Bulls coach Jim Boylen has made a habit of not committing to specific minutes for his players — at times because of injuries and minutes restrictions, sometimes because of poor practice habits. Lately, it has had more to do with the Bulls’ newcomers becoming more familiar with the system.
Starting Friday night in Brooklyn, Boylen might be tested in how much he limits their time. With the trade deadline coming up at 2 p.m. Thursday, he has no idea who’ll be left on the roster — or even if it will change at all.
Tuesday was just another day of practice — and another day of dress rehearsals for the recent additions. After the Bulls acquired guard Wayne Selden from the Grizzlies in the Justin Holiday trade last month, Selden slowly played his way into the rotation and lately has been getting some starts. Does he have staying power for next season?
Boylen has said he hopes so but is also letting the front office weigh those options. Selden will be a free agent after making $1.54 million this season, and cap space will not be an issue for the rebuilding Bulls.
Selden isn’t the only player Boylen has been trying to get acclimated. The Bulls acquired guard/forward Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot from the Thunder over the weekend, and Boylen has been feeding him as much as possible.
“He’s a big wing, all of 6-6,” Boylen said. “He fits in very well. He picked up our stuff quickly. We’re pretty simple right now. That’s a benefit of our system being kind of a small package and simple. He picked up our defensive terminology and what we’re trying to do. He played like he’d been here awhile, which is a credit to him.”
It’s exactly what Luwawu-Cabarrot was hoping to accomplish.
“It’s a fresh start — it’s a young team,” he said. “I see that as a rebuild and a fresh start for me, and I’m looking forward to playing with this team.”
While it’s unlikely Luwawu-Cabarrot will be ready for Wednesday’s game against the Pelicans at the United Center, a back-to-back starting Friday might be a chance for him to get some minutes, especially if the Bulls lighten their load by the trade deadline. The Sun-Times confirmed a report Monday that the Bulls have been in contact with the Lakers about trading Jabari Parker for guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but Caldwell-Pope has no-trade rights and reportedly is not sold on leaving Los Angeles.
According to a source, there have been a handful of calls about Parker in the last week.
Then there’s center Robin Lopez, who could be a buyout candidate if the Bulls can’t find a landing place for him. Either way, Lopez thinks he can bring a lot to another team.
“If you know what you’re doing on the floor, if you’ve worked on honing your craft in certain areas and you’ve put in that work on the floor, more often than not, the league will reward you,” he said.
All Boylen could offer Tuesday was that it’s relatively quiet with the clock ticking.
“I don’t have a feel either way,” he said. “[The front office’s] job this time is to man the phones and see what’s out there. I’ve not heard anything either way from them. The buzz I’m getting just from around the league is it’s kind of quiet, but I don’t know if that’s true or not. As soon as they need me or call me, I’ll be ready to give my suggestion. But not much, not much going on right now.”