“I’m definitely feeling a lot better,” Carter said as the freshmen and sophomores prepared for practice. Continuously doing therapy. I want to be back the next game. That’s what I’m shooting for right now. I don’t know if that’s going to happen; that’s definitely what I’m shooting for.” The Bulls are hoping that Carter as well as Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen will return to play during the next week or two and the Bulls can take a shot and make one final push for that long discussed playoff goal for this season. Carter still believes it’s possible despite the season of setbacks and disappointments. Plus, Carter said after a shaky start he’s on board with coach Jim Boylen.
Mike McGraw: Markkanen said he started to feel the hip pain about a week to 10 days ago, thought it was something he could have played through and was surprised by the diagnosis. But he said after talking to doctors, he agreed sitting out was best option. #Bulls
KC Johnson: Here’s another sign that this Markkanen move is largely precautionary: Told that if this were playoffs, he’d be playing. And as recently as this morning, Markkanen insisted he could play tonight. One benefit: This rest will give time for his ankle to heal.
Shams Charania: Bulls' Lauri Markkanen will miss 4-to-6 weeks with stress reaction of his right pelvis.
KC Johnson: Initial examination shows Lauri Markkanen suffered sprained left ankle, per source. Bulls at Mavericks Monday. Markkanen’s playing status updated later today.
Mike McGraw: Markkanen practiced today, should be able to play Sun at Indiana. Might be sore after leaving last night’s game early with an injury to his side, Boylen said. #Bulls
Darnell Mayberry: Bulls announce Lauri Markkanen has been cleared to resume full basketball related activities after completing thorough examinations from cardiologists at both Rush University Medical Center and Johns Hopkins University.
KC Johnson: Markkanen said he will practice some and travel with team as if he’s “regular NBA player,” wearing heart monitor to give Bulls medical staff additional info.
KC Johnson: Jim Boylen said Lauri Markkanen was expressing desire to play last night as late as 2 pm Weds. Markkanen told people he planned individual workout on day off today. Point is: Markkanen is upbeat after initial battery of tests. Bulls will continue to monitor/additional testing.
Shams Charania: Bulls say precautionary tests on Markkanen have been normal after "an episode of a rapid heart rate and fatigue" on Tuesday night, and he will have additional testing in next 10-14 days. Markkanen had a strong second season, averaging 18 points and nine rebounds.
Lauri Markkanen has been undergoing a series of tests to determine the cause of an episode of a rapid heart rate and fatigue during the game in Toronto on March 26. At this point all testing has been normal, but as a precaution, the medical team has recommended additional testing over the next 10-14 days. Markkanen will not return for the remainder of the season.
“The long-term health of our players is always our organization’s top priority,” said John Paxson, Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations. “We will continue to monitor Lauri’s condition and work with our medical staff and doctors to provide him with everything he may need.”
Darnell Mayberry: Update on Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen, who will miss tonight’s game against Portland. pic.twitter.com/gJuDcy01qw
KC Johnson: Lauri Markkanen: “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I’m just excited to get back out there.”
KC Johnson: One more from Lauri Markkanen, on his elbow: "I feel good. I’ve got a couple practices in and no pain, so that’s a good sign. There’s been nothing the next day after practice. I’ve been playing normally. So that’s good."
Mike McGraw: Lauri Markkanen says the elbow is a little stiff, takes a while to warm up, but it feels good; doesn’t bother him to shoot long-range. His return? “Hopefully soon.” #Bulls pic.twitter.com/qWzqzXK2wg
Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen is moving closer to his season debut after spraining his right elbow in September. Markkanen has been cleared to "fully participate in practice" on Tuesday, coach Fred Hoiberg said. If that goes well, a timeline for Markkanen's return could come into focus.
Mike McGraw: Hoiberg says Markkanen is planning to do some contact tomorrow, hoping he’ll be ready for full practice shortly after. Said Dunn & Portis ran at 80% #Bulls
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."
The original timetable called for Markkanen to miss six to eight weeks, but Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg bumped that back to eight to 10 weeks before the game against the Mavericks. The Bulls want to make sure Markkanen is pain-free and fully conditioned for the grind of the regular-season schedule when he returns. ‘‘He’s still not shooting a lot,’’ Hoiberg said. ‘‘He’s shooting short-range shots. He’s getting really good conditioning workouts in, so when he is cleared to start shooting and has no pain in that type of activity, hopefully he can get back soon as far as when he’s cleared for contact. He’s doing as much as he can right now.’’
Joe Cowley: According to Hoiberg, Markkanen (right elbow) is at least another two weeks from being cleared for contact, and then likely another two weeks to make sure there are no setbacks. Late November, might now be mid to late December before his return.
“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.’’
