Bulls

Sources: Bulls will either trade or waive point guard Rajon Rondo

Sources: Bulls will either trade or waive point guard Rajon Rondo

The Rajon Rondo era in Chicago is coming to an end. Multiple sources told CSN Insider Vincent Goodwill that the Bulls will either trade or release last year's starting point guard prior to the start of free agency on Friday night.

The Bulls currently hold a team option to use on Rondo that would pay him $13.4 million next season. Waiving Rondo would cost the team $3 million. Another team looking to free up cap space could conceivably trade for Rondo and then waive him, although it seems unlikely that happens before free agency starts at 11:01 p.m.

Rondo was a surprising addition last year to a Bulls team that was trying to get "younger and more athletic," as general manager Gar Forman told the media after trading Derrick Rose.

Rondo, 30, had just completed a 2015-16 campaign with the Kings in which he led the NBA in assists per game (11.7) and shot a career-best 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. But question marks surrounding his defense and chemistry issues with head coaches - he played for three teams in as many seasons before joining the Bulls - remained.

Rondo was benched in January after a particularly poor stretch in December, although injuries thrust him back into the starting lineup after a five-game DNP streak. He clashed with stars Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade through an Instagram post, questioning their leadership, in February. He ended the regular season on a tear, averaging 10.8 points and 7.1 assists in 21 games after the All-Star break. He shot 46 percent from deep, 47 percent from the field and had the Bulls playing some of their best basketball during that stretch.

That play continued into the playoffs when Rondo shocked the top-seeded Celtics, averaging 11.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 10.0 assists in a pair of wins in Boston. But Rondo suffered a broken thumb in practice and missed the rest of the series, with the Celtics ultimately winning in six games.

Gar Forman and John Paxson told the media at the end of the year they expected to bring Rondo back, but that was  before they decided on draft night to deal Jimmy Butler and begin the rebuilding process. That traded netted them 23-year-old Kris Dunn and shooting guard Zach LaVine, and the team already has Cameron Payne and Jerian Grant at the position.

Dwyane Wade apologizes for tweet supporting Nick Cannon

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USA Today

Dwyane Wade apologizes for tweet supporting Nick Cannon

Dwyane Wade came under fire on Twitter on Wednesday for supporting Nick Cannon, who was recently fired by ViacomCBS for anti-Semitic comments he made on his podcast.

Wade has since deleted his tweet and clarified.

Here is a screenshot of the original tweet:

Cannon’s anti-Semitic remarks were made on his podcast with guest Professor Griff, a former member of Public Enemy. Griff was fired from Public Enemy after saying Jews were responsible for “the majority of wickedness that goes on across the globe,” according to Rolling Stone.

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In the podcast, Cannon supports Griff and asserts that Black people are true Hebrews and that Jews have usurped their identity, according to the Associated Press.

In addition to other anti-Semitic comments, Cannon reportedly said, “I find myself wanting to debate this idea and it gets real wishy and washy and unclear for me when we give so much power to the ‘theys,’ and ‘theys’ then turn into illuminati, the Zionists, the Rothchilds.” The Rothchilds are a popular scapegoat for anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists.

Cannon has since apologized as well, saying “I have spoken with many Rabbis, clergy, Professors and coworkers who offer their sincere help. I must apologize to my Jewish Brothers and Sisters for putting them in such a painful position, which was never my intention, but I know this whole situation has hurt many people and together we will make it right.

“I have dedicated my daily efforts to continuing conversations to bring the Jewish Community and the African American community closer together, embracing our differences and sharing our commonalities.”


RELATED: Why Jimmy Butler wants to play without name or social justice message on jersey

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Tomas Satoransky's key to finding footing with Bulls after adverse 2019-20

Tomas Satoransky's key to finding footing with Bulls after adverse 2019-20

NBC Sports Chicago is breaking down the 15 full-time players on the Bulls' roster. Next up is Tomas Satoransky.

Past: Zach LaVine | Coby White

2019-20 Stats

9.9 PPG, 5.4 APG, 3.9 RPG | 43% FG, 32.2% 3P, 87.6% FT | 16.5% USG

Contract Breakdown

Age: 28

July 2019: Signed 3-year, $30 million contract (partial guarantee on third season)

2020-21: $10,000,000 | 2021-22: $10,000,000* 

*$5,000,000 guaranteed, fully guaranteed on June 30, 2021

(via Spotrac)

Strengths

Satoransky is always available and a wonderful team player — he and Coby White were the only Bulls to appear in all 65 of the team’s games, and Sato led the Bulls in assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.72) in 2019-20. His advanced feel for the game and willingness to jabber on the floor make him an effective traffic director, and his 6-foot-7 build allows him to see over the tops of defenses to find teammates.

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When he’s “on” offensively, that translates into an effective drive-and-kick game, and his track record is one of an good spot-up shooter. He’s a veteran, solid team defender and one of the more congenial guys on the team. Not a break-down-the-defense player, which factored into him having a limited impact on the Bulls' offense this season, but a capable glue guy on the floor and off it.

Areas to Improve

Though Satoransky posted career-high counting stats across the board in his first season as an NBA starter, his inaugural campaign with the Bulls didn’t live up to his or the team’s expectations after his signing was widely lauded in the 2019 offseason. The highs were high, but they were too few and far between by season's end. White usurped him in the starting lineup in the Bulls' final game before the hiatus, via a combination of the rookie’s torrid play and Satoransky’s uneven production. In line with his character, Satoransky handled the demotion with grace.

The quickest way for Sato to right the ship is to bounce back in the shooting department. A huge part of his sell as a free agent signing was his ability to complement Zach LaVine in the starting backcourt as a facilitator and off-ball scoring threat. The former panned out at times, the latter not as much. Satoransky entered 2019-20 a 44.5% catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter (1.5 attempts per game) in his past two seasons. In 2019-20: 32.9% on 2.6 attempts per, and he made just 26.8% of all of his long-range looks from December on. 

The good news: He’s reportedly working with renowned shooting coach Stefan Weissenböck this offseason, who Satoransky has credited with drastic improvements to his jumper in the past — chiefly, a leap from 24.3% to 46.3% from deep between his first and second NBA seasons. Him finding his footing there could unlock a lot for his game and the Bulls offense, even if he’s relegated to a reserve role moving forward.

Ceiling Projection

Satoransky would be an integral role player on most any team in the league. He’s not the Bulls’ point guard of the long- or short-term future — that slot is best reserved for White or their impending top-10 draftee. But as, say, a seventh man, he can be useful for a young team in need of a steady hand at the controls for spurts. And his $10 million salary for next season, plus a partial guarantee for 2021-22, isn’t overly-debilitating to the Bulls' books. We’ll call his ceiling a top-five reserve lead guard in the NBA, and a capable spot starter.

Whether he sticks in Chicago depends on the new front office regime's impression of his game, and draft fates.

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