The Bulls all-in win a championship plan

The Bulls were just shy of winning their seventh title last year, falling to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Jerry Reinsdorf has claimed to be willing to pay the luxury tax in order to win a championship. If that's true, here's just how he should do it.

[note, I started with one concrete plan and have altered this to show back moves, to be a full diagram in case any one move falls through as such it's a bit more fluid]

Move #1: Trade Ronnie Brewer + C.J. Watson + throw ins for Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala gives you everything Ronnie Brewer gave you on defense, but he does so while also creating his own shot, creating shots for others, and adding somewhat competent three point shooting to the mix [basically a 33% shooter on 3 shots a game]. The Bulls become far more dangerous to defend with a second shot creator on the floor, and they now have a second elite perimeter defender on the floor for 35 minutes a game instead of around 20 minutes a game.

The Bulls perimeter defense with Rose, Iguodala, and Deng would rival Miami as the most fearsome in the league. LeBron/Wade probably have a bit more defensive upside, but the Bulls would have strong defense coming from all three perimeter spots instead of just two.

Philadelphia makes this trade because Andre Iguodala makes a crap ton of money, and they're looking to develop Evan Turner at the same position. They also have Thaddeus Young whom they can keep for less, and Iguodala's role isn't so large to be worth the salary he'll make over the next three seasons which ends at a whopping 15 million. They get some minor assets in the picks and save around 30 million dollars.

[Bulls can throw in whatever the minimum combination of their picks, Charlotte pick or Mirotic is needed to get Philly to bite]

Alternate move #1: Swap C.J. Watson + Kyle Korver for Ben Gordon

You know this move is on the table if we want it. Detroit would be begging to do this move and get out of Ben Gordon's contract, and the amnesty clause doesn't change that because you still have to pay amnesty players where this saves them the cash.

However, from the Bulls perspective, if we aren't going cheap, this move is a no brainer. I know there is a legion of Gordon haters out there, so let me attempt to persuade you. Gordon could play all the minutes Watson and Korver play now and give the team a tremendous boost on offense without losing anything on defense.

Imagine Ben Gordon leading the second unit as an offensive player rather than C.J. Watson standing at the top of the key waiting for Korver to come off a double screen. The end game offense for the Bulls would also be considerably more fearsome with an additional shot creator on the floor as Gordon would eat up any defense that sent its two best defenders at Rose and left the third best perimeter defender on him.

For those doubting Gordon would help the offense, the Bulls offensive rating in 08/09 was actually higher than last season despite Rose playing no where near an MVP level that season. If you accept the fact that using Ben Gordon doesn't hurt your defense because he replaces 33 minutes of Korver/Watson then you know it's easy to follow what a huge upgrade this is.

Move #2: Sign the best SG you can to the MLE

Unrestricted targets:
Jason Richardson - Well rounded guy, might get more elsewhere but career earnings mean he might take pay cut to play for a championship. Of course, he could stay in Orlando and attempt to do that while making more.

JR Smith - Kind of a head case, but tremendous upside. He recently had to beg his Chinese team not to cut him, so he'll get out of that deal easily.

Jamal Crawford - Makes the most sense if we get Iguodala and not Gordon because he can back up the one and play the two and adds more shooting. He also might find greener pastures in terms of money elsewhere. Given how rarely he's been to the playoffs, look for him to also sign with a team that doesn't suck and give up some money to do so.

Vince Carter - He's one of the players I've loathed the most. I also generally think pattern of "well [insert aged superstar] will play great here because he won't have to do as much!" is overrated. Still, the three guys above might be unavailable for various reasons, and Carter can still provide plenty of offense and create his own shot and shoot threes.

Restricted free agent targets:
Nick Young - Would the Wizards match a full MLE offer on Nick Young? I would if I were them. However, it's not a slam dunk. Young strikes me as a somewhat selfish chucker, but he can score efficiently and was on teams so bad that it's hard to judge how he'd fit into a better team. It's a risk, but one that could pay off big time.

Marcus Thornton - Everything I said about Nick Young fits Thornton except he's also undersized.

Aaron Afflalo - Would be matched, and I only write his name so you know I didn't forget about him.

Move #3: Bulls sign T.J. Ford or pick up the option on Keith Bogans

Depending on the above moves, the Bulls will either be looking for a back up SG or a backup PG. If it's a backup PG you chase TJ Ford, and if it's a back up SG you hang on to Keith Bogans.

Move #4: Bulls sign Kurt Thomas with the LLE

Kurt Thomas isn't spectacular, but for two million you get a good locker room presence, a guy who can sit for two months then perform, and a guy who won't grouse about his role. Those aren't necessarily easy things to find.

