Articles filed under McGraw, Mike

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  • McGraw: Bulls’ style of play is evolving Nov 29, 2014 11:54 PM
    The Bulls are surviving an early onslaught of injuries, but the style of the team is clearly changing. They're not as good defensively and are lagging way behind in rebounds, but have improved in other areas.

  • Just the start of long process for Anthony, Bulls Jun 23, 2014 8:51 PM
    Carmelo Anthony has informed the New York Knicks he'll opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer. Keep in mind, though, there is still a long way to go before the Bulls get a chance to win over the high-scoring forward.

  • As draft approaches, lots of options for Bulls Jun 22, 2014 12:22 AM
    The Bulls have two picks, No. 16 and 19, in Thursday's NBA draft. But since they are planning a run at Carmelo Anthony in free agency, the Bulls might need to get creative with those selections. Here are some possibilities.

  • Bulls can’t buy a bucket in ugly loss to Thunder Feb 25, 2013 12:19 AM
    The Bulls spent most of Sunday night in Oklahoma City trying to think of a number, between 0 and 20, that would represent an acceptable field-goal percentage. They were below 20 percent for most of the first half, dipped again after a four-minute dry spell in the third quarter and, needless to say, were smashed by the Thunder 102-72.

  • Bulls keeping their Rose card close to the vest Jan 22, 2013 7:38 PM
    After knocking off the star-studded Los Angeles Lakers late Monday night, the Bulls conducted a leisurely practice Tuesday at the Berto Center. It consisted of video analysis and shooting. Then most of the Bulls regulars took a seat on the sideline and watched teammates Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler play 1-on-1.

  • Bulls’ trade of Korver to Atlanta becomes official Jul 16, 2012 10:58 PM
    The Bulls finally made it official by sending Kyle Korver to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday for cash considerations.

  • Bulls would be perfect fit for Howard Jul 11, 2012 11:11 PM
    The biggest news on the NBA’s opening day of free-agent signing was what didn’t happen. Disgruntled Orlando center Dwight Howard stayed put. Any trade sending him to Brooklyn — his preferred destination, according to many reports — won’t happen this summer. Nets center Brook Lopez, a restricted free agent, was supposed to be the main player headed to the Magic. But with the possibility looming that Lopez could sign an offer sheet with Charlotte or Houston, Brooklyn decided to do the deal itself and inked Lopez to a reported four-year, $60 million contract. By rule, Lopez cannot be traded until Jan. 15. So a Howard-to-Brooklyn deal could be revisited before the trade deadline, but new Magic management seemed intent on ending the Dwightmare saga this week. Houston and the Lakers may still be interested in pursuing the all-star center. Who cares, right? Howard hasn’t captured anyone’s imagination in the past few years, although his unwary takeover of coach Stan Van Gundy’s news conference in the spring might have been the funniest moment of last season. Look at it this way: Maybe this alleged four-team deal involving Orlando, Brooklyn, Cleveland and the Clippers wasn’t close to happening. But as long as the Magic and the Nets were holding trade discussions, there was a chance Super Team II could have moved into the new digs on Flatbush Avenue. Brooklyn tried to field a lineup of Howard, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and a power forward to be named later. Since Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov has pockets deeper than his nickel mines, this squad could have been a legitimate challenger to Miami’s string of titles. And it still could happen down the road. So where would that leave the Bulls? Next season will be tough with Derrick Rose recovering from knee surgery. They’re already starting to retool the roster and have a difficult challenge ahead. Miami spent just $4 million this summer and landed two former all-stars in Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. Everyone seems to be looking for the easiest path to a title these days. So maybe it’s time the Bulls dove into the Howard sweepstakes. Even though both players finished last season with injuries, Rose and Howard should be a legitimate title-contending tandem for the next decade. One problem: Chicago is not on Howard’s wish list. If he refuses to sign an extension, Howard could become a free agent in 2013 and walk away. How realistic is that scenario, though? Howard’s not going to walk into an introductory news conference at the United Center and tell everyone he can’t wait to leave. After all of Howard’s missteps of the past year, Chicago is exactly what he needs. America will be clamoring for a team that can knock off Miami’s Power Trio, and it wouldn’t hurt Howard’s image to join forces with a more popular superstar. If Howard did become a free agent in 2013, the Nets, Knicks and Lakers wouldn’t have cap room. Dallas and Atlanta could be possibilities, but those teams would have trouble pairing him with a young star of Rose’s caliber. The Bulls seem to have enough assets to offer Orlando. Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Richard Hamilton and Charlotte’s first-round pick for Howard and Hedo Turkoglu is a reasonable offer. If they do it fast, the Bulls could keep Kyle Korver to help space the floor. The flaw in this scenario is Orlando wanted to create cap room in a deal with Brooklyn. That’s why Kris Humphries supposedly was headed to Cleveland and Marshon Brooks to the Clippers. The only way for the Bulls to offer cap relief now in a two-team deal would be to include Korver’s nonguaranteed contract, which could save the Magic $4.5 million. If the Bulls made the trade and Howard departed as a free agent, at least they’d have cap space left in his wake. Do the Bulls really want to count on the 2013 class of free agents, which includes Chris Paul, Andrew Bynum, Josh Smith, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, David West, Kevin Martin and J.J. Redick? Maybe not. Howard would be a gamble. But with players migrating to Miami, a desperate measure is worth considering. ŸThe major NBA deals executed Wednesday already were common knowledge. Steve Nash was traded to the Lakers. Tim Duncan re-signed with San Antonio. Atlanta traded away two longtime starters. Among the new deals, center Roy Hibbert decided not to ink an offer sheet with Portland and instead re-signed with Indiana for the same amount, four years for $58 million. Former Hornets center Chris Kaman agreed to a one-year deal with Dallas. The Mavericks also sent forward Ian Mahinmi to Indiana in a sign-and-trade for Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones.

