Bulls

Sam: Reinsdorf in favor of quick end to lockout?

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Sam: Reinsdorf in favor of quick end to lockout?

As NBA labor negotiations again go deep into the night -- somewhat minimized by the circus going in State College, Pa. -- with the hopes of ending the ongoing lockout, one aspect that hasn't been considered is the faction of league owners who aren't hard-liners. Among them, according to reports, is Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

That shouldn't be surprising, given that under Reinsdorf's leadership, the Bulls have been one of the most profitable franchises in the league. Of course, much of that is due to the impact of Michael Jordan, but after His Airness' (ironically, one of the aforementioned hard-line owners, reportedly) second of three retirements in 1998, the Bulls continued to rank among the NBA's leaders in attendance, even when they had some truly horrific squads.

In the nation's third-largest market, coming off a successful season and having the reigning league MVP and one of the NBA's brightest young stars, it's only logical that Reinsdorf would want a deal made as soon as possible. With Reinsdorf signing off and through the astute personnel moves made by executive vice president John Paxson, general manager Gar Forman and the rest of Chicago's front office, as well as recommendations of head coach Tom Thibodeau, assembled a cohesive, fiscally-responsible roster that's clearly built to contend for a title and equipped with enough youth, assets and flexibility to make adjustments down the road.

Why wouldn't Reinsdorf want to capitalize on that momentum?

Without knowing his net worth, just by owning the White Sox, it's clear that Reinsdorf has at least one other lucrative revenue stream. Therefore, it's unlikely that he's hurting as much as some of these small-market owners claim the NBA's current system has affected them.

Conversely, this is a man who also deals with baseball's more free-market economy and while the Sox's last World Series title was recent, Reinsdorf was at the helm when he bought a fairly downtrodden Bulls team (which coincided with Jordan's arrival), saw the organization become a dynasty, watched it go through another frustrating era and then stayed patient long enough to see it again grow into a league power.

In short, he might not say it -- due to NBA commissioner David Stern's gag order for owners during the lockout -- but no, it's not shocking at all to learn that "The Chairman" wants an end to this never-ending circus, even if his franchise will miss its annual November circus trip.

Bulls bring back Shaq Harrison on a one-year deal

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USA TODAY

Bulls bring back Shaq Harrison on a one-year deal

The Bulls' defense just got a whole lot better.

Just a few hours after signing free agent center Luke Kornet, the Bulls have brought back guard Shaq Harrison on a one-year deal.

Harrison's non-guaranteed deal had been waived earlier in the month to make room for Thaddeus Young's three-year, $41 million deal.

It's not an Earth-shattering move that will shift any championship odds in Vegas, but Harrison's return gives the Bulls an outstanding defender and a 25-year-old who spread his wings offensively toward the end of last season.

Harrison's defensive worth really can't be understated. He was statistically one of the best defensive guards in the NBA last season.

His offense is another story. He doesn't exactly have ball-handling capability and his shooting splits - .432/.270/.667 - were nothing to write home about. He averaged 6.5 points in 19.6 minutes.

But he also took on an increased role late in the season with the Bulls "resting" their top-tier players. Over the final 10 games of the season, averaging 30.8 minutes a night, Harrison averaged 12.8 points on 45.8% shooting, 35.3% from deep and even managed 2.2 assists.

He'll slot in somewhere behind Zach LaVine on the second unit, with he, Denzel Valentine, Coby White and Kris Dunn (for now) battling for minutes in the backcourt.

Additional moves could be coming for the Bulls, who could still easily waive Antonio Blakeney's contract or deal Dunn to get the Bulls to 15 contracts. Kornet and Harrison would give the Bulls 16 contracts.

Bulls Talk Podcast: Concerns and optimism for Bulls after offseason moves

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USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: Concerns and optimism for Bulls after offseason moves

On this edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski, Mark Strotman, and Matt Peck discuss NBA Summer League and Bulls odds to make the postseason.

0:45       Impressions of Bulls at Summer League and not overreacting

2:00       On concern over Coby White’s 3-point shooting

3:25       On the positive signs from White in Vegas

4:40       On the pushback that Ricky O’Donnell got from suggesting Arci may be ahead of White in the rotation

7:30       Did the Bulls have an underrated offseason?

9:45       How the biggest concern and reason for optimism is health

12:00    Why a deeper roster puts more pressure on Jim Boylen and his staff

16:10    Any chance of John Sabine trying out for the Windy City Bulls?

17:05    Our favorites in the wide open Western Conference and can the Lakers make it work?

21:55    Can the Bucks put it together and win the East next season?

25:10    Darkhorse team in either conference?

28:05    Is it too much to expect the Bulls to make the playoffs?

Bulls Talk Podcast

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