Correcting some of my misconceptions of Bulls flexibility; Lakers land Nash; Howard still in play

I have probably perpetuated some of these myths, but after doing some further information on the Bulls salary cap situation, their flexibility is more limited than I thought. A combination of rules and guarantee dates means the Bulls are a bit more limited in what they can attempt to pull off.

Watson/Brewer need to be waived by July 10th

Per Shamsports, the guarantee date for Watson and Brewer is July 10th. Korver's guarantee date isn't listed. I had thought during the moratorium that trades were allowed as long as they weren't sign and trades. However, this proved out to be incorrect.

The Bulls effectively can not trade Watson or Brewer as salary relief to a team who would then want tow waive them since they need to guarantee them prior to the point they can officially trade them. The Bulls last chance to trade either player in that capacity was on draft night. Something I advocated at the time, but the Bulls either did not find the right trade partner, did not want to take on the salary, or did not like the prospects available.

Chicago could still come up with a trade with Watson/Brewer by guaranteeing them. They're both on very good contracts for their ability and would represent low risk rental players for any team they go to. However, no team is likely giving up a whole lot to acquire them, so a trade seems unlikely involving them.

Korver's guarantee date isn't listed on Shamsports, and my assumption is that he can still be traded as salary relief. Combined with Hamilton's one year deal, the Bulls can still match a pretty large salary and could guarantee one of Watson/Brewer in order to match more.

Nash lands with the Lakers

The Lakers landed Steve Nash with their trade exception with the help of the Phoenix Suns. The Suns got fairly lucky here in that Nash could have simply left Phoenix for Toronto and left them for nothing, but instead, Phoenix will get two first rounders and two second rounders from the Lakers. That second 1st rounder has some chance of being pretty good in 2015. Who knows how well Kobe and Nash will hold up at that point, Gasol will likely have been gone the year before, and Bynum may or may not be around.

Still, the move was brilliant for the Lakers. L.A. needed something to help put them back over the top, and they added a legitimate all-star to their team. Nash is expected to sell Grant Hill on coming to the Lakers as well. The Lakers could have catapulted their way back into the conversation for the title this year.

If Dwight Howard to the Lakers happens which seems quite a bit more possible with Brooklyn now unlikely [previously thought to be impossible, but more on that later], the Lakers could possibly launch themselves into position as the favorites.

Dwight Howard can still go to the Nets

Reports are that the Nets used the taxpayer MLE on Teletovic and not the non-taxpayer MLE as initially reported. With that difference, the Nets no longer have a hard cap at the 74.3 million tax apron. This puts a Dwight Howard trade possibility back on the table for Brooklyn, but it still leaves it extremely unlikely.

The Nets and Magic would still need to agree on terms while Orlando has flat out said it doesn't like what New Jersey is offering. On top of that, both Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries would need to agree to S&T deals to Orlando, and as FAs, neither may want to go there anyway.

It still looks like an extremely slim possibility that Howard ends up in Brooklyn, but the possibility still exists.

Eric Gordon agrees to offer sheet with Phoenix

Another thing I was off on was the new S&T rule preventing teams over the tax apron from doing S&Ts starts next season and not this one which means the Bulls could have taken a shot at Eric Gordon.

The Hornets are now looking to consider a S&T with Phoenix after speaking with Gordon to see his interest level in staying with New Orleans. After winning the first pick in the draft, the Hornets have a bit more upside than they did otherwise, and quite frankly, their future may be better than the Suns anyway.

That said, if Gordon wants to leave, New Orleans seems set to let him go. This would be somewhat of a disappointment to me, as the Bulls could have gotten involved if New Orleans was willing to do a S&T. They could send Korver (non guaranteed), Brewer, and Watson to match salary then possibly include a couple draft picks or possibly Taj, Teague, or something else. New Orleans could absorb the BYC difference since they're under the cap.

Granted, whether the Bulls could send sufficient value to New Orleans to make it a possibility is another question all together, and the answer may simply have been no. However, it would have felt good to see the Bulls involved. We've seen plenty of teams significantly ramping up what they can do with the possibility of NJ becoming a superteam still out there, and the Lakers adding an all-star.

