Bulls

Report: Bulls exploring trades involving Doug McDermott, Robin Lopez for first-round pick

Report: Bulls exploring trades involving Doug McDermott, Robin Lopez for first-round pick

With just 10 days remaining until the NBA trade deadline, rumors, smokescreens and potential deals are heating up.

To this point the Bulls have reportedly considered dealing Jimmy Butler and, according to our Insider Vincent Goodwill, are interested in aquiring Chicago native Jahlil Okafor from the Philadelphia 76ers.

The latest rumor comes from Basketball Insiders' Michael Scotto, who reported Monday evening that the Bulls "are exploring the trade market in search of a first-round draft pick in exchange for either...Robin Lopez or...Doug McDermott," according to league sources.

The report is interesting on multiple levels. First, dealing either of those two players would almost certainly indicate the team going into selling mode at the trade deadline. And while that's long been assumed - the Bulls have lost eight of 13 and stand at 26-29 - trading a key rotation piece for a draft pick would signify a waving of the white flag on the 2016-17 season.

[BULLSTALK PODCAST: Latest on Jahlil Okafor, Jimmy Butler trade rumors]

McDermott hasn't necessarily taken that next step the Bulls would have hoped for, but the 25-year-old is connecting on 38 percent of his 3-pointers and has heated up of late, shooting 48 percent from deep in his last seven games, tallying double-digit point totals in five of them. McDermott has one year remaining on his rookie year as well as qualifying offer the year after that, so he'd come at a bargain for a team looking to add another 3-point specialist - though his shortcomings on defense and as a passer cap his ceiling.

Lopez also has clear value. The 7-footer has averaged 9.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 55 games for the Bulls. He's the only player to have played in each game for the Bulls this season (and played in all 82 games for the Knicks a year ago) and is shooting 50 percent from the field on a career-high 9.0 field goal attempts per game.

Whether the Bulls could secure a first round pick for either player is another story, and there's a chance they would use any first-round pick to then go after Okafor from the Sixers.

For now it's yet another rumor in what should be a very busy 10-day stretch as far as reports and sources regarding the Bulls go.

Stay tuned.

Pacers GM Chad Buchanan pulls out of consideration for Bulls' front office job

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USA Today

Pacers GM Chad Buchanan pulls out of consideration for Bulls' front office job

Chad Buchanan has worked closely and successfully with Kevin Pritchard at two NBA franchises, including their current situation with the Indiana Pacers. Pritchard currently serves as the Pacers' president of basketball operations, Buchanan the general manager.

Ultimately, that comfort level and a strong personal situation led Buchanan to wanting to stay put in Indiana. Buchanan, one of Bulls president Michael Reinsdorf’s four initial interview targets to run basketball operations in a new-look front office, conveyed his desire to stay, according to a source. The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported the news.

The Bulls remain hopeful to receive permission to interview Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas, Raptors general manager Bobby Webster and Heat vice president of basketball operations/assistant general manager Adam Simon. Reinsdorf’s goal is to build a front office with depth, and whomever is hired to head Bulls’ basketball operations could make additional hires and be charged with overhauling the scouting department.

Executive vice president John Paxson, who largely initiated the need to modernize the front office, is expected to remain in an advisory role. However, Paxson has made clear to ownership he’s willing to play as large or as small a role as the new head of basketball operations desires.

The future of general manager Gar Forman, who largely has been moved to a scouting position, could be determined by the new hire.

As previously reported, Reinsdorf remains a fan of coach Jim Boylen. However, whomever the Bulls hire to run basketball operations will have full authority, including ultimately deciding the coaching staff’s future.

One rising force in the Bulls’ front office who is expected to be safe is assistant general manager Steve Weinman, a source said. He has made an impression not only internally but among rival league executives for his salary cap acumen and knowledge of the collective bargaining agreement.

It’s Reinsdorf’s goal to have the hire in place before a possible resumption of the 2019-20 season that has been suspended due to the COVID-19 virus. Most league observers believe any potential resumption is multiple weeks if not months away, and there is some planning for the potential loss of the balance of the season.

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Report: NBA and ESPN planning a televised H-O-R-S-E competition

Report: NBA and ESPN planning a televised H-O-R-S-E competition

The NBA and ESPN are teaming up to plan a televised H-O-R-S-E competition among "several high-profile players," according to reporting by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

It's the latest in a line of creative ideas from the NBA and ESPN to fill the void left by the indefinite suspension of live sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Friday night, ESPN broadcast the first half of the first round of a players-only NBA 2K20 tournament, to run through April 11.

No details have emerged as it relates to a timeline of events, which players would participate or what the format of the H-O-R-S-E competition would be.

Players would trade trick shots virtually, according to Wojnarowski. Many NBA players undoubtedly have private home gyms or courts from which they could safely compete.

This isn't the first time the NBA has waded into the H-O-R-S-E waters. In 2009 and 2010, H-O-R-S-E was broadcast on TNT as a regular part of All-Star weekend festivities before being cancelled in 2011 (Kevin Durant won the competition both years). And understandably so. This matchup, between Durant and Rajon Rondo, devolved into a standstill 3-point contest narrated by a boisterous Charles Barkley:

That event was a reclamation of a 32-player H-O-R-S-E tournament the league broadcast on CBS during the 1977-78 season, which Paul Westphal won over Rick Barry. Barry made the finals as a replacement for an injured Pete Maravich, who absolutely trounced his way through the tourney. 

At least there was some creativity back then:

Of course, all of the league's past H-O-R-S-E experiments were held in person with fans in attendance. It remains to be seen how they'll look to spice up this iteration of the competition.

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