The play Pachulia was cited for took place during the Hawks’ win over the Wizards on Dec. 7. Kevin Seraphin secures the rebound, and swings his elbows to clear some space.
Seraphin whiffs at hitting Pachulia in the head, but you wouldn’t know it by Zaza’s reaction. He jerks his head back, then brings his hand to his nose as if contact was actually made, before wildly flailing backward.
Thankfully, the referee was right there, and close enough to see that no contact was made.
The majority of flopping occurs as a way for players to exaggerate actual contact in order to get a call from the officials. When a referee clearly can see that a player is falsifying the contact altogether, he should have the authority to whistle that player for a technical foul — that’s the only way we’re going to put an end to ridiculous plays like these that have an adverse affect on the way the game is played.
As it stands now, Pachulia simply receives an official warning for the despicable behavior. The league’s policy states that a $5,000 fine will be levied for his next offense, followed by increasing fines for continuing to violate the policy.
But maybe the Bulls have at least somewhat soured on him.
Nick Friedell of ESPN:
Bulls may still lock up restricted free agent Zach LaVine this summer — but as an organization the near universal support LaVine once had internally isn't there anymore. Bulls will wait to see if he can find big $$$ elsewhere first and then decide if they want to match.
I don’t know why the Bulls would be down on LaVine now. I also don’t know why they were so high on him the first place.
LaVine is a good 3-point shooter and impressive dunker. But, despite his athleticism, his all-around contributions are lacking. He also hasn’t looked completely over his February 2017 ACL tear.
This leak could just be strategy. Instead of trying to scare off teams with the threat of matching any offer to LaVine, Chicago could be trying to dissuade suitors by projecting its own reluctance.
The Bulls don’t want to overpay LaVine. But they also don’t want to lose him for nothing.
Will anyone make a hard push for the 23-year-old? He surely wants a lucrative long-term contract, whether he re-signs directly with Chicago or gets an offer sheet. But, if the Bulls aren’t sold on him, I’m not sure any team will is.
LaVine’s qualifying offer will be $4,333,932. That might wind up his next salary.
The Phoenix Suns got it right at the top of the draft — they took Deandre Ayton.
But what of their move to trade for Mikal Bridges, the No. 10 pick, surrendering a valuable pick and the potential of Zhaire Smith for what should be a solid “3&D” wing to go with their athletic stars?
How did the Kings do at No. 2? What about Dallas’ big trade up to land Luka Doncic at three, or the Atlanta bet on Trae Young?
In this PBT Extra, I grade the top 10 picks in the draft, from the moves I like (I think Dallas did well) to ones I’m not sold on (sorry Chicago).
Have questions leading up to free agency? Submit your questions via e-mail for our PBT Mailbag feature. Drop us a line at email@example.com.
As for the recent report from Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard that there are rising tensions between the two sides because Paul wants the full max and isn’t sure if he’ll get it, two people with knowledge of the situation refuted the idea there is any friction between the sides.
Remember, everyone who leaks something has an agenda. But I find this report far more credible than the initial rumor.
Paul’s max projects to be about $205 million over five years. That’s a lot to commit to a 33-year-old, but Paul took a discount to facilitate an opt-in-and-trade to Houston last year. He expects to be made whole.
Until Broussard’s report, all indications were the Rockets would appease him. Barring more information, that should remain the expectation.