Derrick Rose working out for Carmelo Anthony is great news regardless of Anthony

Derrick Rose working out for Carmelo Anthony is great news regardless of Anthony

According to various reports around the internet, the Bulls pitch focused on their ability to contend for a title right away, the health of Derrick Rose, and a chance for Anthony to get to know the whole organization.

BasketballInsiders had a nice succinct summary:

The Chicago Bulls spent Tuesday courting unrestricted free agent Carmelo Anthony, and brought out just about everyone in the organization to help with their pitch. According to sources close to the situation, the Bulls started their meeting with Anthony by giving him a tour of the United Center and then moved over to their new practice facility.

Later, the Bulls’ brass made a pitch centered around the fact that a core of Anthony, Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson – with Tom Thibodeau coaching – would be able to contend right away in the depleted Eastern Conference.

While Rose had went on the record saying that he wasn’t going recruit Anthony to Chicago, he was very involved in the team’s courtship of the superstar free agent, according to sources close to the situation. While at the United Center, sources say that Rose went through a private workout to show Anthony that he’s healthy and ready to compete at a high level next season.

After meeting and discussing the team’s pitch, the group went to dinner at the Peninsula Hotel in downtown Chicago. Anthony, Noah, Gibson, Thibodeau, Jerry Reinsdorf, Gar Forman and Scottie Pippen were all in attendance at the dinner, according to sources.

So for all the handwringing, complaining, and whining fans that Derrick Rose wouldn't recruit Carmelo, he came up pretty big in the pitch. He met and talked with Melo, but beyond that, he allowed Melo to watch his scheduled rehab workout to prove his health and ability to compete for the championship right away.

It would have been nice if Rose also attended the dinner, but it's hard to get on him too much given the workout. The biggest question for Melo about the Bulls has to be the health of its superstar, and we can only hope that Derrick Rose eased Melo's mind with the workout. However, beyond whether or not Melo chooses the Bulls, this is great news for Bulls fans.

First, it shows that while Rose may not spend his free time nudging and texting and convincing players to come to Chicago, it means he's still pretty willing to be part of the Bulls plan to bring in big name free agents.

Beyond that, this is the first real evidence we have that Derrick Rose is actually healthy. If he wasn't explosive and healthy, they would have never scheduled a workout as part of their recruiting pitch to Carmelo, because a poor workout would shut the door on his desire to sign with Chicago. The fact that they scheduled it at all means Bulls fans can start to let some excitement build over Rose's health for the next season.

Personally, I remain very skeptical of whether Rose can come back healthy. There just aren't many examples of guys who've missed two years with bad knees and come back, but it's a small sample size and each case is a little different. I doubt Rose's body is built to deal with the long term rigors of the NBA season, but if Chicago can squeeze two years out of him of legitimate championship contention that'd be a big win in my book.

As for Anthony, he hears the Rockets pitch today, the Lakers on Thursday, and he reportedly doesn't want to drag out the process of free agency too long and may make a decision shortly afterwards.

Jimmy Butler on the way out the door?

Jimmy Butler was absent from the Bulls pitch to Melo which indicates to me that there's a possibility the pitch includes trading him along with Dunleavy to free up enough cap room to pursue Melo.

Mark Deeks tweeted out that an executive he spoke with said he would give Butler a max contract, and he verified that the guy wasn't joking. As Mark noted, Butler's an analytics guys dream player because of so many of the things he does other than score.

If that's the case, let's find this executive and pitch Butler in a trade to their team. Butler will need an extension after this season, and if the market is particularly robust for him, it'd be far better to trade him now if an early extension can't be worked out. Beyond that, if the Bulls can land Anthony, it'd be great if they can move Butler for a first rounder or two in the next couple years.

That said, the Bulls will have a much stronger team if they can find a way to keep Butler on it while bringing Anthony in, but it seems pretty unlikely.

The Bulls included Taj Gibson in the pitch to Melo which would indicate that whatever plan they have to bring Melo on board involves keeping Gibson. The core was sold as Rose, Melo, Gibson, and Noah with Thibs coaching. This is where you look at the Bulls use of their draft picks and think it sure would have been nice if they had been able to get two quality players to improve the depth.

