Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls

Jimmy Butler misses practice, needs MRI

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Jimmy Butler – after suffering right toe injury in the third quarter of the Bulls’ win over the Bobcats on Monday, returning in the fourth quarter and then leaving again – pledged to be ready for Chicago’s next game. Via Mark Strotman of CSN Chicago:

“I hurt it. I don’t really know how. But it’s nothing major. I’ll be back. I’ve just got to ice it, rest it, all that stuff,” said Butler, who added that he’s “going to be good to go” for the Bulls’ upcoming “Circus Trip,” which begins Thursday in Denver. “I know what play it happened on. I just pushed off on it, I guess the wrong way, and it didn’t feel too good at all.”

It’s still possible Butler plays against the Nuggets, but he’s no longer cruising in that direction. Via Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago:

“He didn’t do anything [at practice],” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s going to have an MRI this afternoon.”

“I don’t know [about Butler’s availability],” he continued the coach, who noted that initial X-rays on Butler’s toe were negative. “I want to see what they [the Bulls’ medical staff] have to say after the MRI, so we’ll know more [Tuesday] afternoon.

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If Butler must miss time, Kirk Hinrich or Mike Dunleavy could start in his place at shooting guard.

Dunleavy is having a nice season so far, making 12-of-22 3-pointers. His size makes him more a traditional choice.

Hinrich and Derrick Rose might have a budding chemistry, though they haven’t been effective overall while playing together this season. Maybe Thibodeau wants to give those two a chance to develop chemistry.

If there’s a tiebreaker, it could be the Nuggets’ backcourt. Ty Lawson and Randy Foye are undersized and speedy, perhaps making Hinrich the preferred choice.

Report: Bulls hire North Carolina State’s Bobby Lutz as D-League head coach

WORCESTER, MA - MARCH 18:  Charlotte 49ers coach Bobby Lutz looks up in the first half a game against the N.C. State Wolfpack during the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship at the DCU Center March 18, 2005 in Worcester, Massachusetts.  (Photo By Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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The Chicago Bulls are one of the teams getting a D-League affiliate franchise this season. The Windy City Bulls will play in the suburb of Hoffman Estates, and now they have a head coach: North Carolina State assistant Bobby Lutz.

Via Upside & Motor‘s Chris Reichert:

Lutz was previously linked to the Bulls’ D-League job in July but there was confusion as to whether he would actually get the job. Now, it appears he has. And he has familiarity with the coaching staff, having served as an assistant coach at Iowa State under Fred Hoiberg in 2010-11, prior to going to NC State.

Evan Fournier pokes fun at his ‘NBA 2K’ likeness

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 07:  Evan Fournier #10 of the Orlando Magic dribbles the ball against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on March 7, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.

Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.

At least they’re having fun with it.

Report: Sixers expected to waive Tibor Pleiss after trade with Jazz

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Tibor Pleiss #21 of the Utah Jazz controls the ball in the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 30, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.

Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.

Jordan releases new Russell Westbrook ad, may include a shot at Kevin Durant

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 28:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (L) and Russell Westbrook #0 look on during a press conference after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-101 in game six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 28, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
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As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”

Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.