State of the Bulls

After a four game win streak, I figured it was a good time to deliver the "State of the Bulls", always a dangerous task with a tough game looming ahead of them later this evening, since it's likely to contradict half of what I say regardless that they aren't meant to predict the outcome of any given game.  So here are my random thoughts about every major persona associated with the team right now.
Derrick Rose
You can't really start with anyone else.   For better or for worse, we're counting on Derrick Rose like the rebellion counted on Luke Skywalker.    Over the past few weeks Rose has gone into all out attack mode, playing with an aggression level we haven't seen before.   He's starting to draw contact at the rim and get to the free throw line pushing his TS% to around 55% over that period.

This is the Derrick Rose that can lead the Bulls as a franchise player.   I still don't see superstar status for Rose in the future, but I was starting to get skeptical about even his second tier status, and his growth over the past couple weeks has elevated him back into a "it's likely he's a regular all-star even if he's not a future MVP candidate".   It also means that the MVP candidate upside for Derrick Rose is creeping back onto the table even if I don't find it likely.

As pointed out repeatedly, Derrick's maturation is biggest selling point to big name players.   "Look <superstar>, we've got an unselfish PG who doesn't necessarily want the spotlight, but will be great for as long as you're here.  You can be a star here, win here, and get a heck of a lot of the glory".   All-star Derrick Rose gives the Bulls the best advantage they'll have over every other team in such a debate.   Derrick has shown us in the past few weeks that he can deliver on that.

Joakim Noah
Joakim probably isn't quite to the point where we can say "he is who he is", but we're probably pretty close to that point.    He can gain strength in the upcoming off seasons.   He can improve his jumper a bit, though it's no longer anywhere near as bad as it looks [which perhaps isn't saying much], but we're past the point where Joakim comes in and completely changes his game most likely.

Here's what Joakim can give you:
Offensive rebounding
Defensive rebounding
Ball handling for a big man
Transition offense in getting the break started quickly or running the floor
Interior help defense
Perimeter help defense
Perimeter man defense
Post offense against smaller players

Here's what Joakim can't give you:
A consistent jumper or any offense that provides spacing
Post offense against bigger players
Interior man defense against bigger players
An effective play in the pick and roll as the pick setter

The good is a lot better than the bad, but the bad does include several fairly important functions.   Noah is near ideal as a non-star center if he's paired with a multi-faceted offensive oriented PF.   If Noah were to sudden develop a floor spacing jumper or a legit post game the Bulls could go to frequently [or basically any offense that he could create on his own repeatedly] then he'd be an all-star center.   As is, Noah's the type of player that fans will love on a rookie deal, but might sour on quickly if he gets a monster contract extension.

Luol Deng
Luol Deng has proven a lot this season.   He's proven that he's healthy and given that he's playing with a broken finger presently, he's proven that he's not going to puss out on lesser injuries.   Those two things alone were more than many Bulls fans dared to dream entering the season.

Beyond that, he's played at a fairly high level.  He doesn't have a shot creation oriented game, and I think that will always make his value questionable on a contract as large as the one he's playing for.   However, Luol Deng brings a lot to the table.   His rebounding has covered up the fact that our rebounding out of Noah has been atrocious for much of the season. He's shown quite a bit of play making ability in the passing game, and he's playing very good fundamental defense.  

He's also starting to shoot more threes as he's averaging an attempt a game vs only one attempt every 2.5 games last year.   He needs to increase his volume, but it's a step in the right direction.   In my own personal "what if" game for the Bulls, what would Luol Deng's offense look if Mike D'Antoni was the coach, and he was forced to shoot a lot of threes ranks right up there. 

Deng's contract isn't necessarily pretty, but the 30% deferral of money on it makes the present value of it significantly less than the paper value, which means teams won't be nearly as scared of Deng as you'd think.  It's the ultimate contract in terms of a cheap organization.  Overpaying a guy's cap value in order to shrink his cash value.  It limits team flexibility in order to improve cash flow.  That's bad for a team looking to build a champion, but it's not so bad for perpetually rebuilding team and may even be advantageous if they need to dump salary.  

