Bulls need to go out and have fun in Brazil.

The Bulls headed down to Rio ahead of their preseason game this Saturday. Ostensibly, Tom Thibodeau is all about business. In fact every quote you read from him is how the players need to treat it as a business trip.

That didn't stop Joakim Noah from wearing a swim suit on the plan and making a b-line for the beach as soon as it landed. Nor did it stop Carlos Boozer from flying in his parents to spend some time down in Brazil with him. Kirk Hinrich asked for suggestions on how to spend his free time when reporters asked what he'd do.

I'm sure Thibodeau wants to make sure the Bulls aren't in constant party mode. I'm sure he wants them to take practice seriously each day they're down there. However, for all his talk about business, practice only lasts a couple hours a day, and the Bulls will be loaded with free time.

Derrick Rose, who's traveled all summer on Adidas tours, could probably pretend he's just at any other road game, but the rest of the guys are going to go out. As they should.

Thibodeau referenced it as a business trip and a chance to bond, and it's both. However, expect the bonding to occur on this trip while experiencing some night life. I think what you hope in this scenario is not that everyone stays in and pretends they're in a Cleveland hotel, but that they all go out together.

Experience a foreign country, see what it has to offer, but make it a shared experience. That has more value in terms of bonding than sharing the experience of the inside of a hotel room. That helps bring the guys closer together.

It's especially important for Mike Dunleavy Jr, as he's the only important cog in the machine this season that hasn't already had a lot of experience with the group. Every other projected rotation player has at least one season playing together. Chemistry is one of the reasons this team will be an elite team this season.

So, yes, it's a business trip. Yes, the players can't afford to show up hung over for Saturday's preseason game or the practices ahead of it. However, other than that? The Bulls marching orders should be to let go and have fun, and hope they do it together.

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  • In the off days before the game in Rio, Doug, I would like to see your take on Simmons' prediction of a trade for Al Horford to the Bulls from Atlanta (which he made in his NBA preview series

    Does that trade make sense?

    a) would the Bulls be better with Horford?
    b) ...given what we'd have to give up to get him?

  • In reply to bfranke:

    The Bulls would definitely be better if Horford replaced Boozer, I think they'd be a lot better.

    I think any trade Atlanta would accept would have to include Mirotic. That's a tough pill to swallow for the Bulls unless Horford brings a championship. I think he could, but still only if a lot of other factors go right for the Bulls such as Noah's health, Butler's progress, etc.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Sam Smith addressed this trade in his aks sam column yesterday.

    He seemed to think that Atlanta would be nuts to even consider the deal. While he might be right, just because they have to take Boozer for 2 years and $32 million, I would have to swallow hard to give up both Mirotic and the Charlotte pick in addition to next years first.

    Horford has always been on my very short list of preferred power forward candidates to pair with Noah, easily top 3(along with Love and Aldridge), could even be #1, even though he isn't a bonafide go to scorer.

    I haven't listened to the Simmons piece, but I imagine that his reasoning revolves around the fact that Atlanta isn't going anywhere as presently constructed and that they need to do a total blow up and try to rebuild through the draft. 3 # 1's for Horford would be a good start, especially since Mirotic is basically a lottery pick now, and the Charlotte pick will be some kind of a lottery pick also.

    Anyway sounds like another unrealistic pipe dream for Bulls fans.
    Who would you rather have Bulls fans, Horford, Love or Aldridge?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I was intrigued by Horford because I'd never even considered it. And the more I think about it the more I like it. I feel like you can get Horford for less than you could get Love or Aldridge for, and would be a better fit in the sense, that I'm 100% certain he would fit.

    Giving Mirotic would be a tough pill to swallow only if a) he actually comes over and b) isn't a total Euro-softy. I'm much more concerned about the latter - any highlight reel of Mirotic driving to the hoop that I've seen would either be impossible or lead to his getting murdered in the NBA.

    I guess it depends if it turns out we have enough outside shooting. But Horford is a very effective scorer - an elite scorer around the rim and baseline jumper apparently --

    And just imagine the defense! Noah, Horford, Deng, Butler, Rose...who is scoring against that?

  • In reply to bfranke:

    This is why I think you make the deal if you're the Bulls -- we don't know what Mirotic would be, but we know what Horford is.. Based on their history together, I think Horford and Noah would play well together, forming tough interior defense and rebounding.

    It probably is a pipe dream but I prefer Horford to Love for sure and probably to Aldridge as well.

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    I'm sure the Bulls took in the sights of Brazil. But this is business trip. A time to get the players ready for the regular season. Other than the rookies, the rest of the Bulls had all summer to enjoy the sights of foreign lands. If they want to go there and enjoy themselves they should book a flight there after the championship celebration next June.

  • I get the feeling Thibs idea of fun is a practice session, not hitting the beach. He thinks saying treat it as a business trip is asking them to have fun. :)

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