Do the Bulls want to be the New Jersey Nets?

Per Mike McGraw:

There was a line in another story suggesting the Bulls will be
devastated if they don't land Bosh next summer because he's their No. 1
target.

That's not true. Dwyane Wade is their top target, unless LeBron
James sends word that he's interested. Atlanta's Joe Johnson is
probably candidate 1A and playing in Chicago would do wonders for his
national profile. So that might be a realistic scenario.

No seriously, Joe Johnson over Chris Bosh?   He's 1A?   Am I allowed to swear on this blog?   Are you kidding me?   I get the Wade call.  I wouldn't make it given his age, relentless style, and propensity to injury, but I get the fact that he's a legit superstar from Chicago and would be a marketing dream.

However, Joe Johnson is 1A?   Really?   Why?  Please god, tell me why you would dream to pair up Joe Johnson with Derrick Rose without addressing your front court?   Look, Johnson helps us less than Boozer, Amare, or Bosh.   If he's notably cheaper than all three I guess I could get that, but given that he just turned down 15 million a year from Atlanta, don't bet on that.

Colossally stupid is what I would consider the pursuit of Johnson ahead of a big man.   Other factors may come into play, but if it's just "which player would you add to the team regardless of cost" and our choices go something like LeBron, Wade, Johnson, I will throw up when we add Johnson with a max contract.

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  • I would also go after a big man first. I would go hard after Bosh. If that failed my 1A would be David Lee. He is a young player on the upswing. Is he as good as Bosh? Of course not. But he can be very good for the next 5 years or so and won't need to get the max. With money left over aim for a sharpshooter at the two position.

    I suspect the Bulls won't do this however. Watch Lee wind up at OKC. He fits perfectly if he plays the 5. Remember this prediction Doug. Presti is one of the few GMs who really know what they are doing. Lee will be a 20/10 player without the baggage or wear and tear of somebody like Boozer who I predict the Bulls will get if Bosh stays at Toronto or goes to Miami.

  • Im all for this summer and everything BUT for some reason im beginning to believe that this summer of 2010 free agency is just all hype and its gonna end up with everybody staying put. Sorta like how everyone has their opinion of the world ending in 2012.....

  • The Bulls need to trade Aaron Gray or somebody for a pick like the Hornets did with Hilton Armstrong so we can have enough money to sign Pops Mensa-Bonsu. There are reports that he is thinkin about going to play overseas but this guy is too good not to be a backup PF/C for someone. He just needs quality minutes.....

  • In a vacuum Johnson over Bosh does not make a ton of sense. However I wonder if the Bulls think that Bosh is a lock to go elsewhere(?) or perhaps that they are planning on bringing in a SG and a PF and in their mind the group of secondary PFs is better than the secondary group of SGs. For example let's say they feel like Joe Johnson and Haslem is a better offseason than Bosh and Raja Bell. Obviously I don't know but perhaps that comes into play.

  • I really don't understand why you think Johnson is that much worse than Amare or Boozer, and why we absolutely have to acquire a PF this offseason. When did PF become such an important position on the floor that we wouldn't even consider looking at a top tier SG? I'll concede that we'd have to take Bosh over any of these other guys, though I really believe Bosh is overrated and closer to the Amare/Boozer/Johnson group than he is to the Lebron/Wade group. But once we are in Tier B, I don't see why we automatically have to take the PF. As a big SG that can back smaller guards down and hit the 3, Johnson would fill as many needs as Amare/Boozer. Plus he's a better defender at his position and has proven more durable. I'd take any of them really, but I would personally rather have Johnson.

  • In reply to rorypshea:

    Thank you for the extremely reasoned analysis. I'll take Joe Johnson at 2 guard even at a max contract over Ben Gordon at any position at any price.

    That being said, the Bulls only priority starting right now should be doing everything and anything necessaary to get Lebron, not Wade and certainly not Bosh.

    After you get Lebron, then you go after any of the other 3 and you start winning.

    The first step(actually only step)in the Lebron process is to trade for Mcgrady's expiring contract using any combo of Hinrich, Deng, Salmons and Thomas. Really this is the Bulls only move, too bad that nobody seems to have figured this out.

  • In reply to rorypshea:

    I've heard Wade just detests the Chicago winters he grew up in. They say the players go where the money is, and their current teams can give them what(?) $30 Mil more then other teams can unless they are traded. I really doubt we're getting D-Wade to come to Chicago.

    Honestly, I want to win. I played basketball on school teams and on playgrounds/public courts until I was 25 or so. Then everybody got married, kids etc. The games at the Y suck because everybody tries to shoot all the time, and it's just a sloppy rebound scrum. Plus guys at that age who still devote time to that a lot of them are immature and swear just way the hell too much. I'm not saying it's like that everywhere, but it's what I ran into. No thanks.

    Anyway, like I was saying I want to win. But I also like guys like Ben Gordon(before the Reinsdorf Deng overpay, and taking the money off the table B.S. which changed him into a different guy whom I didn't like the same way after that). People do change.

    I could live with signing guys who become part of the Bulls and part of Chicago who are good guys even perhaps with limitations/not All-Stars. If you're going to come upon a championship caliber team, then it will happen.

    My point is, I like Derrick Rose. He may look a little blase at times. He may not seem like Mr. Charisma. But from everything I've seen he's a good guy. With the right coach and another star beside him it's possible the Bulls could become a contender. But as in most cases unless you live in N.Y. or L.A. sports franchise championships most likely are going to be few and far, far between.

    I don't care what anybody says about Horace Grant being difficult. Scottie was soft, and couldn't win without Michael. Michael was a gambling, maniacal prick. Blah, blah, blah. All my instincts told me at the time that aside from talent, these were likable guys who played b-ball together with commitment and a sense of some decency as I would expect from myself. Things can fall apart. They can get ugly. But for a time that was a positive atmosphere personally for fans to become enmeshed in to enhance the enjoyment of their lives.

    I don't want to trade for a bonehead like LeBron to be honest with you. Yes, I said it. If people can't understand that, I don't really care. I grew up with Michael Jordan. I saw Michael play in person and a hell of a lot of just about every game he ever played. And LeBron, you're no Michael Jordan. I'll stick with D-Rose thanks.

  • Doug, is obvious you are not a big Derrick Rose fan...I think this kid is special, but people don't realize it yet. In a couple of years this kid could be better than Wade. He is only 21. Cut him some slack! What is wrong with having two beasts at guard? The other parts can be added later on. But the plan should be: Get Lebron, if not get Wade, if not get Bosh. GET SUPERSTAR no matter what position he plays!

  • In reply to supercesto:

    "In a couple of years this kid could be better than Wade."

    Head scratching moment..
    Wade is a player that carries a team. Rose is a good piece to have. You really do think this kid is special.

  • In reply to supercesto:

    I agree we need a Big...then how bout Evan Turner in the draft...

  • Come on Doug. Two words:

    Arn Tellem.

    You should know better than anyone how Reinsdorf operates. He will overpay for personal loyalty, buddies, and marketing before actual basketball talent on the court.

    And that's why, for me, it is getting harder and harder to care about this organization until JR is gone.

  • McGraw doesn't talk out of his ass.

    Johnson is an obvious CYA move if the Bulls don't get one of the big names, and talking him up now is obvious preparation for that.

    "We've always loved Joe Johnson's game".

  • "No one is giving up a pick for Aaron Gray. No one is even taking Aaron Gray for free and then having to pay him."

    My new favorite Aaron Gray related quote.

  • OK, Michael Jordan according to his wife, Will Perdue, some disgruntled hall of fame speech alumni, and Doug is a complete jerk. And then if we can get Wade, whom is a great guy, we then get a big and trade Derrick Rose. God I love this site.

  • Doug said "If you get Dwyane Wade, you should immediately trade Derrick Rose for the best big man you can. Sign Wade outright, then trade Rose for Bosh in a S&T to Toronto."

    Wade is too old to make this deal plus Bosh's S&T could be $30M more than he can make as a FA max deal. The numbers don't work.

