Chicago Bulls sign guard E’Twaun Moore

Chicago Bulls sign former Orlando Magic guard E’Twaun Moore

      
 

 

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Chicago Bulls sign guard E’Twaun Moore (Yahoo Sports)

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls have signed former Orlando Magic guard E’Twaun (EE’-twan) Moore.

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What’s the Window for This Chicago Bulls Core?

The Chicago Bulls are back in the championship race.

But this franchise knows as well as any how quickly that bubble can burst. There is a fragility built into their blueprint, with health concerns and Father Time each capable of closing this window at any time.

Storm clouds loom on the horizon, and while there is no guarantee they will ever breeze through the Windy City, their ominous presence should help spread a sense of urgency across this organization.

The Bulls need to win, and they need to win now.

Luckily, they have positioned themselves to do just that.

Chicago’s motivation to move sooner than later starts with franchise face and former MVP, Derrick Rose.

The 25-year-old missed all but 10 games over the last two seasons to a pair of serious knee injuries: first a torn ACL in his left, then a meniscus tear in his right.

He’s far enough into his recovery that he was able to help Team USA claim gold at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, but he still has layers of rust to shake off. His field-goal percentage for the tournament read more like a batting average, and not even a particularly good one: .254. He misfired on all but one of his 19 three-point attempts and averaged two turnovers in only 17 minutes a night.

But the production wasn’t important; his presence was. He made it all the way through the nine-game slate and started getting back into the routine of playing regularly after essentially sitting out for two full years.

“I’m going to transfer this onto the next season with the Bulls because I think this really helped me with recovery wise, taking care of my body, eating right,” Rose told reporters, per Bulls.com’s Sam Smith. “I was feeling good every time I was stepping on the floor, stretching every time, and I think it’s going to help me with the Bulls season.”

And, despite some unsightly box scores, Rose did manage to hint at his top-level talent on occasion.

“You’ve seen bursts of him where he’s very quick and explosive, some of those quick moves he makes to the lane and the basket,” vice president of operations John Paxson told reporters (h/t Chicago Tribune‘s John Byrne).

Rose might not be back to his old form, but he is headed in the right direction:

So the Bulls need to seize this opportunity, especially since no one knows how long it will last.

Chicago understands its situation and the unique chance sitting in front of it. This team has fortified its ranks with win-now weapons, as it should have. The Bulls won 48 games without Rose last season. The chance for this group to do something special is real, and it grew over the summer for more reasons than just the return of its fallen star.

There was also the signing of four-time All-Star and two-time world champion Pau Gasol. The 34-year-old has a résumé so rich his profile should be impossible to lift, but his strong showing at the World Cup may have done just that.

“We’ve been really, really encouraged watching him play,” Bulls general manager Gar Forman told reporters, via CSN Chicago’s Aggrey Sam. “He seems to be moving well, he seems to be in great health. … He’s hitting the international three, such a terrific passer with great vision, instincts passing the ball.”

Gasol averaged 20 points over seven tournament games, shooting 68.9 percent from the field and connecting on a trio of triples. The big man also corralled 5.9 rebounds, tallied 2.3 blocks and dished out 1.4 assists per night.

Chicago’s frontcourt, no less than a life preserver in the Rose-less seasons, has the potential to scratch any itch that arises.

It’s hard to imagine a more crafty interior tandem than Gasol and two-time All-Star Joakim Noah. The pair finished third and first, respectively, among forward-centers in assists per game last season. Both are comfortable at the elbow, on the low block or anywhere in between.

Gasol, a 17.4 points-per-game scorer last season, gives Chicago the consistent second scorer it has struggled to put next to Rose. Noah, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and Taj Gibson, runner-up for the Sixth Man of the Year award, can play off Gasol at the offensive end, help protect him at the opposite side or team together to form an energetic, athletic, defensively dominant duo.

