Odds and Ends; Rudy update and Henry's situation with Memphis

A couple minor news items came out over the past few days, and I didn't feel like creating a whole blog post for either, but on another slow August day (is there a worse month in sports than August?  Seriously?) I figure it's worth an update.

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First, Rudy Fernandez no longer wants to play in the NBA, or at least he's willing to say that in hopes of getting his release from the Blazers. 

"He has indicated he would like to return to Europe to continue his basketball career," Miller told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday. "He is more comfortable in Europe. He'd rather be in Europe than the NBA. He understands the circumstances in which he wouldn't be coming back. I don't see any scenario in which he'd want to be back."

Well I can think of a scenario where Rudy would love to return to the NBA.  One where he's not on the Blazers and isn't losing a couple million dollars a year over what Europe would pay him.

Rudy's gone on to discuss how he was depressed last season, doesn't like his role, and feels the Blazers broke promises.  I'm not going to jump on him.  This is a guy who probably lost about 6 million bucks so far by coming to the NBA and doesn't feel he's had an appropriate chance to play his style of game to earn a quality NBA contract. 

I'm sure promises were made given how much he had to leave on the table to come over, and so he has every right to be pissed off that those promises were broken. 

However, while I understand Rudy's plight, at this point, he's certainly made himself undesirable for teams to trade for him.  That may certainly be his intention as it's likely he's being incredibly straight forward when he says this isn't what he wants, and he wants to play in Europe again.

As for Xavier Henry, he's still battling with Memphis over whether a few hundred thousand in his contract will be guaranteed or not, and what types of things need to happen to make that money guaranteed.

The center of the argument hinges on Memphis desire to make part of his money incentive based on achieving one of three metrics (all rookie team, rookie / sophomore team inclusion, or 15 minutes a game for 70+ games).   It's common to have incentives in contracts (virtually every rookie contract now has them), but performance incentives are rare in rookie contracts.

Is Memphis pushing the envelope too hard here?   I'd think they are well within their rights to try to push it however they want.  As noted on shamsports creative financing in the NBA article, this is a tactic the Spurs have used all the time.

I think the difference here is that Henry isn't a late 1st rounder.  He's a lottery pick.  Given that these types of incentives seem awfully rare, it seems very difficult to understand why Memphis is trying to put them onto a top prospect.  My guess is they simply feel burned by Hasheem Thabeet who sucked last season, but I'd say, "Hey, don't draft a guy who's destined to suck at #2" then.

Anyway, Memphis has now fielded calls from teams inquiring about Henry's availability.  They've said they aren't looking to trade him, at least they said it to the media, but if they're really that hung up on a couple hundred thousand dollars in incentive money vs guaranteed money then you'd have to think they aren't that attached to him. 

What can the Bulls do to get into this foray?  They can offer up the Charlotte Bobcat's pick for Henry.  Maybe the Bobcats pick and our own 2011 1st rounder for him.   Henry isn't worth Taj Gibson.  He's a project player, only 18, who wasn't the type of guy to take the NCAA by storm last year.

He has the potential to fit in excellently with what we need down the line.  He should develop into a good spot up shooter, he has legit size to play SG though questionable athleticism.  He's a decent all around player, but he still has a lot of work to do.  In college he really struggled shooting off the dribble, wasn't explosive in attacking the basket, and may not project to defend well against SGs at the NBA level.

You can't give up Taj Gibson for a guy who's ceiling doesn't really project out higher than Gibson's, and who has a longer way to go to get there, and plays a less valuable position.  Especially when Gibson backs up Boozer, your start PF with a long history of injury related problems.

The picks?  I don't know, is Henry worth two picks?   Is he even worth the Bobcats pick?   Given that Henry's a project at this point, he'd only see the floor if he was given entitlement minutes.  I'm not sure the Bulls are going to roll that way given that they're now one of the teams hoping for a championship instead of hoping to make it to the second round.

There's probably no way to piss off a team faster than to start handing out entitlement minutes to players, so why put that strain on Thibodeau in his first season when he's now got a ton of similarly talented guards on the roster already?

