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CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

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CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins & Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (13-0)

Results: Defeated Miller Grove (GA) 59-56

This Week: Wednesday at Brooks, Friday vs. Morgan Park

Hoops Talk: The Wolverines dealt with business out of state. Now the scene shifts back to the Red-South where long-time rival Morgan Park awaits.
2 Proviso East (13-0)

Results: Defeated Morton 87-51 and Batavia 90-44

This Week: Friday vs. Willowbrook

Hoops Talk: The Pirates have a multitude of offensive weapons but take note of their defense. They forced 33 turnovers against Batavia Saturday night.

3 Curie (12-1)

Results: Defeated Muskegon Heights (MI) 70-58

This Week: Tuesday at King, Wednesday at Kenwood

Hoops Talk: Another dominant performance for Cliff Alexander (20 points, 16 rebounds). Devin Foster added 17 in Saturdays victory.

4 Warren (10-2)

Results: No games played this week (Fridays game vs. Zion-Benton was postponed)

This Week: Friday vs. Libertyville, Saturday vs. Lakes

Hoops Talk: Solid season thus far for the North Suburban Lake conferenceWarren, Mundelein, Stevenson, Libertyville and Lake Zurich all have at least 10 wins.

5 Andrew (10-0)

Results: Defeated Lincoln-Way North 42-35

This Week: Tuesday at Lincoln-Way East, Friday vs. Thornridge

Hoops Talk: Jubril Adekoya was huge down the stretch against the Phoenix, ending with a game-high 17. A 12-3 run in the second half proved to be the difference.

6 Plainfield East (12-0)

Results: Defeated Plainfield North 60-55

This Week: Friday vs. Romeoville

Hoops Talk: Dee Brown had 25 points for the Bengals, but they needed Brian Bennetts free throws in the final seconds to ice the game against North.
7 Elgin (13-1)
Results: Defeated Batavia 49-43

This Week: Wednesday vs. Larkin, Friday vs. Streamwood

Hoops Talk: Kory Brown needs two more points to reach a career total of 1,000.
8 Bogan (12-1)

Results: Defeated Bloom 76-64

This Week: Wednesday at Corliss, Friday vs. Brooks

Hoops Talk: Huge win for the Bogan program Saturday night against a ranked Bloom team, with Kendall Wesley scoring 18 of his 22 points in the fourth.
9 De La Salle (11-2)

Results: Defeated Fenwick 57-35

This Week: Tuesday at Brooks, Friday at Gordon Tech

Hoops Talk: The Meteors bounce back from the loss to St. Ignatius, as Alvin Ellis (19 points) and Gavin Schilling (14 points, 9 rebounds) lead the way.
10 Metea Valley (14-0)

Results: Defeated Lake Park 61-45

This Week: Wednesday at Waubonsie Valley, Saturday vs. St. Charles North

Hoops Talk: Sean Davis provided the spark in the third quarter against L-P, scoring six points with three steals. Statement game upcoming at Waubonsie?
11 Downers Grove South (10-2)

Results: No games played last week.

This Week: Monday vs. Fremd, Friday at Leyden, Saturday at Glenbard North

Hoops Talk: Busy week for the Mustangs, who need to keep pace with Proviso East in the West Suburban Gold.

12 New Trier (13-2)

Results: Defeated Evanston 58-48

This Week: Thursday vs. Maine South

Hoops Talk: Dartmouth-bound forward Connor Boehm was huge in a huge rivalry game. The 6-7 senior finished with 26 points and kept the Wildkits at bay.

13 Huntley (12-1)

Results: Defeated Crystal Lake Central 56-35 and McHenry 55-36.

This Week: Tuesday at Crystal Lake South, Friday vs. Prairie Ridge

Hoops Talk: The Red Raiders were impressive on the boards against C-L Central. They had a 32-14 advantage. Center Amanze Egekeze had a double-double.
14 Bloom (13-2)

Results: Lost to Rich South 47-46 and Bogan 76-64

This Week: Friday vs. Crete-Monee

Hoops Talk: Rough week for the Blazing Trojans, but Donald Moore continues to shine. He scored 19 points against Bogan.

15 Hillcrest (12-3)

Results: Defeated Evergreen Park 58-40 and Thornton 68-53

This Week: Wednesday vs. Eisenhower

Hoops Talk: Jovan Mooring ignited a 12-0 run in the second quarter against Thornton to hold off the Wildcats in Harvey. He finished with 25 points.