The Bulls have some flexibility to make things happen, but we haven't heard them involved in anything except waiting to see which SG is left after all the bigger deals are gone while pursuing MMLE candidates.

Hoping for Brandon Rush

Given that S&Ts are back on the table, I'm now hoping the Bulls look at doing one for Brandon Rush, a restricted free agent with Golden State. The Warriors have said they'll match any reasonable offer and would almost certainly match the Bulls offer of the MMLE if Rush couldn't find something better elsewhere.

That said, they're still loaded with wing players and don't particularly need Rush. The Bulls could probably offer up a 2nd rounder or protected 1st rounder in order to land Rush and then use Ronnie Brewer to match salaries and keep C.J. Watson. If the Bulls can't make a move for a star player [likely at this point], then Rush is my choice as a fallback option.

If the Bulls decide let Omer Asik walk, they could also make a full MLE offer to Rush while keeping Watson and then see if Golden State would match. Personally, I'll take Brandon Rush over Omer Asik relative to this teams needs right now.

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  • It really sucks that they passed on the chance to trade Watson and Brewer. My last vestige of hope for this FO is just about gone.

    They need to keep CJ, because Kirk Hinrich, an inferior player looks to command about the same money which means there won't be anybody better and cheaper. Teague will be ready to take over the backup role next year, so they really don't need a long term option.

    They should also match Omer, because they don't have an avenue to fill all the holes they'll have if he walks. They need to seriously consider amenstying Boozer this year.

    With only the MMLE, they can forget about Lee, Mayo, and Nick Young. Delonte West and Brandon Roy are looking much more realistic.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    CJ is gone, Hinrich is in.

    Hinrich > CJ

    If they don't match Asik, they'll have the full MLE to get Lee or Rush

    Mayo wants more, Young, Delonte, and Roy aren't worth the Full MLE

  • Doug, remember the Warriors agreed with the Bulls in a S&T for Watson, so maybe they'll do it again. I think Bulls traded this years 2nd round pick in that deal too. I'd love to get Brandon Rush. I believe he's been undervalued his entire career. But if the Bulls don't pick up CJ's option, I'd also like the Bulls to throw offers at Jerryd Bayless and Aaron Brooks and see if PHX or TOR will match.

  • In reply to Flashsonic:

    I can't see Aaron Brooks being in our price range or wanting to come here knowing that Derrick Rose will come back and Marquis Teague will push him as well.

    Jerryd Bayless might not be a bad cheap option as he's a guy who's less likely to have the option to be choosy.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I am a bit surprised by your love(affection) for Brandon Rush, not sure that he is any better than Courtney Lee. When you say full MLE, I assume that you mean 4 years and about $22 million total. Is he worth a 4 year commitment.

    If we are going to use the full MLE, and I still think that we won't/can't because of the "apron" hard cap, I would much rather use it on Aaron Brooks.

    I don't know what Brooks real price range is yet, or if he would even want to sign with the Bulls because of Rose. He does not appear to have gotten an offer yet, even a ridiculous one from Houston, so he must still be a viable option for full MLE money.

    You could certainly argue that Brooks is less of a need, but I think that he is a better player/asset.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Rush is the better 3pt shooter, but does not play the defense Lee plays, nor is the same athlete. I would personally choose Lee since he's the 2-way player.

    I don't know what PHO is doing. They extended Brooks his $5mil Qualifying Offer. They drafted Marshall with the 13th pick. And now they sign Dragic to a $8.5mil per deal. Brooks should be able to be had for cheap.

    With TOR trading for Lowry, and Calderon still on the books...I think Bayless can be had for cheap.

    Like it or not, I think most of us believe the Bulls will go back to Hinrich, so no need for another Vet PG.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Don't be surprised if Dallas steals whatever point guard we are looking at. They still have nothing and have money to burn.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I like Lee a lot too, but I think Rush is much better on offense, and I'd shade the team towards offense and count on Thibs getting more out of Rush defensively.

    I doubt we could get Aaron Brooks for the full MLE, and as it turns out, Courtney Lee just signed for a decent chunk above it as well.

  • The MLE for Rush seems a bit much dont you think? I dont think he does enough or is good enough to warant giving him that deal.

    I mean I dont think Lee will get the MLE given what teams can still offer it and what he does.

