C.J. Watson will [and should] come back next year

C.J. Watson will [and should] come back next year

C.J. Watson ended the Bulls season by grasping defeat out of the jaws of victory. Bulls fans go over the play in their mind over and over again wondering why he didn't keep the ball. However, no one feels worse than Watson over his gaff. He knows what it cost his team. He knows they'd be playing today had he merely attempted to dribble out the clock.

Regardless of that play though, one fact can't be escaped. At a shade over three million dollars a year and on a one year deal, the Bulls can't do better at back up PG than C.J. Watson.

Chicago may look to add a new third point guard as well with Derrick Rose set to miss a good portion of the season [anywhere from about two months to almost the whole thing]. However, with limited resources, that's all the more reason they can't afford to lose Watson. They can't try to bring two new point guards, especially since they aren't looking for a long term solution at the position.

It's also time to sit back and realize that C.J. Watson had a nice year for the Bulls. Yes, he struggled to pick up the slack for Derrick Rose, but who wouldn't? What team is going to have a Derrick Rose behind Derrick Rose? That's absurd. If the Bulls had other offensive initiators to play around Watson, like the Boston Celtics for example, then he likely could have stepped up and played his role even better.

However, the Bulls whole offense is centered around the PG creating shots for everyone else. The responsibility at the position is tremendous and there's not a player in the NBA making under the MLE who could step in and fill those shoes [rookie contracts excluded]. For much of the season, Watson helped carry the Bulls. He helped keep them afloat. He filled in admirably for Derrick Rose.

The Bulls struggled to produce from the PG position against Philadelphia all series long. Philly has an array of athletic perimeter defenders that trapped constantly, and the Bulls simply couldn't pass out of it. It was a rough series for Watson [and Lucas], but the Bulls can't afford to kick Watson to the curb out of the emotion of a disappointing series.

The simple truth is the alternatives aren't better, and the Bulls have limited resources. They can't afford to spend them trying to replace a player who's value exceeds his contract.

Filed under: Players

Tags: c.j. watson, chicago bulls, nba


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  • I am all for keeping Watson. As good as his defense was at times this season combined with his 3 point shooting, I do not see how they could get a better backup PG for the money. The PG that I am not ok with having back is Lucas. Yes, he is the type of player that can hit a big shot now and then but he also screws up the offense whenever he is in the game.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to do53:

    That is the key there. C.J Watson is a good back-up point guard, only mediocre as a starter. His lack of confidence and poor decision-making killed the team, down the stretch in games versus Philly. They have to get a starter there. But, they are strapped by the salary cap. Lucas will not be back, too small, not a true PG, a liability of D. I'd be shocked if he was.
    They both screwed up the offense, pound the ball into the ground, and force someone to shoot a bailout shot. I hope for an upgrade at PG.

  • I agree, I like Watson. Yes, he did make a dumb play at the end of game 6, but he did play well for Rose. I'm not a fan of Lucas though and hopefully some other team is dumb enough to give him a contract. I'd rather have Mike James filling in.

  • The First and the MOST important thing for the bulls to is :

    - KICK BOOZER !!!!
    - KICK BOOZER !!!!
    - KICK BOOZER !!!!

    I don't care even if we have to turn up side down our core.
    Just don't touch Rose, Jo and either Taj or Asik.
    Anyone beyond that is expendable.
    Use that Charlotte pick too.

    Then, try to hire Master Zen. Because our fat ass coach is a stubborn asshole and always say the right thing but never do it, for example :
    - Rip had just recover so we will increase his minute step by step.
    FACT : Rip only play 20+ and rarely 4th Quarter action
    - To be able to play 2 7" center (Jo and Big O) is a rare advantage a team can wish for.
    FACT : I can't remember when both of Jo and Big O play together this year.
    - We got to move the ball. Pass it to the open man.
    FACT : Look at what JL 3 is doing with the god damn ball.
    - We can always count on defense and rebounding.
    FACT : Where the hell is Brewer on the games against Philly. You even DNP him at game 3 and almost disappear at game 6.
    - and there's many more. I even lost count damn it.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to CoolWind:

    Dude, you make lots of good points there. The players who should definitely be back: D-Rose, Joakim, Taj, Omer, and Brewer. Other than that, no one should be safe or feel that way. Here's my 5 things to improve upon:
    1) Do whatever you have to get rid of Carlos Boozer. Trade him, if possible...at least you have to move him to the bench. His defense sucks, he can't jump/ gotta lead the NBA in having his shot blocked, and falls in love with that ugly fade-away. Trade or bench, if they wanna improve.

    2)CJ and JL3 both beat the dang ball into the ground, are scared with the ball, make the offense stagnant, and are never gonna be starter material. CJ is okay to have off the bench, JL3- he'll be gone.

