The case for Dirk Nowitzki

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We've often viewed the summer of 2010 as the year of the big three: Lebron, Wade, and Bosh.   There's a valuable second tier of guys like Boozer, Amare, Johnson, and Lee whom we'd all like to add but fear will be overpaid.   It begs the question, where exactly does Dirk Nowitzki fit in?

Dirk's age, 32 this summer, doesn't exactly match a team that wants to build around Derrick Rose for a long time.  However, his game couldn't fit with Rose any better.

Is there a player in the NBA who could space the floor better at PF than Dirk Nowitzki?    Is there a player who'd be more deadly in a pick and pop situation?

One of the reasons we've rarely discussed Dirk is that he's always been largely assumed to remain in Dallas.   However, after a third 1st round exit in four years, Dirk may finally consider moving to another team.   He's at the age where he needs to try to make a run for ring.   Would the Bulls give him a better chance than the Mavs?

Well, getting out of the 1st round will sure as heck be easier in the East that's for sure.   His cast in Dallas isn't too special anymore either.   Jason Kidd is done as an impact player, absolute joke of an all-star selection aside, he simply is no where near the player he was even two years ago which was no where near where he was in his prime.   The same can be said of Shawn Marion.

Let's face it, unless Mark Cuban pulls a rabbit out of his hat, the Mavs are coming back worse than last season again.   They don't really have any great trade assets to force a sign and trade, and they sure as heck aren't under the cap, so they're backed into a corner.

Also, unlike may FAs, Dirk won't be giving up a significant amount of money to
switch teams due to his age.   He falls into the "over-36" rule.    If
I'm reading the rule correctly, Dirk's 5th and 6th years count as over
36 years since he will be 32 when he signs his contract.   Due to that,
they count as "deferred" salary, and thus their money actually counts
on the cap for years 1-4.

My interpretation is any contract 4-6 years is locked into
the same total value, but the four year version is paid out in four
instead of five/six years, so there's no reason for Dirk to sign a five or
six year deal.   The Mavs could offer the slightly larger raises for
years 2-4, but the gap is only three million total dollars.

It's
worth noting that Dirk is eligible for a far higher max deal than other
players.   We'd be paying Dirk 93 million over four seasons if we
signed him which would eliminate the ability to bring in any other FA
making over a million dollars, and the rest of the roster might be
filled out with guys at the league minimum.

Given the salary difference is small, and Dirk probably prefers to return to Dallas unless his situation is significantly improved, the question becomes are Dirk's odds at a title significantly better as a Bull than a Maverick? 

We know the Mavericks aren't a legit contender in the west.  Since their finals appearance, the farthest the Mavs have made it is the second round of the playoffs.  Are the Bulls considerably better than that?

With Dirk, I think they are.  It would take a few things breaking just right, but I think that the Bulls with Dirk could be a legit contender next season and are on an even playing field with the best teams in the conference.    It's hard to tell where the chips fall with every team, but let's take a look at the teams we expect to be great.

Cleveland - Still a one man show.   Let's face it, if the Bulls had Dirk this year, they would have beaten the Cavs in the playoffs the way they played.  Now, if the competition raised they may have also raised their games as well, but the would have had to entirely change their strategy towards defending Rose.   The Cavs, if they resign James, are still likely worse next season than this season.  They have no significant contributors who are likely to improve and several who are likely to decline.

Orlando - Orlando is in a similar boat with Cleveland in that they're good, but how can they improve from within?   They also have no players on the roster on the upswing.  They could use the MLE, but their financial situation makes that a tentative bet, and the talent at the MLE this year will be very low anyway.

Miami - If they keep Wade and bring in Bosh/Amare then they'd have an elite core, but they'd have very little else there.   They'd still probably be awfully deadly through the strength of those two players though.

Atlanta - They have some pieces that still might have some improvement left on the table, and none of their major pieces outside of Bibby should be in notable decline.   They're probably going to come back similar to where they are if they keep Joe Johnson.

Boston - Clearly they are on the downswing and aren't a threat to win the title next season even if they'll win 50 games in the regular season.

Milwaukee - I think they already overachieved this year, and Bulls fans have seen what Salmons can do when the honeymoon period wears off, so I don't think they're a threat to improve considerably. 

