Could new all-star Luol Deng get a raise? Plus the Bulls will destroy Bobcats 6pm on CSN

The Chicago Bulls will stroll into Charlotte to play the hapless Bobcats, who will certainly finish bad enough to keep their draft pick for at least one more season. Meanwhile, the big news in Chicago is Luol Deng gets his first all-star nod.

It's interesting, because I look at Luol Deng's game, and I think this guy is not an all-star. I struggle to put any perimeter player who doesn't create their own shot into the game.

However, a look at the competition stops me cold in my tracks. Ryan Anderson, Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Kyrie Irving, Danny Granger, and Tyson Chandler make up the list of potential all-star snubs listed on ESPN's snub article from the East.

The only player I'd even consider ahead of Deng is Granger, and quite frankly, I'd pull Paul Pierce before Deng. Pierce and Granger both have better statistical output, but it can't be ignored how Deng destroys them both on the defensive end of the court.

In the end, I think Deng made the team, and I think he deserved to make the team this season.

Will Deng's all-star appearance cost the Bulls?

When Luol Deng signed his extension years ago, he had incentives in the contract which could raise the total value to 80 million. While I don't believe those incentives have ever been spelled out, one of them was likely an all-star appearance.

It's quite possible this all-star appearance will cost the Bulls and put them into or near the luxury tax [also quite possible it will cost them nothing as I'm only guessing since the information hasn't been reported]. My belief is that if the Bulls were a Deng all-star appearance away from hitting the tax that they would have taken appropriate steps to waive Scalabrine/Lucas in order to get under it though as they're pretty thorough.

Not just because the tax is punitive, but if they plan to pay it in future years then they'd really want to avoid going into it by a few hundred thousand only to be hit with the multi-payer rate later on.

It's also worth noting that if he has an all-star incentive the fact that he made it this year means the incentive will officially be "likely" next season and therefore his cap number next year will start off higher.

Onto the game

Rest Derrick Rose for the love of whatever entity you pray to Part II

Derrick Rose looked hurt on the court against the Hornets. He did not look like someone who should be playing basketball. I don't think that the minutes Rose plays are that big a deal. Superstars frequently average around 40 minutes a game at Derrick's age, and Derrick's numbers really aren't that large.

That said, when the guy looks physically injured and is dealing with multiple nagging injuries, give him some rest. We're going up against a complete patsy here. Any risk model you come up with would note that this is the right thing to do.

I get why Thibs plays the hell out of his best players. It's what coaches do, and I don't fault him for that when they are healthy. Derrick Rose did not look healthy last game.

Prepare for a blowout Part II

The most exciting thing we're likely to get out of this game is frequent shots of Michael Jordan on the sidelines. Really, the Bobcats are terrible. Not only are they terrible, but much like the Hornets, they're missing half of their good players. Maggette, Henderson, and Augustine are all going to miss the game. Tyrus Thomas is probable.

The three best players left are probably Kemba Walker, Tyrus Thomas, and Byron [still feels weird not to say BJ] Mullens. The Bulls are going to annihilate this group as long as they come out there with a pulse and don't take the win for granted.


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  • Deng an all-star..Congrats to Deng for his long due recognition and even if this helps him to get one foul call in the playoffs, it's worth it.

    BTW, how stupid is ESPN. Rose is not an MVP and Deng doesn't deserve to be an all-star and the Bulls are winning because of the team. We all have seen how great Boozer, Rip and Noah have been to make Rose and Deng irrelevant;-)
    That's why I thinks using stats blindly as a lot of analysts do is so crazy. I heard on the radio that there are 4 or 5 NJ Nets and 2 or 3 Wizards players who are better than Deng in PER. Is the whole point of analyst is to be a National Enquirer type reporter to stir up controversy rather than analyze? The scary thing these guys do impact the NBA in a way in terms of trades, all-star appearances, contracts or eventually on the refs on how they call a game for a iffy foul.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I assume we're talking about Hollinger here? He's such a dope and so are his PER statistics! As you said, you can't blindly just look at stats. Thankfully for Deng, the people with votes (the coaches) actually watch the games and know how good Deng is, high PER rating or not.

  • Good for Deng he's played well since Thibs took over.

  • According to Sham, the Bulls are ~$1.5 million under the Luxury Tax, and I'm assuming that if Deng has an All-Star game incentive it's for ~$250k.

    The Bulls are looking into signing a big man for the rest of the season, so you have to assume that they are at least the pro-rated 2-year veteran's minimum under the LT even with Lu being an All-Star

  • I've been wondering also about Luol's incentives. By the way, Noah is the only other Bull with incentives. The other 11 dont have any written into their contract.

