By Chris CasonCSNChicago.com
To say the Bulls (7-2) have had the Detroit Pistons (2-6) number over the past three seasons would be an understatement.
The last defeat Chicago suffered at the hands of their Central Division foe came in Derrick Roses 28th game as a professional on Dec. 23 in the Palace of Auburn Hills. Rodney Stuckey scored a career-high 40 points for the Pistons as they beat the Bulls 104-98.
Since that time, the Bulls have won the last 12 meetings between the two teams, including 10 straight home games.
Coming into tonights matchup, all odds appear to be in Chicagos favor with having suffered an embarrassing loss against the Hawks on Saturday and their penchant for coming out even more focused than usual the following game. The Pistons are also on a three-game losing streak and is a team still searching for an identity with each of their six losses being by 11 points or more.
The Pistons will also be without Stuckey, whos recovering from a sore groin he injured in the Bulls 99-83 win at the Palace last Wednesday.
C.J. Watson and Richard Hamilton are doubtful for tonights game. Watson is no longer wearing the sling for his left elbow which he injured in the Bulls home opener against Memphis and has started to do some conditioning and dribbling drills.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has said Watsons return to the rotation will depend on the reserve guards pain tolerance.
Hamilton is still recovering from a sore left groin which has caused him to miss four out of the last five games.
Antoine Griezmann, you just won the World Cup, what are you going to do next?
Apparently, profess his love for Derrick Rose.
In the celebrations of France winning the World Cup on Sunday, French forward Griezmann spotted his teammate Paul Pogba getting interviewed by FOX Sports. Recognizing this was the American audience, Griezmann took the mic from FOX's Jenny Taft and had one thing to say:
"I love Derrick Rose."
Griezmann, who scored a goal in France's 4-2 win against Croatia in the final, is a big NBA fan. He has been spotted at multiple games over the years, including Game 5 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals between the Celtics and Cavs.
This also isn't the first time he has made a comment about D-Rose. He recently signed a contract extension with his club team, Atletico Madrid, but a year ago said the only way he would leave was to play with Rose.
"I would only leave Atleti to play with Derrick Rose," Griezmann said through translation.
In 2015 he posted an image of himself in a Derrick Rose Bulls jersey to his Instagram.
Later that year he took in a Bulls game and got a photo with Joakim Noah.
Maybe when the 27-year-old is ready to leave Europe, he will join a Major League Soccer team just so he can watch more NBA games.
UPDATE: Rose tweeted congratulations to Griezmann.
The Bulls ‘rebuild’ seems to be just a one-year experiment after the team signed Chicago native Jabari Parker to a two-year, $40-million dollar deal on Saturday. Although on first look Parker’s contract would seem to restrict what they can do in free agency next summer, the reality is that the 2nd year team option gives the Bulls plenty of flexibility with—or without- Parker next year.
If the Bulls pick up the option on Parker, they will still be able to sign a max free agent next July if they make the right moves between now and July 1, 2019.
The NBA projects the 2019-20 cap will rise to $109 million, up from $101.9 million for the upcoming season. The league bases a ‘max’ salary on years of service. A 10-year vet like Kevin Durant is eligible for more ($38.2 million) than his teammate Klay Thompson ($32.7 million), an 8-year vet. If the Bulls keep Parker, they’ll enter free agency with approximately $15.4 million next summer—far short of the cap space needed for a player like Durant or Thompson, but that number is misleading. The $15.4 million also includes cap holds (salary slots assigned to a player based on several factors including previous year’s salary). The cap hold is designed to prevent teams from completely circumventing the soft cap model the league uses. The cap holds for Bobby Portis ($7.5 million) and Cameron Payne ($9.8 million) are just theoretical if the Bulls don’t sign either to a contract extension before the October 31, 2018 deadline.
Let’s say the Bulls are in line to sign a star free agent like Thompson; all they would need to do is rescind any qualifying offer to Payne or Portis, and then renounce them as free agents. This would effectively take the cap holds off the Bulls’ cap sheet and give them approximately $32.7 million in cap space. Coincidently (or perhaps it’s no coincidence), that’s the exact salary a 7-9 year free agent like Thompson would command.
In order to create enough space for Durant and his increased ‘max’ slot, they would need to waive and stretch a player like Cristiano Felicio or incentivize a trade involving a player by attaching another asset in the deal, like a future 1st round pick.
If the Bulls decline the team option on Parker, then they will enter free agency with anywhere between $35 million and $53 million.