Anyone else?  - I don't see another team that really has a chance to take the jump outside of the Bulls.   The Bobcats are on the downswing despite their playoff birth, the Raptors will lose their best player, and none of the other non playoff teams are close enough to make a jump.

How do the Bulls stack up?  

Well, Derrick Rose with Dirk in a pick and roll might become the most difficult play in the NBA to stop.    A combination of a big man with Dirk's range and accuracy and a guard with Derrick's ability to get to the hole would just dominate the hell out of teams.  As a play combination, it'd be more deadly than anything Bosh or Amare would bring to the table for as long as Dirk's ability doesn't fall off a cliff.

Now I'm scared of Dirk declining in ability.   Much like Ben Wallace, he's slowing down statistically, and while I think Dirk's game translates with age infinitely better than Wallace's it is worth checking out the warning signs.   His PER over five seasons: 28.1, 27.6, 24.6, 23.1, 22.9.    Now the first two seasons were MVP caliber PER years, and the last three seasons are still serious all-star caliber levels, but we've definitely seen that number decrease for five straight seasons.

Declining PER isn't always a sign of decline as players achieve PER partially through being a focal point.   The Mavs may have simply relied on Nowitzki less to partially cause his dipping PER while trying to play more effective team basketball, and it's awfully difficult to ascertain the difference between supremely deadly and really really deadly when I only watch him play maybe eight times or so a season.

The fact that he'd be making near 20 million a season if he declines is also scary, but the four year commitment takes the edge off.   A S&T of Amare or Boozer that nets one of those guys six years becomes a train wreck if they start cashing it in after a season.   With Dirk, I think you get a high quality player for four straight seasons, but that quality might go from top 10 to top 25 by year four. 

So where should Dirk rate in our off season plans if available?    I'm sticking him in at #3, and I'm tempted to put him in at #2.

1) LeBron
2) Bosh
3) Dirk
4) Wade
5) Amare
6) Boozer
7) Lee
8) Johnson

This list assumes everyone is getting a max contract, and doesn't take into consideration what might have to be given up to get a guy in here in terms of trade value.  So if Bosh takes Joakim Noah in trade, but Dirk, Wade, Amare, and Boozer didn't then Bosh would slide lower on the list.

Also it's worth noting not all max contracts are created equally, but I am taking into account the personal max the player can get since that's a known quantity.

Comments

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  • I was thinking the same thing about Dirk yesterday when the news broke about him contemplating a change of scenery. I agree with your assessment with his ranking among the potential free agents this summer. It is tempting to put him at #2. The only changes I'd make to your list is to move Joe Johnson up a few spots to #5 behind Wade. Johnson is way better than David Lee, and I'd agree with his placement near the bottom of your list if it weren't for Stoudemire and Boozer's injury and attitude history. Those two guys scare the hell out of me. If they're giving you 100% and healthy, they're fantastic and would be a huge upgrade for the Bulls. But I tend to think the chances of great attitude and health lasting for either of those guys is slim.

  • I say if he opts get him! One thing i didn't know from my post yesterday was that he was 32?!? i thought he was right on 30. If he leaves then the Bulls should definitely go after him. Ive seen Dirk use that fade away post up move for years and it's seems like he's unstoppable when he uses it. But i think the real question is would you rather take Dirk at age 32 or Bosh at 25?

    Speaking of Chris Bosh, was i the only one that actually saw him asking people on Twitter what team he should go to this summer?!?

  • I tend to agree. I'd also put Dirk ahead of Boozer & Stoudemire. Dirk on the Bulls puts us into immediate title contention with our current core.

  • In reply to muhammond:

    couldnt agree more.. we just would need to bring in a sixth man to go along with taj and maybe miller if hes back.. but if dirk does opt out.. its bosh and dirk at one or two for me.. but if i had to pick who to get? its dirk. dirk would easily be our best option behind lebron.. dirk couldnt be anymore perfect for this team..especially when a dirk & noah combo fits amazing to go with a rose & deng mix.. rose will be better this offseason because he knows someone is coming and the third year historically is when young players break into mvp stardom..(lebron,kobe,paul,deron,wade,kidd,& etc ) dirk with rose means 55 wins and rose with mvp contention.. dirk>bosh

  • $23mil/year for a guy who is 32 now? On the bright side, he doesn't have a very athletic game, but man, I don't know. Plus, he's never won.

    I suppose there's risk with any of the free agents...

