Derrick Rose’s Agent: Timberwolves PG ‘Open’ to Return to Bulls in Free Agency

Derrick Rose’s agent didn’t rule out a potential return to the Chicago Bulls as the three-time All-Star point guard approaches free agency this offseason.

B.J. Armstrong addressed the possibility during an interview on 670 The Score in Chicago (h/t Omnisports’ E.Jay Zarett):

“I think we’re going to look at everything, we want to look at the situation. There isn’t a situation we would not look at because Derrick is still a very capable player. We’ll see what the Bulls have. There’s no secret, there’s no doubt that in his heart, Chicago will always be there. We’ll see. I don’t know what the Bulls are going to do at this particular time. … If it presented itself, we’d be open to that conversation. We’ll find out in due time.”

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Rose hasn’t played since the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 103-92 win over the New York Knicks on March 10. The team announced March 23 he had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow and would be out indefinitely.

Before his elbow injury, Rose enjoyed a bounce-back 2018-19 season. He averaged 18.0 points and 4.3 assists while shooting a career-high 37.0 percent from beyond the arc.

The 30-year-old spent his first eight seasons cheap nba jerseys china
with the Bulls. During his tenure with the team, Chicago reached the playoffs seven times, going as far as the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011.

Returning to the Bulls would be a nice story but wouldn’t make much sense given where they’re at as a franchise.

Chicago is 22-58 with two games left in the regular season and likely another year or two from seriously challenging for the playoffs—even in the weaker Eastern Conference.

One could reasonably question whether Kris Dunn or Ryan Arcidiacono is the long-term answer at point guard. Dunn, in particular, has received ample time to prove himself as a starting-caliber NBA point guard, only to fall short of expectations.

Assuming they aren’t sold on their current situation, the Bulls would be better off targeting a point guard in the draft rather than signing Rose. Whatever contributions he’d provide would do little in the grand scheme of things.

And after watching the homecomings of Dwyane Wade and Jabari Parker fail spectacularly, Chicago should avoid letting sentiment guide its personnel decisions in the offseason.

Timberwolves’ mix-and-match lineup loses home finale 120-100 to Raptors

Karl-Anthony Towns took the microphone before Tuesday’s home finale against the Raptors. His words were short and to the point, thanking the fans for their support throughout the season before heading back to the bench.

It’s been a trying year for Wolves fans, who filled up Target Center for the opener on Oct. 19 to boo two guys who used to be their own, Jimmy Butler and Tom Thibodeau.

The home chapter of this story ended Tuesday with a 120-100 loss to the Raptors.

The animosity that was present toward the state of the franchise at the opener wasn’t present in the home finale, just the resignation from a half-full arena that accompanies another year out of the playoffs.

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Towns didn’t play because of right knee inflammation that extended back to an injury he suffered against the Wizards on March 9 and interim coach Ryan Saunders joked before the game that as a result of Towns’ injury he was going to throw out some interesting lineups. The Raptors took advantage in a 43-19 second quarter that sealed the outcome.

Kawhi Leonard finished with 20 points in just 24 minutes of work to lead Toronto. Chris Boucher came off the bench to score 15 while Andrew Wiggins and Gorgui Dieng had 16 to lead the Wolves. Tyus Jones added 11 points and 10 assists.
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focused on trying to improve over the past few weeks even with the playoffs out of reach, but Tuesday had a last-day-of-school feel. There was plenty of laughter inside the Wolves locker room after the game as the team got ready for its final road trip to Denver. Saunders also couldn’t help but crack up during a few of his interactions with reporters.

When asked how the Wolves ended up shooting 42 three-pointers, a high number for them, Saunders said through some laughter: “Honestly, I don’t know. I’ll be honest with you — I’m going to have to take a look at the film, going to Denver. I’ll get you an answer [Wednesday].”

The Wolves have been adamant that they’re not tanking, but Towns not playing made it tremendously difficult to beat the Raptors, which in turn helping the Wolves’ odds of staying behind the Lakers in the standings. If the Wolves lose Wednesday night, they will secure the 10th-worst record in the league and a 13.9 percent chance of jumping into the top four of the draft lottery.

There have been some bright spots for the Wolves in the closing weeks of the season, like Dieng regaining his form after an inconsistent season.

“I know I can help the basketball team, but the minutes I play — it’s not up to me,” Dieng said. “The best I can do is stay ready and whenever I get my name called, get in there and do what I can do.”