    3)Coach Thibs...his record is good, but he does do stubborn stuff. I got real damn tired of him saying this guy or that guy is a 'Game-Time Decision'. Quit saying that b.s, and playing the fans like that. Unless you can get a Phil Jackson, which I don't see happening, bring Thibs back for 2 more years...and if they don't reach the NBA finals by end of year two, give someone else a try.

    4)Taj Gibson has to start, period. He is extremely better than Boozer, is an excellent defender, lots of energy, can jump very well, and has lots of potential to improve his offensive game. He has to start.

    5)Have confidence in Brewer, Thibs. He's gonna start next year, until Deng gets back from surgery. As long as he gives 14 or 15ppg, 6 rpg, 3 or 4 apg...and plays his good D, they'll manage there.

  • As bad as some might want Hinrich back, I'd much rather have CJ over him. CJ has much more upside than Hinrich, especially with Hinrich being on his downside. And their isn't really many other options this summer that would come at CJ's price, imo. Andre Miller? Ray Felton? Jerryd Bayless? I'd much rather wait until next summer to possibly get a Kevin Martin, Jose Calderon, or maybe even Ben Gordon. I think the real fireworks will be next summer.

  • I could care less about our PG position.
    The PG position can be solved once Derrick return and it is only 6-9 months.
    Actually We got a far worse position that got to be solved immediately..... and that is PF position that we are absolutely getting screwed for the next 3 years because of BOOZER !!!!
    We got to find a way to get rid of that 266 lbs of Meat Bag ASAP.
    Oh God. Save us......

  • CJ is ok but I think the Bulls should explore trade options. Sacramento is said to be shopping Tyreke Evans ( a tall combo guard) that is physical/strong, can attack the rim and most importantly allow Rose to play off the ball to showcase his post game. Rose needs the game to become easier and what better way than get a big strong combo guard that can take some of that pressure off. Maybe Korver+charlotte pick can do it. I think if the Bulls sit on that charlotte pick, it will become less valuable, especially if the bobs land the 1st pic this year and high pick next year. GO FOR IT GARPAXY, make a move.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Tyreke Evans would be a great get, even though he is a risk personality wise.

    We are not even in the game unless Asik or Taj are on the table. Asik would probably be a perfect starting center for a team like Sacto.

    If they do decide to move him, they will likely bet many offers better than Asik and the Charlotte pick.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BigWay:

    Tyreke Evans would be a good starter, until D-Rose comes back. Then, he can fill both guard spots..maybe even some at SF. There is no way you trade Taj Gibson, he should start at PF for the Bulls next season. Asik, if the offer is right, do it...he could start for a few teams, and the Bulls could get whatever it is they want.

  • And if anyone wants to post that "What should the Bulls do with Boozer" article on ESPN Insider for all of us non-insider people that would be nice.

    The Chicago Bulls started the 2012/2013 season with a lot of optimism and potential to go all the way to the NBA Finals and for good reason. The Bulls were arguably the best team in the East going toe to toe with the media darling and unproven best team in the league Miami Heat even without their best player. But as most Bulls fans have come to know all too well, injuries plagued the team like no other since the Portland Trail Blazers in recent years. The team slowly started to unravel with hope for a playoff push still possible as they managed to claw their way to the best record in the league and the number one over all seed in the playoffs. When Derrick Rose injured his knee and was out for the season…it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened. It was clear the Bulls could not make it to the Finals. Soon after, the blame game started with criticism of Tom Thibodeau playing his team too much…Carlos Boozer choking in big games…Richard Hamilton not living up his expectations…and the point guards of the Bulls simply not good enough to replace Derrick Rose. While these criticisms are true to some extent, obviously the loss of Rose is THE REASON the Bulls could not advance in the playoffs. With a more stringent luxury tax threshold because of the new collective bargaining agreement and the hard decisions that need to be made regarding existing players, the Chicago Bulls need to be smart and to position themselves so that they can continue to field a team that is competitive going into the future. To do this the Bulls should do the following.
    1. Trade Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver to the New Jersey Nets. The Nets organization may be intrigued by this since New Jersey seeks to keep Deron Williams and one way to persuade him to stay may be to reunite him with his former Utah teammates who he has had success with in the past. The combination of Boozer and Williams made it to the 06/07 Western Conference Finals. This is likely a much better situation for Williams rather than going to a Dallas team that already has a “leader” and is relatively much older than the proposed New Jersey (now Brooklyn) team if this trade is made. The Nets would give up Anthony Morrow. The Bulls should then sign Kris Humphries, Gerald Green and Courtney Lee. The Bulls could hopefully sign these three players to more favorable contract terms. The Bulls would lose some offense at Power Forward, but get better defense from the position. The Bulls get more offense and lose some defense at the shooting guards and small forward. However this gives the Bulls solid two-way players in Green, Humphries and Lee.