    Wade is still my #1. (And I'd also move Johnson up to #5.)

  • Doug, I agree that Dirk would be a phenomenal addition to the Bulls. With him at PF, we're probably looking at WORST CASE scenario a #4 seed for the next 3 years. And, with Rose and Noah still improving, the Bulls ceiling over the length of Dirk's contract is probably in the neighborhood of challenging for a title each year. That said (a) what do you think are the chances he actually opts out and looks around? And (b) if Dirk were to opt out, what are the chances you think the Bulls would make a serious push to sign him?

  • They problem with Dirk is you have one, maybe two, years to win it all. Miami did it with Shaq and it worked, Boston did it with Garnett and it worked, so it's not necessarily the wrong thing to do, but you have to take that into consideration. With the lesser players you might not be as good in year 1, but you have a chance to make a run for many years, and hence also have many chances at signing players, trades or the draft to pick up more pieces.

    In the end it all comes down to who wants what and who is willing to move. If Dirk wants to come here, I'd sign him, but I think only Joe Johnson would be behind him in my priority list.

  • While I love dirks game next to rose, his birthday is in june, so he is really almost 33. That really limits how much we can get out of him to like 2 more really good years. I mean really he is a great player but the only way I would sign him is if the bulls got a max player first and then dirk pulled like a marion move and signed with the bulls and signed for less to win a title. Lee 14.0 mil Dirk 7.5 mil.

    Also have we considered that lee may not demand a max deal?

  • In reply to Daniel7123:

    Dirk is not opting out of a $20+mil contract to sign for $7.5mil.

    Would you go to a new job that was paying you a 1/3 of your current salary?

    Me neither. And neither would Dirk.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    No I wouldn't. What I am saying is the only way at all it makes sence for the bulls to sign him is to a smaller deal. And the only way in that would EVER EVER EVER happen is if he said (like marion did) screw it I have enough money I want to win a title and the bulls can help me do that. Its absurd. Basically what I am saying is there is not a chance the bulls sign dirk

  • In reply to Daniel7123:

    The only deal that makes sense for all parties is a sign and trade, Deng and Hinrich for Dirk.

    With a S&T for Dirk the Bulls can still sign a max free agent with their cap space(even Lebron), this would be a home run for us.

    However, I Doubt that Dallas would want those 2 guys back, especially since they are stuck with Kidd at $8 million per for 2 more years.

    Are there better offers for Dirk from a team that Dirk would want to go to? One would think that there would have to be.

    Unless of course Dirk is committed to coming to the Bulls to join Rose and Noah.

    Actually, as much as Dirk would love playing with Rose, he might love playing with Noah even more. Think about it, has he ever played with a center who is thrilled to do all the dirty work, play defense, rebound and hustles all the time, making Dirks job a lot easier, just score, baby.

    Dare we dream, Dirk and Lebron.

  • All of the big free agents we're looking at are going to be declining sooner rather than later, except James and maybe Lee. Admittedly, I haven't watched Lee all that much, but when I have I don't get that impressed. His stats are very good for this past year, but I really don't believe he's going to be a 20/10 guy going forward on a decent team. I see him as more of a 15/8 type talent. Maybe I'm wrong, but he was looking for a ton of money last summer when there was no money to be had. I see him looking to get paid like a 20/10 guy (as his stats show this past year), and I just don't think he's worth that. There is going to be a lot money floating around this summer, and I think he'll become one of the many overvalued players out there. I would disagree that the 2 guard is less important than the 4. That could be the case, but not necessarily. It all depends on the rest of the guys on the squad. As we saw this year, when Hinrich was playing well, the Bulls were awesome. I think Johnson will give you that a lot more often than Hinrich. Johnson is also a really solid defender. If we had Johnson and Hinrich on the team, we could have a really lock down back court. Overall, I guess I'm just not as cold on Johnson as some of the rest of the fans here. He's one the best 2 guards in the NBA. Realistically, I could see us ending up with Johnson and Lee (with one done via sign and trade). That would be a very nice upgrade for the team. You just hope that it doesn't bite you in the butt in a few years with the salaries.

