What would be the best 3-on-3 squad for the new Olympic sport?

What would be the best 3-on-3 squad for the new Olympic sport?

The Olympics have a number of sports come and go over the decades. Another new one has sparked some excitement among basketball fans.

Coming to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo is 3-on-3 basketball. It's unclear what type of players will be competing in this, but the combinations have basketball fans salivating.

On In The Loop, Mark Schanowski and Nick Friedell (ESPN) gave their picks for the best 3-on-3 teams among current NBA players and a selection from the 1992 Dream Team. Watch the video above to see the full discussion.

Friedell's active players:

"If it's me, 3-on-3 right now with the guys in the league I'm going with Kevin Durant, LeBron (James) and Kawhi (Leonard) and I'm saying gonna say good luck scoring, for anybody. Because I know they can get going offensively but defensively, LeBron and Kawhi, and give you whatever Durant can give you I think that will top anybody."

Schanowski's active players:

"If we're going with current players I would love to see Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant back together again. They wouldn't pass to each other, but it would be crazy to watch. My third would be Steph Curry, who might be the best shooter we've ever seen."

Friedell's Dream Team players:

"I'll go with Michael, Scottie and Karl Malone just in case somebody wants to knock somebody over and give even more physicality to it. But I mean Michael and Scottie could beat a lot of those countries I feel like 2-on-3 with how dominant they are on both ends."

Schanowski's Dream Team players:

"Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were past their prime. You had Patrick Ewing and David Robinson as centers so I'm not sure they'd really fit in the 3-on-3 format. I think what I would do is go with Jordan, Pippen and Clyde Drexler, who could switch on everything. You don't really have a great shooter. The best shooter on the Dream Team might have been Chris Mullin. He didn't play many minutes in that. You think about Charles Barkley, a great offensive player who was dominant in the Olympics. He's not going to guard anybody so I don't want him in 3-on-3."

Report: Bulls sign former Arizona Wildcat Rawle Alkins to two-way contract


Report: Bulls sign former Arizona Wildcat Rawle Alkins to two-way contract

A report on Sunday from Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports indicated that the Bulls have agreed to a two-way contract with former Arizona Wildcat Rawle Alkins. 

The 6'5'' guard was a teammate of Lauri Markkanen on the 2017 Wildcats, and many expected him to be a potential lottery pick after showing off the all-around skill set that also made him the top player in the state of New York in high school.

After going undrafted, Alkins played for the Toronto Raptors Summer League team, where he put up 9 points, 4.67 rebounds and 2 assists per game. In the six Las Vegas Summer League games he played in, Alkins shot poor from the field (37 percent) and the free throw line (62.5 percent), but he knocked down his 3-pointers, shooting 43.9 percent on a healthy 3.5 attempts from deep per game. 

There is an obvious fit on the Bulls for a player like Alkins.

He was a career 36.5 percent 3-point shooter in his two college seasons, and has the physical profile of a great wing defender at the NBA-level. Alkins has a 6'9'' wingspan, and at a listed 220 lbs., it is easy to see him having the potential to guard four-to-five different positions on the floor. At this stage of the rebuild, the Bulls could really use as many of the coveted "3-and-D" wings as they can get. And there are some, like, The Ringer's Chris Vernon, who think that Alkins has the potential to become a glue guy.

Alkins will be a fan favorite wherever he plays. You want a Marcus Smart, Tony Allen, or P.J. Tucker–type player when you need a big play in a big game. I see that with Alkins.

-Chris Vernon 

The nature of the two-way contract means that Bulls fans will have to catch Windy City Bulls games to see Alkins in action. But much like Antonio Blakeney last season, we could see Alkins make an instant impact in the G League and get a call-up sooner than later, especially if the Bulls decide to move on from veteran Justin Holiday.

Either way, the pick up is a shrewd move by the Bulls front office. Alkins is a well-rounded, defense-first player who will be joining a young roster overstocked with scoring talent, but thin on defenders capable of guarding on the perimeter or executing a switching defense at a high level.

Jabari Parker and Tyler Ulis shine at open run in Chicago


Jabari Parker and Tyler Ulis shine at open run in Chicago

Jabari Parker is looking forward to what will surely be an intriguing season for he and the Chicago Bulls.

Parker signed a two-year, $40 million contract, that essentially acts as a tryout for the Bulls. The second year of the contract is a team option, meaning should things not go well, the organization can cut ties with him. But after 183 career games with the Bucks over four seasons, it was clear that Parker was in need of a fresh start. In Chicago, he will slide in as the day one starting small forward, and is already paid like a player who is definitely appreciated by his organization.

But with all of the off the court stuff taken care of for now, Parker's main focus is getting in to the best shape of his life, as he prepares for a full season as a wing player. 

Part of Parker's preparation was a great pickup game in downtown Chicago organized by the Chicago Basketball Club.

For Bulls fans itching to get a look at Parker on the court, the video shows off some flashy passing ability, impressive handles and a flurry of pull-up jumpers from the 23-year old forward. He also finishes well in transition in the video, though that is to be taken with a grain of salt as Parker was easily the biggest player on the court. 

Other players in the pickup game included former Simeon teammate of Parker's, Kendrick Nunn; and NBA free agent and former Marion Catholic star Tyler Ulis (a possible Bulls target?). If Parker looks as dynamic against NBA competition as he did in the pickup game below, the Bulls are going to have one of the more valuable contracts in the league in 2020, and would be likely to lock up Parker to a long-term deal.