Subscribe for 33¢ / day

CHICAGO (MCT) - Chris Duhon's Wednesday started with an e-mail from Bulls general manager John Paxson and continued with two workouts.

"That's the part I can control," Duhon said by phone. "I can't control trade rumors."

Nevertheless, despite Paxson's electronic reassurance that no specific talks have taken place, Duhon will be in them this summer for a variety of reasons.

He's a proven NBA rotation player. He owns an expiring contract. Certain incoming guards have impressed management, even as potential second-round picks, which, coincidentally, Duhon was in 2004.

"From where this organization was when I came here to where it is now, of course I want to be a part of that and see this through," Duhon said. "But if I did get traded, there would be no hard feelings. I understand it's a business."

In that same vein, in his season-ending exit interview with Paxson, Duhon expressed confusion over his late-season role. That included a "Did Not Play-Coach's Decision" in Game 3 of the Pistons series, which came on the heels of Duhon missing a team film session.

"I was disappointed because I felt I could've helped more," Duhon said. "Scott (Skiles) is a great coach who gave me my chance in the NBA. But there were times I felt I could've given Kirk (Hinrich) and BG (Ben Gordon) more of a breather."

Paxson has assured Duhon the glut of guards the Bulls have brought in for draft workouts is simply the team performing due diligence. The Bulls raised eyebrows by securing a Saturday workout with Ohio State's Mike Conley Jr., the top-rated point guard in the draft whom most observers figure to be gone by the ninth pick.

But Paxson has insisted at every opportunity the Bulls aren't necessarily locked in to drafting to fill their biggest need, a scoring big man.

Bringing Conley Jr. in is another example of the Bulls being prepared to draft the best player on the board-and then possibly addressing that biggest need after the draft via trade with current assets or ones acquired through the draft, or through free agency.

The Bulls are being equally diligent on their second-round picks. They brought to Chicago last week guard JamesOn Curry, the Oklahoma State junior who has yet to hire an agent and has until June 18 to withdraw from the draft.

Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton has been quoted as saying Curry is 50-50 on the decision.

Curry, the leading scorer in North Carolina high school history, didn't work out but met with Paxson and Skiles for background interviews that are said to have gone well. Curry has a February 2004 arrest for selling marijuana to an undercover police officer.

Curry had his scholarship to North Carolina revoked. He was placed on three years' probation, which lapsed without incident in April, and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

The 6-foot-3-inch Curry, who, according to scouts, plays bigger because of his length, averaged 17.3 points on 45.2 percent shooting in his junior season. The Bulls are looking to add size to their backcourt.

DePaul's Wilson Chandler withdrew from his scheduled Thursday draft workout at the Berto Center, citing an ankle problem.

(c) 2007, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

0
0
0
0
0

Load comments