    2. Trade C.J. Watson and Richard Hamilton for draft picks. Sign Shannon Brown as a back-up point guard. The reason for this move is that Brown’s style of play is similar to Derrick Rose and therefore the offensive sets would not be dramatically different whether Rose is in the game or not. Brown is bigger and arguably stronger than Rose and has the potential to be an effective playmaker which provides insurance against any future loss of Rose. It does not hurt that he is also from Chicago. Also do NOT resign John Lucas III. He cannot help the Chicago Bulls.

    3. The final move that the Bulls should try is one that is difficult, perhaps requiring losing a valuable future asset. The Bulls should try to trade Luol Deng for Rudy Gay. This scenario may require another team to make it work. One possible idea is that a three way trade in which Al Jefferson of the Utah Jazz is traded to Memphis - which would free up playing time for the Utah’s other younger (and cheaper) front court - make sense. Memphis would get Luol Deng and Al Jefferson, the Bulls would get Rudy Gay, and the Utah Jazz would get Marc Gasol and the Bulls rights to Nikola Mirotic. The salary exposure for both Utah and Memphis would be reduced.

    4. Sign Tom Thibodeau to a multi-year contract; lock up players such as Taj Gibson and Omer Asik for the long term; fill in the rest of the team with solid players that have good potential and who are unrestricted free agents such as Mickell Gladness at center and veteran Mike James at point guard; and draft a solid shooting guard like John Jenkins out of Vanderbuilt.
    For comparison, the current Bulls team and their projected salaries are…

    Derrick Rose - $15,506,632
    Carlos Boozer - $15,000,000
    Luol Deng - $13,365,000
    Joakim Noah - $11,300,000
    Richard Hamilton - $5,000,000
    Kyle Korver - $5,000,000
    Ronnie Brewer - $4,370,000
    C.J. Watson - $3,200,000
    Omer Asik - $2,321,875
    Taj Gibson - $2,155,811
    Jimmy Butler - $1,066,920
    John Lucas III - $915,852
    Brian Scalabrine - $854,389
    TOTAL: $80,056,479

    The resulting Bulls team and estimated salary would be…

    Rudy Gay - $16,500,000
    Derrick Rose - $15,506,632
    Joakim Noah - $11,300,000
    Kris Humphries - $9,500,000
    Taj Gibson - $7,000,000
    Gerald Green - $5,000,000
    Courtney Lee - $5,000,000
    Shannon Brown - $4,000,000
    Omer Asik - $5,000,000
    Mickell Gladness - $1,500,000
    Jimmy Butler - $1,066,920
    John Jenkins (Draft) - $1,000,000
    Mike James - $800,000
    TOTAL: $83,173,552

    The new Bulls team would be composed of almost all two way players who have solid ability at their position. The temporary loss of Derrick Rose would be mitigated by Shannon Brown - an athletic combo guard who has played point guard in the past and has much to prove. It would be a gamble putting Shannon Brown at Point Guard, but if successful may make losing Derrick Rose a minimal issue. It would also give the Bulls a second scorer/star (Rudy Gay) and solid starting players who can score in their own right at every position. It maintains their depth and also provides players that can fill in at multiple back court and wing positions which further guards against injury (Courtney Lee – Shooting Guard/Point Guard), (Gerald Green - Shooting Guard/Small Forward) and (Shannon Brown – Point Guard/Shooting Guard). If the Bulls were able to pull together this team it would help the Bulls play more consistently. As demonstrated above the projected cost is not that much more than the current exposure of the Bulls going into the next season. With Thibodeau’s defensive focus, I believe this team would be unstoppable.

  • In reply to Forthas:

    I do not know if those things are your idea or someone elses, but either way the majority of them are dumb. Scenario one makes us the New Jersey Nets (they were really good this year). Scenario 2 nets you a couple of 2nd round picks, the team MIGHT get a low first for CJ but that is doubtful. The only reason that the Cavs got a first for Sessions is because the Lakers were desperate. As for scenario 3, you have to be kidding. A team trade away its 2 best players for Luol Deng and Al Jefferson? Why don't we just make the same trade to the Lakers for Kobe and Pau? I like that one better.

    I agree with locking up Thibs, Taj and Omer.

