Since I've gotten a ton of questions on twitter in the past 24 hours, and tweeting isn't always the best way to give an extended response. Here's my thoughts on all of the free agency happenings and answers to your questions with extended detail.
@bnreves Any chance Bulls could deal for Gasol in a salary dump kinda deal where they amnesty Boozer?
From a practical standpoint no. The Bulls could send Brewer, Korver, Watson, and Hamilton to LA for Gasol which would allow them to dump their salary and for the Bulls to get Gasol.
Their perimeter rotation at this point would be Rose [out for half a year+?], Teague [rookie], Butler [unproven], and Deng with just the MMLE and vet minimum to fill out the rest of the roster. That would give them an extremely unbalanced roster and require some type of follow up trade in order to add some perimeter depth to the squad.
Moreover, Gasol's a quality player, but the cost to do such a move is very extreme, the fit on the roster isn't good, and Chicago could probably do better spending that some money on other players if they were willing to go that deep into the tax.
While I like Gasol more than Boozer, it doesn't make sense to pay him five million a year, have no perimeter players then pay Boozer all that money to go away. If the Bulls had any thoughts on amnestying Boozer, they needed to do it earlier when all the teams with FA money could still bid. If they amnesty him now, no one will pick up much on his contract.
@Dan_the_Man_94 I think we shouldnt buy a PG, and just keep CJ, would be a waste of time and money.
Couldn't agree more. The Bulls only have the MMLE to use on a player for a multi-year deal, but they need to potentially replace Korver, Brewer, and Watson. If they keep Watson, the cheapest of the three, use Butler to replace Brewer, and then use the MMLE to add another perimeter player they can come back at similar strength to last season without losing their depth.
If they try to replace two of those guys with the MMLE they'll be left short handed. They could probably get away with losing all three if Rose were healthy all year, but since he's going to miss likely half the season they'll need the depth quite a bit.
@Rudens23 nobody is going hard after Mayo, if Bulls show interest maybe we can get him, instead of pursuing Roy with bad knees, will they?
If Mayo will sign for the MMLE then you get him right away IMO. Same with Courtney Lee, Brandon Rush, Lou Williams, Jamal Crawford, or Nick Young. Odds are that all of those guys get better offers elsewhere though. The Bulls will likely have to wait and see who's left with no offers when the dust settles and pursue that guy.
[re: Nets building a superteam] @TomLoxas Meanwhile we are super mediocre
I think it's frustrating to watch teams make all these moves when your team isn't involved. However, now that the dust has settled, the Nets came up short of Dwight Howard and while they've built a solid team, it's one that will never get over the hump. They're going to have major cap problems in the future and will be over the apron every year for the foreseeable future which will make things difficult for them to ever improve.
I admire how their ownership has made a massive financial commitment to do whatever it takes to put a good team on the floor. They'll likely be 80 million+ in salary every year for the next three seasons after this year causing them to pay repeater tax as well. They'll also likely peak as the third best team in the East unless Chicago or Miami has injury problems, but they put themselves on the map where they weren't before.
@jfish1219 Do the Nets still have room to go 4 Howard.
For all intents and purposes no. Legally, they can't agree to anything until July 11th, however unless they break one of their committed deals [highly, highly unlikely] they can no longer fit Howard's salary under the tax Apron. Since the Nets used the non taxpayer MLE, they have a hard cap this season at 74.3 million and can't go over it no matter what.
Howard's salary + existing salaries + cap holds exceed that threshold. The only slim [less than one tenth of a percent chance] is if they already talked to Deron and he agreed to lower his deal if it facilitates Howard to the Nets. In that lone circumstance would it be a possibility, but the Magic have already rejected the Nets package so even if that were a possibility it would be the longest of long shots.
In reality, Howard will end up somewhere else. Maybe Chicago if they're willing to take him without an extension or can convince him the Bulls are a great place to play. The Bulls can make a very competitive offer, and I hope they strongly pursue it even without an extension.
@TheBullsShow Is the Omer Asik for Courtney Lee "trade" now happening?
By trade in quotes, we're talking about the Bulls signing Courtney Lee while Houston signs Asik. It's a possibility, because if the Bulls let Asik go they'd have the full MLE. Lee is certainly on the list of SGs that I would offer a full MLE too. Lee is kind of a conservative pick though.
@adamsteinlive can Lee create his own shot? We need scorers and ballhandlers
He doesn't address the need for ball handling or shot creation like O.J. Mayo, Nick Young, or Jamal Crawford might. However, he gives great defensive effort, is a great team player, and is a good spot up three point shooter. He's basically a much better version of Bogans as he can finish better on the break, has more athleticism, and can at least do a pump fake on a three point attempt and take the ball to the hole.
I like Lee a lot as a role player, and feel he combines many of the good qualites of Korver/Brewer [though clearly not the shooter Korver is].
@Kurt_C_Scott Why is Lee causing a feeding frenzy whereas Rush has zero buzz?
In terms of Brandon Rush, I like him more than Lee, however, Rush is restricted but Lee is unrestricted. Golden State probably matches the biggest offer the Bulls can make. If Chicago lets Asik go and offers Rush the full MLE things would be more interesting.
@f_vasquez Do you think Lee makes Rip Hamilton expendable? Maybe the Bulls can trade him for a pick or something
Rip Hamilton was a failure for Chicago last season. He wasn't particularly good on the court and wasn't on the court frequently. The Bulls clearly can't go into this season expecting much at all from Hamilton. If they can get a better player they should do it.
That said, Rip has got basically no value around the league right now. They're not going to be able to trade him for anything, so it's sort of irrelevant if he's "expendable". They could only use him as an expiring, but their non guaranteed salaries have more value in that sense until after their guarantee dates pass.
@DeepFriedStack rather have hinrich or lee? Can we renounce rips rights or is he on books no matter what?
I'd rather have Lee, but if you do that then you need to keep Watson to fill out the PG role. Lee can't be the ball handler that Hinrich can. Hinrich would give the Bulls more skills, but Lee fits better with the team in a specific role once Rose is back, and I'd rather build around that then the temporary fit while Rose is out.
@edwardbuell best fit for the Bulls of the young UFA 2s: Lee, Mayo or Young?
They all have different strengths and weaknesses. Lee is a perfect niche player. He's Bogans++. He'll defend shoot threes, and he'll give you more off the dribble/transition offense than Keith ever did. However, he won't create shots and isn't really a secondary ball handler.
O.J. Mayo can create shots and can defend. He's a decent [but not great] shooter as well. However, he's been a very inefficient player his whole career and has slid in terms of effectiveness since his rookie season. I think he has the highest ceiling of the group. When you see his skills and athleticism, you think he should be better than he is, so there's a temptation to take him assuming he'll get there.
However, at this point, it's been four years, and he's declined rather than improved, so we need to not buy into the theoretical upside at this point. He's had lots of chances and has been passed up by pure mediocrity like Tony Allen.
Nick Young wasted so much time in Washington that it's hard to get a feel for what he'd do on a real team. He's been a complete black hole, lazy defender, and generally non team player. However, in a better environment would he be a better team guy? His situation in Washington was terrible.
However, much like Mayo, his efficiency hasn't been good. He wasn't particularly productive with the Clippers where he had a role similar to what we'd expect him to have here. Much like Mayo, he's been in the league for four seasons as well. It might be time to ignore the theoretical ceiling and look at what is there.
If we threw in Brandon Rush (restricted), I would probably take: Brandon Rush, O.J. Mayo, Courtney Lee, then Nick Young, but I don't
think there's a huge gap between them, they all have various strengths and weaknesses.
@regimeofterror will front office overcome excuse making to sign lee?