He's probably considered a core piece by management.   If I were in charge, I'd be interested in forcing Deng to shoot threes in volume or I'd be interested in trading him.  In the right situation, the jack of all trades and master of none might be a huge help to a team.  Can the bulls bring in the pieces to make this that situation?   Either way, he's done a great job rebuilding his value and up until the last couple of weeks, he was the team's best player.   Of course, that team wasn't winning many games.

Tyrus Thomas
It's hard to imagine a way in which Tyrus stays with the team.   They've been trying to trade him for years, he's never consistently put anything together, and rumors of a bad attitude often linger [which doesn't extend to his charity work, as he's genuinely one of the most charitable guys on the team when it comes to those types of projects, especially those involving kids].   

After watching Tyrus for four years, there's a part of me that wants to figure out a way to keep him, especially since he's been moonlighting as "good" Tyrus since his return from injury.  However, I've seen "good" Tyrus for weeks at a time only to have him disappear again later.  Can Tyrus ever give you consistent shot creation offense?  Can he become a 18-20 ppg type PF?    It's hard to say yes, but you can't rule it out.  He can get to the line at will with his athleticism, and he's the type of player you could realistically see having a good jumper as his career progresses.

When Tyrus is into the game, he's a game changer and though he's never shown the ability to do that consistently, it's always hard to give up on a guy who does it occasionally and has the threat of becoming a consistent game changer.   While I think it's highly unlikely that Tyrus goes on to become a star player, would it really shock you if he developed into an all star in three years?   I don't think he'll ever put it all together, but you can see so many individual pieces in his game that it's not that difficult to see how it could happen.

Hopefully, this situation is never addressed because the Bulls get one of the big three which easily trumps any potential gain they'd get out of attempting to continue to work with Tyrus vs on one of the guys they'd have to massively overpay.

John Salmons 
With Salmons the main question is, "Does he opt out?"  That's all Bulls fans are hoping for at this point out of John.   I think the answer is yes.    Even if he can only earn 3  years 12 million, it might make more sense for him to opt out rather than to try and prove himself next season when he's a year older, and the Bulls will be looking to move on.

If his season finishes bad enough, he'll have no choice but to opt in, but I think the option of getting added security this off season is going to be much better than next.   The salary cap is likely to shrink again next year, and the pool of money out there is likely to be much smaller.  Salmons, in my opinion, opts out unless he's just absolutely abysmal the rest of the way.   If he can end the season with 3-4 good weeks, he's gone for sure, and he might be gone even if he can't.

Kirk Hinrich
Can the Bulls trade Hinrich?   Would they if they could?  Where is his value at?   It's hard to answer these questions.   He's playing out of position and his defense doesn't show up in the box score.   He's the type of player who could really help a lot of teams and with just two years left wouldn't be a long term commitment for anyone.  

However, it's hard to justify the 17.5 million left on his deal for those two years if a team isn't moving off an even longer term deal.  Hinrich presently has an 8.7 PER and a 45.6% TS%.  It requires a huge leap of faith for another team to figure he's going to come in and play better for them in a position that more naturally fits his abilities.  

Taj Gibson
The Tyrus Thomas injury did more to help Taj Gibson than anyone could know.   He really played poorly to start the season off, and if Tyrus had stayed healthy, Taj could have found himself without much playing time fairly quickly.   However, with the Bulls having no choice but to go small or play Gibson a significant minutes he had a lot of chances to play through his mistakes and improved rapidly.

Gibson's ceiling is fairly low.   As a 24 year old rookie, it's hard to project much more future growth.   Even his physical development in terms of strength and size probably has limited upside at this point.    However, Gibson brings enough to the table that it's easy to project him as a high quality 4th big man or a low quality 3rd big man.   He's relentless in his hustle, a good offensive rebounder, a capable jump shooter when given an open shot, a decent shot blocker, and shows the capability of becoming a good defender. 

Gibson needs to improve his defensive rebounding [primarily learn to box out more effectively], defensive consistency, and add strength.   If he could do those things then he'd be a nice PJ Brown or Joe Smith type of player for the Bulls and move into that #2/#3 big man type role rather than the #3/#4 type big man role I'd presently project him into.  