    I think on the Market, only JC, Young, Mayo will get at or above the MLE.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Nobody (except for the true Superstars...about 10 of them) are ever worth the amount they get.

    But this is big time sports...and you always overpay if you want something.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    I'd rather have Rush and Lee than probably any of those guys. Lee just got more than the MLE, JC just got the full MLE, we'll see what happens with Young and Mayo.

  • Brandon Rush? What have our NBA title hopes been reduced to? This blows balls man! What direction are the Bulls going here? I guess it gives one more shot with this less deep Bulls squad? I wish I could figure out what Garpax has in mind? They were on the door steps last season and they bought a lemon in Rip. Of course the Rose injury gives them an excuse or buys them some time from having to spend money to contend right? I mean I'm cool with whatever direction they wanna go but... I was more on the side of a youth/athletic infusion but with Thibs I doubt that will ever happen just listening him talk about Teague and the adjustment period to the NBA made me depressed.

    I mean Jason Terry was out there? That would have been perfect for the Bulls. They let him end up in Boston? They need a dude to take pressure off Rose badly. Boston got him for the full MLE? I'm pissed... AND Boston is OOOOOLD as hell!!!! He would have been the perfect vet.

    Rose/ Teague/ JL3
    Rip/ Terry
    Deng/ Butler
    Boozer/ Taj
    Noah/ Asik

    I'm depressed.

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    Good call with JET, but Bulls would have had to not match Asik's offer.

    Bulls don't have the full MLE unless they don't match.

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    Hard to see me wanting to go with Jason Terry on a three year MLE deal. He's clearly on the decline.

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    They really can't/shouldn't use the full MLE unless it is for a guy who is going to be a game changer for this season, which is unlikely to be the case with anybody available for only the full MLE.

    Again, I must point out that if they use the full MLE they will be at slightly over $70 million for only 8 guys. They will then be forced to sign 5 guys to fill out the roster for a total of $4 million due to the "apron" hard cap, set to be $74.307 million.

    The full MLE means no Asik, no Korver, no Watson, no Brewer, no Hinrich, no anybody, all nobodies, nothing but minimum level scrubs, plus we still end up a tax payer @ $4 million.

    On the other hand the mini MLE would allow us to bring back everybody/anybody, which would/could run up the payroll toward/over the $80 million mark.

    I just don't see the Bulls using the full MLE. Who out there is worth the consequences. Who would we sign to replace Asik as Noah's backup for less than a $1 million.

    Is Brandon Rush worth it, is Courtney Lee, is Aaron Brooks? The best result on the court this season is to bring back Asik, Korver, Watson and maybe even Brewer, and use the mini MLE on somebody not named Hinrich.

  • " ... it would have felt good to see the Bulls involved. "

    That summarizes the current existence of a Bulls fan.

    Moves on draft night?
    " ... it would have felt good to see the Bulls involved. "

    Destination for marquee free agents?
    "... it would have felt good to see the Bulls involved"

    Working out complex sign-and-trades?
    "... it would have felt good to see the Bulls involved"

    I understand the need and desire to mitigate risks in the running of the business. At the same time, every title winner in recent memory has taken on some degree of risk that is in excess of what the current Bulls management has shown a willingness to accept.

    Jerry Krause couldn't draft to save his life, but I will give him the credit that at least he had some testicular fortitude. I am at the point where I honestly don't think Oakley for Cartwright or Perdue for Rodman happens under GarPax. Of course, neither does Brand for Chandler (which in retrospect wasn't even that bad...drafting Curry is what derailed that plan); but without risk, there is no reward.

    Want nice and safe. Put your money in a savings account, and enjoy the penny you'll earn each year.

    I apologize for the rant, but seeing other teams in the NBA 'go for it' on the consistent basis while the Bulls are more than content to sit on the sidelines and seemingly hope for things to break their way is pretty frustrating.

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    GarPax are too safe, too conservative, too average.

    If it wasn't for the luck of winning the lottery with less than 2% of the ping pong balls and drafting Rose, they would have done nothing with this team.

    And you're right, almost every recent Champion has paid major money into the luxury tax, and have taken major risks for the huge payoffs.

