Bulls injury update per Fred Hoiberg: Lauri Markkanen is shooting from deeper range, but is still 1-2 weeks away from playing with contact. Hoiberg says they will likely utilize the Windy City Bulls — the G League affiliate — to help get him back into game shape. Denzel Valentine’s time frame is still “up in the air.”
“Lauri had a good day as far as conditioning,’’ Hoiberg said. “Did more than he has. Denzel did some straight-ahead running and spot shooting, still has not cut on ankle. We’ll try to get Lauri in game shape as quickly as possible.’’
KC Johnson: Denzel Valentine said he did straight-ahead running on track today, still hasn't done any lateral movement. No timetable for his return.
KC Johnson: Denzel Valentine will be re-evaluated in 2 weeks after scan revealed bone bruise in left ankle. He’ll be out past that. That’s just re-evaluation point.
Nick Friedell: Hoiberg believes Denzel Valentine will play tonight. He missed Friday’s practice because of knee soreness.
July 3, 2022 | 4:06 pm EDT Update
July 3, 2022 | 3:20 pm EDT Update
Brooklyn insists that talks are only preliminary at this point, but Chris Haynes’ report Saturday that the Nets and Lakers have discussed a Kyrie Irving trade only fueled what is already a widespread expectation that Irving is destined to end up with the Lakers. I certainly believe that, too. I know Irving has been in Los Angeles this week, but that’s not the source of my confidence. It stems from repeated rumbles in circulation that LeBron James is rooting hard for Irving’s addition to the roster. James, I’m told, wants to see Irving in Lakerland more than anyone. What other team, furthermore, has a LeBron-sized personality with the experience to cope with all the chaos that comes with adding Kyrie? James, remember, has often thrived in chaos.
The Kevin Durant Trade Sweepstakes should keep the NBA’s Transaction Game at the forefront of discussion far longer than this summer’s marketplace was projected to entertain us. Sixty done deals and 10 contract extensions, after all, were already reported entering Sunday’s Day 4. Everyone on the NBA map knows that Brooklyn is prepared to accede to Durant’s trade request in what is widely expected to pan out as a blockbuster involving three (or more) teams. It just might not come to fruition as quickly as the masses hope, with Durant under contract for the next four seasons and the Nets thus possessing almost all of the leverage. Brooklyn is incentivized to be a bit patient to ensure it secures the optimal trade package for the ages.