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Bulls sign Greg Smith, waive Tornike Shengelia

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has requested waivers on Tornike Shengelia (TOR-Neek Shen-ge-liya), and signed forward Greg Smith for the remainder of the season

Smith (6-10, 250), has played two-plus seasons in the NBA for the Houston Rockets where he appeared in 89 regular-season games (10 starts). During that time, he has posted career averages of 5.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 0.53 bpg in 14.4 mpg, while shooting .623 from the field and .615 from the free throw line. This season, Smith played in 11 games for the Rockets and averaged 3.5 ppg and 2.5 rpg in 9.1 mpg.

Shengelia (6-9, 220), was acquired from Brooklyn in exchange for guard Marquis Teague on January 21. He appeared in nine games for the Bulls and averaged 0.4 ppg and 0.2 rpg in 1.9 mpg. In his NBA career, Shengelia has appeared in 45 games and averaged 1.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg and 0.4 apg in 5.5 mpg, while shooting .451 from the field.

Chicago’s roster currently stands at 15 players.

mike james

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed guard Mike James and forward Lou Amundson (Ah-mund-son) for the remainder of the season. In accordance with team policy, terms of the contracts were not announced.

James (6-2, 188), an 11-year NBA veteran, appeared in 11 games with Chicago earlier this year and averaged 1.0 ppg, 1.5 apg and 0.6 rpg in 7.0 mpg. For his career, James has appeared 595 regular season games (286 starts) and averaged 9.9 ppg, 3.5 apg and 2.2 rpg in 24.1 mpg, while shooting .417 from the field, .379 from deep and .802 from the free throw line. James has also played in 33 playoff games and averaged 4.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg and 1.2 apg in 11.9 mpg.

lou amundson

Amundson (6-9, 225), a seven-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 345 regular season games (seven starts). During that time, he has posted averages of 3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 0.72 bpg in 12.7 mpg, while shooting .491 from the field and .436 from the free throw line. Amundson has also played in 29 playoff games and averaged 2.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 0.41 bpg in 10.3 mpg.

A native of Ventura, Calif., Amundson most recently played for the New Orleans Pelicans. While with the Pelicans earlier this season, he saw action in 18 games and averaged 2.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 0.61 bpg in 10.2 mpg. For his career, he has also played with Philadelphia (twice), Utah, Phoenix, Golden State, Indiana, and Chicago during the 2012-13 season.

James will wear No. 8 and Amundson will wear No. 17.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 15 players.

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent guard/forward Ronnie Brewer for the remainder of the season.

Brewer (6-7, 235) is currently in his eighth year in the NBA. After being drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 14th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Brewer spent three-plus seasons in Utah. In addition to the Jazz, Brewer has also played for the Memphis Grizzlies, the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets. Earlier this season, he appeared in 23 games (three starts) with the Rockets, and averaged 0.3 ppg and 0.6 rpg in 6.9 mpg.

In seven-plus seasons in the NBA, he has played in 501 regular season games (304 starts) and averaged 7.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.7 apg, and 1.24 spg in 23.0 mpg. The 29-year old Brewer has also made six trips (47 games; 17 starts) to the NBA playoffs, where he has averaged 5.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg and 1.2 apg in 18.2 mpg.

Brewer will wear No. 11.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 13 players.

Chicago Bulls waive Erik Murphy

Chicago Bulls waive Erik Murphy

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has requested waivers on Erik Murphy.

Murphy (6-10, 230) appeared in 24 games with Chicago, and averaged 0.3 ppg in 2.6 mpg. He was selected by Chicago in the second round (49th overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft.

Chicago’s roster now stands at just 12 players, for the moment at least.

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times reporting on the Bulls:

Pick an excuse: lack of depth, bad calls, missed shots, poor rebounding, flopping. The list went on and on for the Bulls on Friday night.

The Bulls are still a feel-good story, but not every story has a happy ending. Certainly not in Indiana.

Thanks to a 19-0 run in the third quarter, the Pacers pulled away from the Bulls in a 91-79 laugher.

And, as coach Tom Thibodeau pointed out, losing the rebounding battle 51-36 is never a good thing. And reserve big man Taj Gibson fouling out because the Pacers have “floppers’’ doesn’t help. But depth seemed to be the difference. It was a big reason why Indiana (51-18) outscored the Bulls 31-19 in the third quarter to put the game on ice.

