Derrick Rose wanted more minutes in Bulls opener

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Tom Thibodeau was pretty clear from the start — Derrick Rose was going to get normal preseason minutes for a starter. That works out to about 20 minutes a game.

That’s exactly what Rose got in the Bulls first game — but he wanted more, he told Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com.

Rose played 20 minutes and 26 seconds in Saturday’s preseason-opening win over the Pacers in Indianapolis but wanted to play more.

“It’s tough, especially for it to be a close game like it was and to be sitting out,” explained the former league MVP, who scored 13 points. “Just wanted to test myself a little bit more, but I wasn’t able to.”

As we have broken down, Rose looked good in his return. Rusty, but the explosiveness was there and he was playing with the fearless style he was known for — that is the big key. The rust will shake off, the floater will return, the bigger concern was the attitude and that was in place.

It’s going to be a long season, no reason to put extra minutes on Rose now.

One other interesting bit of pressure on Rose this year — plenty of people around the league will tell you that the relationship between Thibodeau and Bulls GM Gar Forman is fractured. But at Yahoo Sports Adrian Wojnarowski suggests Rose is the one guy that could keep the Bulls and that relationship together.

Between Forman and Thibodeau the disconnect is deep, but Rose’s reconstructed knee could be a powerful agent of reconciliation. With transcendent talents, there come redemptive powers. No one wants to be ousted with Rose on the roster, because he is one of those once-in-a-lifetime players for executives and coaches.

That may be too much pressure for even Rose.

Look at the organizations that have won titles or competed for them the last few seasons — the Heat with Pat Riley at the helm, the Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks with Mark Cuban, the Los Angeles Lakers under Dr. Jerry Buss, the Boston Celtics. They all have the coach and the GM on the same page with the owner. San Antonio is the perfect example — from R.C. Buford down to the kid with the mop soaking up sweat under the basket during games, everyone is on the same page. If not, it’s hard for an organization to move that far forward.

You wonder if that is what will undo the Bulls.

Suns GM Ryan McDonough: Eric Bledsoe hair-salon claim about tweet was unbelievable

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Eric Bledsoe reportedly requested a trade from the Suns before the season then tweeted yesterday:

Clear message?

Apparently not.

After sending home Bledsoe today, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough explained his rationale:

The hair salon! What a wonderful excuse.

Is it true? I’m not going to call Bledsoe a liar. It might be.

It’s also probably true that Bledsoe isn’t long for Phoenix.

Report: Suns send Eric Bledsoe home, expect to trade him

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In a shocking twist, the Suns firing Earl Watson did not end the dysfunction in Phoenix.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Bledsoe:

That is a first-rate tweet by Bledsoe. It’s great that he’s having fun with the wild situation, because the rest of us sure are amused peering in.

This was always going to be a long season in Phoenix, but things got out of hand in a hurry. The 0-3 Suns have been outscored by 92 – the worst three-game start in NBA history by 16 points. Now, comes the fallout.

At 27, Bledsoe was getting to be a little too old for a rebuild centered on Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender and T.J. Warren. The Suns could have dealt Bledsoe in the offseason. Now, they’re negotiating from a position of weakness.

Bledsoe is a good starting point guard when healthy. He’s earning a reasonable $14.5 million this season and due $15 million in the final year of his contract next season. There should be suitors, and Phoenix can gain long-term assets while stepping up its tank.

But this sure seems like a crisis-control move more than anything else.

Willy Hernangomez ‘mad’ about falling from Knicks rotation

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Knicks president Steve Mills started his second tenure talking about rebuilding and listed Willy Hernangomez as a core piece.

But Hernangomez, coming off an All-Rookie first-team season, barely played in New York’s season-opening loss to the Thunder– drawing scrutiny.

Then, he didn’t play at all in a loss to the Pistons – eliciting a strong reaction from Hernangomez himself.

Hernangomez, via Fred Kerber of the New York Post:

“The same. I’m still mad,” Hernangomez said. “I cannot help the team win if I’m sitting on the bench. Two games in a row. It’s tough. I have to wait my moment. I cannot say nothing more.”

The Knicks are moving in different directions. Management is talking about building for the future. Coach Jeff Hornacek, who was hired by previous president Phil Jackson, is trying to win now.

There’s a fine line between developing Hernangomez through playing time and making him earn his minutes. Enes Kanter and Kyle O'Quinn might be better right now.

But being marginally better this season won’t get the Knicks anywhere meaningful except lower in the lottery. On the other hand, even on rebuilding teams, winning is most important to a coach’s job security. Earl Watson implemented the Suns’ tanking scheme, and look where that got him.

Hornacek is backed into a corner, and now one of the team’s most important young players is publicly expressing his displeasure. It’s the latest troubling sign in a locker room already suspicious of Hornacek.

Report: Eric Bledsoe requested trade from Suns before season

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Suns guard Eric Bledsoe tweeted yesterday:

In light of Phoenix’s 0-3 start and Earl Watson getting fired yesterday, that sure looks like a trade request. Still, there’s risk in making assumptions about vague tweets.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Why wouldn’t Bledsoe want out? The 27-year-old is in his prime and stuck on a young team that would rather tank than play him.

It’ll be interesting to see how Bledsoe explains the tweet. He previously paid lip service to his situation in Phoenix, but it appears he’s ready to open up. On the other hand, public trade requests typically draw fines from the NBA.