Cameron Bairstow

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Andrew Bogut on Australia’s Olympic team, but he must prove health

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Andrew Bogut has been included in Australia’s Olympic squad despite concerns over his fitness.

Australia coach Andrej Lemanis announced his 12-man roster on Monday, saying he’d give Bogut until the eve of the games in Rio de Janeiro next month to recover from the bone bruising around his left knee sustained during Golden State’s seven-game loss to Cleveland in the NBA finals. The 31-year-old Bogut, who has been traded to Dallas, has been working with the Boomers squad in Melbourne and has until Aug. 5 to show he is fit enough to play in his third Olympic basketball tournament.

Matthew Dellavedova, a guard who helped Cleveland to the NBA championship, and 2014 NBA champion Patty Mills are also in the Australian squad.

“We are going to Rio to win a medal,” Mills said. “We all understand it is going to be a very hard task but the belief in each other that we can get it done is very exciting. This is certainly one of the strongest teams I’ve been a part of.”

The Australians will play warmup matches against the Pac-12 College All-Stars in Melbourne on Tuesday and Thursday and will have further warmup matches in America before arriving in Brazil. The Australians play France on Aug. 6 and Serbia on Aug. 8 before facing the U.S. on Aug. 10 and China on Aug. 12.

Australia squad: David Andersen, Cameron Bairstow, Aron Baynes, Andrew Bogut, Ryan Broekhoff, Matthew Dellavedova, Chris Goulding, Joe Ingles, Kevin Lisch, Damian Martin, Patrick Mills, Brock Motum.

Pistons trade Spencer Dinwiddie to Bulls for Cameron Bairstow

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The Bulls have one point guard under contract for next season: Derrick Rose.

Whether or not they trade him, they still need depth at the position. So, they’ll give Spencer Dinwiddie a shot.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has acquired forward Cameron Bairstow from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

Dinwiddie and Bairstow both have unguaranteed salaries for next season. Dinwiddie’s partially guarantees Nov. 1, and Bairstow’s fully guarantees July 25. There’s a decent chance neither former second-rounder makes a regular-season roster.

Dinwiddie has made decent strides in everything but shooting, and his lack of a steady jumper cripples his game. He shot better in college before an ACL injury. If he re-finds his touch, he could be OK.

Bairstow has some raw skills as a stretch big, but his lack of NBA strength and athleticism holds him back.

John Wall’s triple-double leads Wizards past Bulls 117-96

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The week began with John Wall and the Washington Wizards on a five-game losing streak and facing a daunting margin just to reach the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

After a pair of victories by an average of 32 points over the two teams right ahead of them in the standings, the Wizards are in a far different place.

“Now we’re in it,” forward Jared Dudley said. “Before, if we lose these two, we would have been out of it. We win these two, now we’re in the thick of things.”

Finally playing as if their chance at returning to the postseason was on the line, which it very much is, the Wizards beat Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls 117-96 behind Wall’s third triple-double of the season Wednesday night.

Wall, an All-Star point guard, produced 29 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, outplaying Rose, who returned after missing two games with a strained left groin and finished with 16 points and four assists.

“We just couldn’t really get a stop tonight, so they got us,” said Doug McDermott, who led the Bulls with 20 points as a reserve. “We’ve got to come out with urgency. We didn’t do that tonight. That’s on us.”

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Wall pointed his finger at the defensive side of the ball, saying that the Wizards spent plenty of time watching video of their disastrous recent road trip and focusing on how to improve the way they deal with opponents’ pick-and-rolls.

And, he thinks, the dividends could keep coming.

“We put ourselves in this situation. And if we just keep playing defense this way, we give ourselves a great chance to beat anybody. Simple as that,” Wall said. “We simplified our defense the last two games, it showed up and it’s been a lot better.”

In their previous outing, on Monday, the Wizards beat the visiting Detroit Pistons by 43 points. Detroit lost again Wednesday, 118-114 at Atlanta, meaning Washington is still 10th in the East but now sits only 1 1/2 games behind both the eighth-place Bulls and ninth-place Pistons.