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    I get where you're coming from, and I've made similar rants recently, so I can't say too much, but I do want to state that the Bulls had the most wins in the regular season the past two years and were generally considered a top 3 team in the NBA.

    Let's not act like the front office has been entirely inept here. There are probably 26 teams in the NBA who'd trade places with us right now.

  • This Nash deal puts to rest all the speculation that the Lakers were going to have to dump salary-the fact of the matter is that the new punitive tax rules will actually make it much easier for the Lakers to out spend everyone-their tv deal is something like 200-250 MM per year- add on to that another 80-100MM per year in just ticket sales and you can see why luxury tax is piss in the ocean to them.

    Unless the owner doesn't care about money or is looking for a taxpayer-financed stadium, the luxury tax will make it virtually impossible for small market teams to compete- in fact, all of the incentives go the other way since staying well under the cap guarantees you a much higher level of shared revenue from the luxury tax.

  • In reply to ds1848:

    That makes no sense. The new punitive luxury tax is exponentially higher than that under the old CBA. And the new rules require a team to have a minimum salary cap at 90% of the limit (after 2013). So - wrong on both fronts.

  • In reply to sfpaper:

    I think the point is with the tax being more punitive most teams will treat it like a hard cap, but the Lakers won't have to. So now the tax is still there, but only the Lakers, Knicks, Bulls, and maybe a couple other teams can afford to go deep into it and remain profitable.

    The Lakers have certainly a proven history of a willingness to do so.

  • Brandon Rush is solid but doesn't excite me any. That said sounds exactly like a GarPax move. I think Rush doesn't have a lot of upside but you will get a solid player. If it were me I would rather role the dice on someone more risky with more upside like a Jerryd Bayless, OJ Mayo or Nick Young. I get that they have yet to reach their potential and at this point probably won't but there could easily be a late bloomer in the bunch that is motivated or whatever by a team change.

    The GarPax FO is very frustrating in that they are so extremely risk averse they miss many opportunities to bolster their roster. They draft very well but are also very suspect at every other aspect (trading, resigning, recruiting FAs) which might explain their utter lack of moves.

  • In reply to Chad:

    I would bet OJ Mayo ends up out of our price range, what has Nick Young really done that makes you think he's a better prospect? Jack up tons of shots at mediocre efficiency for a bad team then completely disappear on a good one?

    What has Jerryd Bayless ever done that makes you think he has more upside than Rush? Rush has much better size and has proven to be a better offensive player so far.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    They are more athletic than Rush. Which is probably why he is a bit undervalued since he isn't the most athletic guy in the league. Jerryd Bayless has been barried behind guys most his 4yr career. But when given minutes like when Calderon was injured he was putting up big numbers. He can create his own shot and handle the ball while limiting TOs and shooting 42% on threes. I like his skills relative to his cost plus I think his style would be a great fit with our team.

    I feel the Bulls need to get more athletic and play faster which is why I am not very high on Rush. He is a solid player who shoots the ball very well but he would only help fill Korvers roll for about the same price as Kyle. I am just saying he wouldn't be my first choice.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Nick Young was scoring 17 a game in 30 mins for the Washington. His FG% is barely over 40% but considering his 5 three point attempts per game that isn't that surprising. He offers basically nothing besides scoring but that is our biggest need. You say he dissappeared for the Clips but he was traded mid season and his per minute stats are only down slightly. It isn't easy to come to a new team mid season and jump right into the rotation. I would rather see Young on the Bulls than B Rush especially given Rush has never cracked the 10ppg mark. Just my opinion though I would prefer Mayo but I think you're right that he will probably go more than we can afford even using MLE.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    My biggest question mark regarding Rush, especially for anything more than the mini MLE, is that Indiana had him and let him go, GS has him and does not appear to be interested in retaining him.

    From what I have seen of him against the Bulls he seems like a solid citizen type of player, but not a guy that is going to make much of a difference over the generic, run of the mill, journeyman NBA 2 guard, which come to think of it, is exactly what he is.

    Nick Young just seems like way too much of a clown for the Bulls, especially after he couldn't get his act together playing with Chris Paul.

    When all is said and done, it seems like there might not be any guys available that are even worth spending the mini MLE on.