  • In reply to do53:

    Here is why you are wrong….
    Scenario one does not make us the New Jersey Nets. If the trade happened ONLY Humphries would be a starter. Gerald Green and Anthony Morrow would come off the bench. In addition to that Green came to the Nets LATE in the season and turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The Bulls have only an unproven Jimmy Butler as a backup. Green is a more established player with excellent three point range and scoring ability. He is also a strong and one of the most exciting finishers at the rim.
    Even if the Bulls get a second round pick for CJ Watson…it is better than nothing! If the Bulls just decide not to take up his option, other than the salary relief, they get nothing for him. If they trade him and they get a pick…they are ahead. If they can get another pick for Richard Hamilton, that would be even better. Here are a few players that were second round picks who have done OK in their basketball careers. Steve Kerr, Marc Gasol, Mote Ellis, Doc Rivers, Michael Redd, Toni Kukoc, Jeff Hornacek, Dennis Rodman , and Manu Ginobili.
    The last scenario as I earlier stated is the most difficult to do because it is the least obvious. However if one carefully considers it then you would see the logic. Memphis currently has two stars on the team Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph (oddly their PERS are roughly identical). Randoph however is the more proven of the two after he led the team to upset the best team in the West last year (record wise) the Spurs WITHOUT Gay! If Gay and Gasol are traded and Memphis gets Jefferson and Deng, the resulting team would be average a slightly higher scoring average, they would get a better perimeter defender in deng than they do Gay, and they would reduce their salary load by a couple of million AND by a couple of years. Gay and Gasol are signed for four more years… Deng and Jefferson are signed for two and one more years respectively. According to the ESPN trade machine the trade would net BOTH the Bulls and Memphis +3 wins and it is a completely doable trade in terms of money. The question is why would Utah do it thus the sweetener with one of the Bulls assets. They have a log jam of “bigs” so they can easily afford to jettison the largest contract on their payroll especially since he has only one more year remaining. This make TOO much sense!

  • In reply to Forthas:

    You obviously are high or something. None of those 3 make any sense at all. If you are going to bring in a big it needs to be someone that can score. Ryan Anderson would be ideal, not Kris Humphries. Also if you have Humphries and Taj why would you start Humphries? Do not quote stats because Humphries was the primary Big when Lopez went out. If you watched any basketball you could see that Taj is better than Humphries. Thank you for giving me 9 examples of success stories from the 2nd round. It is just as likely to draft someone that will never play a minute in the NBA. Why give up a quality backup PG (yes he made a mistake but he played well throughout the season) making 3 mil a year for a 2nd round pick? Rip for a 2nd? Sure I don't have a problem with that but no way the front office does that. I love the idea of your trade with Memphis, Memphis fans on the other hand would hate it. Memphis believes that Gay is a superstar, no way they trade him AND Marc Gasol (who has been arguably the best center in the playoffs) for Deng and 6th man Al Jefferson.

    That said, please start watching basketball and stop relying on the box score to make your arguments.

  • In reply to do53:

    First off, the Bulls cannot afford a Ryan Anderson. If the Bulls trade Boozer to the Nets as I suggested that frees up Humphries to go elsewhere since at this point the Nets are his primary suitor. I don't think that the Bulls would get into a bidding war with another team over Humphries. Second you don't need another "scoring Big man" because the additional scorers on the team I the other scenarios make that less of a necessity. I was not suggesting that Taj not be a starter, however he seems more suited to come off the bench. Their suggested salaries would be close enough that it would not make a difference to me which one started.

    I am not suggesting that CJ Watson is not a quality back-up point guard. I just don't think he is the right point guard for the Bulls. He offers no dribble penetration on a team that ONLY has Derrick Rose who is able to do that. The combined salaries of CJ Waston and John Lucas III should be enough to get Shannon Brown who as I said earlier plays similarly to Derrick Rose. He is a gamble because he has been primarily used as a shooting guard his entire career. So I don't know if he would be effective. There is nothing to suggest he could not be.

    I am glad you liked the Memphis idea. I think you are a bit confused about something though. Al Jefferson is not a 6th man. He is the starting center for the Utah Jazz and their leading scorer. You may be thinking of Richard Jefferson at Golden State who is more of a sixth man. Al Jefferson is statistically better than Gasol. But Gasol offers more height. Compare for yourself.


  • In reply to do53:

    First off, the Bulls cannot afford a Ryan Anderson. If the Bulls trade Boozer to the Nets as I suggested that frees up Humphries to go elsewhere since at this point the Nets are his primary suitor. I don't think that the Bulls would get into a bidding war with another team over Humphries. Second you don't need another "scoring Big man" because the additional scorers on the team I the other scenarios make that less of a necessity. I was not suggesting that Taj not be a starter, however he seems more suited to come off the bench. Their suggested salaries would be close enough that it would not make a difference to me which one started.

    I am not suggesting that CJ Watson is not a quality back-up point guard. I just don't think he is the right point guard for the Bulls. He offers no dribble penetration on a team that ONLY has Derrick Rose who is able to do that. The combined salaries of CJ Waston and John Lucas III should be enough to get Shannon Brown who as I said earlier plays similarly to Derrick Rose. He is a gamble because he has been primarily used as a shooting guard his entire career. So I don't know if he would be effective. There is nothing to suggest he could not be.