Kirk Hinrich seems likely to return for the minimum, and the Bulls would still have the room exception after signing Anthony if he came on board to bring on another guard, but given the money available around the league, the room exception isn't likely to land much in the way of talent.

It's a very real possibility that if the Bulls sign Anthony the team looks like:
PG: Rose
SG: Hinrich
SF: Melo
PF: Gibson
C: Noah
Bench: McDermott, Smith, Bairstow, and a bunch of vet min guys

With Snell, Dunleavy, and Bulter all moving to create a larger offer for Carmelo, and the Bulls not having any means to bring Mirotic over this season unless he'd sign for the room exception (unlikely).

If Marcin Gortat gets 5/60, Deng's getting paid

One of my big fears was that Marcin Gortat would sign with Miami and plug their biggest hole. No need to be concerned as Washington signed him to a massive deal to keep him from exploring elsewhere. Gortat, who turned 30 in February, might be worth 12 million for a couple years. Maybe. However, this is one of those Josh Smith like deals that reeks of desperation.

It also shows how much of a players market this free agency period is. There's 20 teams with massive cap space, and bidding wars are going to get crazy. We were mocking Luol Deng in February for laughing at the Bulls 3/10 extension offer, but right now?

I'm betting Deng proves out to be right. Given how much money is available and how few players are, I wouldn't be surprised to see Deng get 4/60 or something similarly crazy, I'd be surprised if he doesn't get at least 4/48, and I'd be shocked if he doesn't land more than the 3/30 the Bulls offered.

Kyrie Irving agreed to a max deal to stay with the Cavs which wasn't much of a surprise and a good move by the Cavs.

Jodie Meeks agreed to a 3/19 deal with the Pistons which shouldn't be shocking given Stan Van Gundy's love of shooters and their need for some perimeter shooting to complement their interior big men.

I could be wrong, but my bet is we can kiss D.J. Augustin good bye. Someone's got to love him enough to pay him more than the Bulls can offer.

We'll see what day two of free agency brings.

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  • I see two injury prone starting guards, and no backup guards in the above scenario. That, and some old vets off the scrap heap, won't get it done, which makes it a dumb deal.

  • In reply to EJMF:

    If every move that "won't get it done" is a dumb deal, then 99% of all moves made in the NBA this year are dumb deals. That simply can't be the standard by which you judge.

    There probably is no move that "gets it done", so you have to evaluate whether each move gets you closer or further away.

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    In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree that back court makes me nervous. There are some intriguing names to fill that Butler role (I.e. Thabo, Brandon Rush) but I'm not sure how much they'll cost. Question, if we were able to clear the cap space to sign Melo out-right, would we still have our MLE to spend?

    Another question, is there any possibility the Knicks say the only way we'll take Boozer in an S&T is if you take J.R. Smith off our hands? I think the money could work given all the minimum contracts the Bulls could package. Personally, I make this move but I get the feeling the Bulls FO would be against this.

  • In reply to TommyO:

    They'd have to lose Jimmy due to the salary space not the value in a trade scenario.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Use Sixers spare millions to send out Booz and MDJr + picks to Philly, they get above the minimum cap with picks for the future, Knicks get a massive Trade Exception and we get Melo. Every team gets something out of it and the Bulls don't ravage their roster. Thoughts?

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    If you can find someone to take Boozer then it works. The question is simply whether you can do that. You'll have to pay someone to take Boozer then ALSO pay the Knicks to give up Anthony. I don't think it will be that easy and will then cost the Bulls that much more.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If keeping Taj is the deal breaker for Melo (because he doesn't want to play as a 4) and he will only take no less than $18m then I cannot see how Taj/$18m is achievable without moving Booz and not just amnestying him.
    If we are getting Melo its because we are going all in with the core of Rose, Melo, Taj and Noah. If we can keep some of Butler, McD, Miro and G Smith then all the better, but picks for the next few years are useless (esp with Thibs as coach) and Snell is not likely to see any court-time with McD here. So if lots of sweetners are required I think we are still better off than amnestying Booz and gutting the roster

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    The Sixers have been identified as the dumping ground for houston and Lin.