  • Personally, for years now following the draft as closely as I do, following the media that covers NBA goings on around the draft as closely as I do, IMO it's hard to believe that if the Bulls would have been willing to take back bad salary for Deng they couldn't have gotten that top 5 pick from Sacramento. Plus now Doug says that was when trading chips like C.J.'s and Ronnie's options or money off the books was still in play for picks as well. And before Sacramento realized Thomas Robinson would fall to them.

    All the rumors and "sources" aside, when it comes to the day before the draft and on the day of you get a lot of brass tax accurate information that leaks out or gets out intentionally at that point.

    All you heard was Bulls talking to teams about lottery picks(for Lu), and teams keep saying they only want to deal if they send back salary. If these teams were not interested in a very good player in Lu giving stability to young draft flled rosters I expect that's the one time you would have gotten the flat out word that that was the case. Instead, it was "only" if the Bulls will take back salary.

    The Bulls if they would have amnestied Boozer, they could have traded Deng taking back unwanted contracts or bad money back from the Kings for what by now is almost unilateral opinion that Damian Lillard looks like the offensive star player coming out of that top 5 lottery. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but that's a huge opportunity wasted if that was the case.

    Then just when I was wondering if someone would offer Eric Gordon max deal post Hibbert and Asik, Phoenix does just that. If you are scared off by Gordon's knee injury, fine. But Phoenix with their supposed top flight medical staff sure isn't. To think the screaming need of SG could be adressed while brining in a talent like Lillard on the cheap, and all we had to do was spend an extra $5-6 MIl. And then you have the terrible problem of too much awesome scoring talent at the guard position. Tisk, tisk. We'd have to give up some other non-offensive players? Yeah, so where do I sign. Or if that's too much money then forget Lillard, and just get me Eric Gordon post Boozer amnesty.

    I'm going to maintain that with Rose's popularity and Chicago's major market, I mean Derrick vs Miami had some of the highest TV ratings for an NBA game ever. That carries some weight with the league. Teams like Sacramento are not adverse in "helping out" with something like that when they are the beneficiaries of that revenue pool which enables luxury tax redistributiion of wealth back to them. And more favorable treatment from the powers that be including Stern in the future.

    Maybe despite reports to the contrary, Sacramento wasn't willing to dump salary and get Deng for the NO. 5 pick. But at least you amnesty Boozer for $5-6 frickin' mil a year, and show Bulls fans you're serious about giving the team a chance to upgrade talent therough Free Agency etc. Boozer out, Eric Gordon in. Gar/Pax have gone over the line this time is conservatism as the near unanimous ourtcry from fans suggests. Boston getting championship support guys like Jason Terry, Miami spending the gobs they are spending, teams like Dallas in the past going after proven championship support guys like Shawn Marion and post season champ pedigrees in Jason Kidd, those are moves of a franchise that wants to win.

    Gar/Pax, they make moves like they want to not be disturbed froma nice long nap. Which is where Bulls fans dreams of winning it all are headed.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    At this point, I'm starting to wonder if GarPax was like Jerry Angelo...they don't know how to scout and evaluate talent.

    Almost all their draft picks come from the big-time College Schools. That's not to say those players aren't worse than players at other schools, but I just feel they only pick those players because they only know their names (because big schools = on TV).

    Even now, say what you will about his makeup...Tyreke still has loads of untapped potential and I believe Tyreke Evans can be had, if the Bulls took back some salary.

    Deng ...for... Tyreke+Salmons' contract

  • Thinking about it more, I think its best the Bulls don't match on Asik. Maybe they can get on the phone witth slick willy (daryl morey) and get Jon Leuer for a second round pick and let them have their precious stone hands. They have like 100 powerforwards on that team, Leuer is 6'10", has a nice midrange shot, good hands and thibodeau can coach him up on defense. Plus he has some NBA experience so Thibodeau would play him like he did Taj. With the open space, they can sign courtney lee. I think they need to stay away from Hinrich if he's asking too much. Lee is the better longterm asset/fit. Maybe Boston would be interested in taking on RIP since Allen doesn't want to resign in Boston. All I know is the Bulls have to get creative and stop waiting for the blue light special in free agency to get "bargain" prices for the remaining scrubs....come on JR, your better than this. Give this city a winner and stop treating us like a piggy bank.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Based on his performance vs the Bulls, or should I say Bozo, Luer would be all NBA first team, so getting him might ease the sting of losing Asik.

