According to ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell, Bulls forward Carlos Boozer practiced for the first time in two months on Monday and may be ready to play against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday:
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau liked what he saw of Boozer in practice.
“He looked fine. He was very active,” Thibodeau said. “He didn’t have any problems with the contact. He’s in great shape so that was encouraging. Shot the ball well. We’re not quite sure if he’ll go on Wednesday. We’ll see how it goes [Tuesday] and then the shootaround on Wednesday. But for a first day it was very good.”
Boozer said playing on Wednesday will be his decision.
“I’m going to see. I’m going to see how it feels each day,” Boozer said. “Right now, I’m going to go ice it down when I get done talking to [the media]. Do treatment twice a day, maybe three times a day, and just see how it feels on Wednesday before the game.”
Having Boozer back will be great for the Bulls’ offense. Boozer is an accomplished low-post scorer, can finish with either hand around the basket and is a master of getting “garbage buckets,” and can stretch the floor with his unorthodox-but-effective midrange jumper. The Bulls’ offense could use another scorer in the worst way — the team is currently 18th in offensive efficiency, and only Kobe Bryant has a higher usage rate than Derrick Rose.
One question Bulls fans might have is how well Boozer will integrate into the team’s defensive system. Tom Thibodeau has already worked his magic on Chicago’s defense, and the Bulls are currently fifth in the league in defensive efficiency. Boozer has never been known for his defense, and he will replace former Pac-1o Defensive Player of the Year Taj Gibson in the starting lineup. Gibson can’t hold a candle to Boozer as an offensive player, but he’s very mobile and a good shot-blocker — Gibson averages a block and a half per game, while Boozer has averaged less than half a block a game over the course of his career. But even if Boozer makes the Bulls a little bit worse defensively, his offense should more than make up for it and help the Bulls become bona fide contenders in the East.
The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.
And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.
He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.
Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.
If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.
Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.
Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.
Young, via TMZ:
“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”
Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:
Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.
The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.
Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.
So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.
Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.
The Knicks have the No. 8 pick, and tomorrow’s draft will be the most important part of their offseason.
Will they also have cap space to add talent in free agency? That hinges on Enes Kanter‘s player option.
If Kanter opts out, New York will have even more room to operate thanks to Kyle O'Quinn declining his $4,256,250 player option.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Knicks expected this for a while, and they’re probably not disappointed. Steve Mills and Scott Perry want to put their stamp on the franchise. O’Quinn is a leftover from the Phil Jackson era and a reminder of the recent tumult in New York.
O’Quinn’s combination of block percentage (6.1) and defensive-rebounding percentage (27.8) was unmatched last season. He just really struck a nice balance between contesting shots and remaining in position on the glass. He’s also a smooth mid-range shooter with an improved ability to distribute.
How much is that player worth?
It’ll be a tight market, especially for bigs. For his sake, I hope the 28-year-old O’Quinn already has assurances from other teams. He might get a similar salary or, more likely, a larger overall guarantee on a multi-year deal. But it’s also possible he comes out behind by testing free agency.