Bulls Beat #245 - K.C. Johnson Interview

Bulls Beat #245 - K.C. Johnson Interview

K.C. and I discuss the Bulls off-season and the cost cutting moves Chicago has made while taking a look at what the roster they do have will be able to get done this summer.

Bulls Beat #245 - K.C. Johnson interview


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  • Really good interview, Doug. For as much shit as he gets, KC came out really well. I thought his insights about the Korver and Thibodeau situations in particular were terrific.

    That being said, I feel even shittier about the team going forward after listening ti it.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    Everytime I see K.C. Johnson get shit from fans it's because he's accurately delivering a message they don't want to hear. He's really top notch in terms of Bulls the accuracy of what he reports and the professionalism in which he reports it IMO.

    I've never understood why any Bulls fan wouldn't love K.C. as their beat reporter.

  • Outstanding interview Doug. I kind wished you would have asked about Boozer's amnesty and what the 2014 plan was but maybe even KC doesn't know.

    I agree with Jerry that KC came off more likable and maybe thats because he's not on the clown ass panel on CTL.

    Telling ya Butler is going to be a player. Korver agrees with me. I'd like to see a Rose, Butler, Deng, Taj, Noah lineup in the near future.. maybe in the spring?

    good job

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    I would guess that KC feels like me, the 2014 plan is a plan they can execute because they're being cheap, not a plan that's so good it's forcing them to be cheap now.

    If you wanted to really have a 2014 plan, you would have swapped out deng/noah for high lotto picks this year [could have been done] then had a bunch of three year vets still on rookie deals in 2014 to trim salary, and increase the upside of your 2015+ run.

    The Bulls are in a position to naturally get under the cap in 2014, but I don't think there's any real form to that plan, nor do I think we've seen the front office suggest there is. We've seen a couple beat writers use it as an excuse to say "this is why they're saving!" when in reality, it isn't. Keeping Korver/Watson/Brewer wouldn't have impacted 2014.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If there is a 2014 plan, Deng and Noah can just as easily be moved next summer or at the 2014 trade deadline, especially Deng since he will be expiring.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    If they're planning for 2014...AFTER Deng expires and Boozer has 1 year left making an Amnesty more palatable for Reinsdorf...

    ...Why didn't they at least move Deng for GSW's 7th or TOR's 8th and drafted Barnes, Rivers, Ross or Lamb?

    2014 Cap Space + Top Pick > 2014 Cap Space - No Pick

  • In reply to BigWay:

    It's not about moving Deng/Noah to get out of their contracts, it's the fact that Deng would be gone and to use any of our cap would need to remain gone.

    If that's really a plan then trading Deng for a high lotto pick would be a move you make now, so that player has two years of development under his belt and the Bulls have a ton of cap room still to build a stronger team in 2014.

    Noah I don't think you need to move at all, but you could have considered it.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yeah I think the FO has no real plan. Not only that but they have no imagination in their player signings. I mean Hinrich and Vlad Rad. Seriously? They don't even fit roles on our team not to mention both are in serious decline.

    Jerry should just save a lot of money and fire the front office. Just let the head of the scouting dept make personel decisions. Can't do any worse than the inept duo of GarPax and considering they probably make all the draft recommendations and that is the only thing the Bulls FO does well... I say flip the power to the scouts. I am tired of washed up has beens being signed by a pair of washed up never weres.

  • In reply to Chad:

    My guess is, because of the recent increased revenues from the 'GarPax' era of lucking into Rose...Reinsdorf feels why mess with what's not broken?

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    I agree. We all see this offseason as a huge failure. Reinsdorf sees this as a huge success. They got under the cap and will still sell out the stadium. And a lot of old-time fans are excited about Hinrich (because they are brain dead).

  • Cool interview Doug, except I too feel crappier about the Bulls. Great to see you getting the chance to have some quality Bulls talk with an insider. It shows how respected you are amongst the Bulls media community!

    Loved hearing Korver's praise for Butler. Interesting about the coaching staff being down on CJ. I always figured that his injuries would give him the benefit of the doubt. Lastly, I have much more confidence in Thibs not burning out his players the way Skiles did.

  • In reply to HINrichPolice:

    I was a bit surprised at how blunt K.C. was in discussing the cost savings and how we should view this off-season.

    I've known K.C. for about five years now, we first met at Orlando Summer League. He's always been really friendly with me and generous with his time. I'm fairly certain he'd do the podcast any time I asked, but I never want to ask more than twice a year, because I feel guilty taking up his time.

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    In reply to DougThonus:

    I too was surprised at how much he stepped out and criticized the organization. It's kind of showed up in his writing of late as well. You could tell in his article on the VladRad signing that he thought essentially replacing Korver with Vlad was a bogus move. Refreshing to see K.C. do this.

  • Also, I really wished Deng would commit to surgery right after the Olympics. Someone needs to talk some sense into him.

  • In reply to HINrichPolice:

    I feel the same way.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    He wouldn't be the first athlete, who felt that he wasn't going to have his surgery during his offseason personal time. He got hurt while at work, so he is going to have surgery while at work.

    That would be the only reason not to have it immediately after the Olympics, by now he either needs surgery or doesn't, things aren't going to change next season.

  • In reply to HINrichPolice:

    He looked pretty good against USA.

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    Shot under 40% though.

