Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Washington Wizards win the 2010 draft lottery

By Sean Mackey

Yesterday, I was expecting to wake up on Wednesday to numerous LeBron to New Jersey rumors. Thank God this wasn't the case.

The Washington Wizards were given a glimmer of hope when they won their first draft lottery since 2001 on Tuesday evening. Washington overcame 10.3 % chance over the favored New Jersey Nets to land the #1 pick. New Jersey owner Mikhail Prokhorov was fairly confident the Nets would win but dropped to #3 in a two man draft. The 76ers moved up to grab the #2 pick. Here's the order for the first round of next month's NBA draft:

1.Washington Wizards
2.Philadelphia 76ers
3.New Jersey Nets
4.Minnesota Timberwolves
5.Sacramento Kings
6.Golden State Warriors
7.Detroit Pistons
8.Los Angeles Clippers
9.Utah Jazz
10.Indiana Pacers
11.New Orleans Hornets
12.Memphis Grizzlies
13.Toronto Raptors
14.Houston Rockets
15.Milwaukee Bucks
16.Minnesota Timberwolves
17.Chicago Bulls
18.Miami Heat
19.Boston Celtics
20.San Antonio Spurs
21.Oklahoma City Thunder
22.Portland Trail Blazers
23.Minnesota Timberwolves
24.Atlanta Hawks
25.Memphis Grizzlies
26.Oklahoma City Thunder
27.New Jersey Nets
28.Memphis Grizzlies
29.Orlando Magic
30.Washington Wizards

While I'm sure the fan's of Washington are excited they have a great player in John Wall to replace Gilbert Arenas, I feel kind of bad for John Wall. I think it would have been way more beneficial for the league and for Wall if the 1st pick had fallen to the 76ers. The 76er's have a great legacy and could use someone to overshadow the failures of Allen Iverson. Washington has always kind of been a boring franchise, especially after Michael Jordan was kicked out of town. I also really hate that their the Wizards and not the Bullets. Changing their team name and their colors has kind of destroyed that franchise for me.

Regardless, I was ecstatic that the New Jersey Nets didn't land the #1 or #2 pick. Plus, the picks went to teams that will have little to no relevance in the eastern conference next season. The rumors would have been flying all night and morning regarding LeBron going to the Nets. While he still may end up their in 3 years, last night's draft may have prevented him from going there for a while or ever.

The mock drafts are all over the place today. ESPN NBA Insider, Chad Ford has Patrick Patterson falling to #22 (Portland) and Xavier Henry to #19 (Boston). On other mock drafts, both players are in the top 12. After pick #2, it really is going to be interesting to see where everyone goes. The NBA draft combine is coming up soon along with an onslaught of private workouts, so I wouldn't take any mock draft too seriously at the moment. The only thing that's for certain is that Wall is going to be a Wizard and Evan Turner is going to be a 76er.

Regardless, the Bulls still have the #17 pick and I'm still hoping they can land James Anderson from Oklahoma State.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The 2010 NBA Draft Lottery is tonight!

By Sean Mackey

The defining moments of the summer of 2010 begin tonight with the NBA draft lottery. With rumors swirling on where LBJ and other free agents will land, tonight's lottery could have a huge impact on the future destinations of players.

For those unfamiliar with NBA Draft lottery procedure, the draft machine has approximately 1,000 balls with team logos on them. The team with the worst record has 250 balls in the machine. The New Jersey Nets are sitting in the best seat in the house tonight with a 25% chance to land the number one pick. The Minnesota Timberwolves (19.9%), Sacramento Kings (15.6%) & Golden State Warriors (10.4%) follow. It is noted that the team with the worst record in the NBA hasn't won an NBA Draft Lottery since 2004 when the Orlando Magic won and later selected All-Star center Dwight Howard.

League consensus has every team regardless of already having a franchise point guard in place, picking UK freshman John Wall. Most analysts and mock drafts have Ohio State guard Evan Turner being picked second. After that, like almost every year, your guess is as good as any. This draft is slightly deeper in the big man field as opposed to last year's draft which was more guard oriented.

