It will be the reigning MVP versus the former MVP on opening day in the National Basketball Association. Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls go up against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on December 25. This is a fitting game to open the new season with the future of the NBA going head-to-head with the present.With the new collective bargaining agreement ratified, owners of Chicago Bulls tickets could not wait for their team to play at the United Center and get another shot at the title. Fans of Chicago, though, would have to wait until New Year before they get to personally watch their team play.
The game against the Lakers is the first of four straight road games for the Bulls to open the season. Other opponents include Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles. Chicago’s season opener would be against last year’s cinderella team, the Memphis Grizzlies.
As of now, the Bulls have not signed anyone from the free agency since the lockout ended. There are however talks to sign former all star and one-time NBA champion Richard Hamilton. Hamilton was waived by the Detroit Pistons on December 9. The 12-year veteran is a three-time all star with career averages of 17.7 points, 3.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds a game. If Hamilton is signed by the Bulls, he will fill in the void at the two-guard spot. The shooting guard spot was the most noticeable weakness of the Bulls last season.
Aside from Hamilton, the Bulls is also in talks for a possible trade for three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard. Considered as the best center in the league, Howard has formally requested a trade from the Orlando Magic on December 10.
Perhaps the best news so far for Windy City is the willingness of Rose to sign rightaway a maximum extension. The four-year veteran is slated to make 30 percent of the Bulls salary cap when he signs an extension. Before, players coming from their rookie contracts can receive a maximum contract extension of 25 percent of the team’s salary. Dubbed as the “Derrick Rose Rule,” a player can get the said contract if he’s been twice voted all star, twice been named to the All-NBA team or won an MVP during the duration of his rookie contract.
On the first day of free agency, Chicago signed draft pick Jimmy Butler. Butler was a third year player of Marquette Golden Eagles when he announced to be part of the NBA Draft where he was selected 30th overall. For his collegiate career, Butler averaged 12 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.08 steals per game.
Last season, the team treated the owners of Chicago Bulls tickets with a pretty nice season when they finished with the season’s best record. The Bulls were also three wins shy of an NBA finals return during last years playoffs. With the pain of losing fresh on their minds, Chicago is looking to take the next step in their title quest.
Aside from Rose, other key players for Chicago this season are Carloss Boozer, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Taj Gibson.
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