  • In reply to TommyO:

    I think the Bulls would do it and take Smith if they can dump Boozer.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I say if they have to move jimmy pitch him in a sign and trade to phil with carlos boozer. Many are saying phil doesn't want CBooz, offer to take Iman shumpert back in the transaction. He can eventually renounce jimmy after this year Iman is owed 2.7 next year and almost 4 the following year. Phil could clear that money off his books in addition to his expiring contracts. Why wouldn't he want that with some draft picks heading his way

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    I'd hate to lose Jimmy Butler, and if they could trade Mirotic's rights instead of trading Jimmy that would be picture perfect. Losing Jimmy would seriously hurt the team's backcourt defense. With all of the Bulls new offensive firepower having Jimmy to defend could balance things out.

    Personally, I doubt Melo will return to the Knicks, I think he has already made up his mind on which team he will sign with (The Bulls).
    NY has a rookie coach, an inexperienced President and no talent on the court. Regardless of the larger contract offer, if he stays w/ the Knicks next year will be a bigger disappointment for him than last season was w/ no real guarantee the 2015-16 season will be much better.

    Of course I'm guessing on this, but the clues are there. He wanted to know how it was like to play for Coach Thibodeau (not Coach McHale or Coach Carlisle), he wanted to know what the city was like, and he has Joakim in his ear since the All Star break....These clues may be shallow and speculative, but it was similar to the way Miami succeeded to sway LeBron away from Cleveland back in 2010. I can also see him choosing Dallas or Houston too. Dallas has a deep veteran team w/ a great coach, and an owner who will spend to win. Houston has plenty of All Star talent for Melo to play with, a very good coach to play for, and they spend to win too. The fact that there's no state taxes in Texas helps in their sales pitch for Melo.

    So, it comes down to Chicago, and Texas...Let's hope he's made up his mind already.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    Moving Jimmy would be about getting enough salary cap room to make a bigger offer to Melo more so than about the value sent, so I don't think we could keep him.

    It woudl be a way to remove Carlos Boozer from the package.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    This may be an instance of extreme speculation, but....I believe Carmelo is scheduled to visit both Houston and Dallas today. Does that fact he spent an entire day with the Bulls, and would be forced to limit time with the Texas teams to fit both in, indicate Carmelo is much more serious about the Bulls than these others suitors?

    Also, as great as a defender as Butler is, I would be ok with losing him, as long as the Bulls can find a serviceable, two-way shooting guard to replace him with. Because let's face it...no one can take the shooting out of shooting guard better than Butler.

  • In reply to BullsMan:

    Additionally, he has looked noticeably worse trying to guard shooting guards than he has in more physical matchups against small forwards. Thus if you get Melo, he becomes more redundant, if not an outright backup(especially if we can find a shooting guard who can actually shoot). Butler is most expendable guy if you get Melo. If it comes down to a choice between the 2, the Bulls keep Mirotic over Butler.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You are absolutely right! The Bulls have to keep Mirotic. In 2 years, he could (that is a maybe, but a reasonable maybe) turn out to be as good as Love! At about $5 million per instead of Love's $17 million per.

    Ditto with McDermott. His kind of shooting will translate well into the NBA. Likely an All-star in a 2 or 3 years, again on the cheap. Have to keep those 2 guys.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Being the contrarian that I am, in my opinion Mirotic has been wildly overrated by Bulls nation. He played admittedly mediocre in his last few games in tournament play. And, as we know, it looks like his Spanish team is not begging to have him back next year. Is he a good player? Absolutely! Is he in Kevin Love's league? Give me a break.

    The closer we got to the draft people started speculating that if Mirotic were in the draft he would be in the lottery, then top ten, then top five, then top three. Consider this, in NBADraftNet's numerical scouting rating Mirotic scored an 89. For comparison, Tony Snell scored a 92.

