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Bobcats’ improvement is good news for Bulls

Michigan State guard Gary Harris (14) drives against Wisconsguard Josh Gasser (21) first half an NCAA college basketball game semifinals

Michigan State guard Gary Harris (14) drives against Wisconsin guard Josh Gasser (21) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Big Ten Conference tournament Saturday, March 15, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) ORG XMIT: NAF1

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Updated: April 24, 2014 6:35AM



INDIANAPOLIS — Thanks, Charlotte.

Unless the Bobcats completely melt down in the next three weeks and miss the playoffs, it looks like the Bulls finally will be able to cash in on the Tyrus Thomas trade from 2010. As of Friday, the Bulls would have the 14th overall pick (from the Bobcats) and the 18th overall pick (their own) in what is shaping up to be a deep draft.

So who might be there for the taking? There’s no doubt the Bulls need insurance for often-injured guard Derrick Rose. The best-case scenario would be if Michigan State combo guard Gary Harris slid a bit, giving coach Tom Thibodeau a tough, defensive-minded, hardworking option at point guard.

Some other options: Creighton forward Doug McDermott (if the Bulls want to add scoring and sacrifice some defense), Clemson forward K.J. McDaniels and UCLA combo guard Zach LaVine.

◆ Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel and Thibodeau always say the right things about each other, but the two never will be buddies.

◆ R.I.P., the Thibodeau-to-the-New York Knicks rumors.

◆ R.I.P., the Carmelo Anthony-to-the-Bulls rumors.

◆ Congrats to the Los Angeles Lakers. Now that the Knicks are on the road to recovery, you’re the laughingstock of the NBA.

◆ Here’s an idea for the new commissioner: Move the Milwaukee Bucks to Seattle, put them in the Western Conference and make the Minnesota Timberwolves the newest member of the Central Division.

Player of the week

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder forward: The last time Durant didn’t score at least 25 points in a game, Luol Deng was still with the Bulls. The streak is at 34 in a row and counting. Michael Jordan did it 40 times in a row in 1986-87.

Team of the week

Knicks: The franchise that has put the ‘‘fun’’ in ‘‘dysfunction’’ all season has won eight consecutive games and has a chance to crash the playoff party in the East.

The big five

1. Miami Heat, 2. San Antonio Spurs, 3. Thunder, 4. Pacers, 5. Los Angeles Clippers.

Awful for Andrew

The three teams bad enough to start tanking in hopes of drafting Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins: 1. Milwaukee B ucks, 2. Philadelphia 76ers, 3. Orlando Magic.

Big number

26The record for the longest losing streak in NBA history, set by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010-11. The 76ers are at 23 and counting.

Two to watch

Pacers at Bulls, 7 p.m. Monday: Round 4 of the heated rivalry between the Central Division foes. It might be a preview of a second-round playoff series.

Heat at Pacers, 7 p.m. Wednesday: The Pacers have been looking for the top seed in the East all season, and the Heat is running out of time to stop that from happening.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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