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

NBA Board of Governors pass new, stricter anti-tampering rules

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USA TODAY

NBA Board of Governors pass new, stricter anti-tampering rules

After much discussion over whether or not the NBA should impose harsher penalties on teams for breaking the anti-tampering rules, an official decision has been made. The NBA Board of Governors passed a much more strict set of rules that will force teams to be compliant with the anti-tampering rules.

Among the new measures, the league will be selecting five teams per year that will undergo a "random audit", the maximum amount for a fine related to tampering has been raised to $10 million and team officials are required to save communications with agents for one full year.

The league will also retain the right to take the communication devices of owners if it is deemed necessary in investigations, though it has been stated that it is not something that Adam Silver wants to rely on moving forward. 

Though concrete details have not been released, possible punishments for tampering will reportedly include taking away draft picks, the voiding of contracts and more.

This is all in an attempt to create a more "even playing field" amid the belief that small-market teams are at a disadvantage when it comes to player movement. The new rules sound great but there is already fear among NBA GMs when it comes to how their privacy will be affected with this being a clear area of focus for the league. 

Along with the new, harsher tampering penalties, the league also announced that they have changed the language regarding traveling calls to "address the uncertainty around traveling." Another new rule announced was that teams are now required to announce their starting lineups at least 30 minutes before tipoff as opposed to 10 minutes, in an effort to "increase transparency for teams, media and fans." Teams will still be allowed to change their lineups up to the last minute if a player gets hurt in pregame warmups. 

All of the new anti-tampering rules approved by the league on Friday were a response to this wild NBA offseason we just experienced. There were many deals agreed to right at the start of free agency, such as the Bulls with Thaddeus Young, and the timing of those deals had many owners wanting the league to make tampering a greater focus. To a greater extent, moves like Anthony Davis forcing his way to the Lakers and Kawhi Leonard orchestrating he and Paul George's move to the Clippers are what got this package of anti-tampering measures passed.

Adam Silver has picked up a reputation as an NBA Commissioner who is very willing to listen to new ideas and make changes, and Friday's events support that reputation as he and the league continue to look for the best ways to get NBA teams to be in compliance with the anti-tampering rules. 

Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?

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USA TODAY

Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?

The Jonas Brothers are in Chicago for concerts that are taking place on Thursday and Friday night, and they have enjoyed quite a week. This week the trio has enjoyed a nice golf outing at Village Links in Glen Ellyn, had some quality BBQ at Bub City and even got the amazing opportunity to play a touch football game at Soldier Field. But one particular Bulls guard is looking to add another fun experience to their Chicago trip.

The Bulls organization welcomed the Jonas Brothers to the city with a set of custom jerseys for the trio and their significant others and that's when Ryan Arcidiacono chimed in with his offer. 

Since the Jonas Brothers have already got to play some football on the actual Soldier Field grass, Arci figured they might as well keep the Chicago sports-themed fun going and shoot some hoops with him. 

Now, Arcidiacono didn't make it clear whether or not he was offering for the Jonas Brother to get some shots up with him at the United Center, where their shows take place on Thursday and Friday night. But, either way, his time is running out as they will be moving on to Jackson County, MO for their next stop on tour on September 21.

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