Bulls Roundup: Krause, Payne, playoffs

Jerry Krause, left, shown here with Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, was the architect of six title teams.

A look at the latest happenings involving the Chicago Bulls:

Per the Chicago Tribune: “Jerry Krause, the general manager as the Bulls became a global brand with a dynamic dynasty that produced six NBA championships in eight seasons, died on Tuesday after battling persistent health issues, including osteomyelitis. He was 77.”

Per the Chicago Tribune: “In a statement provided to the Tribune, Michael Jordan paid his respects. ‘Jerry was a key figure in the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty of the 1990s and meant so much to the Bulls, the White Sox and the entire city of Chicago. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Thelma, his family and friends.'”

Per the Chicago Tribune: “Krause hired coach Phil Jackson out of obscurity from the Continental Basketball Association to serve on Doug Collins’ staff. Krause also eventually replaced Collins, who had a successful run despite Krause hiring him with no coaching experience, with Jackson.”

Per the Chicago Tribune: “Krause landed both Scottie Pippen, another Hall of Famer, and Horace Grant in the 1987 NBA draft, solidifying two starters for the Bulls first three-peat. Against Jordan’s wishes, he traded Charles Oakley to the Knicks for starting center Bill Cartwright.” (Full report.)

Bulls VP of basketball operations and former NBA guard John Paxson discussed Krause in this podcast from ESPN Chicago.

Per the Chicago Sun-Times: “It’s looking as though the Bulls, who have 12 games left in the regular season, might have to soldier on without guard Cameron Payne.”

Per the Chicago Sun-Times: “The Bulls will start an important week Tuesday in Toronto without Payne, who’s being assigned to their Windy City team in the D-League for at least a few days.”

Per the Chicago Sun-Times: “But how much of this is for rehab and how much is a reassignment in which Payne, who hasn’t dazzled with the Bulls, needs to prove his NBA credentials? The evidence leans heavily toward the latter.” (Full report.)

Per ESPN Stats & Information: “Losers of seven of their past nine games, the stumbling Bulls now have a less than 50 percent chance of reaching the playoffs, according to ESPN’s BPI, despite being just one game out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.”