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Bulls sign Antonio Blakeney

The Chicago Bulls on Thursday signed guard Antonio Blakeney.

Blakeney (6-4, 197) went undrafted out of LSU in 2017 but was tabbed for the Bulls MGM Resorts Summer League roster last year. After leading that squad with 16.8 points per game, he earned a Two-Way contract from Chicago. In 2017-18, he was named the NBA G League Rookie of the Year after averaging 32.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.22 steals per game for the Windy City Bulls. With the NBA Bulls, Blakeney averaged 7.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 16.5 minutes through 19 games. In this year’s Summer League action, Blakeney again led the team with 21.0 points per game, along with averaging 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists in five games.

Bulls waive Sean Kilpatrick

Bulls waive Sean Kilpatrick

The Chicago Bulls waived guard Sean Kilpatrick today.

During his time with Chicago, Kilpatrick (6-4, 210) appeared in nine games and averaged 15.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.70 steals in 23.8 minutes per game. He shot .439 from the field, .396 from long range and .813 from the foul line. Kilpatrick originally signed with Chicago as a free agent on March 26, 2018.

Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the team has acquired center Bismack Biyombo and two second-round draft picks from the Orlando Magic.

In a three-team trade with the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls, Charlotte received center Bismack Biyombo and two future second-round picks in the 2019 and 2020 NBA Drafts while sending Timofey Mozgov to the Magic and Julyan Stone to the Bulls.

Additionally, Orlando received guard Jerian Grant from Chicago in the deal.

Biyombo played in all 82 regular-season games with Orlando last season (25 starts), averaging 5.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and a team-high 1.2 blocks in 18.2 minutes per contest. With 95 blocked shots in 2017-18, he ranked 19th in the NBA. Biyombo scored in double figures 14 times, including a career-high 21 points at Washington on Jan. 12. He also recorded seven double-doubles last season.

The seventh-year center began his NBA career in Charlotte after being selected by Sacramento in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft and sent to Charlotte in a draft night trade. Biyombo has appeared in 529 career NBA regular-s‎eason games (210 starts) with Charlotte, Toronto and Orlando, averaging 5.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 20.9 minutes per game, while shooting .513 (992-1933) from the floor. He has also played in 23 career NBA playoff contests (11 starts), averaging 5.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 24.1 minutes per game.

Biyombo, who played for Charlotte from 2011-14, remains fifth in Hornets history in career blocks (443) and blocks per game (1.6), and ranks seventh in career offensive rebounds (571).

Mozgov was acquired by the Hornets in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets on July 6, 2018. Mozgov holds career averages of 6.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game over the course of eight NBA seasons with the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets.

Stone (6-6, 200) has played in the NBA for four seasons with career averages of 1.1 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. He went undrafted in 2011, but signed with the Denver Nuggets as a free agent and made his NBA debut on Jan. 11, 2012. Stone has also seen time with the Toronto Raptors (2013-14), and most recently with the Hornets, where he played in 23 games in the 2017-18 season. He also has G League experience with the Idaho Stampede, Iowa Energy and Greensboro Swarm.

Here’s Bulls.com reporting on the results of last night’s draft, which saw Chicago drafting Wendell Carter Jr. with the 7th overall pick:

“A year ago draft night, we made a decision to trade Jimmy Butler and start a rebuild and we thought we got a jump on that with the three pieces we got, Lauri being the seventh pick, the cornerstone of our direction and with Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn,” said Bulls Executive Vice-president of Basketball Operations John Paxson Thursday after the NBA draft. “Tonight is just an extension of that and we walk away feeling really good about the two players we drafted and the direction we are heading, two positions of need and two players we feel fit us and hopefully help us grow, hopefully quickly. And though we are going to be patient, maybe more quickly than some of the teams in the past have in rebuilding situations.”

