Written by Darin Ford | 03 July 2012

Below you'll be able to watch Bulls TV's Chuck Swirsky interview newly drafted guard Marquis Teague for the first time:

What do you think of the interview? Be sure to comment here on the site or by Twitter with your reaction!

Watch a Teague shootaround and his introductory press conference: http://www.hornstothehardwood.com/2012-articles/july/first-round-pick-marquis-teague-introduced-formerly-to-bulls-fans-video.html

Why is Kyrylo Fesenko a good fit to be Asik's replacement? Click here for the answer to that inquiry.

Read up on the latest Bulls rumblings regarding free agency with this link.

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Written by Darin Ford | 03 July 2012

The 6-foot-5 200 pound quick shooting guard Courtney Lee is now an unrestricted free agent and on the market. Lee had his qualifying offer from the Houston Rockets withdrew today so that automatically makes him an UFA (unrestricted free agent).

Courtney is a terrific role player and a great energy guy off of the bench. With an aging Rip Hamilton, Courtney makes a lot of sense to be a possible fit to be the shooting guard of the future in Chicago alongside Derrick Rose. Lee can also handle the ball a little and was a reserve point guard for the Rockets the last two years. So it's safe to say that he will be a solid player to have with Derrick Rose most likely out for at least something around 60 to 75 percent -- maybe even more than that -- of the 2012-2013 NBA Season.

Now, Courtney Lee is no Ray Allen, but, I've always see a little bit of him when he's on the offensive end. C-Lee is a pesky defender with a high toughness level paired with a good motor ... attributes that makes him even more attractive to NBA Front Offices.

According to K.C. Johnson, The Bulls have already contacted Lee:

Sam Amick of SI.com then posted a comment on Sulia: "Courtney Lee is even more popular now that Houston withdrew his qualifying offer & made him an unrestricted free agent: Source says Chicago, Indiana, Clippers, Dallas, Phoenix, Washington, Memphis and Atlanta have shown interest."

Courtney is among many other reported backcourt players that the Bulls have targeted and/or contacted. Those of which being Kirk Hinrich, Derek Fisher, Willie Green, Brandon Roy and now Courtney Lee.

Lee averaged 11.4 points and 2.7 rebounds per game last season.

To read about Derek Fisher, Brandon Roy and Kirk Hinrich's recruitment to the Bulls, click here.

To see who the dark horse Asik replacement is, click here.

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Written by Darin Ford | 03 July 2012

At 7-foot-1 280 lbs, the USSR native, Kyrylo Fesenko, is simply HUGE. With one of the biggest frames in the NBA today, Fesenko's time could be coming, given the Bulls see it.

Fesenko, 25, is big, very big. Not very skilled, not an exquisite athlete, not the smartest or most polished NBA player but the kid can rebound, defend and take up space.

The in-going six year pro spent last season with the one of the NBA most improved, the Indiana Pacers. Even though Fesenko played in just three games in all of a shortened 2012-2013 season he was still productive. Fesenko chews the ball off the glass and causes havoc for opposing teams' big-men and penetrating guards and wings looking to score at the rim thanks to his above mentioned hugeness. He managed to have an advanced stat of 29.81 PER (player efficiency rating), which is very good. (Yes, you can make a case that he only played in three games, but look who he was behind in that depth chart, no true back-up center is surpassing Roy Hibbert or David West in a rotation.)

Kyrylo has done an exceptional job his whole career of using his time in the games productively and leaving a lasting impact on every game he sees action in. To go with his terrific rebounding abilities and defense in the post, he tends to foul ... a lot. Interesting factoid: Fesenko actually averages one foul every 4.94 minutes of playing throughout his career, per ESPN's John Hollinger. On the other side of his fouling problems, he also has problems at the charity stripe itself. Shooting 41 percent from the free throw line in your career doesn't exactly have NBA written all over you, but it's the smaller things he does that count. He's not a good shot blocker, but not a bad one either, just mediocre. Typically, NBA GMs and coaches like the idea of having extremely athletic big-men coming off the bench to provide a presence defensively down low and be someone to change a game by altering shot and stirring a defense. Fesenko isn't that guy, but he throws defense's off regularly because of his abominable size.

The kid has God gifted size, length and strength. Unfortunately, Kyrylo has no range outside of lay-ups and can't really dribble, at all. But, at his size, Fesenko can be somewhat of a decent passer and find the open man.

A word that revolves around the word project really comes to mind when speaking of Fesenko offensively. At 7'1" finishing at the rim shouldn't be all that hard. But, the second unit for the Bulls is a rugged gut-it-out crew, so his play style would mesh well.