Regardless of whether he's able to improve or not going forward, Gibson has proven out to be an excellent draft pick for where he was selected.  Worst case scenario, he moonlights as cheap 4th big man for the next year and a half filling a role a team typically has to spend at least 2-3 million a season on for around one million.

James Johnson
James Johnson's had almost the anti-Gibson season.  He's shown flashes of being good, but he's rarely gotten the chance to play through his mistakes.  His energy and hustle is far from relentless.   When he brings it, good things happen, but he spends much of his limited playing time standing around rather than playing all out while on the floor.   He hasn't built any confidence whatsoever, and he's on his way to becoming a draft bust.

There were rumors of poor work ethic in the summer, and his inability to get into proper basketball shape validates those to some extent.   Johnson needs to take the game of basketball far more seriously if he's to fulfill his potential.   He's not as old as Gibson, but as a 22 year old rookie he's fairly advanced in his learning curve already as well. 

I think Johnson can redeem himself.  He has the physical tools to become a dangerous NBA player, but he needs to completely dedicate himself to the game in order to do that.   That means getting his body fat down to 7-8% and playing with constant motion while on the floor.  If he can do those things, then he'll earn more court time and work through some of his offensive problems.  If not, then he's not bringing nearly enough to the table offensively or defensively to stay on the court and will continue down the path to draft bust.

Vinny Del Negro 
I've always stated that Vinny Del Negro wasn't the problem with the team.   I don't think he's the solution, but definitely not the primary problem.   He was the most likely casualty because he's the cheapest and easiest guy to replace to shake things up. 

Can Vinny possibly do enough in his second year to justify the third year?   Two weeks ago, I would have said that was impossible.   Today?   Who knows.  There's disagreement on whether that third year is guaranteed, and believe me, that likely makes a considerable difference in the decision making process. 

If the Bulls can continue to play well and get up to my preseason prediction of 45 wins while finishing the season strong and having a good playoff series [even if it's ultimately a loss, as long as it's a hard fought loss] then I think Vinny has to at least have a chance to stay doesn't he? 

For a team that has a core of Rose, Deng, and Noah as it's likely long term pieces, he's gotten the most out of those three guys.   Derrick Rose is starting to turn into a star, Deng has been healthy and playing well, Noah's thrown around in MIP conversations.   Is Del Negro the cause of all of that?   Probably not, but apparently he's not holding anyone back.  

He's typically played the younger guys [outside of Johnson] and not relied on vets when they've stunk [Brad Miller was exiled for awhile, and Gibson has played more minutes even when both were struggling].   He's done a lot of the things we always bitch that coaches don't do.  

For all of those claiming he's ruining Derrick Rose, he's done the one thing a coach has to do to develop a kid.  Played him a ton.  This may seem like a no brainer, but when I say played him a ton, I mean played him a ton.  He was 13th in the NBA in total minutes played last season, and he missed a game. 

Is Vinny the guy to lead the Bulls into the future?   If the team rallies around him and continues to win, then there's no reason to answer "no" to that question.   50% of coaching is how well the players buy into what you're trying to do, and the Bulls appear to be doing that.  This isn't a 50 win caliber roster, especially with Hinrich and Salmons shooting falling off the map.  

The end point here is that while things sure felt helpless for Vinny at 10-17, a four game win streak certainly starts to change your mind on what might be possible in the future for him if the team keeps it up.

Gar Forman/John Paxson
As much as fans complain about the GMing of the Bulls, they went hard to position the team for 2010.  A plan I've endorsed for almost three seasons.   If they are successful in bringing in a big name free agent this off-season, then some will say they were lucky, but nothing would be further from the truth.   They've gone hard after 2010 and made sacrifices to make it happen.

Whether those sacrifices pay off will likely define their legacy.   I've generally been supportive of the management team [whomever you want to decide is pulling the strings].  On an individual basis, I have a hard time arguing with most of their transactions, but they haven't found a way to put it all together into a great team, and if they fail to land a star in 2010 it would be hard to fully endorse a management group that's built you to "mediocre" and kept you there for 6 years no matter how bad it was before they came on board.


