Bulls Beat #305 - Future considerations

Bulls Beat #305 - Future considerations

I discuss the Bulls decision surrounding Luol Deng, the likelihood of Rose coming back (ever) , and the Bulls goals the rest of the season.

Bulls Beat #305 - Future considerations

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  • Unfortunately, even though I am actually enjoying watching the way the Augustin plays, he is indeed turning out to be the anti tank commander.

    However, on the bright side, for tank enthusiasts, given his diminutive size and the way that he is getting bounced around like a bowling ball, and that Thibs will play him into the ground until Hinrich gets back, he will likely be injured early and often.

    DJ appears to be a crossbreeding of Nate and Kirk, which isn't a bad thing at all. He actually looks like a point guard out there(as opposed to a corpse like Teague), kind of like Hinrich, and unlike Nate, but he can create/hit some shots on his own like Nate and is much more athletic than Hinrich, but small like Nate. While he is never going to be a great defender, he seems decent on the ball, and appears to be giving it all that he has, which is all that we can really ask from anybody, right Carlos?

    Except for the negative effect on tanking, I actually like the guy so far and would love to see him come back as Rose's backup for next season instead of Hinrich.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree Bigway,
    Augustin could be a good backup for Rose--I just hope Thibs will not abuse him by overly using him to a point that causes him to be hurt.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree on Augustin. He looks like a guy we might be able to sign for the minimum next season. I'd be happy to keep him on board at the min.

    I want to see him a bit more, but your view of being a Hinrich/Robinson Hybrid seems pretty accurate to me. He doesn't quite have Nate's scoring instincts, but he's a much better game manager.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Knowing the Bulls if he plays well they'll inflate his price just above the minimum and decide to let him go elsewhere for financial reasons.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If he continues on the path that he is on, I could see paying him the bi-annual exception with is just under $2 million per, I'd give it to him for 2 years.

  • Doug,
    The things you say about Deng, wow! He’s not athletic? Maybe you are forgetting that the NBA is the greatest world class basketball league with really no equal on the whole planet. And when you excel in the league like Deng has—for as long as he has—you are a rarity and in a sphere of play that other ball players cannot even equal throughout the world. Your talk is so easily done—maybe your opinion of your opinion has value somewhere? But, you do make us talk here and with your words we have to respond.
    He’s only 28 years old and there are good players in the league—guys like him in the league who are in their late 30’s.

    Maybe he’s not another superstar but he is a great ball player and not one dimensional like most superstars. Every Coby Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, and Labron James, or D. Wade needs a player as good as Deng on their team. If Deng is available this coming summer watch the Lakers go after Deng with the Banks of L.A. No player plays smarter and harder than Deng. Maybe some players are more athletic but there are only a few in the world. Doug you may not recognize his value but the great players in the league do.
    Every game he comes to play and he plays always on both defense and offense year after year. He’s worth every penny the Bulls play him and even more—without your unqualified youthful and one dimensional analysis. Merry Christmas, dude!

    I still believe Boozer has trade value especially with a team like Cleveland who is looking forward to L. James joining them in the near future. I could see Boozer, Bynam, and James as a very effective group with their all star point guard. Boozer has value and is affordable by a team like Cleveland. There is a possibility of trading Boozer to Cleveland and in return Chicago could get an affordable Turner from Phili and T. Thompson from Cleveland and Phili would receive Waiters, Bennett, and maybe a first round pick from Chicago.
    Rarely do inexperienced players take a team to the next level which is a major part of all of your conversations concerning high draft picks. Proven players are what Chicago needs—and if we get lucky maybe a high pick for sometime in the future—but, we cannot count on luck even if the team were to tank. Rose will return a better and smarter player.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    I almost couldn't continue after you said 'coby' and 'labron'...unfortunately I did. No way in Hell Boozer could be traded for Turner or Thompson straight up, not to mention both of them. I don't think the financials even match up to make such a trade. Essentially you are saying the Cavs would trade away their 2013 #1 overall pick (Bennett), 2012 #4 overall pick (Waiters), and 2011 #4 overall pick (Thompson) for an overpaid player on the decline in Boozer. Not saying all those players were worth their draft position, but c'mon that trade is insane.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    Your arguments on Deng are the type you could apply to any player. Yes, Deng is an elite athlete next to me and the guys I run with at the gym, but he's not an elite one by NBA standards.