That’s perhaps because with the additions of Carter Jr. with the No. 7 selection and Hutchison with the No. 22 pick, the Bulls hope they have the outline of a future starting five to develop and grow together, a quintet that could even be starting together before the end of the 2018-19 season…

Carter Jr., was the main figure for the Bulls Thursday, a rugged all-around big man who has drawn comparisons to players like Al Horford and Elton Brand. Perhaps not athletically dominant, but with a wide variety of skills on offense and defense. He appears to be a seamless fit with Markkanen as both can switch off on defense, shoot from three-point range and defend centers. Carter Jr. at 6-10 and about 250 pounds, played center to complement No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley…

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Bulls waive Jaylen Johnson, sign CJ Fair

The Chicago Bulls signed forward CJ Fair today. And in a related move, prior to signing Fair the Bulls waived forward Jaylen Johnson.

This season, Fair (6-8, 218) appeared in 47 G League games (25 starts), splitting time between the Windy City Bulls and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. On the year, he averaged 10.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 25.4 minutes per game.

Bulls sign Jaylen Johnson

The NBA season is winding down, but teams are still adding to their benches. Even teams that won’t be in the playoffs.

Today, the Chicago Bulls signed forward Jaylen Johnson.

Johnson (6-9, 230) has played in 49 games (37 starts) this season for the Windy City Bulls. He holds G League averages of 11.7 points, 7.6 boards and 2.9 assists in 29.0 minutes per game.

Bulls guard Antonio Blakeney underwent an MRI today on his left wrist, followed by an examination by the team’s hand specialist, Dr. John Fernandez. Initially diagnosed with a left wrist sprain, the MRI confirmed that he sustained a non-displaced scaphoid fracture in his left wrist. As a result of the injury, Blakeney will miss the remainder of the season.

Blakeney incurred the injury in Chicago’s game at New York on Monday night. A two-way player who split time this season between the Bulls and the Windy City Bulls, Blakeney saw action in 19 games with Chicago and averaged 7.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 16.5 minutes.

The Chicago Bulls have signed free agent forward Jarell Eddie to a 10-day contract.

Eddie (6-7, 218) is currently in his third year in the NBA and has four years of G League experience. He has played in 18 games for Windy City in 2017-18, averaging 16.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.00 steals in 35.1 minutes per game. Eddie has shot .480 from the floor, .475 from 3-point range and .918 from the free-throw line during his time in the G League this season. The four-year Virginia Tech product was also signed to a 10-day contract by the Boston Celtics on Jan. 20 and saw action in two games.

In 2016-17, Eddie played in five games for the Phoenix Suns while on a 10-day contract and averaged 4.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game. He also appeared in 45 contests in the G League for the Austin Spurs and Windy City Bulls. The Tampa, Florida, native played in 26 games for the Washington Wizards in 2015-16, scoring 2.4 points in 5.7 minutes per game, and spent time with the Austin Spurs in both 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 17 players.

Future of Bulls looks bright

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The Bulls are 20-36 this season, a record that is 12th best in the Eastern conference. They’re rebuilding, and little success was expected this season. Their main goal needed to be to find a bunch of young building blocks that have legitimate potential to do big things in the future. That mission has mostly been accomplished. Here’s NBC Sports Chicago on reporting on Zach Lavine and more:

Over his last five games, LaVine is averaging around 25 points while shooting 46 percent from the field and the 3 point line. He also has emerged as the team’s closer, scoring the Bulls’ last 11 points in the thrilling win over Jimmy Butler and the Timberwolves last week, then coming up with a late steal and breakaway dunk in the closing seconds to give the Bulls a win over Orlando on Monday.

Clearly, LaVine was the centerpiece of last summer’s draft night trade sending Butler to Minnesota. He was coming into his own as an NBA player in his 3rd season with the Timberwolves before the ACL injury, averaging nearly 19 points a game as the team’s third scoring option, while improving his 3 point shooting to right around 39 percent. There’s no way Tom Thibodeau would have included LaVine in the Butler deal if he hadn’t suffered the injury.