Bulls perimeter rotation with Iguodala
PG: Derrick Rose [36], Backup PG [12]
SG: Andre Iguodala [24], Backup SG [24]
SF: Deng [36], Andre Iguodala [12]

Bulls perimeter roster with Gordon
PG: Derrick Rose [36], Ben Gordon [12]
SG: Gordon [24], Brewer [24]
SF: Deng [36], Backup SF [12]

Bulls front court rotation either way
PF: Boozer [30], Taj [18]
C: Noah [32], Omer [16]

Butler, Thomas in the deep rotation to pick up the slack if there are injuries.

Who fills in the backup rolls changes considerably based on which choices become available to you. With Iguodala on board you are either looking for a player who can play both the 1 and the 2 or looking for a vet min PG and the best SG available.

With Ben Gordon the Bulls could opt to use him as the primary backup PG and with Ronnie Brewer capable of backing up SF and PG, they could go with a four man perimeter rotation in the playoffs, or they could use virtually any perimeter position player to fill in extra minutes depending how they move players around. If the Bulls felt comfortable enough with Gordon playing a backup PG role, they could opt not to use the MLE and instead attempt to just fill in the final roster spots with vet min players which might lower the tax hit [wait I just said this is the all in plan, get the best player possible damnit!].

Either lineup gives the Bulls a tremendous improvement to their offensive punch and makes them dramatically more difficult to defend while still giving them enough

Salary wise neither solution is necessarily that bad until year three. The Bulls would be a shade into the luxury tax year one. They'd be deep into the luxury tax in year two, but the tax isn't punitive yet and it isn't deeper than the big spending teams typically go. In year three, the Bulls will be sporting massive payrolls and face a punitive tax, but they can amnesty Carlos Boozer or Luol Deng if they don't feel the team is championship worthy and need to get down to a reasonable payroll.

Salaries with Iguodala

Player 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
Rose $6,993,708 $17,400,000 $18,705,000 $20,107,875 $21,615,966
Boozer $13,500,000 $15,000,000 $15,300,000 $16,800,000,0
Iguodala $13,531,750 $14,718,250 $15,904,750
Deng $12,325,000 $13,365,000 $14,275,000
Noah $12,000,000 $11,300,000 $11,100,000 $12,200,000 $13,400,000
MLE $5,000,000 $5,200,000 $5,408,000 $5,624,320,
Asik $1,857,500 $5,000,000 $5,200,000 $5,408,000 $5,624,320
Gibson $1,195,680 $2,155,811 $5,000,000 $5,200,000 $5,408,000
Watson $3,400,000
Butler $1,063,500 $1,143,250 $1,223,000
Vet $854,000
Vet $854,000
$72,575,138 $85,282,311 $92,115,750 $65,340,195 $46,048,286

Salaries with Gordon

Player 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
Rose $6,993,708 $17,400,000 $18,705,000 $20,107,875 $21,615,966
Booze $13,500,000 $15,000,000 $15,300,000 $16,800,000,0
Gordon $11,600,000 $12,400,000 $13,200,000
Deng $12,325,000 $13,365,000 $14,275,000
Noah $12,000,000 $11,300,000 $11,100,000 $12,200,000 $13,400,000
MLE $5,000,000 $5,200,000 $5,408,000 $5,624,320,
Asik $1,857,500 $5,000,000 $5,200,000 $5,408,000 $5,624,320
Gibson $1,195,680 $2,155,811 $5,000,000 $5,200,000 $5,408,000
Brewer $4,710,000
Butler $1,063,500 $1,143,250 $1,223,000
Vet $854,000
Vet $854,000
$71,953,388 $82,964,061 $89,411,000 $65,340,195 $46,048,286

Comments

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  • Wow I really don't think adding Ben Gordon to this team makes the Bulls even close to odds on favorites to win the championship. He's a nice player, but in my mind only a slight upgrade over Watson when you consider how bad Ben gets abused on the defensive end. Plus, Korver has some value off the bench, which would help a lot in the regular season.

    Regarding the Iggy scenario, this is definitely much closer but I'd be a little hesitant to throw in too many assets with his contract being so large. The payroll could be really ugly in a couple years if Boozer and Iggy fall off.

    Its really to bad Afflalo is restricted-but it does give hope that the bulls could ultimately solve the 2-guard issue with a relative unknown in the same way Afflalo came out of nowhere. I just hope they don't pick up bogans option as that's the least attractive way to go.

  • In reply to MNBullsFan:

    The payroll getting ugly in a few years is true, but if you are going "all in" you aren't worried about payroll in a few years.

    Plus, you can simply amnesty Boozer and get yourself out of the dangerous tax area almost immediately.

    I don't think Afflalo is good enough to put the Bulls over the top, but I do think he'd be an excellent incremental piece.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    With Mirotic coming at the same time, it could work out perfectly. Amnesty Booz, slide Gibson into the starting lineup, & give Mirotic 20-30 coming off the bench in his first year. By the way, can't wait to see what Taj did with his 213 days off this summer. Keep in mind, he didn't have much time to work on his game last summer with all that was going on physically & emotionally, and he still improved. This year is his 3rd year leap too.

  • The long awaited plan!

    I like the Iggy move much better than BG. I loved Ben when he was here, but I just don't know what he has left. Plus, he's undersized and plays no D.

    Iggy's O isn't scary enough to stop teams from doubling DRose, but he is a competent 2nd facilitator. He'd find Korver for the 3 or Lu cutting to the rim. Although his 3pt shooting isn't great, he's the closest thing to a complete 2-way player available and he makes the Bulls second-greatest strength (defense) even better.

    For backup PG, how about Delonte West? He can handle, plays good D, can shoot the 3. I know he's a bit of a headcase, but I don't think he'd be a cancer.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    West at his peak would be great, but he's not played well recently. He's also bi-polar, and that brings a certain level of locker room disruption that is beyond his control and just comes with the disease.

  • You lost me at Ben Gordon. He's still not as good a 3pt shooter as Korver, nor anywhere near the ball handler Watson is. And he's at least a bad a defender as Korver. Not to mention the fact that he is owed a ridiculous amount of money over the next 3 years. If you are really dead set on getting BG, why not just wait until he is let go via amnesty and pay him $3-4 mil that it will take to claim him? Or better yet, clear a little bit more salary and get Brandon Roy, who is still better on one knee than BG is.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Gordon's a better three point shooter than Korver. His percentages are less than 1% lower than Korver, but the difficult and volume of threes he takes are considerably higher.

    He also is a tremendously better off the dribble player and shot creator.

    He won't get amnestied, so that's irrelevant. If he was we wouldn't be able to claim him because we aren't under the tax making that though doubly irrelevant.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    sorry should say "under the cap" not tax.

  • This is a fantastic plan, Doug. I think the Iggy deal is definitely the one to make, but I wonder if Philly would bite on a trade that doesn't involve Taj, Asik, or (at worst) Deng. The deal you proposed is a no brainer for Chicago, but I suspect Philly would feel differently.

  • In reply to bryield:

    Doubt Philly wants Deng, they aren't in a position that it makes sense to get add his salary.

    I'd be willing to throw in Asik or Taj to get a deal done if that's what it took.

  • I like Iggy. I would be happy if we got Iggy. But I am tempted to think that other teams would be able to outbid the Bulls for him. Its not just a question of "would Philly take Chicago's offer" but also whether the Bulls offer would be the best.

    Ben Gordon would not be an acceptable solution in my mind. The Bulls need someone to handle the ball for Rose and Gordon can not play that role. I like him as a the 6th man fireplug guy, but doesn't address the most pressing concern.

  • I would love both teams.

    For year 3 the tax for the Iggy team would come out to 141 million

    For year 3 the tax for the Gordon team would come out to 131 million

    If the Bulls could just lower those numbers to 85 million it would only cost 107 million. That would basically be Asik and the MLE.

    the lakers paid 110 million for their squad last season but i have a feeling they would have paid more and so should Chicago in 2 years.

    If we start the season with either of those 2 teams i will be so pumped and ready for the heat.

  • Doug, this is really creative.

    Now, I admit this is unlikely to happen ... but - IF you are in "all-in to win" then, to me, you use your amnesty now on Boozer.

    Boozer is exactly the type of player Epstein & Hoyer talk about ... on the downside, getting big money, useless by the end of the contract. For his career he's played in 77% of the games ... 4 years below 60 games including 2 below 40. We saw (when he played) that he is worthless against taller 4s. He absolutely refuses to make even a cursory effort on defense. For all the talk about "20/10" ... check out Basketball Reference - http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/boozeca01.html - 3 times in 9 years!!! And I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt - as 09-10 yr was 19.5. 30 y/o and $61mm yet to be paid ... UGH.

    Not a BG fan. Gotta tell ya ... I don't want to lose Mirotic ... what I saw this summer was a "WOW" moment. Big man with more polished offensive moves than Noah. I believe Gar made the steal of the draft to get the rights to the kid.

    I wouldn't mind Iggy ... Brewer, Korver and Watson's contracts are not guaranteed if waived in 12-13 so nothing lost by trading any of them. The Charlotte pick figures to be lottery so that would be a good chip.

    Very, very nicely done !!! Kudos.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    Don't think using your amnesty on Boozer helps any. You still have no cap space to use if you amnesty him, and I don't think Boozer is a net negative on the court where the team is worse with him.

  • I think Doug you are thinking too much in the Eastern conference in terms of trades for SG. I don't have the list but there are players who can be available for a trade from the Western Conference such as Courtney Lee, OJ Mayo, Reggie Williams etc..

