Bulls

Bulls take Arkansas' Bobby Portis with No. 22 pick in NBA Draft

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Bulls take Arkansas' Bobby Portis with No. 22 pick in NBA Draft

The Bulls were in the position of having to watch the draft unfold without much drama, as the glut of mid-round talented guards began falling one by one off the board.

When the smoke cleared, though, they took Bobby Portis from Arkansas with the 22nd pick of the first round for the first pick of the Fred Hoiberg Era, a player who was waiting in the green room as one of the invitees from the NBA.

He’ll be expected to compete for minutes as a backup power forward/center behind Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson, a player who won the SEC Player of the Year in a conference that had numerous draft picks selected ahead of him, a mark of his consistency.

“They have Gasol and Gibson,” he said in an interview right after being selected. “I’ll back those guys up and maybe even start. I’ll try to learn from those guys.”

[SHOP BULLS: Buy a Bobby Portis jersey]

With Terry Rozier and Rashad Vaughn taken midway through the first round, then Jerian Grant off the board, it left the Bulls perhaps in a position where they had to switch course and go to the frontcourt.

Portis was projected as a mid-first round pick by many experts, and averaged 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds as an aggressive big who adds some youth to an older frontline.

With Noah, Gasol and Gibson being an average of 31.6 years old by the start of next season, and the Bulls getting gashed on the boards by the Cleveland Cavaliers in their six-game second-round series loss, they added a low-post scorer and inside player who’ll get after it on the glass.

Taj Gibson signed with Knicks to be closer to father recovering from heart transplant

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USA TODAY

Taj Gibson signed with Knicks to be closer to father recovering from heart transplant

For as long as he's been in the league, Taj Gibson has been considered one of the ultimate good guys.

That reputation won't be diminished in the slightest considering his reasoning for signing with the New York Knicks this summer.

Many expected the Bulls to make a run at Gibson to back up Lauri Markkanen at power forward. But as it turns out, the Knicks were going to be difficult to beat as a landing spot.

Via Marc Berman of the New York Post, Gibson decided to return home - he grew up in Brooklyn - to be closer to his father who recently underwent a heart transplant.

Gibson said he spent a large portion of June - in the lead-up to free agency - in New York as his father awaited a new heart. Gibson agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the Knicks on the first day of free agency, just a few weeks after Wilbert Gibson had successful surgery in June.

The entire article is worth a read, but let us also add an anecdote Gibson shared about one of the first calls he received from a familiar voice.

Gibson knew lots of winning in seven seasons in Chicago — mostly with ex-Knicks assistant Tom Thibodeau. A known taskmaster, Thibodeau brought Gibson to the T’Wolves and knew of Gibson’s dream to one day be a Knick.

“Once I signed with New York, one of the first phone calls I got was from Thibs,” Gibson said. “That’s all we ever talked about throughout my time with Thibs — we always talked about New York.

“For it to finally happen, being able to say I was finally a New York Knick was a crazy feeling. We laughed for a minute. Then he was serious. He was like, ‘If anyone is capable of playing in New York, you’re a New York-style player.’ He knows me that I will play hard every night.”

Report: Former Bulls center Joakim Noah will work out for Los Angeles Lakers

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AP

Report: Former Bulls center Joakim Noah will work out for Los Angeles Lakers

Buckle up, nostalgic Bulls fans of the 2010s. There's a chance Joakim Noah teams up with LeBron James.

That's according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported Tuesday that the Lakers plan to work out Noah - along with two other centers - as they search for replacements for the injured DeMarcus Cousins.

As much as it will pain Bulls fans to hear it, Noah makes the most sense of any players listed above. Howard has a bad back that limited him to nine games last season (and we all know about his first stint with the Lakers), Speights last played in the NBA with the Orlando Magic in 2018, and Gortat played sparingly (47 games, 16.0 minutes) for the Clippers last season.

Noah had a resurgence in Memphis last season, averaging 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists in just 16.5 minutes. He'd obviously be an excellent locker-room presence and high-energy defender for a Lakers team that will need it. We also know that the fire in him hasn't run out. Just ask Devin Booker.

James and Noah have a long history of in-game scuffles, and while they undoubtedly have respect for one another, it'd be weird seeing the two team up in the same uniform.

Then again, James and Derrick Rose played together in Cleveland two seasons ago, so how much weirder can it really get?