Kurt Helin

Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler

Rumor: Jimmy Butler doesn’t like Derrick Rose’s work ethic

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Are you having fun yet, Fred Hoiberg?

The Bulls have the potential to be the second-best team in the East and the biggest threat in that conference to Cleveland, but they are going to have to stay healthy and avoid distractions.

However, distractions find the Bulls.

The latest comes from a report by Joe Crowley in the Chicago Sun-Times, another in the line of reports of tension between Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose.

It was provided Wednesday, as a former member of the Bulls said in a phone interview, “Personally, the two are great. Professionally is where they have a difference of opinion.’’

According to the source, Butler considers Rose a friend, but “doesn’t have a lot of respect for his work ethic.’’ In Butler’s mind, Rose was considered the face of the franchise, and if the face of the franchise wasn’t busting his butt in practice every day, especially last season, what was the message to the rest of the team?

 

Expect the denials in 3..2..1…

It should be noted, that while I have heard plenty of critiques and complaints about Rose before, work ethic has never been one of them. Whether it was on the court or doing rehab, he put in the work.

As noted before, this is far from the first time a report of tension between Butler and Rose has surfaced. And as they have before, both men will deny any issues. But this is a lot of smoke for no fire (especially since this report is based on the comments of a former Bulls player).

The Bulls may be transitioning from Rose’s team to Butler’s team — unless Rose has a comeback this year to 80 percent or more of his MVP year — and those do not always go smoothly. There are egos on the line, agents and others whispering in the players’ ears, and all of it can just build into a massive storm. Hoiberg has praised Butler’s work ethic during camp, and Butler has talked openly of trying to be more of a leader now that he has a five-year. $95 million contract in his back pocket, all of which may be fuel on the fire.

If there are issues, it falls to Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah to shut it down early and make sure it doesn’t infect the team as a whole.

 

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
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Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.

PBT Extra: Will Kings finally end playoff drought?

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ProBasketballTalk’s Kurt Helin explains why he believes the Sacramento Kings have enough pieces to potentially make a run at the final playoff spot in the West.

Popovich to Aldridge: “Welcome to the Spurs. Go sit” out practice.

LaMarcus Aldridge
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Gregg Popovich’s habit of resting key players at times has become the norm around the league as more and more studies have shown it helps players perform at higher levels plus helps reduce injury risk. Still, Popovich is the poster child.

New Spur LaMarcus Aldridge wasn’t used to this but got introduced to it in a very Popovich way, reports Jeff McDonald at the Express-News.

LaMarcus Aldridge missed his first workout of training camp today with leg tightness. Or rather, the Spurs — being the Spurs — held him out for precautionary reasons.

“We sat him out,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “He didn’t want to do it. I said, ‘Welcome to the Spurs. Go sit.’”

He might as well have added “get used to this.” Aldridge is going to get some rest this season. Not as many as Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker, but he’s going to get some nights off.

Remember, Aldridge is a guy who played through a torn ligament in his thumb last season because he thought the Blazers could make noise in the playoffs (and they might have had Wesley Matthews not gotten hurt). He’s not a guy used to being told to sit and rest.

It’s his “Welcome to the Spurs” moment.