Chicago Bulls Rumors
Alex Bazzell is focused on his laptop. His eyes track every pivot foot and shot release, and he stores the details away in his memory for future use. It’s late June, and the 28-year-old basketball skills trainer is in his St. Louis home watching film of Bulls forward Bobby Portis to prepare for an upcoming trip to Chicago. Later that night, he’ll mimic the moves he wants to practice with Portis in front of a mirror to replicate them on the court. Suddenly, his phone rings. Bazzell doesn’t recognize the number, so he rejects the call. A text message follows almost immediately. Hey, this is Kobe Bryant. Call me back. At first, Bazzell thinks it’s a prank. It’s not. Bryant wants Bazzell to train his daughter’s seventh-grade basketball team the following weekend—a two-a-day Friday, six hours Saturday, and another two-a-day Sunday: 14 practice hours in total.
MT: Speaking of narratives from your career, there were different ones coming out of Dallas and Sacramento than in your last two stints in Chicago and New Orleans, where a lot was said about your positive impact on young players. Do you feel like you’ve been the same person all the way through, and the situations have just fit in different ways? Rajon Rondo: That’s pretty accurate. What I pride myself on mostly is making the game easier for my teammates. I don’t mind thinking up every play or possession for my teammates if that’s what’s needed. I’m an extension of the coach on the floor.
In the meeting Monday, the Timberwolves will have to lay out a plan that shows a clear path to contention that will get Butler to commit to plunging into another season in Minnesota. But the Timberwolves will also have an enormous decision to make. If they don’t believe Butler is committed to be in Minnesota long-term, they would have to at least consider moving him. Thibodeau traded Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 overall pick (Lauri Markkanen) for Butler and the No. 16 overall pick (Justin Patton) last year.
Darnell Mayberry: Another addition to the Bulls’ training camp roster: JaKarr Sampson, The Athletic has learned. Sampson, a 6-9 forward and three-year veteran, appeared in 22 games with Sacramento last season. He’ll come to Chicago competing for a roster spot.
While the Bulls wound up getting Parker, several other teams expressed interest in landing him during free agency or in a sign and trade scenario. A league source said the Sacramento Kings offered Parker a deal for just more than $18 million a season and that the Brooklyn Nets were prepared to offer around $16 million.
Also, a Knicks source said the team gave Parker a physical – just days after Parker went through a physical for the Nets. The source said the Knicks were “highly interested’’ in landing Parker in a sign-and-trade deal with the Bucks. One of the Knicks who was mentioned in a potential sign-and-trade transaction was veteran shooting guard Courtney Lee.