    Actually, I liked what I saw of Luer against the Bulls, I was surprised that the Bucks included him in that deal. As I've said, if I am the Bulls I would hold out for Kyle Lowry in an Asik deal, if Houston balks then resign him. Given that they appear to have lost Dragic, have made an offer to Lin that the Knicks will supposedly match, Houston does not appear to able to risk losing Lowry, so no deal, unless they fork over 2 or 3 of those rookie/sophomore assets.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    OOOPS, there goes Lowry.

    "According to multiple reports, the Rockets have done just that, sending Lowry to the Raptors in a deal that returns a lottery-protected first round pick, and Gary Forbes is also said to be part of the package coming over from the Raptors".

  • In reply to BigWay:

    People need to stop assuming Houston cares about constructing an actual basketball team. They don't care if their roster ends up with all forwards and no point guards. They're "collecting assets" and will "work it out" later, once they make their big trade. They just haven't told us how much longer later is going to be yet.

    Personally I don't really know what to make of it. Part of me admires them for thinking big and trying to do things differently, the other part thinks that if I was a fan of the team I'd be dead sick of it by now.

  • I hope Eric Gordon does go to Phoenix. He's only had one healthy season - maybe the Suns can help him. He wouldn't last two years with the Bulls medical staff if we're being honest here.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    I agreed wholeheartedly. Gordon has a chance to be something really special, and Phoenix will give him the best opportunity to get past his injury problems.

    And while we're bashing the Bulls FO, it's worth pausing over how much players seem to like the Phoenix organization. Not only does Phoenix have the best medical staff, they also seem to inspire real gratitude in their players. Nash worked with them to get a trade to LA, which helped both sides, and the Suns respected his wishes concerning his family. Previously, they convinced Nash to return to Phoenix from Dallas, and they re-signed Grant Hill (last year was it?) because Hill wanted to be there.

    The way Gordon spoke of wanting be a part of their organization, I think the stuff about Sarver being cheap is probably somewhat off-target. Whatever else he does, Sarver runs an establishment where really good players want to be. There's something to be said for that.

    Imagine if Omer had those feelings toward Chicago? He might have at least come back and talked to the FO here before verbally agreeing to an offer sheet. In the long run, there's almost nothing that can help you more than creating a system in which players feel comfortable and to which players feel loyal. Chicago seems to do that only intermittently, which is too bad because I don't want to be an intermittent fan with an intermittently good team. I want something solid to root for, year in year out.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    Really good point about Phoenix. The funny thing is, objectively speaking, the Bulls actually seem to do right by players:

    Reinsdorf urged Pippen not to sign that long-term deal
    When they traded Pippen, it was done so he could make out
    Handling of Jay Williams Motorcycle accident
    Hiring on many former players in various roles in the organization
    One of the first teams to use a chartered jet
    Etc, etc, etc

    The players can't scream 'cheap', because Wallace, Boozer, Rose and others down the years have got paid. Granted, the team avoids the tax like the plague, but if they are getting theirs, do the players care?

    It makes you wonder what is going on behind the scenes that doesn't get reported.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    Look, you really can't blame Asik. Besides wanting to get paid, i.e. the most basic elelment of human nature, Asik like 99% of players wants a chance to start, which he will never get with the Bulls, at least as long as Noah is around. Clearly, Houston is desperate for a starting center, so you can't fault him in any way.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    And according to KC, Asik met with Thibs the week before the Houston offer. Everyone in the front office knew he would be accepting a deal from either Houston or Portland, because they could pay substantially more than the Bulls, and that is the only way he gets paid. That doesn't mean he wants to go there. He may want Chicago to match it.

  • In reply to sfpaper:

    I hope we do match. Either way, I certainly don't blame Asik. Nor do I think the Bulls FO is terrible.

