Kris Dunn is trying to convince the Bulls he can be their long-term point guard.
This won’t help.
Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago:
Dunn will still have plenty of time to show he’s continuing his progress from last season. But this narrows the window to prove himself before becoming extension-eligible next offseason.
Dunn’s injury also increases the chances Chicago (0-3) will have its pick of point guards in the draft next year. In the meantime, the Bulls will turn to a hodgepodge of Cameron Payne, Ryan Arcidiacono, Tyler Ulis and now Shaquille Harrison.
Kris Dunn, the Bulls’ clear top point guard, has yet to play this season due the birth of his child. Even when he returns, Chicago’s other point guards – Cameron Payne, Ryan Arcidiacono, Tyler Ulis – are uninspiring, even as backups.
So, the Bulls added Shaquille Harrison, whom the Suns waived after agreeing to sign Jamal Crawford.
The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Shaquille Harrison.
In a preceding move, the Bulls waived center Omer Asik.
Harrison is a nice pickup, one of the better free agents available and someone who plays a position of need. The Bulls could use several swings at finding long-term point guards, and the 25-year-old Harrison is a potential fit.
Waiving Asik is an interesting move. Asik was injured, and this could end the 32-year-old’s career. But Chicago loses the ability to trade his contract. Just $3 million of Asik’s $11,977,527 2019-20 salary was guaranteed, which could have been useful in a salary-accepting trade.
Instead, Asik will count $11,286,516 against the cap this season and $3 million after that. The Bulls can either pay the entire $3 million next season or stretch it to $1 million each of the next three seasons. Stretching the money would indicate Chicago still plants to be aggressive in free agency next summer. Paying all it once would suggest a more patient rebuild.
Devin Booker was upset with the Suns for waiving Tyler Ulis without first telling the franchise player.
Want a glimpse of their bond?
Watch this 2017 video, recently published by TMZ:
We’re told Tyler was trying to hold the elevator for his friends when another group of guys tried to get on.
When Tyler continued to hold it … they took offense and a scuffle broke out.
A short time later, Ulis’ friends — including Suns superstar Booker — took the elevator to the scene of the fight and found the men who attacked Ulis. Another fight broke out, Ulis threw punches.
Booker — who covered his face with a bandana — does not appear to hit anyone.
The Suns say they are looking into the incident.
A source close to the Suns administration tells us, “While these guys know they are always potential targets for others trying to cause trouble, it’s hard to blame them for defending their friend who is on the bad end of a 4 on 1 attack.”
It sounds as if the Suns have already made up their mind and are saying they’re looking into the incident because that’s what they’re supposed to say.
Ulis – who was at the heart of the fight – is already gone. Booker, who signed a max extension this month, was involved but not much more than that.
The Suns should investigate further to better understand the situation, but based on that video and report, it’s hard to see anything for the team to do at this point.
We got word out of Phoenix last week that star Devin Booker wasn’t too excited about the Suns passing on keeping friend Tyler Ulis on the roster. Then again, we knew that there was no way that Booker was going to let personal preferences alter his decision when it came to signing a five-year maximum deal with the team that drafted him.
Now it appears Booker and the Phoenix Suns are getting closer on a deal which will reportedly be ready when the free agent moratorium ends on July 6th.
According to ESPN, Booker and the Suns are working on a five-year, $158 million contract extension that could come this week.
Since its inception, no player has refused a max deal coming off their rookie contract with their current team. Booker obviously was not going to be an exception to that even after the Suns decided to get rid of longtime friend Ulis.
As they stand now, Phoenix has a salary figure of around $84 million including Booker’s current deal. Signing Booker this offseason will raise that cap figure by about $24 million by itself, which will put Phoenix over the line but under the luxury.
The Suns will also be out from under the contracts of Tyson Chandler and Jared Dudley after next season, so they will still have some cap space to spare. It also seems unlikely that the Suns are done dealing this offseason as they try to grow along with 2018 No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton.
Signing Booker is a no-brainer for Phoenix, and the real interest will be in Ayton’s development and what moves the Suns can make moving forward.
NBA free agency has already been pretty weird and it’s only July 1st. Things have wavered when it comes to LeBron James heading to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Philadelphia 76ers are pursuing Kawhi Leonard, and now it appears that one young star isn’t too happy with his front office after a recent roster move.
Phoenix Suns star guard Devin Booker reportedly is upset with team brass after Phoenix waived guard Tyler Ulis.
Ulis and Booker are very good friends (the two played together at Kentucky and have known each other for a while) and while Phoenix makes way for salary cap absorption they didn’t see space for the former Wildcats point guard.
If history tells us anything in the NBA, it’s that players playing favorites toward guys they like isn’t a viable way to make your team better. Just look at just about every roster LeBron James has played on. Putting undue influence on a team to keep a player you are friendly with regardless of skill-set or roster contact is a bad look.
Booker sort of has the Suns over a barrel, especially given how well he has played and is projected to grow over the next couple of years. Phoenix has had a hard time signing or trading for a big star, something it seems they are always rumored to be in the works for. In the meantime, the Suns have a lot of dead weight along with Booker and Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018.
Then again, Booker isn’t necessarily good enough to make a demand that a friend be kept on the roster. Few NBA players actually are. For now this seems like NBA drama being aired openly, potentially to gain leverage later. There’s no worry that Booker will turn down any kind of max deal from Phoenix this early in his career. At least, not yet.