Welcome to the Bulls Podcast, coming to you at BullsPodcast.com. We are the official podcast for the Chicago Bulls fan. This is where we’ll be bringing you the latest news, reviews, rants, rumors, and opinions on the players, coaches and front office of the Chicago Bulls.
We’ve got a lot in store for you this episode. Including:
- Bulls re-sign Ryan Arcidiacono
- Zach Lavine going off for 50 at Crawsover Tournament in Seattle
- Denzel Valentine outplayed and called out at Drew League Debut by Frank ‘Nitty’ Sessions.
- David Nwaba signed by the Cavs
- Expectations for each Bulls player now that we have our roster in place. This week we’re going to cover the guards for Chicago.
- Fun trades to think about with the ESPN Trade Machine
Bulls re-sign Ryan Arcidiacono
Ryan Arcidiacono will now wear number 51 with the Bulls. He previously wore number 15 in his rookie season but had to switch to 51 to let Chandler Hutchison wear the 15, his number at Boise State. In his first year with the Bulls last season, Ryan played in 24 games averaging 12.7 mins per game with just 2 points, 42% from the field with 1 rebound and 1.5 assists per contest. He proved his worth once again in Summer league and it’s great to have Arcidiacono back with the team. He seems like a really high character kind of guy who’s also very competitive.
Denzel Valentine’s Drew League Moment
Drew League player Frank Nitty drops 40 on Denzel Valentine then asks DeRozan how Valentine made it to the league. “How did this guy get in the league? How?” and “Denzel Valentine, did you get into the league on layaway?” He did the same stuff to MVP James Harden the next day. Nitty is the Drew League MVP, but that’s probably the limit as to how far his basketball career is going to go. Not good for Bulls fans to see Denzel to be neutered on the court like that. Hopefully, he uses the humiliation as a motivation to get in gear this season.
Zach Levine goes off for 50 in the Jamal Crawford “Crawsover” game. He had 4-5 amazing slam dunks in the game, including a through-the-legs dunk. It looks like Zach is pumped up after the new contract and is ready to make his mark in Chicago this season.
David Nwaba signs with the Cavs
The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly finalizing a contract with wing David Nwaba on August 1st. Nwaba, 25, averaged 7.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last season in a reserve role for the Chicago Bulls. He shot just 34.6 percent from beyond the arc, though his value came on the defensive side of the ball, where he proved to be a solid perimeter and on-ball defender. It wasn't a surprising move. With Zach LaVine expected to be healthy for a full season, Chandler Hutchison drafted in the first round, Jabari Parker signed and Justin Holiday and Denzel Valentine also available on the wing, Nwaba would have been fighting for sparse reserve minutes. Instead, he will now try to prove his worth for the Cavaliers, and if he can improve his three-point shooting, he should be a solid option off the bench.
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PLAYER EXPECTATIONS: GUARDS
Kris Dunn – PG
Kris Dunn was a great surprise for the Bulls last year. A result of the Jimmy Butler trade, Dunn was brought over with Zach Lavine and the draft pick that turned out to be Lauri Markkanen. He had a gang of injuries last year, including a gut-wrenching end of dunk face plant into the hardwood floor of the court that had him out several weeks in concussion protocol. This year is probably going to be the breakout year for Kris Dunn.
Expectation: It’s a make it or break it season for him. We’re really counting on K.D. because there really aren’t that many great backup options for the Bulls right now. We need him to perform efficiently and quickly. He should have plenty of targets with all the regulars and the new guys, Jabari Parker, Wendell Carter Jr and Chandler Hutchinson.
Cameron Payne – PG
Brought over as part of the Taj Gibson & Doug McDermott trade to OKC, Cameron is somewhat of a mystery. Out for a majority of his Bulls tenure due to foot injuries, we haven’t seen a whole lot of Cameron Payne to date. In the outings that he had last year, Cam played in 25 games averaging almost 9 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists.
Expectation: Be consistent with those numbers and even score a bit more, we can have confidence in Cameron as a solid backup PG.
Ryan Arcidiacono – PG
Ryan played in 24 games averaging 12.7 mins per game with just 2 points, 42% from the field with 1 rebound and 1.5 assists per contest. He was a national champion in college and has a great basketball IQ. Ryan is a TRUE point guard. He’ll put the pass exactly where it needs to be. He’s efficient and rarely turns the ball over.
