The 2014 plan is no 2010 plan, not even close

And I don't mean that in a good way. The 2010 plan was well executed, the Bulls were in position to become a dynasty. It didn't work out, but the plan itself was well thought out and still allowed them to become an upper echelon team even if they didn't get the players they coveted. The 2014 plan? I'm not sure it exists.

If it does exist, it sure doesn't exist in the sense the 2010 plan did. The 2014 plan is a fan construct created before the Bulls agreed to an extension with Taj Gibson when they could have had considerable cap space. Here's a look at the Bulls cap situation next year at a minimum.

Player 2014/2015
Derrick Rose $18,862,876
Joakim Noah $12,200,000
Taj Gibson $8,000,000
Mike Dunleavy Jr $3,326,235
Jimmy Butler $2,008,748
Marquis Teague $1,120,920
Tony Snell $1,472,400
Richard Hamilton buyout $333,334
5x caphold $2,536,680
Total $49,861,193

The NBA salary cap is projected to be 62.1 million next season [58.7 million this season]. That means the Bulls maximum cap room next season is 12.2 million. Probably enough money to get Luol Deng who may be the best free agent available in that price range.

Oh wait, in this 12.2 million dollar scenario the Bulls aren't bringing over Nikola Mirotic next season or signing their 2014 draft choice. Take on another three to four million for Mirotic and another 500k-700k for the Bulls draft choice [assuming the Bulls don't fall apart otherwise it's even more].

Now if Charlotte somehow lands pick #11 or worse then the Bulls also get to add on that salary.

In short, in order to get a Luol Deng level free agent, the Bulls would have to give up their draft choice, hold off on Mirotic, lose Luol Deng, and amnesty Carlos Boozer. That doesn't seem like the best team building plan for the future.

This list of penalties is the same even if we want to use that cap room to make an unbalanced trade rather than trying to sign someone outright though in that scenario you wouldn't need as much cap room [ie, swap Taj +picks for Aldridge and you don't need 15 million in cap room for Aldridge's salary].

It's clear that the Bulls evaluated next year's free agency class, evaluated how far they could get underneath the tax, and said "not worth it". When they signed Dunleavy to a two year deal to chew up 3.3 million of cap room and waived Hamilton under the stretch provision which saves them about one million in luxury tax payments but chews up 333k next season in cap room it should be obvious that they weren't maximizing what they were doing under the cap.

In fact, the best case scenario for the Bulls next season is likely to bring back both Boozer and Deng, use the MMLE on Mirotic and simply add their rookie salary. Such a team is similar to the one this year, but with a legit fourth big man in Mirotic stepping up and helping the squad and more seasoned depth with Teague/Snell having more experience.

Of course that team is in the tax again as most players get small raises totaling around five million and Mirotic would replace most of Hinrich's salary. They'd probably sit in the level one tax area [five million and less] but would then pay repeater tax.

For that reason, I find the most likely scenario is that the Bulls part ways with one of Deng or Boozer in order to get well under the tax and save the repeater penalty. Parting ways with Deng obviously saves them a crapload more money as they'd still have to pay Boozer if he's amnestied, they'd just save the eight million or so on the tax.

The Bulls would have a rather large void if either player leaves though. With Mirotic coming in, Chicago could expect him to fill that void, but that's fairly high expectations for an international player in his rookie season, especially with no viable fourth big man behind him if he flops.

As for Deng, Butler's ready to step up in my opinion, but then Hinrich's also leaving, so you have to hope both Teague and Snell are ready to step up in the next year or else you're looking for 1-2 rotation players in your backcourt while having already used your MLE on Mirotic leaving the team with just their late draft choice and minimum salaries, and the bi-annual exception to fill the void.

In short, many Bulls fans have been looking at 2014 as a year the Bulls can shake it up and make something happen. If the roster is shaken up, then it will almost certainly come back worse talent wise with a better financial outlook. Not too exciting for fans. If they bring everyone back they'll have maximized talent but destroyed future flexibility.

It's not an easy off-season coming up for Gar Forman and John Paxson.

Filed under: Free Agency

Tags: 2014 plan, chicago bulls, nba

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    What would you prefer? 'Destroy future flexibility-plan' or 'less talent now-plan'?

  • In reply to Lasse Skov:

    Right now, I'd probably go with destroy future flexibility, but I'd wait until the off-season. If Butler continues to look legit and Snell/Teague develop well, then I'd let Deng go, keep Boozer, and bring over Mirotic.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If you let Deng go, but keep the Hole, you as a fan gain virtually nothing. The Bulls are still over the cap and can only use the MLE on Mirotic to attempt to improve. How is $10-12 million in cap space not worth more than Carlos Boozer(see my question below on the "apron" rule as it applies to the cap line vs the tax line)

    retaining Deng but dumping the Hole leaves you in the exact same position but is probably preferable. Clearly, the best option is to get rid of them both and have the most cap space possible to reset the team for the next phase of the Derrick Rose era.

  • Yeah, I find it kinda funny how some people seem to view this year as a sort of stopgap on the way to greener pastures. When in reality, this may be the Bulls best shot at a title for the foreseeable future.

    Just looking at the list of realistic possibilities in free agency, I'm having a difficult time seeing how next year's team improves upon this one.

