The fan votes for All-Star starters were announced last week, and on Thursday the coaches selections for the reserves will be made public as well.
Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah warrant consideration for their play that has helped keep the Bulls steady in the absence of Derrick Rose, and coach Tom Thibodeau is hopeful that all three will be headed to Houston next month.
I hope all three make it, Thibodeau said. I think we have three guys who are very deserving.
Thibodeau is not one to bombard his fellow coaches with phone calls, e-mails and gifts in hopes that theyll select any of his players. Instead, he feels that the play of any player, along with team success, dictates the nod.
I dont get wrapped up in that stuff because its political and a waste of time, Thibodeau said. If someone sent me something, I wouldnt even look at it. When they ask me to vote, I try to look at the team success, how the players fit in and theyre all tough choices. You can make the case for a lot of guys. There are a lot of guys that are deserving and its very close. So you try to put a little more thought on team success. Also, how consistently a player has done it. Often times, it takes a couple years to get there. I thought Luol shouldve made it two years ago and he finally made it last year.
Deng could make his second consecutive All-Star appearance if he gets the green light. Carlos Boozer has appeared in two All-Star games as a reserve during his tenure with the Utah Jazz. If Joakim Noah gets voted in, this would mark his first appearance in an All-Star game.
On Saturday morning, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Jimmy Butler had been granted permission to avoid the Timberwolves media day, amidst the drama created by his trade demand:
The decision comes as no shock, as no one fully expected the Timberwolves to execute a Jimmy Butler trade in 24 hours.
It will take a while for this situation to come to a conclusion, as Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and Tom Thibodeau—already prepared to hold on to Butler following his trade demand—will surely look for the best trade offer that still gives them the ability to be playoff contenders.
Some NBA fans, like the ever-relevant Rob Perez, were not fans of Minnesota shutting down more drama before it could get started:
It is not yet known if Minnesota is actively engaging in trade discussions with any of the teams on Butler's preferred teams list (Clippers, Nets, Knicks).
If they have, there is a reasonable chance that a Butler trade can be done by early-October. A source from the NBA board of governors meeting told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, "The owner's trading him..... It's just a matter of when."
The sooner a deal is done, the sooner the Timberwolves can start to integrate their new piece(s) before their season opener in San Antonio.
It was announced on Saturday morning, that Omer Asik will be out indefinitely.
Asik had an arthritis flare up over the summer, and that is the key to his current diagnosis. The Bulls acquired Asik last season in the Nikola Mirotic trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.
He has two years and north of $22 million left on his contract (including this current season).
The Bulls never expected Asik to play heavy minutes, and this injury puts his 2018-19 season in jeopardy,
This is Asik's second stint with the Bulls, as he played with Chicago in the first two seasons of his career.