Bittersweet Business: Luol Deng Traded to Cavaliers

NBA: Playoffs-Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets

via Bittersweet Business: Luol Deng Traded to Cavaliers | SportsDivas Inc..

After months of trade rumors, the Chicago Bulls ended an era when they wheeled and dealed their two-time All-Star small forward Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers late Monday night.

Initially, you might be thinking the Bulls front office has lost their marbles. Deng has been the most consistent offensive player on the Bulls the past few years, he’s led the entire league playing a ridiculous amount of minutes, he’s a stifling defender and he has a heart of gold.It wasn’t always pretty, but Lou gave Chicago his all throughout his 10 year journey and embodied the Bulls gritty defense-minded approach. Unfortunately, our love for Luol Deng is not enough to keep him in Chicago. There are plenty of reasons why the Deng-er-ang was sent off to hang with Kyrie Irving and the Cavs. It’s business, baby.

To give the Bulls’ organization some credit, they did try to keep Deng in Chicago by offering him a 3-year, $30 million extension last week. However, Deng declined the offer which then led to plan B – the trade.Deng is 28, leading the team in points scored, but he’s also be ailed by quite a few injuries this season and in past years. The game takes a lot of wear and tear on the body. John Paxson, Chicago’s VP of Basketball Operations, addressed the media immediately Tuesday morning to discuss the big move. He explained just how hard of a decision it was to trade Luol and the amount of respect the organization has for the NBA player.

Chicago has been through the ups and downs with Deng and he has always proven the toughest of soldiers, playing through sprains, muscle tears and spinal taps. The city is forever grateful for his time here and we wish him nothing but greatness in Cleveland unless he’s playing the Bulls of course.

What the Bulls got in Return:

I know what you’re thinking, “ditching Deng better have been worth it,” or maybe that’s just what I was thinking. The Bulls picked up center Andrew Bynum, three future draft picks and the right to swap 2015 first round picks with the Cavs. Los Bulls already have a solid center in Joakim Noah, so they will release Bynum before the Jan. 7 deadline tonight. This will clear up about $12.3 million to go with the $14.3 million they saved by trading Deng.

The draft picks are what really sweetened the deal. The Bulls now have a boatload of draft picks coming their way in the next few years. This is great news because the 2014 draft is deep with talented players and the Bulls could really get some quality guys.

What This Means for the Bulls:

The fun has only just begun for the Chicago Bulls’ front office. This trade absolutely signifies a new era in Chicago basketball and a time for rebuilding, but it’s not going to be a complete overhaul. They still have serious talent in Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson. Yes, trading Deng means the Bulls won’t be doing much winning this season, but the goal is to develop the young players we do have like Tony Snell and find the the guys who can truly take the Bulls to a championship upon Derrick Rose’s return.

DRose is still the center of Chicago’s universe. The organization’s goal is to find the best players to compliment Rose. We need a team who no longer plays under Derrick, but rather a team who plays well WITH Derrick.

Expect the Bulls to amnesty Carlos Boozer this summer, this will cut another $16.8 million for the Bulls spending, which would hopefully allow enough salary cap room for the signing of an elite caliber free agent. All these deals give the Bulls quite a bit more wiggle room when it comes to the limitations of players they can sign.These are absolutely long shots, but players like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Greg Monroe and even LeBron James could potentially be attainable. The Bulls have cap space and with some tempting rookies, Chicago may be able to conjure up some sign-and-trade deals.

Losing Deng is no easy feat. It’s going to take the team some time to bounce back after their silent leader was traded away, but I bet Joakim Noah is even more upset that the poor guy has to live in Cleveland.

Farewell Luol, we’ll miss you and your Dengerous wingspan.

 

Weekend Roundup: Bulls are Back in Business with Two Blowout Wins

Weekend roundup

It was a win-win kind of weekend for the Chicago Bulls who got back to their streak-snapping roots and pulled off two big blowout wins against the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers.

Despite their healthy roster, it has been a rough start overall for Chicago who is still working through the kinks and rust of Derrick Rose’s return to the court. This weekend put the haters to rest and gave Bulls fans a gust of hope with some breakout performances and team defense.

