Bulls finally reach deal with draft pick Marquis Teague

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Well, that took longer than it should have, longer than any other first-round pick. And the episode added to the Bulls reputation as run by penny pinchers.

But in the end, the Bulls and draft pick Marquis Teague out of Kentucky have reached a deal, Teague told the Chicago Tribune.

“It feels good to finally get it out of the way,” Teague said in a phone interview. “I just want to get in the gym and start working out.”

The Bulls were above the salary cap but below the luxury tax line, so when they used some of their mid-level exception on Kirk Hinrich and their bi-annual exception on Marco Belinelli, the created a true hard cap for themselves at $74 million (just one of the fun quirks of the new CBA, small market owners trying to prevent another Miami).

Rookie contracts are slotted in salary but teams can and customarily do sign their rookies to the maximum 120 percent of that slotted amount. However, because of the Hinrich and Belinelli deals and the ensuing hard cap, the Bulls could did not want to offer that. They could have fit it in but they wanted a little wiggle room. So Teague had to settle for 100 percent of his slotted amount, the Tribune reports.

It’s been that kind of summer for the Bulls. They are now within $1 million of the hard cap and can’t even bring in a veteran minimum player, they will go with the 13 now signed. They have gotten worse in the short term and kept deals short as they clearly have set a goal of having cap space in 2014 to go after a star to pair with Rose. But that will not make the next couple of seasons a lot of fun in Chicago.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)

LeBron James blows wide-open dunk (video)

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J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”