16 Whitney Young (6-5)

Results: Lost to Wheeling Jesuit University 55-44

This Week: Wednesday vs. Raby, Friday @ Farragut

Hoops Talk: Sophomore center Jahlil Okafor and company return to ChicagolandRed-West competition. Fridays battle against the Admirals will be intriguing.

17 St. Rita (7-5)

Results: Defeated St. Ignatius 50-42

This Week: Tournament of Champions, Springfield MO

Hoops Talk: Senior guard Tony Hicks put the Mustangs on his back in the second half against Ignatius, where he scored 15 of his 22 points.

18 St. Ignatius (11-2)

Results: Lost to St. Rita 50-42

This Week: Friday vs. St. Joseph, Sunday vs. Farragut (MLK Shootout)

Hoops Talk: Brian Howard scored 12 points Friday night against St. Rita, but could not contain Tony Hicks down the stretch.

19 Crane (8-3)

Results: No games played this week.

This Week: Wednesday vs. Westinghouse, Friday at Marshall

Hoops Talk: Marshall, Farragut, Young and the Willie Conner-led Cougars figure to all be in the running for the Red-West title chase.
20 Rich South (14-4)

Results: Defeated Bloom 47-46

This Week: Friday vs. Rich East

Hoops Talk: A dramatic victory over Bloom gives the Stars their first taste of the Top 20. Marquell Smalls buzzer-beating layup was the difference.

Looming & Lurking: Seton, Marshall, Dunbar, Harlan, Notre Dame, Waubonsie Valley, Naperville North, West Aurora, Glenbrook North, Farragut, Foreman, Herscher, St. Viator, Homewood-Flossmoor, Mundelein.

ICYMI: Craig Kimbrel's next steps; White Sox reportedly promoting Zack Collins; Six thoughts on Olli Maatta

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USA TODAY

ICYMI: Craig Kimbrel's next steps; White Sox reportedly promoting Zack Collins; Six thoughts on Olli Maatta

The Cubs mapped out the next steps for closer Craig Kimbrel, the White Sox are reportedly promoting Zack Collins from Triple-A and how does the Anthony Davis trade affect the Bulls? Here's what you may have missed from the weekend in Chicago sports:

Cubs

Craig Kimbrel will officially join Triple-A Iowa this week, the latest development in his buildup towards joining the Cubs' 25-man roster.

A small change in interactions with his teammates has paid huge dividends for Kyle Hendricks. However, Hendricks landed on the 10-day injured list Saturday due to shoulder inflammation.

The Cubs wrapped up another tough road trip, finishing 2-5 against the Rockies and Dodgers this week. They did pick up a huge victory on Saturday behind Yu Darvish, however.

Brandon Kintzler joined Kelly Crull on the latest Cubs Talk Podcast to discuss his ongoing prank war with Steve Cishek, his growing role as a leader and mentor inside the clubhouse and more.

White Sox

According to a report, the White Sox are promoting top catching prospect Zack Collins from Triple-A Charlotte, adding another piece to their rebuilding puzzle.

The Eloy Jimenez Show is headed to the North Side this week, as the first act of the Crosstown Classic commences at Wrigley Field. In Jimenez and Lucas Giolito, the faces of the White Sox franchise might just be emerging. Jimenez even got a rave review from Yankees All-Star Gleyber Torres.

Although the White Sox are on the rise, learning to win also means the team has to learn how to lose.

Yoan Moncada's ongoing back issues continued this weekend.

Blackhawks

The Blackhawks acquired defenseman Olli Maatta from the Penguins for forward Dominik Kahun. Here are six thoughts on the deal and what's next for the Blackhawks.

NBC Sports Chicago's Blackhawks beat writer Charlie Roumeliotis answers fan questions in the latest Blackhawks mailbag.

Roumeliotis discusses how Matthew Boldy and Kaapo Kakko would fit with the Blackhawks in his latest NHL Draft profiles.

Other

The Bulls weren't part of the Anthony Davis trade to the Lakers, but the deal could have an effect on the NBA Draft. And while the Bulls don't currently have salary cap space to sign a max player, here's how they can make room for one.

The Bears are on summer break for the next five weeks. Here's what they'll be up to.