    I hope they can get Nick Young and keep Ronnie Brewer. That would be a good group for the future in terms of skillset. Ronnie Brewer was pretty good against Wade/LeBron and the point is as you have said correctly, it is how we match-up against Miami, NY, Boston, OKC, Dallas which matters. We can beat the other teams in the playoffs but these teams can give the Bulls trouble and the Bulls have to be double-prepared againt their strengths(e.g. is having Asik/Noah in the front-line rather than just Noah or just Asik)

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Those guys aren't as good as the guys I named, and I'd view them as back up plans. Though I like all three.

  • Chris Broussard says on Twitter that the Bulls want Roy but know he won't fall to them, and that they are interested in Josh Howard. What possible purpose does he serve?

  • If you really want to get creative, you trade Boozer for somebody else's amnesty on they condition that the other team cuts him. Then you cut the player for whom Boozer was traded and put a claim in on Boozer at $8-10 mil which should be enough to get him back. Boozer, Brewer (although I'd rather keep him) or Watson, and Bogans (instant cap relief) for Arenas. Then cut Arenas immediately and resign Boozer and that's ~$10 million of cap space right there and puts the bulls under the cap. Then sign Brandon Roy for $6-8 mil. The backup wings are Korver and a Butler for a guy who is definitely going to miss games in Roy, which is pretty thin, but the starting five is definitely improved. Maybe resign Bogans as added insurance.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Don't think amnesty rules allow you to amnesty a player acquired in a trade.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    New rules say you can't resign a player that was traded away until the end of the year to stop teams from resigning players they threw into a trade to make the salaries match with a handshake deal they'll be released.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    If Boozer is traded to another team first and then amnesty'd, that would be the team he couldn't resign with, not the bulls. Otherwise, that would be two teams he couldn't sign with. The trick is that the bulls have to outbid all the other teams, and I think it is a blind auction. I haven't seen anything that says that traded players can't be bid on by their original teams.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Another team can't amnesty him. You can only use the clause on players on your roster today. If you trade them the other team can't be amnestied.

    Also, why would the other team do that and spend 60 million on Boozer? You'd have to take back 60 million in cash to make them break even.

  • I read you every day, Doug, and I think you're one of the smartest amateur commentators around, but I've got to say... everyone in the comments section loves the Iggy idea because it's impossible. Us Bulls fans would LOVE to trade away CJ and Ronnie for Iguodala. It's a completely lop-sided trade and one that the 76ers would never take. They're looking at possibly getting Monta Ellis for Iggy, a 25 PPG scorer! We couldn't even trade CJ and Ronnie for OJ Mayo, not even for Courtney Lee when we tried! Bulls fans don't even want to try to trade Asik or Gibson for OJ Mayo which I think is crazy.

    I think as a plan B the Bulls could try to get Ben Gordon back and bring back Captain Kirk too in my opinion.

    I wish the Bulls would concentrate like a laser on getting either Afflalo or Mayo. That's what gets the Bulls past the Heat. Not Jason Richardson or Vince Carter or Rip either. Definitely not CJ Watson and we agree on that.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    76ers have expressed interest in moving Iguodala several times, and he's a bad contract for most teams. He's simply not worth 3/40 to most teams.

    If they get expirings and picks, I think that's a good deal for them, obviously if they can find a better one they'd take it.

  • I think you are under rating CJ...He really ran the second unit nicely when DRose was resting..that should not be over looked....and Ben's ball handling his gotten even worse it seems so I hate that idea. They really NEED Kurt Thomas as the other bigs are injury prone....the only guy signed that I would readily give up is Korver who made so many mental mistakes last season it was sickening.

  • In reply to drob:

    Thank you.

    I think CJ has been consistently underrated in all of the trade discussions on the web. While his numbers aren't great (13.6 PER last season), he gives Rose much needed rest; he can create his own shot; and, most importantly, he plays exactly the same game as Rose (though at a much lower level, obviously), which means the other Bulls players don't have to adjust much when CJ subs in.

    That said, if the Bulls really want to revamp their offense, they might consider picking up a pass-first/pass-only PG. When Rose is sitting, we'd have very different offensive sets and the opposing defense would have to adjust a ton. Still, right now, I prefer CJ to almost any available backup PG.

    Unrelated: could we pursue Evan Turner rather than Iggy? Would Philly give him up for, say, Asik?