  • Agreed. I think my list would be:

    1. Lebron James
    2. Dwyane Wade
    3. Chris Bosh
    4. Amare Stoudemire
    5. Dirk Nowitzki
    6. Yao Ming
    7. Joe Johnson
    8. Carlos Boozer

    As far as scoring goes, I would take what Gordon gave us last year 20.7 PPG on 57.3 TS% over what Joe Johnson is doing this year, 21.2 PPG on 54.0 TS%. Johnson's a better passer, but I would take Gordon on the defensive end over Johnson.

    The Joe Johnson problem is that Ben Gordon could have been had at $9-11 million a year, while Joe Johnson is going to be the max.

    And that is not to say not to go after Joe Johnson. Gordon is gone, and the situation can't be changed. If Johnson is the best they can get, they should take him, beause he's a fine player. But if we do end up with Johnson, management should be criticized, because Joe Johnson will cost $18-20 million a year, while Gordon could have been had at half of that. In addition to the extra costs of Johnson over Gordon, despite their similar scoring, you also give up Tyrus Thomas, he ability to use the MLE in 2009 and 2010, and the ability to leverage around $20 million in expiring contracts at the 2010 trade deadline (Tim Thomas, Brad Miller, and Jerome James). Thats a lot of assets in team building to give up, to MARGINALLY upgrade the shooting guard position.

  • In reply to awamboldt:

    Oh my God, nothing you say about basketball or any other subject in the history of the world can ever be taken seriously ever again.

    "But I would take Gordon on the defensive end over Johnson"

    Gordon, who quits on every single play defensively and offensively that doesn't involve him shooting is quite possibly the worst defensive guard in the history of basketball at any level in any league in the history of the world. Defensively, He is a useless sack of shit.

    I am 50 years old, with a broken back and 2 bad kness, Gordon still couldn't stop me from scoring on him.

    Joe JOhnson is 6'7", Gordon is a midget, so even if JOhnson were as bad as Gordon(which is statistically impossible) Johnson woudl have a massive advantage over Gordon in the NBA at 2 guard.

    Johnson would still be a better defender at 50 years of age as a double amputee.

    That's how insanely assinine your statement about their relative defensive merits is.

    This is the problem with you stat geeks, you never actually watch how people play, and you certainly don't watch the guy without the ball. Johnson is a basketball player, Gordon is a one trick pony/circus act, and a midget to boot.

    Also, given that Yao Ming may never walk again, I woould take Johnson over MIng. The rest of your list is obvious but nevertheless correct, surprising for a guy being fitted for a straight jacket.

  • How many frickin millions of dollars did Jordan bring into the coffers of Reinsdorf after 6 championships. In a major market like Chicago the Bulls can sign LeBron AND another max FA and pay the luxary tax. With a point guard like Rose the number of championships they'd win would easily cover the luxary tax.

  • Doug, with all due respect, I absolutely disagree with your premise that you want an inside and an outside player. You absolutely do want duplication of position. It is most difficult to defend. The reason the Lakers were/are so successful is that Gasol is partly duplication of Bynum and partly duplication of Kobe. Pau can shoot outside and is an excellent passer like Kobe. He also becomes difficult to defend at the basket because the better interior defender has to stop Bynum. Case #2, Boston with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce both very good 3 point shooters. Most teams have someone to guard the 3 point line but they don't have 2 defenders to guard the 3 point line which makes these guys together very dangerous. See also Pippen and Jordan, very similar. Isiah and Dumars with the Pistons. Even Magic and Kareem was like having 2 post players on the floor. Orlando last year had Lewis and Hedo both tall forwards who could shoot from 3. It made them tough. The point is Wade would be a much better addition than Bosh, cause no team in the NBA has enough defensive speed to stop Wade and Rose from getting to the basket.

  • Unfortunately, I have to agree with you on Houston's answer.

    The McGrady solution is just too tantalizing with regard to clearing massive amounts of cap space that I can't let it go, even it is not realistic from HOustons point of view.

    It can't hurt to try, maybe they like even one of those guys enough to take on his contract.

  • Well isn't that what we would be doing if we go after Wade.

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