The Bulls have the proper pieces to complement Rose or turn their attack inside-out if the point guard is removed from the equation, as Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale noted:

This is no longer a Bulls team desperate for Rose to be healthy. Well, it is and it isn’t. 

Superstars like Rose are indispensable. The Bulls cannot replace what he does, the offense he brings, the hope he inspires. But increasing their Rose-less ceiling is the next best thing.

More than anything, that’s what Gasol does: improve the Bulls no matter what.

But there’s a shelf life on that improvement.

Gasol already has 13 seasons on his NBA odometer. Both Gibson and Noah are done celebrating birthdays in their 20s.

This trio is built for today, and that’s a common thread throughout the roster.

The Bulls brought in 29-year-old Aaron Brooks in free agency and kept 33-year-old Kirk Hinrich around on a two-year deal. Even Chicago’s rookie investments, Doug McDermott and European import Nikola Mirotic, should help right away.

The 22-year-old McDermott, more than 14 months older than New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, left Creighton with 3,150 career points, a silky smooth three-point stroke and an understanding of how to play this game.

“He rarely messes up,” Rose said of McDermott, via ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell. “He never pushes the issue I would say. He never tries things that he can’t do. He knows exactly what type of play that he wants and for me I need him because you can’t leave him.”

Mirotic, who turns 24 in February, enjoyed a prolific career overseas that saw him capture MVP honors in Spain’s ACB League. While he won’t be immune to an adjustment period, his game should carry over across the Atlantic, according to new Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt, a fellow veteran of the European game, via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Nikola’s game will translate extremely well because he has inside-outside capability. He has the size to take advantage of mismatches if he does play as a (power forward). He has the speed to dribble around guys. He’s a legitimate rebounder and has physical size and presence. He’s a very, very tough kid.

He was a (matchup nightmare) in Europe. … Physically and athletically and skills-wise, he can swing between positions and take advantage of mismatches.

It will take some time for the ceilings on Chicago’s young players to be properly set, but their basements already seem locked in at a comfortable height.

The Bulls haven’t taken many risks with their supporting cast, and considering how close to the top they’re sitting, they need production far more than potential.

But that only increases the pressure for this core to perform. It’s already working against the clock, with the Cleveland Cavaliers holding dynasty upside if they can get their superstars working in rhythm.

This isn’t a Brooklyn Nets-type one-year window, but Chicago’s isn’t much wider than that. Noah’s contract runs through 2015-16, Gasol could get out the same summer by declining a $7.7 million player option, while Rose, Gibson and Mirotic are all slated for the 2017 free-agent market.

Rose could keep Chicago’s championship hopes alive longer if he regains his MVP form, but this core has probably two years to get something done. Three if the Bulls are lucky.

Given how easily these things can fall apart, though, they can’t bank on getting another opportunity. The time to move is now.

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Biggest Adjustments Chicago Bulls Must Make This Season

The Chicago Bulls are a defensive-minded basketball team with one of the most easily recognized identities in the league. But—Derrick Rose’s health aside—that predominant focus on one side of the ball has done them little good in the playoffs these last few years. 

Chicago’s 2013-14 season ended because they could not score the ball. But after an offseason filled with major additions to the roster, including the hopeful return of a dominant 26-year-old Rose, the Bulls need to make a slight adjustment to the brand of basketball that’s long distinguished them under head coach Tom Thibodeau as an intimidating brick wall. They need points.

The Bulls finished last season as one of the NBA’s most pedestrian and eye-gougingly harsh offenses, finishing dead last in field-goal percentage (43.2 percent), 28th in offensive rating and 25th in three-point rate. Entering the playoffs, journeyman point guard D.J. Augustin led the team with a 14.9 points-per-game scoring average, and the only player efficiency rating found above the teens was Joakim Noah’s 20.0. 

