Get Shaq.

Yes, he's old.  Yes, he's past his prime.   No, he can't run, and yes he can be exposed on defense.

Oh yeah, and he also provides you with perhaps the most diverse second look to this offense you can possibly get and helps you considerably against the two teams you're chasing the most in the East.

By my count, the Bulls are probably the third best team in the East behind the Heat and the Magic.   Shaq helps you greatly against both.

Against Miami, they won't have anyone remotely capable of dealing with Shaq on the roster.  In short spurts you can go to Shaq over and over and crush them inside completely overpowering them.

Against Orlando, Shaq can make Howard work and play physical with him and force him around a bit.   He doesn't have the gas to play Howard all night, but when Noah's got five fouls, Shaq has a chance to play him straight up for 15-20 minutes a night without requiring an instant double team or hard foul on Howard.

Those two reasons alone are enough to get Shaq.  I don't know if he'd come here, but he presumably isn't want in Orlando or LA.  If he doesn't want to go to Miami then Chicago is as good as any remaining team in terms of championship hopes.

We also have room to offer him more than the MLE, which I'm sure the BigCashStation would appreciate.  

Now, I know what you're thinking, Shaq will slow down Derrick Rose, but here's the beauty of my plan.  Shaq plays every minute where Rose is out, and then maybe 8-10 more while Rose is in.  The theory here is that Shaq can become your shot creating focal point while Rose sits, and so you have minimal overlap of him slowing down the game while Rose plays.

This provides a dangerous second look for opponents to game plan for.  Shaq + Noah + 3 shooters on the outside, so your PGs only responsibility is to dump the ball into Shaq and let him go to work.  The shooters leave the floor spaced, and Noah is there for weak side rebounding. 

Shaq may not be an offensive focal point for a game, but he can be for small spurts, and the Bulls have no one who's an excellent offensive creator outside of Rose, so Shaq would take on that role.  

Moreover, it also forces teams to defend entirely different styles of play as the game goes on.  You've got your dump it in style as well as the fast break and pick and roll actions run when Derrick has the ball. 

The move provides diversity in style, and specific matchup advantages we won't have otherwise against our two biggest foes this year.

It's also not going to happen, but it should.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • I do not endorse this message. A huge part of the idea is his usefulness as a matchup player against two teams, but you don't spend MLE+ money on a matchup player. Shaq can't play alongside Noah and thus must play behind him, and unless something bad happens, there won't be much time behind Noah. Aside from sheer size alone, there's nothing he does better than Joakim either. Joakim's even better at layups.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    There's also the question of if he's even going to WANT to play behind Noah, and if he's ready to be a backup only player at this point in his career. Because he certainly wouldn't be playing starter's minutes on THIS team.

    On the other hand, it's not like he's ONLY useful against the Magic and Heat; those points Doug made would work against other teams, too.

    I'm cautiously okay with this idea but only if you can be confident that Shaq will be a good teammate, and I'm not certain how the Bulls could convince themselves of that.

  • In reply to Duke:

    Interesting way to think outside the box, Doug, but my concern would be Shaq's influence on a rookie coach and a young team coming into his own. I think Shaq's resume and chummy-ness may undermine Thibs authority with younger players. He doesn't strike me as the veteran presence you want that supports the coach and keeps young players in line. Not that we have any potential wayward characters but these players probably grew up idolizing Shaq.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Also, a lineup with Noah and Shaq in it at the same time would not be spaced. It'd have the Chandler/Curry thing going on. Putting both of them in the post means an instant double on whoever has the ball, since the presence of the other guy automatically draws the second defender. Putting Shaq in the post and Noah away from the basket is even worse, because no one will play Noah there. You can put all the shooters around them that you like, but you can't depend on a half court offense based around two big men who can't consistently make layups or jumpshots.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Also, we don't have "3 shooters on the outside."

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Dont Forget - Shaq usually takes off about 75% of the season with "injuries" - so we would not get much out of him. He does seem to always return for the playoffs

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    If Miller's off the table and JJ is matched, I'd think about it. But that's the only way.