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    CJ Watson shot awfully last year and that really hurt his overall impact, I'd say he was the worst rotation player on the Bulls. I'd be fine giving him another year, he did show solid defense and passing (for a backup PG) though, so if he can recover his shooting to Warriors levels then he'll be a keeper. If he repeats last year's performance then the Bulls need to look elsewhere.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Totally disagree (obviously). drob and Wojo7 are on point in noting that CJ's contributions were bigger than they appear on paper. He ran a clean second unit, handled the ball well, and he can get to the rim. Obviously if a team sending us a player of Iggy's quality (or better) insists that CJ is apart of a trade then we send him packing. Otherwise the PG position is the least of our concerns.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    +1

    totally agree & you're not going to do all that much better for a backup PG that's going to get 12 minutes of action, less in the playoffs

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    Can get to the rim? He shot 46.7% from at the rim and 27.6% from 3-9 feet. Those are absolutely terrible numbers, so he might be able to get there but he sure as hell can't do anything once he arrives.

    On anything other than three pointers Watson was awful last year. Love his defense and I thought the flack he took as not being able to run the point was unjustified, but he either needs to start hitting shots or stop taking as many.

    Like I said, I'm happy to keep him for another year because we have more pressing concerns, he does have positives and he has shown himself to be more capable at scoring in the past. But once his contract runs out then we probably should think about going in another direction if he repeats last year's form.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    It is interesting about how bad he shot near the basket. You'd hope that was a fluke.

  • How about JJ Barea as backup PG in the Iguodala situation? I also like Grant Hill for the MLE, but I know you I I differ on whether he can play the 2 some.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Doubt we can afford Barea, and I doubt the Mavs let him go. Not enough of a need for us to spend the money on him, he's too good to play 10 minutes a night as Rose's back up.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You may very well be right, but I think they could play them at the same time in an undersized lineup, with Rose off the ball & guarding the SG, & he can create his own shot too. I'd rather have him than Ford. Or what about trading for Roddy Beaubois? I know he could play with Rose, did it a lot with Kidd.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Barea's not going to be available for the vet min, so it's not really a comparison for Ford. I doubt we'd want to give up an asset to get Beaubois. Again, just doesn't fill enough of a need to give up an asset for him.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I would use the MLE for Barea under certain scenarios - ones in which we upgraded the 2 while keeping a backup. He was a big time spark plug for the champs.

    I was just kind of throwing Beaubois out there, might indeed be a bit of a pipe dream. I always liked him though, & maybe Dallas is ready to move on and get something for him after all his foot injuries. I would not give up Taj or Asik of course, but maybe those non guaranteeds & some picks? I think he fills the same role as Ben Gordon does, who you argue for, only he's better, longer, & younger. He would cost us an asset though, you are right. Ben wouldn't after matching salaries.

  • And if they went the Gordon route, I'd rather Brewer started, Gordon played 6 man, & was staggered as much as possible with Rose until the 4th.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Absolutely.

  • Alternatively let the Hawks sign Crawford, and go after Joe Johnson. Massively expensive, but that's why the Hawks might do it. Brewer + Korver + Pargo + Lucas + Asik works and gives the Hawks huge salary relief plus the center they want so they can move Horford to PF.

    Maybe the Hawks do it, maybe they don't. I think they should, but logic doesn't always enter into trade decisions and they might decide to hang onto Johnson even though his salary ensures they can't make any moves and are stuck as a goodish team going nowhere. But the Bulls should be on the phones pointing that out and seeing if they'll cave.

    The other out there suggestion I have is to amnesty Boozer and go after Roy in the amnesty auction with the new found cap space. Huge risk, but if we're planning to amnesty Boozer down the line anyway why not do it in the year before Rose's extension kicks in and we can potentially get something out of it?

  • http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/basketball/bulls/chi-luxury-tax-wouldnt-preclude-bulls-bid-for-key-addition-20111130,0,1108002.story

    Article about JR. Thought that Butler and Hill were interesting, they would both be solid additions for relatively cheap.

  • Doug,
    I like the creativity that you expressed here but first I have a few problems with Iggy as I don't think he is the answer for getting past Miami.
    You have talked about the Dallas model as a means to try to get past the Heat and I agree with that. With one superstar (DRose) and a solid supporting cast we can get past them. However, I think looking closer at Dallas we see what the Bulls need to do. Dallas' superior offensive squad put pressure on Miami to score, while the Bulls' defense oriented squad actually plays directly into Miami's hand.
    Heat Playoff averages ECF-->Finals
    PPG: 89.4-->92.4
    James: 25.8-->17.83
    Wade: 18.8-->26.5
    Bosh: 23.2-->18.5
    Big3: 67.8-->62.83
    High Scorer of Each Game: 31.2--> 23.57
    Comb Scoring Other 2: 36.6-->35.33

    I realize how crazy it sounds to try and make Miami score with the Bulls. But consider this, in either the ECF or the Finals the Heat never had more than 1 of the Big 3 go for more than 25.
    All 3 of them (Definitely Wade&James, Bosh to a lesser degree) are rhythm players and need the ball to be effective. They are all not going to get into rhythm each game. Dallas forced them to try and keep up scoring wise and they were unable to.