    I am glad you liked the Memphis idea. I think you are a bit confused about something though. Al Jefferson is not a 6th man. He is the starting center for the Utah Jazz and their leading scorer. You may be thinking of Richard Jefferson at Golden State who is more of a sixth man. Al Jefferson is statistically better than Gasol. But Gasol offers more height.

  • Doug methinks you found a solution in your question.. The personnel as constituted should change. We have to think outside the veritable box. We will need to work on development of existing talent . Omer with a hook shot, an elbow shot, Jo working on them too. Get our bigs to work with some post options this summer. Booze can't cut it alone .
    Necessity will create onehell of an invention if Jo and Omer play together as a two way tandem. Rose wasn't considered as MVP til he reformed himself. Part of this work needs to be serious teachers like OLAJUWON or JABBAR. I thought Adrian Dantley had an awesome skills as an underside postman .
    When you are in the Bulls position you gotta play to strength. That's our size . We need those players to develope some edge.

  • In reply to mummuhwalde:

    Two years ago Bill Walton worked with the Pacer's center (sorry, forgot his name) and improved his game.

    I can imagine Walton now telling Asik: "No, no, no. You never bring the ball below your shoulders before you dunk."

    I don't know what Walton could do to improve Noah's game. But Bill Walton would find something.

    On another note, the Bulls gave their best. And I've always enjoyed reading Doug's blogs even though I don't comment as much as I once did.

    Thanks Bulls. Thanks Doug.

  • In reply to mummuhwalde:

    Good points about utilizing our strength with what is essentially two seven footers in Joakim Noah and Omer Asik.
    I firmly believe that Noah will be doing a lot of work with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the off season.
    Jabbar has spoken highly of his potential, saying Noah can become unstoppable by shoring up some areas of his game. Jabbar recently spent some time with Noah after a recent game in Chicago. I think there is a plan for Noah to undergo the same kind of training that Jabbar had with Andrew Bynum.

    Jabbar likes Noah and knows that Noah is a cerebral player like he was in his day, not a a physical freak like Bynum who never played college ball and tired of the discipline Jabbar tried to impart in his game. We all know what an unharnased freak like Bynum is capable of.. He frightens Lakers management and is capable of exploding any minute.
    Jabbar is ready to work with Noah and that should be a match made in heaven.

  • Watson is ok but you guys are crazy if all of you think the Bulls can't do better. Watson made an absolutely dumb play and he shouldn't be let off the hook that easily, but this is Bulls fans and media I'm talking about here. I guess that's why the cubs still have their fans too even tho the Cubs are too cheap to bring in the right players to get to a World Series. This team needs to keep the core of Rose Taj Noah and I would keep Butler too, everyone else would be on the block to either trade or let them go in free agency. Next year will not be a good year for the Bulls if they don't bring in someone that can score when needed cause the guys that they have now can't be depended on a game to game basis especially during the playoffs. Teams like Sacramento or a star searching N.J. nets just might bite at trading for Boozer cause imo he's not in the right system with the Bulls. Boozer can score but he need give with a more traditional guard that can set him up in the post and run pick and rolls. The player the Bulls should try for if the Nets are willing to trade is Humphries. He would fill Boozers role just fine and he's younger, can score and rebound. Bulls management have to do something cause everyone should know that a team has to score in the playoffs to be successful. Defense will carry a team only so far. Management focus should be directly on the offensive side of the ball this off season cause Rose as I have said countless times should not have to carry this team every DAMN night. He's blown out his knee carrying the load of leading scorer for this team, now its up to the Bulls brass... TO GET THE KID SOME HELP FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Boy if you didn't see the value of Asik in the last 15 minute of that last game, you either weren't watching or don't know how to.

    I completely agree with your core group, except that Asik is part of it. Without him, we are a midgetized team, especially in the event of any frontline injury, especially Noah.

    In fact I think because of his size alone, you keep Asik before Taj. Additionally Taj is eligible and likely to get a bigger contract than Asik, even if it comes a year later.

  • It's pointless talking about what the Bulls will or wont do without adding up the salary.

    I think it will come down to a choice between Asik and CJ, with CJ winning if the luxury tax stays where it is because he fits under it and Asik wont.

