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#pounditSaturday, September 18, 2021

Articles tagged: Chicago Bulls

Wizards’ Chandler Hutchison trolls former team Bulls after making playoffs

Chandler Hutchison

Chandler Hutchison is having some fun at the expense of his former team.

Hutchison’s Washington Wizards clinched the No. 8 seed in the East with a victory over the Indiana Pacers in the play-in game on Thursday. After the game, Hutchison took to TikTok to troll his old team, the Chicago Bulls. In his caption, Hutchison wrote, “When you get traded and help your new team to the playoffs.”

The forward Hutchison began the season with the Bulls but got traded to the Wizards at the deadline. Washington was behind Chicago in the standings at the time. But the Wizads overtook them to get the final seed in the East while the Bulls did not even make it to the play-in tournament.

But though Hutchison has gotten more minutes with the Wizards, he is still only averaging 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game for them. Regardless, this is probably the best troll job of the Bulls we have seen since this one.

Bulls announcers criticize Denzel Valentine for baffling shot selection

Denzel Valentine

Denzel Valentine pulled up for one of the worst shots you will ever see near the end of the Chicago Bulls’ loss to the Miami Heat on Saturday, and the announcers who were calling the game did not hold back with the criticism.

Valentine made some big baskets down the stretch to help the Bulls chip away after being down more than 20 points. However, the bench player got carried away when he grabbed a rebound with Chicago trailing 101-96 and less than a minute remaining. Valentine dribbled up the court and pulled up from about 30 feet. The result was an airball, and Bulls announcers Adam Amin and Stacey King were disgusted.

The mind-boggling shot cost Chicago any real chance to win. Valentine acknowledged that after the game.

“I had made 3 in a row before that. It was a bad shot,” he admitted, via K.C. Johnson of NBC Chicago. “I just kind of got lost in the game.”

Here’s another angle that shows just how badly Valentine missed:

You can understand why Valentine was feeling it after hitting some big shots, but pulling up from 30 feet in that situation is inexcusable — especially for a role player. There are probably only a few players in the NBA (Stephen Curry being one) who could get away with that.

If you remember, Valentine had some issues with the previous Bulls regime over his role on the team. A few more of those shots and there might be some tension with the new coaching staff, too.

H/T UPROXX

Report: Two teams pursuing Lonzo Ball trade

Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball’s name keeps coming up in trade rumors, even as there are questions about whether the New Orleans Pelicans point guard is even available.

According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks have both reached out to the Pelicans about a Ball trade. The Bulls have offered Tomas Satoransky and second-round picks, while talks with the Hawks are centered on Cam Reddish.

There remains skepticism that the Pelicans are willing to trade Ball right now. However, they are also aware of the reality that Ball is a restricted free agent at the end of the season. While they can gamble on some sort of sign-and-trade deal in the summer, there is also the risk of either losing him for nothing or being confronted with matching a hefty contract they would not be enthusiastic about.

Ball’s numbers have improved this year, with the guard shooting 42.5 percent from beyond the arc and averaging a career-best 14.2 points per game. There appears to be at least one other team eyeing him right now, and the 23-year-old will definitely be in high demand this summer no matter what.

Billy Donovan to become Chicago Bulls’ head coach

Billy Donovan

Billy Donovan was not out of a job for long.

Donovan has agreed to become the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday.

Donovan was let go by the Oklahoma City Thunder after the team was eliminated from the NBA playoffs. The Thunder reportedly are preparing to go into a rebuild and decided not to renew Donovan’s contract.

The Bulls were deciding on the future of Jim Boylen and fired him last month, creating a vacancy. They now have made a huge upgrade with the addition of Donovan.

Donovan, 55, won two national championships as a head coach in college at Florida before jumping to the pros. His teams made the playoffs all five years he was the coach of the Thunder, though they lost in the first round the last four years.

Jim Boylen fired as head coach of Bulls

Jim Boylen will not be returning as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls next season.

The Bulls issued a statement on Friday announcing that they have fired Boylen. New executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said the decision was “very difficult” and thanked Boylen for his service.

“After doing a comprehensive evaluation and giving the process the time it deserved, I ultimately decided that a fresh approach and evolution in leadership was necessary,” Karnisovas said.

Boylen took over as head coach of the Bulls in Dec. 2018 when Fred Hoiberg was fired. He went 39-84 with the team in parts of two seasons, and recent reports indicated the Bulls were likely to keep him around.

The dismissal is hardly shocking, however. Boylen’s old-school style did not sit well with many Chicago players, and one player recently had some things to say about the coach that were not very flattering. Players were also reportedly unhappy with Boylen’s offense in addition to his coaching methods.

Now that Boylen has been fired, Philadelphia 76ers assistant Ime Udoka will be one of the early names to watch for Chicago’s head coaching vacancy.

Report: Jim Boylen likely to be retained as Bulls coach

Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylen’s future looked grim a few months ago, but there is growing reason to believe he’s going to keep his job after all.