“You can use that as an excuse if you want,’’ Thibodeau said when asked about the Bulls’ lack of depth being exposed. “I choose not to.”

On Thursday, the Chicago Bulls beat the Houston Rockets 111-87. Bulls starting small forward Mike Dunleavy shot 8-of-15, with 4-of-6 three-pointers, for 21 points and seven rebounds in the win. Here are some Dunleavy video highlights:

Here’s ESPN Chicago with an update on injured Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. There’s still no reason to expect to see him playing an NBA game until next season:

Derrick Rose still not close to practicing with Bulls

Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau maintains that rehabbing point guard Derrick Rose is “nowhere near ready” to practice, but Rose is starting to do a little more on the court as he recovers from a torn meniscus in his right knee.

“He’s basically about the same,” Thibodeau said. “He’s doing a little bit more, a little bit more running now. But he’s still nowhere near ready to practice. But he’s doing well. His spirit’s strong, body feels good, so just keep concentrating on the rehab, be a great teammate, and that’s what he’s doing.”

Rose is starting to jump more while taking shots, at least in the brief snippet of practice the media has been able to watch.

Everybody knows that LeBron James is an NBA great. But it’s always fun hearing top basketball minds describe LeBron in their own particular words. Here’s ESPN Chicago quoting Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau:

Tom Thibodeau has been around professional basketball for well more than two decades. He has a passion for the game and the intricacies that separate the good players from the great ones. He studies compulsively to try to make sure his Chicago Bulls team always has an advantage when it steps onto the floor. That’s why his praise of Miami Heat superstar LeBron James is so telling. When asked Saturday to compare James to another player he’s watched or coached against in years past, Thibodeau didn’t hesitate.

“Nobody,” Thibodeau said.

“Because you’re combining the speed, the power, the skills, the passing, the vision. I can’t recall anyone that I’ve coached against that’s like that. There’s nothing that he doesn’t do. He’s great with the ball, great without the ball, can post, can drive, can shoot, can really pass. If you overcommit to him he’s going to make you really pay. And he keeps getting better every year. So he’s an all-time great.”

Here’s ESPN Chicago reporting on the topic of Joakim Noah allegedly telling Carmelo Anthony to come join the Bulls after his time with the Knicks wraps up:

Joakim Noah does not want to address the “gossip” surrounding a conversation he reportedly had All-Star Weekend with New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony.

“You want me to address that?” Noah said at Friday’s shootaround in response to a question about an ESPN.com report Thursday that said he told Anthony he could win a championship if he signed with the Bulls as a free agent after the season. “I don’t feel like addressing it. I really have nothing to say about it.”

Noah was asked if the reported recruiting pitch for Anthony had, in fact, happened, and he didn’t deny the conversation took place.

“Doesn’t matter,” Noah said. “What does that have to do with our team right now? It doesn’t matter.”

Here’s ESPN New York summarizing a report that Bulls center Joakim Noah wants Carmelo Anthony in Chicago. It’s way too early in 2014 to take any off-season free agency reports too seriously, but it’s fun to at least consider the possibilities:

Is Carmelo Anthony recruita-Bull?

ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports that Chicago center Joakim Noah tried to sell Carmelo on the idea of joining the Bulls in free agency, citing a source with knowledge of the conversation.

Broussard reports that Noah told Anthony over All-Star weekend, “Look, you could go to Los Angeles but … if you want to win a ring, come to Chicago.”

Anthony didn’t offer any guarantees, Broussard reports.

But he did say that he admires how “hard” Noah and the Bulls play and how “hungry” they are. Anthony also added that Derrick Rose is his son’s favorite player. Read into that what you will.

Bulls sign Jimmer Fredette

Bulls sign Jimmer Fredette

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent guard Jimmer Fredette for the remainder of the season.

“We are very excited to add a player like Jimmer to our roster,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “We’ve followed him closely throughout his collegiate and professional career, and believe he’ll be the type of player that will fit in with our group and be an asset to the team.”

Fredette (6-2, 195) is currently in his third year in the NBA and spent two-plus seasons playing for the Sacramento Kings. He appeared in 41 games this year with the Kings and averaged 5.9 ppg, 1.5 apg, 1.1 rpg in 11.3 mpg, and shot .475 from the field, .493 from downtown and .895 from the free throw line. Fredette was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 10th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft (his draft rights were traded by the Bucks to the Sacramento Kings in a three-team deal with the Charlotte Bobcats).

