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News » Chicago Bulls Notes, Quotes 2009-07-24

Chicago Bulls Notes, Quotes 2009-07-24

Chicago Bulls Notes, Quotes 2009-07-24
--The Bulls finished 3-2 at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, closing the week with three straight wins. Most of the attention was on first-round draft pick James Johnson, who averaged 16.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists in the five games. The 6-foot-8 forward from Wake Forest showed that he handles the ball well, often grabbing a defensive rebound and dribbling upcourt. His outside shot could use some work, however.

The team's other first-round draft pick, 6-10 F Taj Gibson, averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds, but missed the final three games with a sore foot. Gibson also collected 19 fouls in the two games he did play, which is possible because foul-out rules are relaxed for the summer league. G Demarcus Nelson (13.8 points) had a good week in Las Vegas.

--For the second time in four years, the Bulls have bid an early farewell to F Tim Thomas. The veteran agreed to a contract settlement and was released July 14. The 6-foot-9 Thomas joined the Bulls from New York as part of the Larry Hughes trade last Feb. 19, but played little during the rest of the season. He was due to make $6.4 million next season, but the Bulls felt he was expendable because they have a similar expiring contract in Jerome James, which could be used in a trade. Thomas' buyout also gave the team roughly $2 million in extra room beneath the luxury tax threshold.

Thomas was traded to the Bulls once before, early in the 2005 trading camp as part of the Eddy Curry deal. Back then, the Bulls sent Thomas home less than a month into a regular season and released him after the trade deadline.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "If I thought we had a guy that would put us over the top and we would be in the Finals, I'd pay the tax. I wouldn't hesitate. But I haven't seen the guy that Gar (Forman) or John (Paxson) has brought to me and said, 'Pay the tax and we're in the Finals.'" -- Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, on the NBA's luxury tax.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: July 24, 2009


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