Should Deng play Sunday?


Should Deng play Sunday?

Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng is itching to get back on the court and has his eyes set on Sunday's much-anticipated rematch vs. the Miami Heat. Is this a smart move?

Deng suffered a torn ligament in his left wrist Saturday vs. the Bobcats and reports indicate that he wore a splint when he left the United Center Wednesday. CSNChicago's Aggrey Sam reported early Friday that Deng "shot a lot" during a voluntary workout session Thursday.

Just a few days ago it was reported that Deng was "week to week" and "out for awhile" according to Tom Thibodeau. That didn't last long...

There's no question as to why Deng has his eyes set on Sunday's game but should he risk further injury?

The Bulls need all the power they can get against Miami. Dwyane Wade could miss his seventh straight game Friday night vs. the Knicks but Miami doesn't seem to be too hurt by his absence. LeBron James helped fill the void making six straight free-throws and finished with 32 points Wednesday against Detroit. Chris Bosh is averaging 28.8 points in his last four games.

Deng is no doubt valuable. He is second on the team with 15. 9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He scored 22 points in his last appearance vs. Charlotte, 21 vs. Cleveland Jan. 20 and 15 vs. Phoenix Jan. 17. He averages 17.1 points per game on the road, 15.9 as a starter. He's had some time to rest which has proven beneficial when it comes to scoring as he averages 16.3 points after one day of rest, 16.5 on two days of rest and 21.0 points on three or more days of rest.

Injuries aren't something to mess around with but in the end, it's all up to the player's comfort level. Deng said Thursday, according to the Chicago Tribune, that he'll play through the pains to stay in the lineup.

Is it a smart idea for Deng to take the court Sunday? Will the game be worth the threat of worsening his condition?

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

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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