    The Bulls situation, minus an amnesty of Boozer, is that the only way to not pay the tax with the current roster is to let Asik walk. I didn't realise it was this bad and had been saying that they could keep Asik, I guess I should have added up the numbers more carefully. If you look at the 11 roster spots minus Asik and the backup PG:

    Rose $15,506,632
    Boozer $15,000,000
    Deng $13,365,000
    Noah $11,300,000
    Hamilton $5,000,000
    Gibson $2,155,811
    Butler $1,066,920
    #29 $1,028,400
    Vet Min $854,389 (assume the Bulls need to fill at least one vet to play third string PG/backup while Rose recovers)
    Rookie Min $473,604
    Rookie Min $473,604

    That already comes to $66,224,360. The Tax this year was at $70,307,000. Unless the cap goes up, the Bulls have $4,082,640 to play with. The MLE is $5,000,000 and Asik will surely get offered that by someone. So keeping Asik would put the Bulls into the tax before they even signed their backup PG (starter while Rose is out).

    But if you pay CJ his $3,200,000 you have just enough room to pay the vet min to a center and not pay the tax.

    The Bulls say they intend to keep Asik and will match offers, but when that MLE offer rolls in are they really going to pay almost 10 million in real dollars to keep him? I'm sorry, I can't see it. JR said he'd pay for a winner, and injuries or not this team's exit doesn't make it a winner.

    Of course if the Bulls would just consider booting Boozer they'd have enough room to keep Asik, Watson and use the MLE or Korver/Brewer's contracts in a trade.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Asik will get an offer greater than the MLE, especially from some team that desperately needs a big. I would not be shocked if Golden State offered him something similar to what they offered Deandre Jordan. 4 year 40 million or something like that.

    Luckily Kaman is a free agent so he should be the number one big this offseason but I could see Asik being the 2nd guy targeted. There are a lot of teams that would be willing to offer more than the MLE I would imagine.

  • In reply to do53:

    I'd be shocked if Golden State did that, they got Bogut so they're not paying 10 million a year for someone to be his backup.

    Most teams either already have a center or don't have the cap space to offer more than the MLE. I guess Portland might consider it, and maybe the Nets or Mavs if it looks like Dwight isn't going to be traded this off-season.

    Anyway my point was even at the MLE it puts the Bulls into the tax when I don't think they'll go there, so Asik probably isn't coming back.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Scratch that, I knew I was forgetting something. Asik is a second round pick, you can't offer him more than the MLE in the first two years of his contract due to the Gilbert Arenas rule.

    So even if a team with space makes an offer it still can't be for more than 5 million next year.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    so say a team throws the 39 million 4 year deal at Asik, sure we get him for mle for the first two years but what do they do in year 3 and 4? I think they should trade him now since his value is at its peak. they can grab a good late lottery pick for him. Sacramento, Detroit, Houstin, Cleveland are just some of the teams desperate for a defensive anchor inside. We have real needs at shooting guard/athletic guard/ball handler and I think Noah is the better overall talent so I'm a little bit not understanding why they refuse to deal Asik or at least explore trade options. Do they want to be stuck paying Asik 14 million in year 3 and 4??? because that is what cleveland or someone else will offer him as their starting center.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Other teams aren't going to backload max salary into Asik's contract for the same reason the Bulls wouldn't want to: nobody wants to pay 15 million a year for a guy averaging 3 points per game. I'm not even sure you'd find a team that would do it even if Isiah Thomas was still in charge somewhere.

    My understanding is that the Bulls can't send Asik away in a trade since he's only got 2 years with the team so they don't have his full bird rights. To sign Asik they'd be using the MLE, and you can't sign and trade players with your MLE.

    So the options are to resign Asik or let him walk for nothing.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Thanks for the info. I did not realize that about offering the MLE. I can not imagine them letting him walk just because they refused to trade him at the deadline. Front office had to decide before the deadline if they were going to pay him what amounts to 10 mil next year or not. If they did not want to pay him that they I think they would have traded him for something.

    But I am afraid that they will not want to pay him and we lose him, and we keep Boozer as well.

  • In reply to do53:

    It's possible they can find another way to keep him without paying tax, such as dumping Rip's contract with a future pick on a team with cap space. Although that leaves the Bulls awfully exposed at SG.

    As for why they didn't trade him at the deadline, firstly because he was going to be useful in this year's title run they were expecting if healthy, and secondly I think before Rose got hurt they probably would have "paid for a winner" and paid tax next year.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I do not think that the NBA CBA allows wild variations of pay from one year to the next, thus Asiks next contract is tied to the MLE for the duration, no backloading years 3&4.

    Not sure that Asik can take the risk, but he might be better off signing a 1-2 year deal.

    So at least the new CBA benefited us in this instance. However, I've read that matching/signing Asik will use up our MLE for this season. Meaning, the only way that we can bring in anyone significant this offseason is by trade.

  • In reply to do53:

    Luckily for us, I am fairly certain, that the most that anyone can offer Asik is a contract starting at the full MLE(about $5 million).

