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NBA Power Rankings: Warriors begin their quest to repeat

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NBA Power Rankings: Warriors begin their quest to repeat

The 2015-16 NBA season finally has arrived, a little more than four months after Stephen Curry and the Warriors celebrated as champions.

A wild offseason that included unforeseen free-agent signings (LaMarcus Aldridge), expected free-agent signings (Kevin Love), surefire draft picks (Karl Towns) and wild card draft picks (Kristaps Porzingis), we're finally ready to tip off the 69th edition of the NBA regular season.

Each Monday - Tuesday, given tonight's tip-off - Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill and Mark Strotman will dish out their weekly power rankings.

And to begin the year, everyone's still chasing the champs.

Rank (PR) Team
Record Comment
1 (-)   (0-0) 

 The defending champions bring everyone back. Nothing lucky about it.

(-)   (0-0)   Injuries to Irving and Shumpert will mean a bumpy start, but having LeBron James smooths out plenty.
(-)   (0-0)  The offseason's winners are no longer just an aging team waiting for Father Time to arrive.
(-)   (0-0)   A healthy Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka is as good as any trio in the league. Now we see how Billy Donovan fits.
(-)   (0-0)   If Dwight Howard stays healthy there's no reason they can't contend for a championship again this year.
(-)   (0-0)   New pieces on the second unit should help one of the league's best starting units.
(-)   (0-0)   They won't reach 60 wins again, and DeMarre Carroll's departure hurts, but this is still a dangerous team.
(-)   (0-0)  Marc Gasol is only getting better, but questions remain if they have enough talent to get over the playoff hump.
(-)   (0-0)   The Fred Hoiberg era begins with steep expectations, which they could match so long as the stout defense remains.
10 (-)   (0-0)   A sneaky pick to win the East, Dwyane Wade's health will be a key factor all season.
11 (-)   (0-0)   Anthony Davis in Alvin Gentry's system could produce numbers we've never seen from a 22-year-old.
12 (-)   (0-0)   This is the year John Wall enters the MVP conversation.
13 (-)   (0-0)   Kyle Lowry is on a mission and DeMar DeRozan enters a contract year. Important year for the team's future.
14 (-)   (0-0)   The Greg Monroe signing was quietly one of the offseason's best moves. Milwaukee could flirt with a top-4 finish.
15 (-)   (0-0)  In the wake of the DeAndre Jordan fiasco, big questions about how the aging/banged up Mavs will fare.
16 (-)   (0-0)  If Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight can co-exist, Phoenix has a shot to sneak in the playoffs.
17 (-)   (0-0)  Brad Stevens will be tasked with finding a solid eight-man rotation amongst many similarly-skilled players.
18 (-)   (0-0)  Paul George being back and healthy is a major positive for the NBA and fans.
19 (-)   (0-0)  A good bet to replace Portland or Dallas for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs.
20 (-)   (0-0)  A healthy Nicolas Batum gives the Hornets another valuable piece to go with Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson.
21 (-)   (0-0)  Time for Damian Lillard to rally the troops and prove doubters wrong.
22 (-)   (0-0)  They'll be helped out by playing in the East, but not much to get excited about in Brooklyn.
23 (-)   (0-0)  Andre Drummond back serious breakout potential, though he'll have to do it in the East's toughest division. 
24 (-)   (0-0)  Exciting young core that may be a few years away from contending in the East. Mario Hezonja will be too fun to watch.
25 (-)   (0-0)  Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins will either be a dynamite pairing or a stick of dynamite about to be lit.
26 (-)   (0-0)   Emmanuel Mudiay's and head coach Mike Malone's arrival give some brightness to the future.
27 (-)   (0-0)  They'll be much better this season, especially if Kristaps Porzingis develops in Year 1.
28 (-)   (0-0)  Good young pieces (Russell, Randle, Clarkson) in place for what could be Kobe's last season.
29 (-)   (0-0)   As good a young nucleus as there is in the league, but the West is unforgiving.
30 (-)   (0-0)  Expect Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor to work well together. Just don't expect it to result in wins just yet.

Loyola's March Madness hero Donte Ingram will play with Bulls' Summer League team

Loyola's March Madness hero Donte Ingram will play with Bulls' Summer League team

Donte Ingram's 2018 keeps getting better and better.

The March Madness hero, who buried a game-winning 3-pointer in the first round of Loyola's win over Miami, will play on the Bulls' Summer League team.

Ingram, a Simeon Academy graduate, had himself an incredible senior season with the Ramblers, who advanced all the way to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed.

In five NCAA Tournament games Ingram averaged 7.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists for the Ramblers. He also had 18 points in the MVC Conference Championship Game to secure the Ramblers' March Madness berth.

He'll join first-round draft picks Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison on the Las Vegas Summer League team, which will begin play early next month.

Here's why the Bulls didn't take Michael Porter Jr. last night

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USA TODAY

Here's why the Bulls didn't take Michael Porter Jr. last night

There was angst and anger among the Bulls fan base following the team's selection of Wendell Carter in Thursday's NBA Draft. Though the team had been linked to Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. - and he was far and away the biggest fan favorite - the Bulls passed on the former No. 1 prospect, opting to play it safe and find a complement to Lauri Markkanen on the frontline.

Porter fell farther than just past the Bulls at No. 7. Cleveland opted for Collin Sexton. The Knicks and Sixers went with wings similar to Porter in Kevin Knox and Mikal Bridges.

Porter didn't hear his name called until the very last selection of the Lottery, with the Nuggets grabbing the 6-foot-10 scorer. It's a dice roll for Denver, but one it can afford after it won 47 games and was Game No. 82 away from making the postseason. They're a team on the rise that doesn't need an immediate contribution from a rookie. And that's good, because Porter might not be contributing at all in his rookie season.

Gar Forman and John Paxson were asked about whether Porter was in consideration at No. 7, and if his medicals played any part in the decision to pass.

And while Forman wouldn't address medical situations, he did say the Bulls were in contact with Porter throughout the draft process.

"We spent time with Mike, he’s a great young man," Paxson said. "We’re not gonna talk about medical things. We go through a diligent process every single year.

"This year we probably had more debate and dialogue as a staff. Varying degrees of opinion were really strong. We wish him the best out in Denver."

Paxson didn't say that "debate and dialogue" necessarily included Porter, but multiple reports said the Bulls weren't interested in Porter when it came down to choosing at No. 7.

And it makes sense. The Bulls are in a position where they're beginning to move along in their rebuild. They needed a contributor, and someone who could play right away. Porter wasn't that player, and he wasn't going to be a great fit with Markkanen and Zach LaVIne anyway.

It'll always be fun to think about what could have been, but the injury risk was simply too high for the Bulls to consider using an important 7th pick on a guy who might not play for 16 months.