Happy Friday. Stay positive. Be well.
• In case you’re wondering what Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley are up to:
The NBA and NBPA are still discussing details of an offseason program of camps, scrimmages and OTA's for the eight teams left out of the Orlando restart, sources tell ESPN. Executives with those teams have been in regular contact with each other and league.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 12, 2020
• Both guys are finally in the Chicagoland area, and while Karnisovas has made it clear that no major changes are currently lined up, this means the true evaluation process can officially begin. In fact, both front-office leaders may be able to get into the gym with the Bulls coaching staff even sooner than expected. According to K.C. Johnson, head coaches can join voluntary player workouts at the Advocate Center starting June 23rd. Be sure to keep in mind, not all players are currently in the market, and with the team out of the Orlando bubble, there isn’t a mandatory time for when they must return.
• However, if the league follows through with some kind of training camp and scrimmage plan for the eight teams who’ve missed out on the season’s return, it might be only a matter of time before we see the whole gang back together again. Perhaps Karnisovas will wait until this happens to make his final decision on Boylen, but I do think it would be a tad awkward for the whole team to reconvene with Boylen at the helm after everything that’s been said and reported over the last several months. Let’s just hope the time spent watching Boylen in the gym with guys like Lauri Markkanen and Coby White (who are in the market) can act as all the “evaluation” he needs.
• For the time being, not everyone is allowed in the gym at the same time, but once they are, I’d love to see this Bulls team take full advantage. This squad was pretty good about participating in voluntary workouts this past offseason, so hopefully, that level of determination can continue even after this trainwreck of a season. The more time this group can spend on the court together, the better. And while this feels like an incredibly obvious statement, it’s heightened thanks to the Bulls youth and lack of chemistry. As The Ringer’s offseason preview reminds us, Markkanen, LaVine, Porter, and Carter Jr. have played only a total of 119 minutes together. Besides Coby White, those will still be the team’s four most important players next season (unless Karnisovas works some unexpected magic this offseason). A fully healthy Bulls roster has been a rarity, so if everyone is back in good shape, these guys need to take advantage of the opportunity.
• The Chicago Bulls drafted a hometown kid with their first overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. Ed Howard is a stud infielder out of Mount Carmel High School, and if you’re not already excited about his potential, read this. The pick reminded me just how special it is to see a kid who lives right down the block end up on his city’s team. Derrick Rose was obviously a special player from the get-go, but his roots made his time with the Chicago Bulls that much more special. He not only represented the team but the entire city. And while it’s too early to say whether Howard will garner the same kind of admiration, I think it’s safe to say he’ll always have Chicago on his side. I’m sure staying home adds an extra level of pressure, but hopefully, the instant love is enough to make it all feel worth it.
• Also, now that the Cubs have Howard and the Bears have Kmet … the Bulls need to find their next Chicago stud. May I recommend the Illini’s own Ayo Dosunmu?
• “With the ___ pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls select Deni Avdija, Israel.” Hm, I like the sound of that.
— Deni Avdija (@deniavdia8) June 12, 2020
• I don’t think we’ve seen basketball executed this well in over three years.
Miss this pic.twitter.com/RJBmE6h80X
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) June 12, 2020
• COBY DUNK!!
Coby White was on fire after the NBA All-Star break! The Bulls' rookie avg 24.7 points, 4.3 assists (10 games). Only Zion Williamson (25.2) avg more points per game as a rookie during that span. @CobyWhite pic.twitter.com/pTiR08dOtJ
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) June 11, 2020
Jordan and the Bulls defeated the Lakers in the Finals on this day in 1991.
Nothing like the first time. 💯 pic.twitter.com/jjB2cdNSvs
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 12, 2020
• I handed out some special badges to this year’s Bulls team!
For a little light-hearted Friday-fun … Here Are Your 2019-20 Chicago Bulls Merit Badges!https://t.co/DhuPs8vGoV
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 12, 2020