    Basically, I think that our offensive needs far outweigh those on defense and I would be willing to take on a bad defender for an offensive guy that can get his own shot and we so badly need. We can't count on Derrick to carry us past Miami, maybe every other team in the league, but not Miami.

    That being said, I don't think Iguodala is the answer offensively the Bulls are looking for. He is a nice player and good perimeter defender but he only averaged 14.1 points last season and 11.4 against Miami in the playoffs. He isn't going to be someone who can get his own shot and take pressure off of Derrick the way we need it.
    I am not exactly sure why the 76ers would do this deal anyways. Apparently Iguodala and Turner have a good relationship and Turner doesn't look anywhere close to being ready to start for them.
    Gordon on the other hand I think is a much more viable option however, I don't see any reason Detroit would just take Korver and C.J. for him. They already have Stuckey/Bynum why would they want another PG? I just don't see it.
    I am also hesitant to get rid of C.J. He does a good job running the second team and we need another ball handler in case teams try to trap Derrick.
    My plan would go as follows:
    1) Offer Korver/Gibson or Brewer/CHA1st round pick for Ben Gordon.
    I would be shocked if Villanueva returns and Taj can play with Monroe and would add front court depth for them. The 1st round pick helps their rebuilding process and now Stuckey is the clear Alpha Dog on that team without Gordon.
    Taj has maxed out his abilities and probably isn't going to get much better we might as well trade him while he has as much value as possible. DET's biggest problem (besides the mutiny) was rebounding and Taj can certainly help them improve in that capacity.
    (If DET took Brewer instead of Taj we look at picking up McGrady and keep Bogans. With Gordon/Bogans/McGrady the Bulls have some flexibility and would be pretty well set. I would then look at trying to add Battier off the bench for the MLE instead of Landry.)
    2) Sign Carl Landry to the MLE.
    Landry can play a lot of minutes so we don't have to worry about Boozer's fragility, and he can also score which helps the 2nd unit.
    He might be worth more than the MLE but I feel with opportunity to score and play a lot with Boozer's tendency to be hurt/on the bench it would be an opportunity to jump at.
    3) Resign Kurt Thomas, for the reasons you mentioned above.

    PG: Rose/Watson
    SG: Bogans/Gordon/McGrady
    SF: Deng/Battier/Butler
    PF: Boozer/Gibson
    C: Noah/Asik/Thomas

    OR

    PG: Rose/Watson
    SG: Bogans/Gordon/Brewer
    SF: Deng/Butler/Brewer
    PF: Boozer/Landry
    C: Noah/Asik/Thomas

    Thibs is credited as this great defensive mind, well if he really is then he can compensate for Gordon and other deficiencies.
    The game changer here is the Noah comes back with something to bring to the table on offense. He is by far our most overpaid player and we shouldn't forget he was sitting on the bench next to Boozer as Miami was taking us out in the playoffs last year. No question we need more offensive fire power and unless DRose takes another great leap we need to make moves or look to Noah.

  • In reply to Wojo7:

    Interesting thoughts. I just think you have to get the best player you can. I think Iggy is that player that improves both ends of the court for us.

    If we could get a great offensive player, I'd take it though.

  • They should go after OJ Mayo. IMHO

  • Ben Gordon, been there, hated that. Does anyone actually believe that Reinsdorf would pay that slug $11-12 million per.

    As for Iggy, I highly doubt that he can be had for squat as Doug suggests. In fact I would expect him to end up with one of the usual big spenders, LA, Dallas, Portland, even Miami before the Bulls get him, especially with the 2 year window on the luxury tax increases.

    However, If the Bulls could get Iggy for squat, I am all for it, by squat I mean no Asik, no Mirotic, no Charlotte pick and no Gibson, in that order.

    Since I firmly believe that Iggy is much more suited to small forward than he is to shooting guard, I would then trade Deng for Monta Ellis, or perhaps even better, Aaron Afflalo. I would much rather have Ellis at $11 million per than Gordon at any price.

    But, in order to be able to get either Ellis or Afflalo, we have to get Iggy so that we have Deng as a trade chip. So getting Iggy should be priority #1.

    Rose, Ellis or Afflalo, Iggy, Boozer/Gibson, Noah/Asik.

    Now that is a team that would give Miami a run for its money.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    How do you think Iggy ends up on Miami or LA but don't think he'll be traded by squat?

  • Does Reinsdorf really wants to spend or he is smart enough to be one step ahead of the media/fans. He is saying that he is ready to spend on luxury tax for the right kind of player. Who is the right kind of player(that is a very subjective question)? He has the escape route of saying there was no such player available for the Bulls to acquire.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    So you picked up on that too ehh? I was thinking the same thing. Not sure what Reinsdorf's words were exactly, but KC Johnson's were: "if he could acquire a player who gave the team a reasonable chance to win a championship".

