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Three Things to Know: Derrick Rose hears MVP chants in return to Chicago

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Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.

1) Derrick Rose hears MVP chants from Chicago crowd after he puts on a show in his hometown. Derrick Rose is a Chicago legend. He was born there, played on the blacktop and in the high school gyms there. Came back from college as a member of the Bulls and went on to win an MVP there with an exciting and dynamic style. He is still loved there, no matter how it ended.

The prodigal son returned home Wednesday night wearing a Timberwolves jersey and in the middle of a renaissance season — 18.7 points per game, 4.7 assists, shooting 45.5 percent from three and with a 19.7 PER — that is his best since he wore a Bulls uniform and heard MVP chants at the United Center.

He scored 24 on his old team Wednesday and heard those MVP chants again.

Rose’s highlight package on the night was vintage Rose. He attacked, absorbed the contact, and made plays. What he has now that he didn’t have in his time in Chicago — besides healthy knees — is craft to his game. He’s much more than just an athlete now.

Rose had 24 to lead the Timberwolves in a thrashing of the struggling Bulls, 119-94.

2) Don’t look now, but the Nets have won 9-of-10 and Spencer Dinwiddie is a stud. When Spencer Dinwiddie recently signed a three-year, $34 million extension with the Nets, there were a lot of casual fans around the sports universe who said, “who got how much? Damn NBA is out of control.”

Not in NBA circles. Talk to league executives, and you heard a lot of “Dinwiddie could have made more in July but he took the security of the payday now.” Not that anyone blamed him (execs think the Nets made a smart move with the extension).

Wednesday night he showed why there were a number of teams eyeing him heading into free agency, scoring 37 in Brooklyn’s double-overtime win against Charlotte.

This was an entertaining game to watch from the start, but how it got to overtime in the first place was one of the oddest end-of-game sequences you will ever see.

The Nets have won 9-of-10 and are back in the playoff picture in the East as the nine seed, just 1.5 games out of the postseason. Which is remarkable and speaks to the effort of the players and the culture being built in Brooklyn. The Nets are making this run with an elite offense — 114.5 points scored per 100 possessions in their last 10, third best in the league — covering up a bottom 10 defense. That is not only winning them games, but it’s also making them fun to watch, and everybody is noticing.

3) Danny Green drains game-winning three and the Raptors keep on winning, 106-104 vs. Miami. Not only are the Toronto Raptors 26-10 this season, it just feels different from the past Toronto teams (the ones that flamed out in the playoffs with a predictable offense and guys that didn’t always step up in the moment). The win over the Heat in Miami on Wednesday showed why.

First, they have Kawhi Leonard now, and he dropped 30 in this game. He’s better than any player this franchise has ever had (sorry, Chris Bosh) and we know he can step up in the postseason because he’s got a ring and a Finals MVP trophy to prove it.

Then there are the role players. Danny Green might be the best under-the-radar pickup in the NBA last season, a throw-in as part of the Leonard trade but a guy with a championship ring, an All-Defensive team player, and a guy who all season (and throughout his career) has knocked down the big shot in clutch moments. Like he did Wednesday night.

The real test for Toronto will come in May (and maybe June), but right now I would not doubt this team.

Just a reminder, after draft and free agency Wizards have still not named official GM

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When Wizards owner Ted Leonsis finally ended Ernie Grunfeld’s run as team GM back in April — to the joy of Wizards fans everywhere — it was expected they would have a new head of basketball operations in place by the draft.

Nope.

So by the start of free agency, to guide the Wizards through this tumultuous summer?

Nope.

Tommy Shepard has been doing the job on an interim basis, and as Jeff Zillgit of the USA Today points out a lot of league talk in Las Vegas was about why Leonsis just hasn’t given Shepard the job.

Team executive after executive had the same question when the Washington Wizards’ unresolved top front-office job opening came up. “Why not just give Tommy the job?”

Tommy is Tommy Sheppard, the Wizards’ longtime exec, who has been running basketball operations since owner Ted Leonsis decided not to bring Ernie Grunfeld back. Sheppard ran the draft, free agency and the Wizards’ Summer League team, but he doesn’t have the full-time job.