  • do people forget barring any trade of salmons and tyrus we were actually 1.5 games out of 5th before the trade deadline and had we not traded we couldve been in the fourth or even a close third.. do people forget that noah was out 10 games and played limited in 3? do people also forget we were trying to get deng situated with a role in this offense because of his injury.. do people also forget we let a 19 a night point scorer leave? we werent just lucky.. we'r really good.. and a player like dirk and a sixth man off the bench maybe a rudy ferandez would def put us with orlando and cleveland since boston is done after this year,atlanta will break down and feer the deer is only a one way ticket since salmons will be leaving or wanting a bigger deal?.. chicago next year the way we are would be a top 5 team in the east anyway.. hell we were that this year.. dik def makes us atop most teams.. even in the west where every team is aging..dirk and ferandez..and keep deng and hinrich..someway convince one or both to take paycuts.. if they really just about winning and wanting to stay here and help..

  • I must be the only one that thinks less of Dirk. I watch him in the play-offs every year and he kills his team, a 7 footer outside shooting jumpers? really get inside and get a board, you lazy bum. I'm not as impressed or as high as you guys I would rather have an inside big man that can bang inside, Dirk shoots way too many jumpers. Dirk should go to Phoenix where they dont play defense and like thier bigs to shoot threes.

  • http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nba/news/story?id=5005865

    a article in may about rose & chicago..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    scratch that.. march..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    Nice! I remember this article. Hopefully, Dirk remembers it too.

  • the thing is dirk makes rose's game grow even more and puts us in contention right away..thats the whole point.. dirk isnt goina be a lengthy contract..and will help us go for a title in the short term.. so when his short contract is up.. rose will be gearing for his prime along with noah and we will have enough money to add another star player to go with them again and have another shot.. plus future nba max deals will be lower due to a cap drop..

  • I stand corrected

  • I think the only way Dirk signs with the Bulls is if VDN is gone... he can't risk being called Dirt all season.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    LMAO! Fire VDN then... hopefully Dirk wants out, I'd like him over any other option the way our team is constructed now.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    LMAO!

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    I think adding Dirk would be a great idea, perhaps even moreso than Lebron. But only from an emotional standpoint. A lot of people tend to be sour towards Lebron "The Jerk Opponent" but would gladly do an about face for Lebron "Saviour of the Bulls". With Dirk we wouldn't have to sell our souls for a new dynasty. I think deep down we still want Rose to be the #1 man, even if he's not the top scorer. All the other FAs are good but not perfect fits, and neither is Dirk, but he's perhaps the best fit despite his age. Even as he begins to decline, Rose and Noah are still years away from their prime. As he fades, they will be there to take the torch. Toward the end of a four year contract, I still see Dirk putting up 15 ppg / 6 rpg. Plus, with the Bulls I see him returning to the prolific 3pt shooter he was earlier in his career.

    The #1 issue I have with these free agents is that most, if not all, targets are going to want to do a S&T to get that extra $30 mil. In my opinion, I understand that's a lot of cheese, but it weakens the team if only a little bit. At this point in his career and his history of playoff failures, I would hope Dirk wouldn't require that. We would still need to get a real SG and address overall depth at the guard positions but fielding a team with Rose, Dirk, Noah, Deng, Taj, Kirk, an improved and dedicated James Johnson and plus a bunch of pickup guys from the Y would be unstoppable.

  • If he wants to come, get Dirk and do whatever it takes! Unless Lebron is serious about leaving the Cavs of course. You can't worry about what will happen in 4 or 5 years. Nowitzki is _not_ Ben Wallace. Wallace only made it in this league because of his athleticism. He has always been too short for his position and he had _no_ offensive game at all.
    Nowitzki has at least 3-4 years left where he can dominate a game offensively. He's a nightmare matchup and you can't underestimate how the whole game changes for guys like Joakim, Deng and Hinrich. Suddenly, with Rose and Nowitzki demanding all the attention of the opponents, Deng will have the space to cut through the lane, Kirk will have open Jumpers all day long (all he has to do is shoot them wih confidence and without hesitation) and Joakim will get a LOT of offensive Boards and Putbacks because Dirk will always lure at least one big man out of the paint.
    If you get a chance to form your team into a contender, you do it and worry about the rest later. Kirk's contract will be a _great_ trade asset before or during the 2011-2012 season, so even if the Bulls won't win it all next season there's still room for some improvement. If management is serious about it, the luxury tax won't be a problem either.

  • I can tell you this: Dirk is one of the hungriest players in this league. He's one of the very few guys, who I believe would take a paycut just to win the title. He's not all about the money, in fact he never has been. I think the Bulls should reach out to Holger Geschwindner, the mentor of Dirk and one of his closest friends, to try to find out if Dirk has interest.