Leave a comment
  • Doug, I just saw this on the wire.

    I don't think DWILL, Kirilenko, Okur, Brewer, Matthews or Millsap are going anywhere, so that leaves Boozer, Korver, Miles and Koufos as the potential departures.

    Could we see a Salmons for Korver deal going down?

    If the Bulls want the cap space for 2010 and they think Salmons will pick up his option, you never know.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    You know what? I just thought of an interesting trade idea that could work for both the Jazz and the Bulls.

    To Bulls: Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver
    To Jazz: John Salmons and James Johnson

    It may sound crazy for the Jazz to give up on Brewer, but that kid out of Marquette, Matthews is emerging. Also, I believe Brewer and Korver have only 1 year left on their contracts...mmmm.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I think Brewer would really hurt our offense honestly. Since he would likely play alot of minutes and having little to no range on his jumper, I think this is a very bad move for us in terms of this year. I dont think his defense makes up for his lack of shooting wich is wat we would need.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Ronnie Brewer would be better than James Johnson, right? Plus, when Korver gets healthy the Bulls would have a solid 3pt. threat.

    I think that trade makes alot of sense for both teams.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Oh by the way Biggestbullsfan, Ronnie Brewer is shooting 50% from the field this year and 52% for his career. That's not bad shooting from where I'm sitting.

  • Hey Doug,
    I feel that I am one of the lone JJ fans. I honestly think that he can be a good asset for us if he eveer learns to put it together. He needs confidence but more importantly he needs to know what he is good at. I think some time in the D-League where he can play 40 min a game is better for creating his game than against NBA talent 10 min sometimes and pulled as soon as he makes a mistake.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    The Bulls don't need JJ. He's a Small Forward. They already have Deng, Salmons and Thomas, if need be. What they need is a youger SG that can play with Derrick Rose. Somewhat like Ronnier Brewer, perhaps...wink-wink.

    (See trade above)

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Just being a SG doesnt make you a good fit next to rose. We need a lights out shooter for this team to be dangerous. Having Brewer would not only make our problems worst, they would probably make it worst. And korver isnt a SG and playing 10 min that JJ does wont help us that much. I would like Korver but Brewer is a huge step backwards in soo many ways. If Rose could shoot the three with consistency then maybe is a different story.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Do you watch NBA basketball? Ronnie Brewer is a solid player. The Bulls need a younger SG/SF, more than an unproductive OUT-OF-SHAPE and LAZY BUST of a draft pick (James Johnson). They also need to clear more cap space, if they want to land a top free-agent in July.

    That trade makes good sense for both teams.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Well coming from your ideas it looks like you dont even watch Bulls basketball. We need shooting. We dont need a slasher. Deng is a slasher. Rose is a slasher. Why would we need a third slasher and no one who can shoot threes. Korver could help in that aspect but he is only good for that and I wouldnt trust him in long stretches of games regardless. We dont need just any young SG. We need a shooter. We need a taller BG who can play defense basically. and the whole anti James Johnson thing is a bit over the top. He is a rookie, deal with it. He was 16 in a weak draft. So what. We passed on Dujuan Blair which was dumb but it happened so move one. And if we trade for and resign Brewer as our SG of the future I will be extremly pissed. So yes, I think trading for Brewer is a dumb idea. You cant rant again now.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    The Bulls need to clear cap space. That's the goal. Getting rid of Salmons' ability to opt in does that.

    Now, suppose the Bulls don't get Wade or Johnson come July. Then what? At least they would have Brewer and Hinrich to fall back on.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Umm this Caron Butler to the Bulls deal is really getting some steam.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    That's a rumor by a BLOGGER. There is nothing to it. You know why? Because it doesn't make any sense.

    Why do the Bulls need another SF, yet alone a starting SF, when they have Deng, Salmons, Johnson and Thomas if need be?

    It's a BOGUS idea. Besides, Washington would be getting less talent and no cap relief.

    From a Miami perspective, the Heat would have to give up Haslem, Richardson or O'Neal in order to make that trade. I can't see that happening. They like there cap room for 2010 and the production they are getting from those 3 players.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    umm gilbert might be gone and they have plenty of offense..they need defenders and guys who can help set up others..that deal makes more sense than you would ever know unless you seen 1 game of the wizards..caron and gilbert cant play next to eachother..let alone have gilbert running the point in a passing offense..they have boykins as their back up..hinrich to washington makes more sense than you would ever know..seriously..the wiz dont want gilbert there at all anymore and the fits and lack of defense hurts them..

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Hey Doug, Happy New Year! Your review is right on target!

    Rose and Thomas have potential to improve! No one else is worth keeping.

    As long as the trainee Paxson is running the show the Bulls will never be in the running for a championship! Paxson has turned this team into the Laff-A-Bulls.

    Letting clutch shooting Gordon go, proves that the Bulls are not concerned about winning. They will not get a real star in free agency, they don't need to spend the money because the stadium is full!

  • In reply to Alex:

    i dont think you can prove that..nobody but detroit wanted b.g and they have a bunch of long term contracts..i think they had to swallow the problems and bashing but they had no other team was goina pay gordon like detroit and a sign and trade only works if the player wants to go their and the other team will take back that contract becuase they find it reasonable..chicago wouldnt let him go for nothing..but we had no pieces to give up and get back that would even the scale..gordon for a.i?thats a joke..gordon for hamilton or prince?thats another joke because of their age and contracts..paxson had to swallow his pride for that one..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    i dont think their stupid enough to let him go like that..even if they didnt like he..what could they have gotten back..detroit didnt wanna pass up a draft pick because daye would be princes replacement..and gordon replaces hamilton..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    him* lol

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    I'm guessing people know this, but now ESPN is talking about Caron Butler coming to the Bulls for Luol Deng. Check the rumor section.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    sounds good but honestly..i would always do this deal..but one problem..can caron bring rebounds and stay healthy and in shape to help us for the 2 years he's here..

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    While I am all for "dumping" Deng's contract trading for Butler does not accomplish this. Butler is due to earn something less than $10 million in 2010, about $1million less than Deng.

    I do not see any reason for the Bulls to pursue Butler, unless they look to move him in another deal this season.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I can't believe that we have just spent the bulk of an entire post discussing Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver.

    That alone is an indictment of the state of the Bulls.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    chicago,toronto and washington

    chicago gets

    and stevenson

    washington gets

    and a.wright

    toronto gets

    and james johnson
    (maybe a future 2011 pick from either CHI or WASH)

    pass it down..lmao

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    no way in hell toronto does this trade, infact i would go as far as to say they would rather watch bosh expire and go to another team then do this.

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    Honestly, the Bulls are a few years away from contention anyhow. Being that said it is the GM's fault for it. We should have Paul Gasol with NO-shot Noah backing him up. We should have much better players than we do now. We should of never gave huge contracts to playerys we are consistently having problems performance and injury wise...(deng, hinrich) we should of used that money to keep gordon in town who is where? In detroit doing what? squatting pine? My point exactly. we should be running the eastern confrence or at least be in contention. Instead we are about 4 years from any kind of dominance due the fact that once again we are banking on rookies to lead our team when they need time to develop. oh and why in the world is Tyrus Thomas shooting jumpers with nobody to get rebounds when we have shooters ready and he should be rebounding for the go-ahead dunk and or tap in? I blame Vinny for that one.

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    The bulls are kind of like the bears, we have talent but they are being used incorrectly. And where we lack talent and experience our coaches seem to want to go. Why would you want to keep going to your weaknesses?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    The better Chris Bosh trade is this.