Fesenko was a back-up energy guy while in Utah, in which he wore a Jazz jersey for (his first) four seasons in The Association. He has shown that he can contribute to a playoff team as he started of the Jazz nine times during the 2010 postseason. During that time, he saw about 18 minutes a game and gobbled up about 4 rebounds, 4 points and 1.5 assists. With those numbers as a big-man at a young age, it showed promise to me.

Chicago much like Utah has a very energetic and into-it fan base. I really that that if given the opportunity and early tutelage, Fesenko could be a great back-up for Joakim Noah. Fesenko's physicality can wear down frontcourt defense quickly. From there you let Carlos Boozer go to work in the paint. Pretty simple equation if you ask me.

If Omer Asik does end up in Houston contingent the Bulls don't match the offer sheet from the Rockets that was presented to him, look for Fesenko to be a real option. Kyrylo, if courted, could probably see anywhere from a one-year league minimum offer to a two to three-year mini MLE deal. It's all relative on who the Bulls can net for the backcourt. Guys like Kirk Hinrich, Derek Fisher, Brandon Roy and Willie Green all won't be cheap -- obviously they can't take all of them, but, you get the point.

Some other possible options for the Bulls with the back-up center position could be Joel Przybilla, Ronny Turiaf, Nazr Mohammed and Aaron Gray.

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Written by Darin Ford | 02 July 2012

D-Fish covering for D-Rose?

The possibilities are endless. Rumors were churning back in March when Fisher was traded to the Rockets from the Lakers and then bought out by Houston that the Bulls were a top target for him to join. Fisher wound up signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder. A move that ended up putting him in the position to win a sixth title.

According to Pippen' Ain't Easy, Fisher was contacted by the Chicago Bulls and is a top free agent target for them. The editor of the site, Josh Hill, writes: "One Derek might be starting for another in Chicago. In their pursuit to find a guard to fill the shoes of Derrick Rose while he recovers from knee surgery, the Chicago Bulls have made contact with former Laker and Thunder guard Derek Fisher."

Hill points out later in the article that Fisher could be offered a $3 to $4 million dollars over two years. (Roughly $1.5 to $2 million a season.) Fisher showed that he can still play and be a factor on a championship contending team with the Thunder this past playoff session.

In retrospect, the Bulls probably don't have the rotation space for D-Fish to have an impact. Although Derek would be a terrific mentor for Marquis Teague and provide a veteran presence, I'm not too sure if it makes too much sense to sign him given Hinrich accepts his offer. But, if Willie Green is another target paired with Kirk, I guess that D-Fish works as well.

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Written by Darin Ford | 02 July 2012

It's official, Derrick Rose will be featured on the cover of NBA 2K13. Rose will also be alongside Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin -- two guys that are young superstars much like Rose.

Courtesy to ESPN.com and 2KSports.com
Pretty cool cover, eh?

Much, much, much better than the ones in the past excluding last year. Hopefully this years game will be improved compared to 2K12.

This is now the third year in a row that someone from the Bulls has graced the cover on an NBA 2K installment. Jordan, Jordan among others and now Rose among others. Derrick Rose was also the cover of NBA 2K's special called NBA Draft Combine.

Anyway, checkout the first preview video to the game below:

(Unfortunately, this really isn't news, ESPN wrote it up on June 26th, but, at least we have it, right?)

Tell us what you think about Derrick getting to be on the cover of NBA 2K13 by commenting or submitting your thoughts through Twitter or Facebook!
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Written by Darin Ford | 02 July 2012

Our first round draft pick, 6-foot-2 Marquis Teague, was introduced to the Chicago fan base at a press conference today. CSNChicago covered the event live and were able to supply us with some footage of the event.

Marquis Teague will wear #25 at this years Las Vegas Summer League.

Teague conference:

Getting some shots up, looking good in red:

Here's all of our coverage regarding the drafting of Marquis Teague:
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Written by Darin Ford | 02 July 2012

Sources close to the situation have indicated that the Chicago Bulls have offered former player Kirk Hinrich to a multi-year deal somewhere between $1.2 and $3 million dollars annually.

Kirk was -- and still is -- a fan favorite here in Chicago. Fans have been rumbling for months that the Bulls need to re-sign Hinrich. Yes, it does make sense, but it's an even better fit. That's why the Bulls offered him. Hinrich is the ideal role playing veteran guard that will relieve minutes, be a great mentor for newly drafted Marquis Teague and will help ease the pain of Derrick Rose's projected absence.

The following is from CSNChicago's Aggrey Sam (but recycled on Blog-a-Bull): "It's been reported that the organization reached out to former Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich at the outset of free agency and according to a person with knowledge of the situation, offered a deal at or just above the veteran's minimum and below the "mini" mid-level exception, which could be under [Hinrich's] desired price range."