  • I bet Lee will be looking for something closer to the max after posting big numbers this season, and I can see a team that struck out on the bigger (not necessarily better) names giving him what he wants. Johnson doesn't have that mentality to be a top 10 player, that's for sure. But he is one of the top 5 shooting guards in the whole league. Lee definitely isn't one of the top 5 power forwards, and I don't think anyone is projecting him to get there either. Lee is probably in the top 15 at his position. Big difference. Now, Dirk is in that top 5 for power forwards. How about Dirk and Johnson on the Bulls? That would be pretty sweet.

  • I think one consideration you are forgetting is that Texas has no state income tax. So a $3 million difference isn't quite accurate. That said, Dirk has always struck me as a guy who doesn't care too much about money. I just think he loves being a career-long Maverick, and has said that winning a title anywhere other than Dallas wouldn't feel as good. I think he'll opt out strictly to get another long-term contract fro Dallas, where his heart is.

  • Of course id take him...but Cuban is going to lock him up before any of us can touch him imo. Or if anything he would do a sign & trade for Bosh. Dirk for Bosh. 32 is pretty old in bball age as well, but i do think since he is mostly a shooter, his skills will stay with him for a while. If we can get him, sure lets do it, but i doubt we have a chance. Lol at the Dirt comment.

  • I disagree, the Bulls need a player who can post up. Why do we need more jumpshooters. You can't build a team around Rose and win a championship, you have to get a better player, I believe. But you definitely need a bull down low who can score in the paint. The Bulls have needed that for years. I love Dirk and even David Lee but this "pick and pop" stuff is not enough to win a title.

  • Doug, I am no salary cap expert, but from what I have read, the Bulls could not pay Dirk any more than they could pay any other free agent, unless the acquired him in a sign and trade.

    Only a players existing team can sign him to a contract beginning at a higher amount than the max allowed by the CBA. They can only do so, if that player is already making more than the max on his old(grandfathered) contract. So guys like Kobe, Shaq and Dirk can sign a new contract starting with their pay of their old contract plus somekind of percentage raise, 5%-10% whatever.

    The Bulls can only start Dirk at $16.5 million or whatever the max is for a guy with his years of service. We could however, pay him more if Dallas signs him first and trades him to us.

    So Dirk has to decide whether he wants to stay for the money, or leave for less money and a championship. He made $19.75 million this year, so I guess he can get a contract starting at $20 million from Dallas, but only $16.5 million eleswhere as a true free agent.

  • Cuban cannot afford to and isn't the type of owner to let Dirk go for nothing. So the only way that I see Dirk leaving is in a S&T.

    IF that is the case what do the Bulls have to offer that Dallas would want and adds up to $20 million.

    Deng and Hinrich would almost have to be included. The value to this(besides not having to watch Dung anymore)is that we would still retain our cap space to pursus another max free agent, and still have another $5million left over.

    Getting Dirk takes Bosh and all the other PF off the table, leaving DWade or Johnson as the only free agent targets, unless Lebron is leaving.

    Who you got then. Also, Dirk could be making over $25 million per by year 3 or 4, which could be almost half the salary cap under the new CBA. This doesn't sound like a Reinsdorfian move.

  • If not for his age, Dirk is the perfect player for the Bulls. He solves the team's two deficiencies, inside scoring and outside shooting. Maybe Dirk won't have to exert all that much with the Bulls and would have a longer and still productive career despite his age because of the presence of another A-list threat like Rose.

  • Playing devils advocate.

    It seems to me that whiffing on a 32 year old with a 4 year contract is about the same as whiffing on a 30 year old with a 6 year contract. Yet you fear Johnson who will be 29 in June. Dirk is aguably if not obviously the better player, but he will be making about $4 million per year more than Johnson in addition to being 3 years older.

    We would be stuck with Johnson for 2 extra years, but Johnson would still be a year younger than Dirk when we get out from under his contract.

    In terms of decline with age, Dirk is still the biggest risk since he will be older than any other player when his contract expires, even after adjusting for the 4 year vs 6 year contract length.

    Dirk(32) is older than KG(31) was when he joined the Celtics.