    I am pretty high on McDermott, however. IMO his floor is Wally S. which is very good. However, his inside/outside game is terrific and he has a tenacity and relentlessness in his desire to score which sets him apart. I don't see that same tenacity and drive with Mirotic. I think McDermott has a 15 to 20% chance to elevate his game to all-star level.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Saric went 10th and he isn't even available to come over for at least 2 years. My sense is that most people think that Mirotic is the better player right now. I think that validates a top 10 projection. After the top 3 guys this season anyone in the top 10 could have gone 4rth or 5th.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree. More that one GM suggested Mirotic would go top 10 this year, but one claimed he'd be top 3, maybe even #1.

    I was surprised to learn that Mirotic hurt his hand late in the semifinal game - that is why he did so poorly in the championship game. Check Don Ellis' post on this. Plus there were issues with the coach.

    hgarbell wrote, "Is he in Kevin Love's league? Give me a break." I know that. But what is his upside? He is the best shooter in Europe, he's tall, he rebounds, and he's still a kid. And, guess what, his salary will be 70% less than Love's!

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Hard to have McDermott's floor as Wally Sczerbiak when Wally was athletically superior to McDermott... We don't even know if Doug can even defend in this league as he is likely to slow to hang with SFs and too short to guard PFs. Just saying his shooting will make him a great player isn't true because Jimmer Fredette is every bit the shooter and he is just trying to stay in the NBA at this point.

    Let's not let our homeristic projections get out of control.

  • I'm glad Deeks confirmed what I said a few weeks ago. Jimmy is not easily replaced. You felt otherwise and indicated that there are always Bogans-like defensive specialists to be had. Perhaps so, but you still need an elite wing player to deal with the Lebrons and Kobes on a nightly basis. Jimmy does that for you just about better than anyone in the league. Plus new studs like Wiggins make that role more important than ever.

    There was a guy in the draft named KJ McDaniels from Clemson who had Jimmy-type of athleticism, tenacity, and strength on defense who fell to #32. If we could have somehow nabbed him then perhaps Butler could have been replaced. I think it is a good trend that analytics are now catching up on the defensive end of the game. I always thought PER was skewed too much for offense.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Jimmy's a good player, but you've historically been able to find similar players relatively cheaply. You typically need to pay for offense because there are far fewer players who can provide good offense than good defense. Defense is more about coaching, scheme, and effort.

  • Let's just remind ourselves that we need stars to win on this league. For that reason, I would dump anybody besides Rose, Noah and Taj to get Melo. Remember, playoffs is where the road meets the rubber, and this is where these 4 guys will shine. We can get defense specialists anywhere. Even Ronnie Brewer may fit the Bulls if we have Melo. As another observation, if Melo is really looking for titles, Bulls is the only option I see. Why does he want to play on a West Conference that is loaded with talented teams where he can easily make into the playoffs and almost certain to be at ECF? This is a no brainer if winning is his priority.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    It's total talent you need to win, not just how you can win your conference. Melo has to feel that with the Bulls they can win the title not just win the East.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Agreed; however, look at the road San Antonio had to traverse to the finals:

    Round 1: Dallas (49-33)
    Round 2: Portland (54-28)
    Round 3: OKC (59-23)

    That's a .659 winning percentage of the people you had to beat, plus unless Melo joins the Spurs he's going to have to go through them to get the chance to play for a ring.

    Look at the Heat's journey through the East.

    Charlotte (43-39)
    Brooklyn (44-38)
    Indiana (56-26)

    That's only a .581 winning percentage. Plus I think that the lowest seed San Antonio faced (Dallas) could have beat any one of those three teams the Heat had to face in a 7 game series.

    We won 48 games last year with Noah, Taj, Butler and DJ Augustin as our 4 best players. Add Melo and (If he can stay healthy) Rose, in the place of Butler and Augustin and this is a 60 win team at least.

    My only 2 complaints with Melo are 1) His playoff splits are below his regular season performances and 2) The depth we will have to sacrifice if we can't do a S&T with him.