    Something called the Gilbert Arenas rule affecting second round picks entering restricted free agency. I think that Jeremy Lin is in the same boat with the Knicks.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Ugh, didn't take into account Korver apparently is guaranteed 500k next year no matter what so the salary situation gets even nastier. It's possible the Bulls can't even keep Watson without paying the tax.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Thank you, I have been screaming that all year.

    However, keeping Watson over Asik would be moronic.

    The Bulls have only 2 choices this summer, keep boozer and gut the rest of the roster, or amnestitize boozer and retain/tweak the rest of the roster.

    Well, there is choice 3, pay everybody and pay $30 million for the right to watch boozer for another year. With the uncertaintly over Rose, I see no way that the Bulls go deep into the luxury tax this season. They will not consider it until the following season when they have some idea of what Rose is going to be when he comes back.

    However, I could see the bulls keeping Asik and boozer, thus going into what would be the first tier of the tax. But even doing that has ramifications for the future years because of the new repeat offender provisions of the luxury tax.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Of course I'd rather Asik than Watson, but Watson's salary may be a factor in keeping him. Ideal for the Bulls would be the cap to go up a couple of million, which gives them room to keep Asik at the MLE without hitting the tax. Not sure how likely that is though, the cap is now based on a projection of future income in the new CBA so I guess it depends on who does the forecasting. At least the CBA has a provision that it can't go down next year.

    There are no tiers of tax until the year after next (2013-14). Next year the tax is still dollar for dollar, which at least gives us some hope they might consider paying it.

  • I'm guessing the Bulls will find a way to keep Asik rather then "lose him for nothing." Honestly, who cares if they have a solid "starting" PG or not? I have to say C.J., it's been nice knowing you. That playoff kiss of death play to Asik was like having your girlfriend hit on your best friend. It's over.

    This coming season should be about development. Taj and Jo(and Omer) seeing if they can find more offense with an inside game, and Jimmy Butler is he a legit quality NBA player or not? Butler could be a guy, when you look at his solid college numbers as NBA potential that takes a couple of years to develop. Corey Brewer looked like a bust, and now he's contributing in Denver.

    I'd rather see the Bulls pull a Miami almost, post "championship," and just tank the crap out of next season for a high lottery pick. Then next summer with (Wade)Rose coming back at full strength you can now amnesty Boozer for $32 Mil, and dump expirings or trade them to pursue a quality 2013 FA sign and trade for Derrick's first healthy, viable season back.

    You do better then Beasley, and maybe get an offensive quality scorer or all around stud player. That, plus your anti-Boozer legit scorer FA, plus Derrick coming back, a loaded front court, and you trade Taj, Omer, or Jo with incentives and or expirings for another offensively talented established player.

    Of course.. the Bulls won't do any of these things. Even next summer Reinsdorf the cheap bastard no way he will amnesty Boozer, the Bulls conservative crew of Gar/Pax would be "scandalized" to make next year purely developmental i.e tankville. More likely, they'll suck, but not enough to get a top pick. They will be as most are predicting "stuck."

    As for this year's draft No. 29 even in a deep draft that's a long way down. Denver with Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried showed how it can be done. While I wasn't a Jimmy Butler guy his numbers and feel for the game suggest somebody who may one day contribute i.e be a sucessful draft pick. So the Marquette well may be run to once too often, but I like Darius Johnson-Odom. Yes he's an undersized SG, but he can flat out play on both ends, score, shoot the three, and his competitiveness and personality are without any questions or red flags. And his passing despite his A/TO and his athleticism are underrated. He's got that very nice handle with both hands.

    You look at what he and Jae Crowder did in the Big East this year, and in the late season and tournament it is impressive. Honestly, I'd be thinking gamble, but I'd be excited if the Bulls took Crowder instead. His numbers tell a different story then what the scouts are saying. And he can score around the basket in the half court. Plus defensively he's a demon as his 2.5 steals per game attest to. Another offensive capable late rounder could be Marcus Denmon. Flat out can shoot threes, play D, and is a competitor with no red flags effort wise etc. Except I just didn't see the presence from him most successful NBA players have in my opinion.

    Jeff Taylor people like, but he will be gone due to freak athleticism. And his Vanderbilt three point sharpshooter teammate John Jenkins can not defend. Period. No thanks. If Doron Lamb somehow dropped I'd be excited about taking him as well. Will Barton from Memphis woud be the sleeper with the most offensive potential, but he's got rocks in his head if you ask me as in will not be a reliable pro aka flighty.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    The Bulls have just enough remaining talent to not be able to fully tank even if they wanted to, which I don't believe that they do.

    The worst that they could likely be is the eighth seed or last team into the lottery, which doesn't get you Tim Duncan.