    I think he will NOT get a bonus for 2 reasons:

    1) Being voted into to All Star game as a starter may have been an incentive, but just being named seldom qualifies.

    It has been reported that Luol's incentives are classified as "unlikely". Considering his excellent year last season, it would be very likely that he would be "named" to the All Star team & the classification would have been changed (if "named" is a criteria.)

    2) The Bulls website would NEVER have encouraged multiple fan votes for its players if the election of Luol would have thrown the team in Luxury Tax.

  • In reply to bulls6:

    All incentives which were not met the previous year are classified as unlikely. So Deng's omission from the all star team last year means he would be classified as "unlikely" this year regardless of the actual likelihood.

  • Just saw that Kevin Love got an invite to the 3pt contest and he plans on accepting. Cj and/or Korver better get an invite as well. Love is currently ranked 53 in 3pt FG%, CJ is ranked 7th and Korver 17th.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    3 point contest frequently has weird invitees. They'll always invite big names if they can first even if they are lesser shooters. It was odd the one year they invited Nocioni but not Gordon despite the fact that Gordon would be vastly better in the contest due to a much faster, smoother release.

  • Doug-Shakes: I appreciate you lending some clarity to the NBA collective bargaining agreement. It does make it difficult to acquire a SG via the free agency route. For the 2011-12 bulls roster, I believe Gar/Pax have mis-allocated valuable resources to the PF position. Would you envision any possible trade senario to pick up a quality SG @ the trading deadline? I'd rather lose Asik to a trade than for zero return in free agency. Regardless, the bulls FO will likely amnesty Boozer in the next 2 seasons. Tx, C
    *fyi: I'd have a real interest in a Courtney Lee trade.

  • In reply to cgiebelh:

    I don't think we've really misallocated resources by spending them at PF rather than SG, we just aren't happy with the price we paid for Carlos Boozer.

    However, almost all FAs who leave their team for a new team end up vastly overpaid. This is a natural side effect of the auction system where guys take whatever the best offer is. By default, the team that was willing to pay you the most wins, so you are paid at a rate 29 other teams aren't interested in paying you.

    I wouldn't mind Courtney Lee, but I have a hard time seeing him as any better than a healthy Richard Hamilton, and in fact think he'd probably be quite a bit worse. Granted, we haven't seen healthy Richard Hamilton much though.

    SG, IMO, is the least important position on the team. We view it as important because a year ago, Keith Bogans was so much worse than what we had at every other position so it was the easiest to improve.

    However, if we're going to have a hole on the team somewhere, SG is the ideal place to put it. It's a position that can frequently be filled by specialists and role players, and next to an elite ball handling PGs, most really high caliber SGs skillsets would be duplicated.

    I think the Bulls will cycle the ring chasers and scrap heap at SG regularly going forward rather than allocating big money to the position, and I'd agree with that approach given that you can't have a star everywhere.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree with you about SG, but I think they will cycle ring chasers only until that Charlotte pick comes close. At that point they will likely make a deal for a 2 guard, or wait until the pick comes then select one in the draft. With Mirotic coming over, with Deng & Noah still performing, & hopefully with at lest one of Taj & Omer still here, that seems like the most logical place for a young potential star. Boozer's likely amnesty & a rookie's reasonable contract could allow the money to work for a few years. After that, a decision will likely have to be made on that new player or Deng/Noah/Mirotic.

    I wouldn't mind if Hamilton stayed here that entire time, and I would hope Jimmy Butler gets his 3pt shooting down so that he cold back up Rip if & when Hamilton goes down with a nagging injury. With the Bulls own draft picks over the next 3-4 years, I would hope that they use a combination of rolling the picks forward into future drafts & selecting more Euro players that they can stash for 2 years overseas.

    The decisions will be interesting on not only Taj & Omer, but on Korver, Brewer, & CJ (who could very well want a starting gig) as well. I could see them drafting a backup PG this summer as well, but with the way he is performing this year, at the same time as Derrick especially, I sure hope CJ stays with the team as long as possible.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug: I would like to a similar thought process to your strategy @ the shooting guard position + apply it to the PF position. If you look were to apply a wins above replacement equation with Taj Gibson + ring chasing PF type (David West type), then the bulls would be able to solve 2 problems concurrently.