Malika Andrews: Lauri Markkanen is walking around without a brace. Fred Hoiberg says he is looking at the same timetable for a return but seeing him without a brace is a “relief.”
KC Johnson: Something else of note as Bulls practice/media access nears this AM: By all accounts, Markkanen had played like a monster in informal Sept. workouts and first 2 days of camp.
Vincent Goodwill: Lauri Markkanen out 6-8 weeks with a high grade lateral elbow sprain (right). Sustained the injury Thursday. Big blow to the Bulls
Vincent Goodwill: Kris Dunn will be out tomorrow, along with Lauri Markkanen. Zach LaVine will be a game time decision with tendinitis. Skeleton crew against Cavs, perhaps
Nick Friedell: Fred Hoiberg says Lauri Markkanen (back) will play tonight vs. Sixers. He will not be on a minutes restriction but Bulls will watch him closely.
Vincent Goodwill: Lauri Markkanen will not play tonight; didn't travel with the team. Status for Monday vs. Philly unknown
Mike McGraw: Hoiberg said Lauri Markkanen is feeling better today, plans to do non-contact portions of practice. Sounds like it’s possible he plays Wed vs Utah, but #Bulls won’t push it, obviously.
Vincent Goodwill: Lauri Markkanen will be out tonight. Had back spasms flare up this afternoon. Will get treatment tonight and tomorrow. Nikola Mirotic will start
Mike McGraw: Markkanen on the elliptical machine; Hoiberg hopes to have him back on court tomorrow with ankle sprain. #Bulls
Markkanen practiced for the third straight day Saturday and has been cleared, barring an unexpected Sunday setback, to make his preseason debut against the Pelicans after overcoming back spasms.
Vincent Goodwill: Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen will miss the first two games of the preseason with back spasms. Fred Hoiberg said it's not a long term concern
Mike McGraw: #Bulls say Lauri Markkanen left today's morning practice with back spasms. Status: day-to-day.
Stephen Noh: Markkanen steps out of bounds on game-tying attempt, injures himself on the play. He's being helped off the court after the game.
Vincent Goodwill: Hearing from Bulls personnel that Markkanen's injury isn't bad, and it's likely he plays Sunday
April 18, 2021 | 6:54 pm EDT Update
The New Orleans Pelicans are finalizing a multiyear deal with Brazilian guard Didi Louzada, league sources told ESPN on Sunday. … Louzada has since been stashed with the Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL as part of the league’s Next Stars program.
Since Louzada is a draft pick of the Pelicans, his tax hit for this year would count as zero years of service, which is important for a team trying to stay under the luxury tax this season. … Louzada played two seasons with the Kings, averaging 8.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game over the course of his 2021 NBL campaign, shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 26.4 percent from the 3-point line. In one of Louzada’s recent games, he scored 28 points against the South East Melbourne Phoenix, shooting 6-of-7 from downtown. Over his two years in Sydney, Louzada added nearly 40 pounds to his frame and was widely regarded as one of the NBL’s most reliable perimeter defenders.
Q) Sexton, Garland, and Okoro were all top 10 picks. Which player of the three would you want to build around/with long-term and why? A) Former agent Matt Babcock: “I like all three, although they are very different. However, if I had to choose, I’d take Collin Sexton. I love his toughness, competitiveness, and his ability to put the ball in the hole. I remember watching him at Alabama a few years ago. During warmups his intensity could be felt throughout the whole arena. Although I had some concerns with his game, I remember thinking, “there’s no way this kid doesn’t figure it out on some level or another.” The level of focus and determination that he possessed at that stage in his career convinced me that he would be able to find success. In that particular evaluation, I was right.”
Q) What are your thoughts on Isaac Okoro as we near the finish of his rookie season? A) Matt Babcock: “I think I had a good grip on Okoro going into last year’s draft. He’s a big-time athlete and defender. His offensive game is somewhat simple, but he has a good feel for how to play. His outside shooting, although not broken, is definitely his swing skill. All in all, I think long term we’ll look back and consider Okoro to be a good draft pick. Also, let’s not forget he’s only 20 years old.”
Q) The Cavs appear likely to land another top 5 pick in this summer’s draft. If you’re Cleveland, which prospects fit best with their current roster? A) Matt Babcock: “Our big board at basketballnews.com has our top 5 players being Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green, and Jonathan Kuminga. Jalen Suggs is probably the only player that I see as a guy that wouldn’t be a great fit, as he’s an on ball, true point guard. The other players would all fit in my mind. However, Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley would absolutely be at the top of my wish list if I were the Cavs.”
April 18, 2021 | 6:45 pm EDT Update
Brady Hawk: Goran Dragic on Bam Adebayo, “He’s our leader and he demonstrated that today. Without Jimmy, he took the pressure on his shoulder with that last shot, and he made it.” “He’s awesome.” @5ReasonsSports