    All this being said, my gut probably prefers the older Dirk for the shorter period of time. Rose will just be entering his prime when Dirks contract burns off. But we likely would not have cap space at that time due to Rose's and Noah's contract. So does that argue for getting the longer term guy(Bosd, who I am not in love with) now when we can.

    Wow, I am arguing with myself.

    Can't we just sign Lebron, so we don't have anything to argue about.

  • Besides that, Bosh isn't really that Banger kind of guy either, and Dirk is a way better shooter.

  • Doug, this is where I believe you have missed an important point in the CBA.

    His 4 year deal with Dallas will be worth over $20 million more than his 4 year deal as a free agent(see my post below). And that $20 million is all real money, not the extra money in an extra year at the end of the contract.

    So, he is essentially in the same boat as all the other free agents, looking to find a team that he wants to go to and working out a S&T that his home team(Dallas) will accept so that he can get his extra money.

  • Finally, while I can find a reason to rank the FA in the same order as you do, the predominant one is age. Bosh and Lebron are the 2 youngest FA by a substantial margin. While Lebron is obviously the best player, Bosh is not obviously the second best. Thus the only reason to rate him #2 is age, or fit for the Bulls team.

    I have always been a bit weary about Bosh, something just cries out "softie" about him. That doesn't mean that I won't be doing cartwheels if we sign him, at least initially.

    I would rank DWade second, easily, Dirk third by a nose over Bosh, and my gut would probably like Amare over Bosh also. I probably rank Johnson over Boozer and Lee.

    Finally, I keep mentioning it, but how much worse(production wise, 14ppg, 11rpg in only 28 minutes) would Kevin Love be at power forward for us, and he would cost us very little this year($4million), in fact we might be able to gain cap space with a trade for him, since Minny is under the cap.

    If we don't S&T for Dirk(using Deng), then why not use Deng to acquire Love from Minny.

    I love me some Love and Lebron(with Anthony Morrow at 2 guard), or even Love and Wade(with James "Dickie Simpkins" Johnson at the 3).

  • Doug, assuming all of the difference-making free agents either stay with their teams or do not come to Chicago, how feasible of a plan is David Lee + Kyle Korver + Anthony Morrow? That would upgrade the Bulls significantly. I am not sure that it is a title contender, but it at least puts the Bulls in the 50-55 win range and a shot at the second round or ECF for the next 5 years. Plus, if Rose and Noah take their games to yet another level, maybe the Bulls hit 60 wins in the next couple of years. By my calculations, we might be able to sign all three of those guys without a major sign and trade. Say Lee accepts $11 million/year, couldn't we get Morrow for $6 million and Korver for $5 million? If nothing else, at least the Bulls would become a solid free throw shooting team.

  • I meant to write "three-point shooting team," though I think the Bulls would also become a solid free throw shooting team.

  • I think it depends what else happens. If we get Dirk and he declines a bit next year I don't even know we're the best team in the East. LeBron's Cavs are still better (assuming he stays), if the Heat get Bosh they're better, and Orlando might even still be better.

    I really think it's like Shaq to Miami ... they won a title but they had a lot of luck, probably 9 times out of 10 it plays out differently and the Shaq trade looks like a bad one.

    When you have a young superstar to be like Rose I'm not sure a couple of year window for an outside chance at a title is good enough.

  • Any chance the Bulls can pry the unhappy Rudy from the Blazers? He's an inside-outside threat, though I'm pretty happy with Morrow who's more athletic than Korver.

  • This guy is a journeyman player at best and he talks about going back to Spain, so why even waste time or money on him. Bulls got to do better than him.

  • I think the state income tax issue could actually end up being a huge detriment to the Bulls. Both Texas and Florida have no state income tax, so the effective salaries for players would be significantly higher in those states. That's one reason I think Houston and Miami are the two most likely possibilities for Bosh. Plus the second-tier free agents like Johnson and Boozer would probably use that as a discriminating factor as long as the contract terms are equal. Either that or the better weather.

    I almost think getting out in front of the David Lee market early, while the Knicks are trying to lure LeBron et al might be the best move. Then sign a long-distance shooter with whatever money you have left. But that would probably be wildly unpopular given the expectations for the Bulls this offseason.

  • Al Harrington is a four that shoots 3's.

  • In reply to kbar17:

    Channing Frye is looking for a raise as well.

