It's amazing how two hours can change your outlook on a basketball game.
This morning, I looked at my calendar and was reminded that the Raptors are in Chicago tonight. Now, the Bulls are nothing special, but they haven't been over the last three years either. That's how long it's been since Toronto has beat Chicago, dating back to December 2013. I was feeling down.
Two hours later, I'm feeling good again! Serge Ibaka is on his way to Toronto, shoring up the power forward needs that have so long plagued this team. The man in charge Daniel Reynolds did a great job summing up what the acquisition does for the Raptors in the short- and long-term, while Daniel Hackett talked cap numbers and trade details.
What of the man in charge of the Raptors, though? Masai Ujiri held a press conference this evening and explained the trade in more detail.
Ujiri: Ibaka is a player #Raptors have been looking at for a while. It's no secret team needed a boost and there was a missing link.— Laura Armstrong (@lauraarmy) February 14, 2017
He also threw out the idea that Kyle Lowry's recent comments about a shakeup had anything to do with the trade.
Ujiri: Didn't go out to get a player because of Lowry/DeRozan recent comments. Shares their frustration. #WeTheNorth— Laura Armstrong (@lauraarmy) February 14, 2017
Finally, it sounds like Masai's not done yet.
Any more moves? 'As long as I still have a phone' - Ujiri.— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) February 14, 2017
The outgoing details of this trade obviously include Terrence Ross, so neither will be involved in the action tonight. Ross is gonzo, while Ibaka will await the official announcement of the trade and an impending physical.
Ujiri says having Ibaka available tomorrow night is 'a goal' ... hoping to have him in TO tonight, physical tomorrow.— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) February 14, 2017
Patrick Patterson, who assumes his normal role whenever he's available to return, is going to be a game-time decision tonight. On the Chicago side, injuries abound. Dwyane Wade is not expected to participate with his wrist injury. Gall darn it, Paul Zipser -- the Zipser! -- will miss tonight's game with tendinitis in his ankle. Jimmy Butler, however, who missed the Bulls' last game with heel soreness, will suit up. Who's there with him? Well, traditionally any Bulls team can beat the Raptors; tonight it'll be a group with Michael Carter-Williams and Jerian Grant. Godspeed.
Matt Teague had a more detailed preview this morning. Now let's get to the comments.