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Derrick Rose comments on returning to play for Team USA, and Brian Windhorst breaks down how Rose looked while practicing.
Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Imagesnull

Minnesota eyes Thaddeus Young

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
1:56
PM CT
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The Minnesota Timberwolves have expressed interest in Philadelphia 76ers power forward Thaddeus Young as a potential replacement for Kevin Love, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Wolves, while continuing to discuss trade proposals that would send Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers, have been exploring their options for acquiring Young from the Sixers, either through a separate transaction or as part of an expanded Love trade.

Whether Philadelphia proves willing to part with Young, though, remains to be seen.

Young has two years left on his contract, including a player option for the 2015-16 season, valued at a combined $19.3 million. Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie said in June that he anticipates Young starting next season in Philadelphia, but it's believed that the club is willing to move Young if the assets acquired in return are sufficiently attractive.

Because of his ongoing trade limbo with the Wolves, Love has removed himself from the Team USA squad that started training camp Monday in Las Vegas in advance of the FIBA Basketball World Cup that starts Aug. 30 in Spain. With Love widely expected to be dealt before the start of next season, both he and the Wolves deemed risking injury with the national team before a trade was consummated to be too risky.


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Michael Jordan: I don't own a number

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
10:29
AM CT
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Michael Jordan has no problem with LeBron James returning to No. 23 in his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I'm cool with it,'' Jordan told ESPN.com via text message Monday morning. "I don't own a number.''

Jordan, who now owns the Charlotte Hornets, wore No. 23 during his legendary playing career. James idolized Jordan growing up and wore No. 23 during his first seven seasons with the Cavaliers.

But after leaving Cleveland and joining the Miami Heat four years ago, James switched to No. 6, saying it was as a tribute to Jordan. He announced he would change numbers in November of 2009, his last season in Cleveland.

"I just think what Michael Jordan has done for the game has to be recognized some way soon,'' James, who had worn No. 23 since his sophomore year in high school, said at the time. "There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, no Dwyane Wade if there wasn't Michael Jordan first.

"He can't get the logo, and if he can't, something has to be done. I feel like no NBA player should wear 23. I'm starting a petition, and I've got to get everyone in the NBA to sign it. Now, if I'm not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it.''

James did not contact Jordan before deciding to return to No 23. James announced his number choice


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Noah (knee) 'ready' to go for training camp

July, 27, 2014
Jul 27
9:55
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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LAS VEGAS -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah says he will be "ready" for training camp as he continues rehabbing from arthroscopic left knee surgery.

"I feel pretty good," Noah told ESPNChicago.com on Sunday during a promotional event for Adidas. "Obviously I have a ways to go, but I'm excited. When I see what our team looks like, I think that Gar [Forman] and Pax [John Paxon] put together a very solid team and I'm really excited about next year."

Noah was hobbled throughout the postseason after a season in which he earned the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award. The knee injury came at the end of a long season in which he was also voted to the first team All-NBA squad at center. Noah spent some time Sunday being part of a few laid back 3-on-3 games set up by the sneaker company as part of the launch of its "boost" campaign.

Noah, who has dealt with plantar fasciitis throughout much of his career, credits his new shoes as part of the reason why he appears to have overcome the issue. After being sponsored by Le Coq Sportif throughout the first six seasons of his career, Noah switched to Adidas before last season.

"I'm very happy to be with Adidas," he said. "It's funny that the 'boost' is their new technology. It just puts so much cushion on your feet. That's exactly what I needed. Ever since I've been with Adidas my feet have been feeling great. I've had no foot issues. And I'm just really happy to be part of the Adidas family."

Noah knows he still has a lot of work to do to get his knee back in game shape, but he is confident he will be ready to go in the near future. His optimism regarding the upcoming campaign permeated through his answers.

"Every day I work out that's all I think about," Noah admitted, while discussing the possibility of winning a title alongside Derrick Rose. "It's just how great that party would be after we win the championship. But I know to get there there's going to be a lot of ups and downs. It's always a rocky road. It's never smooth in the NBA. But I love our team and now it's on us to get to work."

Butler won't practice with Select Team

July, 27, 2014
Jul 27
9:38
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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LAS VEGAS -- Chicago Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler will not practice this week on Team USA's Select Team because of a slightly strained groin, USA Basketball announced Sunday.

The Select Team will practice against Team USA this week in advance of the national team's participation in the World Cup of Basketball in Spain in late August.

Butler was one of several Bulls scheduled to participate this week in the camp. Rookie Doug McDermott is on the Select Team, while point guard Derrick Rose is hoping to make the cut for the national team. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau is an assistant on Team USA's staff under head Mike Krzyzewski.