  • Da Bulls targeting Ramon Sessions seems to indicate DJ won't return. He may not be much better defensively than DJ but he's at least a bigger and taller player.

    As for Melo, I'm resisting any urge to be encouraged he's signing here. I felt really confident in 2010, so hopefully the results will be the reverse this time.

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    In reply to JPesos1230:

    DJ will proll get more than the Bulls can pay, and the Mavs are already looking. Sessions is 4 inches taller and has better stats per 36, plays a little better D and would be a much better bargain. DJ did a great job for the Bulls in a pinch (ala Nate, C.J, JLIII), but watching him get schooled (29% from the field, 28% on threes, and eaten alive on defense) in the Wizards series was painful.

  • In reply to JPesos1230:

    Always liked Sessions as a player, but he doesn't seem to be a good or great teammate like DJ was. Not as good of a 3 pt shooter?

  • A guy that I hope the Bulls look into is Alan Anderson of the Nets. I think he could be a good SG for a relatively low price.

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    In reply to PaBullfan:

    With his stats and a 9.5 PER, he should come at a relatively low price. I'll pass.

  • 2 other things for Melo:

    1) McDermott - this kid will add O punch big time for the Bulls. If he is coming off the bench, with Bairstow, that could be a very strong bench.

    2) MJ is now a billionaire. If Melo wins titles in Chi, he will make way more than resigning in NY for more salary.

    Bulls look like they have strong appeal for Melo.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Counting on Bairstow to provide anything whatsoever is likely a mistake, much like people said Erik Murphy would provide shooting last year. If you last to pick #49, you're probably not an NBA player.

    We'll see what happens with McDermott. I think he could be really good or possibly not.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    agree, but Bairstow at least sounds like he might be able to play. Murphy sounded like a dud from day one. As a second round stretch 4, I liked that Kelly guy from(Duke?), but I think that the Lakers snagged him right in front of us. Not counting on anything from Bairstow, but I am at least interested in seeing him play.

  • I've thought all along that Melo and LaLa are taking this tour for the attention. No way they are turning down 30 million to leave NYC. It just won't happen unless Phil forces him out.
    Espn is reporting that the Bulls and Lakers are interested in Lance Stephenson. I doubt we would meet his salary demands.

  • In reply to sfpaper:

    if Carmelo wants to keep LaLa....he will stay in NYC.

  • What is "Plan B" for the Bulls when Carmelo does not come to Chicago?

    Does anyone know?

    And please, do not insult me with answers like James, Bosh or Wade.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Pau Gasol one of Lance Stephenson/Gordon Hayward/Chandler Parsons, and maybe Caron Butler.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Trade Booz for Eric Gordon; Pelicans want rid of their albatross (avian pun intended) so we can have a backcourt that might be able to play 10 games together per season!!!

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    In reply to Jersey66:

    They might do that, just to trade multi yrs of a bad contract for an expiring deal, but boozer is soooo much worse of a player.

    Also w unibrow and Asik, where is the booze going to play? I doubt they trade for him to sit on the bench. ( although that might be the best place for him, less stress, less minutes, and of course playing vs back ups.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Will talk about it some soon depending on what news I blog about tomorrow. My personal plan is to grab Pau Gasol and Paul Pierce on two year deals.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Do the Bulls need P & G if they have M & M? Mirotic and McDermott trumps Pierce and Gasol, both on the court and in the bank account.

    Be nice to add that SG tho.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think Pierce could work out really well. I think his crafty offensive game should stay with him as he ages and fills a need for the Bulls. I don't think he'd charge big bucks for his services for a legit chance to win.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Arron Afflalo, oops. Chandler Parsons?

  • Melo will come in S&T @ $19 mil if we take back jr smith. Will have to amnesty boozer most likely. We'll see what reinsdorf is made of here. Shelling out more $$ saves assets like picks and depth. This is the all-in play. If we lose Butler, that saves money there over the next several years bc he will need to get paid. You just hope that jr smith and snell can play SG.