    But there are definitely a few organizations that scream professionalism, and the Suns don't get mentioned in that conversation as often as they should. I just wish the Bulls were up there with SA, OKC, and maybe Phoenix--spots where players seem to really want to be (once they've had a taste). Obviously as a destination, Chicago is more desirable than any of those three, which again says a lot about how those teams are run, top to bottom.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    Pheonix also repeatedly sold draft picks for cash rather than push for a championship. So basically the exact thing people are bashing the Bulls FO for, only even more blatant.

    Nash worked with them to get a trade because he couldn't get to the Lakers any other way. His only other option that would pay him more was Toronto, and he didn't want to go that far away from his kids, so I don't think it was gratitude so much as self interest. I like Nash, he seems like he's a good guy, but like most people would in his situation he's out to make money and he stayed with the Suns last time because they offered him more money, he didn't this time because the Lakers offered more money. IMO if the Suns turned around and said "Lakers will pay you 3/25, here's 3/35 to stay" then there's no sign and trade, Nash retires without a ring but 10 million richer. Pretty simple: loyalty is bought.

    Same situation with Asik, he wants to get paid, the Rockets are his vehicle for doing so, if the Bulls match he's happy for them to pay his wage, but he's not going to give them a discount.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I disagree on Nash staying with Phoenix, although obviously the whole situation down there isn't hunky-dorey. The point is simply that they seem to inspire a weird level of confidence in the free agents who visit and the players who've been with them. Compare Deng's remarks about the Bulls organization.

    Obv. medical staff has a lot to do with it.

  • I've been listening to Max Kellerman on ESPNLA the past few days, and he's been making a GREAT case as to why the Lakers should trade for Dwight without his assurances for an extension...

    1) Dwight keeps telling everybody he only wants to go to the Nets. But with the moves the Nets have made, they will not be able to take on the bad contracts like Hedo or JRich. And they won't be able to sign him next year as a FA.

    2) With HOU signing Asik to that huge deal, it looks like they will be out of the running.

    3) With LAL adding on Nash and reports are they will keep Bynum+Pau for a final run, it looks like they're out of the running.

    4) DAL will still be a player, especially with CP3 being a FA next year too, but will CP3 leave to take a lesser 'max deal'?

    5) Same with ATL.

    6) Since that is the case, every other team Dwight 'will not sign an extension' with like LAL, HOU, DAL, and CHI...Dwight WILL have to choose one of those teams to 'sign and extension with'.

    7) Do you think he's going to give up a 5th year and a guaranteed $25mil? Because I don't. At worst, he'll want to work out a S&T to get his money, and the Bulls can still get a big loot for him.

    For example, let's say Dwight wants to go to LAL, Bulls can S&T for Bynum. Let's say Dwight wants to go to the Nets, Bulls can trade for Lopez+Brooks+Extra.
    -
    My conclusion is, the Bulls needs to stop being the same old slow, safe, conservative brain-trust and have some vision to take some risks...

    Noah+Deng+Rip ...for... Dwight+Hedo+JRich

    ...is better than Bynum, better than Lopez+Brooks+Extras, is better than whatever HOU can do, so ORL would take our deal...especially when it clears out 2 'bad contracts' for them.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    I do think Houston is still in the running. They just sold Lowry for nothing, so even if they sign Asik, they are committed to something like 35 million + rookies for next year. They are players because they may be able to take back the most bad contracts of any team (Turkoglu + J-Rich) and may let Orlando choose anyone they want. I would guess the Rockets will top any offer made by the Bulls. I think the only team that can beat them now are the Lakers. They can give up Bynum AND Gasol. Even then, I think Orlando would fear that Bynum would leave them after one year. I'm thinking Houston has been playing this right all along.

  • In reply to sfpaper:

    You're right about HOU. I don't know why I was thinking 3 years down the road when Asik's contract huts $15mil...he's only going to make $5mil per year for the first 2 years...

    I don't think LAL is willing to give up Bynum+Pau...because that WOULD be the best deal.

    And then it comes down to the Bulls' proven players or HOU's young prospects. If you go by ORL's 85yr old owner, ORL is looking to win now, so we have the edge.

  • The deadline for cutting the guys makes sense when you think about it, if they're going to be looking for a new team they need the FA period to do it. Oh well, looks like the Bulls' time to make a move with them was before the rollover into the new season. Not that it makes much difference in practice since they weren't going to do anything anyway.