Joakim Noah: Want to beat LeBron

July, 27, 2014
Jul 27
8:35
PM CT
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LAS VEGAS -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah knows that in order to win a championship this season, he and his team are going to have to push through an opponent that has repeatedly stood in their way: LeBron James.

"Every time LeBron steps onto the court he's affecting the game," Noah told ESPNChicago.com on Sunday during a promotional event for Adidas. "He's the best player in the game, but that being said, I think we have a chance to beat them. And that's the goal. We want to beat LeBron James, we want to beat the Miami Heat, we want to beat all those teams who are in our way. He's obviously one of the big obstacles."

The emotional leader of the Bulls is excited about the roster moves his team has made over the past few weeks and is confident they can overcome James and the Cleveland Cavaliers this season.

"It's not about him. It's about us," Noah said. "It's about our team and being the best team that we can be, then time will tell."

Noah understands the expectations that are out there for the Bulls, but he is trying not to worry about the hype right now. He is making his way back from arthroscopic left knee surgery he had on May 2 and says he will be "ready" for training camp. He spent some time playing light 3-on-3 on Sunday and realizes that with a healthy Derrick Rose back in the fold, the Bulls will be expected to contend for a title.


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Noah channels passion for Chicago

July, 27, 2014
Jul 27
12:27
AM CT

NoahAP Photo/Ann HeisenfeltHelping his adopted Chicago, Joakim Noah said, is as important to him as winning a title.

CHICAGO -- "Dreadlocks coming into the game! Dreadlocks, what you going to do?"

"Ahhh! Dreadlocks!"

It was the Joakim Noah Show at the United Center on Saturday afternoon, but instead of thrilling a capacity crowd with his unique All-NBA game, the Chicago Bulls star was on the microphone playing hype man for a basketball game pitting the dreadlocked against the clean-headed, the undersized against the overweight, the South Side against the West Side.

On a muggy summer day, Noah's charity, the Noah's Arc Foundation, hosted its third annual "peace tournament," now called the "One City" basketball tournament, a simple event with a lofty goal: trying to unify a divided city and raise awareness of the violence that grips pockets of Chicago all year long, but particularly in the summer. The teams were made up of 18- to 24-year-old "at-risk" men from different parts of the city. These are men Noah wants to see return to their communities to "influence" younger kids in a positive way.

A 3-year-old boy was shot Friday. An 11-year-old girl was buried Saturday. Dozens shot every weekend. A city grows weary of constant gun violence.

But what can one man do?

Noah can't turn back the clock on housing discrimination and segregated urban planning. He can't attack poverty at its root causes without major help. He's rich, but not wealthy yet.


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Love Off Team USA

July, 26, 2014
Jul 26
2:30
PM CT


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Marc Stein breaks down the reasons behind Kevin Love withdrawing from playing with Team USA ahead of the FIBA World Cup and the latest from teams making bids for Love.

Noah excited about the new-look Bulls

July, 25, 2014
Jul 25
5:20
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah said Friday he likes what the Bulls have done in the offseason and has gotten over Carmelo Anthony's decision to re-sign with the New York Knicks.

"I'm really excited," Noah said of the Bulls on Friday. "I think Gar [Forman] and [John Paxson] and everybody did a real good job. I'm really, really excited about the Bulls. It just makes you want to work hard and be as ready as possible for the upcoming season."

[+] EnlargeLeBron James and Joakim Noah
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhJoakim Noah looks forward to matching up against LeBron James' Cavaliers this season.
Noah hoped Anthony would join the Bulls and he helped recruit him, but he understands Anthony's decision.

"I think he did the right decision for him," Noah said. "We obviously recruited him pretty hard. I think he had to make the best decision for him. I'm really excited for our team the way it is. I think we're deeper. I think those things, me personally, I can't control where another man goes. He feels like New York is the best position for him. I'm happy for him. But at the end of the day, what I care about is this city and the Chicago Bulls."

Noah is especially excited about adding Pau Gasol to the Bulls' frontcourt.

"I think it's going to be great," Noah said. "Pau is someone who is very, very smart. I think his father was a doctor. Someone who comes with a lot of experience. Not just a great player, but somebody who cares about the community as well. I'm excited to see him help us as well to try to slow down the violence and help the kids out here in Chicago. Somebody who is also very humbling to play with, somebody who has won championships and with his pedigree somebody I can really learn from."

Noah reported he's been rehabbing his left knee every day after having arthroscopic surgery in May.

