Bulls set to sign Nate Robinson

The good news is that Nate Robinson can come in and play the John Lucas role better than John Lucas in my opinion. He's cut in a similar mold (shoot, score, handle, ball hog, undersized) but plays with more strength and athleticism while historically being more of a locker room pain in the ass [though to be fair, I haven't heard anything in that regard recently, I also haven't paid much attention].

The downside, of course, is this signals that the Bulls don't believe Marquis Teague is ready to have any role whatsoever on this team to start off with. That's probably the safer decision, but if the Bulls viewed this as somewhat of a lost year then developing Teague would have been an excellent plan.

Bringing in Robinson means Teague, even with Rose out, will likely struggle to get off the bench without an injury. That said, the Bulls likely needed to start three deep at PG to start the season given Hinrich's health and Teague's poor summer league play. It's the right move to make in order to win games off the bat and mandatory to cover any possible injuries otherwise they'd be looking at an emergency D-League call up the instant Teague or Hinrich were hurt in the regular season.

One concern is that historically Robinson plays best when he can enter into shot jacking mode in an open offense. His best numbers were for Golden State and the Knicks while he struggled to find a niche for both the Celtics and Thunder. Thibodeau did coach Nate for a partial season while an assistant in Boston, so I'm sure he was consulted on both Robinson's attitude and what he can bring to the table.

All in all, I like the signing of Robinson as a 4th point guard on the roster. However, the move, if completed, may signal the end of the Bulls pursuit of summer league standout Malcom Thomas. Chicago would have a hard cap set at 74.3 million dollars and after news hit that Kirk Hinrich will be making closer to 3.8-3.9 million this season, the Bulls may not have room under that hard cap for a veteran minimum contract.

Personally, I'm more than content to add Robinson ahead of Thomas anyway. Derrick Byars, Lonnie Baxter, Eddie Basden, and a host of others have stood out in summer league for Chicago to go on and do nothing noteworthy whatsoever in the NBA. In short, summer league is perhaps one of the most meaningless evaluation tools for NBA talent available. Most of the players are playing purely to rack up stats in order to land an NBA or overseas gig creating a complete lack of useful structure.

I liked what I saw from Thomas, but Robinson's a career 15 PER type player while filling a specific niche the Bulls need filled. It's possible the Bulls wills till have room for Thomas [or another player] as well as not all of the official contract numbers are out, and Chicago is sitting right on the edge of whether they could fit him in or not.


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  • "The good news is that Nate Robinson can come in and play the John Lucas role better than John Lucas in my opinion."

    this says it all. and i agree.

    I don't mind going for the cautious approach with Teague. let's see what he does the rest of the offseason and in camp before giving him the backup PG spot. A year to learn seems to have done wonders for Butler (*knock on wood*)

  • In reply to BXLBearsFan:

    The problem with the Teague pick in general is that at best he's going to be Rose's backup.

    If you're going to take a 'potential' guy with the 29th pick and not play them in the 1st year, wouldn't you want it to be at a position of need like SG with Barton or Doron Lamb?

    At least their ceiling would be starting SG instead of backup PG.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    I agree, they totally screwed up that 1st round pick. Barton or lamb would have been a much better pick.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    I don't know. I'm a firm believer in the 'draft for talent' approach.
    If they truly believe Teague's ceiling is higher, i say they were right to take him. Talent always trumps need in the long run. Immediate need is what FA is for imo.

    and quality backup can mean a lot of things:
    - Play rose off the ball more
    - More rest for Rose during the season
    - if teague pans out, someone eventually will call about a trade. the better your assets, the better your position will be in talks.

  • I like Nate! Guy has amazing heart! You have to inorder to play in the NBA at 5'9" !!!! WOW! He sure can jump! Fun times! It's best as we are to keep our expectations very low this season and have some fun still! Not a bad idea to buy the NBA League Pass and watch other teams that are going to go deep in the playoffs such as OKC, Heat, maybe the Clippers, etc. Go small market teams like OKC! LOL

  • The more I think about this signing, the happier I get. Nate Rob is a HUGE upgrade from JL3. He's a much better defender because of his strength, yet has same lateral quickness. And he's a more proven scorer who can create better than most think. He had many monster games for the Warriors last year, simply lighting up the stat sheet with points, assists, 3s, steals. He did more in that uniform than CJ Watson ever did.

    And like you say Doug, Malcolm Thomas isn't the first player to put up good numbers in the summer league and then be nothing in the big league. Getting rebounds can be especially misleading, as the rebounders are so much bigger and better in the pros - and boards were the only big numbers that Thomas was putting up.

  • In reply to Curious E:

    Other than for the guys with NBA contracts, what IS the point of the Summer League when it so meaningless?

    The NBA and about half the teams in the league must be really really REALLY stupid for putting money, time, effort, and resources into something so useless.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    that's pretty true. last time I checked, a scrimmage in their own respective cities cost a lot less. these summer league games are glorified pick-up games which often shed zero light on who can play in the real games ... some guys excel in systems, while others are classic pick-up players that often struggle in systems. Thibs is a system coach all the way, so their summer league team is pretty useless ...

  • This new bench mob with the likes of nate robinson and belinelli could be better at scoring compared to the old one. they won't be as good defensively but with the likes of Deng, Butler and Taj in that bench mob, still pretty solid defensively. Nate Robinson is exactly what the Bulls need, a guy who can score in bunches and is not afraid to fire up shots. Also with this new group, they should be better at finishing fast breaks which they had trouble with the last few years. John Lucas who? This guy is like a better version of JLIII on steroids. This is one pick up that Bulls fans should appreciate.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    So you're depending on Deng to play 40+min for yet ANOTHER season, on a busted wrist?