His play has been cause for cheer and the crowd got into the Wolves debut of Australian Mitch Creek, who was on a 10-day contract and signed another deal for the end of the season. Creek had eight points.

“It’s always good to get your first run,” Creek said. “You work so hard for so long and you want to go out there and do your best, try and put on a good show.”

At the end of the game, fans who were still there gave the team a standing ovation.

“I’ll say this about our fans, no matter what this year, they have come out and they have been energetic and found things to get excited for,” Saunders said.

‘They’re Going to Boo Me.’ Jimmy Butler Prepares for His Return to Minnesota.

Jimmy Butler knows what’s coming on Saturday night in Minneapolis. He understands, relishes and even encourages the looming prospect of the chilliest welcome any visiting N.B.A. player is bound to receive this season.

“They’re going to boo me,” Butler said of the Minnesota fans who watched him force his way out of town via a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers in November — months after Butler led the woebegone Timberwolves to their first playoff berth in 14 seasons.

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“I would boo me, too. I’m not going to lie to you.”

Now a key member of what is widely regarded as the most cheap nba jerseys
potent starting lineup on the N.B.A. map outside of Golden State, Butler will be back at Target Center for the first time since the trade turmoil that captivated the league for the first two months of the season.

Butler insisted he was unfazed by what awaited him, and went on to suggest that a number of his Philadelphia colleagues, as well as some longtime friends who plan to be in attendance, will partake in the inevitable hostilities.

‘This is still home’: Jimmy Butler makes his 1st United Center visit with the 76ers

Jimmy Butler rose from the 30th pick in the 2011 draft to the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2015 to third-team All-NBA last season.

Until the postseason recognition that came last season with the Timberwolves, two things remained constant: Butler wanted to remain a Bull. And he wanted to win a championship.

Butler made his second return as a visitor to the United Center on Wednesday night and first since he forced his way out of Minnesota and landed with the 76ers in November.

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“From the great games I had here to the terrible ones, to the best competition that comes in here night in and night out, to playing with the players that I played with, this is still home,” Butler said before the game. “I love it here. I do. I think everybody knows that. I’ll be back a lot during the summer.”

Perhaps by then Butler will be sporting a ring, but on Wednesday it was the Bulls who prevailed 108-107 when Zach LaVine scored after inbounding to Robin Lopez and executing cheap nba jerseys china
a perfect give-and-go with 1.6 seconds left. LaVine, who finished with 39 points, got fouled but missed the free throw.

Lopez, huge with 19 points and nine rebounds, set a crushing screen on Ben Simmons to free LaVine for the tying basket with 46.6 seconds left. After Otto Porter Jr.’s block of Tobias Harris, Lopez split two free throws with 17.1 seconds left.

A strange sequence led to mass confusion near the game’s end. The clock operator began the clock before the 76ers’ inbounds pass with 0.5 seconds left was touched, forcing officials to review video as fans emptied out, Lopez and LaVine conducted on-court interviews and players went to their locker rooms.

Officials brought the players back and allowed the 76ers to try again, but Butler couldn’t corral Simmons’ inbounds pass and the game ended.

Butler will be a free agent this summer, but for now, his focus is with his new team.

“It’s been great,” he said. “We’re winning. I’m smiling. I’m happy. I love the group of guys that we have. I’ve got my people with me at the home. Whenever I leave the gym, my mom goes with me. I’m good.”

He’s also, in his words, “very, very confident” the 76ers can win a ring.

“We’ve just got to stay healthy,” he said.

Ja Rule Enters the Realm of Billy Goats, Campbell’s Soup and Lil B

The rapper was not pleased that the Minnesota Timberwolves mocked his performance in Milwaukee. He put a curse on the team.
Sports curses come in all shapes and sizes. They can involve livestock, soup commercials, magazine covers and, frequently, the selling of star players.

In recent years, the rapper Lil B has made a name for himself in the sports realm with his curses — most notably on James Harden of the Houston Rockets — but it appears he has some new competition: the rapper Ja Rule.