In two-plus seasons with the Kings, Fredette played in 171 regular season games (seven starts) and averaged 7.0 ppg, 1.5 apg and 1.1 rpg in 15.0 mpg, and shot .416 from the field, .402 from behind the arc and .855 from the free throw line.

Fredette will wear No. 32 and will be available for Chicago’s game today versus New York.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 13 players.

Jimmer Fredette likely joining Bulls

The Chicago Bulls and former BYU sensation Jimmer Fredette have tentatively agreed to a contract after he parted with the Sacramento Kings earlier in the week, a person familiar with the situation said Saturday.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.

The sharp-shooting guard was bought out by the Kings on Thursday and cleared waivers on Saturday. Now, he’s getting a second chance with the Bulls.

Fredette is averaging just 5.9 points and 11.3 minutes in his third season. But the Bulls are hoping “Jimmermania” will take off in Chicago after staying grounded with the Kings - or that he will at least give them the outside touch they were seeking.

– Associated Press

Fredette, 25, is regarded as a high character person and good teammate, unassuming though confident and someone who should be able to fit in with a welcoming and unselfish Bulls group. His ability to stretch the floor and open the court, theoretically, should be helpful. The larger question would be how long he could play given the defensive questions and whether his playing would inhibit the development of rookie Tony Snell, who has been improving with regular playing time recently.

Those questions will surface as Fredette works his way in with the team, though this late in the season the Bulls rarely scrimmage. So it would be a slower process than earlier in the season, though that is similar for all the buyout players joining teams late, like Glen Davis, Caron Butler and Danny Granger.

Fredette because of his shooting seem as good a fit as any for the Bulls needs.

– Bulls.com Blog

Bulls interested in Caron Butler

Here’s the Chicago Tribune reporting on Caron Butler, who has not had particularly good seasons these last few years, but is still probably worthy of being in a good team’s rotation:

Bulls interested in Caron Butler

The Bulls continue to cast a wide net in the stronger-than-usual pool of bought-out and waived players and have contacted the representatives for Caron Butler, who completed his buyout from the Bucks.

The Bulls hope to sign a 13th player to a prorated portion of the veteran’s minimum contract for the stretch run. They also are one of five teams in play for Danny Granger, although several reports have him leaning towards the Clippers or Spurs.

Yahoo Sports reported Butler, who averaged 11 points per game this season in 34 games with the Bucks, is strongly considering returning to the Heat.

derrick rose health update

Injured Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose has started running, although coach Tom Thibodeau says he’s nowhere near ready to practice.

The former MVP point guard tore the meniscus in his right knee at Portland in November and was ruled out for the remainder of the season by the Bulls. He sat out last year while recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

– Associated Press

Bulls sign Jarvis Varnado to 10-day contract

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent forward Jarvis Varnado (Vur-NAR-doe) to a 10-day contract.

Varnado (6-9, 230) is currently in his second year in the NBA. After being drafted by the Miami Heat in the second round (41st pick) of the 2010 NBA Draft, Varnado played overseas for two seasons. During the 2012-13 season, Varnado played for the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA D-League. This season, Varnado has appeared in 22 games (all starts) with the Iowa Energy of the NBA D-League, and has averaged 14.1 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 4.68 bpg and 0.8 apg in 31.1 mpg.

In one season in the NBA, Varnado played in 13 regular season games and averaged 0.6 ppg and 0.7 rpg in 4.5 mpg, and shot .429 from the field and .500 from the free-throw line. In two seasons in the NBA D-League, Varnado has appeared in 45 regular season games (44 starts) and averaged 14.3 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 4.00 bpg, and 0.9 apg in 31.1 mpg, and shot .539 from the floor and .622 from the charity stripe.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 13 players.

Here’s ESPN Chicago with quotes from Bulls guard Derrick Rose confirming what was already assumed to be the case, which is that nobody should expect to see him in action this season:

Derrick Rose not thinking about returning this season

Derrick Rose says he isn’t thinking about a possible return this season and is just focusing on his rehab as he makes his way back from a torn medial meniscus in his right knee suffered on Nov. 22.

Speaking to reporters for the first time in about two months at a Bulls’ charity event, Rose acknowledged that he hasn’t started running yet, but is staying in good spirits.