  • "My interpretation is any contract 4-6 years is locked into the same total value, but the four year version is paid out in four instead of five/six years, so there's no reason for Dirk to sign a five or six year deal."

    You are interpreting it incorrectly. Dirk signs a 5 or 6 year deal to get paid over 5 or 6 years. Any team that signs him needs to pro-rate years 5&6 across the first 4 years from a cap standpoint.

  • How about Al Harrington if we somehow lucked into Wade? Harrington could help space the floor. As for Wade, he's shooting is an upgrade compared to Kirk. Plus he is one of the best in the NBA at getting to the line.

  • "My interpretation is any contract 4-6 years is locked into the same total value, but the four year version is paid out in four instead of five/six years, so there's no reason for Dirk to sign a five or six year deal."

    I think this is wrong. Larry Coon's example is a team needing to fit a FA into a MLE spot. There is no such "total value" lock on Dirk's contract. He is going to want to sign a 5 or 6 year contract b/c he wants to sign the biggest contract possible. Teams just will not count the $$ in years 5 and 6 an instead will pro-rate the $$ into years 5 and 6. So this would be especialy problematic for teams trying to sign 2 FAs.

  • EDIT: Teams just will not count the $$ in years 5 and 6 an instead will pro-rate the $$ from years 5 and 6 into years 1-4.

  • If we signed Dirk or any free agent outright instead of in a sign and trade then wouldn't we have to hold to the cap $54-55 Mil? Isn't that what you said Doug? Isn't that why we traded Salmons and why so many teams have created so much space under the cap?

    Where as most successful teams spend over the cap, and acquire players through trades using astute and acquired draft picks as trading pieces.

    If this is true then the Bulls really need a sign and trade. Since they're under the cap they can take more salary back then they trade out/numbers don't have to even match?

    Bosh/Toronto seems like the most likely situation to be amenable to a trade. Possibly Phoenix or Utah. But Dallas with all their fairly highly paid vets at so many positions I don't see as needing much from us unless it's a multi-player deal(and they want to dump some salaries).

    I'm hoping the Bulls can buy a pick from Atlanta or OKC or both and use one of them(or both if need be) as trading pieces.

    Will see. I'd be averse to signing almost any guy over 31/32, but I'd welcome Dirk if it were in a sign and trade. But this idea of outright just signing a guy, and then having to resign Noah, Derrick etc., and be hamstrung with the cap, and having a bunch of nobodies to fill out the roster - no thanks.

    If my understanding of the cap in regards to outright signing or numbers on players not having to match since we're under the cap are inacurrate then Doug please enlighten me.

    One trade that came to mind was Taj, Deng, and Hinrich with the Charlotte pick for Bosh, Turkoglu, and Jarett Jack. To me, Turk becomes much more valuable when surrounded by other offensive talent to unleash his versatility.

    But I don't know. Bosh to me still just seems souless. I'd probably rank them LeBron, Wade, Dirk, and Aamre with Bosh rounding up the field. I'd take any one of them gladly, but adding a Dominique Jones, Ekpe Udoh, James Anderson, or Elliot Williams in the process seems like a good move for a chance at adding depth/quality while keeping costs down where we can since we definitely will be going itno tax territory with his move strategy.

    And then who's the name/expereinced coach to go along with these guys? I've heard in multiple places that Byron Scott would love the job. I've also hear he alienated players, and some of them couldn't stand him. But my only other choice would be Jeff van Gundy, and I've heard he doesn't want to come back to coaching at this time. We'll see.

    I just think a dynamic team that is going to make something happen with a big time free agent signing would find a way to buys some picks(throw in some future second rounders) for trading pieces/and team enhancement, and would not dick around, and get a name coach signed so everybody league wide nows they mean business. That's the type of setting where people will make deals with you, and something gets done.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Personally, I will be very surprised if the Bulls don't execute a sign and trade this summer. I see this as there greatest advantage(or at least equalizing factor)with teams like the Knicks and Miami who have room for 2 max guys.

    Hopefully, the Bulls are well past the point of being in love with their young core, and other than Rose and Noah, everything and everybody is on the table.

  • Carlos Boozer...? Who can also shoot the 20 footer very efficiently...?

    I'll keep beating the same dead horse. Carlos Boozer is the best fit with Rose and Noah, so long as he's making about $12-14 million a year. If he can stay healthy, that team is very dangerous. Plus we could resign Brad Miller and add a shooter like Mike Miller as well.