  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    No, I think it would be wise if Thibs only plays Deng 36 max a night and thats if he's ok which he claims he is. What I like to see is his time overlap with the second unit and some of the second unit players like Taj, butler and belinelli playing with the starters some. Kind of blend the two groups together somewhat. When you have hockey like line changes, its just not that good in NBA basketball and I think thibodeau realized that. This new bench mob doesn't look that bad and I'm eager to see how Taj Gibson does with an increased role of 30 minutes a night.

  • The difference between the old Bench Mob in Korver, Watson, and Brewer is that those guys were solid teammates, character guys whereas Nate Robinson is just, well.. a character.

    Run in's with D'Antoni(who has managed to rub many players the wrong way), waived by OKC, hand to hand combat with J.R Smith..? On the other hand the guy can go off offensively at times and can be clutch also at times. And he has something in common with M.J. - both Slam Dunk champions! Impressive... uh-yeah.

    Look, this is just another cheaply priced used model which while appealing as a new player(car) always is to the team's fans who get him, he's been passed around for a reason.

    Still, when you are dismantling your roster to form an ultra thrifty "Dirty Dozen" you take what you can get. Hell, looking soley at Robinson's stat line from last year and realizing just how injury plagued aka Rip Hamiltonian Klank has been the last two years maybe lil' Nate should be the starting PG not 'Kurt.'

    Guy sported a what 3 to 1 A/TO ratio with 4.5 'dimes' a game in just a little over 23 minutes a night. Not bad. Bulls could have done worse for the table scraps left out there. Give Gar/Pax credit scoring Belinelli, Robinson, these guys know their table scraps.

    If Thibs can handle Natey and Belinelli is a team guy and not a lose then look if Deng, Booz, Taj, Jo can remain healthy things might not look so bad come next February/March when Derrick Rose light returns. Of course if there are injuries which with the Bulls has been a given then things could get ugly as the league would enjoy some revenge beating up the regular season champs. And if the losses mount again Thibs tuneout/burnout could become a factor.

    At this point next season appears an enigma, wrapped in a conundrum, shrouded in mystery, plugged into a cavity..

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Great stuff, Road Warrior. the last part is dead one ... NOBODY knows what to expect from this new crew. Bulls could be #2 team in the east, or out of the playoffs. A key will to see how much Boozer, Rip, Kirk and Nazr have left in their tank ... they're all at the key juncture and could be absolute garbage next year. Boozer and Rip are already halfway to the junk heap ... so let's see what happens.

  • For what it is worth, I checked out some fan sights for teams that NRob played for in the past, everybody seems to love having the guy on their team. I really didn't find any negative comments about him from the fans. Maybe he is the type of guy that is more popular with the fans than he is with his teammates and coaches.

    Personally, I like the signing, and like Doug think that he is a better more physical version of JL3.

    While I would like to see the Bulls give Malcom Thomas a shot in training camp, I agree with Doug that I would rather have Robinson than Thomas at this point.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Unlike the 'knuckleheads' like Blatche, Nick Young, Beasley...Nate Robinson has always been a team guy and never a locker room cancer.

    His skill is getting hot and going on a big scoring stretch, but that's also his weakness because sometimes he doesn't know if he's hot.

    That's the job of the coach.

  • Did anybody see KC tweet that the Bulls are either done or signing TMac? That's got to be a joke, right? I mean, I know that he's not completely useless as a shadow of his former self, but he's an odd pick-up. Are we going to go D-free for long stretches?

  • In reply to kukoc4cocopuffs:

    I said the bulls should have picked him up 2 years ago because he would have given the Bulls a 2nd shot creator, which would have been helpful against MIA in the ECF.

    He's 2 years older, and so NOW the Bulls decide to pick him up.

    Don't you just love the Bulls?

  • " Personally, I'm more than content to add Robinson ahead of Thomas anyway. Derrick Byars, Lonnie Baxter, Eddie Basden, and a host of others have stood out in summer league for Chicago to go on and do nothing noteworthy whatsoever in the NBA. In short, summer league is perhaps one of the most meaningless evaluation tools for NBA talent available. Most of the players are playing purely to rack up stats in order to land an NBA or overseas gig creating a complete lack of useful structure. "

    This doesn't sound good for jimmy butler.

  • Teague sucks. I knew from his first game he was going to be out of the league after his rookie deal.

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    Yeah, because John Calipari has such a bad track record with identifying and cultivating talent at the PG position and because Teague's obvious comp, his brother Jeff, is such a schmuck. You're definitely right. Based on summer league. Totally.

  • In reply to kukoc4cocopuffs:

    go look at their college numbers again and tell me jeff is marquis' obvious comp. if you are looking at numbers, you probably be more accurate if you had said marquis daniels was marquis teagues best comp.

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    yes he does suck. and that was obvious to anyone who looked at his college production. and the bulls dont do well with projects and wont have many minutes to give him down the road, so, yeah, it was an idiotic pick unless they can use him well in a trade.

  • In reply to Gavolt:

    I will give you that Thibs doesn't do well with projects, but the idea that Teague sucks is laughable. As is the idea that random commenter x on a Bulls blog is a better judge of talent than any NBA front office.

    Did Jeff Teague play with five other NBA draft picks on his college team? Think that might impact his individual stats any?

    Marquis Teague is 19. He is a project. If he fails, it will be because the Bulls fail him. It will not be because he sucks. His growth throughout the NCAA season was evident. He struggled early, but ramped up both in conference play and then the tournament as he learned out to complement the players around him. Given the right kind of grooming, he's going to be a steal for having been the 29th pick. Whether that's with the Bulls or, in a Chauncey Billups style, the second or third team he joins, remains to be seen.

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