“I haven’t even had a chance to think about it, to tell you the truth,” Rose said of a possible return this season. “I’m just worrying about my next stage in this process and that’s running right now. I’m on the Alter-G right now running on that and hopefully be running without it pretty soon.”

After having surgery in late November, Rose was ruled out for the rest of the season by the Bulls. In his initial news conference after the injury he said he wouldn’t rule out a possible return for the playoffs, but he seemed to back off those comments Tuesday night. When asked why he was keeping the door open on a return if the organization already ruled him out, Rose hinted that he was still a long way from playing in games.

Here’s the Arlington Heights Daily Herald reporting on the Bulls frontcourt rotation. It’s assumed Carlos Boozer will continue to start ahead of Taj Gibson. But for fun, ponder another possibility:

Should Taj Gibson start ahead of Carlos Boozer for Bulls?

Carlos Boozer said Wednesday he expects to play against Brooklyn, the Bulls’ last game before the all-star break. He’s missed the past three contests with a left calf strain.

“I think I will (play),” Boozer said before the “Evening with the Bulls” fundraiser at the United Center. “The break will be good for it. (But) if I’m healthy, I want to play.”

A better question is will he be the starter when he’s healthy again. Taj Gibson averaged 22.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4 assists during the past three games, while the Bulls had two of their highest-scoring first quarters of the season in the past two outings against Atlanta and L.A. Lakers.

Asked if Boozer is still the starter, coach Tom Thibodeau gave a straight answer, with a qualifier.

“Yeah. Again I have to know what the minutes restrictions are,” Thibodeau said.

With a 23-24 record, the Chicago Bulls are treading water in the Eastern conference. If the regular season ended today, they’d be the 6th seed. Even with Derrick Rose out, more was expected. And forward Carlos Boozer, averaging a modest 14.7 points on 45.3% shooting along with a very solid 8.5 rebounds per game, expected more in the way of minutes in fourth quarters. Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times reporting:

Tom Thibodeau often talks about the many distractions that can hit an NBA team.

One slammed into the Bulls head on Monday. All 6-foot-9, 266 pounds of it.

Upset with being in his warmups and a towel on his head far too often in the fourth quarter of games, especially as of late, Carlos Boozer sent a very direct message to Thibodeau.

“Nah, I think I should be out there, but it’s his choice, he makes the decisions out there, so I play, I don’t coach. He coaches. So he decides that,’’ Boozer said before the 99-70 blowout loss to Sacramento. “But honestly, he’s been doing that a lot since I’ve been here, not putting me in the fourth quarter. Sometimes we win, more times than not we don’t, but that’s his choice.’’

Here’s ESPN Chicago reporting on Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who for whatever reason isn’t interested in urging other good players to join his team:

Derrick Rose says he will not recruit for the Bulls

Chicago Bulls vice president John Paxson said Wednesday he would never ask Derrick Rose to recruit and doesn’t believe the star guard’s reluctance to do so will prevent the team from landing free agents.

“I personally would not have been comfortable doing that as a player. That was me, so I expect and appreciate where Derrick is coming from,” Paxson said on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN Chicago 1000.

“I would never tell a player, I don’t think [owner] Jerry Reinsdorf or [general manager] Gar [Forman] would tell a player, ‘Look, you have to do this.’ If a player wants to do it, great. If he doesn’t, that’s his choice.”

Paxson said players being around Rose during offseason workouts offers an indirect way to sell them on the Bulls…

“I don’t recruit. If anyone wants to play with me, I don’t mind playing with, it could be anyone in the NBA, but as far as recruiting, I never did and never will,” Rose told rappler.com, a social news network.

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times reporting on injured Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who despite still working to regain health already may have some firm summer plans:

Derrick Rose hopes to play for Team USA this summer

Derrick Rose issued a statement Thursday that he’d like to be ready to play for USA Basketball in this summer’s FIBA World Cup in Spain, and according to a source close to the situation, because Rose is ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery, he will.

‘‘No doubt he will [play],’’ the source said Friday.

Rose tore the meniscus in his right knee on Nov. 22. The Bulls immediately ruled him out for the season.

He started shooting and taking part in two-a-day workouts during the last week, but his status in returning this NBA season hasn’t changed.

This summer will be a different story after he was one of 28 players named for the 2014-16 USA national team pool Thursday.

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