SH Blog: Is Derrick Williams Safe In Minnesota? Could Durant Leave OKC? Hakeem Pays Tribute to Kobe

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Derrick WilliamsAs glamorous as it may seem, the NBA can be a tough place to make it for certain players.

Being in the league alone justifies your level of talent. But it takes more than talent to survive.

Just ask J.R. Smith and Lamar Odom, two of the more talented players in the league who cannot seem to get out of their own way.

While it may not be drugs that are bringing Minnesota’s Derrick Williams down, the former No. 2 overall draft pick faces an uncertain future in Minnesota. 

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Five Things To Watch: Chicago Bulls

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derrick rose 300x160After Derrick Rose shredded his ACL in the first game of the 2011-12 playoffs, Chicago Bulls management decided the injury shredded the team’s chances at competing for a title and proceeded accordingly.

From the instant the front office decided to jettison useful contributors from the famed “Bench Mob” in favor of lesser, slightly cheaper approximations, the 2012-13 campaign was a bit of a throwaway season. Rose seemingly got the message and took it as an opportunity to sit out the entire season and make sure that he was really, really fully recovered before making his return.

But what a throwaway season it was! 

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Tweet of the Day: LeBron praises Scottie Pippen

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James

One of the rarest, yet most exciting, occurrences in sports happens when a great player compliments another.

That happened today when LeBron James complimented the game of former Bulls great Scottie Pippen.

The Miami Heat star makes a good point, Pippen may actually deserve more credit than he’s received being Michael Jordan’s longtime sidekick.

In 17 NBA seasons, Pippen averaged 16.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 5.2 apg, and 2.0 spg. And besides consistent numbers, he also has a long list of career accomplishments many could only dream of having.

Pippen

Pippen is a six-time NBA champion, seven-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA team appearances and still holds the record for most playoff steals with 395.

Definitely a nice tribute from James, but maybe there’s a purpose to his unexpected tweet.

Back in May, King James and Pippen were at the center of a media frenzy over a comment apparently made by the former Bull.

Alonzo Mourning, a former Charlotte Hornets’ and Miami Heat big man, told a crowd of listeners that Pippen said LeBron “would’ve kicked MJ’s ass” in a 1-on-1 game.

Although very controversial, Pippen hasn’t commented on Mourning’s claim and it was eventually swept under the rug.

Perhaps James was repaying the favor to Pippen.

Either way, there’s no denying the ability of Pippen and the power of him, Jordan and Dennis Rodman all on the court together.

 

Previous Tweet Posts:

Tweet of the Night: Mark Jackson on passing of Dean Meminger

Tweet of the Day: Steph Curry Wishes Brother Seth a Happy Birthday

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Brett Poirier is a contributor to Sheirdan Hoops.

SH Blog: Are Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson the Future in Cleveland?

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Toronto Raptors v Cleveland CavaliersSuccess is not a destination, it’s what happens along the way.

Whether we are talking about NBA franchises or individual players, they all will experience this journey in one form or another.

Successful or unsuccessful.

Recently speaking, the Heat, Spurs, Thunder, Pacers, Bulls, Knicks, Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers have all experienced, in some form, a journey of success.

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Chicago Bulls Salaries and Analysis

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CHICAGO BULLS

2013-14

Draft Picks Coming: 2014 first round (Charlotte, protected 1-10); 2014 first round (Sacramento, 1-12); 2015 first round (Miami, 1-10; Cleveland, 1-14, right to switch); 2015 second round (Portland); 2016 second round (Portland)

Draft Picks Going: None

Trade Exceptions: None

Over/Under: Over the cap, under the tax

Amnesty Provision: Available

Stretch Provision: Used on Richard Hamilton

SALARIES

PLAYER 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Derrick Rose $17,630,000 $18,860,000 $20,090,000 $21,320,000
Carlos Boozer  $15,300,000 $16,800,000
Joakim Noah $11,100,000  $12,200,000 $13,400,000
 Taj Gibson  $7,550,000 $8,000,000  $8,550,000 $8,950,000
Andrew Bynum $6,000,000  
 Kirk Hinrich  $4,060,000
Mike Dunleavy $3,180,000  $3,330,000
Tony Snell $1,410,000 $1,470,000 $1,540,000
 $2,370,000  $3,390,000
Nazr Mohammed $1,400,000
 Jimmy Butler $1,110,000  $2,010,000  $3,180,000
D.J. Augustin $1,030,000
T. Shengelia $790,000
Erik Murphy $490,000
Richard Hamilton $340,000  $330,000 $330,000
TOTAL SALARY $71,390,000 $63,000,000 $47,040,000 $32,640,000 $3,390,000

Player Option Team Option Qualifying Offer

ANALYSIS

For the second straight season, the Bulls were projected to be a tax-paying team. And for the second straight season, they were without Derrick Rose for an extended stretch. So they decided to change their finances.

After Rose went down, the Bulls traded impending free agent Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the dumpable contract of Andrew Bynum and three draft picks, including one in the first round. The trade allowed the Bulls to get under the luxury tax threshold, which has impacted their ability to fill out their bench the last two seasons.

Two years ago, the “Bench Mob” included Omer Asik, Kyle Korver, C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer. All were let go last summer and replaced by the likes of Richard Hamilton, Marco Belinelli, Nate Robinson and Nazr Mohammed.

Mohammed is back on a one-year veteran’s minimum deal. But Hamilton was waived – saving $4 million – and Belinelli and Robinson are gone in search of more money in multiyear deals.

The Bulls did use their taxpayer exception smartly on Mike Dunleavy, who will provide some outside shooting and veteran savvy.

One way to create some flexibility would have been to use the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer, which would save $32 million against the cap and tax over the next two years and activate the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions. However, owner Jerry Reinsdorf was reluctant to take on that much dead money, especially with the rights to Nikola Mirotic and a likely lottery pick from Charlotte coming. 

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