Now, the Bulls are able to center their rebuild around the talents of the 3 players they acquired from Minnesota. LaVine turns 23 next month, Kris Dunn turns 24 on March 18th, and Lauri Markkanen is only 20. Dunn has emerged as a quality NBA point guard whose defensive skills and toughness bring out the best in his teammates and the 7-foot Markkanen could be a future All-Star with his smooth shooting stroke and versatile offensive game.

Still, even after just a 13-game sample size, it’s clear LaVine is the player that figures to shine brightest on the NBA stage. The two-time slam dunk champion hasn’t lost any of that explosive leaping ability and he has the charisma and self-confidence necessary to accept the responsibility of being “the man” in a major market like Chicago. Going head to head with Butler down the stretch of a close game shows LaVine won’t back down from a challenge and isn’t afraid of his team’s fate resting on his shoulders.

With the Eastern Conference struggling to produce 12 All-Star worthy candidates this season, LaVine and Markkanen could inject themselves into that conversation as soon as next year.

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Bulls waive Tony Allen

The Chicago Bulls waived veteran guard/forward Tony Allen today.

Allen was acquired on February 1 in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Bulls are undergoing a youth movement, building for the future, so they apparently didn’t see a need for Allen’s services.

A defensive-minded player, Allen was playing just 12.4 minutes per game for the Pelicans this season prior to being traded to the Bulls.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 16.

The Chicago Bulls have acquired forward Noah Vonleh and cash considerations from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for the draft rights to Milovan Rakovic.

Vonleh (6-9, 245) is in his fourth NBA season, having seen time with Charlotte (2014-15) and Portland (2015-18). He was originally selected ninth-overall by the Hornets in the 2014 NBA Draft. Vonleh has posted career averages of 3.9 points and 4.5 rebounds through 210 games (109 starts) with a career field goal percentage of .450. In 2017-18, Vonleh is averaging 3.6 points and 5.1 rebounds through 33 games (12 starts). The Indiana University product was a McDonald’s All-American in 2013.

Rakovic, 32, was selected with the 60th overall pick in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks. A native of Serbia, he currently plays for Neuchatel in Switzerland.

Chicago’s roster stands at 17.

The Chicago Bulls in a trade today acquired Willie Reed and the right to swap second-round picks in the 2022 NBA Draft from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Jameer Nelson.

In an immediate subsequent move, the Bulls waived Reed.

Nelson, 6-0, 190, has averaged 11.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 28.0 minutes in 871 career NBA games with Orlando, Dallas, Boston, Denver and New Orleans. A 13-year NBA veteran, he’s played in 44 career playoff games and averaged 15.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists. Selected 20th overall in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Nuggets, Nelson was part of a draft-day trade that sent him to the Magic where he played 10 seasons, including from 2007-12 for head coach Stan Van Gundy. A 2009 NBA All-Star, he averaged a career-best 16.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.2 steals during the 2008-09 season and helped the Magic reach the 2009 NBA Finals.

A native of Chester, PA., Nelson played collegiately at Saint Joseph’s University where he was named the Consensus National Player of the Year as a senior (2003-04) by earning the Associated Press, Wooden, Naismith, Rupp, Robertson and Chevrolet Player of the Year Awards, after leading the Hawks to a perfect regular season (27-0), the school’s first #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a trip to the Elite Eight. Nelson averaged 20.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 3.0 steals as a senior in 32 games. He was also chosen as Player of the Year by The Sporting News, ESPN.com, SI.com and Foxsports.com and garnered First Team All-America selection and Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.

Reed, 27, was acquired from the L.A. Clippers on January 29, 2018. He saw action in three games with the Pistons and averaged 0.7 points and 0.3 rebounds. The 6-foot-11 center has career averages of 4.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 152 games with Brooklyn, Miami and Detroit. The former Saint Louis University product averaged 5.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.66 blocks and 14.5 minutes in 71 games with the Miami HEAT last season while shooting 56.8 percent from the field.

