The Scoop:"The jumbo lineup? We tried that last year. I don't see that working in today's NBA," Thibodeau said. Gibson is just going to be a backup and he's backing up a better player in Gasol than Carlos Boozer, so his outlook is a little more ominous this year despite his terrific performance in 2013-14. Fantasy owners in 12-team leagues can probably shoot for higher upside unless they want to handcuff Gasol or Noah.
The Scoop:"It's going to be a grueling season," said Noah. "This is the first time I've had surgery on my knee. I'm hoping there are no limitations." Noah added that he is going to be cautious with his knee, but all reports up to this point have been positive and he's expected to be ready for training camp after a relatively minor procedure. Noah has struggled with health throughout his career, but he was able to make it through 80 games last season on his way to career-high averages of 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. While he's not likely to return to his 5.4 assist per game average this year with a healthy Derrick Rose orchestrating the offense, he's still going to be worth an early-round selection in standard leagues.
Derrick Rose hasn't stepped on the court for the Bulls this season, but he's already making a significant impact in Chicago. The former MVP and three-time All-Star is donating $1 million to After School Matters , a Chicago-based non-profit organization that provides minority teenagers living at or below the poverty line with after-school programs rooted in sciences, sports, technology and words. "My message to our kids is simple – you matter, you deserve every opportunity in life, and you can and should dream big because dreams can come true," Rose, a native of Englewood, said in a press release. According to a press release from the Bulls, Rose's donation will be used to "drive the growth or unique programming experiences for teenagers throughout the city" to "help them prepare for work, college and beyond." The program, founded more than 20 years ago by former First Lady of Chicago Maggie Daley, has helped more than 200,000 teens in Chicago. “Derrick’s significant contribution is making a tremendous statement to Chicago that our teens do matter,” said E. Robbie Robinson, the vice chair of the ASM board of directors. “We are grateful for Derrick’s generosity, as we work hard to provide a safe and productive environment for teens to learn and explore their interests outside of the classroom. We look forward to partnering with Derrick and the Rose family to continue to expand our programs and reach even more of teens for many years to come.” [NBA: Adam Silver says league will review domestic violence policies ] The Bulls also have been invested in the program, as owner Jerry Reinsdorf is a member of the organization's advisory board and COO Michael Reinsdorf is part of the board of directors. "Over the years, I’ve often talked to Derrick, his family, and his management team about what is happening in Chicago, and it is clear that Derrick’s connection with this city is deep and personal," Jerry Reinsdorf said in a press release. "Through these conversations and his work with the Bulls Community Relations department, Derrick learned about After School Matters and the innovative work they do with Chicago’s teens. As someone who has seen Derrick grow as a player and a man, I couldn’t be more proud of his decision to support After School Matters in such an impactful way." Rose isn't the only member of the Bulls actively working to improve the lives of young people in the city. Earlier this month Joakim Noah threw out a pair of first pitches ( at U.S. Cellular Field with the White Sox and a much better one at Wrigley Field with the Cubs ) as part of his promotion for the Noah's Arc Foundation, a program he and his mother, Cecilia Rodhe, started to help children "develop a stronger sense of self." Noah spoke with White Sox color commentator Steve Stone after his first pitch on the South Side to discuss his vision with the foundation. "Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the world. It's a great sports culture and I love it here - this is going to be my eighth year living here. It's a great place, and it's a place that also has a lot of violence in some of the communities. With my mother, we decided that creating a foundation was something that was very important to her and to me. My mom's an art therapist; she does art with the kids. I'm a basketball player but we're trying to do as much positive as we can in the neighborhoods and bring as much awareness as possible and do something that to change this problem. "We're all trying to come together and find solutions. We don't know all the answers, but I think it's important to use this platform to do something positive here in Chicago. "I just want to use that same energy and that same passion towards my foundation that I've created with my mother and have people come together. That's just as big as winning a championship to me, but this is a very exciting year and I hope the momentum I have with the foundation and the momentum that we're going to have with the season all jelled together we do something positive." -- Mark Strotman, CSN Chicago