The reason this draft lottery is so ridiculously important this year is because of LeBron James. After his team's uneventful meltdown last week against the Celtics, the whole world has been talking about where LeBron is going to go next season. While the most popular choices among NBA nerds and analysts are Cleveland, Chicago, New York & Miami, the NJ Nets could pull ahead of the pack after tonight. The New Jersey Nets are partially owned by rapper and friend of James, Jay Z and and also by Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov. The Nets are scheduled to move to Brooklyn in a few years, Prokhorov is determined to spend big money, they have a future all-star center in Brook Lopez and a great trading chip in Devon Harris. It isn't hard to believe if they get John Wall or Evan Turner that they'll have some serious leverage on other teams also trying to covet the King. If LeBron doesn't bite, you have to think a player like Amare Stoudemire or Carlos Boozer would also take a good hard look at the Nets as a possible 2010 destination.

Another interesting scenero would be if the Timberwolves won the draft. They would HAVE to take John Wall and that would open up the door to trade Ricky Rubio's rights to New York or L.A. It would be sort of nice to see that happen since the Knicks' draft pick goes to Utah this year due to the Tom Gugliotta trade that happened way back in 2004. They've been screwed over by terrible trades over the last 10 years and this is one of them.

As a Bulls fan though, you have to hope a team like Golden State or Sacramento wins the draft and New Jersey drops to #3 or #4 so that the Nets won't look any better than the already stellar package GarPax has put together in Chicago. Wall going to Golden State and Sacramento also aren't isn't going to hurt the Bulls Eastern Conference playoff race either.

Personally, I'm willing to bet the Detroit Pistons win tonight's draft. Why? Because it's completely ridiculous and the oddball always rolls away with a win. I'll be tweeting during the draft lottery @ . Follow us for up to the minute Chicago Bulls and NBA rumors/news.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Born Here. Raised Here. Plays Here. Fails Here.

By Sean Mackey

We may have witnessed LeBron James' last game in a Cleveland jersey on Thursday night as the Boston Celtics finished off the Cavs 94-85 to win the best of 7 series 4-2. The Celtics will meet the undefeated Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals Sunday afternoon.

After LeBron James' terrible almost triple double performance in game 5, the Cavs tried to rebound from 2 days of bad press but couldn't seem to put it together. Mo Williams had almost 20 points at the end of the half and only trailed by 2 points. Every time the Cavs tried to make a run, the Celtics handed it right back to them on the other side of the floor. LeBron finished with a triple double with 27 points with 10 assists, and his 19 rebounds. It's safe to say, the elbow wasn't a factor.

After last year's controversy with not shaking the Orlando Magic's hands, this year, LeBron took the time to congratulate the Boston Celtics. LeBron was also the last person to speak at the post game press conference as ESPN waited on air for almost an hour for his appearance. LeBron was vague about his plans for the offseason but said that winning would be the most important factor.

While New York can offer bright lights and possibly another semi top tier player, New Jersey can offer Brook Lopez and possibly John Wall or Evan Turner (if they hit it big in the draft) and Miami can offer a team that has Dwayne Wade, the best possible situation for LeBron has seemingly become the Chicago Bulls.

Chicago is loaded with a team already built for the King. Derrick Rose is a top 5 point guard, Joakim Noah is a top 10 center and Taj Gibson has a great future in front of him. The Bulls also have two huge trade pieces in Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich. The Bulls are also one of the hardest, workman like teams out there. They overachieve and REALLY want to win. This is a team that's not going to lay down the way the rest of the Cavs did in the last two playoff games against Boston.

ESPN analyst Chad Ford sent out this tweet after the game last night:

"Most of you think Knicks or Bulls. I just heard from 3 GMs. All said

followed by

"Note to all of you bemoaning no Kobe vs. 'Bron Finals: If LBJ joins the Bulls this summer, you won't be waiting long"

And then the interweb erupted with LeBron to the Bulls with sign and trade scenarios that involved Luol Deng. It's crazy how much LeBron owns the NBA right now. As much as I detest LeBron James, I would welcomingly accept him as a Bull. While it would be way more ideal for Derrick Rose to tear apart a LeBron lead squad with Chris Bosh at hand, the Bulls would win the titled immediately with James.