  • In reply to muhammond:

    By that I mean if Brad Miller goes elsewhere and we still have 13 mil to play with, I'd look to Shaq.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    I agree with Doug. We need to get Shaq instead of Kurt Thomas, Brad Miller etc.. Remember he was hurt last year and just came back before the playoffs and I don't think he got into a rhythm.

    1. Doug has already explained how he can play with this team.
    2. He will provide relief in case of an emergency.
    3. He will take pressure of the locker room if there are issues. He has seen everything.
    4. I think he will come for a 1 year deal compared to 2-3 year deal for Brad Miller to keep our cap space flexible.

    The only negative is he cannot space the floor by shooting jumpers/3 pointers like a Brad Miller. But you could Miller was struggling against Shaq(when he was not in shape) in the Cleveland series..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Shaq isn't exactly known as a pacifier in the locker room.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Noah should not be averaging more than 32 minutes a game. There's 16 available minutes right there, considering that Boozer & Gibson cannot play center for that much time. Noah at 36+ minutes a night = injury like last season. We won't go 0-10 for that stretch (unless Boozer or Rose, or even Deng for that matter, are hurt as well) but it won't be pretty.

  • You can't base a halfcourt offense around Shaq. He's just not that good at it. He can finish with the dunk, but if you give it to him in the low block, you will get a missed layup.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Nobody's talking about completely basing our offense around Shaq. This is something for 8 minutes a game, tops.

    Although something did just occur to me--Doug, your scenarios here have Shaq coming in at the 4 (or sliding Noah over to the 4) instead of Shaq just subbing in for Noah. Why wouldn't you want to use Shaq as a real backup for Noah?

  • In reply to Duke:

    Why would you pay a guy MLE money so that you can base your offense around him for 8 minutes per game, tops? If he doesn't have a big role, he's not worth big money.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    I'm not sure about Shaq, but I see where Doug is going. He is focusing more on the style of play than the personnel. This is the only way we can beat Miami. Our stlye of play has to create problems for Miami.

    The previous idea of running full speed will get us killed vs. the Heat. I don't want to get into a transition game with Wade, Lebron, and Bosh. We need to beat them up on the boards and play inside out with Rose, Boozer, and 3pt shooters .

    Shaq would help add to the inside out game, but he limits our ability to defend the basket. That is my #1 concern. We need to limit easy baskets, 2nd chance points, and force contested jumpers. The way I see it, we need a perimeter defender on the wing. We led the NBA in rebounding last year without Boozer. We will win the glass next year. We just need someone on the perimeter to help limit penetration. We also need Redick or another outside shooter to spread the offense. The most important member of the Bulls will Coach Thibodeau. I know he loves to gameplan. I hope he has a Scott Skiles effect on the roster. Have the team play greater than the sum of its parts.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Please No.
    Just No.

    Whatever benefits Shaq is able to still provide ... and though they are few, he does still have a couple ... are outweighed (no pun intended ... ok maybe a little) by the negatives.
    It's not even so much about his diminished skills and lack of speed ... his lack of motivation to be a difference maker, even for a few minutes a game, is just a team killer.
    His ego may no longer be so huge, and his ability to work with a teammates may be better than it was, but it's just not worth the risk or money.
    Give him a million and let him play 8-10 minutes if you really must, but I don't think even his ego has shrunk that much.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    " his lack of motivation to be a difference maker, even for a few minutes a game, is just a team killer. "

    - What the hell are you talking about?

  • In reply to jt563905:

    What am I talking about?

    I'm talking about the fact that EVERYTHING that Shaq was brought to Cleveland to provide, he was unable or unwilling to provide.
    It's not the diminishing skills and numbers.
    He just doesn't look motivated out there ... can you imagine how that looks to his teammates who were expecting SHAQ.
    He wasn't the emotional leader, he wasn't the voice of reason or the Veteran stabilizing force, or even the four time champion who should have brought his knowledge and understanding to the team when it struggled.
    Where was all of that? Where were ALL of the good things that a guy like Shaq ought to be able to bring to a young team trying to win their first championship? Where?
    Where was Shaq teaching Lebron about how to be a team player and leader?

