Bulls

Bulls: Jimmy Butler named to All-NBA Third Team

Bulls: Jimmy Butler named to All-NBA Third Team

Jimmy Butler has been named to the All-NBA Third Team.

Butler averaged career-highs across the board in his sixth NBA season with 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 76 games.

He's the first member of the Bulls to earn All-NBA honors since Pau Gasol was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2015.

Butler joins these players as members of the Bulls to be named to All-NBA teams: Bob Love, Norm Van Lier, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol.

He joins John Wall, DeMar DeRozan, Draymond Green and DeAndre Jordan on the third team.

The first team consisted of James Harden, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis.

The second team consisted of Stephen Curry, Isaiah Thomas, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gobert.

The 1995-1998 Bulls belong on the list of 10 greatest lineups in NBA history

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AP

The 1995-1998 Bulls belong on the list of 10 greatest lineups in NBA history

Listen, Tom. We like you. A lot. You do incredible work and you give us shoutouts. But we had to read through your latest piece, “Ranking the 10 greatest lineups in NBA history,” a few times before realizing you had a massive omission.

We present the following: The 1995-1998 Chicago Bulls.


PG: Ron Harper
SG: Michael Jordan
SF: Scottie Pippen
PF: Toni Kukoc
C: Dennis Rodman

Total All-Star appearances: 23
MVP Players: 1
DPOY Players: 2
Finals MVP Players: 1
Titles won together: 3

We thank you for mentioning Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in your piece. They were pretty good, we agree. We’ll dig a little deeper on those two to begin our argument. From 1995 to 1998, Jordan averaged 29.6 points on 48% shooting, 6.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.9 steals. He also didn’t miss a game, playing in 304 of a possible 304 games. He was also named league MVP twice and Finals MVP all three years. Pippen wasn’t too shabby a sidekick, averaging 19.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists in that three-year span.

These guys were all-time greats, but you might have forgotten that they weren’t alone.

All Dennis Rodman did in this three-season span was lead the league in rebounding all three years (15.3 per game). He wasn’t the same All-Star talent that he was in his Detroit days – also a two-time Defensive Player of the Year – and his San Antonio stint but he was still critical to the Bulls’ success. The Worm had a little bit of Draymond Green in him, not afraid to take on any defensive assignment to allow the Bulls a little more versatility. He got assignments of Shawn Kemp and Karl Malone in the Finals.

Kukoc is where we bend the rules a bit, but we hope you’ll allow it (mostly because our argument turns to dust if we need to talk about Luc Longley). Kukoc was the 1996 Sixth Man of the Year (hey, you said they could be closing lineups, too) and was a model of consistency in those three seasons. He averaged 13.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists and gave the Bulls another ball handler and distributor, as well as versatile defense. He’s at times the forgotten gem of the Jerry Krause era, and he’s more than just a funny story from the Dream Team era.

The Bulls had their Iguodala, too. Ron Harper averaged a modest 7.7 points and 2.7 assists in these three seasons with the Bulls. But he also did it with a 14.9% usage rate. That was lower than Bill Wennington’s usage rate of 17.0% in that same span! Let’s not forget that Harper had averaged 19.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists in eight seasons with the Cavaliers and Clippers before signing with the Jordan-less Bulls. He would have had a much larger and more effective role had Jordan not returned (we’re glad he did). In 1998, Harper also had the pleasure of guarding Gary Payton and John Stockton in the Bulls’ three Finals victories. Have you had enough of the Iggy comparisons yet?

So there it is. Five incredible players to put together three remarkable championship seasons that included the Greatest Team in the History of Basketball (our capitalization intended). Feel free to update your story as needed.

NBA removes Omer Asik's contract, giving Bulls additional $3 million in cap space

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USA TODAY

NBA removes Omer Asik's contract, giving Bulls additional $3 million in cap space

The Bulls will have an additional $3 million to use in free agency this summer after the NBA ruled in favor of clearing Omer Asik's contract from their books, according to Stadium's Shams Charania.

Two months ago the Bulls applied for cap relief to have Asik's $3 million contract removed from their books. Asik, who was ruled out in September 2018 with inflammatory arthritis, never played again and was waived in October. The move saved the Bulls $8 million at the time, and the arthritis that forced him out of basketball will now save the Bulls an additional $3 million.

The Bulls now have upwards of $23 million to use in free agency. Mark Schanowski looked at how they might use that cash this summer.

Asik was originally traded to the Bulls in 2018, along with a first-round draft pick, in exchange for power forward Nikola Mirotic. Asik played in just four games after the trade, averaging 1.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 15.3 minutes. The Bulls used that first round pick on Chandler Hutchison, while Mirotic thrived in the second half and postseason for the New Orleans Pelicans.