    They already have a chance to win the championship! It is very subjective though as you mention, and just by the sound of it, it sounds like he only would for an elite player. You're right, great escape route for Jerry. Cheap bastard.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Well do you want to bring in the wrong kind of player? What people haven't mentioned about the new harsher luxury tax is it will make ALL teams less likely to spend. So if you spend up big on a player that's a dud then you'll have a hell of a time moving them because nobody is going to want to pay the new luxury tax. Compounding that is once you're in the luxury tax the trade rules and exceptions available to you are scaled back now.

    So if you make the wrong move that lands you in the luxury tax it's a very real possibility you can waste half a decade trying to undo the mess you create. If the Bulls are cautious in the moves they make, no matter what the motivation behind that caution, then that's a good thing from a basketball perspective. Derrick Rose only gets one prime, I for one don't want to see him waste it on a capped out team that can't make the final move they need.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Not all, most of them, but 2-3 will spend & be at an advantage

  • In reply to Shakes:

    The Bulls have the big advantage of using the amnesty clause on Boozer or Deng in the next 2 years. I doubt Boozer even if he does well this year will be able to maintain it in the 4th year of his contract. So, that off-sets the luxury tax issue for the new guy the Bulls bring in.

    It would be nice for Doug to come up or expand this list(or is Doug saying all these SGs in this article) of who is suitable for luxury tax in terms of basketball ability and help in improving the position.

    Reinsdorf as per Doug has made around 1 billion in profits approximately. If he spends about 30 mill extra from what he is doing now(that is salary+ luxury tax)/year for a couple of years only....it is 10% of his profits and that's not counting the extra money he might make if they win.

  • ....I just gotta say, like many before me, damn it feels good to have bball back :)

  • In reply to waitwhat:

    Amen brother! (^_-)d

  • I have a better plan lol....

    Trade Deng, pick for Iggy (3-team trade im sure Philly doesn't need Deng)
    Trade Taj, Korver, pick for Mayo.
    Sign Battier or Grant Hill

    Rose/Watson
    Mayo/Brewer
    Iggy/Battier or Hill/Jimmy
    Boozer/Kurt Thomas
    Noah/Asik <<<<<< That team can beat the Heat

  • I don’t see anything in this plan that greatly improves Bulls chances to win a ring. It seems to me as spending just for the sake of spending. And we all know Reinsdorf will not do that.

    Iggy simply does not put Bulls over the top and you want Bulls to throw-in Nikola Mirotic for Iggy? No possible way that is happening! Bulls view Nikola Mirotic as a major draft coup (lottery talent) who will be signed to an inexpensive rookie contract at no. 23. You want Bulls to give that up for Iggy’s bad contract? Bulls medium-term plan is to re-load with talent based on Nikola Mirotic and the Charlotte draft pick.

    Ben Gordon (another atrocious contract) will not change Bulls fortunes either. Bulls do not need anymore one-way players. Plus he already burned his bridges with Bulls.

    I do however agree with resigning Kurt Thomas. And while I generally agree with using the MLE there is not clear-cut target at that salary who would put Bulls over the top. But I’m confidant Bulls will explore all options.

    Here’s my plan:
    Jerry Reinsdorf, Irwin Mandel (Bulls VP of Finance and salary cap guru) and Sam Goldfeder (Afflalo’s agent) have lunch at Manny’s Deli near the United Center and figure a way to get Arron Afflalo to Bulls. If Nene does not return to Denver, and JR Smith and Wilson Chandler are stuck in China, why would Afflalo or his agent want to resign with Denver?

  • In reply to Edward:

    How do you figure that Aaron Afflalo puts the Bulls over the top but Andre Iguodala who is vastly superior on both ends of the court does not?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Agreed, Afflalo is a great value player who has improved steadily over his career, does a lot of things well, but I don't think he is any longer underrated, and he is nowhere near Iguodala.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I disagree with your unsubstantiated argument that Iggy is some sort of savior-like major talent. He is a good player, but not a game changer. Also, we know who owns the Bulls, and to hope he is going to take on the atrocious contracts of Iggy or Gordon is pure folly. I cannot imagine anyone actually believing for one minute either will happen.

    Afflalo provides efficiency, shooting range and floor spacing on offense that Iggy cannot. He is a solid defender and two-way player. He is young, athletic, properly sized for position, and a natural SG (not SF) with legitimate, evidenced potential for further improvement. But, yes, other than that there is not much to like about Afflalo. He would fit the Bulls very well.

    There was a similar offensively talented, well rounded, two-way playing, restricted free agent SG available last year when Bulls had gobs of cap space, but Bulls miss-fired and signed 3 of his teammates instead - all of whom now have zero trade value. Sadly, that cap space is all gone, so who knows what will happen in the next 3 weeks. Any significant acquisition will likely require some major dealing and a healthy dose of good fortune.