  • By the way, for those of you that worship at the foot of the game by game plus/minus statistic(and we know who that recently silent minority is), Noah only played 30 seconds more than boozer, but what a glorious 30 seconds they were as he was plus 20 while the hole was only plus 4.

  • Hey there motoman, run it through the trade machine. It works even without a first round pick. Do you have a better alternative?

  • In reply to penwit1:

    The Cavs would be adding $5million in salary this year, while decreasing the teams projected wins by 2 for this season. They lose three players on rookie contracts (aka cheap) that still have plenty of room to improve. Thompson is averaging 11.5 pts on 44% shooting while also averaging 10 rebounds and an assist per game. Boozer is averaging 14.9 pts on 45% shooting with 9 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Why would Cleveland move a younger, cheaper option with room to grow in Thompson for an overpaid Boozer? They have very similar stats, yet Boozer costs $11million more. The Cavs would be stupid to trade Thompson for Boozer straight up, not even including possibly shipping out Waiters and Bennett in this trade too.

    As for an alternative, Im not sure there is one that includes Boozer. If the Bulls manage to find a trade partner that wants Boozer, and thats a big IF, the Bulls would almost certainly be taking back an equally bad expiring contract - not a couple of valuable assets as you propose.

    Personally, I think the Bulls would be smart to try to work out a trade with the Suns. The Suns have make it widely known they do not plan on keeping all four of the first round drafts picks they have in this upcoming draft. Trading Deng (and possibly a filler like Teague) for Okafor and a Pick (or two) works well for both teams. Deng gives the Suns a top five two-way SF that doesn't need to dominate the ball to make an impact; The Suns are also a destination that I believe Deng would resign with and prove to fit in and contribute very well for the next couple seasons. For the Bulls, Okafor is essentially just a salary matcher. The Bulls real interest would be the draft picks that, when packaged with some combination of the Bulls own first rounder or the Charlotte pick, could allow the Bulls to trade up for a Top 5 pick in the upcoming draft or even a second star to pair with Rose.

  • In reply to Motoman:

    I am totally on board with a Suns deal, unfortunately knowing the Bulls they will be unwilling to take Okafor's contract back, instead looking to get a #1 pick and saving money to get under the tax. Phoenix of course won't do that, so no deal will happen, especially since the Bulls are only catching right now, not pitching.

    I'm on board with a Cleveland deal also, but I doubt that we can get a #1 pick out of them.

  • I agree that there are not that many options for a Boozer trade--but I have responded with the only possible option I see. Have you looked at the ages of those top draft picks next year--it will take them at least 5 years at 18 years old to become at least 23 years old and be ball players we need to help guide is to a championship. Five years from now we are looking at the year 2018. Think hard and long about us getting these young and very talented players who must go through some kind of maturation process as well as NBA experience.
    Thanks for taking out time with something logical to state. Now if you were L. James would you come to a Cleveland team like it currently is? No. but he might consider his hometown team with a nucleus of veterans like Bynam, Boozer, Irving and himself plus the players presently on the team with two quality draft picks coming next year. Money is not a monumental concern of billionaire owners like it is for our poor fans who seem to dwell on saving owners money--unlike you they would love to invest in getting James back to their town. Right now Cleveland ownership is desperate to save their franchise and there are not many proven power forwards available out there for the coming year. Maybe Cleveland would love Okafor who has never lived up to any potential--and has been hurt every year he's been in the league. The Sun's have been getting top 1st round draft picks for years--and what good has it done for them. Are you really a Chicago Bulls Fan?

  • In reply to penwit1:

    I don't think Lebron goes back to Cleveland regardless of who else is on their roster. A 'veteran' core of Wade, Bosh, and a bunch of ring chasers willing to take a paycut surrounding James is lightyears ahead of a 'veteran' core of Bynum, Boozer, and Irving. You claim the two quality draft picks that the Cavs possess would help lure Lebron back, but also state the same type of high draft picks would not let the Bulls contend until 2018. Seems a little inconsistent, no?