Expectation: We don’t expect too much from Ryan, but when he’s out there, you can count on some hard-hat, lunch-bucket work ethic and
Zach LaVine – SG
Of all of the players on the Bulls, Zach Lavine is expected to contribute the most out of any other player on the Bulls. With a monster 4 year deal for $78 million, all eyes are on Zach as the future leader of the Bulls. Last week we played a clip of Zach in an interview where he talked about not wanting to be “Second Fiddle”. That’s a role you have to earn and we expect Zach to not only step up his game but be the clear leader and leading scorer of the team. That will be a big challenge for Zach with the likes of Jabari Parker, Lauri Markkanen, and other prolific scorers, but he has to do it this year in order to gain the confidence of the coaching staff, and more importantly, the love of the Chicago Bulls fans.
Expectation: Zach is getting paid like an All-Star now. That’s what we expect out of him. He needs to put up an All Star season and lead the Bulls deep into the playoffs. Anything less than the ECF would be considered a failure. The east is wide-open and this is Zach’s crowning moment to make his mark in Chicago Bulls history.
Justin Holiday – SG
Justin is a solid contributor off the bench and as a starter. His minutes will probably drop significantly as the increased floor time of Lavine and Blakeney will render Justin as excellent trade bait. He’s on an expiring contract this year, worth just over $4 Million. He’d be a welcome addition to any team looking to fill a hole at the 2-guard slot.
Expectation: Play well up to the trade deadline, when we can move him and get an undetermined missing piece to close out the year and make a playoff run.
Antonio Blakeney – SG
What can you say about a player that has already fulfilled expectations? Drive harder! AB’s method of getting to the NBA was filled with challenges and obstacles. The former Ben Simmons running mate showed the entire G League the meaning of heart, hustle and muscle, earning Rookie of the Year honors. His summer league play proved that he was the real deal and was signed to a full NBA contract for two years.
Expectation: Become a scoring machine off the bench. Instant offense. He’s going to be a United Center favorite. I’d love to see a little Nate Robinson swagger from AB.
Rawle Alkins – SG
We don’t know that much about Rawle, but he’s great friends with Lauri. We talked last week about their #SavageLife. Rawle is signed to a two-way deal, but we do expect that he will get some playing time off the bench for at least 20 games this year.
Expectation: We want to see #SavageLife in Chicago! As Lauri’s friend, we expect Rawle to propel his old teammate to a new level while also tearing it up in the G League.
Antonius Cleveland – SG
After going undrafted in the 2017 NBA draft, Cleveland signed with the Portland Trail Blazers to join their roster for the 2017 NBA Summer League. While playing for Portland, he averaged 5.8 ppg in six games coming off the bench. On July 27, 2017, Cleveland signed with the Golden State Warriors on a training camp deal. On September 30, Cleveland was waived by the Warriors.He'd then be assigned to the Santa Cruz Warriors NBA G League affiliate team on October 24, 2017.
On November 17, 2017, Cleveland signed a two-way contract with the Dallas Mavericks. He made his NBA debut later that night in a 111–87 blowout loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, recording 2 points and 2 rebounds in 6 minutes of play. Throughout his time on that two-way deal, he would split his playing time between the Mavericks and their G League affiliate, the Texas Legends. On December 18, 2017, he was injured in a 97–91 loss to the Phoenix Suns. He was waived from the team a day later, with his spot on the team being replaced by Kyle Collinsworth.
Atlanta Hawks (2018)
On February 22, 2018, the Atlanta Hawks signed Cleveland to a 10-day contract. He signed his second 10-day contract with Atlanta on March 4. On March 14, 2018, Atlanta signed Cleveland to a multi-year contract. On July 21, 2018, Cleveland was placed on waivers by the Hawks.
Chicago Bulls (2018–present)
On July 23, 2018, the Chicago Bulls claimed Cleveland off waivers.
Expectations: Contribute off the bench. Make an impact now that you have a fresh start in the NBA.
POTENTIAL CHICAGO BULLS TRADES 2018-2019 SEASON
What are the biggest / most needed trades this year?
- Justin Holiday may be the best trade bait the Bulls have this year
$4.3M expiring deal, huge value for the money. This needs to be explored.
