Rivers says Thibodeau's year away from coaching 'has been good for him'


Rivers says Thibodeau's year away from coaching 'has been good for him'

Doc Rivers said Thursday he believes his close friend Tom Thibodeau taking a year from coaching has been good for the former Bulls' lead man.

The Clippers head coach said prior to the game against the Bulls at the United Center that he speaks every day with Thibodeau, who he hired in Boston in 2007 and won a championship with in 2008.

"He’s an interesting guy. He loves basketball," Rivers said with a smile. "I think this has been good for him."

Thibodeau was fired in May after five seasons with the Bulls, during which he reached the Eastern Conference Finals just one time, bowing out in the postseason to LeBron James on three different occasions, while his tumultuous relationship with the front office only made matters worse.

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Thibodeau's name popped up in rumors about other head-coaching vacancies, but nothing ever surfaced. He spent his first offseason away from coaching traveling to training camps of coaches with whom he was close. But now that the season has begun Thibodeau has been out of the public spotlight, last seen at the Champions Classic in November.

Rivers said he's able to relate to Thibodeau, seeing as the Clippers' head coach was fired by Orlando in 2003. He took a season off before being named the Celtics head coach a year later.

"I thought at the end of the day it was good for me. At the time I didn’t, I will say that," Rivers admitted. "After going through it I thought it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. Let me take a look back at what I needed to do better, at what worked. It also validates that as well, and I’m sure he’s doing the same thing."

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Still a basketball junkie, Thibodeau is still taking in plenty of basketball during his time off, Rivers said. And certainly more than Rivers did during his year away from the game.

"He watches more games than I did, I can tell you that," Rivers said. "I was golfing."

Antoine Griezmann professes his love for Derrick Rose after winning World Cup


Antoine Griezmann professes his love for Derrick Rose after winning World Cup

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.

How Jabari Parker impacts Bulls’ salary cap in 2019

How Jabari Parker impacts Bulls’ salary cap in 2019

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.