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BULLS BITS

 

Hard work in Chandler's summer plans

By K.C. Johnson

Tribune staff reporter

 

May 5, 2004, 8:41 PM CDT

 

Fulfilling a promise to management, Tyson Chandler returned from a two-week trip home to California and began workouts this week at the Berto Center.

 

"This is going to be my hardest-working summer ever," he said.

 

General manager John Paxson has made it clear that off-season work ethic will help shape his decision-making on personnel.

 

Along those lines, Paxson is expected to encourage Chandler and Eddy Curry to practice but not play games with the summer-league team—if they are still Bulls. Such a request is unusual for fourth-year players.

 

Second-year guard Kirk Hinrich, who logged heavy minutes as a rookie, also could be asked to practice with the team.

 

Chandler worked out in Chicago early last summer before leaving for California. He eventually suffered a back injury at a big man's camp that he aggravated this season, playing in only 35 games.

 

Paxson isn't as hung up on where his players work out—although he would prefer the Berto Center—as much as he is with changing their mind-set about off-season commitment. ...

 

Armstrong on the clock

 

For the second straight year, special assistant B.J. Armstrong will represent the Bulls at the draft lottery May 26 in Secaucus, N.J. The Bulls finished with the second-worst record and own a 20 percent chance for the first pick, an 18.9 percent chance for the second and a 17.2 percent chance for the third. Chances for the fifth and sixth pick—scenarios that cause management to shudder—are 31.7 and 12.2 percent, respectively. Charlotte owns the fourth pick. ... The Bulls also have two second-round picks and will begin working out college seniors this week or early next week. ...

 

Hope for Austin

 

The Bulls are cautiously optimistic that Mario Austin, last summer's second-round selection, will be able to participate in their mini-camp late this month. Austin still is entangled in a messy legal battle over his buyout from CSKA Moscow. The Bulls are hesitant to assist in the buyout process, wanting to see what direction they take in the draft June 24.

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I thought I read in the ST yesterday that the Austin had settled with his old team?

 

Anyway, if the Bulls select lower than 3rd they are screwed.

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Chandler will be wearin a Magic or Mavs uniform in 04/05. :o

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