Their taste of the postseason was brief and brutal, with the Wizards beating them to a pulp in five quick games. Expectations are higher this season (like, championship-or-bust higher), but in order for Chicago to avoid having its season come crashing down once again, they need to jolt the offense to life while still maintaining an effective and crippling defensive unit. 

One of the most obvious reasons Chicago dominates on defense is they don’t seem to care too much about offense. Games almost never turn into track meets, meaning the Bulls rarely look to push pace and score in transition. This lets Thibodeau keep things under control, allowing his men to set up their half-court defense, which is borderline legendary at this point. 

Unfortunately, it’s a two-way street that comes back to bite them on the other end. If Chicago is so focused on not letting the other team score easy points in the unstructured open court, how do you think they operate on offense? That’s correct, in the half-court, against the other team’s set defense.

It’s a strategy that ultimately worked out for Chicago (they still won 48 games last season), but it may need to be toned down in 2014-15 with a new roster that’s loaded with offensive-minded pieces coming off the bench and infused in the starting lineup.

Playing for Spain at the FIBA World Cup, Pau Gasol looked like a 2.0 version of 1977 Bill Walton. Before his team was shockingly eliminated by France, Gasol was arguably the tournament’s most impressive player, a low-post force of nature who clubbed opponents into submission with pinpoint outside shooting and a throwback effort on the glass.

Gasol ended the tournament averaging 20 points and six rebounds per 27 minutes of play. He was phenomenal and is expected to be an upgrade over the amnestied Carlos Boozer next season with the Bulls.

Gasol was a slogging defender last season for the Los Angeles Lakers, but it’s almost fair to chalk that experience up as a bad nightmare. For whatever reason, the 34-year-old big man never fit into Mike D’Antoni’s system, and the results were evident on the floor. 

Granted, the level of competition is lower and the sample size is small, but Gasol showed a glimpse of his former self in Spain. It’s a promising sign for the Bulls, a team that could really use a low-post scorer who can also stretch opposing bigs to the corner and knock down threes. 

According to CSNChicago’s Mark Strotman, Gasol will also help open things up with his unique passing ability.

Though Gasol rarely has played with a traditional pass-first point guard and spent a large portion of his career in the triangle offense, he still was able to average 3.4 assists per game a year ago alongside Kendall Marshall, who in 54 games finished second in the NBA in dimes (8.8 per game).

And now Gasol will get the chance to work his passing magic alongside one of the game’s best facilitating big men. Gasol’s distributing numbers last year made him one of four big men in the NBA to average at least three assists per game, joining his brother Marc Gasol, Spencer Hawes and Pau’s newest teammate, Joakim Noah.

The presence of both Gasol and Noah in the same frontcourt is something that hasn’t been seen in more than a decade. The last team to feature two forwards or centers averaging three or more assists per game was the 2003-04 Sacramento Kings.

In addition to Gasol (and Rose, of course), the Bulls will bring in rookie Doug McDermott and European stretch 4 Nikola Mirotic. Both forwards can really shoot, but their defense is a question mark. Adding them both is an admission by Chicago’s decision-makers that the three-point shot must be implemented into the offense next season, and doing so makes a ton of sense. 

The 6’8” McDermott averaged 26.7 points per game in his senior season at Creighton, shooting an ungodly 44.9 percent from beyond the arc. Somehow, that figure is lower than his career three-point average of 45.8 percent.

The good news is most of McDermott’s attempts came as the center of the other team’s defensive game plan. In the NBA, he won’t nearly gain that much attention, and he should develop into a spot-up threat right away.

As for Mirotic, he made 46.1 percent of his threes in 31 Euroleague games last season, per DraftExpress. He’s 6’10, 23 years old and could be a dynamite partner beside either Noah or Taj Gibson, keeping the floor spaced as wide as possible for Rose and even Jimmy Butler to penetrate through the paint. 

The Bulls are already so good on defense, but in order for them to win a championship this season, they need to take advantage of all the offensive firepower signed in the summer. 

If their focus can shift a tiny bit from defense toward becoming an efficient and varied scoring team, specifically from behind the three-point line, it’s tough to picture any opponent in the league being able to beat them four times in a seven-game series.

 

All statistics are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com or NBA.com unless otherwise noted. 

Michael Pina covers the NBA for Bleacher Report, Sports on Earth, FOX Sports, ESPN, Grantland and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelVPina. 

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Chicago Bulls Sign Guard From Magic

According to Priority Sports & Entertainment, the Chicago Bulls have signed former Purdue guard and three-year NBA veteran E’Twaun Moore to a free agent contract Tuesday. According to the report, Mary Stevens of Sports Talk Florida reported in mid-August that Moore would sign with the Bulls “in the next few days,” but the deal apparently did not transpire until this week.
Congrats @ETwaun55 on signing with the @chicagobulls. Nothing like staying at home!
— Priority Sports (@PrioritySports) September 16, 2014

Moore has averaged 6.3 pts, 1.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.7 turnovers in his three-year career. After spending the last two seasons in Orlando, the Magic declined to submit a qualifying offer to Moore.
The Chicago Bulls finished 4th in the Eastern Conference last season, with a 48-34 record.
Chicago Bulls Officially Sign Purdue’s E’Twaun Moore http://t.co/ahwZDiZcip
— Chicago Bulls News (@BullsAllNews) September 17, 2014

Bulls have signed E’Twaun Moore to a two-year deal, a

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Chicago Bulls Season Preview: ‘This Is a Team That Could Go All the Way’

Derrick Rose is finally back and ready to lead the Chicago Bulls into the new NBA season, where expectations will be high for a reloaded squad. Will the additions of big-name players like Pau Gasol be enough to bring the Bulls a title?

Howard Beck and Ric Bucher preview the Bulls’ upcoming season when they join Adam Lefkoe in the video above.

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Chicago Bulls, Jimmy Butler Facing Future Sooner Than You Think

Jimmy Butler’s future is arriving sooner than most of us are ready for. Next summer, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.

Butler came of age quickly with the Chicago Bulls. Thrust into a starting spot as a sophomore after Richard Hamilton’s repeat injuries in the 2012-13 season, he became a playoff-ready defensive warrior before our eyes, clocking memorable performances against Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, among other.

Butler’s gritty style, cut from the blueprint of Tom Thibodeau’s league-influencing system, has since come to be a culture-defining presence for the Bulls and fans in Chicago. Averaging a whopping 38.7 minutes per game as the anchor to Thibodeau’s perimeter stronghold in 2013-14, Butler tied with Carmelo Anthony for most time per contest in all of the league. Butler won All-Defensive Second Team honors for the year. 

But while Butler’s defense and intangible hustle are unquestionable strengths, plenty of doubt remains about his abilities on offense. After shooting 38 percent on three-pointers in 2012-13, Butler dropped all the way down to 28 during his most recent campaign. From Kevin Ferrigan of CBS Sports:

That 356 attempt figure, as it turns out, is not a significant enough sample to tell us all that much about how good a shooter Butler really is. The 105 attempts he took in 2012-13, when he looked so good, is clearly an even smaller sample, and thus has even more potential to be the result of statistical noise. It turns out that to have a meaningful sense of how good a three point shooter a player truly is, you need to see at least 750 three point attempts from them, according to research done by Darryl Blackport of Nylon Calculus.

Three-point shooting isn’t the only factor that goes into measuring offensive worth, but it’s a huge one for Butler. The Bulls need crack shooters to put around Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah, who are sure to be their top playmakers. Butler’s best chance at contributing is to hone his catch-and-shoot capacities, and there’s no jumper more important than the three.

If Butler hopes to get a lot more than the $3 million qualifying offer the Bulls will need in order to retain him next summer, he’ll have to do better than 28 percent from beyond the arc. It’s unlikely he’ll have many chances at creating shots for himself next to Rose, Noah and Gasol, so his ability to stretch the defense is paramount.