    As far as Rush goes, he can sure shoot the ball, and I like him as a Korver replacement, but if he's going to be paid the same amount as Korver does that really work? If the Bulls are going to try to cut costs I don't think paying the full MLE for a shooter is something that works.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    My view is that he's better than Korver. He has more shot creation skills and can defend better. He's not quite the pure shooter, but he can be on the floor more with his skillset.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    My problem isn't with Rush the player: if the Bulls were willing to spend then I'd love to have him for the MLE. The Bulls rotation is looking thin on the wings right now and he fits a need.

    But all signs point to the Bulls not being willing to spend. If the Bulls have a hard (or at least semi-rigid) limit of the luxury tax, then using the MLE becomes a tricky proposition. I think it would only make sense if they think Rush is the starter at SG long term, but I don't think he's that good.

  • The Bulls are just lame and we need to stop using excuses for this team/mgmt. Lakers were 22 mill over cap before Nash deal now 24 mill in luxury tax. The point is a team that makes money can afford to spend money. Bulls are 3rd richest team in NBA, 609 games streak sold out til 2008, Rose has started another home streak over 100 (Bulls have never been in the luxury tax bracket as the Lakers the richest team seems to stay,but they made 7 NBA finals last 12 years), United Center made over 100 mill just for Rose apparel and novelties for 2011-2012. Bulls have never traded for a superstar, they have all come to us during the draft and most of them we traded away. All signs as a organization that takes your money and puts it back in their own pocket and we the dumb fans just keep on spending. Most stars don't want to come play for us especially when they realize how cheap we are. But I guess people will be happy when they bring in another bum like Johnny Flynn or B Rush. This team needs star potential we got enough role players not enough leaders, crunch players.

  • In reply to jclass62:

    Bulls are the 3rd most valuable franchise you mean.

    In terms of profit, they are #1.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2012/01/25/the-most-and-least-profitable-nba-teams/

  • Dallas is going down the tubes, right? What if we made a gutsy offer to Cuban, laced with long-term potential for his team? Is this insane?

    Bulls get: Dirk
    Dallas gets: Noah, Taj, Watson, the Charlotte pick.

    This gives the Mavs a young solid starting center, a young PF to "replace" Dirk, and a short-term PG solution, plus a valuable future draft pick.

    We'd obviously have match for Asik if we did this. But the Charlotte pick is dicey, Watson is probably gone anyway, and I love Taj but in a perfect world we'd steal him back in a year and amnesty Booze.

    Thoughts?

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    Oh yeah, the salaries work:
    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=6ogc4t3

    Rose, Deng, and Dirk would be formidable once everyone is healthy. We'd keep Asik for D. And we'd have a bench of Boozer/Butler/Teague.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    Why would DAL want to trade their lone superstar who has played there for 14 years and won them a title?

    And why would they take Noah+Taj+Draft Pick?

    If Cuban would even think about entertaining a trade to the Bulls, it would require the Bulls to take back Haywood's contract.

    Then it would probably take Noah, Deng, Taj, CHA pick, Mirotic Rights, and multiple CHI 1stRounders.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    We wouldn't have the cap room to steal Taj back, even if Boozer was amnestied. Also this trade plus matching Asik puts the Bulls about 10 million into the tax, even before making any further signings, so good luck with selling it to JR.

    Ignoring that, Dirk's been a great player for a long time, but he's also more than 10 years older than Rose. With Rose injured this year are the Bulls really in a position to be making an all in win now move like this? Would it even work? With Taj and Noah gone it means you'd have to play a lot of minutes with Dirk and Boozer together ... not pretty defensively. Dirk's not a young guy, each year he's going to get a bit worse, you need it to work now, there's no time to sort out the pieces to fit.

    I think I'd pass.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Frankly, I agree with you both. It was mostly weird "what if" scenario because Dallas is falling apart at the seams. The fact that YouBlewwIt thinks the Bulls would need to include more whereas Shakes wouldn't pull the trigger says something, though.

    And it turns out this is something people are actually discussing (however hypothetically):

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/dallas-mavericks/headlines/20120705-sefko-mavs-may-defer-to-dirk-but-i-don-t-think-he-ll-ask-for-trade.ece

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