The idea of Henry is great (good spot up shooting 2 guard with legit size), but his performance on the court this season will fall well short of that idea.  I don't think the Bulls are going to get in this discussion, nor do I think they should.


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  • Really? I think it's well worth it for them to get in the discussion. You're making a few assumptions about Thibodeau and Henry. I don't think Henry will have any issue with sitting a little bit on a good team, nor should he. As for Thibodeau, if he can't handle managing a situation like that, we're probably screwed anyway. Like you said, I wouldn't give up Taj for him, but I think that this is definitely a trade that needs to be explored.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    I agree they should get in the discussion, but only because it's Arn Tellem and he seems to be trying to get Henry out of Memphis in a hurry and he steers guys to the bulls and Reinsdorf. I don't think agents even get a cut of the rookie deal, so I don't see why they are haggling over this deal. If Henry sucks, he's better off getting cut early and heading to Europe. If he's good, he should easily be able to get 15 minutes a game for Memphis since Memphis will dump one of the guys ahead of him on the depth chart for peanuts.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    I'd offer James Johnson and a first, or a couple of seconds. He can't be any worse for the team than JJ and they need somebody to get the donuts.

  • I said I'd offer it, and I bet they already have. Something strange would have to be going on for Memphis to accept it.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    henry has no choice to be a back up.. and two pocks arent worth a ypung spot up shooter.. you dont wanna lessen mayos minutes knowing if you do that and dont make the playoffs.. mayo is gone.. if anything we should explore oj mayo trades with two picks .. maybe those two picks,taj and something and give them cap space.. idk.. but mayo is already one of the top 8 3 point shooters.. and he by most people could be compared to a young ray allen.. not kidding check his stats

  • I think these incentives are going to be the trend, especially with the quality in the draft becoming thinner and thinner. There are top ten draft picks now who aren't getting their options picked up. At this point Tellem's ability to sign guys ought to be able to weather that kind of talk. Look what he did for Ben Wallace....

  • Just curious on how would you rank Henry against James Anderson(the pick for the Spurs)? Everyone talked about him rather than Henry? Do you think Memphis realized they made a mistake and want to cut their losses?
    If we are getting him for cheap, I would go for it. Otherwise, it's not worth it as you say. With a couple of these 3 point shooters disgruntled or on the market...Rudy, Henry....hopefully, the Bulls land one of them and I think they are trying to wait it out.

  • DEJA VU:

    I thought we talked about this the other day.

    Last I INFORMED PEOPLE ON HERE Rudy plans on going back to Spain and the Memphis Grizzlies ownership doesn't have any plans on trading Xavier Henry.

    Until reports change, it's all wishful thinking that they either of them come to the Bulls.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Look, who's talking about wishful thinking. You bring up players who are not even on the trade market. At a minimum, there's a better chance of these two getting traded than the other guys you mention.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Everyone minus players such as the Miami Fags, Kobe, Durant, Stoudemire, Roy, Evans, Wall, Rose and other similar type players are on the trade market. If the price is right, that is.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    News flash buddy: reports aren't always truthful or accurate.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    You're so smug

  • Exactly.

    Why on earth would you trade that Charlotte pick for the 13th guy on your roster???

    He's not taking minutes from Watson (damn, that boy can sing), Brewer or Bogans. So why bother?

    Of course, I may value that Charlotte pick higher than others. I see it as the only way the Bulls get into the lottery over the next few years. And I'm also a bit of a saver by nature. I'd rather save that pick for a rainy day instead of spending it on the first thing that comes along.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    Cause he wouldn't be the "thirteenth guy on your roster". Down the road, he's a potential starter.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    I agree. Down the road he can be a valuable starter.

    Plus, that Charlotte pick won't likely come til 2013 or later. Its protected very high.

    Get an asset now, even put him in the D-League if you have to.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    I think he could easily take some of Bogans minutes

  • The Bobcats pick does make things interesting. It's probably the best chip we can offer in this deal (reasonably), but it has some risk in biting us in the a$$ if we move it. I say, "to hell with it".

    The odds that we get a player significantly better than Henry are pretty slim, and even then, it's still a long time from now. I actually do think Henry can be really good. More importantly, I think he can be a great fit going forward. His skill set is a perfect fit next to Rose. I think it's a risk worth taking (If Memphis would even go for it).