I don't think there are any "excuses" yet, Chicago first needs to determine whether they're going to match Asik or not. That will determine whether they're going to have the full MLE or just the MMLE. At the MMLE it's highly unlikely they can convince Lee to sign, he'll simply get a better offer elsewhere.
All of the SGs mentioned above are looking for their first post-rookie deal. None of them are taking a paycut to come to Chicago, they'll all chase the money unless the difference is very small.
@shaneyboy16 Brewer is better then Butler? do u watch basketball? Butler just hasnt been givin a chance he is going to be far better then ron starting with his shot. u must have not been paying attention when he was playing lock down d on melo last year
Butler hasn't shown any ability to shoot better than Brewer either. He's been very hesitant to shoot the ball and admitted as such in reports. Luol Deng had to keep telling him to shoot. His accuracy with his jumper hasn't, thusfar, looked better than Brewer to me either, nor has he shown three point range.
He's been a good defender, but Brewer is also an elite defender, Brewer's easily the more disruptive of the two defensively right now while Butler has a bit more size to defend threes.
I think offensively, Butler has a long way to go. Brewer plays off the ball better, gets the baseline dunks and moves off the ball well. He's been a solid mid range shooter even if he doesn't have three point range and generally gives you efficient basketball.
Butler has shown signs of being a quality Brewer replacement, but he hasn't played much, clearly needs to develop offensively, and is still somewhat of an unknown in terms of what he'll do with a bigger role. I understand why the Bulls will waive Brewer and replace him with Butler. It may turn out that Butler is the better player in a year or two, but right now I'd take Brewer if I were ignoring financial commitments.
That said, we can't ignore financial commitments, so I think swapping in Butler for a larger role is a good move for Chicago.
@Rudens23 great article today, the bulls should go for Howard, and in the end how could Howard explain leaving a team with DRose behind
I agree that it's hard to imagine Howard leaving Chicago after one season. He won't have many options in terms of teams to go to and certainly none of those options will be better teams than the one he's leaving. He'd look like a complete imbecile under those circumstances.
@cityofwindsprts what do you think about Brandon Roy
Roy's obviously a health risk with his knees, but if he's willing to come for the minimum than I would scoop him up without thinking twice. The problem comes if he wants more than the minimum. Chicago likely only has one exception to go over the minimum salary, and they can't risk using it on a guy who has serious injury concerns like Roy when Rip Hamilton is presently the only other SG they have and has his own injury concerns.
However, if Roy is willing to come in at the minimum, Chicago should be all over that. They need to take a chance on some perimeter talent and don't have much to work with. The Bulls passed on Tracy McGrady last year largely due to attitude concerns which turned out to be legit [he groused about his role in Atlanta], so it will also depend what type of role Roy says he wants.
@jerryhizonfire any news on the Asik backup plan?
We'd have to get a big man at the minimum. I would try to land Jamison, but it's a stretch that he'd come here for the minimum. Same with Rashard Lewis who'd be another option. If not, you're looking at some pretty bottom of the barrel type players.
@NBATradeIdeas JJ's 'worst contract' being traded means Boozer actually has the worst contract, right?
I still think JJ's contract is worse. Now that he was traded he can also no longer be amnestied. Boozer's contract for the Bulls isn't that bad, because if they amnesty him a considerable amount will be picked up by some other team in the bidding process. It's also only three years and he provides good offensive production still.
In terms of trade value, after seeing Brooklyn's full plan, it's clear they needed a SG and not a PF or else they may have been willing to trade for Boozer. I'm curious whether the Bulls would flip Boozer for expirings who had no on court value right now given the option.
They basically would have no reason to do so other than to save money. They would lose out on on-court talent and could avoid the tax/penalties in the rules by amnestying him instead. So it would be purely financial. I'm not sure whether the Bulls are really that upset with Boozer to make that move and while they probably wish he gave them more, they may want to keep them to maximize their odds of winning.