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, we're driving all the way back to 1977 to watch a healthy Bill Walton dunk on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in both their primes. In one of the great art crimes in the game of basketball’s long and lovely history, we don’t tend to think of highlight reel moves when it comes time to recall the playing career of Hall of Famer Bill Walton. Touch passes, in-between hooks, killer defense and, sadly, that litany of career-confining injuries would be amongst the first images to pop up in our internalized scrapbook. From there we get the Grateful Dead, facial hair, the Symbionese Liberation Army and his mercurial broadcasting career to work off of. It’s true that Bill’s game, even when he was healthy, was never about flash. He left that to David Thompson, whose N.C. State Wolfpack downed Walton in the 1974 NCAA championship, or Julius Erving, Walton’s ABA counterpart and eventual adversary in Walton’s 1977 peak triumph as a pro. In an NCAA era that wouldn’t even let Walton legally stuff the ball even as he went on to make 21 out of 22 shots in the 1973 title game win, some of his best and healthiest years were spent using touch and toughness to ease things in. By the time Walton got to the NBA, though, the man didn’t want to be eased in. And by the time Walton hit his too-early peak during the 1976-77 playoffs, the sight of the front of the rim and longtime combatant Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was too compelling to pass up. Forget your extra pass. Watch: Walton and Kareem did and do not have as chilly a relationship as Abdul-Jabbar had and has with … well, just about every damn center of the last 60 years. With that in place, the two UCLA Bruin titans still had a job to do, and a Western Conference finals to take down. Abdul-Jabbar was brilliant during that regular season, outpacing Walton in points (26.2 to 18.6) tying him in blocks per game, while nearly matching him in rebounds (14.4 to 13.3) and even assists (3.8 to 3.2). All while, in the pre-Magic Johnson era in Lakerdom, working with a Los Angeles roster that couldn’t hold a candle to Walton’s deep and vibrant Portland Trail Blazer squad. Kareem also outscored Walton in the series by 30.2 to 19.2 margin (marks for rebounds, blocks and assists aren’t reliably available), but even though the Lakers owned the home court advantage, the Blazers swept Los Angeles. It’s a team game, and Bill had the better team. You likely know how the story moves along from here. All the stereotype Walton-isms come back into play. The Trail Blazers won the NBA championship with Bill calling for the equal-opportunity motion offense all along, keeping Portland weird by saying endearingly daffy things about his missing bike during the city’s championship rally. Jack Ramsay’s team would go on to win 50 of its next 60 games in 1977-78 before Walton injured both his legs, returning far too early for the playoffs in the days before we knew what the hell a “stress fracture” was. From there, sadness, the breakdown of his relationship with an unknowing Blazer team , the San Diego Clippers, three-piece suits , more injuries, Boston , another ring, more injuries, ankle fusion, sadness, Ralph Lawler, NBC, ABC/ESPN, Boris Diaw , and the formation of the Bill Walton legend. All certainly worth it, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the guy that got to stay healthy throughout his 30s and win five more championships. What Bill Walton wouldn’t give. It hardly matters. For one spring and early summer, the whole of the basketball world was Bill Walton’s to dance around. More from BDL's Dunk History series: • Shaq literally takes down the Nets • Gerald Green turns off the lights • John Starks, the Chicago Bulls and 'The Dunk' • Tom Chambers rising like a Phoenix and taking orbit as a Sun • Taj Gibson starts the break, then breaks Dwyane Wade • Joakim Noah makes Paul Pierce a memory • Baron Davis unloads on Andrei Kirilenko, moves beyond belief • Michael Jordan embarrasses, like, all of the Knicks • Spud Webb shocks the basketball world • LeBron James tries to take down all of Boston • A young Kobe Bryant goes way over a young Ben Wallace - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops