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This will be a tough decision for the league office, because it was clear that Butler and George were both on the floor.
This really comes down to the interpretation of “in the immediate vicinity of their bench.” George wasn’t that far removed from the bench, whereas Butler was another step in toward the action.
If George is suspended that would be a huge blow to the Pacers, since they would be without their best player in a Game 7. As Agness reported, the NBA will announce whether either George or Butler will be suspended on Friday.
Stu Jackson, who made these rulings in the NBA in recent years when he was the Executive Vice President of the league, tweeted that he believes Butler will be suspended but George won’t since he remained in the bench’s vicinity.
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This tweet is clearly in reference to the rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers will pursue Calipari to fill their vacant head coaching job.
Calipari has been linked to the Lakers job since the day of the national championship game, when a report surfaced that Coach Cal would leave for L.A. next season. However, he shot down the rumor then and he did it again yesterday before the story picks up anymore steam.
Of course, denying interest in a job doesn’t mean anything at the end of the day. Plenty of coaches have pledged to stay with a certain team or denied interest in a job, only to leave shortly after.
However, Calipari has many players returning to play for him next year (the Harrison twins, Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress, etc.) as well as another top recruiting class with Trey Lyles, Karl Towns Jr., Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis among others. He also just added a new assistant coach to his staff at Kentucky, hiring Barry Rohrssen yesterday.
It remains to be seen what happens with the Lakers’ head coaching search, but Calipari is clearly trying to quiet the rumors.
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The Bulls have $63,951,755 in guaranteed commitments for next season, but the team can trim that number by making trades or using the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer, as has widely been reported.
Chicago is expected to be a player in free agency and the team has already been mentioned as a potential suitor for Carmelo Anthony. The Bulls will certainly be active this summer as they look to join the Eastern Conference’s top-tier.
The team has a solid core, as Thibodeau and Forman mentioned, with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler, etc. It remains to be seen how effective Rose will be after missing so much time over the last two seasons, but the Bulls are hopeful that he can return to form and help the team return to contention. But just getting Rose back may not be enough, since the team also parted ways with Luol Deng in a midseason trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers and have some areas where they could improve.
Chicago also has two first-round picks in this year’s draft – No. 16 and No. 19. They could use both selections or try to package the picks in a trade.
The team may have some shakeup in the front office as well, as there has reportedly been tension between Thibodeau and the front office. The L.A. Lakers are interested in pursuing Thibodeau and it’s possible that the coaching staff or front office could look different next year depending on how things play out.
As Forman said, this is a big summer for the Bulls, one that will largely impact how good the team can be moving forward.
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