Friday Bulls at Raptors

Bulls were cruising in the 96-80 win over the Raptors Friday night. With Rose on the bench resting his sore hamstring the Bulls played stingy defense and a well rounded offense. Luol Deng led the way with 19 points, but every Bulls’ starter was in double digits.

Joakim Noah finally found his offensive swagger and had his first big offensive game with 18 points. Jo-No missed the majority of the pre-season with a groin injury and needed a few games to find his rhythm again.

Raptors’ swingman DeMar DeRozan had a career high of 37 points. He dominated the fourth quarter making some outlandish jumpshots, but Toronto had dug themselves too deep of a hole to come back from.

Jimmy Butler showed off his new haircut. The handsome young stud changed up his fro to a more clean-cut style.

Saturday Bulls vs Pacers

STREAK SNAPPED: Going into Saturday’s matchup the Indiana Pacers were the only remaining undefeated team in the NBA. The Bulls, who had already lost to the Pacers earlier this season, said “not in our house.” Chicago not only ended Indy’s nine game winning streak, but they did so in a 110-94 blowout fashion.

Derrick Rosehad his first break-out game of the season with 20 points and four assists and against a tough opponent too (feel free to let out your sigh of relief).

It was a battle between two All-Star small forwards, but Luol Deng (23 pts) took advantage of Indy’s counterpart Paul George (12 pts) who has had a solid start to his season. Overall, the Bulls starters dominated the Pacers big guys.

Carlos Boozer did some pushin-and-shovin against Chris Copeland. They were both ejected with 21.9 seconds on the clock.

The Bulls and Pacers claim there is no longer a team rivalry between the two divisional opponents, but we beg to differ. Things got taken up a notch at the UC and things will continue to get more heated between these two teams as the season goes on.

Your Take Away Piece:

“We witnessed three things this weekend: the Bulls showed off their feisty team defense, they had a resurgence of balanced offense (they surpassed the 100 point hurdle) and DRose got his MVP groove back. I think things are finally coming together for our Chicago Bulls and there’s a lot of great basketball in store for us all.”

What’s Next:

Chicago is 5-3 as they prepare to host the 5-5 Charlotte Bobcats tonight at the UC. Tune in to Comcast Sportsnet at 7 PM to see if our main men can keep their offensive mojo going and continue their four game winning streak. Always BULLieve.

Check out all my Bulls posts via  SportsDivas Inc..

Your 2013 Chicago Bulls: Must Know Players and Positions

With the reemergence of our main-man Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls are once again considered a top threat in the Eastern Conference and NBA Championship title contenders. After getting down and dirty with an 8-0 preseason record, we can tell our Bulls are hungrier than ever.

Over the past three years the Bulls have established themselves as an elite NBA team coached by Tom Thibodeau. After last season, the Bulls have also proven that no matter who is on the court, Thibs will find a way to make them competitors. With Rose’s explosiveness leading the pack, this Bulls team has lofty expectations.

The countdown for the 2013 NBA season is less than 24 hours away and that means it’s time for your Chicago Bulls-Brush-Up. Know who’s rocking the red, black and white jerseys for the Bulls this season. Check out the Starters, supporting cast and coach info via Your 2013 Chicago Bulls: Must Know Players and Positions | SportsDivas Inc..

Bulls 2013-14 Season Preview: Lets Get Ready to Rumble

The Bulls are back in business! After going a very impressive 8-0 in the preseason, it’s clear that the Chicago Bulls are dedicated, determined and looking rather fierce for their 2013 debut. Superstar point guard Derrick Rose has returned after a rough year-long hiatus and so have the Chicago Bulls’ title hopes.

Last year was a tough time for Bulls fans, as we eagerly awaited the non-existent return of our MVP, but it’s time to put all grudges aside because DRose is ready to show us he was worth the wait.

The ultimate goal remains the same: knock Lebron James and the Miami Heat from their Eastern Conference throne and get Chicago to their first NBA Championship in over a decade. Can greatness be achieved with the return of Derrick Rose and a stifling defensive mindset under the guidance of head coach Tom Thibodeau? Only time will tell, but if the preseason was any indication of what is to come, things look good for the Chicago Bulls in the upcoming season. Let’s dig deeper into the Bulls 2013 season and Chicago title contention hopes.

