Bulls

Kevin Love out for second round, Smith to miss two games

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Kevin Love out for second round, Smith to miss two games

The Bulls weren’t going to get dragged into the conversation surrounding the expected losses the Cleveland Cavaliers suffered yesterday in their clinching win over the Boston Celtics, as they could lost
Kevin Love for the entire second round, it was announced late Monday afternoon.

And J.R. Smith was suspended for two games by the NBA, it was announced shortly after the news about Love came down, meaning he won’t be available until Game 3 of the next series, which could be at the United Center, assuming the Bulls take care of business against the Milwaukee Bucks.

As much as Joakim Noah isn’t a fan of anything Cleveland, he wasn’t doing cartwheels when asked about Love’s injury.

“Unfortunate. Very unfortunate,” Noah said. “You don’t want anybody getting hurt. You don’t wish that on nobody.”

In a statement, the Cavaliers said Love, after having his arm twisted by Celtics center Kelly Olynyk, had suffered an acute dislocation with torn labrum, certainly not an injury a player can come back from in a few days.

[RELATED - LeBron, Cavs advance, but could be shorthanded]

League sources reached by CSNChicago.com early Monday said a normal tear takes 4-6 weeks but if an MRI showed no significant damage, a player would have to decide if he could deal with the pain.

Unfortunately for Love, the MRI revealed real damage and it changes the complexion of a potential Bulls-Cavs series, which could begin next weekend in Cleveland.

That was more than Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau would say on the matter, flatly answering “no” when asked if he had any thoughts on Noah’s injury. He repeated the same deadpan remark when asked about the possibility of Smith missing one or more games in Round 2 after his whack on Celtics swingman Jae Crowder, which earned Smith an ejection.

“No. I’m just worried about Milwaukee,” Thibodeau said. “I leave that to you guys. It’s the playoffs. It’s important to stay disciplined, concentrate on what we have to do. Let’s face it: It’s easy to get distracted if you let yourself get thrown off course. So I really haven’t thought about it.”

[MORE: Bulls feel they're in good shape against Bucks]

Nobody would’ve believed him if he said he didn’t watch the Cavs-Celtics game Sunday afternoon, so he didn’t dare fight that battle. Tempers flared before Smith’s altercation with Crowder, as Kendrick Perkins was in the middle of some rough play in the first half. Perkins is one of Thibodeau’s favorites from their days in Boston, where Thibodeau was an assistant to Doc Rivers, so he wasn’t surprised Perkins was an instigator.

“No. He’s a great competitor,” Thibodeau said. “When you put great competitors on the floor competing for the same thing, they’ll be some flare-ups.”

The Bulls and Bucks have had their share of emotional moments, resulting in flagrant fouls and technical fouls over the four games. Thibodeau wasn’t surprised at that breaking out in Boston.

“That’s usually playoff basketball,” Thibodeau said. “Boston played with desperation. Cleveland is tough. You’re going to have some flare-ups. With two teams competing for the same thing, that’s what happens.”

Bulls not a part of Anthony Davis-to-the-Lakers trade, but it could have an effect on the draft

Bulls not a part of Anthony Davis-to-the-Lakers trade, but it could have an effect on the draft

Farewell, Lonzo Ball-to-the-Bulls rumors.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday evening that the Los Angeles Lakers have finally acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, and the deal doesn't include a third team.

In exchange for Davis, a six-time All-Star about to enter his prime, the Pelicans recieved Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and three first round picks, including the No. 4 pick in next week's NBA Draft.

There was some speculation - also reported by Woj - that a third team would need to get involved in order to satisfy what Pelicans GM David Griffin was looking for in a package for Davis.

Though the Bulls were never directly connected in reports as a potential third team, it made sense considering they own the No. 7 pick and have a need at point guard.

There was also some speculation - though, again, never concrete news or reports - that Zach LaVine could have been an option in a deal, with the Bulls acquiring the No. 4 pick.

Alas, the Bulls aren't part of the deal. But it still may have an effect on them.

