The Bulls still have more point guards than they need, but they chose to pick up next year's option on Marquis Teague's rookie scale contract Wednesday.
Teague's future with the Bulls appeared to be in question when the team decided to keep veteran guard Mike James on the regular season roster. They have four point guards and it will be interesting to see, when there's a need to go beyond Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich, whether coach Tom Thibodeau turns to Teague or James.
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Teague had some good moments last year as a rookie. Speed is probably his best asset and he can beat most defenders to the basket. He needs more experience running a team after playing just one year of college basketball at Kentucky.
The Bulls also picked up the fourth year of Jimmy Butler's rookie scale contract. That one was predictable. The Bulls would pick up the next five years of Butler's contract if they could. He's eligible for a long-term extension next year and could potentially become a restricted free agent in 2015 if he isn't extended. Butler is set to make $2.1 million in 2014-15 and Teague $1.12 million.
Snell answers bell:
Bulls rookie Tony Snell was expected to acclimate slowly to NBA basketball. But he got the call in the first half of Tuesday's loss at Miami after Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler each picked up three early fouls.
Snell's debut could have gone better. He missed all three shot attempts and went scoreless with 2 fouls and a steal during seven minutes on the court. He took the floor in the midst of Miami's 17-0 run.
"I don't judge him by himself. I judge him by a group," coach Tom Thibodeau said Wednesday. "Our group didn't play well. The challenge for him is to be ready. That happens, whether it's an injury, foul trouble. You need everybody and you need everyone to play well. He got thrown into the fire. I'm sure he'll learn from it and he'll be better the next time around."
Streak on line vs. Knicks:
For Thursday's home opener, the Bulls will try to extend their success against New York. The Bulls swept four games against the Knicks last season and have won five in a row overall.
New York will have an interesting new look this year after adding former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani from Toronto and former Bulls first-round pick Metta World Peace.
"They're talented. They're deep," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "When you're dealing with a guy like Carmelo (Anthony), it puts enormous pressure on you. We're going to have to play 48 minutes of basketball against them."
Thibodeau said both Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich, who missed time in preseason due to injuries, were doing well after the loss to Miami.