Bulls trade Nikola Mirotic to Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans have acquired forward Nikola Mirotić (KNEE-coal-uh MIR-oh-tich) and a 2018 second-round pick from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for center Omer Asik, guards Tony Allen and Jameer Nelson, and a 2018 first-round draft pick. In addition, Chicago will have the right to swap its 2021 second-round pick with New Orleans’ own 2021 second-round pick.

Mirotić, 6-10, 220, has appeared in 25 games this season for the Bulls, posting averages of 16.8 points, while shooting .429 from three-point range, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 24.9 minutes. Originally drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Montenegro native has appeared in 243 career regular season games for Chicago, averaging 11.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 23.0 minutes per game.

Asik, 7-0, 255, has appeared in 14 games this season for New Orleans, averaging 1.3 points and 2.6 rebounds. Originally acquired by the Pelicans in the summer of 2014, Asik has appeared in 189 regular season games for New Orleans, averaging 4.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per contest.

Allen, 6-4, 231, who was signed this past summer by New Orleans, has appeared in 22 games this season for the Pelicans, averaging 4.7 points and 2.1 rebounds.

Nelson, 6-0, 190, who was originally signed by the Pelicans in October, appeared in 43 games for New Orleans, posting averages of 5.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

Mirotić will wear #3 for the Pelicans. New Orleans’ roster now stands at 15, including two two-way players (Charles Cooke and Mike James).

Kris Dunn injury update

Kris Dunn injury update

Bulls guard Kris Dunn has had a rough couple of days.

After more evaluation today (Thursday, January 18), the Bulls say that Dunn’s two dislocated front teeth have been stabilized and are now splinted with braces. He was also re-evaluated for concussion symptoms, and the results weren’t good, so he’s been placed in the NBA Concussion Protocol.

Dunn won’t travel with the team to Atlanta. He’ll be back in action when cleared of concussion-related issues.

The Bulls are 17-28 this season. Dunn is tied for 3rd in scoring for the squad this season, averaging 13.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 2.1 steals in 29.7 minutes per game. Individually, he’s enjoying an excellent season.

Bulls waive Kay Felder

The Chicago Bulls waived guard Kay Felder today.

Standing just 5-foot-6, the 176-pound underdog played in 14 games for the Bulls, averaging 3.9 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 9.6 minutes. Felder also played in three games in the G League for the Windy City Bulls, averaging 17.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists, shooting 45.2 percent from the field (19-of-42).

The Bulls roster is now at 16 players, including two signed to two-way contracts.

Teammates often get into it with each other during practices, but rarely are serious punches thrown, and even rarer do those punches actually land. But that’s what went down in Bulls practice earlier this season. Here’s ESPN Chicago with an update:

Nikola Mirotic accepts apology from Bobby Portis

Nikola Mirotic says he has accepted Bobby Portis’ apology and is hoping both he and the Bulls can move forward after a practice altercation between the pair last month. Speaking for the first time since an Oct. 17 fight with Portis that left Mirotic with multiple facial fractures and a concussion, the veteran forward made it clear that he feels he can coexist with Portis again in the future.

“We are teammates,” Mirotic said after Wednesday’s practice. “We are on the same team. Obviously we are fighting for this team. We both are going to do what we need to do to make it work. Yeah, I did accept his apology.”

Mirotic said he did not want to address events in the past and did not directly answer a question regarding whether the pair has actually sat down and spoken. When asked if Portis knew that he had accepted his apology, Mirotic responded that he would eventually.

