Dwight Howard questions bombarded me over the weekend as KC Johnson reported the Bulls would pursue Howard despite not appearing on his list of teams that he would sign an extension with.
First, I'll start with the general topic of whether or not the Bulls can present the best offer for Howard. I noted on twitter that if LA goes Gasol + Bynum, the Bulls are done. Many people disagreed, so I probably won't get all of them, but here are a few of the arguments.
@bryanmparsons I mostly agree with you, but can't the Bulls offer more young assets/picks for Howard than LA?
@hazemeyer Am I the only one who sees Bynum hurt every year? He's a liability not a strength. Lakers needed two other bigs to compensate
@hazemeyer Salary relief, top 10 center, deng, + 2 young bigs on rookie deals, + bobcats pick gotta be better than pau + Bynum
@DavisKennedy311 why do you value Bynum so much? He is always hurt and grossly over rated
@TUP_Ricky: Bulls *could* trump Lakers offer for Howard, but won't. Will likely do just enough to make it look like they tried.
@sexpot77 that's ridculous Pau is 32 Bynum has Oden-broken knees and is a shell of himself already SO OVERRATED Bulls deal WAY BETTER
Okay, you get the point.
Here's the thing, you can spin Pau into Scola and Kevin Martin and keep Bynum. Martin has a few years of prime left, Bynum hasn't really even entered his prime yet [unbelievable because he was the youngest player ever to enter the NBA if I'm not mistaken].
Those three players can all create their own shot and score in volume with efficiency in the NBA. Maybe I'm crazy, but I view that as one of the most desirable traits to look for in players.
I agree that Bynum's injury history is lousy, but look at what the Bulls are offering to send.
Luol Deng - Healthy last year, but poor injury history prior to that. He's a very good player, but a system player who can't create his own shot and can't have an offense built around him in any way.
Joakim Noah - Missed two more games than Bynum over the past two seasons, and while the thumb thing was probably a fluke, he also had lower body injuries the past two seasons. While Bynum's body might not be able to support his weight properly, Noah's body may not be tough enough to play center.
Noah is also a system player who doesn't create offense and is more of a peripheral player.
As a GM, I'd feel I could build a viable team around Martin, Scola, and Bynum. Three players who play different positions but can create efficient offense. It might not be a championship team, but I can't do that with Deng or Noah either. It would be a very good team, and if Bynum / Martin stayed healthy then it might still be the third best team in the East.
I don't know what I'd do with Deng and Noah, they're two players good enough to stop me from getting lotto picks, but not good enough to lead me anywhere. I still have no one left on my team to build the offense around or create a strong offensive system with. The other players on the Chicago side are just throw ins and only have role player value that doesn't come close to matching the players named.
If I'm going to go for a package built around youth, then I'm on the phone with the Clippers instead. Eric Gordon + Wolves pick + cap savings is going to crush what I'm getting from the Lakers or Bulls in terms of rebuilding assets.
At any rate, I can see why Bulls fans might value the Bulls package more, in the right circumstances it might be better, but if I were Orlando, I'd rather have the three guys that I can build an offense around.
In reference to several tweets about Joakim's BYC status:
I was told that Joakim is not BYC at media day. I reiterated that under the previous CBA that Joakim would have been BYC [to make sure this person understood the BYC rule] and was told that his understanding was the rule changed and Noah is not BYC.
I haven't had a chance to research this, but I don't recall this being mentioned in the CBA summaries I read, so I find it a bit difficult to believe, but I'd be very surprised if the source of this information was incorrect.
@Ant_Tha_Knee Did we actually sign Rip yet? Haven't seen anything on RealGM yet.
Hamilton has not been officially waived yet. After he is officially waived it will take 48 hours for him to clear waivers and at that point the Bulls will sign him. It is highly likely that the Bulls had permission to talk to Hamilton about a contract which influenced his buyout with the Pistons.
It's likely the Bulls contacted the Pistons and told them if they waive Hamilton instead of amnesty him that they'll offer him the 2 year MLE, and then offered it to Hamilton if he would give them a hefty buyout and that caused the whole thing.
In other words, it's a mortal lock that Rip Hamilton is coming to Chicago. Etch it in stone.
@argie2333 Hey Doug whats ur thoughts on the McRobers for OJ rumors. The Bullies should be getting involved.
@Illwood why aren't the Bulls after Mayo if the Pacers are only offering a deal centered around McRoberts?
@jstnw89 if we somehow traded for oj mayo would he be RFA or UFA I don't get how it works really,
@NBATradeIdeas Plz explain why IND is about to get Mayo 4 McRoberts, while CHI sit on their hands when they have better/cheaper PF in Taj?
I wish the Bulls would get involved, but they clearly don't value Mayo all that much. Part of it might be the player. He's had a number of character issues in the NBA [drugs, problems with management, etc..], or it could be a fear of his cost to extend in another season.
In my discussions with the team, they were pretty specific about targeting veteran players, and I think they believe in the adage that you win with men and that they have enough youth.
It could also simply be that the Bulls don't want to give up Omer or Taj for him and value their big man depth more than adding a perimeter player to the mix.
Also, the desire to add Mayo leads into the fan desire to have a huge set of guys who will be young and stick around forever, but this doesn't really fit with how teams really build. They commit to a few of their top end players and then cycle the role players around them.
The Bulls likely don't have a lot of room to try and get a young mainstay SG to stay with them the next five years and will instead look to cycle the position similar to what Miami will do with the PG/C positions on their team.
If we did trade for OJ Mayo, then he would be an RFA after this season. The old rule [and I believe it has not changed] is that a player with three years or less in the NBA or coming off a 1st round rookie scale contract is an RFA. Everyone else is a UFA. Mayo will be coming off his rookie contract.
In terms of Taj being better and cheaper, beauty might be in the eye of the beholder. Look at McRoberts per 36 stats last year, he's developed as a legit scorer and is the coveted stretch three. I can see why a team might take McRoberts over Taj even if we're more attached to Taj.
@lottomavado Can you be a doll Doug and please request GarPax to go ahead already & make any move what so ever in free agency? Just any move!
@ReyAlmighty looks like the Pacers made themselves better... Maybe not so easy to win the central after all...
Really? Let's not get emotional here. I know it's easy to get swept up in the idea that other teams are making moves, but a team making a move doesn't necessarily make them a whole ton better nor does it mean the Bulls should make one just to ease our addiction. The Bulls will have an extremely deep 11 man roster after signing Hamilton.
@1901Madison with Rip signed, do Bulls make any more moves?
@DanOClock Really see any chance of a big trade though?
@AntreasX hey doug,u got the feeling or info art berto that bulls have a move close to do?
The only potential move left is a consolidation trade where the Bulls package several pieces to get a better piece. It's hard to imagine what trade that might be though. They'll quietly make a bid on Dwight Howard, but as explained above, I doubt such a bid will be successful.
Kevin Martin could be a target, but we see with Houston they're trying to package him and Scola up to get an even better player, so they're unlikely to trade him for a package of lesser pieces as they have too many C type players already.
As such, I think it's most likely the Bulls will be done after adding Hamilton.
@regimeofterror doug, can you clarify something, are bulls not allowed to spend under current rules or could they and just pay tax?
The Bulls are allowed to use the MLE [which is up to 5 million per year and will be used on Rip Hamilton], the LLE [two years at around two million per year] and the veteran's exception [minimum contract] to add players. They can't do anything else financially.
Complaints about spending are focused more on the Bulls looking for short term contracts of players people feel are inferior in order to avoid the luxury tax in 2-3 seasons.
@pinkizdead Is giblert arenas for the vet min a bad idea? What salary will be counted against our cap? the new salary or 20mil ?
I can't see why Arenas would choose to come here or why the Bulls would want him if he did. First, he's been terrible for quite some time now. Second, the Bulls have absolutely no minutes to play him.
The Bulls will not add another player who expects playing time to this roster unless it involves a trade which sends other guys who need minutes out. Look at the roster crunch as is:
PG: Rose 36 / Watson 12
SG: Hamilton 24 / Brewer 24
SF: Deng 36 / Korver 12
PF: Boozer 30 / Gibson 18
C: Noah 30 / Omer 18
Butler on the bench with no minutes
You've already got Watson, Korver, and Gibson playing less than you'd like and Boozer, Noah, Deng, and Rose playing less than you might otherwise because of the compressed schedule. Butler's on the bench with no playing time at all. Where do you fit another player into this thing?
@jefflibman I'd still like Bulls to sign backup C (Pryz?) and a scoring pg off the bench.
They will definitely get a 5th big man as an emergency guy and possibly a 6th as well to fill out roster spots 12 and/or 13.
@regimeofterror so they cant just a tax snd go over that?
Correct. There are ways they can spend more by being willing to take on longer term deals or trade for players on big deals. Both of which I feel they are unlikely to do out of fear of the tax.
However, one of the ways they can't spend more is by bidding on free agents. Assuming Hamilton signs and uses the MLE, the most they can pay a free agent out right is the LLE (around 2 million per year with a max of 2 years).
@kentdward How bout Reggie Williams? He can be an instant offense for the 2nd unit.
That ship sailed when the Bulls decided to pursue Hamilton. There are enough perimeter players on the roster that no young perimeter player would want to sign here, nor would the Bulls likely pursue one due to lack of minutes.
@joshlos So are you then done whining about J-Rich?
While RIP wouldn't have been my choice, my primary complaint isn't that they added him vs someone else, it's that I believe they choose to take a player they felt was inferior because his contract was cheaper.
If they simply felt RIP was the best, then I'm good with trusting management.