The doctor is in.
Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving, a.k.a. Dr. J, will be a coach in Ice Cube’s first-year 3-on-3 league, BIG3 announced Tuesday.
Erving, 67, joins a list of former NBA players affiliated with the league that begins play in June, including fellow former 76er Allen Iverson, who will be a player/coach.
In truth, the Bulls’ front office could not have won, no matter what they did at the deadline. John Paxson and Gar Forman could have dealt Jimmy Butler, conceded their recent mistakes and headed into rebuilding, which would have put their jobs on the line. Or they could have kept Butler and continued on the franchise’s rocky trajectory.
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The Bulls did not get a good enough deal to warrant a Butler trade. Sources said that while other teams felt the Bulls were serious in their exploration of Butler offers, internally, the Bulls were never committed to a Butler trade.
That’s understandable. Trading a star is a dirty business. But the team then decided to deal away Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson without receiving a first-round pick in return. Instead, they got Andre Roberson, Anthony Morrow and Cameron Payne.
Payne is the only player of consequence here. He is averaging 5.3 points on 33.1 percent shooting this year, which is obviously not good. But he is in his second year and could have value 鈥?the Bulls liked him a lot in the 2015 draft. He has not shown much to date, and there was an expectation that more could be had for Gibson, even as an impending free agent.
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A first-round pick was not going to happen, and fan reaction to the Bulls deal was overstated. Still, landing Payne is a light return. It’s been an underwhelming few days at the top of the Bulls’ organizational chart.