Now that we have that covered ... Aggrey has also indicated that Willie Green, who spent the last year with the Atlanta Hawks, is another target for the Bulls. Aggrey wrote, "If the Bulls opt to let Asik walk, they will be faced with having to sign another backup center, but it could leave room to re-sign one of their other free agents, such as point guard C.J. Watson, or pursue other backcourt help, like veteran combo guard Willie Green, who has emerged as a target, according to an individual with knowledge of the Bulls' free-agency plans."

No offer to Willie Green has been drawn up yet by GM Gar Forman. If one were to be made, it would make sense that he would be offered a veteran's minimum. The Bulls will use as much money as they can on a back-up center if they don't match Omer Asik's offer from Houston (Which is something they're really not expected to do, at all really.)

Keep up on all Bulls and NBA free agent news by following HttH on Twitter.

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Written by Darin Ford | 02 July 2012

Yesterday we reported to you that Omer Asik received a 4 year $32 million dollar deal from the Houston Rockets. GM Darryl Morey was tweeting about his meeting with the center. Morey reached out to the Houston faithful asking them to tweet about Omer and urge him to bolt for the team in red and white using the hashtag #asik2houston.

Today, however, Houston officials indicated sources that Asik's final offer was modified to be a three-year $25 million dollar deal. The offer is improved to about $8.3 million dollars per season from the original outright $8 million.

In the initial -- or reported -- offer from the Rockets, only $5 million in the first year of his contract was guaranteed.

There hasn't been any hardcore notifications out of the Chicago Bulls camp that they will for sure match any offer that Asik may get. With that not guaranteed, there are a lot of questions revolving around the Bulls frontcourt for next season. Losing Asik essentially makes it three men deep. Those guys of course being Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson.

Rumblings around the league have also linked the Blazers as another potential suitor for Asik. But now that seems highly unlikely due to the max-contract that Portland offered the 7'2" big-man Roy Hibbert. Omer makes sense to be the next guy on the list if Hibbert declines to join the Rose Garden Gang.

We'll keep you updated on the situation as much as possible, stay up to date with all Horns to the Hardwood news quickly by following us on Twitter. no comments

Written by Darin Ford | 01 July 2012

Over the past couple of weeks brewing rumors of a Brandon Roy return to basketball have popped up. Several of those rumors included the Chicago Bulls as a suitor of his.

According to Pass the Pill and Yahoo! Sport's Adrian Wojnarowski Brandon Roy has set his eyes on five franchises and will choose one to join this free agency period. Obviosuly, the Chicago Bulls are one of the five teams. The other squads in contention are the Minnesota Timberwolves (his original team that traded his draft rights to Portland), Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers and the Golden State Warriors in no particular order.

Roy would be a great addition to any team this offseason. With his knee issues -- the reason he had to retire last fall -- he'll probably not be able to log serious minutes. A solid in five minutes out seven minutes rotation sounds about right for he'll probably be able to handle. Roy will most likely be a starter so he can stay warm after warm-ups. However, a case could be made that he fits a sixth-man role better due to the limited time he'll have, but, I'm just not buying that. Roy is a starter, not to mention an All-Star caliber player when healthy.

Unfortunately because the Portland Trailblazers had to rid of his contract once he retired, Roy cannot rejoin the squad until a certian amount of time has surpassed.

Alongside Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah I can start to smell a chamionship. With Rose coming off ACL surgery on his left knee, Roy's ball-handling and play making ability will help Derrick ease back. Brandon is also as good as it gets for second or third option (only behind Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook).

The guy at one time was the centerpiece for a rebuilding Portland Trailblazers team and the face of the franchise that evolved into a playoff regular in his time there.

At this point, it's tough to really say what kind of contract he could net from anyone, really. He may be able to get the MLE (mid-level exception that's roughly around $5.5 million per year). At one point for his beloved Blazers, Roy made eight figures a season.

We'll keep you updated on the Brandon Roy story as it continues to develop.  no comments

Written by Darin Ford | 01 July 2012

Darryl Morey, Houston Rockets GM, targeted current Bulls center Omer Asik right out of the gate in free agency.

Morey put this tweet out on Twitter:

After the meeting concluded, there was a reported 4 year, $32 million dollar deal in front of Asik. Asik would be expected to be the Rockets' starting center after this upcoming season as Marcus Camby looks to finish out his career strong. There were a few bubbling rumors coming from around the web that he would only make up to $5 million in his inagural season.

The 7-foot Turkish center, Asik, is also expected to receive an offer from the Portland Trailblazers in the coming days despite drafting former Fighting Illini center 7'1" Myers Leonard in this years NBA Draft.

Asik could start for both squads in time. The Bulls obviously don't want to lose Asik this easily and will push for him to come back. According to Blog-a-Bull the team will indeed match Asik's offer even if it puts them above the luxury tax.

If you ask me, Asik is the NBA's best back-up 5-man. No question. So, there really is no surprise that he is being heavily courted early.  no comments