How the Bulls can land a max-salary free agent

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USA TODAY

How the Bulls can land a max-salary free agent

The Bulls will enter free agency with approximately $20 million in cap space. That’s far short of the amount needed to sign a max-salary player, but there is a path for the team to land a star — if one chooses to play in Chicago. With rumors out of Brooklyn that D’Angelo Russell would be on his way out if the Nets sign Kyrie Irving, coupled with the uncertain futures of both Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, Bulls fans are wondering “what if.” I’ll let much wiser people debate if the Bulls should extend an offer to any of these players; I’ll outline how it could happen.

In terms of this discussion, it’s very important to note that not all free agents are eligible for the same max salary. The league has three tiers of max free agents, broken up by years of service. Players with 0-6 years of service are in one tier, 7-9 years in another, and 10+ years of service in the last.

Players in the more experienced tiers can get a much larger contract over players coming off their rookie contracts. The wonderful Larry Coon explains this in detail in his CBA FAQ. The exact 2019-20 salary cap will be announced at the end of the month. It’s currently projected at $109 million, and for this scenario, we use that number. Essentially, tier 1 players can get 25 percent of the cap, tier 2 30 percent and players with 10+ years of experience can get 35 percent of a team’s cap.

Russell would fall into the 0-6 years tier, earning him a first year salary (the one that matters in terms of cap space) of approximately $27.2 million. Klay Thompson has eight seasons of experience and is eligible for a first-year salary of about $32.7 million. His teammate Kevin Durant can sign a max deal starting at $38 million.

Step 1- Get medical waiver on Omer Asik’s $3 million cap hit.

The Bulls will find out by June 30 if the league approves their waiver request on Asik. The former Bulls big has a $3 million cap hit of guaranteed money on the books for the 2019-20 season. The team waived Asik back in October and it looks like his NBA career may be over after dealing with arthritis and Crohn’s Disease. The NBA is likely to approve the Bulls request, and they’ll get that money back in cap space for free agency.

Step 2- Waive and stretch Cristiano Felicio

The league allows teams to waive players and stretch their contracts over several years to lessen the immediate cap hit a team takes. Felicio is owed approximately $15.7 million over the next two seasons. The stretch provision means teams can spread out the cap hit of a waived player twice the years remaining on the deal, plus one. This translates to a cap hit of approximately $3.1 million over the next fives years instead of the amount he’s owed. This means the Bulls would gain an additional $5 million in cap space this summer.

Accomplishing steps 1 and 2 will clear enough cap space for the Bulls to sign a 0-6 year free agent, so if Russell wants to play for the Bulls and the front office feels he’d be a good fit, it would only take these two steps to sign him. It gets more complicated for the more experienced free agents.

Step 3- Trade Kris Dunn for a 2nd round pick.

Dunn is owed $5.3 million for the 2019-20 season. Trading him for a second round pick would net the Bulls a cap saving of $4.4 million. The reason the Bulls don’t get to keep the full amount is that teams have to account for a roster spot against the cap when they go below 12 players. Trading Dunn would get them into the 7-9 years tier and allow them to sign Klay Thompson (or any of the other free agents at that tier).

Step 4A- Trade out of the first round of the 2019 draft

Here is where it gets a lot more difficult for the Bulls if they want to sign a 10+ year free agent. They have to clear about $5 million more in cap space. Let’s safely assume they aren’t going to trade Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen or Wendell Carter for pennies on the dollar just to clear cap space. Otto Porter’s contract makes him a very unlikely trade candidate as well. Trading the No. 7 pick for a future first nets them another $4.4 million, close enough to get to that max slot with other small moves.

The major flaw with this is the draft is June 20 and free agency starts 10 days later. You’re not going to get a commitment from any superstar worth this amount until June 30, so essentially this option is off the table.

Step 4B- Trade Denzel Valentine and Chandler Hutchison for second round picks

This option is a lot more likely if the Bulls can sign a superstar in the 10+ years tier. Hutchison showed promise in his rookie season, and despite missing all of last season, Valentine should be able to get you something (especially if packaged with Hutchison). I doubt the team wants to punt on Hutchison after one season, but they'd have to, if this was the only thing in the way of signing a franchise changing star.

If you want to dream for the Bulls, our friends at NBC Sports Boston put together a list of the top free agents available. The likelihood is that the Bulls will use their cap space to sign a few veteran free agents to give them some much needed depth, but should they dream big, there is a path to be in play for a star.

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