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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.

NBA Board of Governors pass new, stricter anti-tampering rules

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USA TODAY

NBA Board of Governors pass new, stricter anti-tampering rules

After much discussion over whether or not the NBA should impose harsher penalties on teams for breaking the anti-tampering rules, an official decision has been made. The NBA Board of Governors passed a much more strict set of rules that will force teams to be compliant with the anti-tampering rules.

Among the new measures, the league will be selecting five teams per year that will undergo a "random audit", the maximum amount for a fine related to tampering has been raised to $10 million and team officials are required to save communications with agents for one full year.

The league will also retain the right to take the communication devices of owners if it is deemed necessary in investigations, though it has been stated that it is not something that Adam Silver wants to rely on moving forward. 

Though concrete details have not been released, possible punishments for tampering will reportedly include taking away draft picks, the voiding of contracts and more.

This is all in an attempt to create a more "even playing field" amid the belief that small-market teams are at a disadvantage when it comes to player movement. The new rules sound great but there is already fear among NBA GMs when it comes to how their privacy will be affected with this being a clear area of focus for the league. 

Along with the new, harsher tampering penalties, the league also announced that they have changed the language regarding traveling calls to "address the uncertainty around traveling." Another new rule announced was that teams are now required to announce their starting lineups at least 30 minutes before tipoff as opposed to 10 minutes, in an effort to "increase transparency for teams, media and fans." Teams will still be allowed to change their lineups up to the last minute if a player gets hurt in pregame warmups. 

All of the new anti-tampering rules approved by the league on Friday were a response to this wild NBA offseason we just experienced. There were many deals agreed to right at the start of free agency, such as the Bulls with Thaddeus Young, and the timing of those deals had many owners wanting the league to make tampering a greater focus. To a greater extent, moves like Anthony Davis forcing his way to the Lakers and Kawhi Leonard orchestrating he and Paul George's move to the Clippers are what got this package of anti-tampering measures passed.

Adam Silver has picked up a reputation as an NBA Commissioner who is very willing to listen to new ideas and make changes, and Friday's events support that reputation as he and the league continue to look for the best ways to get NBA teams to be in compliance with the anti-tampering rules. 

Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?

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USA TODAY

Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?

The Jonas Brothers are in Chicago for concerts that are taking place on Thursday and Friday night, and they have enjoyed quite a week. This week the trio has enjoyed a nice golf outing at Village Links in Glen Ellyn, had some quality BBQ at Bub City and even got the amazing opportunity to play a touch football game at Soldier Field. But one particular Bulls guard is looking to add another fun experience to their Chicago trip.

The Bulls organization welcomed the Jonas Brothers to the city with a set of custom jerseys for the trio and their significant others and that's when Ryan Arcidiacono chimed in with his offer. 

Since the Jonas Brothers have already got to play some football on the actual Soldier Field grass, Arci figured they might as well keep the Chicago sports-themed fun going and shoot some hoops with him. 

Now, Arcidiacono didn't make it clear whether or not he was offering for the Jonas Brother to get some shots up with him at the United Center, where their shows take place on Thursday and Friday night. But, either way, his time is running out as they will be moving on to Jackson County, MO for their next stop on tour on September 21.

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