    To Bulls: Chris Bosh and Sonny Weems
    To Raptors: David West, John Salmons and a #1 Pick
    To Hornets: Tyrus Thomas and Jerome James

    Everybody wins, assuming Chris Bosh wants to leave Toronto for a bigger market.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    It's in the rumor section on espn and ive read about it on a couple of sites BUT i just read sam smiths blog a minute ago and he said that it's not true. He said theyve talked to the wizards about some players but not Caron. He also talked about sending james johnson to the D-league for a week or so. It's posted up on

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Kirk Hinrich for Caron Butler is a BOGUS rumor by a BLOGGER. It makes no sense for the Wizards or the Bulls. And it makes very little sense for the Heat.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    it seems apparent that the bulls cannot give up hinrich without getting a starting GUARD back...the idea of a bench of Salmons (out of postion) Pargo n Hunter is appalling. Imagine now if you will that either or both current starters are out for a few games..that spells doom for these Bulls. Again I cannot stress enough what a weird grouping of players the Bulls have amassed. it is crazy

  • In reply to joeacook3:


  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Doug, lets say for one second hypothetically that the hinrich/caron butler deal had legs, but washington wanted Jerome James cap relief as well. I know you are a big fan of the 2010 plan (I haven't been I feel like we will overpay for good but not great talent), so lets say I am GM from summer 2009. We resign BG and trade JJ and Hinrich 1st for Butler, Oberto+Stevenson. then send tryus into restricted FA and match any contract


    Team better or worse off then currently heading into 2010?

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    As a reference point, I like the State of the Bulls assessment. I'd only say I think making definitive statements about Taj and James is really difficult because I think your pedigree willingly or not effects people's perception of the type of player you are and are going to be.

    James looks a little portly no question. I agree 7 to 8% body fat, like most legit NBA guys, should be the goal/reality sooner rather then later as in noticeable improvement come April. Johnson was taken by the Bulls all the way down at No.16 in a "weak draft"..? So far you've got Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings, James Harden, D-Blair, Ty Lawson, Taj(Gibson), Jonas Jerebko that's seven so far. What do you get most drafts 7-15 or so guys who become real name contributors who become known in NBA fan circles? So maybe not so bad. Plus many guys don't emerge until year two or three some even later. Fine, call it a weak draft as it has been categorized for some time, but James from his ball skills(which are very good if he can play the four he blew by Boozer and also hit the game winner under duress in a somewhat bigger then usual preseason game in London where a lot of Jazz starters/regulars had good minutes). Looking at his athleticism and explosiveness I'd say are at least acceptable not hindrances for a solid NBA four, decent could be improved/better lateral/D quickness for a four, highly efficient FG% and fairly productive scoring totals for a first and second year college player of 15 ppg. Given time, if the wieght loss and work ethic are there, I'd say he's definitely going to be able to score and play in this league if not as a starter then a good/valuable reserve.

    As for Taj, yes he's 24, and he was drafted al the way down.... at No. 26, but given he's a skilled offensive player who is still getting used to his not constantly being doubled/swarmed college zone environs, I'd give him at least until the end of next season to fully assess his offensive(and defensive) "ceiling." Either way i think he's a keeper with a big uspide defensively in my book.

    But I liked the article and the assessments overall. I just hope Derrick can use his ultra speed to use a hesitation/crossover to create space on drives tot he baskt so he can dunk the ball with some regularity. this would do wonders for his acceptance into the fraternity of to the rack scorers who get the calls around the rim period. Against even the elite teams.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    James Johnson has shown flashes? can you tell me when this has happened? and please dont state the preseason because that does not count. The only thing James has shown is that he is a distant relative and Jerome James.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:


    Good job Newskookbulls. We agree again.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    you seriously should just go and fight james johnson..

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    If Brewer can be productive playing with Williams, then he can be productive playing with Rose.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    I really wish the Bulls would have kept Ben Gordon. I think this team would be much better now. Let's make a trade for him immediately.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Mr. Happy - We know you don't like James Johnson. It's been well-documented. Can you please allow other people to share their points of view now? It is not necessary for you to respond to every comment. I swear. Particularly when it is the same comment over and over and over again. If you are going to respond, change the freaking record already.

    I am also a James Johnson supporter and think his time will come with some increased minutes, change in coaching mentality, and a willingness to dedicate himself a little more to his game. In addition, you should try an get used to him being around - the Bulls are not in the habit of drafting players in the first round only to try and rid themselves of them 30 games into their first season. In fact, to do so would be idiotic.

    You seem only interested in the almost impossible solution of trading him out of town. And getting a SG instead of a SF. Whether you need a SF or not is irrelevant. You win with talent, often regardless of position. How would the Bulls have done in the late 90's had we not drafted Kukoc because we already had Pip at SF?