  • Agree. That's why these two guys are available. Just the negative coverage of this Henry signing will hurt Memphis even if they end signing him.
    About Rudy, I have a little bit of a soft corner for him. Sometimes, when a divorce is necessary, it needs to happen instead of one side trying to win. If Rudy probably played a lot of minutes during the reg season last year, maybe he would be better prepared in the playoffs. I like what the Bulls are doing. Just wait and see approach...they can afford to wait till the Feb deadline.

  • Hi Doug,
    Do you feel any SG in this year's draft will become a top-ten SG? Because that is one of the biggest needs on this Bulls roster. Also, how do you rate Xavier Henry vs. James Anderson? I ask because that's likely who Bulls would have drafted if they kept their pick.

    I would NOT trade the Charlotte pick for Henry - its the only hope for Bulls to reach the lottery in the next 5 years and Henry is not 'THE MAN' to use it on. I'd offer Bulls 1st plus cash as Memphis is a financial struggling team and Bulls are one of the most wealthy teams in the NBA. But Reinsdorf may be unwilling to part with another $3mil as he already did this year with the Hinrich trade. Another possibility is Bulls 1st and a 2nd.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I agree with you on the cash part.

    Since Memphis is haggling over $300,000, money must be an issue to them.

    The Bulls should offer a pick(not Charlottes) and cash, or JJ and cash, maybe even JJ full salary $1.7 million.

    If Reinsdorf can spend $3 million to get rid of a player(contract) he should be willing to spend some money on acquiring a lottery pick, who happens to fit a need on his current roster(3 point shooter).

  • As for Henry I'm kind of at a loss because I didn't watch him play this season/he didn't make my list of players/prospects to watch based on his stats, and scouting reports. Then again neither did Stephen Curry so mistakes will be made. Luke Babbitt was my top guy this year(with Dominique Jones), and the year before Taj Gibson and Marcus Thornton/James Johnson so I do OK.

    Revisiting Henry for a 6'6 guy his sprint at the combine/pre-draft measurements was 3.18 which is excellent. His max vert was 36' also outstanding for 6'6 player. Agility which sometimes gives an indication of lat quickness defensively was 11.16 which is anywhere from OK to sub par.

    Watching his interview on DraftExpress I don't know he's got some presence. I won't draft/pursue players I haven't seen, but his stats meet four hallmarks for my system(at 4.5 boards -4.4, near or at 1.8 steals - 1.5, FG% of 45% - 45.8%, and 12.5 ppg and up - 13.4ppg). Four hallmarks in a Freshman season is quite exceptional(hallmarks based on my analysis of college stats of efficient and 12 ppg and up NBA scorers of the past decade). You could critique this formula/stat analysis, but you either have a knack for stat analysis or you don't, and then you put in the work to spot things such as trends(up or down - and when they should matter) and a weak number/area(red flags).

    Anyway, based on his exceptional stats as a freshman in four areas, no red flags character wise and solid interview/presence, shot 41% on threes with at least 4 attempts per game, I'd say he's intriguing. However do to defensive issues/trouble cover perimeter guys, and sub par ballhandling skills with a loaded Bulls guard roster(Rose, Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, Bogans) I'd probably only take a chance on him/the Charlotte pick if he was a more prolific scorer as a freshman(15 ppg or more) and or solid to good defender with some ballhandling skills. If not for the Bulls depth however due to his fairly rare four hallmark scores/exceptional in four areas, solid presence, and fundamentally sound shot/release I'd be very interested taking into account his seemingly very underrated athleticism at least on the offensive end. You just don't get guys at 6'6 with 3.18 speed(36' max vert) very often who can shoot(at least from the perimeter).

    But with a loaded roster there's just too many immediate roadblocks with sub par perimeter defense, little ballhandling skills, and not a prolific scorer.

  • James Anderson does a number of things on the floor. He's not nearly as limited as Henry is. Anderson is an all around scorer and was one of the best in the NCAA the last couple years. He can drive, he can shoot, he can shoot off the dribble. He's a good FT shooter. While not the athlete Ginobili is, Anderson has the potential to be a similar player (which is probably why the Spurs drafted him, and if the Spurs draft a guy, he usually projects to be a successful NBA player).

