Bulls' Boylen tries to block out noise with changes in store

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Change is in the air for the Bulls front office, but coach Jim Boylen is trying not to hear the noise and focus on getting the team through this injury-laden stretch.

    Change is in the air for the Bulls front office, but coach Jim Boylen is trying not to hear the noise and focus on getting the team through this injury-laden stretch. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 2/22/2020 8:32 PM

With the Bulls pondering front office changes, coach Jim Boylen is trying not to get caught up in what might happen in the future.

"I have my marching orders from the front office to develop this group, get us to play hard, compete, and play the guys that are healthy and try and make them better," Boylen said before Saturday's game. "That's what I'm focused on. As far as a distraction for the team and all that, I haven't felt that. The guys have done a good job of the task at hand."

 

Any time there are changes in management, a coach has reason to feel less secure. The speculation is the Bulls will bring in someone from the outside to run the basketball operations, while John Paxson moves into more of an advisory role.

"You know me pretty well. I don't really listen to the noise," Boylen said. "I don't really listen to the cheers, I don't listen to the negative stuff. I've got a job to do, I love what I'm doing, and I really like this group of guys. We've had some tough breaks, we've had some difficult situations, we've had some tough moments. That's part of being in the big leagues."

White sets bar high:

Coby White was asked if his historic hot streak early this season might have set the expectations too high for his rookie campaign.

"Not really, not to me," he said. "I hold myself to a really high standard and I put a lot of pressure on myself. But it was two games to me. It was just two games where I got hot. I don't feel like it put any expectations on myself, because it's really hard to do and for somebody to keep doing that at a high level, it's hard. Nobody's ever shot the ball that well the whole season."

The three-quarter outburst happened over a two-game span. In the fourth quarter against the Knicks on Nov. 12, he went 7-for-8 from 3-point range, then he was 5-for-8 in the first half at Milwaukee two days later.

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Considering the NBA record for 3-pointers in a game is 14 by Klay Thompson, going 12 for 16 over three quarters was impressive. And tough to recreate. He's made 5 3-pointers in a game twice since then.

Dunn set for new offer:

With Kris Dunn expected to miss most, if not all, of the season with a right knee sprain, it will change the numbers on his qualifying offer this summer.

The qualifying offer is set by the rookie pay scale, but it can change if the player meets or doesn't meet what's called "starter's criteria." Dunn would have to average 41 starts or 2,000 minutes played over the past two seasons to meet the criteria.

Since he probably won't, Dunn's qualifying offer will drop from $7.1 million for the No. 5 draft pick to $4.64 million. The qualifying offer is what teams must offer a player headed into restricted free-agency to keep the right to match an offer sheet from another team.

This is unlikely to affect either party. Dunn could accept the qualifying offer, play next season and become an unrestricted free agent in 2021, but that doesn't happen often.

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