- Denzel Valentine and Cameron Payne are hindering the development of this rebuild. We need a better offense and these guys just aren’t going to get us there.
- Omer Asik and Robin Lopez need to get off the books to make some room next year.
Patrick Beverley (PG) (Clippers) for Justin Holiday (SF) (Bulls)
Patrick Beverley Effect as A Bull
Patrick Beverley will give the Chicago Bulls the perfect veteran for the modern NBA. He’s a fierce defender (2016/2017 NBA All-Defensive First Team) and a career 38% 3pt shooter with solid playmaking ability. Patrick Beverley will bring the leadership and toughness this young Bulls team needs. Not to mention the hometown effect. Patrick B. is currently on a 1 year 5M
Justin Holiday to Clippers
Justin H. would fit right into the Clippers team as they are short on combo wings who can light it up from 3. Justin is also a solid defensive player who is very durable playing his last two NBA season injury free and he’s on a team friendly contract. Justin H. 1 year 4M
Marcus: This is a great trade because I watched Beverley play with Houston last season and he completely demolished OKC with his play in the first game of their playoff matchup. Beverley came out of the gate with 8 of Houston’s first 12 points and finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and two steals in a 31-point rout over Westbrook, Paul George, and Melo. This would be a great pickup for the Bulls.
Ish Smith (PG) (Pistons) for Denzel Valentine (SF) and Cameron Payne (PG) (Bulls)
Smith has played for 10 different teams in the NBA, but is on the last year of a 3 year deal, worth $6 million this year. He played in every game for the last two years. He’s 30 years old, he’s tough and can put up 10 points a game as a backup PG. He has weakness as a 30% 3PT shooter, but a good PG should be able to spread the floor with the different options we have available.
Should the Bulls Trade for Frank Mason III?
Interesting story from Da Windy City Blog involving trade scenarios where the Bulls could get Frank Mason III from Sacramento.
The basis for the story is the complete vulnerability of the Bulls’ point guard position. We’re all hoping that Kris Dunn can run an effective offense and be healthy all year, but if those two scenarios don’t play out, all we have is Cameron Payne as the backup of the future with Ryan Arcidiacono in the background. Those guys as a group don’t instill a lot of confidence in the future of the team going forward. So what can we do now to patch the hole?
Enter Frank Mason III
Entering his second year, Mason looked to be on the rise as De’Aaron Fox’ backup with George Hill out in Sacramento. That was until last week, when the Kings signed free-agent point guard Yogi Ferrell to fill the role. While nothing has been rumored, Mason could be on the way out with Ferrell the clear backup.
Mason would be the perfect fit on the Bulls. As a young, quick point guard, Mason would be the perfect tempo guard with the second unit. Mason’s selflessness and on-court intelligence would bode well with Bobby Portis and Justin Holiday, the two shooters on the Bulls second unit. Additionally, Mason has a much healthier track record than Payne, who has no place on the Bulls, or any NBA roster in 2018.
There’s no player on the Bulls roster that matches up well with the Kings in a potential trade. Payne would have no place on the Kings. The Kings wouldn’t want to take a large contract (Cristiano Felicio, Robin Lopez), and have no need for a player of equal value (Antonio Blakeney,Ryan Arcidiacono). However, the Kings would want something in return. A future second-rounder, maybe even a protected one, is an appropriate return to Sacramento in exchange for Mason’s services.
The Bulls could look towards other cheap point guard options across the league, but Mason, given his potential and cheap cost, makes perfect sense.
Before we say goodbye, we want to say thank you to everyone out there on social media that commented, liked, shared and re-tweeted for Episode #1 of the Bulls Podcast. The first production of any kind of show is difficult, and Wyse and I really kind of got to know each other as that show was being recorded. That’s the longest we had ever talked to each other, period, which is probably surprising to some, considering how many people told me hearing the podcast was like sitting with two old long-time friends talking about the Bulls. Wyse and I are both Chicago Bulls fans for life, and we’re happy to have connected to each other so we can geek out on Bulls info to share with you, the fellow Chicago Bulls fans. I’m so excited for the upcoming season. I’m eager to see the new pieces get put into place, and I’m even more enthusiastic that we get to cover it all, right here on the Bulls Podcast.