    Anderson has two knocks, he's not an elite athlete (neither is Henry) and he stayed in school for all four years. I wish we'd have kept our pick and drafter Anderson. He would've been an excellent fit next to Rose.

    The question is: would you rather have Brewer & Korver, or Hinrich & Anderson. I'm torn on that question. Neither Hinrich or Anderson are the shooter that Korver is, nor the defender that Brewer is. BUT, they both are adequate-to-good outside shooters and adequate-to-good defenders. As Doug mentioned weeks ago, specialists in the NBA are not nearly as valuable (advanced statistics-wise at least) as players that can provide a team with multiple skill sets. In that case, Hinrich & Anderson > Korver & Brewer. We'll never know.

    I'm just not sold on one-trick-Korver. Slow white guys on the perimeter are a recipe for disaster. And at $5 million a year, I'm assuming he's playing at least 25 minutes a game.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Definitely Henry has more potential or upside. That's why he went a little higher than Anderson. After the top 3(even that is not true most of the time), the draft is a crap-shoot anyhow.
    I agree that I am concerned about how 3/4 players fill the role of 1 player. It is not going to be easy for the coaches or the players to get a rhythm. Brewer would be a good defensive 6th, 7th man on the team. Hopefully, he proves us wrong and Deng,Rose can shoot some 3 pointers when Brewer is on the floor.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Yes, there's a reason why Korver is not an NBA starter. Even undrafted rookie Wesley Matthews started ahead of Korver at SG for Utah.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Interesting post. As always I respect everyone's(regular posters) opinion. As for James Anderson I agree he could be a very good NBA player. Seven FTA's(free throw attempts) per game is excellent. He's got the NBA body which is always important. He's no doubt a prolific 3-pt bomber at six and seven a game with 38 and 40% in two seasons. Though he certainly tailed off a bit this year at 34%.

    Anderson was on my "watch list," and I must have seen him in at least five or six games. The thing is he's incredibly left hand dominant when driving. His right hand almost might not as well exist. One thing that's deceiving in college is that with so few good/NBA caliber players on the floor stars like Anderson(especially when they are unbalanced ballhandlers think Elliot Williams) tend to get a lot of attention. In one on one space sometimes an off hand weakness is not as bad as perceived, and can improve over time with freedon to explore unfettered/constantly smothered and doubled.

    Other then James weak hand issues I also see his personality/presence as a real question mark. Verbally he's very subdued, and his rapport with teammates appears stifled. Further in interviews such as the one on after his "tryout" he just looks down at the floor a lot, and does not display alpha body language at all.

    Also with his decent athleticism(3.19 sprint, 35" max vert for a guy 6'4.75 w/out shoes) he does not exhibit much in steals or assists(awareness).

    His upside is his ability to create shots in the mid lane and low post including pulling up off the dribble for little lefty floaters with which he's effective.

    Overall I'd say James is the classic boom or bust player. Not a great defender, not much presence, limited offensively in the half court due to left hand over reliance. Yet due to his very adept lane/post offense, prolific scoring w/ high field goal percentage, and prolific three point production with solid FG% on those as well he could have some potent offensive years in the NBA. Some, like, compare him to Nick Anderson(hopefully minus the playoff and Finals free throw gag reflex).

    Of the two, I'd probably go with Henry over James simply because I'm a big believer in presence, and I just don't see it in James. But if we had drafted him I would be excited for all he does bring to the table offensively nonetheless. And I don't mean to overly knock him with his presence/personality I think he might have some speech issues, and he does appear to be a hard worker and a solid young man. He could make me eat my words. His mid and low post agility/scoring knack is intriguing.

  • Just in case, Memphis wants to save money for whatever reason. A late pick will cost less and hope JJ clicks with a change of scenery or get rid of him and save the money. I am not saying it is a great deal for Memphis but they are fighting for a few thousand dollars and might go for this if things don't improve.

