Kurt Helin

Report: Bulls testing trade market for Taj Gibson

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Pau Gasol is not coming back to the Chicago Bulls next season. Joakim Noah is not coming back to the Chicago Bulls.

Taj Gibson may be on his way out, too.

The Bulls are testing the trade market for Gibson, reports Joe Cowley at the Chicago Sun-Times.

To add some further clouds to the Bulls frontcourt rotation, a league source said that the Bulls have been talking to several teams about the possibility of moving Taj Gibson. The power forward is in the final year of his contract, scheduled to make $8.9 million.

If they do in fact send Gibson elsewhere, that would leave a frontcourt of Robin Lopez, Nikola Mirotic, Bobby Portis and Cristiano Felicio, and some serious money to spend.

The Bulls are going into a retooling mode, keeping Jimmy Butler saves it from being a full rebuild. Gibson may be the best trade piece they have outside Butler — he is a rock solid defender, provides rim protection, doesn’t score a lot but plays within himself and is efficient in putting up points. Plus with that contract, a lot of playoff and contending teams will have interest.

The question is who would the Bulls get back? Young players that fit better into coach Fred Hoiberg’s system ideally. The market should be fairly robust for Gibson.

The Bulls are going to take a step back this coming season, but hopefully start to develop a team identity around Butler and Hoiberg. They need to go after free agents that can fit into that system and guys they can take risks with.

It’s going to take time, but we’ll see if the Gar/Forman front office can execute that vision.

Reports: Knicks could make free agent run at Jamal Crawford

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If you like your sixth man to be an unconscious, fearless gunner who just wants to put up points and with that change the flow of the game, Jamal Crawford is your man.

The question is, will he be the Knicks’ man?

The three-time Sixth Man of the Year is a free agent this summer, and while Doc Rivers has talked about bringing him back to the Clippers, the Knicks might be in the mix, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.

Finally, Jackson will turn his attention to building a supporting cast and one former Knick emerging as a viable option is Jamal Crawford, the NBA’s only three-time Sixth Man of Year. Crawford, 36, has strong support within the Knicks organization and that feeling appears to be mutual.

“I’m not talking about any one team but everyone knows how I feel about New York,” Crawford told The News. “I really enjoyed my time there.”

Crawford brings one of the best crossovers in the game, a streaky jump shot, 14 points a game last season, a love of pull-up jumpers, declining efficiency at age 36, and very little defense to the table. He’s the guy who had the ball in his hands for the Clippers when Chris Paul sat.

With Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony on the roster, is another ball-dominant scorer what the Knicks need? Maybe not in an ideal world, but what the Knicks really need is talent and Crawford brings that. The idea of Crawford returning to Madison Square Garden may not be the first one explored come July, but it’s not out of the question either, as the New York Post’s Marc Berman notes.

As always, it comes down to money — and more than just money, now many years does a team want to give 36-year-old Crawford?

It’s not likely, but a reunion between Crawford and the Knicks is certainly not out of the question.

NBA No. 1 draft pick Ben Simmons’ cousin killed in New Jersey hit-and-run

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HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — Family members say the cousin of Ben Simmons, who was picked first by the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA draft, has died after being struck by a car in a New Jersey neighborhood.

Twenty-one-year-old Zachary Simmons died after being struck early Saturday while crossing a street in Hoboken. Authorities say the sport utility vehicle that struck the Ramsey man fled the scene.

The victim’s mother, Monique Steele, told WCBS-TV her son had gone with Simmons to the NBA draft earlier in the week. She said he was walking back from a friend’s birthday party when he was struck and killed.

Ben Simmons posted this photo Saturday night on Twitter:

Police were still searching for the fleeing vehicle Saturday night.

Our thoughts are with the Simmons family.

Report: Sergio Rodriguez looking at NBA return, likely with Brooklyn

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For four seasons, Sergio Rodriguez — AKA Spanish Chocolate — was a solid backup NBA point guard out of Spain, playing most of that for the Trail Blazers behind peak Brandon Roy.

But he decided he enjoyed playing in Europe more, and headed back overseas to play for Real Madrid, where he led them to a EuroLeague title and a Spanish League title.

Now he’s coming back to the NBA, and it looks like he’ll land in Brooklyn, according to the well-connected David Pick.

The Nets started Jarrett Jack at the point most of last season, but because of his knee issues they may not pick up the team option to keep him. After that, the talent level drops off fast with Shane Larkin and Donald Sloan. The Nets just drafted Caris LeVert out of Michigan, but he has plenty of questions to answer at the next level.

Rodriguez would be an upgrade — he’s a pass-first point who is strong running the pick-and-roll and is a reasonably efficient scorer. He doesn’t take a lot of threes (or jump shots in general) but as he’s gotten older he hits them at a better and better clip. He operates well in space. He’s not much of a defender. He’s a smart player with some flare to his game.

It will be fun to see him back in the league.

If you want proof Chandler Parsons will be “all ears” during free agency, he gave it

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Dallas is going after Mike Conley and Hassan Whiteside in free agency. If they strike out with those two, then they say they are willing to talk to Chandler Parsons about coming back. But not at a max salary.

That’s not going to work; Parsons is likely going to get the max ($22 million for him). Yes, he is coming off his lowest-scoring season since his rookie year (13.7 per game), plus he only played in 61 games and sat out the end of the last two seasons due to troubling knee issues. But his versatile game (and the flood of money in the system this summer) has Orlando and other teams targeting Parsons.

Someone close to Parsons told ESPN “he’ll be all ears” listening to other offers.

Parsons confirmed that on Instagram Saturday.

A post shared by ChandlerParsons (@chandlerparsons) on

The Chandler Parsons sweepstakes starts July 1.

(Hat tip Marc Stein ESPN)