    Also, this is another reason why I think Rose should've gutted it out last year. Even though the Bulls' title chances were slim, they were still in the second round of the playoffs, and definitely *did* have a shot. Who knows what's gonna happen in the future.

    As you pointed out, I think a lot is riding on guys like Teague, Snell, and Butler

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    I agree, the keys are Butler, Teague, Snell, plus Mirotic, and maybe Murray and the future picks.

    My math was off on my earlier post - sorry. Too early for my old brain. Doug's salary list must assume that Boozer is amnestied for 2014-2015.

    All the Bulls need to do is continue drafting and developing good talent -- which is easier said than done, but they have been doing it.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    When Luol Deng and Carlos the Bamboozler are your starting forwards you have absolutely no shot of winning a championship, so if that is your best shot at a title in the foreseeable future, we might as well give up being Bulls fans, or maybe just shoot ourselves in the head.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I don't see many better pairs of forwards outside of Miami and Oklahoma city, neither of which can match the Bulls' guard play.

  • Doug, did you leave out Boozer's salary in paragraph 3? You must have, or my math is off.

    OK, assuming that Boozer is included in that $49,861,193 -- the Bulls let Deng walk, add Mirotic, add the new #1 pick, and they still have about $7,200,000 left of cap room. I think that is doable.

    Remember, Butler has been expected to replace Deng for less money. If Mirotic comes, this guy is not coming empty handed -- he is going to bring a game. Precisely how strong it will be in the NBA remains to be seen, but he will be good at the very least. And we hope Taj reverts to his game of 2 years ago. And Boozer holds his level of play.

    So, without adding a top tier FA, the Bulls will continue to field a strong team in 2014-2015. The key is the young players. If Teague, Snell, and Murray become decent, the 2014-2015 team should be substantially better than this year's team. That sounds like a plan to me, and it's one that most teams would love to have. If they get the Charlotte pick, they should be even better (though at this point I would prefer to wait another year for that). Think positive, man!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    The minimum the Bulls could do includes amnestying Boozer. Boozer is not included in the 49.861 million, that number assumes Boozer is amnesties and represents the furthers the Bulls can get under the cap.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Correct me if I'm wrong...but I think Nikola has to do one more year in Spain before the Bulls are eligible to bring him under free-agency terms rather than draft choice terms, the only way they could pay him enough to come.

  • In reply to Granzo:

    Don't believe that's the case, but I'm going based off my memory of something I looked up several years ago.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I'm with you, everything that I have seen, suggests that next year, which would be 3 years after he was drafted is the year he is eligible to come over under free agent rules vs draft pick rules.

  • How does Hamilton still count on next year's cap? Do they have to spread the buyout over multiple year? Did I miss the part where they didn't cut him? He's gone, right?

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    They waived him under the stretch provision, so his 1 million salary counts against the next three years at 333k per year instead of 1 million this year.

  • How on Earth can you plan for 2014 right now - with as many variables as you've listed above - without knowing how Derrick Rose is going to return, and what that means for the team's success this coming season? Amnestying Boozer and re-signing Deng are HUGE decisions to make. Particularly as it relates to the team's willingness to exceed the cap (again). How can you reasonably assess any potential 'plan' for 2014 without considering the possible results of 2013 first? Meaning: What if the Bulls were to win the title? What if they make it to the conference finals? What if Rose just isn't the same guy? The answers to these questions would certainly impact their decision-making. And much more so than whether or not they owe Rip Hamilton $333k. I understand your point, Doug - the Bulls are not in great position to manuever in 2014 as some have expected - but the reality is everything you mention above is predicated on getting answers first to the questions I listed above.

  • In reply to stakfry526:

    Completely agree with this.

    The Bull strategy for the 2014 off-season will greatly depend on how 2013-2014 pans out. If the Bulls are able to win it all this coming season, than you bring everyone back and pay the tax. If they get bounced from the post season (again), then serious consideration has to be given to long-term financial planning/flexibility.

  • In reply to BullsMan:

    This is how Sam Smith has described it (on numerous occasions). Frankly, I don't see a way, with who will be available next year, that the Bulls can improve on the present roster. They will miss Omer dearly against both the Heat and the Pacers, but if everyone stays relatively healthy, this team ABSOLUTELY will contend THIS YEAR.

    And, if they do, it's like you say: bring everybody back and get every ounce of possibility from this group, who has done WAY more than they've been asked. How many guys drafted 29th end up in the starting lineup of a championship contender, their THIRD year? I certainly don't agree with Thibs on everything (playing time for starters vs youngsters mainly, and he's promised to be better about the former anyway), but I'd like to hear any argument that ANY other coach is better, and better for this group, than Mr. Thibs.

    And another thing, as I've said many times: Luol Deng is a Bull for life. Take it to the bank. He WILL be back next year, on another 4- or 5-year deal. For goodness sakes...who would you rather have at the three? Is that player available? Sure, you'd rather have James...but how likely is that? For LIFE I'm tellin' ya.

    Last season, injuries INCLUDED, was one of the most exciting Bulls seasons ever -- and they went further than anyone had a right to expect. This year, that same excitement and more is on tap, and it absolutely could be our year.

    Heal, Derrick, heal! Rest, Jo, rest! Recover, Lu, recover! Trust your bench, Thibs, trust your bench!

    GO BULLS!

  • In reply to Granzo:

    It's taken me a while but I've come to the same conclusion that there are no significant upgrades available, not even for Deng. It really comes to hoping Miami gets old because too much of the league's talent is currently concentrated there.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    While I might agree with your sentiment, you never really know what he future will bring in terms of player acquisition opportunities. You cannot take advantage of anything if you are capped out taxed out for mediocre players(Deng and the Hole). So I guess it depends on what you want from the bulls legitimate contention for a title or faking it. Just as Hinrich, Gordon and Deng were never going to be good enough to win, neither are Deng, boozer and Hinrich.

    Once you've won 6 titles, having the best regular season record is only gratifying when it accompanies aother championship.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Yeah, I'm sick of those damn mediocre players that make back-to-back All-Star Teams. And as if that isn't ridiculous enough, that moron Deng wasted his time and ours by getting named to the All-Defense Team. What good are those guys?

    And where's our titles? Derrick Rose is almost 25 years old and he's played 4 NBA seasons, what is he waiting for? Michael Jordan had like 3 or 4 rings by the time he was 25*. I think LeBron James had 6 rings before he even graduated from HIgh School.**

    *- Obviously Jordan didn't win his first title until his 7th season, and he was 28 years old.

    **- Obviously LeFlop didn't win his first ring until his 9th season when he was 27 years old.

    But come on now, it's much more fun to have completely unrealistic expectations for Rose, why the hell isn't he outperforming the greatest player ever and arguably the greatest player of the 21st century?

    Of course, in his first 3 years in the NBA, Rose had:
    1 MVP award
    1 trip to Conference Finals
    1 team with NBA's best record

    In his first 3 years in the NBA, Jordan had:
    0 MVP awards
    0 trips to the Conference Finals
    0 teams with NBA's best record

    In his first 3 years in the NBA, LeFlop had:
    0 MVP awards
    0 trips to the Conference Finals
    0 teams with NBA's best record

    Jeez, if I didn't know better, I'd say some fans are completely unrealistic and are holding the current front office to some ridiculous standards that not even THE BEST PLAYER EVER was able to live up to.

    And if I didn't know better, I'd say some fans are completely unrealistic and are holding the current front office to some ridiculous standards that not even THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD was able to live up to.

    Personally, I'm not one to throw around labels like "homer" or "ass-kisser", so I'll let my fellow Bulls fans decide- would it be fair to call someone who holds Rose and the current Bulls to higher standards than MJ's Bulls and LeFlop's Cavaliers a "HATER"?? It sort of seems like it might be fair..................

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Although I think you overrate Deng, you make excellent points regarding Rose and I'm going to throw up the next time I read "We're wasting Rose's talent!" It's only been 4 years, geez. Also, I think his talent gets overstated in that he's a fringe top-5 player, not better than that. This isn't Lebron, the second best to ever play the game, being wasted in Cleveland. Of course, I've read the same people who write "We're wasting Rose's talent" one day write "Rose has to be the team's second best player" on another day.

    Deng's an excellent player, much better than mediocre, and I think that gets dismissed by some because he isn't a dazzling offensive player. That stated, the 2-time all-star status is a bit misleading. He isn't a game-changer.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I don't think I'm overrating Deng, I pretty sure I didn't even "rate" him. All I did was state the simple facts about how he has made the All-Star Team two years in a row and how he's made the All-Defensive Team once.

    But I'm always welcome to criticism, if you feel there was some way in which I did overrate Deng, I'd be more than happy to discuss it with you.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    I didn't say a f@cking thing about Rose not living up to anything, But you are such an angry obnoxious @sshole that you have to make shit up and get on your high horse with bullshit misinterpreted stats.

    I don't have a single problem with anything that Rose has done or hasn't done in his career so far. My only point, which is absolutely correct has been proven correct and will continue to be correct is that Deng and Boozer have never been, will never be good enough to be starting forwards on a championship team that isn't led by Jordan or Lebron, or Magic or Bird, and I have my doubts that Rose will ever be that category of player, he likely will never be better than Lebron since he is only 3 years younger.

    As for Deng being a 2 time fake all star, most everybody on this site that isn't trying to be a homer or an ass admits that it was a career achievement award for basically not getting injured and leading the league in minutes played, again not a championship worthy attribute. I won't even start naming all the crappy/undeserving players that have made the all star team over the years, but how about BJ. Armstrong as a sample, and not even the worst by the way.

    Since you are so in love with stats, how about the fact that Luol Deng has had a PER of right around 15 the past 2 seasons which by definition makes him the statistical average of the league. He ranked tied(with rookie Andrew Nicholson) for 142nd/143rd (and one step ahead of injured Big Baby Davis) in the league in PER. In a 30 team league that barely makes him qualified to be a starter on the 29th team. Can you think of another word for average, oh yea, mediocre, maybe you didn't learn that while dropping out of the Paducah High School system.

    As for being on the all defensive team for the first time in his career(second unit, a fact that you conveniently left off) another career achievement award. Was he even the best defender on his own team last season, no he wasn't. Noah didn't make the AD team at all, is Deng a better defender than Noah. Butler didn't even get a vote, is Deng a better defender that Butler. Thats just on our team. Were Chris Paul and Dwight Howard the best defenders at their positions last season, I doubt that Paul ever has been, he just takes a lot of chances going for steals. As anyone who watched the games over the past 2 seasons and particularly last season knows, Deng dropped off precipitously as a defender, and has always been somewhat over rated to begin with.

    I'm sorry(no, actually I'm not) if wanting the Bulls to win championships enrages your fragile little sensibilities. You obviously grew up in the new generations where everybody gets a trophy just for showing up, never mind trying.

    I have never faulted the Bulls management for not wanting/trying to win, maybe for not trying/spending as much as the Lakers, or some other teams. I simply believe that trying hard means parting ways with what isn't/hasn't been working for the past several years(going on 10 in Dengs case). Boy am I a radical HATER.

    You have to be the nastiest, most nauseating person that has ever commented on this site. Frankly, I am sick and tired of you attacking everyone that you disagree with in your condescending, snarky tone, with your schmuckf@ck attitude. Why don't you go back to your massively intelligent and successful blog and be an @sshole to your 2 visitors per month. Clearly you fit better with the crowd over at the NERF boys site(blogabullsh@t).

    I'd love to get your @ss on a basketball court at the Y, or better yet a boxing ring.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Mo Williams.

  • With everything you've mentioned (within itself is reason for concern) it looks like a balancing act of finances and talent, but there is also another big area of concern; with Mohammad getting another year old, how do we back up Noah with one or two serviceable big men? I know Gibson will be called on some to fill in, but what about a true 5 to absorb quality minutes in 2014/15?

  • Yeah there is no 2014 plan because anyone the media who tries to spin one only comes out looking dumb. Makes no sense how your team could get much better when to get any cap space you have to carve out two starters and replace them with one guy who might not be better than either Boozer or Deng...

    To me the only blow up the team plan would be making a bold move in the next draft to nab one of the top two SF's whom both look like star material. Other than that it is likely to be the same team for the foreseable future with only minor moves as they have done the past few years.

  • In reply to Chad:

    The Bulls don't need cap space to get better next summer. Which is good, because when healthy, our starting 5 is the best in the league.

    When Rose, Deng, Boozer and Noah play together, they are 50-9. That is just sick.

    It's an .847 winning percentage, which is a 69.49 win pace for an 82 game season.

    Outside of the Bulls' 1996 and 1997 champs, how many teams have won 69 games in a season?

    ONE. The 1971-72 Lakers of the 33-game winning streak went 69-13.

    The 1966-67 Sixers went 68-13 and won the Finals.
    The 1972-73 Celtics went 68-14 but lost in the EC Finals.

    So I'd say that's a pretty GD MFing core.

    And they have done that with the following SG:

    Keith "I do absolutely, positively nothing on offense but make 35.3% of 3's, which I only shoot when my feet are set and there isn't a defender within 13 feet of me" Bogans.

    Ronnie "I have the ugliest shot in the NBA except for Noah, and I barely shoot jumpers better than he does" Brewer.

    Kyle "I am one of the best 3-pt shooters in the history of basketball, but I have to be pretty open to hit them and I do absolutely, positively NOTHING else to contribute" Korver.

    Or Kyle "for the last 3 years I pretty much disappear completely in the playoffs" Korver.

    OR, worst of all- Kyle "I got pulled out of the staring lineup in last year's playoffs after two games so my coach could start Johan effing Petro instead".

    And finally, Rip "I am so old and washed up that I get injured when the wind blows hard" Hamilton.

    So instead, this season we get to see those 4 start with the amazing Jimmy Buckets at SG... and it's not really a stretch to say that he's better than those other 4 guys combined.

    So we have the core of Rose, Butler, Deng, Boozer and Noah this season. Right now as I type this, that lineup has me more excited heading into a season than any team since the 1995-96 best team ever.

    Now even my little girl, who is only 5 years old and autistic and never watches the NBA, can see the one blatant, obvious weak link in that line-up is the Power Forward.

    So, as I sit and type this, the Bulls are ready to start this season with:

    3 All-Stars, including two guys who have been All-Defense in the last two seasons;

    A young guy who blew up last season, playing defense and shooting 3's like an All-Star in the playoffs;

    And a former multiple-time All-Star and Olympian who is the weak link in this lineup.

    So who are we going to add to this incredible group in the summer of 2014? A guy who is probably the best basketball player on Earth that isn't already in the NBA, who just got named MVP of the best league in the world that isn't the NBA.

    AND, as luck (or good drafting) would have it, he plays the one position where the Bulls don't already have an All-Star caliber player.

    Rose- turns 26 at the start of the 2014-15 season
    Butler- turns 25 at the start of the 2014-15 season
    Deng- turns 30 right at the start of the 2015 playoffs
    Mirotic- turns 24 right around the 2015 All-Star break
    Noah- turns 30 right around the 2015 All-Star break

    We'll back them up with our late 1st-round picks from the 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014 drafts... and it just so happens that striking gold late in the first round is the one finest skill of our current front office. And maybe we'll even have a 2nd-round pick from 2013 to be our end-of-the-roster specialist to be a stretch PF and C, and that guy is one of the absolute best 3-point shooting big men to come out of the NCAA in the past 5 years.

    Then just for good measure, our old buddy MJ will be sending us a lottery pick sometime in the next 3 drafts.

    I have no clue on Earth why anyone would want to mess with that formula, but to me "adding Mirotic while re-signing Butler and Deng to reasonable extensions" sounds like the absolutely, positively perfect 2014 plan to me.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    The Heat have the best starting 5 by far. It doesn't matter if players 4-5 are inferior to the Bulls' 4-5, because their best player is A LOT better than our best player (that's the bitter truth) and their 2nd-3rd best players are better than our 2nd-3rd best.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    1) This whole blog has been extremely interesting, especially considering the title of Doug's article gave no hint of the depth of the comments it would provoke.
    2) I agree with you, Roman, the Heat have the best starting 5 in the East, but I do not agree that the gap is as big as you feel it is.
    Apart from LeBron, the Heat have weaknesses as we saw against both Indiana and San Antonio. They won the title because Popovich had an issue of temporary insanity at the end of game 6.
    Wade and Bosh both seem in decline. Butler is improving by huge chunks. I think Don Ellis' lineup might very well take down the Heat in the 2015 ECF.
    However, does the FO have orders not to amnesty Boozer next year? If he stays, Deng will have to go. Personally, I agree with Bigway (below) that it is time for Deng and Boozer to make way for newer players with potential.
    3) Don, great in depth analysis. Naturally, a lot of fans will disagree. But I concur that the Bulls' future looks strong. The key, again, is keep drafting and developing good young players. One of them will really hit, and that will be all it takes.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    As of right now, I'd pick the Heat's starting 5 over any in the league, weaknesses and all. It could change if Wade and Bosh decline, Deng and Boozer don't, and Butler continues to improve, but that's too much to bank on without seeing it.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    You have an amazing ability to cherry pick stats. 59 games over 3 seasons might be the more relevant stat. Heck leave out last season, because Rose missed the whole season, and it is still 59 games out of 162. How many teams have won a championship with those numbers?

    I don't even have to look it up, non, not one, not ever. Pretty much negates everything else in your Road Warrior like opus. What is it that they say about statistics and liars?

    The 96-97 and 97-98 Bulls were essentially the same as the 95-96 team, so why are you more excited about this years squad?

    Look, I am optimistic about this season, and I do think that this is the best team in the Rose era. However, how on earth is that enough to say that we should keep this team intact not only for this season, but next and by retaining Deng for the next 4-5 years. If it isn't clear by now, it certainly will be by the end of May that any team featuring Deng and boozer as its starting forwards cannot ever win a title.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    First of all, can you give me tomorrow night's Powerball numbers? I only ask because you are obviously psychic, how else would you know that "any team featuring Deng and boozer as its starting forwards cannot ever win a title."

    You know who else couldn't win a title?

    A team without a dominant low-post scorer.
    A team without a great point guard.
    A team whose leading scorer is a shooting guard.

    Teams like that couldn't win a title, until they did.

    All I know is, when the Bulls 4 starters minus Butler are all healthy, they are almost unbeatable. Outside of some Bulls fans, most of the world sees how talented our team is. Analysts, other coaches, GMs, they all seem to know it.

    The front office haters are in a bind, though- they are very quick to point out that Rose/Deng/Boozer/Noah are always injured. Yet somehow, the Bulls are supposed to trade some combination of these "always injured" players for a superstar to put with Rose.

    Why would anyone trade a superstar for a bunch of guys who are always injured? So that won't work.

    We could solve the world's water shortage if we just saved up all the tears that have been shed because Asik is no longer a Bull. Somehow we could have kept Asik and traded Noah for an all-star, even though Noah isn't good enough for a team to win a title with. Catch-22.

    And shouldn't Mirotic be much, much better than Asik? Every scout in the world will tell you "yes", and common sense tells most of us (the "homers and asskissers") that since he was drafted about 15 spots ahead of Asik, he should be better.

    The quandary of the hater, apparently Asik is the only Euro player the Bulls can find in the draft. It's amazing, the only good players Gar/Pax can find are the ones who no longer are with the Bulls.

    GarPax can't do anything with cap space, ever... except sign the entire bench mob, apparently. That's their only good move, right?

    But I forgot, Derrick Rose is supposed to be better than Jordan and LeFlop at the same experience levels/age.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    When you reply to someone's post, maybe you should read it first and respond to what that person actually said, instead of just using it as an excuse to spew your volcanic hatred talking points. Maybe you have a career in politics.

    Don't need to be a psychic, lets just look at the facts. Collectively they have been in the league for 20 seasons, haven't gotten close to winning one yet, haven't even been on a team that made the NBA finals.

    You clain to be Mr Stathead, what do you think the odds are that 2 guys with that track record ever win one individually, never mind together, other than as scrubs at the end of their careers.

    And by the way Noah is clearly good enough for a team to win a title, I don't know where you got the idea that he isn't. and I've publicly stated a number of times that Mirotic will be somewhere between Toni Kukoc and Dirk on the Euro player scale, clearly better than Asik will ever be. That doesn't mean that Noah, Asik and Taj isn't a much more championship worthy frontline than Noah, BozoHole and Taj. It doesn't take a self proclaimed stats genious to figure that out.

    Maybe you should stop auditioning for your 15 seconds of fame on the Jim Rome show, and actually try to have a legitimate and civil conversation with someone/anyone on this site. But given the past history of your behaviour, that is about as likely as Deng and Boozer winning a championship together.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Since you are apparently so in love with Deng and the Hole, here is a hypothetical for you.

    If you swap out Deng and Bozo for Wade and Bosh, is Miami still the reigning back to back champion. I doubt that they even have one title, never mind 3 straight finals appearances. and I think that we can all agree that Rose isn't Lebron and it is likely that he will never be. So what does that argue for the future actions that the Bulls need to take starting as soon as this seasons trade deadline and no later than next summer? It doesn't take a psychic to see that handwriting on the wall.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    "A legitimate and civil conversation"- coming from you, that is hilarious. Anyone who doesn't think Boozer and Deng outright suck is in love with them?

    Downright comical.

    The fact that Deng and Boozer have never won a ring means absolutely nothing about whether or not they will win one in the future. Totally and completely nothing, and to me it's comical to even suggest it.

    Quit making ridiculous comments, and it will be possible to have an intelligent conversation with you.

    I guess the Jazz had no chance of beating the Bulls in 1997, since as a PG/PF combo Stockton and Malone had never been to the Finals, right? That's the logic you want people to buy?

    And what does switching out Deng and Boozer for Wade and Bosh have to do with anything? Are you trying to say that Wade and Bosh are better than Deng and Boozer? Well congratulations for recognizing the blatantly obvious.

    "You have to be the nastiest, most nauseating person that has ever commented on this site. Frankly, I am sick and tired of you attacking everyone that you disagree with in your condescending, snarky tone, with your schmuckf@ck attitude"

    That is so ironic- because in reality, the people you describe in that quote are you and your twin Reese1. That describes you both with 100% accuracy. The pattern is clear to everyone here:

    1- One of you give an opinion
    2- Someone uses actual facts to prove your opinion wrong.
    3- You start attacking the person with name-calling and personal attacks, even though that person has not called you a name even once.

    A perfect example appeared like a week ago:

    Reese1 made some comment about the Bulls' front office being "conservative" because they won't sign a player (in this case Beasley) with off-court issues.

    2- I pointed out several examples of the Bulls signing players (and hiring a coach) who had behavioral issues, several people commented that the facts I posted were all true

    3- Reese1 freaks out and calls me and several others names.

    I only talk down to people who deserve to be talked-down to (because they' talk down to people all the time).

    To you guys, anyone who doesn't agree with you- and (mostly) anyone who doesn't think that Deng and Boozer suck- is a "homer" or an "ass-kisser". And the sad thing is, neither of you know the difference in "opinion" and "fact".

    "I'd love to get your @ss on a basketball court at the Y, or better yet a boxing ring."

    How old are you, 12? Do you realize what a complete joke internet tough guys like you are to us grown-ups? Yes, that was a rhetorical question.

    With that, I'm done with this personal BS. End of story.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree that Don Ellis cherry-picks stats, but so do all the negative types, which far outweight the pessimists here, so I say keep it up.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I am not quite sure that I get your differentiation between the negative types and the pessimists. Do you think that I am in either camp. Personally, I consider myself a brutal realist.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Hehe yeah I meant the pessimists outweigh the optimists. I think you're pretty realistic as long as we're not discussing Boozer :)

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I thought it was blatantly obvious that everyone who uses stats cherry-picks stats?

    I'm pretty sure that most people don't use the stats that don't back up their point of view.

  • Wow...FINALLY!!!... some Bulls fans are starting to get it, there is no 2014 plan only smoke and mirrors to fool the homers. The Bulls need to be looking for trades all season long for guys like Deng, Boozer, Hinrich, maybe even Gibson or last resort as much as I hate to say Noah. This Bulls roster won't get any better after this year due to financial reasons and that is sad but true unless some surprising fortunate trade goes down that favors the Bulls, which I highly doubt. I stated on a post earlier in the week that Butler and Snell are going to have to be huge for the Bulls going forward if the Bulls are to ever be considered as an elite team after this season. If Rose comes back better than before, how many more years does he have left on his contract???... Bulls FO better get to work if they want Rose to stay in Chicago.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Someone said the Bulls starting 5 is the best in the league??? I know that its Friday but someone has started drinking really early. The Bulls starting five is a good regular season starting five but not the best in the league sorry to say. When the Bulls can get past the Heat come playoff time they still won't have the best starting five in the league. Playoffs is not the regular season last time I checked. Boozer and Deng don't make the Bulls the best starting five in the league especially in the playoffs.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Your wrong about the roster going forward. I am perfectly happy to go forward with Rose, Noah, Taj, Butler, Mirotic and the Charlotte pick coming as a base going forward. All we need is one free agent who can become a legitimate second best player/scorer and continued good drafting and development of our draft picks. It shouldn't be that hard to put ourselves in position to get one guy like that, it just has to be the right guy, not another Ben Wallace or Carlos Boozler.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    What are we supposed to trade Gibson and Boozer and Hinrich and Deng and Noah for? They all suck, right? How are we going to get a superstar player for a bunch of guys who suck?

    Makes zero sense.

  • fb_avatar

    I'm thinking Mirotic may not come over for just the MMLE, especially if he continues to tear it up in Europe. Bulls may need cap space for full MLE to get him.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jay Patt:

    *or full MLE

  • In reply to Jay Patt:

    I am still waiting for a single quote from Mirotic that indicates he actually wants to come over to play in the NBA, and specifically, for the Bulls.

    Either the guy is the most media-savvy kid the basketball world has ever seen, or he is really content where he is now; since everything I've found reads that he loves Real Madrid, loves Spain, and loves his life currently.

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    Thank God I'm not the only fan with this view on the whole Mirotic situation!

    IMHO, the earliest I see the Bulls bringing him over is 2015 or 2016, if at all. Most Bulls fans need to stop believing he will sign for just the MMLE or even the MLE. As stated earlier, he gets paid more than that by staying in Spain.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to For the kick out:

    The MLE would be more than he makes now, but the MMLE would not, which is why I don't think he'd take the MMLE

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    Regardless of his quotes, Mirotic would have to be a very unique and unusual person to not want to come to the NBA. Maybe he is, but more likely, he's going to want to play in the best league against the best players.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Your right, plus you have to actively make yourself available to be in the NBA draft. The fact that he did that must mean something about his future intentions.

  • Hey Doug do you think the bulls got word already that there is no chance lebron, wade or even kobe would consider chicago. I can't see them not making major cap room if they thought there was a chance

  • In reply to argie2333:

    Lebron and Wade are 100% staying in Miami.

  • I agree with analysis, hard to aruge with raw number, I've been saying the same thing for ever since we signed Taj.

    However, I do have one question, isn't there a new "apron" rule for teams under the salary cap which essentially allows them to use up their cap room and then sign a full or near full MLE deal to go over the cap, but then this new number $4-5 million over the cap becomes a hard cap for that year, just like the apron rule with regard to the tax line.

    If this is the case, then the Bulls can use all of their cap space whatever it may end up being, lets say $10-12 million and then use the MLE on Mirotic, that doesn't seem so bad. You get Mirotic and either a $10-12 million free agent to replace Deng and the Hole or you split the money and get 2 $5-6 million free agents, plus you have another year of Butlers development. If Bulter and Mirotic pan out, they alone could be better than Deng and the Hole by them selves, and retaining them would limit playing time for Butler and Mirotic.

    I am simply done with waiting for Deng and the Hole to do anything that resembles winning in the playoffs, it is time to move on. I'll take Butler and Mirotic plus 1 or 2 free agents to replace those guys and Hinrich. It is time to cut ties with the "core" of the past on move on to developing the championship core of the future.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BigWay:

    If you go far enough under the cap, you have to forfeit the MLE in order to use all that cap space. So the Bulls couldn't lose Deng, sign a replacement and then use the MLE on Mirotic/somebody else.

    You are correct about the apron. Any team that use all or most of the full MLE, uses the bi-annual exception or receives a player in a sign-and-trade gets hard-capped $4M above the luxury tax line.

  • In reply to Jay Patt:

    I don't have the details, but I have read articles that suggest that there is an "apron" rule at and around the cap line and the tax line. I just have no idea how the cap line apron works. I think it was added speciafically so that teams under the cap would not be handicapped for an entire year compared to teams over the cap but under the tax.

    Doug, do you have a direct line to that Larry Coon guy to answer this question.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BigWay:

    As far as I know, there's absolutely no apron above the cap line, just above the tax line. There is an exception that can be used for teams that go under the cap called the "Room" exception, which is like $2.5M. But there's no apron triggered when you use it. You have any links to these articles?

  • In reply to Jay Patt:

    Maybe this "Room" exception is what I have read about. I know that I read about something that allowed a team under the cap to exceed the cap by some amount in that year. So, if there is a $2.5 million "room" exception and the Bulls have $12 million in cap space, wouldn't that then give them about $14.5 million to spend on Mirotic and a free agent.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BigWay:

    Not exactly. The room exception can't be combined with the cap space. So there would be $12M in cap space. Take away about $5M or so for Mirotic. Then you can have about $7M or so for a player. Then they could sign a guy for up to $2.5M with the room exception. At least I'm pretty sure that's how it works.

  • Doug, here's a question for you to ponder and perhaps post about:

    Assuming any/all potential FAs become FAs or that any good player on a bad team is available, which one, if any, could the Bulls add that would make them favorites?

    I'm starting to think there is no such player:

    - If we replaced Joakim Noah with Dwight Howard, do the Bulls become favorites? I don't think so.

    - If we replaced Carlos Boozer with Pao Gasol or Kevin Love or Lemarcus Aldridge, do the Bulls become favorites? I don't think so.

    - If we replaced Luol Deng with... well I don't even know of a great SF out there we could reasonably get. It's not like Kevin Durant is going anywhere. Neither is Melo and I honestly don't know if the Bulls would win even if they got him. Everyone wants to get rid of Deng but I don't see any player becoming available who is a clear upgrade. I don't think the Bulls missed out on anyone either, unless you think Paul Pierce would be the difference-maker (I don't).

    - Which SGs could the Bulls replace Jimmy Butler with to become favorites? Would Kobe really make this team into favorites? Would Monta Ellis?

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Sounds like your saying when in doubt, punt, not exactly how the west(or the east for that matter) was won.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I'm saying that when in doubt, don't hope that something magically materializes.

  • the 2014 plan could still be good. it would depend on a veteran signing for a discount to compete for a title. let's say if Pau Gasol wants to sign a 3 year 30 million dollar deal that Deng will reject anyway. You put Tony Snell in next year and you basically have pau gasol, noah, gibson big man rotation with our young wings running with Rose. 2014 doesn't have to be a complete loss but the Bulls need some luck and recruiting from Rose. btw Gasol and Rose share the same agency so that helps

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Obviously, the only way that Gasol accepts any deal from the Bulls is if LA rejects retaining him. And he would probably go play somewhere else with one of his Spanish countrymen before he would come to frigid Chicago, assuming that he is even the answer. But yes, I believe that I would rather have Gasol for the next 3-4 years than either Deng or the Hole.

  • Congrats Doug, you made it through another week with a bunch of interesting posts topped by today's comment total. Only 3 more weeks to go.

  • The Miami Heat will sign Michael Beasley because..... He's Pat Riley and every other GM isn't.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba--heat-considering-signing-michael-beasley-193925482.html

  • Yeah, it's hard to believe the NBA's front offices weren't beating down the door to sign a guy who has gotten progressively worse each and every year he's been in the NBA.

    That being sad, they haven't even signed him yet, so we probably should wait until May before judging this "transaction".

    I guess they might sign him, I just don't see why. They already have LeFlop, Batter, Haslem, and Rashard Lewis who play SF/PF for the Heat, I don't know how Beasley would get any PT any way?

    At least they have the weather, no state income tax, and lots of primo weed in Miami, that's enough to attract Beasley to South Beach

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Yes, hard to believe NBA front offices weren't beating down the door to acquire Dennis Rodman in the mid 90s as well.

    Riley will salvage Beasley and find a useful role for him on the Heat. Riley will succeed where others have failed, that's who he is as a GM. The reason why? Natural scoring talent at a bargain basement price.

    Although if Bulls were truly interested they could enlist Joakim Noah to invite Beasley for a toke fest and personal tour of Head Shop Row that would rival anything Miami could offer. See Link Below

    http://deadspin.com/5593631/joakim-noah-spotted-in-his-natural-habitat-shopping-for-bongs

  • In reply to Edward:

    You're kind of contradicting yourself here. Actually not "kind of"- in reality you are "blatantly" contradicting yourself.

    As you pointed out, the Bulls obviously don't have any problem whatsoever employing a well-known pot smoker. Which is why I don't understand why you are trying to convince everyone that the Bulls have no interest in Beasley because he loves to smoke pot??

    Opinions are opinions and they can differ from person to person, but it is a blatant, obvious, unarguable 110% FACT that the Bulls don't mind players who famously smoke weed. They don't even mind giving those players $10 million+ per year contract extensions.

    The Bulls have no interest in signing Beasley because he sucks, plain and simple. As Doug pointed out in the article, his PER has gone DOWN each season since his rookie year. That is incredibly rare for a guy who only went to college for one year, they usually improve at least a little bit once they get into the league.

    Dennis Rodman has ZERO business being compared with Beasley in this conversation. Again, nobody wants Beasley because he sucks and keeps getting worse year after year. But Rodman actually WAS a guy who nobody wanted in the summer of 1995 because of his behavior.

    The difference- Rodman was still one of the best players in the world- he had just been named 1st-Team All-Defense AND 3rd-Team All-NBA. Obviously it's not this simple, but it's pretty easy to make an argument that he was one of the 15 best players in the NBA (based on his 3rd-Team All-NBA vote).

    In fact, his 16.8 rebounds per game were 34.4% more than Deke's 2nd-place total of 12.5 reb/game.

    He also dominated:
    Offensive Rebound Percentage (20.8, vs 15.7 for 2nd place, 32% better)
    Defensive Rebound Percentage (37.8 vs 27.5 for 2nd place, 37% better)
    Total Rebound Percentage (29.7 vs 19.9 for 2nd place, 49% better)

  • In reply to Edward:

    So when were you planning to propose to Riley? Did you buy a ring yet?

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Sorry, I just don't how what else to think about arguing "If Riley makes the move it will work out because he's Riley and therefore Beasley will be a lot like Rodman."

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Not surprised you couldn't think of much else...
    In case you haven't noticed, Pat Riley is perfectly capable of acquiring his own rings. He adds to his collection quite regularly.

    I think the Beasley acquisition, which is now a reality, will work out for the Heat. Riley, Mourning, Lebron, Wade will impose their presence and will upon Beasley and get more out of him than others could. Much like Jackson, Jordan, Pippen influenced Rodman and kept his craziness reasonably under control.

    Greatness leads.

    Both Rodman and Beasley had rather severe personal behavior problems, but there is no denying the natural athletic talent. I will not be surprised at all if Beasely becomes productive for the Heat. He's still so young he can recover from his foolishness.

    Wish Bulls had Riley or a GM of his caliber, but I doubt two things: that Riley or another top-flight GM would agree to work for a controlling penny-pincher like Rein$dorf; and I doubt Rein$dorf wants anything other than YesMen working in his front office.

  • Tank for Jabari!!!!! Only if Thibs would allow that.... I honestly think Bulls should just trade Deng now get some type of compensation back for him but knowing Gar/Pax they're not the biggest out of the box type thinkers. I understand Tom loves Deng but at the same time they really have to focus on the future cuz no matter what fans may think this team doesn't have enough size nor do they have enough scoring to beat Miami or Indiana for that matter this year.

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