  • In reply to Granby:

    If we amnesty boozer and take back Smith we don't have anywhere near the required salaries to send back to NY. boozer in a trade is worth $17 million amnesty only provides us with $10 million in cap space so we have to add $7 million more in outgoing salaries. dunleavy, Snell, Butler make about $7 million, then you need to find another $6-7 million to take on Smith. If the Knicks are not taking on boozer, then I don't see us needing to take Smith back.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Right. Someone on here was saying that a S&T could be done without Boozer... Probably not Boozer AND Smith....

  • My guess would be the Exec that would give Jimmy Butler a max deal is probably in Orlando. If you can justify giving Ben Gordon 9 mil over two years after shooting 35% last year then Jimmy Butler might sound like a max money player... I agree we need to find this guy and milk him for all the draft picks we can get!

  • Kudos for Rose for doing his part in the Anthony recruiting visit. Sounds like they had a really solid pitch. Good article Doug!

  • Per Kenny Anderson, Melo was not happy with the Bulls offer. Not sure how much to read into this, but he may have some solid NY sources. He thinks Melo will stay a Knick.

    Do you think it's kind of a turn off the way Houston handled the Lin situation? That could backfire.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Probably didn't like the low ball offer.

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    In reply to Granby:

    Can't be shocked. Reinsdorf will always be the most critical component of this franchise. As rich as he is and the amount of money he's made off the bulls ( one of the most profitable franchises in the nba) it's just pathetic how cheap he is. I just don't get why we can't have one good owner in this market. Tommy nickels Ricketts is tanking all the way to the banks, almost like he's read the Reinsdorf book on how to get rich and trick the stupid Chicago fans.

    Maybe th Blackhawks owner is a real owner, but I don't know much about them so I won't comment. mccaskeys, don't get us started.

  • Marcin Gortat as a starting center is more valuable than Luol Deng, thats why I suggesting trade Deng for Gortat and Dudley 2 years ago. It is already obvious that there is crazy money flowing out there, but Deng is not getting anywhere near 4/60. I still doubt that he gets 4/48, Iggy money, but that has to be his ceiling. I wouldn't pay him that but hey, even Ben Gordon found another sucker to give away some money for a least one year.

  • Orlando just gave Ben Gordon $9MM over 2 years to help replace Arron Afflalo. LOL.

  • Are we really doing this again? Carmelo Anthony, once he dismisses the Bulls, we'll find 20 reasons why "Melo" is a loser aka we didn't really want him anyway. I would have been happy with a decent shooting guard in Afflalo who was had for peanuts. Mirotic?After years of waiting finally.. we'll see. As for Paul Pierce or Pau Gasol? Seriously?. The only signings for the Bulls will be old shoes like Klank Hinbrich. Maybe Rip Hamilton, Keith Bogans, and Ronnie Brewer are available. Yeah, that's the ticket.

  • I think Melo is going to stay in NY for every last penny he can get. Was always the most likely scenario, but I think LeBron wanting the max and Gordan freaking Haywood getting a max offer settles it. Just can't see Melo taking a pay cut in this market, not when he never wanted to leave NY in the first place. He wont win there but he can console himself with Scrooge McDuck dives through his money pool.

    Yes,Jimmy Butler should certainly be cashed in ASAP if you're not willing to pay him at least 10 million per year. And you shouldn't be, as good a defender as he is he stinks on offense, and you just can't pay a premium for perimeter defense. The shorter contracts in the new CBA meaning so many teams have cap space is just going to result in a buying frenzy each year and people are going to get (over)paid.

    Need to be going after Love now, it's the Bulls best hope. With the Celtics not getting him on draft day and the Warriors seemingly serious about not giving up Klay the Bulls may now be in the best position to get him.

  • Reports out of Miami....C Bosh wants a 5 year / $90 million deal.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I'm surprised that LBJ by all accounts thus far wants the max. He's the one guy of the the three at this point who makes huge off the court money. Why should the other two take any kind of discount to stay in Miami then?

    It looks like Miami isn't going to have significant money to improve during this offseason. Not Lowry/Deng money, at least.

  • There is no way Hinrich is out starting SG next year under any circumstances.

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