And while Butler is one of the top perimeter defenders in the game, he gets a lot less credit for that status under Thibodeau, who enhances every defender he’s handed. Outside of the coach’s steely, domineering system, it’s unclear whether Butler is as valuable.

In other words: Butler is worth more to the Bulls than he is to other teams. A classic “culture guy,” his continuity, familiarity and comfort with both the bodily and interpersonal standards of Thibodeau’s ever-intense locker room wouldn’t necessarily transfer over to other teams. But in Chicago, Butler is a pillar.

That’s why the most likely result is Butler and the Bulls’ front office working out a deal that behooves both sides. Like Tony Allen, the “Grindfather” defensive maniac who’s found a home and an indelible sense of identity with the Memphis Grizzlies, Butler has entrenched himself as a Bull in ways that extend well beyond the box score. And it’s been just as beneficial for him as it has for his team.

Whether Butler can collect more points and shoot his price up in 2015 remains a mystery. But, either way, it’d be surprising to see him leave Chicago.

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Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose Wins Gold And His Confidence

Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose Wins Gold And His Confidence
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…
The 12 man USA Men’s Basketball Team has won the FIBA World Cup gold medal. Excellent job by each player, but this is about Derrick Rose. With a healthy Derrick Rose the Chicago Bulls are 1 of 2 teams (Cleveland) that are likely to win the Eastern Conference. Rose wasn’t elite in the tournament and was the 3rd point guard and the 4th or 5th guard in their rotation, but him playing healthy and staying healthy is bigger for Derrick Rose than winning gold, although he won’t admit it. Rose has won his 2nd gold medal, but he has gained something far more vital, confidence.
He only averaged about 5 points and 3 assists per game and his jumper is off, but he proved that he has the athleticism and quickness that made him League MVP 3 seasons ago. He has the it factor again, which he lacked in the 10 games he just played for the Bulls. His athleticism and his ability to get where he pleas…

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Chicago Bulls Having Championship Visions at FIBA

With the FIBA gold medal game around the corner, the Chicago Bulls franchise can’t help but see their own golden prospects taking shape in the NBA.
Derrick Rose Conditioning and Defense Already At Peak
Naturally the entire focus of the FIBA World Cup, at least from the point of view of the Bulls and their fans is the status of point guard Derrick Rose.  After two injury-marred years, people are wondering if the 25-year old can regain the MVP form he displayed back in 2011.  Rose of course believes he’s back to full strength and will be one of the best in the NBA in no time.  Some have quickly killed such a notion by referencing his poor shooting.
Rose is just 1-for-17 from 3-point range for the tournament and is averaging just 5.4 points per game.  It’s a valid concern since he will carry much of the offensive load for Chicago.  However, it also overshadows how excellent he has looked defensively.  His athleticism and quickness have been a major asset for U.S.A. throughout the competition as they

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The Best Chicago Bulls Uniform Re-Design Yet, Along With Some Others

Multidisciplinary designer and branding specialist, Quentin Brehler, made this awesome design concept to re-brand the Chicago Bulls uniforms. Featuring a darker, more intimidating version of the Bull, Brehler’s design adds a bit of modern toughness to the logo.
The Chicago Bulls have a rich history and a winning tradition. As we honor past champions, we must also transition into a new era as the Windy City unites under the bull’s strongest feature: his horns.

Picture Courtesy QuentinBehler.com
Considering the Chicago Bulls’ logo has been in use since 1966, a modern upgrade like this could be great for the city & the fans. Featuring the Chicago stars across the waistline of the shorts, and a new look number – this concept is much better than what they currently have, IMO at least.
This isn’t the first time someone has taken a stab at re-creating the Chicago Bulls’ logo though, here’s a few more concept designs that have floated around the Internet.

Photo: Zurb.com

Photo: Coroflot.com

Ph

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