Bulls

Will NBA delaying start of camps affect fans?

Will NBA delaying start of camps affect fans?

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011Posted: 12:00 p.m.

By AggreySam
CSNChicago.com BullsInsider Follow@CSNBullsInsider
In the grand scheme of things, it might not seem like much. But the NBA's announcement that the start of training camps and opening slate of exhibition games are the latest casualties of the ongoing lockout should cement the reality of the increasingly dire situation.

We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

Unspoken was that after a nearly six-hour Thursday bargaining session in New York during which, by all accounts. no progress was made, pessimism reigns supreme in the lockout talks.

NBA players continue to trickle overseas, player-organized exhibition games continue to be held and plans for "lockout leagues" now move into October. If and when the work stoppage ends this fall, the legal process will take a few weeks to officially get the ball rolling again, leading to a likely abbreviated free-agency period (and the signing of draft picks) before training camps and the exhibition schedule commence.

For the Bulls, it means that an Oct. 10 home game against the Bobcats (yet another opportunity for former draft pick Tyrus Thomas to show Chicago what it's missing) and an Oct. 13 road matchup against the Central Division rival Pacers are scuttled. Bulls training camp at the Berto Center, which was scheduled to open Oct. 4, a key ingredient to the season, have been replaced by more individualized or informal group training, if not players seeking competition elsewhere.

But that's just on paper. If anybody can recall the last NBA lockout--in the 1998-99 season, when the NBA slate was cut to just 50 games--the ramifications of even minimal time lost will be reflected in sloppy play, as teams and players struggle to find their groove.

Coming off a banner year that saw the league's popularity rise with ascendance of young players like reigning MVP Derrick Rose and scoring champion Kevin Durant, it's possible that casual fans will be reluctant to embrace the NBA quickly if there's an extended absence.

How do you feel about the NBA delaying the start of training camps and preseason games? If the lockout causes regular-season games to be missed, will it affect how you feel about the league or are you willing to wait it out?

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

2018-19 NBA Power Rankings: Opening Week edition

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USA TODAY

2018-19 NBA Power Rankings: Opening Week edition

The theme of the 2018-19 NBA season will be: “old faces in new places”. Like a season-long game of the NBA on TNT crew’s “Who he play for?” game, this year will be about fans trying to get used to the idea of LeBron James in purple (I won’t call it ‘Forum Blue’)-and-gold, DeMarcus Cousins being on a championship-contending franchise and Kawhi Leonard being the new face of Toronto.

The Warriors are still the easy favorite to make it four NBA championships in five years, but they will be tested perhaps more than any year before in a loaded Western Conference, where even the lowliest of teams (here’s to you Phoenix and Memphis!) made solid offseason moves geared towards winning games.

Over in the now-LeBron-less East, there is hope amongst at least four-to-five teams that they could actually have a shot to win the conference. The Pacers still have budding superstar Victor Oladipo, the Sixers still have Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and the Raptors and Bucks made head coaching changes that could lead to deep playoff runs. But with the rest of the Eastern conference being stuck between lottery contention and middle of the pack, expect the half-experienced, half-youthful Celtics to takeover as East juggernaut.

But whether or not your favorite franchise is aiming for a high draft pick or a postseason berth, there is tons to be excited in a 2018-19 NBA season that will surely be an intriguing one. Check out Week 1 of our NBA Power Rankings right here.

Deadline passes as Bulls, Bobby Portis fail to reach agreement on contract extension

Deadline passes as Bulls, Bobby Portis fail to reach agreement on contract extension

The Bulls and Bobby Portis were unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension by today’s deadline, which will make the power forward a restricted free agent next offseason.

According to The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson, Portis’ agent Mark Bartelstein and Gar Forman had “lengthy face-to-face negotiations” on Monday prior to the deadline. The two sides weren’t able to come to an agreement.

The negotiations – and lack of a deal – come after a summer and training camp in which Portis continued to show progression. After beginning the preseason coming off the bench Portis quickly played his way into the starting lineup alongside rookie Wendell Carter Jr. Portis finished five preseason games averaging 17.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals in just 22.4 minutes.

Portis, the 22nd pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, has seen his role increase each of his three seasons. He made a jump last season in Year 3, averaging 13.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in 22.5 minutes. He was one of three players, including DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Love, to average 21 points, 10 rebounds and 1.5 3-pointers per 36 minutes.

Though the Bulls certainly had the room to sign Portis to an extension, there were obvious reasons on both sides to wait on a deal. For starters, the Bulls will still be able to match any deal Portis receives in free agency next July, much like what happened with Zach LaVine and the Sacramento Kings. The Bulls maintain their abundance of cap space for the 2019 offseason, when they’ll be able to offer a max contract to the top-tier free agents, and they get to see if Portis makes another jump.

For Portis, it’s a case of him betting on himself. If the Bulls came in with a number he wasn’t satisfied with – to help keep their max cap space – he now finds himself on a contract year playing for his next contract. Still only 23 years old, Portis should cash in in July.

Two players from Portis’ draft class were able to cash in. Pacers center Myles Turner signed a reported four-year, $80 million extension and Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. agreed to a four-year, $45 million deal. Portis likely would have fallen somewhere in between those two deals had an agreement occurred.

The Bulls are hardly in an easy situation with Portis. Though they value the versatile power forward, Lauri Markkanen is entrenched at the position for the foreseeable future and the team just spent last year’s No. 7 overall pick on center Wendell Carter Jr. Portis realistically is stuck behind both those players, though he certainly has starting level NBA talent.