Bears

Word on the Street: Another comeback for MJ?

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Word on the Street: Another comeback for MJ?

Friday, Feb. 11, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Another MJ comeback on the horizon?

Yahoo sports is reporting that Jordan has been taking part in practice with his Charlotte Bobcats and - apparently - kicking a little butt while he's at it.

"He's Mike. He's been kicking our rear ends," Bobcats captain Gerald Wallace said Thursday."He still has it. He doesn't have his quickness, but he's a scorer, he's a shooter. The last thing to go is your jump shot, and he still has that."So, is there another comeback on the horizon for the 48-year-old Jordan? Probably not, considering he would, by rule, have to sell his majority share in the Bobcats to do so. But it's fun to dream. (Yahoo! Sports)Detroit to retire Rodman's No. 10
The Detroit Pistons announced on Friday that they will be retiring ex-Bull Dennis Rodman's No. 10 at a ceremony before their April 1 game against the Bulls. Rodman played seven years in Detroit and two years in San Antonio before joining the Bulls for their second three-peat. (The Detroit News)
Chuck Tanner dies at 81Former White Sox manager Chuck Tanner died at the age of 81 on Friday. Tanner also managed the A's, Braves and Pirates throughout his career - earning a world series title in 1979 with Pittsburgh. Tanner, always well liked by his players, is regarded as likely the most quintessential "player's manager." (Hardball Talk NBC Sports)Former Sox exec pleads guilty to kickbacksFormer high-ranking White Sox executive David Wilder pleaded guilty on Friday to federal fraud charges, admitting that he solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from Latin American baseball prospects.
"He apologizes to the White Sox and any others that he harmed," said Thomas Bienert Jr, Wilder's lawyer. (Chicago Tribune)Prosecutors to meet with BradleyFormer-Cub Milton Bradley is set to meet with Los Angeles prosecutors early next month in response to his Jan. 19 arrest on domestic violence allegations. Bradley's attorney, Harland Braun, released a statement claiming that Bradley would not be charged in connection with the allegations, however a spokesman for the LA City Attorney's office said that decision has not yet been made. (Chicago Breaking Sports)Taj Gibson, Steve Kerr in 'Shooting Stars'Former Bull Steve Kerr will join Taj Gibson and Catherine Kraayveld of the Chicago Sky in representing Team Chicago in the Haier Shooting Starts competition at NBA All-Star Weekend. Aside from Kerr, who was obviously a lights-out shooter in his playing days, the Chicago team is an odd bunch considering both Gibson and Kraayveld are inside players and not known as shooters. (Yahoo! Sports)Bears won't use franchise tagThe Bears announced on Friday that they would not use the franchise tag on any of their free agents this off season. The announcement is not surprising, considering general Manager Jerry Angelo's reluctance to use the tag in the past. There are 14 players ready to become unrestricted free agents this off season; however only four of them are starters. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

The Bears can be aggressive in NFL free agency if they bet on new CBA

The Bears can be aggressive in NFL free agency if they bet on new CBA

If the NFL’s proposed CBA is ratified by the NFLPA — and, right now, it seems like it will be — every current, active contract will look like a bargain in a few years. And that’s the starting point for how the Bears could maybe, just maybe, get a little weird in free agency this year. 

There's always money in the banana stand, after all. 

The Bears are projected to have about $26 million in cap space, per Spotrac, a number that currently would not allow them to sign a big-name free agent or trade for a guy with a high price tag. Cap space can always be created, though — it just depends on how willing a team is to kick the proverbial can down the road. 

And that bill always comes due. But what if the Bears have loads more cap space when the bill comes due thanks to lucrative new TV deals signed a few years after the CBA is ratified?

A new CBA would likely immediately increase 2020's salary cap (the Athletic estimated a $5 million increase per team). But the best way for the Bears to create more cap space in 2020 is by borrowing from the Bank of Khalil. 

The Bears could create about $10 million in cap space by converting some of Mack’s base salary into a signing bonus, per Spotrac, and could also do the same with the contracts of Eddie Goldman, Kyle Fuller, Cody Whitehair and Akiem Hicks, if they so chose. 

The Bears would save a total of about $22.5 million in 2020 cap space by restructuring all five of those contracts. Add in a contract extension for Allen Robinson that could save a few million in 2020 and the Bears wind up with over $50 million in cap space this year. 

That’s a lot of cans to kick down the road, and it’s not without risk (injuries, age-based regression, etc.). It's also crazily aggressive, but who knows what contracts will look like in 2022 or 2023. Paying Mack $26 million then might look like a bargain, even as he plays into his 30s.  

So the money is there if the Bears really want it, and are willing to place a big bet on their 2020 roster. This space of the interweb has mostly been reserved for preaching the Bears’ need for salary cap prudence this offseason; it’s part of the reason why the expectation still is for Ryan Pace to target a backup who can “compete” with Mitch Trubisky, not a guy to start over him. 

But maybe the Bears can shop in a different aisle for that second quarterback. Instead of targeting a Case Keenum-type on a cheap, one-year contract, perhaps the Bears can pry Andy Dalton away from the Cincinnati Bengals and not worry about his $17.7 million cap hit. 

Maybe it means offering a contract to the guard or tight end Pace and Matt Nagy want, not the one they can afford. Needs at inside linebacker, cornerback and/or safety could be more readily addressed before the draft, freeing Pace up to actually stick to his “best player available” mantra. 

There is hope here if you want the Bears to be more aggressive in free agency than their current amount of cap space suggests they will be. That doesn’t mean the Bears are going to follow this path, though. The new CBA needs to be ratified first, of course, and maybe that immediately drives up prices in the free agent market, leaving the Bears in the same position they’re in now. 

But the Bears do have a way to inflate their salary cap balloon, and if they do, they might not need to totally worry about it popping a few years from now. It all depends on if the new CBA is ratified or not before the new league year begins in mid-March. 

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No, Zach LaVine wasn't ranting at Jim Boylen in latest viral video

No, Zach LaVine wasn't ranting at Jim Boylen in latest viral video

In the final moments of a hard-fought 124-122 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday night, Zach LaVine was caught on camera saying something to the effect of, "I've got 40 [expletive] points."

LaVine has been broadcast multiple times this season appearing to exhibit expasperation over late-game timeouts called by Jim Boylen, so some segments of NBA Twitter took this as another show of frustration towards the Bulls' head coach. But it seems that's not the case.

According to reporting by Eric Woodyard of ESPN, LaVine was merely jawing back and forth with Thunder guard Dennis Schröder. Common practice in a closely-contested game.

The report quotes LaVine, himself.

"You get into the heat of the battle and between players when you guys are talking, you talk smack sometimes, right? And that's all it was," LaVine told Woodyard. "We were still down. Dude was talking a little mess to me and I just let him know 'Look, I've got 40, I don't know why you're talking to me.

"I don't know why they said they thought I was talking to Jim but it was just people being competitive in the game talking."

In the play following the clip, LaVine nailed a pull-up 3-pointer from the logo for his 41st points of the night. It was LaVine's sixth 40-point game of the season, but despite his brilliance, the Bulls dropped to 20-39 and 1-9 in their last ten games with the defeat. A tale as old as time.

It's obviously been an up-and-down season for the Bulls, but consider this 'controversy' dead on arrival.

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