    Carlos Boozer is the best in the post of all the available options on the market.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Boozer can also step in and play some center due to his build.

    Noah - Miller
    Boozer - Taj
    Deng - Johnson
    Hinrich - Mike Miller or Anthony Morrow
    Rose - Hinrich ... maybe Acie Law for the absolute minimum.

    I like the balance of that team and if Boozer were willing to take the money aforementioned they would have at least some salary flexibility.

  • Well, there are rumored to be issues in Minny, and either Love or Jefferson has to go, and the coach and Love might not see eye to eye.

    For someone who constantly defends Deng as a player, I find it odd that you appear to think that he has zero value in a trade, that would be pretty close to my definition of Dung.

    If Deng is half as adequate as you like to make him out to be, there is no reason why he shouldn't bring back some actual talent in a trade. there have been rumors for years that a good portion of the league overated him also.

    Also, Minnesota might be one those teams(the perpetual have-nots) that have to settle for marginal players who are just happy to collect their inflated paychecks because nobody who has a choice will ever want to play there. Deng would go to Minny, do what he does and keep his mouth shut, maybe Love won't

    They reportedly asked for Noah for Jefferson at midseason, so maybe they realize that they can't move Jefferson and move Love. And they clearly have a need at small forward.

    Maybe, we throw some draft picks at them to make it happen.

    All that I am really saying is, if Love is indeed being made available(and your buddy Sam Smith says that he is in a column this week) the Bulls have to look into it.

    Everything is somewhat of a pipedream in free agency, and you don't win the lottery if you don't even bother to buy a ticket.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree with your Bosh/Gasol comparison, my gut fear is that Bosh is not even the equivalent of Gasol.

    As for Wade, I have to ask you if you are a fantasy basketball guy. Your approach to team building seems to be that of a fantasy player where everything is based on stats, and intagibles don't figure in. Just fill in the slots, and watch the fantasy stats pile up.

    Wade is so clearly the second best player that you go get him if you can and worry about fit later. You almost make it sound like you would prefer Ben Gordon over Wade as a pairing with Rose. At least that would be the cumulative effect of your arguments over the past year or 2.

    Rose is clearly getting better and better as a shooter, and it looks like he will soon add the 3 to his arsenal. Wade is a good mid range shooter and a flat out scorer(way more so than Gordon can ever hope to be), and certainly better than our current mid range sniper(Luol Dung).

    Wade may not be a great threat from 3, but one guy can't guard either one of them(Rose or Wade) by himself right now, yet you argue that one guy could guard them both if they are on the same team, a fairly ludicris assertion.

    To me after Lebron, Wade is the only no brainer among the free agents, the biggest argument against him would be age/injury, although he has been fairly healthy for 2 seasons now.

    Even your anti Wade argument seems to be another indictment of Deng, because if we replace Deng with an actual three point shooter at the 3(a virtual requiremnt for the position) then apparently Wade would not be such a horrible fit.

    Again, the Bulls #1 priority this offseason(other than lucking into Lebron) would seem to be to move Dung in a S&T, or dumping him in a salary dump as you suggest is the only way to get rid of this valuable piece to the Bulls championship puzzle.

  • It would look like Toronto's, Golden State's, New York's or even Utah's which hasn't exactly been Jerry Sloan like lately.

  • Ever notice how a lot of these guys who perform well in international play against the US team cannot duplicate the performance when they come to the NBA.

    I am not sure that I have an explanation for this, do you?

    Right now, would you take Morrow or Rudy, I seems that most Bulls fans prefer Morrow. I wonder if the Bulls have any legitmate shot at getting him, or are even interested.

    If we sign a max guy could we afford Morrow and Asik, I don't think so. Do we go after Morrow and leave Asik in Europe until next year, when we would likely have our exceptions back.

  • Texas, Nevada, Florida the working mans best friend, as well as the NBA millionaires.

    To bad we don't have a team here in Vegas, and after the disaster that was all-star weekend, probably never will.

  • Well, it appears that I am mistaken. I thought that this grandfather clause was just another attempt to allow the home team another advantage in keeping its own players.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Oops, missed it by that much. Should have been a few posts down

  • In reply to BigWay:

    So everyone wants a aging, no defense playing, jumper shooting 7-footer who chokes REGULARLY in the playoffs?

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