Bulls

Latest on Hines Ward's future in Pittsburgh

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Latest on Hines Ward's future in Pittsburgh

From Comcast SportsNet
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't ready to part ways with Hines Ward just yet. General manager Kevin Colbert said Monday the team has had "internal discussions" on what to do with the franchise's all-time leading receiver, but no decision has been made. NFL.com reported last week the Steelers were planning to release the 35-year-old Ward, who took on a diminished role last season behind Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. Ward posted on his Facebook page Saturday that he's willing to restructure his contract in hopes of finishing his career with Pittsburgh. Ward has two years remaining on his current deal at a cost of about 4 million a season. The 14-year veteran became the eighth player in NFL history to reach 1,000 career receptions last season. Cornerback Ike Taylor and linebackers Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley have agreed to restructure their contracts in hopes of getting under the salary cap. Colbert said the team is in the middle of making free agent evaluations and won't make any move on Ward until that process is complete. "That will give us an idea about what else is out there, where we stand with restructuring contracts and what we will have to do as far as possibly terminating people, both immediately and after the fact if we decide we want to add some players (in free agency)," Colbert said. Ward is coming off a season in which he finished with 46 receptions for 381 yards and two touchdowns, his lowest totals in each category since he was a rookie in 1998. The 2006 Super Bowl MVP -- who also won "Dancing With the Stars" last spring -- is one of only two receivers in league history to reach 1,000 receptions and win at least two Super Bowls. Colbert also said Monday injured running back Rashard Mendenhall likely will start the 2012 season on the physically unable to perform list while he continues to rehab the torn ACL in his right knee from the regular-season finale against Cleveland.

Would Wendell Carter Jr. be picked higher if the NBA Draft was today?

Would Wendell Carter Jr. be picked higher if the NBA Draft was today?

According to Bleacher Report, Wendell Carter Jr. would be taken fourth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies if the NBA were to redraft this year’s class based off of Summer League performances.

It may sound like a crazy concept (and it is), but Carter Jr. averaged the second most points, 14.6, through five July games in Las Vegas. He also averaged 9.4 rebounds and shot 55 percent from the field while averaging 28.8 minutes in his glamorous first-stint with Chicago. Those numbers are even more striking if you consider Carter Jr.’s 42.9 percent shooting from behind the three-point line.

Carter Jr., the real seventh overall pick of this year’s NBA Draft, looked like the all-around player the Bulls were hoping to get this offseason. He made his blocking abilities as a center known from the moment he stepped on the court in Summer League.

In their re-draft, Bleacher Report had Chicago using the No. 7 pick on the New York Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson, who was actually taken 36th overall in last month’s Draft.

Robinson, a center, averaged 13 points and 24.8 minutes per game over five Summer League contests. He was the best rebounder on his team with an average of 10.2 in the five games that the Knicks played.

The 20-year-old took the second most shots on the Knicks and had the highest field goal percentage at 67 percent, but Robinson did not have any three-point attempts.  What made his recent production seem even more surprising was the fact that the 7'1'' big man did not play a single minute of college basketball.

But would Robinson fit in the Bulls’ system?

Chicago has taken on an offensie-first mentality, so Robinson would not be as great of a fit in the Bulls lineup as Carter Jr., but he would still be an impact player. He can be compared to the Bulls’ current center Robin Lopez, who averaged a similar amount of points per game (11.8 points in 26.4 minutes) last season as Robinson’s Summer League average (13 points in 24.8 minutes). And like Lopez, Robinson would be most effecive around the basket and in the pick-and-roll.

Robinson would also have to learn the defensive concepts that a veteran like Lopez has mastered over his 10-year career.

Next season, the Bulls will have an exciting scoring trio of Jabari Parker, Lauri Markkanen and Carter Jr. in the frontcourt. And the fact that Carter Jr. is getting so much love in the national spotlight is yet another reason for Bulls  fans to be excited about this upcoming season.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: What else can the Blackhawks do this summer?

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: What else can the Blackhawks do this summer?

On the latest edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast, Charlie Roumeliotis is joined by Scott Powers of The Athletic to discuss Stan Bowman's comments following the Marian Hossa trade and debate whether they're finished making moves this summer.

They also provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks' top prospects and which players have caught their attention as development camp winds down.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: