Of all the teams poised to make a run at a top free agent in the summer of 2010, none have a young star like Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. If the Nets manage to land the first overall pick and John Wall, there may be some debate, but even if that happens Rose has already proven himself in the NBA. Of all the factors that will weigh into the decisions of players like LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade in 2010, the chance to play with Rose for the next several years could be a major selling point.
Rose spoke with FanHouse’s Tim Potvak this afternoon, and made it clear that he’s very excited about the prospect of Chicago landing a big-time free agent:
By trading away John Salmons and his $6.4 million contract last month, the Bulls became one of eight teams that can offer a maximum salaried contract to one of the free agent stars this summer.
James, Wade and Bosh all have had their interests linked to the Bulls at some point this season.
“I’d be fine with any one of them,” Rose said. “One of them would be great. They’d all fit well here. I think we’ve got a good shot. Why wouldn’t they want to come to Chicago? It’s a great market with loyal, die-hard fans.”
Because of his Chicago roots, Wade is the free agent most think Chicago will make the hardest play for during the summer of 2010. A Rose/Wade backcourt was one pick away from happening in Miami; in Chicago, the two of them could be an absolute destruction machine in the same backcourt. The thought of Rose running the pick-and-roll with Chris Bosh or doing just about anything with LeBron James playing on the weak side is certainly intriguing as well.
The Bulls don’t have the market that the Knicks can offer or chance to start a completely new franchise that the relocating Nets can offer. What they do have is a young star in Derrick Rose. In the summer of 2010, the chance to form a modern-day Jordan and Pippen combination where Jordan and Pippen once played might be what entices a marquee free agent to come to the Windy City.
In 2011, the Trail Blazers surprisingly fired Rich Cho after only season as general manager.
Cho – since hired and fired by the Hornets – seems to be holding a grudge.
John Canzano of The Oregonian:
That’s a sentiment many people hold toward their former employer. Few say so publicly. That Cho did indicates just how strongly he feels.
Under owner Paul Allen, the Trail Blazers have run through numerous executives. It’s part of the culture in Portland, and it leaves a lot of outgoing people bitter.
Current general manager Neil Olshey ought to be mindful of that.
Josh Allen, a quarterback from Wyoming, could be the No. 1 pick in tonight’s NFL draft. But his recently unearthed high school tweets – which include using the n-word with an ‘a’ at the end – are the sports story of the day.
And there’s an NBA tie.
Via Ryan Young of Yahoo Sports:
I hate LeBron!!!!! #LeBronSucks
— Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) June 7, 2011
Damian Lillard went down this same road with LeBron James, and they got past it.
But it would be a little more awkward if the Cleveland Browns – who have the Nos. 1 and 4 picks – take Allen. Then, Allen will face more scrutiny over this tweet – the most innocuous of the bunch.
The Jazz blew a 25-point second-half lead in Game 5 last night, extending their series with the Thunder. Up 3-2, the Jazz are still in control. They can close out in Game 6 tomorrow in Utah. Blow that, and they must return to Oklahoma City for Game 7 Sunday.
But Utah rookie Donovan Mitchell is making it abundantly clear he doesn’t plan to do that.
Gabe Ikard of The Franchise 107.7:
Jake Edmonds of KUTV:
A confident proclamation that rallies his team or youthful exuberance run amok?
The narrative will be decided after Game 6. That’s just how this is done.
From the moment Robert Pera opted to retain control of the Grizzlies and end a prolonged ownership saga, it seemed interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff would remain Memphis’ coach.
Lo and behold…
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Bickerstaff did a decent job before the Grizzlies started tanking. But that was a small a sample, and his prior work as Rockets interim coach was uninspiring.
To be fair to Bickerstaff, those were both difficult situations. He’s an experienced assistant who might be ready for this challenge.
To be less fair to Bickerstaff, this looks like Memphis taking the cheap route. The Grizzlies didn’t appear to conduct much of a coaching search, if any. Nor has Bickerstaff been mentioned with other openings. It probably won’t cost as much to hire him as it would a more-established option.
Memphis seems to be operating under the belief that a healthy Mike Conley and Marc Gasol will right the ship next season. And they might. But given the age and injury history of those two, I wouldn’t assume they stay healthy and productive all season. Even if they do, they’d have to carry an underwhelming supporting cast – with limited room for upgrade this summer – in a deep Western Conference.
The Grizzlies want Bickerstaff, who’d be a first-time non-interim head coach, leading that team trying to win now? That doesn’t seem like the right risk-reward balance – at least until considering his salary, and even then.