The morning after the trade deadline.
Your head is pounding, you’re in the same clothes as yesterday, and you can’t exactly remember everything that happened. Wait, did Drummond really go to the Cavaliers? Why do I remember Shabazz Napier going to the Wizards? Ugh.
Now, it’s time to take that long walk of shame back to work, where you’ll secretly waste time reading trade grades.
- After a trade deadline where the Chicago Bulls refused to make any moves, the players took the court for a rather lifeless performance. While a 125-119 score tells a different story, trust me when I say, the Bulls were thumped by the New Orleans Pelicans for the second time this season. Chicago was outscored 31-19 in the third quarter after allowing 72 first-half points (think they miss Kris Dunn?). Fortunately, Brett and Co. gave me the night off after a busy trade deadline afternoon, so Luis stepped in to give the game a watch. Now, do you feel my pain, Lu?
- Anyway, after the game, Zach LaVine (one of the last Bulls starters standing) was asked about the team’s continued woes and whether it hinges on the recent injuries. In typical LaVine fashion, he spoke his mind:
Are the #Bulls just missing too many people to stay competitive or is there more to it?
Zach LaVine: “I don’t know. At the beginning of the year, we lost games and we had everybody. So I don’t know.”
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) February 7, 2020
- LaVine knows this team’s true problem doesn’t begin and end with injury trouble. He joins many of us who know the Bulls off-the-court leadership is as dysfunctional as it gets. The problem is that the more he expresses an understanding of the Bulls faults (albeit directly or cryptically), the more Paxson fails to display any notion of accountability. Before last night’s game, he stood in front of the media and uttered all-too-familiar answers to many of the questions thrown his way. He said the organization is still trying to figure out exactly what they have – something they’ve been doing for the past three seasons. Check out what he had to say and more here:
John Paxson Explains the Bulls Inactive Trade Deadline: “We Don’t Know What We Have Yet”https://t.co/uCLuRJqfpt
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) February 7, 2020
- FWIW: NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan continues to stand by his previous report that the Bulls are on the verge of massive front office changes. Not only did he says it last night after Paxson’s interview, but he mentioned it again this morning. I’m not going to say I don’t believe him, but I will say I’ll believe it when I see it.
Actually, a figure of speech. He will always have a job with them if he wants one. But I believe there will be a new voice with power.
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) February 7, 2020
- Also, the big difference now in his claims about the potential offseason shake-up is that he’s stating John Paxson will somewhat be involved. To be fair, he didn’t speak either way on Paxson during his initial discussion on ESPN 1000, but this now falls in line more with what we’ve heard from other reporters around the team. The Bulls might be willing to finally make some change, however, Paxson still might hold a role in the organization. A lot can change between now and then, so let’s wait and see.
- (Michael: For any White Sox fans out there, this might sound a little familiar. When the Sox needed some fundamental organization change, they kept Kenny Williams (their version of Pax) involved in the decision-making process, but also brought in Rick Hahn (a.k.a. a new mind) to actually run baseball operations. Considering how well it worked for the White Sox, you can see why the Reinsdorfs may want to try it again with their other team. All things considered, that may be the best we can hope for.)
- In somewhat fun Bulls news, two-way player Adam Mokoka made history last night!
- The man literally received MVP chants at the United Center after dropping 15 points in under six minutes of floor time. Last night marked his first points in the NBA and he single-handedly brought the Bulls back into the game. I watched Mokoka play at a Windy City Bulls game earlier this month, and he clearly was the best player on the court. Immediately, it was easy to understand why he was one of the lucky players on a two-way contract. The guy had the speed, aggressiveness, and smooth jumper to really give some people problems. With that said, I don’t think we’re on the verge of Mokoka-sanity, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him get some playing time here and there. Considering where the Bulls are at, why not?
- Especially if the Bulls can fly his mother in for every game …
Adam Mokoka said his mother Rosette just arrived from Paris and this was the first time she watched him play in the US, as he had his 15-point outburst. #Bulls
— Mike McGraw (@McGrawDHBulls) February 7, 2020
- ADAM MOKOKA DESERVES ROOKIE OF THE YEAR VOTES.
You tell us which rookie had the better game. Didn't see Zion score 15 points in 5 minutes. pic.twitter.com/f4z1e7DZ8z
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) February 7, 2020
- One reason I look forward to the rest of the season, we keep getting these hilarious bench shots. First LaVine saying “why” and now this!?
When you remember there’s still over 2 months left of the season…
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) February 7, 2020
- Cool opportunity for Lauri.
NBA announces that Lauri Markkanen is among players who will coach “top international prospects” at 6th annual Basketball Without Borders camp over All-Star weekend.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 7, 2020
- The All-Star teams are officially set (and, remember, new rules this season).
— 2020 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 7, 2020