    "My motto is very simple," O'Neal said. "'Win a Ring for the King."'

    Where was that at the end of the season?

    That's what I'm talking about.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    What we know about Shaq:

    a) He looked done against the Bulls and Noah absolutely destroyed him despite his plantar fasciitis
    b) He was so bad in the Boston series that Bill Simmons was the cheer leader for Shaq getting more playing time
    c) He didn't really mesh well with a guy with a similar style of game to Rose, ie LeBron
    d) He didn't really mesh well with a guy with a similar style of game to Boozer, ie Amare
    e) He's a known malcontent who still thinks he's a star and will want more minutes and shots than a pure backup role would suggest

    What about Shaq screams "pay this guy more than the MLE"? I don't think I'd want him for the vet minimum.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Boston is also the worst team to play Shaq against because Perkins is absolutely dominant defensively against the big centers. It was expected which was why I actually thought Boston could beat Cleveland and at the very least compete against Orlando.

    I agree with Doug. I don't know if I pay more than MLE though. I also don't think there are too many teams that would pay him that as well. Shaq has burned a lot of bridges so I really doubt he goes to Miami. I do like the though of him going against a lot of teams, especially against Miami. I hope Bulls are considering this.

  • In reply to kozelkid:

    As Doug also said, he's not a guy you'd play more than 15mpg or so, so he shouldn't play that much with Boozer. With a few shooters spreading the floor, I like the idea of Shaq. People also can't forget, that Boozer isn't exactly a guy who we can depend on to stay healthy.
    Above all, if Bulls are interested, they will have to put everything on the table for Shaq. He will have to understand from day one that he is a backup and won't get more than 15mpg. I think he understood himself as a role player in Cleveland and I don't remember him causing any problems there. If he can accept that, I love it.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    PASS.

    C - Noah/Miller/Asik

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    No thanks to Shaq or Mcgrady but I'm still all for Iverson.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    He shot 56% this year.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Actually, Doug has some valid thoughts. Shaq would primarily play against second stringers.

    If you watched him at all this season, he is at his best in short 5-6 minute bursts when he can still quasi-dominate.

    The Bulls are quickly running out of guys worth spending any money on. At around the MLE for one year or 2 max Shaq might be worth the risk as a 12=15 minute per game player.

    YOu can never have enought size and the way to beat Miami will be to overwhelm them with size upfront, which is what the Lakers will do to them in next years finals, unless someone beats them to the punch in the East finals.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    It would be AWESOME to have both Brad Miller AND Shaquille O'Neal on the same team!! :-)

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Doug,

    According to Stephen A. Smith, the Bulls have made an offer to SHAQ.

    http://twitter.com/stephenasmith/status/18607531904

    It was too low, so Atlanta looks like the place for him.

  • Hey I read where JJ got 8 fouls (out of 10 allowed in the summer league)..yep he is coming right along.

  • Cavs tried Shaq as a matchup for Orlando/Howard, and Shaq's slow play (as opposed to the much faster JJ Hickson) hindered the Cavs to the point they never advanced to play Orlando. Cavs would have been much better off giving Shaq's minutes to Hickson!

    Edward Richards

  • In reply to Edward:

    Shaq's slow play did not hinder the Cavs to the point that they didn't get to play Orlando. Did you watch the series?

    Although I do agree that it made no sense that Hickson was nowhere to be found come playoff time.

  • Who was the first?

  • missed the hyperbole?

  • no ill pass on shaq. Hes a offense killer, you have to give him his touches. If anything, ill take Tmac

  • No friggin' way!!! OVER the MLE? Are you kidding me? I think the Bulls should go after Miller and that should be it for 4s and 5s for now. I think that is a horrific idea. Shaq is old and slow and in the way. That would be an act of desperation, and the Bulls are not desperate.

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