The Pelicans now own the Nos. 1 and 4 picks in next week's draft. They're obviously going to take Duke forward Zion Williamson with the first pick but now have options at No. 4. Whereas the Lakers had been linked to Vanderbilt poing guard Darius Garland, the Pelicans really don't have a need there with Ball and Jrue Holiday in the backcourt.

That, in theory, could bump Garland down to No. 6 and the Phoenix Suns, which would then free up the Bulls to take North Carolina's Coby White at No. 7.

Wojnarowski also reported that teams are still inquiring about the No. 4 pick from the Pelicans. It's unlikely the Bulls would depart with LaVine though maybe they could put together some sort of package to move up from No. 7.

What's more likely is the Bulls keep their assets intact in such a weak draft class and move forward with the best player available on the board at No. 7.

But it's officially Woj Bomb season, so buckle up. As is the case every NBA offseason, anything can and will happen.

NBC Sports Boston's Trade Bot comes up with Kris Dunn-Terry Rozier trade

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USA TODAY

NBC Sports Boston's Trade Bot comes up with Kris Dunn-Terry Rozier trade

The NBA landscape is getting ready to undergo a dramatic makeover this offseason, with the vast number of free agents and the volatility of the 2019 draft class. While the Bulls and Boston Celtics are two teams that could have much different views of success next season, they also could be ideal trade partners. Our partners at NBC Sports Boston laid out an intriguing trade offer that certainly got Celtics fans talking.

The NBC Sports Boston “Trade Bot 3000” came up with a scenario in which Danny Ainge targets Bulls guard Kris Dunn.

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This does not come as a huge shock, as GM Danny Ainge has had a liking for Dunn’s game dating back to the 2016 NBA Draft, when he reportedly almost traded then-Celtic Isaiah Thomas fior a lottery pick to select Dunn. Of course since then things have changed quite a bit, as Dunn has failed to develop into a real threat from the perimeter and his great defensive effort has been dragged down by foul troubles (4.3 fouls per 36 minutes).

NBC Sports Boston’s Trade Bot pointed out that Boston would be receiving the New London, Connecticut native with a full season before he is set to hit restricted free agency (2020-21). Dunn’s team-friendly contract would make sense for a Celtics team that is unlikely to have any functional cap space this offseason. And even in the event that the Celtics do create near max cap space, that would likely mean that guards Terry Rozier and Kyrie Irving are no longer on the roster.

Dunn would be a solid option as a starter or backup guard for a new-look Celtics squad that would be built around feeding Jayson Tatum plenty of looks, much more than the 13.1 field goal attempts per game that he averaged over the 2018-19 season. Dunn’s usage rate dropped a significant amount last season and his offensive rating improved as a result of him using less possessions. I would expect that trend to continue under Brad Stevens, who would find more creative ways to keep Dunn involved on offense.

It is simple to see how the trade would be appealing from the Bulls perspective. Though incredibly similar prospects, Rozier presents a greater threat from the 3-point line as compared to Dunn.

He is by no means a knockdown shooter, but the fact that “Scary Terry” has taken 6.3 attempts from 3-point range per 36 minutes (for his career per Basketball-Reference)  definitely matters.

Defenses will have to account for Rozier when he is on the floor, making him a nice partner for LaVine on the offensive end of the floor. But again, Rozier would not be a savior at the PG position. He has many of the same flaws as Dunn, such as generating a tremendously low amount of free throw attempts. As we all know, a fresh start can do wonders for a young player and a trade of this nature would allow the Bulls to add Rozier, while giving him the true maximum salary that only the Celtics would be able to offer.

To make matters even better for Chicago, the Bulls would be collecting a second round pick as well for swapping a player on a rookie deal for a player who is due for a significant raise. One last interesting nugget on a possible Dunn-for-Rozier trade is that the two guards are actually one day apart age-wise. They are at a similar stage in their careers/development, to the point where it would be tough to say which team won the trade.

Let us know how you would feel about NBC Sports Boston Trade Bot’s Dunn-for-Rozier swap at @BullsTalk!