Central Notes: Bulls, Cavaliers, Gilbert, Joseph

Hoops Rumors

The Bulls are 3-8 since adding five new players in two big trade-deadline moves. Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic assesses the players club’s new additions in an extensive piece.

Though All-Star center Nikola Vučević has produced offensively, the team is struggling to cling to the No. 10 seed (and thus a play-in tournament opportunity) in the East.

Vučević’s biggest weakness on offense is a low free throw rate, but otherwise he has been in line with expectations thus far. Daniel Theis, too, has been a helpful contributor right away. Troy Brown Jr. has shown flashes of promise, while Javonte Green and Al-Farouq Aminu have not cracked the team’s rotation, and have shown why when they have seen playing time.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers anticipate that they will add a player via their newly-opened two-way player slot “soon,” reports Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Lamar Stevens held that spot until he was promoted to the 15-man roster this week.
  • Though Pistons point guard Cory Joseph looked like a throw-in as part of a trade deadline deal with the Kings that netted Detroit two second-round draft picks, he has turned into a helpful mentor for Detroit’s players, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News. “Cory’s been through it,” head coach Dwane Casey said. “His style of play, his personality and his leadership, everything rubs off and he’s doing the same thing with Killian [Hayes] and Saben [Lee] and that group.” Joseph has also proven that he has something left in the tank, averaging 11.7 PPG and 6.1 APG since the deal.
  • Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has bought out former majority owner Gordon Gund‘s remaining 15% minority share in the franchise, writes The AP’s Tom Withers“Gordon will remain part of the Cavaliers family and we thank him greatly for his leadership, dedication and long-standing support of the franchise,” the Cavaliers said in a statement.

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