Bulls say Dunn will miss at least 2 weeks
Since losing Kris Dunn to a sprained right knee, the Bulls have given up 133 and 129 points in their last two games against Brooklyn and Toronto.
They won't have him back until after the all-star break at the earliest, which means Dunn will miss at least three more games with medial collateral ligament sprain. Dunn was injured 13 seconds into Friday's loss to the Nets when teammate Thaddeus Young took a charge, fell backward and struck Dunn's knee. The Bulls said he'll be reevaluated in two weeks.
"Nothing has been easy for us this year," Bulls guard Zach LaVine said Tuesday at the Advocate Center. "I don't want to say we're used to playing undermanned. But it's almost like we are. It just stinks for KD. I've been talking to him, making sure he keeps his head high. He's been having a really good year, leading the league in steals and things like that. He's built for things like this. He's a tough-minded dude."
The good news is the Bulls are in a slow stretch of their schedule, with three games to play until the eight-day all-star break. If all goes well, Dunn could conceivably return on Thu., Feb. 20 when the Bulls host Charlotte. The Bulls also expect center Wendell Carter Jr. to return from a sprained right ankle after the break.
"He (Dunn) sat in the chair during practice when we had the seven guys doing scrap and defense and he was shouting out stuff and coaching guys and helping guys," Bulls coach Jim Boylen said. "He has embraced that part of it and it's powerful for us. We miss it when he's not on the floor."
Trade talk calm:
The NBA trade deadline hits on Thursday afternoon and there haven't been many rumors involving the Bulls.
Vice president of basketball operations John Paxson has a history of making deadline deals when the season isn't going well. But the most likely scenario would seem to be swapping Denzel Valentine for an end-of-the-bench guy or a second-round draft pick, since he's clearly not in the Bulls' long-term plans.
The only way for the Bulls to make a major splash would be to trade Zach LaVine or Lauri Markkanen and that scenario seems extremely unlikely. Thaddeus Young and Kris Dunn might have some interest around the league, but it's hard to imagine how the Bulls would improve by trading either of those guys. The Bulls also have some players on bad contracts that would be nearly impossible to move.
"It's very quiet in the league in general," coach Jim Boylen said. "Very quiet. I met with John yesterday like I do on off-days, and we talked about a number of things. It seems to be the whole league for the most part is standing pat at the moment. I think you always listen, but as far as activity not a whole bunch has been expressed to me."
Porter starts running:
There was one mildly significant development on the Bulls' injury front: According to coach Jim Boylen, Otto Porter did some running for the first time since getting out of a walking boot. Porter hasn't played since Nov. 6 with a broken left foot.
"He ran today, which I think is a big step for us and for him," Boylen said. "So, yeah, he wants it, he's trying. And our training staff is doing a great job of just trying to move these guys along without having a setback, so it's a difficult process for everybody, but it is the process."
Boylen said he gave Zach LaVine, Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky the day off from practice to get them some extra rest. Denzel Valentine sat out due to hamstring tightness.
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