According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, there is “strong growning momentum” that Boylen will be retained as the Bulls’ head coach. The primary reason is said to be the finances of chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

Reinsdorf, who also owns the White Sox and the United Center, estimated that his losses due to the pandemic will be in the nine figure range. In addition, uncertainty about the 2020-21 NBA season — and the fact that some sort of separate camp for the Bulls and the seven other teams not invited to the Orlando bubble — makes keeping Boylen a safer option at this point.

Boylen’s salary is also a factor. His $1.6 million salary makes him one of the league’s lowest-paid head coaches, which is advantageous given Reinsdorf’s financial concerns.

It had been widely speculated that new basketball operations vice president Arturas Karnisovas would want to bring in his own coach. That was especially true given there have been complaints from players about Boylen’s offense, and Boylen does not appear to be well-liked by his team. Ultimately, it appears that won’t matter, and Boylen and his players will have to make it work for another year.

Bulls rookie Daniel Gafford shares candid thoughts on Jim Boylen

Jim Boylen

Jim Boylen has had a difficult time connecting with Chicago Bulls players since he took over as head coach last season. Some comments rookie Daniel Gafford made about Boylen this week are a reminder of that.

Gafford was asked during a Twitch stream on Monday if he likes Boylen. The former Arkansas star didn’t exactly give his coach a ringing endorsement, saying Boylen has some things to work on as both a person and coach.

Those remarks are likely on par with how Bulls veterans feel about Boylen.

Boylen has gone 39-84 as Chicago’s head coach in parts of two seasons. The Bulls were 22-43 at the time the season was postponed and did not make the cut for the resumed season in Orlando. While the team recently brought in Arturas Karnisovas to overhaul the front office and organization, there have been indications that Boylen is going to keep his job for now.

Boylen’s old-school approach has resulted in several key players reportedly wanting him fired, but the Bulls may give him another shot to prove himself next season.

Jim Boylen to remain as Bulls head coach?

Jim Boylen

When the Chicago Bulls brought in Arturas Karnisovas to overhaul the team’s front office and organization, there was strong speculation that head coach Jim Boylen would be let go. We’re now towards the end of July, and Boylen remains the team’s head coach, which suggests he may not be going anywhere.

NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson wrote an article on the subject that has some good in-depth information. Bulls’ ownership was said to back Boylen remaining, and that may continue to be the case.

Johnson laid out several current circumstances that point to the organization keeping Boylen. The lack of business revenue, lack of formal team activities, and all the uncertainty in the current situation due to coronavirus makes it potentially a bad time to make a coaching switch.

On top of all the reasons that makes a coaching change difficult, Boylen has been active with player development strategies, according to Johnson, suggesting his more involved with the team.

The whole article is worth your time.

Chicago was 22-43 at the time of the NBA shutdown and did not make the cut for the restart in Orlando. Boylen was promoted to head coach in Dec. 2018 when Fred Hoiberg was let go. He has gone 39-84 as head coach in parts of two seasons. Boylen keeping the job for now might come as a disappointment to some of the team’s players.

‘NBA Jam’ creator admits he rigged beloved video game against hated Bulls

Chicago Bulls logo

“NBA Jam” was a defining video game for many of our childhoods, but its creator is making a revelation that you may not have known about the game.

In an interview this week with Ars Technica, Mark Turmell, the lead designer and programmer of “NBA Jam,” admitted to installing a code in the game such that the Chicago Bulls could never make a last-second shot against the Detroit Pistons. Turmell is a native of Michigan and a fan of the Pistons.

“Making this game in Chicago during the height of the Michael Jordan era, there was a big rivalry between the Pistons and the Bulls,” said Turmell, per Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. “But the one way I could get back at the Bulls once they got over the hump was to affect their skills against the Pistons in NBA Jam. And so I put in special code that if the Bulls were taking last-second shots against the Pistons, they would miss those shots. And so, if you’re ever playing the game, make sure you pick the Pistons over the Bulls.”

“NBA Jam” was first released in 1993 and became a global sensation, such that it is still regarded as a classic today. While Turmell mentions that it was made at the peak of the Michael Jordan era, Jordan’s likeness did not actually appear in the game, as he chose to opt out of the NBPA’s licensing agreement.

As for the rivalry between the Bulls and the Pistons, it found its way back into the headlines recently, and Turmell’s revelation adds yet another layer to it.

Otto Porter unlikely to be back with Bulls after his contract expires?

Otto Porter

Otto Porter’s Chicago Bulls career may be coming to an end before too long.

Porter signed a 4-year, $106.5 million contract with the Washington Wizards three years ago and was traded to the Bulls last year. He has a $28.49 million option for next season that he almost certainly will exercise. Beyond that, he probably will have to find a new team.

NBC Sports Chicago’s KC Johnson was answering fan mail for an article he published on Thursday. One of the questions was about Porter, and Johnson said he believes the Bulls will likely look for other answers at the wing position after Porter’s contract expires.

Porter dealt with a broken foot this season and has only played in 29 games for the Bulls since they acquired him from Washington. He’s a good player when healthy, but he hasn’t been healthy for Chicago.

Porter is averaging just 11.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game this season and shooting 38.7 percent on threes. His Bulls were among the eight teams that did not qualify for the resumed season in Orlando, leaving players upset.

H/T Rotoworld