A couple of more prominent names were linked to the Wizards job at points. There were reportedly talks with Tim Conley, who built Denver into a real threat, but he decided to stay in the Rockies. There were rumors of Masai Ujiri, but he has chosen to stay in Toronto after winning a title.

At this point, after Shepard has built the team for this coming season, is Leonsis really going to bring in someone else?

The Wizards have decisions to make. This is a young roster not ready to be a threat in the East, but with Bradley Beal and the injured John Wall (likely out for the season after tearing his Achilles), they also are capped out. So far they have turned away calls from other teams about a Beal trade (nobody is calling about a Wall trade with his max contract extension just kicking in).

Come July 26 the Wizards can offer Beal a three-year, $111 million extension, both sides are talking and the offer is expected to be made. That’s when the big decision comes — if Beal doesn’t sign that offer the Wizards have to look at trading him. Beal has spoken numerous times in the past about wanting to stay with the Wizards, but there was plenty of informed league speculation at Summer League that he is frustrated with the franchise and may not sign the extension, essentially forcing his way out. It’s something to watch in the coming weeks.

It probably would be nice to have a locked-in head of basketball operations by then, but who knows what Leonsis will do.

Cameron Payne reportedly agrees to partially-guaranteed contract with Toronto

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Cameron Payne was the starting point guard at one point early in the season in Chicago (until Kris Dunn returned), it didn’t last long, and by the middle of the season he was waived. The Cavaliers picked him up in a limited role at the end of the season.

Payne played for Dallas at Summer League and needed to impress there to have a shot a roster spot for next season. He did, averaging 20 points per game on 51 percent shooting, and he had one 32-point game.

The Toronto Raptors will bring Payne and let him compete to be the third point guard, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Raptors have Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet at the point, there are not a lot of minutes to be had there. However, both men are in the final year of their contracts. Plus, he brings some pregame dancing that every team needs.

The Raptors now have 16 potential NBA contracts coming into training camp, which means there will be cuts. The fact Payne has a decent guarantee his first year means he’s going to get a real look.

Payne, the No. 14 pick of the Thunder back in 2015, has struggled to find a fit in the NBA. While his skill set should fit the modern game, he doesn’t quite shoot or distribute well enough to earn a coach’s trust. He will try to change that with Nick Nurse.

Enes Kanter trolls (jokingly) Kyrie Irving on why Kanter will wear No. 11 with Boston

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Kyrie Irving is off to Brooklyn, which opened up the No. 11 jersey in Boston.

New Celtics center Enes Kanter will wear it, and his answer as to why is an awesome joke and troll of Irving.

You have to love the smile before he makes the joke, he has planned this out.

If you don’t get the “I want to be the reason no one else will” wear No. 11, you have to remember this Irving/Nike ad from Boston.

Well played Kanter, well played.

Report: Knicks’ Reggie Bullock could miss first month of season with injury

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On Tuesday, the Knicks made it official, they had signed sharpshooter Reggie Bullock to a two-year contract.

It had been a strange negotiation. Bullock had initially agreed to a two-year, $21 million contract with New York but after that (during the physicals) an injury of some nature came to light and the contract was re-negotiated down to two-years, $8.2 million (part of the room exception), money freed up allowed the Knicks to chase and land Marcus Morris.

Now comes a report Bullock will miss the start of the season with an injury. From Ian Begley of SNY.tv

There is no specific timetable for Bullock to be on the court at the moment. But, per SNY sources, Bullock is expected to miss at least a month of the regular season due to his ailment…

The medical issue that caused the hiccup is unclear, but Bullock has dealt with plantar fasciitis in the past.

Plantar fasciitis is something generally healed with rest, which Bullock should be getting plenty of this summer, making it a little unusual for it to extend into the season.

Bullock has a history of injury issues, having played 62 games two seasons ago in Detroit, then 63 last season between the Pistons and Lakers.

Bullock averaged 11.3 points and shot 37.7 percent from three last season. He will provide some much-needed floor spacing in New York, once he gets on the court.