Hinrich's return lifts Bulls over Hornets, Rose ready to go?

It may not look like it from the box score, a typical Hinrich affair 2-7 for five points, but Kirk Hinrich's return meant everything to the Bulls last night. The offense went from completely disjointed to running much more smoothly and all of a sudden all the other players who were struggling busted out of their slumps.

Nate Robinson had one of his off nights, but when he wasn't counted on to play 40 minutes that no longer mattered. The Bulls, as a whole, played with much more intensity and scored a much needed win after struggling so much prior to the all-star break.

Joakim Noah had a huge night with 15 points and 17 rebounds coming off of the rumors that he partied like a rock star for four straight days on all star weekend barely sleeping. Noah dominated the glass and played like an all-star for the first time since his plantar fasciitis kicked up a few weeks ago. Hopefully his foot is feeling better after the break/treatment, because the Bulls need Noah to continue playing like this.

Luol Deng also appeared reinvigorated by Hinrich's return as he busted out of a shooting slump to score 20 on 13 shots and had his first efficient offensive night in quite some time.

All in all, a quality win by the team. Somewhat ironic that the Bulls beat the Hornets on the road with Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon playing but lost to them in Chicago earlier in the year with both stars sitting.

Still feeling Jimmy Butler?

After a very strong stretch, many Bulls fans were climbing aboard the Jimmy Butler express. Thoughts that he could make Luol Deng expendable in the long term floated through the minds of many Bulls fans. Well, Jimmy Butler on a hot streak looked impressive, but it's worth noting that he scored many of his points off of hustle, second chances, and bad defense. Not a combination you want to count on night in and night out.

Butler has since struggled mightily, perhaps the scouting report is now out on to deny the baseline cut, make sure to box him out on rebounds, and play him for the drive. Butler's shot just 38% since his hot stretch, but on top of that he's been unable to fill up the box score with boards, assists, or steals which he was doing earlier either.

In general, he's looked hesitant on the court, passed up shots, and while he's still playing defense with a high intensity level, hasn't been able to make the big impact. Butler didn't completely bust out of his slump last night, but his 4/8 performance with three boards, an assist, and a block was his best effort over the past five or six games.

Hopefully Butler gets it going again, but the slump serves as a reminder that there's still a fairly large gap between Butler and Deng that needs to be made up in the next couple of years if the Bulls are to move Deng and hope to not experience a significant drop off in play at the SF position. That's not to say Butler won't fill those shoes (or come close enough at half the price) just that we still need to see quite a bit more to feel comfortable with him doing so.

Derrick Rose ready to go?

Chris Broussard tweeted the following gem:

Eyewitness at D Rose's first 5-on-5 said Rose looks "ready to go." Said he looks able to play in games.

Of course this is much better than hearing the opposite, but I'm going to withhold my joy a bit. I'm deeply curious as from whom Broussard is hearing this information. It seems likely that the only eyewitnesses are some Bulls staff and the players. The players are always likely to talk optimistically, and I'm not sure what Bulls staff is going to leak something to Broussard.

Everyone wants Rose to wait on his return until he's ready while at the same time hoping that hes' ready soon. With any luck, this is a sign that he'll be ready soon. Rose coming back and limping around the court or risking further injury isn't going to excite fans any. Remember what Derrick looked like at the start of his second year when he lost a bit of athleticism due to a sore hamstring? It wasn't pretty.

It seems like Rose and the Bulls are both on the same page with that mission though. We'll see Rose when he's capable of giving a Rose like performance not when he's capable of making it through 20 minutes.

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  • i have been saying the same thing about what Derrick might look like if he comes back to soon. And that being the Rose we saw after he came back from the groin injury.

    I think he sits and practices for another month and then he and the Bulls see where his body is.

  • FWIW Aggrey Sam tweeting the same kind of info: Rose looked dominant, best player on the floor.

    we'll see...

  • In reply to BXLBearsFan:

    That doesn't really say that much as Rose at 85% would still easily be the best Bulls guard.

  • In reply to Chad:

    'Best player', but yes, at 85% (although he was in the high 80s last week, he should be in low 90s this week), he's probably still the best player.

  • I don't think Butler has to close the gap on Deng. I think of him more as a nice stopgap, in the event Deng departs. Or as a solid role player. If Butler ends up as good, or better, than Deng, fantastic, but it's hardly all that important. If we're getting rid of Lu, it's because we're looking to re-tool the team, and hopefully add to the top-line talent by putting another star next to Rose. The loss of Lu's contributions would not need to be replaced solely by Butler, but by the new people that are brought in as well.

    On a team with Derrick Rose and another superstar, Butler may be a great fit. I'd still have concerns about his shot, and how that would affect our floor spacing, but depending on how he improves his shot, and the skillset of the new players we bring in, that may not matter.

    Imo, if Rose comes back strong this year, and the Bulls struggle in the playoffs again, they really have to move Luol in the offseason. I think you were a proponent of doing something like that this past summer, and I agreed. And it needs to happen regardless of what anyone thinks of Jimmy.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    If you're saying moving Deng would yield us a star next to Rose, then i don't think that's happening.

    If you're sayin moving Deng is a first step (a pick or young player that becomes a package deal or something) to getting a star player, then that's a little hard to see too.

    I'm telling you guys right now...if Boozer remains on this team and JR is forced to pay the tax this year, he will absolutely look to get out of paying it next year by dumping Deng or Taj for lesser expiring contracts or an unguaranteed deal they could just waive.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    No I definitely don't think dealing Deng would net us a star directly. My point is that, unless the Bulls plan on going with this same core for a LONG time (which would be dumb i f the team can't break through in the playoffs. also expensive), Deng is the likely piece that will move. Due to age, contract demands etc. It's up to the Bulls to make sure they get something for him, rather than him just walking away when his contract is up.

    Even if it's just a late lottery pick and a role player (with expirings or whatever to make contracts match), maybe that pick, along with our other assets, can get us a star.

    But most of all, it gives a team that is notorious for not spending money, some flexibility.

    The problem with the Bulls is that they're a good team built around depth, in an organization that won't spend. So what will happen is, we're either gonna leak players year after year until we're no longer good anymore (look at Asik and Korver as examples of key players that left), or the front office can be pro-active, and trade players that they don't foresee as parts of the eventual title team (players that have value, not just guys like Boozer and Rip), and try to get something for them while they have some value.

  • I just hope rose don't put pressure on himself. Rather him miss season then im getting injured again and career is over.

    been thinking about bulls trading for josh smith. Don't know how much closer they would with healthy d rose deng and Noah but it would be awesome if bulls actually took a risk and see where it goes.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    Hawks don't want to take on any salary so that basically rules the Bulls out. Smith really wouldn't add the secondary scoring option they really need anyway.

  • Chris Broussard has little credibility with me... I doubt he makes things up, but his sources are rarely correct. That said, I hope he's right this time.

  • maybe its still early but its been super quiet this trade deadline with few players being traded. I guess that mega-tax system starts to kick in and nobody wants to take on salary unless its a stud player. Salary dumping is going to be hard to do in this new environment. Salary cap space is sacred and you have to keep your draft picks in order to develop cheap young talent. You can't throw out MLE deals like they used to and bench players are a luxury that most teams can't afford. The most money goes to your top 3 players but you have to get the right 3-man star players correct. So this is the stage the bulls are at with their top 3 being Rose-Noah-Deng and that not being enough to win a ship so where do they go from here and do they really want to resign deng? of course if he's willing to discount to play for his favorite team? I keep on hearing from some chicago sports writers that Love is the Bulls top target but I don't see it, perhaps the Bulls are waiting for Mirotic being the poor man's love coming over and Rose will be fully healed by 2014.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    With the new CBA, expiring contracts have no value. Nobody is willing to take Rip, and nobody will take Boozer.

    Regarding Love, I'm not sure if the media are just grasping for straws or they're somewhat defending the Bulls, but he's the only star that they see as available in the near future.

    I personally think its a longshot we could get him, especially if LAL has huge cap space starting in 2014.

  • The only thing that can disavow the notion that these Bulls had their run and should have retooled is if Deng, Noah, Boozer etc. can remain healthy throughout the playoffs.

    It could be inaccurate that after all the massive profit taking, Boozer's amnesty with a Deng trade taking backan extra salary could have netted Sacramento's No. 5 pick. If so then fine. However if the multiple sources on Draft night saying with a salary dump that pick was in play then right now you could have Damian Lillard.

    Lillard and Rose at SG would have been electric then youfind a way to get Rudy Gay. Even if u can't swing that you have aterrific young scoring talent or trading chip for one. Instead you have Deng and his oft injured aging lineup. Bulls always hold on to assets too long.

    Thats what will be the damning footnote in Paxson's run as Bulls G.M.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    1. No, we wouldn't have drafted Lilard. That would absolutely zero sense. You don't draft a rookie and play him at starting PG over the MVP who won it as the PG.

    2. SAC really loved Thomas Robinson and once he fell to them, hey weren't tradin their pick. Now if you're talking about before the draft before players moved up or dropped, then I don't know why SAC would want Deng who was making $13-14mil this and next year, when their owners were bleeding money...unless you were suggesting we take back the contracts of Salmons and Hayes for example.

    And if you're suggesting the Deng for Tyreke+5th pick rumors (that fans were ignorantly suggesting), then those had no hance of happening.

    3. The trade that was on the table was Deng for GSW's 7th (Barnes) and the bad contract of Biedrins or RJeff, which the Bulls passed.

    Another trade that wasn't talked about (and should have been) was TOR's 8th+Calderon's expiring. TOR was looking for a SF, overpaid Fields to get one, then traded for Gay. And if the bulls were smart enough to make that deal, Calderon would have replaced Hinrich and expired at the end of the season.

  • From the USA Today

    "Another man's trash

    The Bobcats want to dump Ben Gordon. Nobody wants Ben Gordon. That's a problem for Charlotte. In order to get another team to take a disgruntled, miserable and unloved player with declining skills and a $12 million contract for next season off their hands, they must take "trash" in return. Maybe in the form of a longer contract. "

    Could not have said it better myself.

    I suppose we could offer Bozo the Bamboozler for him, but I doubt that even Charlotte would bite on that one, unless we give them back the #1 that we got for Tyrus Thomas.

  • Butler needs to learn that corner three, once he's a legit threat to shoot it then he'll get his points from cuts again because teams wont know which way to play him. Right now he's predictable because they know he can't shoot. Hope he puts in a lot of practice in the off-season on it because if he hopes to move up from his current fringe rotation guy status he needs it.

    I still feel Deng is expendable Butler or no Butler just because I think he'll be terrible value on his next deal. I expect that he'll ask for roughly what he's currently on. If you're going to try to avoid the tax (or the repeater tax as the Bulls are trying to sugar coat it as) you need to think value for money, and Deng isn't going to provide that as he ages. If you're not willing to match on Asik for a contract that's actually pretty tax friendly 2 out of 3 years then you absolutely can not re-up Deng.

    As for the Rose news, the Bulls are really stretching credibility with this. Rose says he can't dunk and they expect us to believe their leaks that he's looking good? Sorry Bulls spin doctors, the cats out of the bag on this one, you can stop making stuff up now, maybe go back to telling us how you're limiting Rip's minutes for his health, not that he's terrible but can't be benched because you still have dreams of dumping his salary before the deadline.

  • Holy Shit Pacers 102, Knicks 66, at the end of the 3rd quarter.

    B.T.W. anybody notice that Joe Johnson hit 2 game tying/winning buzzer beaters last night. That would be 2 more in one game than Bozo the Bamboozerler has in his entire 2.5 years with the Bulls.

    Rumors that the Suns are offering Gortat, Dudley and a #1 for Josh Smith. Hmmm, that sounds familiar for some reason. Oh yea, I proposed Gortat and a #1, or Gortat and Dudley for Deng.

    Interesting that the Suns are proposing deal #1, but would likely say no to deal #2 when one guy(Smith) is a free agent in June and has never made the all star team, while the other guy has one more year on his contract and is a 2 time fake all star.

  • "A perfect trade" This guys writes for ESPN, apparently he used to work in an NBA front office, so supposedly he should know.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8966652/nba-dissecting-anatomy-perfect-trade-jj-redick-chicago-bulls

    Basically, he thinks the Bulls should trade for Redick. We give up Brick and cash plus Teague and a future #1.

    Seems like at least one more #1 pick that Redick is worth, especially since he is a free agent in June and supposedly asking for $10 million per for 4 years.

    Again, I ask, how good is Redick, how much is he worth, how much better is he than Belli, is he better than Korver?

    As mentioned in the article, I can't see the Bulls going after him, since every penny we pay him next season is enhanced tax money, unless of course we amnestitize Bozo the Bamboozler.

    How much do Bulls fans want Redick, personally, just as I was 3 years ago, I am very ambivalent, probably even more so.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    There are 3 SGs I'd feel comfortable paying 10 million a year to: Wade, Harden and Bryant. And I'd probably baulk at even Bryant if it was for 4 years. Redick no way, as much as I think he'd be a good fit for the Bulls, he'd have to come at about half the price he's asking.

  • Too bad we don't have KK anymore? Him and Lou Amundson are very similar looking like brothers, even twin brothers! LOL

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bulls/post/_/id/12391/sources-bulls-in-talks-with-pf-amundson

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