• Rajon Rondo had his introductory presser in Chicago on Thursday, and proclaimed the team to be Jimmy Butler’s team and said that the two of them and Dwyane Wade would be the “three alphas.”

    There have been reports of Butler and Rondo recruiting Wade to the team, though we’ve been around the block long enough to know that’s what teams are supposed to say and who knows — maybe it’s even true.

    We’re not sure whose team it is if we’re trying to ram this into some narrative-driven context, but what we do know is that all three players need the ball in their hands.  For Rondo, he needs it in his hands more than anybody and as he proved in the presser by saying he believe last year was one of his best seasons, his viewpoint on the game is both skewed and rigid.

    Last season he ran the Kings offense into the ground and into bad places, albeit with the occasional brilliant pass to make the highlight reels and keep 3/4 of the NBA universe believing that he had a bounce-back year.  For him to be effective as a ball-handler he has to learn how to make a move and get rid of it if the action isn’t there, which is increasingly the case because nobody respects his non-existent pull-up jumper.  Instead, he is going to force pick-and-pops (because the roll is only there if he forces the ball into a bad spot) … or he’s going to force the ball into bad spots.

    Wade, who also needs the ball in his hands to be effective, may decide that this is his team.  He has the hardware and recent playoff success to do that.  Or he may decide to let the young dog eat in Butler, who is more versatile than the other two but is also the guy you want with the ball in his hands.  Wade and Rondo aren’t great catch-and-shoot guys, and Butler is better than them at that so if you’re forced into this experiment that’s the way you probably want to go.

    Of course you’re going to try and stagger their minutes to reduce the excess ballhandling problem wherever you can, but you’re not getting too far with that even if it works.

    Another interesting wrinkle in the press conference was Rondo indicating he liked Fred Hoiberg’s flow offense.  Rondo loved George Karl’s flow offense because he demanded the ball in the backcourt and then ran his version of the ‘flow,’ which was just attacking in his preferred sets under no pressure of a ‘set play’ that might be ‘better suited going to somebody else.’

    Rondo is as stubborn as they come on the basketball court.  Eventually he won’t be able to force his way into alpha status on the court anymore.  It’s going to take some stars to tell him how it is.  Wade and Butler have some serious cachet in that regard.

    Can they tell Rondo to minimize his game and his influence for the betterment of their team?  An engaged Rondo on the defensive end, even if he’s not quick enough to hold up all that often, will at least close the flood gates.  And a Rondo that spots up in the corner (he wasn’t bad at that last year) and makes plays as a second or third option in the shot clock — that could actually be serviceable.

    But the smart money says that there is no chance of that happening and that the Bulls will be among the most interesting teams to watch for all the wrong reasons this season.

Fantasy News

  • Darius Miller
    SF, New Orleans Pelicans

    The Pelicans have officially re-signed Darius Miller to a two-year deal.

    Miller will be playing behind a plethora of young assets at the Pelicans' disposal. Given that the team has entered a full-blown youth movement, it is unlikely that he will earn enough meaningful minutes to make a splash in fantasy in 2019-20.

    Source: Pelicans on Twitter

  • Bonzie Colson
    PF, Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bucks have waived Bonzie Colson.

    Colson only played 98 minutes during his rookie season, but when he played he was a DFS favorite. Colson could play multiple positions and is young enough where a few teams would likely be interested in taking a flier on him.

    Source: Eric Nehm on Twitter

  • Kostas Antetokounmpo
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Kostas Antetokounmpo has signed a two-way deal with the Lakers on Sunday.

    The Mavericks waived Antetokounmpo last week and most knew the younger brother of last season's MVP would not last long before another team took a shot on him. He is still a developmental player, but he should have ample opportunity playing for the Lakers' G-League team, the South Bay Lakers.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    When asked by Chicago Tribune reporter K.C Johnson on how he'd feel about wearing a Bulls jersey someday, Anthony Davis said that "If the opportunity ever presents itself and when that time comes, I’d definitely consider it.”

    The chances of that time coming is more likely for 2025 than 2020, but still, until Davis is firmly committed to the Lakers long-term speculation of his future will remain. It's nice to know if you're a Bulls fan that he imagines playing for his home town at some point, but don't expect him bolting LA for them after one season.

    Source: Chicago Tribune

  • Kenny Wooten
    PF, New York Knicks

    The Knicks have signed Kenny Wooten to an Exhibit 10 contract.

    Wooten posted 10 blocks in only 52 minutes during Summer League and possesses some serious leaping ability. He will spend most of his time in the G-League and should not be on the radar in drafts.

    Source: Marc Berman of The New York Post

  • Oshae Brissett
    SG-SF, Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors have signed Oshae Brissett to an Exhibit 10 contract.

    Brissett, a Toronto native, went undrafted after two seasons at Syracuse and played with the Clippers at Summer League, where he averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 17.6 minutes a night across five games. This puts Toronto's roster at 20 for the time being, so barring any further transactions the Raptors have their camp group set.

    Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter

  • Jordan McLaughlin
    G, Minnesota Timberwolves

    The Wolves have inked point guard Jordan McLaughlin to a two-way contract.

    McLaughlin went undrafted in 2018 after a four-year USC career where he averaged 12.8 points, 7.8 assists and 2.0 steals in his senior season. After his strong play for the G-League's Long Island Nets last season, he earned a spot on this years Wolves summer league roster where he continued to impress, leading his team to a 6-1 record. He is unlikely to get many NBA minutes this season with Jeff Teague, Shabazz Napier and Tyrone Wallace on the roster.

    Source: Jon Krawczynski on Twitter

  • Emmanuel Mudiay
    PG, Utah Jazz

    The Jazz have officially announced the signing of Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeff Green and Ed Davis.

    All three project to come off the bench this season with Green and Davis part of the frontcourt second string while it is unclear if Mudiay or Dante Exum will assume the backup point guard duties. Davis is coming off a career-high 8.6 rebounds per game in only 17.9 minutes last season while Mudiay enjoyed his best year as a pro with the Knicks but all three players can be left undrafted in standard leagues for the time being.

    Source: NBA.com

  • CJ McCollum
    SG, Trail Blazers

    C.J. McCollum has withdrawn his name from the Team USA training camp and 2019 FIBA World Cup.

    Following the trend, McCollumn is the fourth player to withdraw his name this week in order to focus on the upcoming season. The original 20 invites are now down to 16 with the final 12-man roster expected to be announced on August 17.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Frank Mason
    PG, Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bucks have agreed on a two-way contract with Frank Mason III.

    Mason did not get much opportunity with the Kings last year and sat out all of Summer League with a sore hip. He projects to spend most of his time in the G-League and called up only if Eric Bledsoe or George Hill need to miss time. The Bucks recently signed Cameron Reynolds to a two-way deal and still have Bonzie Colson on one from last season so they are one over the limit. They still have an empty roster spot even after signing Kyle Korver so maybe one of their two-ways gets a standard deal instead. Otherwise, one of them will need to be waived.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter