Who will the Bulls sign? I eliminate the options survivor style

Who will the Bulls sign?   I eliminate the options survivor style

The Chicago Bulls have a huge list of FA targets. They've been linked to virtually every player between 6'3 and 6'8 whether they're restricted or unrestricted this off-season. Given the mammoth list of names going for them, what should we hope and expect to happen?

First, I refer you to the all-in plan. I'm almost certain no variant of this plan will happen soon.

When Jerry Reinsdorf came out with his statement about the luxury tax, I've come to the following conclusions:

1: The Bulls won't spend far into the tax.
2: They will only spend into the tax for a colossal upgrade and even an Andre Iguodala probably won't qualify.

I could be wrong on those points, and of course, I hope that I am. However, the vibe I'm getting is that the Bulls will need to be as cost conscious as ever. As such, I think their decisions won't be as straight forward as grabbing the best player.

Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Josh Howard, Caron Butler, Jason Richardson, Vince Carter, Shane Battier, Tracy McGrady, Nick Young (RFA), and Aaron Afflalo (RFA) are some of the names linked to the Bulls.

Afflalo/Young are long shots because of their restricted status, so I'd throw them out now as I doubt we'll give up assets to get one.

Of the unrestricted guys, I'm also going to throw out Josh Howard. He has a visit planned with the Bulls this week, so it's odd to throw him out, but he's not been a great character guy, he's never had good range, he's had significant injuries for three straight years, and he's been lousy for the past two seasons.

I just don't see how you look at Howard and pick him out of the available options.

I will also throw out Grant Hill unless he comes as a back up SF at the vet minimum. He's simply not a SG, and while he's a guy who can score with efficiency when given space he's not really a shot creator at this stage of his career and doesn't have three point range. If he is going to sign at the vet minimum as a backup SF why does he sign with us instead of Miami? He probably doesn't.

I will then throw out Shane Battier who's only been tenuously linked to the Bulls. Perhaps by someone thinking "that makes sense" more so than by a true source. Not a high volume enough scorer, not a legit two. He's more like the Keith Bogans of SFs. Doesn't create his own shot, but just shoots open corner threes on kick outs.

We can also say goodbye to Tracy McGrady. The Bulls had their shot at him last year, and they said 'no' at the vet minimum due to concerns about how he'd accept his role. He then participated in a player coup started up over mistreatment of veterans and their minutes in Detroit.

If he'd played like a supreme bad ass in Detroit last season, maybe the Bulls would over look that, but he averaged 12 points per 36 minutes which is nothing special, still can't shoot threes, and creates low efficiency offense. He does add a lot of play making, and the Bulls could use that, but too many negatives and not enough positives.

That leaves Jamal Crawford, Caron Butler, Jason Richardson, and Vince Carter.

I would throw out Caron Butler except for the fact that there's been so much media attention towards him that it's hard to imagine all this smoke lacks at least some fire going with it. However, Butler's not a shooting guard. I know people will say he played some shooting guard in Dalls, but he did so poorly and in limited time.

He's also a guy, like Josh Howard, that you have to go back to 2008/9 to find his last productive season and who has battled significant injuries for a couple of years. There will be plenty of "if healthy" qualifiers thrown around him, but I just don't see where this one makes all that much sense given the past two seasons Butler has put out there.

My guess is that he's on the Bulls radar due to potential, and because he's working out in Chicago, a visit was easily arranged and more discussions took place and media sources have reported that, but it doesn't represent the true interest of management. I could be wrong.

Jamal Crawford is the next guy I'll boot off the island. Jamal Crawford, in theory, is exactly what the Bulls need, but Jamal Crawford in practice falls a bit short.

He can create his own shot. He has size. He can play the one and the two. He can shoot threes. If the story stopped there, it'd sound incredibly tempting.

Unfortunately, he can't defend any perimeter position well, and while he creates his own offense, he shoots a low percentage and fails to get to the free throw line. He basically creates mediocre offense in large volumes. Don't get me wrong, the Bulls could really us that. They presently create bad offense in large volumes when Rose isn't doing the creating, so an upgrade to mediocre is an upgrade.

However, I think if the Bulls merely unleashed CJ Watson and told him to create instead of waiting around for Korver to come off of double screens that they'd already have their Jamal Crawford, plus I like CJ as a defender more.

We're now down to the final two. Jason Richardson and Vince Carter.

Sorry Jason Richardson, you did not win the Bulls MLE.

This is a more straight forward decision than it appears. Richardson and Carter played on the same team in the same system. On that team, Carter scored in higher volume, with higher efficiency, and was responsible for creating his own shot while Richardson was not.

Now throw into the mix that Carter likely costs you the vet minimum while Richardson likely costs you near the full MLE, and how tough is this choice? The only thing working against Carter is age. Has he lost the final step that takes makes him have a dramatic fall off this season?

I like Jason Richardson. I think he'd be a good value at the MLE for four seasons. However, I don't think the Bulls really want to commit four years to a fairly pedestrian player. The luxury tax is going to be a big issue going forward despite what Jerry Reinsdorf said about paying it for a guy who puts them over the top.

Jason Richardson is not that guy. If you sign him, you likely lose Taj or Omer down the line [which will be difficult to keep them anyway], and I think the Bulls would rather allocate that money towards those players.

As such, Vince Carter may not be the absolute best talent available for the Bulls, but you can make a case that he's the best, and he's almost certainly the cheapest if he'll sign for the vet minimum. If Carter is looking for a full MLE, and he might be, then I would likely change my stance on the topic.

However, Carter's banked more than enough money to not worry about the extra few million, especially given the massive endorsement money he had earlier in his career. We'll see how it plays out, but Vince Carter presently makes the most sense of all available options to me combining talent, salary flexibility, and web rumors.

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  • Wow I have to say I did not see that one coming, but I actually agree Vin-sanity would actually be a decent option assuming its only for the vet minimum. I also read Richardson isn't even looking at the MLE as he expects to get a similar contract as Crawford, so apparently the bulls would have to do some sort of S&T. IMO Afflalo is the only player worthy of geting involved in a S&T from the bulls perspective.

  • I agree with your analysis for the most part. The thing that concerns me with Vinsanity is his anti-leadership, reported weak work ethic, and whether he can accept being a role player. I didn't see Phoenix too many times last year, but with Orlando he seemed to play hard only when he wanted to, and in those cases dominated the ball to the detriment of the offense. I would hope that if he were to join the Bulls, he'd understand that he's on Rose's and Thibs' team, that he better play hard and within the system. In terms of physical skills and talent, he's still an above average player, but I worry about the mental aspects to what he'd bring.

  • Doog, I totally agree with what you said about Grant Hill, Josh Howard, Caron Butler, Shane Battier, Tracy McGrady, Nick Young (RFA), and Aaron Afflalo.

    However, for the three last guys (Carter, crawford and richardson), I'd pick Crawford up. He has everything we need like you said. But according to you he is not a good defender. But guess what ? neither carter or richardson are good defensive players. I think the most important edge Crawford is the fact he could play both PG and SG. That's exactly what we need, a player who can allow Rose to play sometimes 2.
    The only other guy in free agency who can do that is Afflalo.

    We have to keep in mind that bulls don't need a SG who can only shoot well but also who can play PG.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I'm happy keeping Watson as the backup PG or getting someone for the vet min. I'm not even the tiniest bit worried about the backup PG minutes, because in the playoffs, Rose is going to go 40+ a night.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Deewaves, your English is much improved, good to see you back.

    ** No I'm not joking if anyone thinks I am

  • Great analysis as always, but to be honest, I stopped reading after this...

    "That leaves Jamal Crawford, Caron Butler, Jason Richardson, and Vince Carter."

    Ugh.

  • Butler's agent is the highly unpopular Raymond Brothers - whose queationable tactics alienated Bulls management in the Ben Gordon talks.

    It is extrememly unlikely that Brothers will have his player sign for less than full MLE

  • I'm surprised at the "survivor" but agree with the reasoning. Just wish there was someway to land Afflalo.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'd also like Afflalo, and while a S&T isn't entirely out, I think it's unlikely because he doesn't separate himself from the field enough to give up assets and pay him way more than the other guys.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    He's the best defender and best three point shooter on the list, since they're the two biggest things the Bulls ask of their SG in this system I think he stands out plenty enough. Obviously it depends what Denver would take in a S&T, but something based Gibson & Mirotic maybe? I'd do it, not sure what other people think.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I'd do it for asik and mirotic. Gibson is a keeper.

  • Grant Hill has shot on average over 40% for the last 2 years.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    from 3 that is

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    He wouldn't be my first choice, but Hill has been very solid for the Suns over the last year or two. I would prefer him over Vinsanity.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    Admittedly, he's not mine either, but you could do a lot worse. If you signed him to the vet min or MLE, you could also work a deal with Brewer, Korver, Watson, Bogans, Lucas, and/or Pargo to consolidate at SG, or add to the mix.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    And I would take him over Carter in a heartbeat.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Amen

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Really low volume though.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Not so low that you'd think it's a fluke. Maybe if he takes more it drops down to .38 or so. You can tell he has worked on the 3 more as he has aged.

  • Grant Hill has routinely guarded the opposition's best offensive player as well -- guarding guys like Ginobili & Kobe, to Andre Miller, to Blake Griffin & Dirk, to Durant & LeBron. He guards them well too.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I think if we get OJ Mayo as the starting SG and Grant Hill as someone who will spell both Deng/Mayo and if we still keep Brewer....that would be great.
    Mayo played well in the OKC series...
    Both Hill/Mayo can handle the ball to relieve the stress of ball handling from Rose and can shoot ok. Maybe, they can get a James Jones type of shooter to supplement them

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    It would probably take Gibson to get Mayo, would you do that? With the MLE being used for Hill, you'd have to get another PF somehow. What do you think?

    I have been critical of aquiring Mayo, but that would be a nice lineup.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Maybe they could keep the MLE by signing Hill to the vet min though, he doesn't need the money. Then we could try to get another big for the bench. Or maybe explore a trade with Utah & their crowded frontcourt.

  • I know Sam Smith is sometimes crazy and we've all resigned ourselves to the fact that Dwight Howard is not coming to Chicago for various reasons, but this is an interested article. If it were to ever go down in our personal fantasies, I think it could be very interesting.
    http://www.nba.com/bulls/news/smith_111205.html

    If Orlando traded Howard to Chicago, even though he wouldn't be the #1 and it's not a warm weather destination, after playing with Rose and competing for a title for one year, I highly doubt that he would leave. Where would he find a better location that would offer the chance for more championships in the long-term? I don't think he could find a better spot.

    It likely won't happen, but it's fun to think of these scenarios and dream.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    Agree'd, it would be plenty warm enough for him in Grant Park holding up the Larry O'Brien Trophy. If he wants to win he's going to have to share the limelight a bit, & Chicago could be big enough for 2. Hell of a risky move though.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    in my opinion bulls should do a big move. They must trade for Howard or Monta ellis. a decent SG won't still be enough to beat Miami.

    Howard+Rose = best pg + best C. It would be awesome. No matters who is in the rest of roster, they will win several championships. Bulls management should at least try !

  • In reply to NateTags:

    His own comments make no sense in this. He way overvalues the Bulls players and undervalues the other players.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    Get on it, Adidas!

    Pull some strings!

  • If all we end up with is Vince Carter we are DOOMED.
    Vince Carter is a LOSER. Every team Carter’s played for knows he is a LOSER. He will wilt in the playoffs. He will wilt under the major market media attention in Chicago. He turns 35 in January. Vince Carter and Carlos Boozer starting on the same team? God help us!

    IMO, the big question is, Who will sign for a MLE? If Richardson will, I think Bulls sign him. If Richardson won’t, the SG situation becomes much more difficult. I would consider Grant Hill – excellent defender, great character, can create. He’s old but seems to be defying age. Heard he loves living in Phoenix though.

    Yes, the Afflalo trade scenario is a long-shot at best. I’d hate to trade Taj Gibson or Omer Asik, but I would trade the Charlotte pick + Bulls first. Along with taking on Al Harrington’s contract would that be enough? I think a lot depends on whether Afflalo and his agent insist on leaving Denver. Without that there is little chance, imo.

    Read Sam Smith’s column: http://www.nba.com/bulls/news/smith_111205.html
    How does everyone feel about trading the non-guaranteed trio (Bogans/Pargo/Lucas) + CJ Watson for Kirk Hinrich. I’d like Hinrich as a backup 3rd guard, but not as a starter, and it does not solve the SG situation. It is essentially trading Watson for Hinrich. Hinrich turns 31 in January and is 3 years older than Watson. What does everyone think about this idea?

  • In reply to Edward:

    Agreed 100 % Edward. You said it best, he is a loser.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I've been on the VC is a loser bandwagon for a long time, but I'd take him at the vet min as my 5th best starter and maybe 7th best player.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yes, you can take him, and you will LOSE WITH HIM. Because Vince Carter is a LOSER. He will never start on a championship team.

  • I . About Jamal Crawford, is it of any use to even sign him. Thibs will pull him out the first time he sees somebody blowing by him and there will be Bogans waiting for Thibs to put in. Plus, Thibs will literally throw-up if he sees Jamal Crawford and Boozer as the tandem working on defense.

    2. Carter is much better than JRich as Doug writes. If we get JRich, we need to get another elite ball-handler to relieve Rose. The problem for the Bulls was not even being able to hoist up shots against Miami. Rose was not able to pass/shoot because he was being double-teamed/triple-teamed by bigger guys and if Deng/Bogans got the ball, they couldn't dribble to pass/shoot either. I wouldn't mind with Boozer/Noah/Taj/Asik even if the ball is thrown up over the defenders. They can get the rebound most of the time and with defenders being out of position, can get some points

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I would bet any FA would have to be ok'd by Thibs, & GarPax would have to be sure that Thibs would play him. Doubt that happens with Crawford.

    You're second point reminds me of something I would like to start seeing from Rose - the alley-oop. We hardely ever see it from him, but it is often there as he routinely draws in extra defenders. Wonder if this is something that can be improved upon, along with hitting guys in stride towards the hoop in general.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Pax beat up our last coach and you're saying after one year, Thibs, a second year HC who I love, has veto rights on management decisions? Cmon man.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    Why do you think they traded James Johnson? Why do you think they have coaches meet with free agent players too? They are not going to sign anyone that Thibs won't play. He will have input, guaranteed.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    And you don't think Thibs watched countless hours of film on these free agents and is sharing it with Pax & Gar? Cmon man indeed.

  • Doug, is this who you think will most realistically sign with the bulls? Or a "out of the names, this is the most likely?"

    Although I'd hate to lose some players, I wouldn't mind parting with Taj for the right price. He's overvalued at this point because of the playoff performances (as Boozer's stock is way down). But I think we can use the combo of Boozer, Noah, Asik for the time being.

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    I think Taj's greatest strength is that his presence puts pressure on Boozer to remain motivated.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    HA

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    It is a catch-22 situation for GarPax. They probably want to keep all assets until they are sure they can or cannot get Dwight Howard. I think their plan is if they are going to give up Taj or Asik, they need to get a young tradeable SG like Mayo rather than giving up Taj/Asik for Crawford or Jason Richardson in a sign and trade kind of deal.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Shaum you are right on the money about GarPax holding onto Asik and Taj until Howard is off the table completely. Obviously its a matter of opinion, but if they are smart, their reasoning for holding onto both until this point is just as you say.

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    I'd be quite content to put Taj or Omer in a trade package.

    I think Carter is my best guess as to whom the Bulls would sign. I think he makes the most sense, but I don't know enough about their individual evaluation.

    It basically comes down to whether you are willing to commit an extra 20 million to get Richardson instead of Carter, and I can't come up with a reason why you do that.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Keep Omer, Trade Taj

    I think we have seen the upper limit performance for Taj but not the upper limit for Asik.

    As I recall, Asik's injury in the Heat series broke the defensive "back" of the Bulls in the series. When Asik was in, he owned the lane and LeBron and Wade avoided finishing at the hoop.

    When Asik was gone, it was business as usual for the Heat.

    For me, the rookie Asik was the defensive heart of the Bulls 2nd unit and sometimes, the first unit also.

    Here's hoping that Asik learns to catch a pass to the post and go up for a shot without taking the basketball below his shoulders (Artis Gilmore syndrome).

  • Taj and Korver for OJ Mayo

  • I'm in if Memphis is.

  • Only if we've already determined that Taj is a luxury we can't afford to resign at the end of his rookie deal. And even then I'd like to get someone better than Mayo for him. Trading big for small and getting the lesser player in the deal stings a bit.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Harder to find a back up center or back up PF? More likely to be injured, Noah or Boozer? Fucking juxtaposition.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    That's why I would love to keep both, unless you could trade 1 or 2 in a package for a star.

  • fb_avatar

    Series was very close in first 3 qtrs of most games Bulls lost. With second shot creator on court w/ Rose in 4th qtr. would have been a even closer if not in Bulls favor. No matter who MIA signs Bulls will be significantly better at C and PG. Just need another shot creating scoring threat. Hopefully they sign RIchardson (Only 1 yr older than Wade by the way.) He will not be asked to do as much as Wade will have to for the Bulls to win. Also his 3pt shooting is great and may age like R. Allen and not like Finley as he has been compared to.

  • Interesting article about why the Bulls don't need a major change...check it out.
    http://hoopspeak.com/2011/12/do-the-bulls-need-shooting-guard/

    Favorite part of the article: "But the Bulls have assembled an unselfish, hardworking group full of people who seem to genuinely like each other–don’t take it for granted! It’s a group that draws its pride from its singular ability to crash its collective fist through a team’s ribcage, grab it’s still-beating heart and squeeze with relentless pressure defense."

  • In reply to NateTags:

    Wow what a great article. Glad some other people see it the same way.

  • I’ve read the Bulls MLE vs. salary cap situation may prevent them from exercising the team’s $1.7 million option on Keith Bogans. I hope and pray this is true. Because if Bogans is on Bulls roster Thibs will play him. Thibs will give Bogans minutes that should go to Ronnie Brewer and whomever Bulls sign as a new SG.

    Similar to how Thibs greatly overplayed Deng and Rose, playing Bogans is just a poor coaching decision. This is one decision management can take away from Thibs. I hope they do so.

  • In reply to Edward:

    If Bogans played 17 minutes off the bench would anyone have thought anything of it? He played good defense, and he hit a reasonable amount of threes in the playoffs. If he was playing 30 minutes a night that'd be a big issue, but I think every team has a similar 8th man type guy on it who plays that many minutes.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Bogans wasn't even that bad as the season went on. He started hitting his shots which made him pretty good value for 1.7 million. He's not a starter but he's worth the money he's being paid to be a deep rotation guy.

  • In reply to Edward:

    So now you guys are defending Bogans? LOL. Opponents don't even bother to guard him, which is a big part of the problem and makes it more difficult for everyone else to score.. He passes up 3x as many 3-pointers as he takes.

    My point is, Thibs will not keep Bogans relegated to the deep bench, which is the only place he belongs on this team or any championship team. So I'd rather remove that option from Thibs because he'll overuse it.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I'm saying he's about as good a player as you'll get for 1.7 million (outside of rookie deals of course). I don't see the point in cutting him, doing so doesn't give the Bulls cap space, so better to have a player than save 1.7 million for JR.

    Don't really buy into the Thibs will over use him story. The Bulls are going to sign another SG option. Might not be someone we're completely happy with, but they're showing intent to sign someone. So between the new signing and Brewer the position is taken. Bogans' minutes will be gone, he's injury cover.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I agree that Bogans should only see the floor if another Bulls SG is injured.

    However, I don't believe Thibs is on board with that. I could still see Thibs giving Bogans some minutes that should be Brewers. That is why I'd be quite content to see Bogans gone. Do we really need 4-5 SGs? MLE, Brewer, Bogans, Korver, and don't forget Jimmy Butler.

  • Also about Hill, he can run the point & handle the ball, & is battle tested in pressure situations. He can allow Derrick to play off the ball some to conserve energy & diversify the offensive attack. No player the Bulls can get is going to be perfect - Hill has his faults & is merely a stopgap, but he brings versatility both offensively & defensively.

    Plus, I don't think Grant Hill would choose Miami over us all things being equal. Hill is a classy guy, probably would rather beat those douchebags than join them. He's made enough money over his career with huge contracts & endorsements, he can do anything he wants when his basketball career is over, and his wife has a career - so I could see him siging for the veteran minimum. The lost 2 months are just 2 less months he would have to deal with the Chicago cold. If he's open I think it's a great fit.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    You are assuming a lot about Hill. He is a nice guy and all that. But he has never been deep into the playoffs (I think). We saw Ronnie Brewer and Asik step up against the Heat but Korver, Boozer and Noah disappeared. I feel for example Noah's basketball IQ is a little bit overrated even though I think he is a very smart guy and he can dribble a little bit or pass the ball. He gets panicky at crunch times and makes the wrong passes. Boozer has plenty of experience in playoffs but against inferior PFs, he has done great but when faced with a little better one ...you know what he does.
    I think if Hill is a bench player, it's ok but not as a starter.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I don't think they are assumptions. And he has made a deep run, recently. The guy has never won a ring, but he's also never had much help while healthy. 2010 was his teams first trip to the 2nd round, but he was instrumental: http://www.azcentral.com/sports/suns/articles/2010/04/30/20100430phoenix-suns-grant-hill.html
    He took them to the 3rd round, & there in the Western Conference Finals they lost in 6 games to the eventual NBA Champion Lakers. During those 3 series he was the primary defender on Andre Miller, then Ginobili, then Kobe.

    As a 2nd year player, he led the Pistons to the playoffs for the first time, in what would be 4/5 years, before siging a deal with the Magic in a tenure that was marred by injuries. In Detroit they lost to Shaq's Magic (who ended up losing to the Bulls), a Mutombo led Hawks team (ended up losing to the Bulls), the Hawks again, then a Mourning/Hardaway/Mashburn Heat team -- all with Jerry Stackhouse being the only other competent player on the roster. He helped Orlando to the playoffs in his 2nd healthy year there, as well as with the Suns the following year. Hill certainly won at Duke, and has never played "panicky" himself, which seems like an assumption on your part. I'm ok with Hill taking Bogans' starting role with more minutes.

    Grant Hill was the missing evolutionarly link between Scottie Pippen & LeBron James. While he is older now, he brings the same versatility.

    Korver dissapearded big time, & I don't think that gets talked about enough. I give some credit to the Heat, but he missed a lot of open shots, & not just in that Heat series, but really the 2 before it as well.

    Noah just came out & admitted his ankle was limiting him big time, also said it is now 100 %. Boozer said pretty much the same thing about his situation. Asik stepped up big time - they were killing Miami when he was healthy - but his injury hurt the team as well. Hard to believe that all happens again, in addition to the crappy officiating.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I wasn’t thinking about Grant Hill prior to today. But the more I think about Hill, the more I like it. He is a two-way player, excellent defender. He will easily fit into Thibs system. He is far more skilled and intelligent than anyone else being discussed, only drawback is his age. But with his lesser wear-and-tear and seeming agelessness I get the sense he could provide veteran leadership in the playoffs much like Jason Kidd did for Dallas.

    I can envision Grant Hill taking it to D-Wade and LeBron. I mean really taking it to them, and taking it personally. As in, “I’m the real deal, you guys are just pretenders” He’d do so with class, but the point is he’d never back down from them or wilt in the playoffs is my sense.

    I could totally see Grant Hill and Ronnie Brewer sharing the SG position.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I like a lot of the points you have made on the thread. Hill certainly would add to taking some pressure off of Derrick in the 4thQ against Miami. I am not sure how much better Derrick can get, but unless he takes another big step I don't know even with that roster we can get past the Miami especially if they add another piece like Battier.

    IMO First, we need a healthy Boozer, but beyond that what I am looking to this season is for Noah to consistently score at least 14pts a game in the half-court. Sometimes I feel is regular season numbers are inflated because of the fast break points and easy buckets Derrick creates that won't be there against Miami. Jo average 6 pts throughout the ECF against the Heat. That has to get better if we can't add a scoring 2G.

  • In reply to Wojo7:

    I agree that Noah's offensive ineptitude is a major handicap to Bulls offense. Defenses don't even bother to guard him.

    This make Noah a poor player in the pick-and-roll with Rose. It is also one of the big problems with Boozer operating in the low post when Noah is also in the game.

    6 ppg is pathetic. Can it be entirely blamed on injury?

  • In reply to Edward:

    I don't think so. Only because Jo's numbers from the 10-11 season were slightly higher than 09-10 when he was healthy. FG% from .504 to .525 and pts from 10.7 to 11.7.

    Granted, against Cleveland in the 2010 playoffs he averaged 14.8 pts per game but I think this was mostly in garbage time. Also just from my opinion the general eye test from when he plays, I don't see a go-to that most good players have on offense.

    Based on his career thus far Jo has absolutely no go to move or place on the court from which he can score. He has to develop something, even if it was consistency from the elbows when they go to double Derrick it would force the defense to at least respect him. I understand his personal decision to spend a lot of time this summer with the French National Team and resting from being banged up. But I hope he spent some time in the gym developing some kind of consistent offensive game that would prevent teams from doubling Derrick so much and give Boozer space to get position and operate.

  • In reply to Wojo7:

    That running rook he does with either hand looks go-to to me. Word is he's been working on his jump hook all summer too.

  • In reply to Wojo7:

    14 PPG in the half court? Good luck with that! Only Howard, Lopez, Horford and Nene averaged 14 PPG last year, and given Horford and Nene only just made it past that mark, I'd assume the half court proviso cuts it to just Howard and Lopez meeting your bar of center approval.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Noah is by no means a true center in the form of Howard and Nene. But you are also over looking players like Al Jefferson, David Lee, and Andrea Bargnani who are typical PF but also will play C at times that were over 14 PPG. But this is not the point.

    If you re-read everything I posted, I said we will need Noah to score that IF we are unable to add a 2G that will score more effectively than Bogans/Brewer/Korver.

    The fact is the Bulls need more scoring, I don't know how much more Derrick can do, and if they don't upgrade at 2G they have to look to Noah. He will be making 10 Mil this year. This isn't my bar of approval, its the bar the Bulls need to meet to get past Miami.

  • In reply to Wojo7:

    Wojo7,
    I agree with you about Noah's severe offensive limitation hurting the Bulls team. But I am quite skeptical that will ever change. Noah will be 27 soon and never learned to shoot a basketball That cannot be over emphasized so I will repeat it. Noah will be 27 soon and never learned to shoot a basketball.

  • Vinsanity. Vinsanity. The very use of that past nickname in the current NBA cracks me up. Similar to "T-Mac" aka knees. What a joke. Vinsanity played from the 90';s to the late 2000's. Vince Carter is old now. His numebrs show all the tell tale signs of imminent, steep decline. The guy is full of himself, whiny, quitter. The only numerical category Vince's advancing in is his age. He'll be 35, count em', 35 years old in a couple of months. There's no way I'd put Vince Carter on a contract for years on a team with a somewhat void of leadership, and no real big personalities to stand up to him. No way.

    IMO, and rather obviously from last years offensive ranking and anemic scoring playoffs, the Bulls need to add (two) good/efficient offensive players if they want to compete/contend. Lose Omer and whoever else has value Ronnie Brewer if you have to, but preferably C.J. or Korver, Their stable of non-scoring bigs who will soon cost them a lot more money is going to have to be broken up. One of Omer or Taj has to go in trade for some kind of proficient and hopefully somewhat prolific scorer. Nick Young, O.J. Mayo both at least have offensive talent potentially very, very impactful with the Rose double teams. .

    If the Bulls icnurred the tax, and used the M.L.E to acquire Tayshaun Prince who is 31, and still shoots 47% FG's, 14ppg, and the two previous seasons 39 and 37% from three(granted on 1.5 att.'s a game). Deng has shown the ability to bulk up. Add a little more, and Anthony Mason(size wise only Mason was a douchebag) him over to PF. Yes Boozer will have to play more center, and his lack of speed/defense often will hurt the Bulls less there where center is an often offenseless position.

    If you don't like Young or Mayo I can understand. Or if Prince seems unrealistic with all Boozer's money sunk in at PF I understand that too. What I also undertsand is that if the Bulls don't find a way to get some offensive firepower, don't incur the tax, and don't use the M.L.E(wisely) their momentum IMO will implode. And if Noah doesn't rebound in a big way then I think this team is in trouble regardless.

  • http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/217016/Bulls_Considered_Sleeper_Candidate_For_Howard

    Pipe dream-but still gets ya excited for a second reading it.

  • In reply to bsampso2:

    Def a pipe dream, but it is hard to argue that we have some of the best pieces available for the magic in return. Howard may want 'warm weather', but that seems like just such a horseshit reason to pick your new team. He's got to recognize how disgusting a team him and rose would make.

  • As a one year vet minimum, I could live with Carter instead of Bogans, not sure that Brewer would be too happy though. Carter seems like a bad chemistry guy, and I don't thnk that the Bulls brass wants to disrupt that element of the team yet.

    I also agree about JRich, he will be 32 in January, at the full MLE that puts him on the cap and in the tax until he is 35, not a good move strategically for the Bulls.

    I also agree sort of with what you call the all in plan, in that getting Iggy for salary cap scrap is the best first step/option. However, at that point I use Deng to trade for one of the 3 following 2 guards.

    That leaves Aflalo(restricted), Mayo(last year of contract) and Monta Ellis($11million per for the next 2 years, with a player option for 13-14) as the best options in terms of talent added and age appropriate for this Bulls team. Acquiring all three will require the Bulls to work a trade and give up some talent/value. I suppose that you could throw the full MLE at Aflalo, but Denver will certainly match that.

    Doing something just to do something is not worth it if we hurt our long term strategic flexibility. As much as I love what Taj gives us, he is not full time starter material(unless he starts next to Dwight Howard) so I would reluctantly include him in a trade. Asik is more valuable(as a center) and has more upside than Taj so I would not give him up unless I had to in a blockbuster(Dwight Howard).

    If the Bulls are going to make a small move for this season, they should go back to Houston and inquire about Courtney Lee. Actually, I would ask Houston for Lee and Scola for Boozer and stuff not named Asik or Gibson, unfortunately Houston wanted Asik for just Lee.

    Final analysis, go big, go for Iggy, then trade Deng for Ellis or Mayo.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Richardson will be 31, not 32 in January. I agree with going for Iggy, but why follow that up with a disaster like trading Deng for Mayo? Talk about getting ripped off, Mayo isn't even worth Ronnie Brewer IMO.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The only one of those trades that seems somewhat realistic to me is Deng for Ellis, and even that is a stretch. Denver/Memphis wouldn't want to take on Deng's salary.

  • Doug, I'm not getting how you conclude Carter scored at higher efficiency last year. He scored at marginally higher efficiency than Richardson in the Orlando system, but Richardson scored at much higher efficiency than Carter in the Suns system. The flip flopping can no doubt be put down to familiarity, so I think overall you have to give the nod to Richardson when it comes to efficiency.

    Add the fact that over the last few years Richardson seems to be the better three point shooter and I think Richardson is clearly a better fit for the Bulls. Given that I think the idea that Carter will sign for the minimum is wishful thinking (Vince Carter do something unselfish ... get out of here), Richardson becomes my clear preference between the two. Although I wouldn't be keen on giving either a long term deal, a couple of years at most is the furthest you should ever go for non star players in their 30s.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    They were on the same team for a year and a half and Carter was clearly the better player the entire time.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Richardson was only on Orlando for 55 games, not a year and a half. He struggled, but Carter struggled just as much in Phoenix after the trade.

    Funny we're discussing this, when I suggested early last year as a solution to the SG problem maybe we could get Richardson to come for the MLE everyone thought there was no way, now we're debating whether he's even worth that much. ;)

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Mr. Shakes,
    I must admit last season I did not think Richardson would be possible for the MLE. Now it seems quite likely.

    If Richardson will accept the MLE I think Bulls will likely sign him as their first choice. And I think its a good choice.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    And the joke that is efficiency in basketball continues. This isn't moneyball. You don't step up to the plate on your own and battle a pitcher for a shot. Basketball is fluid, it is dynamic. Not saying efficiency is a worthless stat, but it is hardly paramount.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    It's absolutely paramount when you consider the team that puts the ball in the hoop most, not in the most fancy way, wins.

  • It looks like Bulls fans are really down on Carter. He probably will replace Boozer for selfish play and no defense example.

    What I see there is no one person which will satisfy everyone as Howard would do at Center(and even for that there might be some guys talking about his lack of offense or his temper).

    What I hope is the Bulls don't sign a guy like Carter or Hill or Richardson or Crawford and hope they will replace the Bogans/Korver/Watson/Brewer combination. If they get these older guys, they need another younger guy as most of these older guys are all past their primes.

  • Hey Doug....one name i totally forgot about but could be a cheap option and provide some shooting is sasha vujacic...he isnt the long term solution but if we bring him in cheap couldnt it allow for us try try t trade expirings plus draft picks for a starter?

  • Deep down in your heart of hearts don't you all know that some version of this is going to happen.

    -want-dwight-howard-chris-paulhttp://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/7321631/sources-los-angeles-lakers

  • Reply button still not working, but trading Gibson for Aflalo is barely tolerable, Gibson & Mirotic or Asik & Mirotic is idiotic, and Denver would jump at either. This trade thought shows how much Aflalo is becoming overated/valued.

  • Pray Vince Carter doesn't end up in a Chicago Bulls uniform. Our newly crowned Coach of the Year will be a serial killer by season's end after sixty-whatever games with Boozer and VC on the court together.

    I've read through a majority of the posts recently, and I'm sorry if someone already noted this. But it looks like JR is taking a conservative approach with the White Sox roster as far as paying up goes, for the first time post WSC. This is telling to me. JR prefers baseball over bball, but he is smart; and men at his age become more and more aware of their legacy every day. Don't be surprised if we see the White Sox aggressive payroll tactics fade, and the Bulls rise up from the ashes. If JR could somehow get 3-4 more titles at the reigns of the Chicago Bulls, his legacy will be that of the greatest owner in Chicago sports history. Sure if he could grab two more WSC's it'd be even better. But he sees the landscape of baseball, he flushed millions down the drain last year, and watched his golden boy Ozzie bolt for Florida. Call me crazy, or assuming, but I foresee JR going after the former vs the latter. Just thank God the McCaskey's don't own the Bulls, those cheap old money bastards.

  • Hi Guys good to be back from across the pond talking Bulls.

    The problem I have with JRich or VC is they will play significantly more minutes than Bogans (assuming we don't resign him!) which means Ronnie and KK's minutes will be reduced. With the KB/RB/KK SG combination used last year just about gave enough minutes to each player to keep them happy/make their salary viable I think getting a new starting SG with starter's minutes means we have to look to trade RB or KK. As that is the case then we may as well be thinking S&T and see who we can get using them as bait.

    Denver will REALLY struggle to spend their cap money (after loosing Nene) on decent players. Free Agents will know this and therefore will ask for higher salaries as Denver gets desperate to fill their roster. It would be better for Denver to S&T AA and get 2 decent properly valued players back in his place.

    I know it might mean using another team (Detroit?) but I reckon GarPax could pull off something to revamp our SG/SF (not including Luol) positions.

    Its very easy to fall in love with the Bench Mob for what they did during last season but come playoff time they were rarely used. What is more important? A great Bench Mob or a starting calibre SG? Come playoff time the starting SG will get loads of minutes so thou I love the Bench Mob I have to say a starting SG wins here.

    I have always said AA is the perfect fit for Thibs and would support ANY trade (outside DR LD CB JK) getting it done.

  • I think a lot of people forget that Asik, Noah and even Boozer being hurt were the biggest reasons the Bulls struggled with the Heat. We all want to upgrade the SG situation but I'd be happy to see a replay of that Heat series with our bigs healthy.....as close as those games were I cant believe we'd have lost....

    That said I can see an incremental upgrade being just fine....Carter or Hill on the cheap unless they can pull off Afflalo without gutting the team too much. Get Brewer playing more than Bogans....I like our chances. Bring it!

  • I think the bulls should take a chance on Chris Douglas-Roberts. He is a unrestricted free agent and can come very cheap; also played with Rose in college and can be his running mate for along time. The bulls don't need a three point shooter, but a hard worker and someone who can create his own shot. Twice against the two best defenses in the league he scored 30. By getting him the bulls won't have to worry about giving up anyone.

  • In reply to dreday25:

    Where is CDR now? A friend told me he is playing overseas, perhaps in Europe.

  • In reply to dreday25:

    I thought the Bulls should've done this during the draft when they had the chance, and again before the Bucks got him for little to nothing in cost.

  • If the rumor about Shannon Brown is true, why wouldn't the Bulls match or beat that offer of 3.5M for 1 year? Give him a year with Thibs to work on his defense. He improved his 3 pt shot considerably last season, and he's very athlectic and still young. He's the same size as DWade, and really isn't that ultimately who the Bulls need to be able to compete with at SG ultimately? Seems extremely low risk at that cost to me.

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