcourt

1. Kyrie Irving (CLE) 543,030
2. Dwyane Wade (CHI) 278,052
3. DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 253,340
4. Isaiah Thomas (BOS) 193,297
5. Derrick Rose (NY) 129,924
6. Kyle Lowry (TOR) 128,940
7. John Wall (WAS) 87,360
8. Jeremy Lin (BKN) 59,562
9. Kemba Walker (CHA) 52,122
10. Avery Bradley (32,822)

Western Conference frontcourt

1. Kevin Durant (GS) 541,209
2. Zaza Pachulia (GS) 439,675
3. Kawhi Leonard (SA) 341,240
4. Anthony Davis (NO) 318,144
5. Draymond Green (GS) 236,315
6. DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) 202,317
7. Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) 125,278
8. LaMarcus Aldridge (SA) 101,724
9. Blake Griffin (LAC) 100,524
10. Marc Gasol (MEM) 97,370

Western Conference backcourt

1. Stephen Curry (GS) 523,597
2. James Harden (HOU) 519,446
3. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 501,652
4. Klay Thompson (GS) 293,054
5. Chris Paul (LAC) 173,830
6. Damian Lillard (POR) 117,857
7. Eric Gordon (HOU) 76,609
8. Manu Ginobili (SA) 65,832
9. Andre Iguodala (GS) 64,247
10. Zach LaVine (MIN) 53,642

Zach LaVine’s parents surprised him with an amazing gift this offseason

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USA TODAY

Zach LaVine’s parents surprised him with an amazing gift this offseason

Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine has had a great and busy offseason. He had some grueling workouts with his father, supported his teammates during NBA Summer League and even took some batting practice with former NL MVP Kris Bryant. But the best part of LaVine’s busy offseason was a very, very cool gift from his parents. 

LaVine’s mom and dad gifted him a 1968 Pontiac LeMans, a rare and very collectible vehicle.

Bulls fans were first exposed to LaVine’s love of classic cars last season when he discussed his infatuation with the stable of classic vehicles owned by Jabari Parker

With his ‘68 Pontiac LeMans now in tow, LaVine is well on his way to amassing his own impressive collection. He has a reputation in league circles for being an extremely hard worker already but there is no doubt that this awesome gift from his parents will serve as a little extra motivation as the 2019-20 season nears. 

Bulls Talk Podcast: Bulls Summer League recap with Ricky O’Donnell

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USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: Bulls Summer League recap with Ricky O’Donnell

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski and Kevin Anderson are joined by SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell

0:50        Ricky on his Top 11 players from NBA Summer League story and why Coby White was 11th

2:45        Realistic expectations for White next season

3:40        Will Kris Dunn be on opening night roster?

4:55        Mark disagrees with Ricky on where White will be in the rotation

7:10        On Chandler Hutchison and his role

9:50        Could LaVine see minutes at the small forward spot?

11:00     On Daniel Gafford and his summer league performance

15:20     On Bulls 2019-20 win total over/under at 30.5

16:55     Which team in the East can the Bulls overtake and make the playoffs?

22:00     Going over the western conference and which teams have realistic championship potential

                Editor’s note: Kevin stated he thinks Portland has the best healthy backcourt in the NBA right now completely forgetting about Russ and Harden. He regrets the error.

29:30     The short list of contenders in the East

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: