Keith Smith: Per a source: The Magic see an opportunity to land a top-4 pick in the 2021 draft. Putting that player alongside Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz, and the newly acquired Wendell Carter has Orlando believing they can turn things around quickly.
KC Johnson: Can confirm the deal that is being finalized: Carter, Porter and two 1st-round picks to Magic for Vucevic and Aminu, per source. @Adrian Wojnarowski 1st and so much for my theory this regime won’t sacrifice first-round picks. Bulls haven’t given up on pursuit of Ball.
Shams Charania: The Orlando Magic are trading Nikola Vucevic to Chicago for Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Sam Smith: Drummond is a free agent this summer, but regarding the Bulls the most important element is it would take playing time from Wendell Carter, who has played well in his return and seems healthy again. New management still is about analysis and evaluation of their players. Drummond doesn't have any history, anyway, of elevating average teams. He's not worth the effort. I'm still predicting a quiet Bulls trade deadline.
Oh, and about those draft-day trade rumors that had Carter and the fourth pick going to Golden State for the No. 2 selection? “When I first saw it, I kind of knew it was BS,” Carter said. “I didn’t pay much attention to it … I had a lot of faith I was going to be here. I knew the coaching staff and the front office believed in me from the talks that we’ve had. So I knew I was going to be a Bull. But it’s always a little anxiety when you see your name floating around as possibly being traded. But deep down in my heart, I knew I was going to be a Bull.”
K.C. Johnson: FWIW, Wendell Carter Jr. has told people he’s under impression new management values him. Normally, such details have to be taken in perspective. Nobody is untouchable on this roster. However, with new regime touting player-first organization, perhaps this carries some weight.
An NBA scout told the Chicago Sun-Times that there were some teams actively zeroing in on several Bulls, including Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. Is it your normal due diligence or a lot more smoke than usual? In this case, it’s likely both. First, sources have indicated the organization hasn’t even crossed the trade bridge. Executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas hasn’t even rounded up the entire roster at the Advocate Center for a full workout.
As for Carter, he basically became an afterthought in the offense. His touches seemed to disappear after being pushed into the garbage-man role, and his points had to come off offensive rebounds. That offensive philosophy already is being picked apart by the new regime, according to a source, so expect Boylen to have to teach a new look again if he is retained. But many of the defensive schemes Boylen implemented — minus the constant blitzes on pick-and-roll — have been applauded by the front office, so there’s that. So why has the Bulls’ roster drawn attention? Well, Markkanen, Carter and LaVine have had their issues with Boylen.
May 9, 2021 | 11:14 am EDT Update
Justin Kubatko: Russell Westbrook recorded both his 700th rebound and 700th assist of the season last night. It’s the fourth time Westbrook has reached both of those marks in a single season, breaking a tie with Oscar Robertson for the most such seasons in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/lgZHGPn2AU
Fred Katz: Russell Westbrook has more triple-doubles in the last six weeks (21) than Charles Barkley, Bill Russell, Scottie Pippen, Kevin Garnett, Jerry West and Hakeem Olajuwon had in their entire careers.
Magic Johnson: “When we show highlights, it’s how many points somebody had, how far can they shoot out on the court. Russell is neither one of those things. He gets all these triple-doubles, but you don’t see him on the highlights. We’re seeing guys who get 50 or 60 (points), or 45, or who had eight 3-pointers. But we didn’t appreciate and show him getting … I mean, the other night, you get, I think it was 20 boards? People have played 13 years, 15 years, and never get 20 rebounds. Same with assists. I know I got 24 a lot, but for him to get 24, there’s guards who’s played who would never get even 20 (assists). The things he’s been able to do, hopefully, we will say, ‘Give him his love, give him his respect.’ This is really big. This is something I couldn’t even do. I know how big it is.”
“I went after rebounds, too,” he said. “That’s part of your job. Him not hunting down those damn rebounds, they wouldn’t be on this win streak they’re on. You could say Moses Malone hunted rebounds, that he threw the ball up off the glass to get offensive rebounds. Social media, Twitter, and a lot of sportswriters who really don’t know the game have access to players. I tell you what – Beal likes playing with him. He’s not taking away from Beal. Beal’s still getting 30 points a night. Fat Lever (10th all-time in career triple-doubles, with 43) played with Danny Schayes and Blair Rassumussen and all those guys. I bet you Westbrook wouldn’t stop Dennis Rodman from leading the league in rebounding. Rebounding is about contact, especially if you’re offensive rebounding.” Added Walker, “You can’t be selfish getting triple-doubles. You would be doing him a disservice as a coach if you told him not to be aggressive. If he doesn’t play hard, he’s not a good basketball player.”
May 9, 2021 | 7:06 am EDT Update
Olgun Uluc: Cameron Oliver has agreed to a 10-day contract with the Houston Rockets, league sources told ESPN. He’s expected to suit up for the Rockets’ final four games of the season; the big-man averaged 17.3 ppg & 10.0 rpg in Australia’s NBL for the Cairns Taipans.
Westbrook matched the Hall-of-Fame point guard with his 181st triple-double with 1:39 remaining in the third quarter. But then Westbrook made sure the Wizards won this critical game, burying two free throws to give Washington the lead with a second left in overtime before sealing a 133-132 overtime win over the Pacers with an incredible block on a Caris LeVert 3-point attempt at the buzzer at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Westbrook finished with 33 points, 19 rebounds, 15 assists and two blocks. “I’m so grateful, thankful and blessed,” said Westbrook, who can set the new triple-doubles career record as early as Monday when the Wizards play in Atlanta. “I take a lot of pride in doing everything to impact winning as much as I can and leave it on the floor.
Fred Katz: Bradley Beal: “I had the honor of my parents being at the game tonight. They drove up 3-4 hours. So the last thing I wanna do is waste their time, play like ass. My mom wouldn’t let me live that one down.”