  • Mitch you obviously have watched James play. Nice analysis. I do think it's possible with Anderon's body he could get the seperation to wriggle around the basket and score/make some of his living there. I know his right hand appears weak, but at times his ability to float and bang around the basket with a high rate of socring sucesss to me is intriguing. It's hard to dismiss 22ppg on 45.7% and 18 ppg on 48%. But I admit I passed on him too for some of the resons you stated, and in my synopsis below. Good kid though.

  • I just wonder about Korver. When I first heard about the signing I didn't like it partly because I was hoping for Mike Miller.

    Also, Kyle's decline is somewhat troubling: 04/05 558 3ptA's on 40%, 05/06 438 3 A's on 42%, then 307, 296, 267, 110 with two of those years at 37 and 38%.

    I wish I knew more about his injury/wrist issues. Why so few attempts last year/a little over two a game? If he's completely healed(wrist), and his mobility to get open for threes hasn't been hampered by some other knee/injury issues then he could be a great assett.

    I'd love to get the lowdown on his wrist injury(length of/extent/description etc), and any other injuries. Looks like he's played just about the whole season every year other then last year/after the surgery.

    If nobody has the lowdown maybe I'll google him, and see what I can find.

    One nice stat/final note: the last two post seasons he's had 10 and 8 ppg on 46 and 48% from three which is sweet. And he certainly seems like a good guy. Plus Thib's D is just the type of system to read opponent's attempted exploitaions of him, and use Noah/Taj etc. as the front line to stop penetration/thwart his supposed weakness.

  • Again, if it wasn't for this whole spineless, Wade's bitch/puppet thing, Bosh would be an all round great guy. I say Taj and Booz(along with Joakim) take him out(not literally) in the playoffs.

  • henry could be a good adition if they don't want him we need a shooter and he can shoot. i don't expect mephis to sign him they already have 3 good shooting guards so he will be avaible soon.

  • I want to say he is feeling kind of guilty and trying to be defensive. Toronto in all their stupidity tried to please this guy too much and put him on a pedestal and that went into his head. Plus all the wooing by teams made these guys feel like princesses. Even then, I would say both Bosh and LBJ have some feelings unlike Wade. Wade is not only a creep but almost cheats by defaming competition.

  • Off topic, but here's a neat article on Joakim Noah if you are a fan. It's a little sentimental(and long), but it's still kind of cool. Also the photo of him at the Boys/Girls Club again shows a beast emerging from this summer's work in the gym.

  • I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this Doug. Unless you don't agree to do that, in which case I will no longer agree to that as well.

    I see Xavier as a quality prospect all around, and I like his ceiling. He's got a great work ethic from what I've read from the Kansas coaches and Bill Self. This is a young kid who acts very, very mature, and the excitement he has for the game of basketball is just oozing out of every pore of his body, you can see it in every interview he does. He seems to me like a guy that would be willing to spend much of his first season on the bench, and busting his tail in practice. I think he could earn 10-15 minutes with this Bulls roster as a space the floor shooter, and I think he can develope more. 2 #1's seems right, and he will develope before we could even get the Charlotte pick as its protected as late as 2015.

    Keep in mind he was one the the most heavily recruited high schoolers, and preformed very well at Kansas while not being asked to do very much as they had a very deep and talented team led by the more seasoned Aldrich & Collins.

  • Brewer and Korver together are going to get around 60 minutes, there is room to spare there, and that is in the short term. Long term, these comlimentary players we signed come off the books in 1-3 years, we can make room.

  • That's what the D-League is for. Even if we keep him, with the depth we have, there are going to be some very competitive paractices, esp with Tibs running it. This guy could develope in practice.

  • You just argued against your point. Henry has good value, keep him, develope him, and if you need to you can trade him.

    He's not going to lose value the way JJ has because JJ plays lost. Henry doesn't, at least in college. He was a top level HS recruit who should not depreciate in value any time soon.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I agree with you though, it comes down to how much you like this kid. I do, you don't. So, we'll see. I don't see him like Rush at all however.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    From my perspective, you pick up Henry for only a couple of reasons.
    1. If he is going to come very cheap like in exchange for a 1st round pick or for JJ. This is just because Memphis is having a hard time coming to terms and want to get something rather than lose him or get bad pub..
    2. Get him to use as a trading chip for a future trade if he is sitting at the end of the bench or worst case he can play if some injuries happen or Brewer is bad. JJ's value might improve based on future play but I would say both JJ and Henry are the same in terms of potential or trade value. Both are young and haven't done anything in the NBA. At the least, JJ has some experience(shown he's bad but I am sure there are people in the NBA he can be resurrected if he is in the proper system)and potential.