  • good interview, kind of surprising seeing KC criticizing the FO for not making moves and letting assets go for nothing. If the Bulls can get Carlos Delfino who is a solid two way player, I think their bench should be ok...won't be as good but not horrific either. Instead of making it Butler vs Brewer, I'm going to focus on what Butler can help the Bulls with and those are two things the Bulls did not do well last year. He gets to the line and he's a good transition player which is not afraid to go to the cup. How many times did we see the Bulls blow a fast break or completely rely on jumpshooting without getting to the line to help scoring droughts, so I'm very big on Butler and think he definitely brings things that we need as a team. Carlos Delfino if we can get him, would be the better two way player compared to Korver so I think we would make out good there. The Asik thing, well that one sucks but Taj Gibson needs more minutes and we'll probably see the two powerforward lineup that Thibodeau went with when playing Gibson and Boozer together. So its going to be a tough year but they should position themselves into a top 5 playoff team and make a run when derrick comes back.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I'd like to see the Bulls pick up Delfino. Certainly rather have him than VladRad, even if they play different positions.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    they're talking up Bellinelli and Delfino just like they were talking up Mayo and Lee. Why do I get the feeling we are going to get min vet guy Willie Green, another Hawk leftover.

  • Just chiming in to throw some love to KC. He's never struck me as the org's mouthpiece as some people portray him. While he's mentioned the 2014 Plan, he hasn't shilled for it in the shameful way Friedell has. I was very glad to see him willing to tell the truth about how the org never uses its "flexibility."

    Really bummed about Thib's situation. I feel that he's right up there with Derrick for why the Bulls are so much better than the VDN team. Then I remember that they hired VDN because he was cheap, and I'm suddenly very concerned about the future of this squad.

    This offseason has been just awful. Living out of town, I don't get to see many games anyway. If they let Thibs walk and waste DRose's prime, I'm going back into hibernation like I did during the Pink Floyd era.

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    Again, great interview Doug. And this Thibs stuff is just...wow. I don't even know where to begin. Thibs obviously has his faults and is still learning on the job, but the man has done almost as good a job as you can do with the roster he's had the past two seasons. He's won a COY and was runner-up last season.

    And his reward?

    A low-balled offer and likely no extension this summer. That's an absolute disgrace. You're telling me that the "small market" Oklahoma City Thunder can pay Scotty Brooks $18M but the Bulls can't? I'd take Thibs over Brooks any day of the week. If I were Thibs, I'd really be tempted to tell the org. to eff off and look elsewhere. I sure hope it doesn't come to that.

  • Yeah this is way better than a twitter war and acting like you won just going around in circles with a idiot from ESPN.

  • 1) Thibs will never be an HOF coach until he makes at least three major adjustments.
    First, he overworks his players. This leads to more injuries, since strong muscles protect joints, and tired muscles can't do so well at that. Many fans have complained about this. Also, in the playoffs the last two years, we saw production plummet from key players, both starters and bench. The Heat went into the playoffs with players rested.
    Second, he failed to test players in games. Two seasons back, he never used the guard the Bulls picked up for the playoffs. In fact, he never used Thomas against Miami like he should have. Then this season he should have played Butler a lot more - we had a lot of posts pointing this out! Now he is saying he won't play teague this season. So, the Bulls don't discover if they have real potential or if they need to be replaced.
    Third, he needs a sharp offensive assistant, and he needs to listen to him. Often the Bulls offense stagnated. He needs fresh ideas on offense!

    2) The Bulls may need cap space in 2014-2015 to sign a big FA and make a run at the title. For two years, in fact. So, avoiding the tax this year will make the future tax years more doable! I expect them to shed some salary later this season to get under the cap. Then in 2014 they will get Mirotic, still have Rose, Noah, and Taj (hopefully), and maybe Deng, amnesty Boozer, add the top tier FA SG they have needed forever, and go for the title.

    3) However, there is a third possibility: If the team is gelling this season, and Deng, Rose, and Noah are back healthy, they might decide to rent Howard for the second half of the season and shoot for the title this year. To do that, they will need their new SG now or soon.

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    In reply to rustyw:

    If you're keeping Deng around, good luck getting a top tier anything in 2014. There just won't be enough space if you plan on keeping all of those guys. And have you looked at that FA class? It's not all it's cracked up to be. Most of the elite guys have ETO's and probably won't be available/wouldn't come here anyway. You're basically looking at Danny Granger or maybe Rudy Gay (he'll have a player option).

  • In reply to Jay Patt:

    Paul George is a free agent. Imagine Rose, Butler, George, Mirotic, Noah... Thats pretty athletic.

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    In reply to SoulEater7:

    I like Paul George a lot. But he's still pretty raw and who knows what type of offensive player he actually becomes. If they could get him, I'd be pretty pumped, but I'm not sure that team is any better than what the Bulls are throwing out there now.

    And if the media tries to sell fans on a "2014 plan" and they end up with Paul George and perhaps some other ok pieces, people will not be happy.

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    In reply to SoulEater7:

    And by now I mean the last couple of years.

  • Great interview. I think it was your best podcast since I started listening.
    KC nailed it - trading this year for a better shot in 2014-2016 wouldn't be so bad. But they didn't trade for future assets...they didn't trade for anything...they're just slowly collapsing like a flan in the cupboard.

  • In reply to Gringo Rican:

    Whenever KC comes on it makes for a great podcast. He's really awesome in an open forum.

  • This was a great interview... i have been sick listening to Friedel lately as he continuosly bashes the Bulls and defends the FO.

    I fear we are all corrct about the Bulls not using the trade exception. i think there greatest opportunity to use it would have been for Mayo. We could have gotten him for 2 years 8-10mil? That would significantly improve us, keep the "2014 plan" intact, and allow us a great asset to use later. If something great comes up Mayo would be a nice trade chip at that price. This is the only move (non-move) i am really upset with from the FO.

    Capt Kirk for Watson and Butler for Brewer doesnt bother me one bit. But MAYO FOR CHEAPER THAN KORVER - how did we pass that up. He can create his own shot, would help us carry the load until Rose's return, then make sure Rose doesnt feel like he is the only creator when he comes back. It think they missed a no-brainer here.

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