    1. Eliminate the Miami defensive philosophy of doubling D-Rose + exposing the complete lack of play makers on the rest of team.
    2. Achieve a balance in the overall roster payroll (CB gone)

    If a playoff caliber teams decides to take D-rose out of the game, we do not have another offensive weapon who can create their shots. I am pragmatic in my approach; the bulls are destined for a repeat ECF exit with out a change in this roster. Gar/Pax must use the Asik trade chip + make a move now! Tx, C

  • For

  • For anyone wondering here is the breakdown of the Charlotte pick:

    2012-Top 14 protected
    2013-Top 12 protected
    2014-Top 10 protected
    2015-Top 8 protected

    Source: RealGM

    Even though Charlotte is a mess, I find it hard to believe that if they have 5 straight lotto picks (2011-2015) they won't luck into a superstar or several good rotation players and this pick in 2016 (or earlier) will be in the middle of the 1st round somewhere and thus be virtually worthless. I mean, you never know what's gonna happen, but they seem to have a competent GM now and if you give a competent GM some ammo, he is gonna hit eventually. We should trade this pick soon (for Dwight hopefully) and cash out now while perception about the Bobcats is negative and the value of this pick is high.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Worth noting that this info on realgm has never been confirmed, the entire source of this schedule [which has been repeated frequently] is that the pick Charlotte traded to Minnesota used this schedule, so it was assumed the one they traded us used the same one.

    If we could turn the pick into Howard then yeah, no duh. However, I think there's relatively few ways to cash in the pick. The Bulls don't need a role player, and no one is trading a star just for that pick. If the Bulls can find the right package then sure, you don't worry about throwing the pick in, but you're not going to get a guy who really improves the team with the pick by itself, and any larger package is also difficult to negotiate.

    In terms of the likely value of the pick, I'd disagree that that Charlotte won't remain bad. The league is littered with teams that have remained bad for very long extended periods of time. The question is whether or not Charlotte is really building towards something or not.

    When you look at their roster, do you see their young players as guys who will grow, improve, and one day carry a team to the playoffs? To me the answer to that question is a "no". They have some young talent, but I'm not sold on a single player on that team being a more than a mediocre starter in the league, and they're loaded with guys who are not starting caliber.

    They might get a ton of help in the draft this year, but then again they might not. Either way, given that they don't have a great young base in place, it's unlikely that they go from say a top 4 pick to pick #20 in one year. The worst case scenario is likely that the Bulls get pick #15 in two years.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The question to ask is Michael Jordan the new Donald Sterling, we can only hope that he is for at least the next 4-5 years.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    They would almost have to land a megastar in the draft, & in the next 1-2 years at that. No free agents are coming there, they have several bad contracts, & sometimes rebuilding through the draft takes a while -- unless you get that superstar. How long were the Bulls in the lottery before they landed their star? It doesn't happen to most teams. You need to get very lucky, not only in getting a premier pick, but in the right year. For that reason, the Bulls are likely to get a good mid lottery pick from them, but not a great one. But it is possible, and you don't see those possibilities being traded often in the NBA, like Charlotte did 2 years ago.

    If you could get a player like Dwight, no brainer, trade it now. But that pick is going to be much more valuable in a trade 2 years from now then it is right now. Hold onto it for the right deal.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    All is not lost, TT, was less than virtually worthless tonight.

  • Am I the only one who thought the Will Ferrell intros were not funny? Like, maybe, I dunno... half assed? Like anyone could have done it, and probably better?

    Now there's a petition to get him to do the all star game? Oy vey.

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    I've heard the opposite. No one seemed to like it. I did, but I've also come to expect much of the same from Ferrell lately. I thought it was kinda funny though. Don't know what everyone is expecting from just a player intro.

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    That was some lame ass shit, meat.

  • Hey guys, do you think that Rip may be intentionally held out, so he can be ready for the playoffs? I mean, he played against Detroit, he played against Miami, with a couple of other appearances... it looks like they are picking and choosing what games they let Rip play in. I'm all for it; I just haven't seen anyone mention it, not that no one has, I just haven't seen it. What do you think?

  • In reply to fanbeforejordan:

    I'd be very surprised if that were the case. I think Rip basically demanded to play against Detroit, and then he tried to come back again but came back too soon.

    I think they just want to rest him up. Word is he'll be available "soon" whatever that means.

  • In reply to fanbeforejordan:

    I am very skeptical that Rip Hamilton can stay healthy through 4 playoff series against very good teams. Rip looks frail to me, and the playoffs are usually physical. I just don't see him holding up.
    I hope I'm wrong.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I'm not sure that he is frail, but once you start messing with a hammy problem is can linger for an entire season, and playing against Detroit was messing with it.

  • Is it just me or does Ronnie miss a wide open dunk every game?

  • In reply to zvodicka:

    He's definitely missed a few lately. Seems like he's gone for the thunder a bit too much on a couple by really trying to slam it home.

  • In reply to zvodicka:

    in addition to blowing the dunks that he manages to get over the rim for, he has been blowing bunnies where he can't even manage to get up to the rim.

    Doug's calling him spastic last game was unfortunately a spot on description of his play for a while now. Time to return him to the bench mob and start Korver or CJ until Rip is ready.

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