    You go with the talent. And whether you are blind to it or not, James Johnson has plenty of it.

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    Yea, my main thing is that it is good he is playing but he has to think less about it. If he takes the open shots, drives hard when given the lane and makes the right moves on defense, he wont have a truly bad season as a rookie. And honestly, he hasnt hurt us that bad when he was in the game. Against Orl, he feel driving the lane but then had a block and a steal right after. Its all there, its just a matter of finding his image and knowing his limits. Just like Rose realizing this team will take a nose dive if he doesnt step up at the end of

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    Let's say my trade idea involving the Bulls and the Jazz goes down. Here's what the rosters and lineups would be.


    PG - Williams, SG - Matthews, SF - Salmons , PF - Boozer and C - Okur


    PG - Price, SG - Miles, SF/PF - Kirilenko, PF - Millsap, SF/PF - Johnson, PF/C - Koufos, C - Fesenko


    PG - Rose, SG - Hinrich, SF - Deng, PF - Gibson, C - Noah


    PG - Hunter, PG/SG - Pargo, SG/SF - Brewer, SG/SF - Korver, SF/PF - Thomas, PF/C - Miller, C - Gray

    I hate to say it, but it works for each team. If that deal was on the table and I were John Paxson/Gar Formam, I would have to make it.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    well if you were the gm we would all be screwed..and jj would sprewell you..

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    Don't BITCH (at me).

    I'm just coming up with concrete ideas, based on what the Bulls need and are tring to do. Afterall, don't they need a younger SG with size? YES!!! Don't they need to clear more cap space, if they want to land a top free-agent? YES!!! Doesn't James Johnson look like a BUST right now? YES!!!

    I have a suggestion for you Dan Frystak, instead of BITCH'in about other people's ideas, try coming up with your own ideas for once.

  • If they were going to keep Johnson, then they could keep Brewer. Also, even if he is more of a slasher, he would fit in better than Johnson is right now.

  • It's not like Salmons is lighting it up from the outside either.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    he has more range than brewer..he's just a atletic guy in transition who can play half court game no real slashing ability,no ability to score unless he's setup..thats a horrible deal..

  • They main point is to prevent Salmons from opting in. That way the Bulls could go after Wade or Johnson. Now, if they don't get either one of them, at least they would have Brewer and Hinrich to fall back on.

  • I'm hearing that Korver is day-to-day right now.

    Based on that article, Utah is getting ready to make a trade. I think Salmons makes sense. They aren't strong or deep at SF.

    PG - Williams, SG - Matthews, SF - Salmons, PF - Boozer, C - Okur

    That's a strong lineup Doug. Stronger than they have right now. Plus, they would have Kirilenko, Millsap, Miles and Price coming off the bench.

    That's nice team. Salmons would fit in perfect with them, especially in the starting lineup at SF.

  • I'm not sure what that article means, nor do I know what Utah plans on doing via trade.

    I just know the Bulls need to clear more cap space for 2010 and logically Salmons is the odd man out.

    If the Bulls stayed with the same starting lineup and brought Brewer, Korver, Pargo, Miller and Thomas off the bench, I'd be okay with that for the rest of this season.

  • Thomas looks to be the PF the Bulls want to trade, not Gibson. So, I can't see that trade happening.

  • I dont know what it was but ownership and management never took a liking to Ben Gordon. Ben seemed like a good guy but that iss something us the regular people will never find out. Also Bulls ownership hated Raymond Brothers. Ben Gordon is the Pistons mistake now not ours.

  • I like what sam smith said, send him to the NBDL so he can play well and gain some confidence so he can come back up knowing he can play.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    i think jj will become a monster in d league..i watched one game recently i think it was a championship game..and they had to miss like 40 open layups and they are terrible with ball control..lmaooo it isnt terrible but its so unorganized with guys who can and cant play and looks more like a pickup game..

