Bulls get encouraging news on Jones' knee injury
The knee injury suffered by Bulls forward Derrick Jones Jr. during the first minute of Wednesday's loss to Brooklyn looked like a possible season-ender.
So the test results qualify as good news in this game. The Bulls say Jones suffered a right knee hyperextension, with no ligament damage, but significant bone bruising. The team estimates Jones will miss 2-4 weeks.
Not great news for a team already short-handed at forward, but it could have been much worse.
Jones landed awkwardly after catching a pass on the fast break, his right knee hyperextended and he collapsed to the ground. After a couple minutes, he was helped to the locker room.
Jones had been starting at power forward because the Bulls already lost Patrick Williams, likely for the season, with a wrist injury, while Javonte Green is currently sidelined with a right adductor strain.
Green is two weeks into a 2-4 week prognosis. Alex Caruso, who has played as an undersized power forward, should be back from protocols next week. In the meantime, expect Alfonzo McKinnie and Troy Brown Jr. to hold down the position this weekend.
Bulls eyeing ex-Illini:
According to a report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bulls are planning to sign former Illini star Malcolm Hill to a 10-day contract.
The Bulls have no vacancies on their roster, but the NBA's revised hardship rules say teams can add an extra player for every player who is in health and safety protocols. Since Alex Caruso was still in protocols on Thursday, the Bulls would be able to sign someone to a 10-day.
Now, the Bulls' greatest need appears to be power forward, since Derrick Jones Jr. injured his right knee in Wednesday's loss to Brooklyn and Javonte Green is out with an adductor strain.
The 6-foot-6 Hill is closer to a shooting guard than power forward. The Belleville native played in Champaign from 2013-17 and averaged 18.1 points as a junior. After going undrafted, he played overseas until making his NBA debut a few weeks ago with Atlanta. In his third and final game with the Hawks, Hill scored 13 points against the Bulls at the United Center.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Bulls had not announced the signing of Hill nor released an injury update on Jones.
The NBA released the second dose of all-star voting returns Thursday. DeMar DeRozan remained comfortably in the lead among East guards. But there's a tight race for the second starting slot with Atlanta's Trae Young in second, the Bulls' Zach LaVine in third and Brooklyn's James Harden fourth. LaVine was fourth in the initial returns.
Bulls center Nikola Vucevic did not make the top 10 in East frontcourt players. The top three seem pretty set with Brooklyn's Kevin Durant, Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo and Philadelphia's Joel Embiid.
Leaders in the West are Steph Curry, Ja Morant, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic and Andrew Wiggins. ...
According to reports, Golden State guard Klay Thompson -- back after missing two full seasons with injuries -- planned to play Thursday in Milwaukee and sit out Friday's game against the Bulls. Thompson set the NBA record with 14 3-pointers at the United Center a few years ago. Draymond Green (calf) is also out for the Warriors.