Bulls

Teague's deal could signal end of Bulls' offseason moves

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Teague's deal could signal end of Bulls' offseason moves

Marquis Teague, the Bulls' first-round draft pick, has agreed to terms with the organization, as first reported by the Chicago Tribune.

Teague, a point guard from the University of Kentucky, was the last first-round selection in the 2012 NBA Draft to sign his contract, but more significantly, the Indianapolis native will receive 100 percent of his 857,000 rookie-scale deal in his first season, as opposed to the 120 percent typical of most rookie contracts.

As first reported by ShamSports.com, Teague's deal was likely delayed due to the Bulls' desire to stay under the NBA's "hard" salary cap.

However, even with Teague, the younger brother of Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, taking less money in his first year -- he will receive 120 percent of his salary in the final two seasons of his rookie contract -- the Bulls will not be able to sign even another minimum-salary veteran player without exceeding the hard cap.

The Bulls, who will pay the league's luxury tax for the first time in the organization's history, now have 13 players under contract after acquiring free agents Kirk Hinrich, Marco Belinelli, Nate Robinson, Vladimir Radmanovic and Chicago native Nazr Mohammed. Teague's signing likely signifies the end of the team's offseason transactions.

While the likes of summer-league revelation Malcolm Thomas (offered a partially-guaranteed deal, according to a source, but will likely opt to play overseas), mini-camp participant and Chicago native Patrick Beverley (recently worked out for the Lakers), former All-Star Tracy McGrady and former Sacramento Kings forward Donte Greene have all been rumored to be potential additions to the roster, the front office will probably choose to stand pat, save a possible training-camp invitation or two.

After the decimation of the majority of the "Bench Mob," the Bulls' popular second unit -- backup point guard C.J. Watson and reserve swingman Ronnie Brewer were waived, then subsequently signed with Brooklyn and New York, respectively; sharpshooter Kyle Korver was traded to Atlanta; diminutive fan favorite John Lucas III joined Toronto -- and adding the aforementioned low-profile free agents, the Bulls' summer has been widely regarded as disappointing by observers.

With superstar Derrick Rose on the shelf to begin the season, expectations are low heading into the regular season, but the franchise still has work to do. The Bulls intend to sign backup power forward Taj Gibson to a long-term contract extension before the season begins, as he will surely generate much interest if he hits the market as a restricted free agent next summer.

Meanwhile, the matter of Tom Thibodeau's own deal -- the head coach is in the final year of his contract after his team option was picked up earlier in the offseason -- looms.

Our first look at the full NBA 2K20 roster models for the 2019-20 Bulls

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USA TODAY

Our first look at the full NBA 2K20 roster models for the 2019-20 Bulls

The release date of NBA 2K20 is near and as the September 6 release date gets closer, Bulls fans are finally getting a look at the full roster in video game form. 

Among the things that stand out in the video from Sports & Gaming Journalist Brian Mazique, the things that stood out the most was the new Zenni patch on the Bulls uniforms, which now has a light blue background to make the patch stand out a bit more. 

We had already seen how 2019 rookies Coby White and Daniel Gafford look but Thursday represented our first look at players like new Bulls Thaddeus Young, Tomas Satoransky and the longest-tenured Bull, Brazilian big man Cristiano Felicio.

Young currently sports a short-haircut after having more an afro in the 2019 season, so only time will tell if 2K will update his look before the season kicks off on October 22. 

Also fully visible in the video are the overall 2K ratings of all players on the team including Satoransky (75), Young (79), Wendell Carter Jr. (78), Otto Porter (80), Lauri Markkanen (83) and Zach LaVine (85).

Based off of what we see in the video, NBA fans can expect to see the Bulls simulate pretty well in NBA 2K20 as the roster's veteran talent will provide some balance as the young core develops, much like what the Bulls front office is hoping for in real life. 

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Lauri Markkanen makes the top 35 NBCsport's 50 best players in 5 years

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USA TODAY

Lauri Markkanen makes the top 35 NBCsport's 50 best players in 5 years

Over the summer the NBA team over at NBC Sports undertook a fun project in which they ranked the top 50 talents in the NBA in 2024. 

NBCSports.com's 50 best players in 5 years list is an interesting snapshot into the future of the league. Writers included Dan FeldmanTom HaberstrohRob DausterTommy BeerSteve Alexander, and Kurt Helin

While it is was fun to see where aging versions of Steph Curry (36 in 2024) and Klay Thomspon (34 in 2024) rank, the most interesting names on the list were the young talents who are projected to stars in the near future. Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen made the top 35, coming in at No. 34 on the list.

In the 2024 season, Markkanen will be 27 years old and theoretically, smack dab in the middle of his prime.

Coming into the 2019-20 season, 'The Finnisher' is on quite a roll. In his age-21 season, he averaged 20.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per 36 minutes and posted a career-best 55.3 true shooting percentage. 

The Bulls will need to Markkanen to step up his effort in terms of defense and rebounding, with the absence of Robin Lopez putting more stress on the frontcourt to pick up the slack in that department. Kurt Hellin acknowledged that if he can focus on consistency and commitment to D, the sky is truly the limit for Markkanen. 

The question is, can he [Markkanen] reach that ceiling consistently? He’s only 22, but he has yet to come anywhere near that.....If Markkanen can become a more consistent offensive force and better on the defensive end — he’s not a bad defender, he’s okay, but with his length and athleticism he should be a better rim protector — he can take over the role as the alpha on the Bulls

See the rest of NBCSports.com's 50 best players in 5 years list below:

Players 50-46

Players 45-41

Players 40-36

Players 35-31