  • doug everybody seems to not understand jj's potiential..but let me break it down...

    he is a bigger body than carmelo and has better dribbling skills than him..played point guard in high school..very athletic for a guy his size..can coast to coast and finish with either hand..attempts threes unlike loul and i think can become better with practice..but he has such a unique skillset for a guy his size..he can be a bigger 2 or use his body to play extreme small ball and play the c with his frame for a couple of minutes..he can play 1 -4 positions. and is a train on a break..why not have him..rather than aaron gray? i havent heard not one aaron gray or jannero pargo problem from anyone..but yet jj looks like he's on americas most wanted..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    he has a baby contract compared to hinrich,deng or salmons..who all of which come and goes..but i havent seen a real hinrich sighting since before the deadline which he put up 30 i think on the bucks so he wont get traded..he is a staring point guard..not a sixth man or a shooting guard..his stock wont go any higher unless we got a post presence or he starts nailing threes in the open court with ease..him,salmons and deng are not in their true postions..deng is a lamar odom like foward..who cant shoot the three good but is good enough to draw pfs to play against him,a solid rebounder,no dribble set to get by a sf,and has a midrange game for a pick and pop and is good at slashing for the pick and i said hinrich can be a combo guard but is best suited to have the ball in his hands and be a third or fourth option with superstars around him..and that leads me to salmons..which everyone seems to hate him..but nobody can understand what being a first time father feels like until you are not but im just saying..a postion change to defend guys who are quicker and more athletic than him is making it more difficult because he's bing asked to produce a chunk of points on the other end..he isnt a sg and is far from one..look at the hinrich situation..he isnt a light it up 6thman and nor is just a spot up shooter..john salmons was only placed in the sg role because his size..nothing else..the bulls staff are at fault for this..yes hinrich and salmons are struggling but look at where there placed and what there being asked to do when their not that effective at doing anything else other than their games..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    I agree when it comes to rookies what you see is what you(are get(ting). I just think people, myself included, naturally are swayed by pedigree what a top five pick is thought of as compared to a No.26 or even a second round pick.

    Lately Johnson has shown some activity with blocks and steals. He also had some nice moves around the basket though negated by fouls or traveling calls. Vinny just stated Johnson needs more minutes on the floor. If he doesn't start finding a niche with consistent minutes/chances eventually you might think D-league, but most times that is a mark of failure.

    I've read about Caron Butler for Hinrich, and it would be hard not to take the superior talent, but I don't think Washington would make that deal unless the Bulls were willing to swallow some other bitter pill/long term deadweight contract(s). Plus, most players have five or six prime years of scoring efficiency/high field goal %, and Caron has already had five with this season being his first in decline(so far). And, his injury history suggests you are only going to get about 60 games a year out of him, and that's before now when age starts to creep in as a factor.

  • its not his cap doug and i dont think he will ever fufill his contract..but i do think he is just a bad fit for this team far as what we need to play(up and down),his fit along rose,his contract(already stated)and the fact that yao came back strong from the injury only to hurt it at the last minute..for a team thats lookin to trying to be among the cant have a injury bugg player because you will never get over the top..

  • depends what utah pick your talking about..the knicks might make the playoffs in the bad eastern conference so that pick wouldnt be as high as you think it would be. and daye cant even play on a depleted detroit i think mr happy would hate him more than james johnson and big z is not going anywhere because the cavs want him as a inside outside combo with shaq and having a starter like z come off the bench and have him with shaq with smaller minutes would benfit them greatly come playoff time..p.s hamilton would make them a a top championship type team because of their need for that position..we shouldnt help a division rival..

  • Why usn't Johnson in shape and why did it take the weakling No-Shot Noah three (3) years to get into shape?

    Where are the coaches and the trainers? Why don't they enforce a training program.

  • In reply to Alex:

    ummm..ask mr paxson..i always said why do organizations like the lakers,rockets,magic and etc put their guys in places to succeed and we dont..we got lindsey hunter to help derrick..bynum had kareem and dwiqht had ewing,tyrus and joakim had no coaches or players to help them out..tim grover was michael jordans trainer and now has wade,mcgrady,carmel,paul and etc..we should hire him because his facility is in chicago..k.g and everybody goes there except our own players..we never hire staff to help the development..blame the front office for not pushing these kids and hoping it takes a contract year to be good..

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