  • Bulls close to bringing back Hinrich Jul 8, 2012 9:15 PM
    The Bulls are nearing an agreement to bring back guard Kirk Hinrich. League sources suggested Sunday morning that the deal was not yet finished but was likely to happen. Hinrich's best season with the Bulls came in 2006-07, when he averaged 16.6 points and 6.3 assists.

  • Why so many offer sheets this NBA off-season? Jul 7, 2012 9:16 PM
    The NBA sacrificed two months and 16 games of last season with the supposed goals of allowing owners to stay profitable and giving small-market teams hopes of being competitive. Then the season began and the small-market thing didn’t go so well outside of Oklahoma City and San Antonio, two teams built mostly through the draft. Chris Paul was traded from New Orleans to Los Angeles, while Dwight Howard demanded out of Orlando, changed his mind, then wavered again this summer. Fast forward to free agency, and in the first week since July 1, owners went back to spending money like there’s no tomorrow. They also seem to be at war with each other. This is tough to confirm, but the summer’s purge of restricted free agents seems unprecedented. In the past, signing restricted players to offer sheets was something of a rarity, performed only when there seemed to be a very good chance the current team wouldn’t match. There have been six agreements reached on offer sheets in the past week, and most of them appear to be “Robin Hood” transactions, designed to force large-market teams deeper into luxury-tax territory. Houston has delivered two of those. One is obviously the offer to Bulls center Omer Asik, which includes a third-year salary of $14.9 million. The Rockets didn’t stop there, adding a four-year, $28 million offer to New York’s Jeremy Lin. No free-agent signings can be official until Wednesday. Toronto made a play for Knicks guard Landry Fields, and Minnesota went after Portland forward Nicholas Batum for four years and $45 million. The Blazers owner is Paul Allen, one of the world’s richest individuals. Two more offer sheets didn’t involve raiding a large- market roster. Portland made a maximum offer to Indiana center Roy Hibbert, which is simply a bad basketball move. Phoenix gave New Orleans guard Eric Gordon a max offer. Why so many offer sheets this summer? More teams than usual have cap space, but luxury-tax creation is a fair explanation. Starting next season, the penalties for exceeding the luxury tax go way, way up. Let’s say Asik’s $14.9 million salary in 2014-15 puts the Bulls $15 million over the tax threshold. By this year’s rules, the penalty would be dollar for dollar, or $15 million. Starting next season the penalty jumps to $2.50 per dollar, so the Bulls would owe a whopping $37.5 million in luxury tax. What happens to the tax money? It’s shared by the nontax teams, of course. So the Rockets could profit later, even if the Bulls and the Knicks match those offer sheets. The pending sign-and-trade of Steve Nash from Phoenix to the Lakers is another money generator, because all of Nash’s new salary likely will be taxed. The tax threshold is expected to be around $70 million this season, and the Lakers’ payroll will be around $89 million when Nash is added. A successful team such as the Thunder also is in a bad spot, because it already signed Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to big contracts and must find a way to work out new deals for James Harden and Serge Ibaka soon. One way the new CBA has cut back on salaries is by shortening the maximum length of contracts to four years for free agents signing with new teams. Max offers to Hibbert and Gordon are $58 million over four years. If only the Bulls could apply that guideline to the five-year, $75 million deal they gave Carlos Boozer in 2010. The Bulls will almost certainly be taxpayers this season. With the tax rules changing, it’s easy to see why they’re acting conservatively when it comes to adding salaries. It’s why veteran shooting guard Michael Redd is on the wish list, because he’s not in high demand. It won’t be easy replacing Kyle Korver if his $5 million contract option for next season is not picked up. The best free-agent, 3-point shooters probably would be the cringe-inducing trio of Jodie Meeks, Willie Green and Marco Belinelli. As we’ve mentioned before, the Bulls will have to be creative this summer, when they can offer only the $3 million taxpayer midlevel exception or minimum salaries. The good news is the list of available players keeps growing. Toronto’s Jerryd Bayless and Phoenix’s Aaron Brooks are point guards whose qualifying offers were rescinded in the last two days, making them unrestricted free agents. Maybe some good players will get left out of the cash grab and decide to join the Bulls for less. An intriguing name in the mix is Nets forward Gerald Green, who reportedly visited with the Bulls on Friday. He was in the last group of players to jump straight from high school to the pros. But he wasn’t ready for the NBA and found himself out of the league in 2009 after toiling for four teams in four seasons. After playing in Russia, China and the D-league, the 6-foot-7 Green was signed by the Nets last season and averaged 12.9 points in 31 games. A minimum-salary offer likely rests on the table. Some other teams have played “name your price” this summer, but the Bulls don’t have that luxury — pun intended.

