The Chicago Bulls gave Lauri Markkanen a frontcourt running mate by drafting Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr. Then they added help on the wing.
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, the Bulls insisted, they continued to position themselves to move up in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls went big with their first pick Thursday night, drafting Carter Jr. from Duke seventh overall and giving them another versatile frontcourt player to go with Markkanen. They took Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison at No. 22.
Combine those moves with the draft night trade last year that sent Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn, and the front office believes the Bulls are positioning themselves to make a jump.
”This is a really good night for our organization,” executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said. ”We feel like when you look at where we were a year ago and what we decided to do, and one year later, we feel like we have added five really good pieces to build (around). That’s important to us. … We’re excited about the direction we’re headed.”
The 6-foot-10 http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-patrick-omameh-jersey
, 259-pound Carter Jr. was the second Duke big man taken after Marvin Bagley III went to Sacramento at No. 2. With his ability to hit from the outside and score down low, he averaged 13.5 points and 9.1 rebounds as a freshman last season while helping the Blue Devils advance to the Elite Eight.
Hutchison is a 6-7 forward who came on strong the past two seasons and averaged 20 points and 7.7 rebounds as a senior.
General manager Gar Forman said the Bulls had some discussions about trading up. But nothing materialized.
The Bulls instead are banking on Carter to form a potent tandem with Markkanen and help them climb in the Eastern Conference coming off a 27-55 season.
”We’re going to complement one another on both ends of the court,” Carter said. ”It’s very similar to who I played with at Duke – Marvin Bagley.”
One of the knocks against Carter is his foot speed. It affected him at times in transition and on defense. He also ran into foul trouble on occasion, even fouling out in 22 minutes during Duke’s overtime loss to Kansas in the NCAA Tournament. Forman acknowledged lateral quickness is one area where he could improve. Carter insisted he is making big strides.
”I’ve made a huge improvement in that,” he said. ”It’s something I was working on night-in and night-out. I definitely showcased that in the workouts. It definitely paid off, all the work.”
And he sees himself as a match for the Bulls.
”I think I fit perfectly,” Carter said.
The Bulls went all in on rebuilding with the Butler trade after years of treading water in the wake of the Derrick Rose era. Chicago then produced its worst record since the 2003-04 season and missed the playoffs for the second time in three years.
But the 7-foot Markkanen emerged as the team’s best player and one of the league’s most productive rookies with his ability to hit from the perimeter and go inside. He averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds after being drafted seventh overall, and the Bulls certainly would take that from Carter.
Paxson said he might have put up bigger numbers at Duke had Bagley not petitioned the NCAA to reclassify and become eligible for last season.
”A lot of their offense would have run through Wendell this year Customized Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys
,” he said. ”The young man sacrificed a lot in order to be a good teammate and all those things. A lot of it speaks to who he is.”
It’s still not clear if the Bulls have the star they need to become a contender.
”We’re gonna look at everything,” Paxson said. ”You hope you draft players that become stars. We believe that last year, drafting Lauri, he has the potential. He’s got a long way to go, but he has the potential. … We’re trying to draft as well as we can, put a core together that we think can play together and win, at least put a team out that’s gonna play hard and compete, play the right way. We feel we’re at the beginning stages of that.”
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, and he took to The Players' Tribune and offered the team an ultimatum: Either trade him, or extend him.In the piece, Thomas detailed that it's crucial for an organization "take care of you if you get hurt," which is why he's holding out in hopes of landing a bigger contract. Thomas then made his ultimatum clear and to the point."And it鈥檚 the reason why I鈥檓 asking the Seahawks to do one of two things: Offer me an extension," Thomas said. "Or trade me to a team that wants me to be part of their future."Thomas is set to make just $8.5 million in 2018, per Spotrac.com. He's then slated to hit the free agent market, unless Seattle wants to extend him. But according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, NFL executives are expecting Thomas to get traded.Seahawks鈥?S Earl Thomas reiterates this morning on @PlayersTribune: 鈥淚鈥檓 asking the Seahawks to do one of two things: Offer me an extension. Or trade me to a team that wants me to be part of their future.鈥?NFL execs believe he鈥檒l ultimately be traded.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 2 Authentic Orlando Brown Jr. Jersey
, 2018The Dallas Cowboys have been linked aplenty to Thomas, and they undoubtedly need an upgrade in the secondary. But Thomas will surely seek an extension with his new team, and it remains to be seen if the cap-strapped Cowboys would be able to give him聽one.The Seahawks underwent massive changes on the defensive side of the ball this offseason, releasing cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Jeremy Lane, while trading away pass-rushing star Michael Bennett. On top of that, star safety Kam Chancellor announced his intentions to retire due to a nagging neck injury. With Sherman and Chancellor gone, Thomas is the last remaining member from the Seahawks 'Legion of Boom' era. With too many injuries and the core players ageing, Seattle GM John Schneider decided it was time to rebuild and get younger.Keeping Thomas obviously makes Seattle's defense that much better http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.com/authentic-jason-mccourty-jersey
, but there aren't any signs at this time that they're ready to hand him a long-term deal. Hence, we shouldn't be surprised if he gets traded in the coming weeks..