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Former NBA player Ben Gordon has been going through some things in 2017. There have been several incidents this year. Here’s TMZ Sports reporting the latest:

Ben Gordon reportedly arrested in Los Angeles

Ex-NBA player Ben Gordon was arrested in L.A. Monday afternoon — after allegedly roughing up a guy at an apartment building … and leaving with several thousand dollars of his money, TMZ Sports has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us … the 34-year-old went to the apartment complex where he used to live in an effort to get his security deposit back. We’re told there was a dispute about the money and Gordon allegedly put hands on the guy and threatened him.

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Bulls exercise options on Bobby Portis, Kris Dunn, Denzel Valentine, Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne

The Chicago Bulls have exercised third-year options on guards Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine, and fourth-year options on guards Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne, along with forward Bobby Portis. By exercising their options, all players will be under contract with the Bulls for the 2018-19 season.

The Bulls acquired Dunn in a Draft-night trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves last offseason in which Dunn, Zach LaVine and the rights to Lauri Markkanen were exchanged for Jimmy Butler and the draft rights to Justin Patton. In his rookie year with the Timberwolves, Dunn played in 78 games (7 starts) and averaged 3.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists. He ranked sixth among rookies in assists, second in steals and fourth in blocks. Dunn has missed the start of the 2017-18 season while rehabbing the dislocation of his left index finger.

Valentine was selected 14th overall by Chicago in the 2016 NBA Draft. The Michigan State product saw time in 57 games and averaged 5.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game his rookie year. Valentine hit at least one 3-pointer in 15 consecutive games from March 8 to April 4, and hit multiple 3-pointers in seven games in a row from March 8 to 18, both of which were the longest such streaks on the team last season. He scored a career-high 19 points with five 3-pointers made at Washington on Jan. 10. This season, Valentine is averaging 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists through four games.

Grant has played in 67 games for the Bulls after completing his rookie year with the New York Knicks (76 games). He was acquired by the Bulls, along with Jose Calderon and Robin Lopez, in a trade for Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick on June 22, 2016. Grant has career averages of 5.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.3 rebounds per game, but through four games (4 starts) this season is averaging 10.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists. He has posted his first two career double-doubles in his last six regular season games: April 10, 2017, and Oct. 24, 2017.

Payne was traded to Chicago on Feb. 23, 2017, along with Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow, for Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second round draft pick. The former Mr. Basketball in Tennessee has career averages of 5.0 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists through 88 games. He only appeared in 31 games in 2016-17, missing time due to a right foot injury, but in the 10 games he played with the Bulls, Payne averaged 4.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 12.9 minutes. He has not played in 2017-18 while recovering from offseason surgery on his right foot.

Selected by the Bulls 22nd-overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, Portis has appeared in 126 games (17 starts) with career averages of 6.9 points and 5.0 rebounds. He was the 25th player in Bulls history to have a double-digit scoring career debut (10 points in 10 minutes at Charlotte on Nov. 3), and was the first Bull to post a double-double with 20 points and 11 boards in one of his first five career games since Elton Brand in 1999 (at New York on Dec. 19). He scored a postseason-high 19 points with nine rebounds in his playoff debut on April 16 at Boston. Portis has not played in 2017-18 while serving an eight-game team suspension.

Bulls waive Jarell Eddie and Diamond Stone, and add Kay Felder

The Chicago Bulls have waived forward Jarell Eddie and center Diamond Stone, and claimed guard Kay Felder off waivers.

Felder (5-9, 176) played in four games (1 start) this preseason for the Cleveland Cavaliers before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks, and then waived by the Hawks, on Oct. 14. He averaged 7.3 points, 1.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.00 steals per game in preseason play.

In his rookie season in 2016-17, Felder appeared in 42 games for Cleveland (no starts) and averaged 4.0 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 9.2 minutes per game. In 11 games (11 starts) with the Canton Charge of the G League, he put up 29.9 points per game to go along with 3.4 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.55 steals per game. Atlanta selected Felder at No. 54 in the 2016 NBA Draft, and he was then acquired by Cleveland on draft night.

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived forward Jaylen Johnson and guard Bronson Koenig.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 18.

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