He has also kept tabs on teammate Derrick Rose and his road to recovery in the offseason.

"I'm really proud of him because I know he sacrificed his whole summer," Noah said. "He sacrificed a lot to be the best that he can. That's all you can do. People's expectations, all that stuff doesn't matter. I'm proud of him for putting the work that he put in to be in the best position possible. He's doing a lot of things. He's helping us out too with our foundation. I got nothing but love for him."

Noah doesn't exactly have love for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, though.

"Good for LeBron," Noah said of James rejoining the Cavaliers. "I'm happy for LeBron James. He gets to go home. People are happy over there. But I really hope that we can kick his [butt] as many times as possible."

Boozer 'humbled' during final Bulls season

July, 25, 2014
Jul 25
1:40
PM CT
By Staff
ESPNChicago.com
Carlos Boozer said he was "humbled" by playing more limited minutes during his final season with the Chicago Bulls, who used the amnesty provision earlier this month on the last year of the veteran forward's contract.

Boozer
"It was (difficult). It was at times," Boozer said Friday as he was introduced by the Los Angeles Lakers. "But you learn a lot. I was humbled a lot and I grew a lot as a man and as an individual. So, I take all that with me in my new experience."

Boozer rarely played in the fourth quarter last season under Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who favored Taj Gibson, a superior defender.

"Playing first quarter and third quarter, not having a chance to help my team at the end of the game to win was tough," Boozer said. "As a competitor, you want to be out there doing everything you can to help your team win and to not get an opportunity, it was humbling. So, I learned a lot from that process."

The Bulls used the amnesty provision on the final season of Boozer's five-year, $75 million contract on July 15. Nine teams with cap space were able to make a blind bid to pick up the remaining portion of his $16.8 million deal. The Lakers won with a bid of $3.25 million, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

Boozer, who averaged 15.5 points and nine rebounds in four seasons in Chicago, praised the Bulls for the way they handled the amnesty process.

"Chicago was great about everything," Boozer said. "They’re a great organization, first class. They were in touch with me and Rob Pelinka, my agent, along the whole process. So, as they were making their decision for where they were going with the team, they let us know. So we knew we were going to get amnestied, I think, the day before and we went forward."

ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.

Carmelo Anthony: I want to win

July, 25, 2014
Jul 25
11:42
AM CT
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LAS VEGAS -- Carmelo Anthony said it was not the money, but instead his confidence in team president Phil Jackson and his belief that the New York Knicks "aren't that far away from contending for an NBA title," that made him opt to remain in New York instead of signing with the Chicago Bulls.

"I want to win. I don't care about the money," Anthony told ESPN.com. "I believe Phil will do what he has to do to take care of that.

"I don't think we're that far away," he added. "People use 'rebuilding' too loosely."

In what were believed to be Anthony's first public comments since agreeing to a five-year deal worth $124 million earlier this month, he told ESPN.com that the decision was so agonizing in the final days that he could not watch TV or go on the Internet.

"It was overwhelming," Anthony said. "It was stressful in the final days, one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make."

Anthony said, though, it ultimately came down to New York and Chicago.

"I was flip-flopping," he admitted. "It was hard. It was Chicago, but then after I met with L.A., it was L.A. But it came back to Chicago -- and was pretty much always Chicago or New York. That's a situation where I could have walked in now to an opportunity to compete for the next however many years."

But the 30-year-old Anthony said he is invigorated to work with a new team president in Phil Jackson and a new coach in Derek Fisher.

"It's a matter of me believing in the organization, believing in Phil," Anthony said. "I wanted to go somewhere where I can end my career."


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The Cleveland Cavaliers cannot officially trade Andrew Wiggins before Aug. 23, but they remain the front-runner in the trade sweepstakes for the Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Wolves, at present, are higher on a Cleveland trade package centered on Wiggins than any other offer on the table for Love.

ESPN.com reported Tuesday that the Cavaliers, meanwhile, are increasingly confident about their chances of landing Love and firmly believe they are progressing toward a trade framework that the Timberwolves will accept in exchange for the All-Star power forward, which would enable Cleveland to pair him with Olympic teammate LeBron James.

The fact that league rules prevent Wiggins from being traded for 30 days after finally signing his rookie contract with the Cavs on Thursday would appear to give other suitors a window to put together an offer that could trump Cleveland's. But the Cavaliers' main current threat in the Love sweepstakes -- Chicago -- has to sweat out a similar wait if it hopes to entice the Wolves with either of its prized rookies.

The Bulls signed sharpshooter Doug McDermott


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SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5