  • Cream of the draft crop coming from Chicago Jun 27, 2012 9:12 PM
    For some reason, the Chicago area is producing fewer NBA players now than it has over the last 40 years. But when it comes to No. 1 overall picks, Chicago has dominated. Tonight, Englewood native Anthony Davis will be the fifth player selected first, joining Derrick Rose, Mark Aguirre, LaRue Martin and Cazzie Russell.

  • Time, not a title, will help repair LeBron’s image Jun 22, 2012 4:16 PM
    With a good chunk of America rooting against him, LeBron James finally won an NBA championship with Miami on Thursday. So what will this do for James' legacy and popularity? Our NBA expert, Mike McGraw takes a look at the situation.

  • Call it South Flaw-rida: Heat can’t win with 3-on-5 Apr 13, 2012 4:26 PM
    The Bulls understand that regular-season victories over Miami and home-court advantage in the playoffs dont mean much. But the Heat's mediocre play during the past six weeks and flip-flopping lineups suggest the three-star system isn't working.

  • Thibodeau one win from historic record Mar 19, 2012 5:34 AM
    If the Bulls beat Orlando on Monday, Tom Thibodeau's career record would improve to 100-30 and he'd surpass Avery Johnson for getting to 100 wins faster than any coach in NBA history. Thibodeau wasn't concerned, but his players had fun talking about the achievement.

  • Rose a one-man wrecking crew for Bulls Mar 5, 2012 7:33 AM
    After losing in the Eastern Conference finals last season, the Bulls set out to find more help for Derrick Rose. On nights like these, the one-man gang doesnt seem like such a bad strategy. Rose delivered 35 points and 8 assists as the Bulls avenged one of their ugliest losses of the season by beating Philadelphia 96-91 on Sunday at the Wachovia Center.

  • Magic’s Dwight Howard looms over all-star festivities Feb 25, 2012 1:50 PM
    This season's NBA All-Star Game features the usual spectacles and will also mark the official start of Dwight Howard trade mania. The Magic seemed set on not trading their star center before hosting the all-stars, but a move seems inevitable before the March 15 deadline.

  • Should the Bulls be worried? Just ask the Magic May 3, 2011 8:17 AM
    There are a couple reasons the Bulls might feel inclined to write their Game 1 loss to Atlanta as a bad night that can be remedied. For starters, most of the damage was the result of two guys knocking down long, challenging jump shots.

  • Perfect storm created Bulls run to the top Mar 27, 2011 9:11 PM
    An astonishing Bulls season has hit the stretch run. By going 7-3 in the last 10 games, the Bulls can reach 60 wins.

  • Heat stars bound to figure this out eventually, aren’t they? Mar 6, 2011 11:19 PM
    The trend was established long before the Bulls arrived in South Florida this weekend. The Miami Heat’s three-superstar lineup has had no success against the NBA’s best teams and is ill-equipped to excel in close games. While the Bulls have guys like Joakim Noah and Luol Deng making the small plays that make a difference, the Heat has one star taking the final shot and two others wishing they had the ball.

  • Rose obviously the NBA's midseason MVP Feb 21, 2011 10:24 AM
    Time for the NBA all-star break awards: Not sure how many national analysts beyond Charles Barkley are on board with Derrick Rose as MVP. The logic is simple, though: No player has done more for his team.

  • Salute to Sloan; why Bulls avoid boneheads Feb 13, 2011 8:40 PM
    It would be easy to call former Utah coach Jerry Sloan a true original, but there probably used to be hundreds of people like him. He just outlasted them all in the NBA He was humble and straightforward, but always an interesting interview. He was also very open and accommodating, the only head coach who would regularly eat dinner in the press room before the game.

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