However, I still think he's going to sign a 3 year deal with the Cavs, see how things go. Regardless of if he wins a title there in that time or not, he'll bolt for the Brooklyn Nets after that contract is up. Stay tuned for any developments via the Chicago Bulls KY twitter feed . The next few months are going to be nuts, and just as it has all season, the 2010 free agency frenzy has already overshadowed the outcome of the 2010 NBA playoffs.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Vinny Del Negro officially fired, UK coach John Calipari possibly interested.

By Sean Mackey

Vinny Del Negro's 2 year tenure as head coach of the Chicago Bulls ended Tuesday when the Bulls announced that Del Negro was relieved of coaching duties during an hour long press conference. Bulls general manager Gar Foreman was the first person to speak. Gar acknowledged that Vinny did a good job with the development of players and remaining professional but in order to improve, a coaching change needed to be made.

Foreman tiptoed around a lot of questions and assured the media that he was in charge (until John Paxson said the same thing later on) and he was the one who initially decided to fire Del Negro. He claimed that the incident on March 30th with John Paxson had no effect on his decision. Gar mentioned that money was not going to be a factor in finding a new coach.

Vice president of basketball operations, John Paxson was the 2nd person to speak and finally apologized to Vinny, the organization and the fans regarding his behavior on March 30th. Pax went on to say that Vinny was a great guy, a hard worker and he wishes him luck. He also went on to say that Vinny didn't fail and helped the organization.

Vinny Del Negro also surprisingly made an appearance but didn't take any questions from the media. He thanked Jerry Reinsdorf and the Bulls organization for the opportunity they gave him and said he was proud of his accomplishments with the team and his players.

VDN is a classy guy and I liked him a lot. It's a shame the Bulls aren't retaining him for his final year but he's getting paid $2 million to sit at home so I don't feel that sorry for him. He put up with an organization who never stood behind him and the media while Pax laid low after the March 30th incident. He'll get another job and he'll do well. Pax did a good job of clearing the air saying that Vinny and him were competitive individuals and just got caught up in the heat of the moment. It happens.

According to a report that broke Tuesday evening by Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports, University of Kentucky coach John Calipari would be interested in the Bulls head coaching job. Calipari coached Derrick Rose 3 years ago when he was still at Memphis. Calipari is also said to have close ties to LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Although these reports have yet to be debunked, Calipari insured fans on his Facebook that he was happy at UK. Reports have also broke this morning saying that UK is scrambling to revise Calipari's contract to make it more appealing for him to stay. A report from the Daily Herald claimed that the Bulls have a short list of candidates for the head coaching job including former player/coach of the Philidephia 76ers, Mo Cheeks, former Boston Celtic and Timberwolves general manger/coach Kevin McHale and former NBA coach and current broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy.

Kevin McHale was a guy that I mentioned earlier this season as a decent replacement for VDN when talks of him being fired back in December surfaced. While McHale's coaching track record isn't that great, he's the best post player in the history of the NBA. His knowledge would especially help Joakim and Taj . He's also a dirty player of the game and the Bulls need a guy who can fight since it seems every other team plays that way. Mo Cheeks was a terrible coach for the 76ers and Jeff Van Gundy has zero interest so I'd have to think McHale is the top option if this short list is accurate.

I'll be posting tidbits on the Chicago Bulls KY twitter feed ( regarding rumors and news for next few months regarding the search for a new coach, draft and free agency probably more than the actual blog. Sign up and follow us by phone for quick Bulls news updates! The draft lottery is 13 days away and is something that will definitely shape free agency. If the Cavs lose (which I hope they do) and the New Jersey Nets get the number 1 pick, I have feeling LeBron may actually consider leaving. With Brook Lopez, John Wall and Devon Harris as trade bait along with the move to Brooklyn, the Nets may look like an attractive stop for a free agent such as LeBron. I'm still sticking with my prediction that the Magic will win the title this year. Go Magic!