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    I personally don't care for Watson because I feel he dribbles the ball too long then decides to give it up or he runs up the court and shoots a jump shot that is not in the flow of the game. He needs to make better decisions since he will most likely be the starting point guard for awhile. He seems very selfish and wants the spotlight on him instead of getting his teammates involved. When Watson is in the game the offense stalls versus when Lucas is in the game. Lucas gets everyone involved the game seems to flow better. I prefer Lucas over Watson and his decisions making at the end of game 6 proves my point. That game was winnable for the bulls but that was not a smart play. Watson is ok but he needs to improve and get better at passing the ball and his decision making skills.

  • First of all, we got to understand that the next season is we are not going to be competing for the title because rose is gonna be gone for 9 months after having surgery yesterday. Bulls can only advance as far as Rose can take us. If rose is down, so are the bulls. So our main goal for the next off-season is to trade BOOZER. BOOZER. BOOZER. BOOZER. BOOZER... !!!!! and clear salary cap for the 2013 because the 2013 free agent class is quite formidable too with the likes of Howard, Al Jefferson, Millsap, Kevin Martin, Ginobili, Redick, Ariza, Monta Ellis, A. Bynum, Ben Gordon, Marion, Josh Smith and many more. It is all depends on Gar/Pax to release that Bulls absolutely have no chance competing for the title next season. I know that it might sound sucks, but this is the result of our bad luck of trading for BOOZER 2 years ago... We are really stuck with that Meat Bag right now.
    And maybe a suggestion from me. Any chance of hiring George Karl from Denver Nuggets ? He and our fat ass coach have the same playing orientation which is Defense and Rebound. But the difference is Karl likes to give young players chance to play rather than Fat ass coach that always stick to old man, such as heavily favored Bogans over Brewers, Heavily favored Kurt Thomas over Asik, Heavily Playing Deng with 40+ minutes and absolutely give no chance to play for James Johnson and Jimmy Butler. The bottom line is Thibs never give any chance to young players except your name is Derrick Rose.

  • In reply to CoolWind:

    Sorry wrong typo. It is all depends on Gar/Pax to "REALIZE" that Bulls absolutely have no chance competing for the title next season.

  • Just read something that I think is disgusting.

    Hey, David Stern. Are you really that desperate earning dollars to feed your wife and pay school fee of your kids ? You fucking sick freak fat guy.... You're no different than a stinking pig.

  • I more or less agree with Doug on this one.

    However, Andre Miller would be seem to be a perfect fit for the Bulls at this time. He is an unrestricted free agent, who made $7 something million this past season with Denver.

    I don't know what the market for Miller will be, but I assume that he isn't getting $7 million a year anymore. Miller probably still sees himself as a starter, even though nobody else has for quite a while

    Since, from what I have read, retaining Asik will use up our MLE, we have no avenue to sign him directly. We would have to work out a sign and trade with Denver.

    The new CBA has some restrictions on sign and trades, so I don't know how or if it affects a player like Miller. Would Denver do a sign and trade for Watson or Korver and something(a pick).

    Miller is a far better pure point than CJ and he still has the ability to break down a defense off the dribble(CJ doesn't), which is the thing that we miss most without Rose, and cost us the series against Philly.

    At a minimum, Miller wouldn't have passed that ball to Asik.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    For next year you're still allowed to sign and trade for a player even while in the tax, so the Bulls could in theory send a non-guaranteed contract for a S&T of Miller. At 36 it's hard to see anyone other than playoff teams after him, and the Bulls can offer him the biggest role with Rose injured, so I'm guessing he'd be happy to come for a reasonable deal.

    I think Denver would probably be open to it as Lawson is clearly their #1 guy now and letting Miller go gives them cap space to use elsewhere, so if they can get a pick for him then why not. Don't think the Bulls do it because of the tax though.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Update from Andre Miller himself

    "I'll keep my options open," Miller said. "At this point in my career, if I'm going to be a backup, I'm going to be a backup on a championship-caliber team.

  • Doug, I'd love to get Jerryd Bayless. He's got a similar style game as Derrick Rose in that he's a scorer that can dribble and penetrate. He's got a lot of potential still in that he came out of college as a freshman just like Rose. In fact, during their senior years of high school, Bayless was touted to be in the same tier as Rose, Eric Gordon, and OJ Mayo. I think Bayless can be great if put in the right situation, and I'm not sure that he's found that yet. Any idea if he could be had for the MLE or less?

  • In reply to HINrichPolice:

    Having said that, I'm all for keeping Watson. I think he's as good of a backup PG as anyone can expect to find. He's on a fair deal and he played well given that he had some injuries this year which may have been bothering him through the end of the season and the playoffs. I just think Jerryd has the potential to provide some much needed depth/scoring. We need to gamble a little on some unfulfilled potential, and I think Jerryd would be a great candidate.

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