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It all started on Saturday, when Ja Rule was performing at halftime of a game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the host Milwaukee Bucks.
The performance came on the 17th anniversary of Ja Rule’s collaboration with Ashanti, “Always Be On Time,” hitting No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. But the show came under criticism cheap nba jerseys from china
immediately because of a somewhat misleading video of the crowd reaction and another one showing an unexpected guest: Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks’ star forward, who came out to begin warming up for the second half while Ja Rule was still performing on the court along with a group of dancers.
The rapper initially shrugged off the criticism, but his tone changed when the Timberwolves decided to mock the performance on social media. In a post to Twitter, the team said “We too were hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, lead astray!!!” The post was a reference to an earlier post by Ja Rule about his role in the ill-fated Fyre Festival, a luxury music event in the Bahamas that failed spectacularly in 2017.

Pistons Surge Into Showdown With Nets With Fifth Straight Win

The Detroit Pistons are playing one of the biggest games of their season on Monday in Brooklyn against the Nets. That was why they were happy to get Sunday’s game out of the way quickly.

Playing at noon on the day after daylight saving time went into effect, the host Pistons scored 42 third-quarter points en route to a 131-107 win against the Chicago Bulls.

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Detroit has won five in a row and 12 of 14 to take a half-game lead over the Nets for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Detroit finished the third quarter with a 103-80 lead, cheap nba jerseys from china
allowing Coach to Dwane Casey to rest Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson for the entire fourth quarter
“That was huge, because we’re playing in Brooklyn tomorrow and then we go to Miami,” Casey said. “We’re not in a position to use what they are calling load management to give our players a night off, so being able to sit them in the fourth is a bonus.”

Griffin (17 points), Drummond (9) and Jackson (8) combined for 34 of Detroit’s 42 points in the third. The Pistons outscored the Bulls by 17 points, hitting 57.7 percent of their shots, going 6 of 12 on 3-pointers.
Griffin finished with 28 points in 27 minutes. Jackson scored 21 points for Detroit and Andre Drummond added 16 points and 15 rebounds. Drummond has recorded double-doubles in 18 straight games, matching his career high. He is one short of Bob Lanier’s franchise record.

“I’ve said it over and over again during these 14 games,” Griffin said. “We’re playing basketball the right way. We’re making extra passes and we’re trusting each other. If you do that, you’ll eventually get hot.”

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Marc Stein has covered Jordan. He’s covered Kobe. And LeBron vs. the Warriors. Go behind the N.B.A.’s curtain with the league’s foremost expert.

Luol Deng helps connect Australia’s South Sudanese basketball pipeline

BLAIRSTOWN, N.J. — Luol Deng had already been setting screens and launching midrange jumpers on NBA courts for nearly a decade when he opened his Facebook account one day in 2013 and read a message from an unfamiliar name.

The social media post came from Mayor Chagai, a youth basketball coach in Sydney, Australia. Deng, a two-time All-Star, learned that he and Chagai shared the same birth country — Africa’s war-torn South Sudan — and Chagai invited the then-Chicago Bulls star to come visit Sydney to see firsthand the basketball program Chagai had started.
“It was really interesting. That’s the first time I really got an idea that there’s a lot of South Sudanese in Australia,” says Deng, who now plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves. “I reached back out and told Mayor I was going to take a trip to come down. When I got there, I was amazed by the program that they’re running and the job that they were doing.”

“Luol was the only person in the NBA at that time that many South Sudanese followed,” Chagai says.
Deng’s 2013 Australia trip, which was the first time he had traveled Down Under, was a fact-finding mission first and foremost, he says. He brought along a staffer from the Luol Deng Foundation, cheap nba jerseys from china 
which supports youth-basketball initiatives mainly in Africa and the U.K. After watching teams stacked with young, South Sudanese basketball prospects play games — including the signature “National Classic” annual tournament Chagai had created and which featured dozens of teams from across Australia — the NBA veteran was wowed. The kids had game.

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“Right away, I started to see the talent and the potential,” says Deng, 33. “I was seeing kids, left and right, that really should be getting scholarships. A lot of them were older, people not recognizing them. They were having a hard time going to the U.S. Right away, I wanted to be more involved.”

During that trip, Deng told Chagai he should contact Joe Mantegna, the boys’ basketball coach at Blair Academy in New Jersey whom Deng played for in the early 2000s alongside Charlie Villanueva, who would go on to play in the NBA as well.

Chagai didn’t waste the opportunity and sent a Facebook friend request to Mantegna. Two years later, in the summer of 2015, Deng and his old high school coach were on their way to Sydney to help run basketball clinics around the city. Social media helped link the veteran NBA player, New Jersey prep school coach and the Australia youth basketball director, but it was also the genesis of what has become a basketball pipeline between Sydney and the U.S.