    This all happens if the Bulls are lucky and Memphis wants to dump Henry..

  • I still am having a hard time understanding whats unusual here then?

  • Great post. I agree. It will be fun watching those Mad Ass-Hatters lose whenever they do, especially when they will start lashing out on the media, which you know will happen at least once from each of the 3. I've never felt so good inside to hate a team!

  • I don't think the D League has been around that long while functioning as a minor league, so I don't think you can look at that, plus you don't see highly talented players sent there. You see them sometimes on the end of benches developing in practices and during the summer. You can name tons & tons of guys who didn't play significant minutes thier first couple of seasons then went on to blossom.
    That is what I am saying about Henry

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    You have a point about the D league, it is not really working that well. I don't think it would hurt keeping him as your 13th man though

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    two deals im only in are

    our first and cap space for perkins or throw in asik

    james johnson and a future first for brandon rush... rush & perkins.. perkins is available for a draft pick.. he brings experience,system,size and was the second best post defender last year.. him and taj? what a front court
    and if brandon rush who doesnt play bad defense actually pretty good played under thibs.. him and korver and that second unit can be one of the best.. indy is jammed at the wing maybe we switch and send jj and 1st for perkin and omer,cash and a future first for rush..

  • Every single player in the NBA has flaws. The player the Bulls could get next year with their own #1 will have even more. So whats wrong with trading it? I like the Charlotte pick & think it will be a good one, even if the Bulls have to wait 2-5 years for it.

    I disagree that he is not that athletic. He has plus speed & acceleration with plus jumping as well, his lateral quickness is average I agree.
    He has great size for a 2
    Ballhandling, release, shot off dribble...Those are all skills that can be honed with hard work, which he appears to be willing to do. Just ask JJ Redick. Sounds like a similar profile you gave. This guy is bigger and more athletic than JJ.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Plus, his shooting makes him a contributor right now. Kansas needed a shooter too, and thats what he gave them as a freshman. Given more time, I think he would have been given a larger role, that would showcase his skills better.

  • I was just using the 13th man as a worst case scenario for the immediate future, but I do think he would get minutes over Bogans. If we need a defender, we would go Brewer. If we needed a 2nd shooter to go with Korver, then Henry would be on the court. I think Bogans would only get minutes under this scenario if someone got hurt.

  • I just think the best way to get on the court, especially for a young player on a good team, is to be able to provide one thing you do really well so long as you are not killing your team in any other area. This is where James Johnson struggles, he has the ability to do a lot of things, but doesn't do 1 thing exceptionally well.
    I think Henry could get small minutes immediately and could grow from there.

    Again though, you are right, it comes down to how much you like Xavier.

  • Your killing me with Kansas hate Doug and Brandon Rush to me still has 15 ppg potential, The difference between Rush and Henry is Rush came out of College at 23 years old and Henry is 18. I just view Henry has a lot more potential then your giving him credit for he has a lot more room to develop then B Rush did. Hes a great finisher at the rim with his great upper body strength, gets to the line often, and i dont know why your saying his release is slow scouts say he has a quick fluid release

  • Well, if all he is going to be is a Rush brother, then I definately don't want to give up the Charlotte pick, which I am not inclined to do anyway.

    I think he is better than that, but the real question is; is he better than Korver by year 3. Given that Korver is about as one trick pony as you can get, Henry would have to be a bust as a 3 point shooter to be worse than Korver in 3 years.

  • Dominique Jones(who might have been the perfect compliment to Brewer) would have helped us this year at 2 guard, and we could have had him for nothing more than cash, which is how Dallas ended up with him.

    I still say we can get Henry by offering Memphis a #1 or JJ and cash, say $1.7 million(JJ salary). Henry has to be worth that gamble.

  • You don't think that Memphis would go for that, or you don't think that the Bulls would offer up the money?

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