    But one thing all Bulls fans should know is this: Reinsdorf will not acquire anymore grossly overpaid non-all-stars under this new CBA.

  • Would you rather have Gordon at $11-12 million, or Asik and Gibson at $10-11 million. Thats a no brainer.

    Also, don't we have to sign Asik and Gibson before we get into the tax if we are going to use our midlevel exceptions to keep them, or do we have Bird rights on both of them, thus being able to sign them regardless of the cap/tax situation. This is especially a question with Asik who was a second round pick.

    anybody know the facts on this situation.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I don't know about Asik. I thought he signed a 2 year deal last year before coming over & would need another year with the Bulls to get Bird Rights, and would be a restricted FA this summer? Taj would have Bird Rights.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I'm guessing with Asik that we'd only be able to bring him back using the MLE. But what if another team slightly outbids the MLE? Doesn't make complete sense, because why would the Bulls knowingly have signed him to only a 2 year deal? I asked Sam Smith about this last season I remember, and sidestepping it, even he didn't seem to know the answer.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    We can sign both regardless of the tax, but we'll have a huge tax bill if we keep them both and add anyone else to this team or even keep the players we have.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think it would be worth it, and my gut right now is telling me Jerry would foot the bill for them. Big men are hard to find (That's what she said).

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Sure, he'll keep them, but will he still upgrade the perimeter?

    Can you really afford to lock up 40 million to cover two positions, then pay Rose an average of 20 million, and then try to cover starting SG, starting SF, backup SG, backup SF, and backup PG for 15 million or so?

    That's not a very good allocation of funds which is why I think the Bulls ultimately let one of their big men go. They have Mirotic in the pipeline for that eventuality.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    A whale's vagina. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

    If I had to pick one, honestly I'd pick big men, especially ones with good work ethics that will likely hold some value. Championship teams almost always have multiple quality big men. I don't think you can say the same about SGs.

    Don't get me wrong, would love to upgrade SG to a near all star, and I hope Jerry OKs that. If they amnesty Boozer in two years & bring over Nikola, you're only paying extra Boozer's contract, maybe a little more. But you need a PF to challenge Boozer in the meantime (& even after then), and you need a C to backup the injury prone Noah.

    Without big men depth againt Miami last year, & an upgrade at the 2, I don't think it would have even been as close as it was.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    and to me, Mirotic is the replacement for Boozer, not Gibson or Asik. It works perfectly - releasing Boozer in 2 years, or when Mirotic is ready, would essentially make it more of a dollar for dollar tax, right around when the tax's are jumping up.

    Now if the right deal comes along, and you add value, then you do it. But I don't think you do it just for the sake of adding a SG upgrade. Big men win in the NBA.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I agree with you, ChiRy, especially the part about the whale’s vagina, er, I mean Mirotic/Boozer and the value of bigs in the NBA. I think we see those principals at work in Bulls reluctance to part with Asik and Gibson. Also, I believe Bulls view Mirotic and the Charlotte pick as an opportunity to reload with talent.

    The need for a talent reload comes from 2010 free agency being such a total bust for Bulls. They cleared out massive cap space, yet nobody they acquired has any trade value. Nobody. This severely limits Bulls trading options.

    I’m just hoping Bulls can somehow acquire/develop a legit two-way SG at reasonable cost/assets. Wesley Matthews was undrafted, Arron Afflalo No. 27 and later traded for a 2nd. And yet many teams would now love them as their starting SG.. I think we can see Bulls feel similarly by their reluctance to part with Asik, Gibson, Mirotic or the Charlotte pick. And I agree with Bulls on this.

  • In reply to Edward:

    We're on the same page Edward. I would love to see them develop that 2 guard also. You see it all over the NBA. Probably the easiest position to find, which is part of the reason I disagree in trading big men for one. I think they brought in Jimmy Butler to D up Wade & LeBron, and give Deng a little rest finally, but I know they love his versatility too. I hope he locked himself in the gym over these 6 months, shooting many many 3pointers.

    I think they have something else worked out too, just a feeling, maybe a MLE guy signing for less, or someone they are gonna get via trade from what is essentially expiring deals.

    I also am in the minority I'm sure when I agree with Derrick Rose & say they have enough to win without adding anything. They are a young team, and I have no doubt they all improved individually over the long layoff. They should still of course keep adding talent though, but I'm just tired of everyone already dismissing them. Just like last year, & look how they proved people wrong, all while being led by a 23 year old.

  • I feel the same way about Afflalo, but we are not getting him without giving up assets. Here's how I think we could get it done:

    http://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1131146&sid=a72036489c6f42e379512cab7fa8dcb7&start=570#p29238631

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