The case for and against O.J. Mayo

I view O.J. Mayo as one of the most overhyped prospects in the NBA. He was viewed as future NBA superstar in high school. He played well in his single season in college, and was drafted with the third overall pick in 2008. Due to a huge amount of minutes and possessions, he posted strong raw numbers his first two seasons in the NBA.

The a funny thing happened. Mayo lost his starting gig to the pedestrian Tony Allen, the Grizzlies got a crapload better, and while playing a more limited role, Mayo's efficiency numbers plummeted. While shooting around 15 times per game for a lousy team, he shot around 44.5% and and 38.4% from the three point line.

While shooting around 10.8 for a good team for two seasons, Mayo's percentages dropped to 40.8% and 36.4% from the field. What's odd about the decline is that the quality of his shots should have been expected to rise. Memphis had multiple quality low post scorers and multiple offensive threats on the wing.

When Mayo WAS the offense, more likely to get double teamed, and shoot more difficult shots, he actually thrived. As a role player with more open looks he struggled.

The O.J. Mayo challenge

If you think O.J. Mayo has star potential, I dare you to take the O.J. Mayo challenge. Find a player whom has played over 10,000 career minutes without posting a PER over 15 who went on to make an all-star game later in his career. O.J. has played 10398 career minutes between playoffs and the regular season and has a career high PER of 14.7.

Granted, PER isn't the be all end all of stats by any stretch, however, it's a stat that usually does a fairly good job at recognizing quality offensive players and fails to pick up the contributions of low volume offensive players or high quality defenders. Mayo's scoring numbers actually get it done, but he falls short virtually everywhere else.

In terms of assists, turnovers, and rebounds, he shares a tremendous amount of similarities with the Chicago version of Ben Gordon. His stats those categories are nearly identical, except a little less than a half rebound per 36 minute advantage. However, Gordon was shooting better from the field, much better from the free throw line, and scoring much more efficiently overall.

Now Ben Gordon is considered vastly overpaid on his present deal making where he averages around 11 million per season, but we're not looking at paying Mayo 11 million per season. We're talking about paying him a shade over five million on average most likely.

In short, the Bulls should go for it

I've been critical of people dying over Mayo, because I doubt he's the panacea that may fans make him out to be, that said, I agree with fans who think he adds much of what the Bulls need. Chicago needs a player who can create a ton of shots in the offense. Particularly with Rose out for half to three fourths of a season. They need a secondary ball handler and shot creator when Rose is back.

They need someone who can create and score in volume on the second unit. They'll like the fact that Mayo's an athletic defender who will likely thrive on that size of the ball with proper coaching. His weaknesses of needing the ball too much, not rebounding or passing particularly well may not surface a whole bunch on a Bulls team that basically needs a selfish scorer.

Include Memphis in the Atlanta trade

The Bulls best shot to get O.J. Mayo is to include Memphis in the Atlanta trade. The Bulls could push Korver to Atlanta, claim O.J. Mayo, and send a second rounder to Memphis to close the deal. Minnesota can likely still be involved to whatever extent they are now with perhaps their pick/player going to Memphis.

Rumor has it, that Memphis was interested in Wayne Ellington, a player that was supposedly involved in the Bulls deal with Atlanta. If that's the case, a four team trade makes some sense.

Minnesota: In: nothing Out: Ellington
Atlanta: In: Korver Out: Nothing
Memphis: In: Ellington Out: Mayo
Bulls: In: Mayo Out: Korver

This trade works under the cap and because it's a simultaneous trade, the Bulls could offer Mayo 6.35 million in starting salary which pushes the total Mayo offer up to 4/27.17 million rather than 4/21.35 million that they can offer using the trade exception in a separate transaction.

Mayo will (obviously) be looking to maximize his cash as his NBA earnings haven't been at the generational wealth level yet. Every player coming off their rookie deal chases the money, and the Bulls will potentially have to compete with a Phoenix team that has plenty of room to make a much larger offer under their salary cap.

This rumor also makes some sense in that the Korver to Atlanta trade has been delayed for several teams as they try to "finalize" it. The finalization process could be the Bulls discussing with Mayo the idea that they can offer the above, but they need to do it right now, otherwise they'll have less later.

However, not to throw too much cold water on you, but it also strikes me as unlikely that a trade sitting out there this long has a piece as big as O.J. Mayo involved without anyone reporting the involvement.

If not Mayo, then Lee/Rush

The Suns look like the only team out in the shooting guard market looking to spend over the MLE right now. If the Bulls fail to get O.J. Mayo than Brandon Rush and Courtney Lee are likely available on MLE like contracts. Lee was hoping to land a bigger deal, but it hasn't happened for him yet. The Celtics are pursing him at the MLE, but they need Dallas to do a S&T with Jason Terry for that to happen, and Dallas balked on not using their cap space.

As such, the Bulls are probably open to pursue Lee with their trade exception if the time things properly so that Houston has enough cap room to make things work. Brandon Rush is a restricted free agent whom Golden State promised to match reasonable offers on. Would they participate in a S&T? Who knows. Either way, if the Bulls are interested, it looks like if they miss out on Mayo that they'll have a couple solid back up plan options if they choose to pursue them.

Do the Bulls need to dump Rip?

One potential negative in adding any of the three above mentioned players is that the Bulls salary structure appears very tight. We don't yet know if they'll match on Omer Asik, but the latest rumors that the Bulls are looking to move Hamilton imply that they might only show strong interest in a new SG if they can dump Hamilton's salary.

My guess is that they won't be able to find a taker for Hamilton. It might make some sense for Memphis to take Hamilton on for a single season as they have little depth at SG with Mayo heading elsewhere. Hamilton would presumably be open to playing for a quality team like Memphis, and if he's healthy, they could use much of what he brings to the table.

Another possibility in an O.J. Trade is the Bulls moving Hamilton for Mayo in a S&T while sending three million in cash to offset a good chunk of Hamilton's salary. The Grizzlies would then cumulatively owe Hamilton just three million (2 this year, and 1 next year for his buyout), and Rip's not a bad risk at just three million dollars.

A similar transaction probably makes less sense for the Warriors and no sense for Houston whom wants the cap room instead. So if the Bulls need to ditch Rip to make this all happen, then it's probably Memphis or bust.

Cold water time

In the end, I'm betting the Bulls don't land any of the three and enter the season by adding a veteran minimum guard to the roster instead making their initial guard rotation: Hinrich, Teague, Hamilton, vet min guy until Derrick Rose returns. That rotation is still pretty solid at guard once Rose is back, but it'll be fairly weak until that point.

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  • "Find a player whom has played over 10,000 career minutes without posting a PER over 15 who went on to make an all-star game later in his career."

    There's at least one:

    Mark Eaton, never had a PER over 13.6, made the '89 all-star game with a PER of 10.6 that year and had played ~15k minutes at that point of his career.

    So OJ Mayo should be right if he learns how to grow another foot in height and become a DPOY.

  • Jerry is to blame for being cheap! not pax not gar..

  • My problem with Mayo is two-fold:

    a) You don't win with mediocre to inefficient volume scorers. You win with efficient volume scorers surrounded by a combination of super efficient and defensive role players.

    b) If you're playing a hard cap like strategy with the hard cap at the tax or not far over it, you have to spend every dollar wisely, and that means a few big purchases then you have to think really hard about where you spend and where you can make do with rookie deals and min salary guys. I don't really feel like the swing positions qualify as good spending spots unless you can get a star, the difference in quality between a MLE and min or rookie swing player isn't much (if you choose wisely), where as it's next to impossible to get decent bigs cheap. If you're going to spend, spend on height.

    Now no doubt people will say we can't get a star wing, Mayo is the best out there, ergo we must get Mayo. That thinking is simply the wrong way to go about it when money is a barrier. You're betting off not spending, trying to keep some space such that if a star is available at a future point you have the flexibility to attempt to obtain them. Or at least have the flexibility to sign your own non-star but still better/more important than Mayo players like Gibson. The worst thing the Bulls can do is decide they want Mayo ... then next year decide they can't keep Gibson. Then they decide they want someone else mediocre with the MLE to top up the side ... then decide the year after they have to let Deng walk.

    Maybe it's a stupid metaphor but if you want to fill a jar with rocks of different sizes you have to put the big ones in first: that means making sure there's room in your budget for your best players before trying to sign other ones. And no, I'm not saying Deng or Gibson must be kept at all costs, just that the cost of losing them for nothing is higher than the cost of not using the MLE on guys like Mayo.

    Yes I am aware that the Bulls could just spend, but they're not going to and hence I see no point discussing what the team should do as though they will. Given the (self-imposed) financial constraints you have to consider every move with dollars first, second and third in mind.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    If you can get a solid starting player for 5 mil a year that is a good deal. Is Mayo great? No, but he would be worth every penny of his contract for the Bulls as they have no scoring depth or SG depth. I see your point though and agree that just because you have money doesn't mean you blow it all on the best availible player. That is how we ended up with Boozer. Mayo thinks he is worth more than the MLE so you can probably get him on a short term deal 2-3 years. I think that would be a win win. We get a guy eager to prove his value and a replacement for RIP whom is likely to be injured this season and hopefully gone the next.

    Also due to the complete lack of scorers on the Bulls Mayo could put up solid numbers as a volume guy this season possibly inflating his trade value. He could be a valueable piece to pair with Deng if a star comes availible. Seems like a low risk senario if you can get him on a shorter deal which he should be interested in.

    I think one of the keys in the small market strategy if you want to call it that is to limit your contract lengths or add team options to ensure flexibility. Unless of coarse you have a shot at a Star.

  • I think gar and pax... should ask jerry to sell the franchise...
    To a super zillionaire... sO that that none of this would
    Happened. I mean, they have great chemistry, and then
    Financial decisions happened... were very close to win it all every year,
    And then what? U build again...

    Hey for me.. Chemistry beats ALL stars!

  • In reply to buneck:

    When it counts (in the playoffs) All Stars almost always beat chemistry. If you just want a solid regular season team like the Skiles Bulls then chemistry is a good call. Also GarPax are a perfect GM combo for those seeking chemistry above talent.

  • In reply to buneck:

    The question is how the Russian zillionaire owner of the Brooklyn Nets keeps under the salary cap, or doesn't mind paying the luxury tax. For that matter, what are the Rockets going to do with both Lin and Asik, although the latest reports are that they haven't given Asik the offer sheet.

    Anyway, I figure that the acid in the OJ is going to curdle the egg in the mayo.

  • IL TRADE FOR LEE.. OR SIGN HIM.. GIVE YOUR FUTURE 3 SECOUND ROUND PICKS.

  • I'm not sold on Mayo. And I think more will be expected of him if he comes here than what he can handle. I think what he was doing in Memphis the last two years is what he should be doing long-term, a back-up guard who can play both guard positions as needed. As Doug notes, Tony Allen beat him out. If that is what he really is (a back-up guard), we should not be paying him the kind of money being discussed. At most he should be an MLE which I think he would never accept.

    While he is a much better offensive player than Hinrich, he and Hinrich would fill a lot of the same role (undersized 2 guard, play some point as well). Stick with Rip (who you probably cannot trade now) and see if he will stay healthy because he is the only really big 2 guard we have who can shoot an open jumper with consistency and not be a chucker or a clanker.

    I think the Bulls should gut it out as is and play tough defense until Rose gets back. If they are able to surprise (and Thibs will work them hard to excel), then hope that everyone is healthy and they have the team they thought they would have with Rip and Rose at the end of this past year.

    Yes, I know CJ, Brewer, and Korver will be gone. So sign a minimum vet who can be a three point threat to replace Korver which was his primary job. Butler replaces Brewer. Hirich and Teague give you the support that CJ provided and maybe Teague can step up to be better. Let's give him the chance whle Rose is out. If the team doesn't play well enough to get over the hump when Rose returns, then they will have a better draft pick in 2013 In 2013, they can also amnesty Boozer then and buy out Rip and go after better players and draft picks rather than being tied up with Mayo's contract demands.

    I think Mayo is not going to come here anyway. Phoenix is going to offer him as much money as Eric Gordon signed for now that New Orleans has matched. Mayo is from the same high school class as Rose and Eric Gordon. They were all viewed very similar coming out of high school and Mayo in the early part of his high school days was more well-known and even compared to LeBron. I don't know why he was compared to Lebron other than people were talking about him since he played on the varsity in high school in Kentucky as an 8th grader. Yes, Mayo played with Taj in college and he knows Rose well from their times being on the national scene out of the same class. But Mayo will want to get paid. And the Bulls just need to say no because Mayo will not be worth it.

  • I'm pretty much where you are on Mayo. In fact, I agree with just about everything you said in your podcast yesterday about Korver, Hinrich, and Mayo. He is not what everybody thought that he was going to be, and probably never should have been thought of in that way, a product of the hype machine. Didn't he get traded for Kevin Love on draft day.

    I look at Mayo as a Jamal Crawford/Larry Hughes type. Hopefully, more Hughes from his few good years.

    As a starter on the Bulls, he probably scores 15-18 points a game, about the same as Deng or Boozer. If you are not going to have a pair of 25 point scorers, or a trio of 20 point scorers, then you have to have a bunch of 15-18 point guys to help Rose with the scoring load. That is what we signed Rip for.

    If the Bulls could cash in Rip and Korver for Mayo @ $5-6-7 million per I think that is fairly good value, even if you are getting Mayo at $1-2 million more per year than you would like to.

    The real issue with making any of these moves now, is that we might be robbing ourselves of having cap room to work with in 2014. If we match Asik, bring in Mayo, resign Taj next summer, we won't have any cap room in 2014 even if we have amenstitized bozo. The only move we could make at that time, would be to resign Deng as a free agent at a reduced rate, and I am not sure that I want Deng at that point in his career for 3-4-5 more years.

    Personally, I don't see the Bulls as serious contenders for Mayo, and they only way that I see them being a serious player for him, is if they let Asik walk. Basically, Asik for Mayo, instead of Asik for Courtney Lee. Do we like Mayo that much more than we like Lee?

    How much better(if any) is Mayo just from the perspective of this upcoming season than Hamiliton(if he could stay healthy). Obviously, Mayo is entering the prime of his career, and if acquired would be a long term asset, whereas Rip is at this point a one year rental.

    Bottom line, if we end up with Mayo, I would be pumped up for a while, at least until I start watching him day in day out.

  • It depends on the price, if its for the 5-6 mil range, he's probably worth it as a role playing 2guard. If its for the 8-9 mil he's probably going to get from PHX, forget it, he doesn't attack the rim/get to line and settles for jumpers which he's mediocre at anyway. I just hope the bulls aren't using these mayo rumors as an excuse to dump RIP to avoid paying the lux tax and filling in the spot with Carlos Delfino or the like. I don't mind Carlos Delfino to take the place of Korver but not our starting 2guard. Rip if he can stay healthy is a decent starter, love his ability to pass and get the bigs going.

    Doesn't it suck with the amnesty/waived players? It seems most of them are powerforwards and no shooting guards. If the rockets bought out Kevin Martin.....man that would be great for the Bulls. With the current conditions, the Bulls should keep RIP unless they can get Courtney Lee for that 5 million price tag.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Bulls can't bid on amnestied players anyway. Only teams under the salary cap.

  • The Suns have picked up Scola for 3 years, $13 million total.

    Is that the baseline bid on Bozo, if he were to be amnestitized?

    Probably depends on how much, if any cap space is left out there.

    Not going to happen, but info to chew on for next summer when he will "only" be owed $32 million.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    If Boozer is Amnestied next year, and they do it early, I could see a team putting in a bid of $5mil per (as long as Boozer does what he did this past year...15pts-8rbs).

    But maybe that's a bid more optimistic because I think Scola is better and he was only 'won' with a little more than $4mil per.

  • I hope Phoenix signs him for a bit more than we can offer and then we go after Lee. I think Lee will be a better fit than OJ and could cost less. Neither guy makes us a favorite to win the title, so go with a guy who fits and cost less. He will perform well and we could keep him later or include him in a trade down the line when a player like Ellis or Gay or Love become available.

    How realistic is it that Lee drops to a MMLE level though?

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    Gay Love lol... That would be awesome to pair them on the same team.

    Lee isn't rushing to sign for MLE money so I would say very unlikely he signs for MMLE.

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    Very unlikely Lee takes the MMLE.

    It doesn't matter anyway since the Bulls have the Full MLE (since they got Hinrich in a S&T).

    Lee is the better fit, but he doesn't solve the '2nd shot creator' problem the Bulls have.

    Maybe the Bulls can give Mayo the full $5mil MLE with a Player Opt after the 1st year, so if he plays well he can opt out and go after more money.

    That would actually benefit the Bulls as well because if he opts out, with some more changes, they can clear enough cap room to go after Harden, Manu, or one of the FA SGs next year.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Bulls got Hinrich in S&T? I assume that means the Korver deal is done? I haven't seen it. But still doesn't that mean they only have the mmle availible until Asik signs with Rockets.

  • With apolgies to O.J Mayo I have a seperate question: Where is Derrick Rose?

    Anyone at this point who has a positive take on the Bulls in any way, shape, or form simply doesn't get it IMO. Once they lucked into Derrick in my view there is simply no excuse for continuing to rake in profits at the league's highest level, yet be the only big market revenue team who wont engage the luxury tax, and reward loyal fans..

    Chicago media(David Haugh and K.C. Johnson along with others) have espoused this enabling view on Chicago Tribune Live and the Trib online "with Rose injured there's no chance to compete next year so why spend?" WTF? Corporate trough ho bags the reason you spend is because Derrick being out most of next year does not logically infer you wait a year to build up the team offensively including finding him a legit second scoring partner who can drive to the basket. Not to mention bulding chemistry with that incoming offensive talent takes time.

    The other term I've heard is "holding pattern" until the summer of 2014. Great, first we had to pin all our hopes on the Summer of LeBron 2010, and end up with Boozer. Now it's wait until 2014.

    If I'm Derrick Rose, who we know won't complain(or is incapable which is in itself is a huge issue), and the Bulls let Asik walk and get nothing back while avoiding the tax at all costs dumping CJ, Korver etc., and replacing their minutes with a rookie, vet. min guys etc. I mean how can you win in today's NBA with ownership like this?

    If Derrick remains silent while the Bulls depth is dismantled and is left in the dust by other big market teams who will spend then you could say in a sense he gets what he desrves. Though in reality simply because the NBA has become a prima donna complaint league Derrick should get the spending comittment from an owner who has raked in massive profits and will continue to profit from him being here. I mean, what would the Bulls be the last couple of years without Derrick Rose? Answer: a piece of shit.

    Again, the tragic thing is that Derrick is TOO loyal, and is incapable of speaking out or confrontation IMO. Honestly, I think he has a lot of power, but will not use it. Rather then be in a witness protection program simply because he's rehabbing, he could do some interviews, and give the steady message that he is not happy with the Bulls from a fan loyalty and competitive standpoint. Simply that by being cheap and avoiding the tax the Bulls have lessened their options considerably and their ability to retain talented players. But do it in a balanced, classy way.

    Derrick Rose's name virtually being unmentioned through most of these draft and post draft free agency posts is the most telling event IMO. Your team disintegrates, if this was done to Wade, Kobe etc. would they "keep quiet?" Answer. HELL NO. As long as that remains the case, we really don't have a modern NBA superstar. No leadership means Reinsdorf "gets away with it" you could say.

    No it's not Derrick's fault things have come to this in the NBA nor should he be a dick like LeBron or Dwight Howard, but to to be inert at the other end of the spectrum silent, impotent will not cut it. Derrick Rose's innaction without doubt and lack of presence where as a superstar is not even on the tongue of fans injury or not, is the biggest story here IMO. And it's too bad for him he got drafted by the Bulls and Reinsdorf honestly. Though even with a Cuban I think eventually Derrick would run into trouble if he can't learn or is incapable of standing up for himself.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    So by your logic then Kevin Durrant and Mr. Fundementals Tim Duncan are not Modern NBA Superstars? Seems to me like a flawed arguement. First I have heard of a fan wanting his superstar to become a whiny little b!tch...

  • In reply to Chad:

    Whiny, little, bitch? Tantrum time again? Mom, Chad needs another nap!

    And you're geeting emotional over what? Asking something of Derrick Rose as in personal growth and fighting for something he is invested in makes you scared? Reinsdorf is making the biggest profits in the league off of Derrick Rose, and gutting his team to stay under the tax. If Jerry changes his ways now, and pays the tax, he'll still have a ways to go to show he truly wants to reward loyal fans responsible for over a decade of post Jordan financial success.

    What do you know about Kevin Durant? Durant stood up to Bosh(admittedly a tough guy pretender but still) when he tried to punk him during a nationally televised game. Something Derrick didn't do frankly when Dirk Nowitzki obviously purposely clouted him over the bridge of his nose to quell his energy. And he stood up to a fiery, somewhat confrontational teammate in Russell Westbrook. And as for Tim Duncan I guarantee he has told Popovich a grating perfectionist to f-ck off more then once.

    Calling for Derrick to show some leadership in an extreme situation as in 1) gutting his team, 2) making biggest profits in the league off of him as a player, I mean Reinsdorf is punking him for god's sake. Anyone who doesn't want Derrick to do anything, but sit quietly by is not doing him any favors.

    If ANY dissent whatsoever is being a "whiny little bitch" then congratulations and welcome to Punk Ass Nation. Derrick needs to show some leadership and call out Reinsdorf, but "in a balanced classy way." Such as by saying simply, "I was dissapointed we lost some of core guys. Our fans deserve a winner for all the loyalty the've shown us. It's going to be tough to get where we want to go

    Hopefully Reinsdorf will finally pay to support a superstar in Derrick who has him swimming in money, and reward loyal fans who have had to suffer small market shoddy treament as the high and dry step brother while he yucks it up with his ultra rich carpetbaggers.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    You're comparisons make no sense. You want Rose to make public demands to improve the team something that Durant or Timmy D or any other mature star have done. Derrick has shown every bit of competitive fire on the court as the other two. One this is not the offseason for him to do that and two that is something that he should do directly with the FO.

    Also to those that want him to recruit guys I think Rose really showed class in not doing so and supporting his teammates. I disagree that Loul Deng is that great but respect him for it and it was likely the smart play as Paxson is a bumbling idiot and would have been unable to close any big moves anyway. So smart move showing ur support to Lu instead of throwing him under the bus only to have him remain ur teammate.

    Also what's with all the mom and basement jokes? Do u live with ur parents? Is your real identity BasementWarrior?

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I think the problem (if you want to call it that) with Rose is that he is not a vocal leader. All I have ever read about the guy is that he is shy. Shy people don't storm into the owners office and demand anything. Being a guy who is a bit shy myself, I know how hard it is to step out of line even if it is for the right reasons. Maybe you are right and he is to shy to be a franchise guy, but I think the guy who may need to step up and say something is Noah. You know he isn't afraid to say anything. I know he is not the real leader of the team, but he is the voice of the team at times.
    Then again, they may be aware of what the plan is and we are not. That is the most frustrating thing for me is that I can't figure out what their plan is.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    I think the term that might best describe Rose is that he's Introverted. Otherwise, I agree with your comment in saying that Noah will have to speak up for the team instead.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    You assume losing the bench mob is a bad thing for Rose. Rose is a guy who gets paid a ton of money by Adidas, and stands to get paid a ton more, on the basis of being a super star. However if the Bulls continued to win games like they did last year then that's going to tarnish his star aura. The dismantling of the team is a financial gain to not just JR but to Rose too. Falling down the standings will further the super star narrative that the Bulls need him to wipe their own asses and are hopeless without him.

    I don't claim to know how Rose feels about it: as you point out, he hasn't said anything so how could anybody? I just think you have to consider the possibility that maybe he's silent because remaining silent is actually the position that benefits him personally.

  • People always mention that O.J. Mayo has a high ceiling, and he does, but he also has a higher baseline than people give him credit for. His shooting percentages dropped once he became a bench player, but Lionel Hollins told him basically to shoot whenever he gets the ball so they can space the floor because he's been their best three-point shooter. I think he's better than Courtney Lee is right now and has a much higher ceiling. His defense is actually very good as well, he was included in the group of guys considered to be Memphis' dogs on defense back when they were rolling.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    Lee is the better defender and better 3 point shooter, but that's basically what he does (Rich Man's Bogans or Combo of Brewer+Korver).

    Mayo is the lesser defender and 3 point shooter, but has handles and can get his shot off on his own.

    That's basically the difference between the 2.

  • I was always under the presumption if the Bulls matched Asik, kept Korver, Brewer, Watson, and added somebody like Mayo, even if Rose came back at 75% in Feb-Apr...the Bulls would still be title contenders.

    But now that they demolished arguably the best bench in the league, I think it would be wise to NOT match Asik and NOT offer Mayo the $5mil MLE, so they could have a chance* of getting one of these SGs next year.

    Here are the top FA SGs next year:

    Harden (RFA)
    Monta (ETO) - No defense
    Iggy (ETO) - Not dynamic scorer
    Tyreke (RFA) - Unproven/immature
    Kmart - Injury prone
    DeRozan (RFA) - Inconsistent shooter
    Manu - Old, injured, bald spot
    Jax - Demands new contract every year

    If the Bulls want Harden, they would probably need to throw a max at him. Other than that, everybody else has flaws (as I listed above). I would actually throw a max deal at Manu despite his flaws, but will that even be enough because Manu could just take less to stay with the Spurs.

    *chance = Amnesty Boozer + Trade Deng's expiring

    (for the record, I don't see the Bulls doing either, so this might just be a moot point anyways and they should go after Mayo now)

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Bald spot--- I love the break down!!!
    I love Manu, but he is never going to play with anyone other than Spurs. Plus, I thought that I read that he was going home after contract was up.
    DeRozan is still the guy that interest me the most(Harden simply will not happen). Athlete of highest caliber and he seems to keep improving year after year. Can't see Toronto not matching any offer, but he is the guy that I would push for on that list.

  • How about forgetting Mayo since he will be too expensive and we have already invested in Hinrich for what Mayo would arguably provide, chucking the ball up and playing a little 2 guard and a little point? Instead, since we are losing Korver and need a shooter, why not go after Jodie Meeks who is a spot up shooter? The Bulls need outside shooting badly now and can probably get him for a decent price. The Lakers are apparently looking at him now.

  • Summer league: While often a YMCA pick up game foul fest where future nobodies like Anthony Randolph score 40 points, sometimes you do see legit talents shine in ways that do indicate future success such as knocking down shots.

    I'm not going to blow my own horn(but if I could it would be tempting - ha,ha), anyway, Andrew Nicholson looks like a flat out skilled offensive NBA player who will translate sooner rather then later even at his current size/weight. He has been entertaining to watch if you like post play. And a big who can can long range jumpers. Looks like a poor man's James Worthy to me the way he plays.

    Damian Lillard who some were screaming to trade Deng and take on salary post Boozer amnesty(as now Houston and Philly have done) to get at No. 5 from Sacramento dropped 25 in his first game.

    Passing on talent in a deep draft which increased the odds of an NBA talent being selected will haunt this team IMO.

    I will say in fairness my best available after Lillard, Maurice Harkless, looked ineffective before injuring a hip flexor. So there's always risk without question. And a media guy who will remain nameless said my other guy I was big on Arnett Moultrie is feared by some to be a drug problem guy. Though I'm still 'high' on him(ahem).

    I will be very surprised if Teague or Butler put up much offense for the Bulls in Summer League, at least shooting from the field. Teague should be able to rack up assists and score around the basket some with his outstanding speed and exceptional handles. If Butler can get to the basket in face ups that will be big likewise any post up success. If either can score consistently it will be a very good note heading into camp next fall.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Side note: Bulls summer league roster invitee Jermain Taylor's college numbers are good. I don't have time to check scouting reports I'm sure he's flawed, but I'll be interested to see if he shows anything in summer league games the way the guard from Orlando did before being whisked away to G.S. for a possible signing for the coming season(Maalik Wayns)..

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    What are your thoughts on Stockton? I saw one game with him in it and even though he wasn't putting up numbers, it looked like he was running offense well. Not saying the Bulls should go after him or anything, just interested. Lillard is my pick for ROY.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Performing well in the summer league is almost a contra-indicator of success in the NBA.

    For what it is worth, Tony Wroten(19,8,& 6), and even Miles Plumlee have put up some numbers so far.

  • Bulls brass making a big mistake investing the future of the team and championship aspirations on Derrick Rose. Why??? He's damaged goods, he doesn't go out and recruit other all star or good players, a.d he just will not win anything without the right players around him. Over the next few years, I just don't see any good players in free agency or the draft.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Geez, Louise, downtime is scary. Are we really going to start throwing the best thing to happen to the franchise since MJ under the bus? Really? I would venture that evidence collected to date suggests that those who doubt Derrick Rose do so at their own peril.

    Chauncey Billups - coming off an ACL injury and much older than Rose - just said that he anticipates being ready to be ready for the start of the season. Even a similar time frame for Rose would put him back on the floor in January, and reports are that his recovery is going very well. Are we seriously going to doubt this kid?

    You vastly over-estimate the general importance of recruiting. Yes, you can cite instances where it made a difference, but — by and large — players are going to make their decisions based on other criteria much more often.

  • In reply to kukoc4cocopuffs:

    I'm not throwing him under the bus, its just that its what I have been saying all along and that's HE NEEDS HELP!!! And manage ment had a chance to upgrade the roster through trade and the draft while Rose is out but they chose to take the conservative route as usual. If they don't get Rose the help that he needs then why invest in him and waste what's probably left of his career. Everyone is banking on the Moron guy who want be in Chicago for another 4 or 5 years that the media wants to down play. So nothing against Rose, I just hope he's smart enough to see what's going on around him.

  • damn, jeremy lamb looks good(summerleague game). wish the bulls would of pulled the trigger on this guy. potential perfect fit next to rose. instead we're locked into cap hell. Saw Harrison Barnes, nice looking stroke from the 3pt line, wouldn't mind him either.

  • 1) Is JR cheap? Maybe he's just frugal. Just throwing money at a problem doesn't always fix it. Look at the government! He spent big for Ben Wallace and for Boozer, based no doubt on FO recommendations, so I can't blame him for being gunshy now. Of course, maybe the smart move for him would be to replace the FO, which he likely will do if Gar/Pax don't improve soon.

    2) I think the Bulls would get Howard but for the marketing clause that he has with Adidas. That is why Howard won't come to Chicago - it will cost him too much money from his contract with Adidas.

    3) Look, the bench mob had a lot of heart, so we admired them. The problem was, they were too inconsistent. Every one of them. They had a few great nights, and they had some real stinkers. They couldn't even beat the #8 seed.

    A lot of posters want the Bulls to do something, well, they are doing something! Yeah, I wanted them to get Howard, or maybe even Melo, or Deron, but those deals were tough to pull off. Let's see what happens.

    4) Could the Bulls contend this year? Yes. A lot of ifs, but it is possible. We squawked about Thibs not playing Butler more last season. Now he will have to. If Butler makes good strides, if Teague develops into a solid asset, if Taj steps up a notch, if Deng and Rose recover, If Hinrich does well, if Mayo or whoever rejuvenates his career in Chicago, if Rip has a decent year, if Thibs gets wiser and doesn't overwork his players -- they could play for the ECF. All the bigger pieces are still here.

    Plus, they are setting up to pull a major trade at the deadline if it's available.

    My big complaint was them not grabbing a couple of the 2nd round draftees, that would have been low cost. But maybe they feel that Hinrich and Mayo/whomever have a better shot at hitting it this year.

  • Oh well... get rid of this thread, MAYO GOING TO DALLAS! He would have been a big upgrade over RIP but some Bulls fans are totally blind. MAYO still has room to grow and would've been an nice addition to play along side Rose. The Bulls shooting guard options have gone to nothing cause Rush is being pursued by the Lakers. Boy the Bulls management absolutely SUCKS!!! Couldn't sign Granville Waiters if he still played, that's for all of the old school Bulls fans that remember that guy.

  • OJ Mayo going to DAL.

    They only have $4mil in cap space, so my guess is it's a S&T because I do not believe he took only $4mil.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    You guys think the Bulls have the 'balls' to take on Delonte West?

    I know he's crazy, but I've always loved his grit and toughness.

    He's an undersized SG with handles and can create his own shot.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Can't see it even though I like his talent. He's just to much of a time bomb for what the Bulls usually do. Didn't he get arrested a year ago for riding around with guns straped to his back? I don't think the Bulls want to deal with that.

    With the trade exeption the Bulls got, is that enough to sign Lee? And I'm guessing that with no mention of Hinrich in the Korver trade, that the MMLE was used on him?

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    Well i guess OJ is out of the question. Just agreed with Mavs on multi year contract

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    Wow I gues they never made a move for him. I was hoping they would add somebody becasue now that Rose is out again they have no one. Even Deng is gone now.

    Jayden Eden http://www.irrawangvet.com.au

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