According to Bill Simmons Bulls are cheap

According to Bill Simmons Bulls are cheap
Bill Simmons (photo by David Shankbone)

Bill Simmons Bulls bashing continues, as in a May 22 Grantland article he deeply insinuates that Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf is more concerned with profits than winning.

Reinsdorf isn't really cheap

The following Bill Simmons Bulls comment was in response to a general inquiry about which teams would be a big part of the Kevin Love sweepstakes (if one happens this summer):

I mean, that’s the same team that gave Luol Deng away in January, then claimed publicly that they weren’t quitting on the season. Huh???? It’s also the same team that plays in the third-biggest TV market in America and could sell for $2 billion tomorrow (not a misprint), only they operate their business like they’re stuck playing in Indiana or Milwaukee. Keep getting dem checks, Jerry.

Did Bill Simmons happen to glance at the NBA standings this season? Apparently not, because if he had, he would have noticed that the Bulls were 14-18 before the Deng trade and 34-16 after the Deng trade. That blatantly shows that the team not only didn't quit on the season, they actually played much, much better after Deng was gone.

Bulls fans all over the internet have taken the latest Bill Simmons Bulls comment and gone to town with it, of course. Not that Reinsdorf spends money like Mark Cuban or George Steinbrenner, but some of the stuff Bulls fans come up with in their effort to paint Jerry as cheap are just downright pitiful.

jerry reinsdorf chicago tribune

Jerry Reinsdorf (Chicago Tribune photo)

I don't expect Joe Sixpack to understand the intricate workings of the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement, but if they are going to be posting on internet discussion forums, I do expect them to have at least an ounce or two of common sense.

Let's start with this masterpiece about the Deng trade:

(The Bulls got) rid of a good basketball player for NOTHING.

At the absolute, bare minimum, the Bulls will get second-round picks from Portland in 2015 and 2016. They also picked up a first-round pick from Sacramento that is top-10 protected for 2015, 2016 and 2017, and if the Kings don't pick outside the top-10 before 2017, the Bulls get their 2nd-round pick that summer. The Bulls will also be able to swap picks with the Cavs next summer if Cleveland's pick isn't in the lottery.

It's not a lot, but it's a hell of a lot more than NOTHING. Which is what the Bulls would have gotten for Deng if they would have let him play out his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Bulls offered Deng a 3-year, $30 million extension before they traded him, but he turned it down. So the Bulls did the smart thing and got something for Deng, as opposed to the NOTHING they would have received this summer.

Which segues right into the next idiotic comment I read:

(The Bulls) also consistently let free agents walk

Just like every other team in every other league in every other sport in the world. Why are so many Bulls fans just complete idiots and morons who can't understand that?

You know all those free agents that sign with new teams in the offseason in every fucking sport on Earth? Those guys are free agents because their teams let free agents walk.

What the hell is wrong with people? Why can't they understand what any average 4th-grader can figure out? Complete brain-deads out there seem to think that Nate Robinson and Kyle Korver and Marco Belinelli have all kinds of trade value... THEY DON'T, plain and simple.

The Bulls have an outstanding track record of re-signing the important players on their roster- Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Tyson Chandler... the Bulls resigned each and every one of them when their rookie contracts expired.

The first-round picks the Bulls didn't resign after their rookie deals expired: Eddy Curry. Tyrus Thomas. Ben Gordon. Curry and Thomas are out of the league, and the Bulls got Joakim Noah for Curry, and they got the #16 pick in this year's loaded draft for Tyrus. Gordon walked, and how'd that work out? Detroit had to give up the #9 pick in this year's loaded draft just to unload ONE YEAR of his contract.

They traded James Johnson and Thabo Sefolosha before their rookie deals expired- they got Taj Gibson for Thabo, and the pick they turned into Nikola Mirotic for Johnson.

So the first-round picks the Bulls resigned have all gone on to awesome careers- there's an MVP in there, two Defensive Players of the Year, several All-Star selections, and several All-Defense selections.

Has the Bulls front office made some mistakes? Sure, just like all teams in all sports in all leagues on all planets. But their good work outweighs their bad work by such a wide margin, I can't believe I even have to type this article about 2-3 times a year.

The good players all resign with the Bulls, and Thibs signed an extension as well. So much for the ill-conceived flat-out lie that players and coaches don't like to deal with the Bulls front office.


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    Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. The same year (1980), as a student assistant at Seeger Memorial High School in West Lebanon, IN, he was one of the first in the world to use, study and implement analytics in basketball. He attended Daytona State College and Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (NBA Runaround: The NBA According to Ellis) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters), where he was fortunate enough to work with many rising stars, including NFL Network's Dan Hellie, Redskins coach Jay Gruden, Magic radio and TV personality Dante Marchitelli, and WSB-TV (Atlanta) Sports Director Zach Klein. In addition to running the Bullsville blog and officiating basketball, baseball and football for the KHSAA, he is also a bass player and vocalist who writes and produces music in his spare time (you may remember his internet hit "I Hate Eddy Curry"). He's a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. He's seen Primus 9 times and thinks Les Claypool walks on water. By far his greatest accomplishment is being a father of three and grandfather of one.

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