Read my full preview at SportsDivasInc.com via Bulls 2013-14 Season Preview: Lets Get Ready to Rumble | SportsDivas Inc..

Eastern Conference Semifinals Preview: Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat | SportsDivas Inc.

The battered Bulls defied the odds yet again this weekend when they knocked out the Brooklyn Nets in Game 7 despite their seriously injured lineup. With just one day of rest after a grueling seven game opening series, our men in red are moving right along to the second round of the playoffs where they will matchup against their Eastern Conference foes – the big, bad Miami Heat.

The fifth seeded Chicago Bulls are yet again the underdogs as they are taking their talents to South Beach on Monday to begin their series with the top seeded and defending Champion Miami Heat.

Miami, who spanked the Milwaukee Bucks in four games and has been resting for a week, are the obvious series favorites as BronBron just snagged another MVP title, they had the best record in the NBA during the regular season and they’re stacked with athletic talent.

The depleted Bulls are still without their franchise stud Derrick Rose, key players such as Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng have been plagued with injury and illness and they just played an extremely physical seven-game series with the Nets. But don’t rule the Bulls out completely, it’s the NBA playoffs and anything can happen.

Bulls fans know better than anyone that their team can rise to the occasion no matter the situation and play with heart, hustle and as much muscle as they have. Head Coach Tom Thibodeau always says, “we have enough to win.” If there’s one team who’s not afraid to play Lebron and company, it’s the Chicago Bulls.

Get ready for some intense basketball and some seriously entertaining post game fashion (yes, that’s a palm tree sweater) as the Miami Heat will deliver both throughout this second round series. Let the emotional roller-coaster that has been the Bulls 2013 post-season continue.

Read the entire preview at SportsDivas Inc! via Eastern Conference Semifinals Preview: Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat | SportsDivas Inc..

Bulls Lead Series 2-1 After Squeaking Out Gritty Game 3 Win | SportsDivas Inc.

The United Center was rocking on Thursday night as the Bulls defeated the Brooklyn Nets 79-76 to gain a 2-1 series lead. Defense was on high speed and Chicago snatched the game 3 win, but it was by no means a pretty sight.Los Bulls started things off by digging themselves into a 15 point deficit, came back and took a comfortable lead, and then during a sloppy fourth quarter, let things get way too close for comfort. Let’s just say there’s definitely room for improvement for our Chicago Bulls. If you missed the emotional roller-coaster keep reading for key details from game 3.

Read my full Game 3 recap at SportsDivas Inc via Bulls Lead Series 2-1 After Squeaking Out Gritty Game 3 Win | SportsDivas Inc..

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First Round Playoff Preview: Chicago Bulls vs Brooklyn Nets

If watching the Bulls has taken a back seat to other reality TV viewing this season, it’s time for you to jump back on the Bulls bandwagon.The NBA playoffs have finally arrived and the next month and a half of exciting playoff action is the ideal time to really tune in and pay attention.

It’s been a love-hate relationship for most of us Bulls fans this season, but the time has come to put the regular season behind us, strap on our best Bulls gear and BULLieve in our city’s team.

Despite the constant disappointing hype surrounding Derrick Rose’s return and the additional injuries to other starters, the men in red nabbed the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and are heading to Brooklyn to get the post season started against the Nets this Saturday.

Brooklyn has home-court advantage in the first series, being the fourth seed, however the match-up is not unfavorable for the Bulls. Chicago took 3 of the 4 games against the Nets in the regular season – one coming just a few weeks ago while the Bulls were missing half their roster. This series will be a true test of the offensively powerful Nets and the defensively feisty Bulls.Can the “heart, hustle and muscle” pull off a first round win against the new-era Nets? Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told ESPN he “likes his chances,” with the guys who have played all year. Let’s find out.

Read the full article at SportsDivas Inc! First Round Playoff Preview: Chicago Bulls vs Brooklyn Nets | SportsDivas Inc..