Elite South Sudanese players have landed scholarships to play for powerhouse high school programs such as the one at Blair as a result of the Chagai connection. This season alone, Mantegna has two players — 6-foot-6 senior shooting guard Henry Makeny and 6-foot-10 sophomore forward Akoldah Gak — on his Buccaneers roster. Both boys grew up in Sydney’s South Sudanese community and honed their hoops skills under Chagai’s watch.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Dissecting the Wolves’ downward spiral

The Minnesota Timberwolves are back to their losing ways. But what happened, and what do they need to do to turn things back around?
It wasn’t that long ago that the Minnesota Timberwolves were riding high, having won nine of 12 games since jettisoning malcontent Jimmy Butler.

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But it sure feelings like it was a long time ago.

The Timberwolves had just won six out of seven games, cheap nba jerseys
including their first two road wins of the season, and their only loss in the stretch was against the Boston Celtics. As soon as the Wolves’ charter jet crossed time zones as it headed west, however, things changed.

Out of nowhere, Robert Covington missed the loss in Portland due to a sore knee. Then, a tough loss to the Warriors and an embarrassing blowout at the hands of the Sacramento Kings in a contest in which the Wolves gave up 141 points in a 48-minute, regulation game.

Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 takeaways from Wolves win over Kings

The Minnesota Timberwolves put together a well-rounded blowout of the Sacramento Kings on Monday night at Target Center. Let’s talk about three key takeaways from the 132-105 victory.
In case fans weren’t sure, the Minnesota Timberwolves are indeed a completely different team at Target Center than they are on the road.

Fresh off another win-less road trip, the Wolves returned to Cheap Minnesota Timberwolves Jerseys their home floor for a blowout win over the Kings, whom they were blown out by just last week in Sactown.

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On this night, however, Minnesota led by as many as 36 points in the first half and ultimately won by a 132-105 margin.

The Wolves and Kings traded blows early in the first quarter and it sure seemed like it was going to be another no-defense affair. But then the home team cracked down just a bit and began to build a double-digit lead that they wouldn’t relinquish the entire night.

In a strange twist, Karl-Anthony Towns was the first starter to sit for the Wolves as he headed to the bench midway through the opening frame. As the bench unit slowly entered the game, the lead continued to grow.

Lakers lose another tight one, falling to Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS — The scene that played out in Target Center was frustratingly familiar for the Lakers on Monday night.

A star opposing wing torched them. Late mistakes squashed the opportunity to take over a close game. They had to leave another hostile arena with a loss, this one a 124-120 defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves – one of the teams they might find themselves battling for a playoff spot later this season.

To this point in the season, the Lakers (2-5) have stressed that they’re still a new team coming together. But after a second straight loss, the team’s fifth overall decided by 10 points or less, the visiting locker room felt like a restless place. LeBron James, who had 29 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists despite not playing his best, seemed to show the first signs that the wait is wearing thin.

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“We talk about patience, but we can’t have recurrence of the same thing,” he said. “Doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result, you know, that’s insanity. So we have to get better. We can’t just have the same mistakes over and over again.”

For the second straight game, the Lakers struggled to guard the opposing star wing. Jimmy Butler lit up the perimeter (6 for 7 on 3-pointers) for 32 points, going 5 for 5 on 3-point attempts during the fourth quarter. Some, the Lakers felt were contested well. Others were not.

Butler’s big game performance was aided by familiar shortcomings wholesale minnesota timberwolves jersey
– on the glass and sending the Timberwolves to the free-throw line. The Lakers allowed 20 offensive rebounds, including nine alone from Karl Anthony-Towns. Minnesota also made (26) more free throws than the Lakers attempted (15), which made for a 16-point difference at the free-throw line alone.

“It’s the same story,” Coach Luke Walton said. “We got to get better at the little things and one of those things is paying attention to details, following game plans. The game plan tonight: keep them off the free-throw line and defensive rebounding. And they hurt us with both of those. I don’t think we were ready mentally to start the game.”

The problems undercut an impressive return to the starting lineup for Brandon Ingram, who scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half off a return from a four-game suspension. Kyle Kuzma also had a brilliant early effort, scoring 11 of the Lakers’ first 13 points and galloping out in transition.