Plus, there is this: The Wizards now own the tiebreakers against both of those teams they’re chasing, 2-1 over Chicago with no games remaining and 3-0 over Detroit with only one to play.

“We knew that the teams that we’re chasing were right here in front of us,” Dudley said. “We knew it was now or never.”

Wall received plenty of help, including 20 points from Bradley Beal and 15 from reserve Garrett Temple.

Chicago got Rose back, and Jimmy Butler scored 17 points in his second game in a row after missing three with an injury. But Joakim Noah is done for the season, Pau Gasol is still out, and Taj Gibson played only 8 minutes Wednesday because he aggravated his right hamstring.

“The challenge is pretty tough right now,” Rose said, “but that’s why we’re pros.”

ROSE’S RETURN

Rose said he expects to face Brooklyn on Thursday. “I wasn’t really trying to force anything,” he said about Wednesday’s return to action. “Just trying to get a groove, get a feel for the ball.” Coach Fred Hoiberg’s take: “I thought his burst looked good, for the most part. We wanted to play him short stints, no longer than 7-minute stints.”

TEMPLE CAN’T MISS

Temple’s points all came in the first half, when he shot 5 for 5 on 3s. “Just taking what the defense gave him,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. The rest of the Wizards’ bench was a combined 0 for 11 in the half.

HOME COOKIN’

The Wizards have won seven of their past eight games in Washington. “Maybe,” Temple joked, “we need to play the rest of our games at home.”

FLAGRANT?

Wall was whistled for a flagrant foul after chasing Butler down and blocking his shot. Wittman’s postgame reaction to the call? “I’m glad I didn’t play in this (era). Jiminy Christmas, if that was a flagrant. But times have changed.”

TIP-INS

Bulls: Have lost nine of 10 on the road. … Cameron Bairstow sat out with a back injury.

Wizards: C Marcin Gortat missed the first quarter because of a sore lower back after tweaking it in warmups. He wound up scoring nine points in 18 minutes. … F Alan Anderson sat out.

 

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

Bulls waive Jordan Crawford

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The Bulls are shaking things up this season.

Just not to Jordan Crawford levels.

Bulls release:

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived guards Jordan Crawford and Marcus Simmons.

Crawford was the most accomplished of the four Bulls without fully guaranteed salaries – Crawford, Simmons Cameron Bairstow and Cristiano Felicio – vying for roster spots behind 13 players with guaranteed salaries. But that has also cemented Crawford’s reputation.

Crawford is an exciting, though inefficient, gunner. It would’ve been fun to see him on the court this season. Chicago is probably better off without him, especially if Fred Hoiberg can create more organic scoring opportunities based on ball and player movement.

This leaves the Bulls with the regular-season limit of 15 players, including Bairstow and Felicio. I think Bairstow, whose salary is $425,000 guaranteed, sticks. Felicio is a tougher call – especially because Chicago is in line to pay the luxury tax.

Report: Bulls signing Jordan Crawford

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LeBron James has eliminated the Bulls from the playoffs four of the last six years.

Probably coincidentally, Chicago is seeking help from someone most famous for dunking on LeBron – Jordan Crawford.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Free-agent guard Jordan Crawford has reached agreement on a contract with the Chicago Bulls, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Crawford, who played in summer league with the Dallas Mavericks, will join the Bulls on a non-guaranteed training camp deal.

Crawford, who played four seasons in the NBA, spent last year in China and the D-League. He passes well for a shooting guard. But he doesn’t finish well at the rim, and his jumper is inefficient. That doesn’t stop him from shooting, though.

Tom Thibodeau’s Bulls would have had more use for a ball-stopper like Crawford, hoping he could create something in a sometimes-stagnant offense. With Fred Hoiberg, Chicago should hope it doesn’t need to rely on players Crawford. Ideally, spacing and ball movement will create shots more than individual players.

As it stands, Crawford could make the regular-season roster to provide depth behind Jimmy Butler, E’Twaun Moore and Kirk Hinrich, who will swing behind both guard positions. The Bulls have just 13 guaranteed salaries plus Cameron Bairstow ($425,000 guaranteed) and Cristiano Felicio (unguaranteed).