    Not sure if you have watched the Bulls lately, but this is a lost season. Too many injuries and not enough players stepping up to fill the holes. Why not try to gather enough assets to make a move at another star or top 5 pick? If they aren't planning on bringing Deng back next season, they might as well trade him for something of value in this lost season.

    Oh, and resorting to name calling never helped strengthen anyones argument. Are you and your lowly esteemed enlarged ego really a Chicago Bulls fan? *sarcasm*

  • In reply to penwit1:

    There are maybe one or 2 options for a boozer trade, the only 2 worse contracts in the NBA, Amare Stoudamire or Joe Johnson, both of whom make more money and in Johnson's case have more years left on their contract.

    The only other option would be getting a combination of multiple bad contracts back, like the Celtics looking to dump Wallace and Humphries and who know what else.

    In any event you have to take back more garbage to get rid of garbage. Given boozer's amnesty status, it doesn't make any sense for the Bulls to pursue those types of deals. The only question is, will they, or won't they, amnestitize that is. I still say yes, despite Sam Smiths protestations.

  • Hey Doug,
    Your arguments on Deng are the type you could apply to any player if you are not realistic. Yes, Deng is an elite athlete next to you, the guys you run with at the gym, plus all the European players you have ever heard of, and the majority of NBA players playing now and during the last 10 years--he's not an elite by your lowly esteemed enlarged ego.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    If you think Deng is a plus athlete for his position then more power to you. I don't think many people would agree with you. He's not someone who has an athletic deficit, but he's definitely not an athletic plus, and as he ages past 30 and loses a step he'll be even less special.

    Deng's a glue guy, a good glue guy, but he's, at his core, a role player and isn't a guy I'd want to pay eight figures a year to on my team.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think that's a missed point by the people who say Deng "doesn't rely on athleticism so will age well". Every NBA player relies on athleticism, sometimes those with less of it can less afford to lose what they have. There's a thin line between being just athletic enough to stay with guys and being a defensive liability.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    There you go again, calling Deng a role player, I can see the blood vessels bursting in Paducahville already.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You really should get over your obsession with me, it's starting to get just a little unhealthy.

    You know who doesn't consider Deng to be a role player? The actual NBA coaches who vote for the All-Star team.

    I'm assuming they know just a little bit more about the NBA than Doug or me.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Clearly, if you knew half as much about the NBA as you act like you do, you would know that some/many/most NBA coaches don't even fill out the ballot for the allstar game, they let someone on their staff do it.

    It is also interesting that even while making the allstar team, he never sniffs all NBA at any level, which is far more indicative of being a true star in the league. and if you are not a star, you are basically a role player, i.e. someone who can be replaced by another role player, which happens to describe everyone on the Bulls, OTR.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    WTF, "lowly esteemed enlarged ego" Are you a non native english speaker, or just retarded. Certainly, the one and only person that doesn't deserve name calling, is our host. Doug does a great job and keeps it professional at all times, at least when responding directly to him you should too.

  • "What else gives you a 10% chance of winning a title"?

    Your math is wrong here - you're saying that there's maybe a 10% chance of Rose coming back and being a star, but then equate that to winning a title. I'd say even if Rose is a star again, if the Bulls don't tank and just keep the team around Rose, they've got maybe a 10% chance of winning a title.

    So 10% chance of Rose coming back a star plus 10% chance of that team winning a title is a 1% chance of a title by standing pat. And that's if you accept the idea that Rose is a 10% chance to come back a star - as you say, nobody has missed two seasons and come back the same, so I think that's an overestimate.

    Not to say I think tanking is a high percentage play, just that crossing your fingers and hoping is such a low one. At this point I don't even think it's particularly close, tanking is a better chance of winning a title than anything else the Bulls can do.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    And to be clear about coming back a star - I don't mean Rose comes back and is 3rd team all-NBA or something. David Lee, last year's Paul George, Zach Randolph, Al Horford, Joe Johnson, those types of guys are 3rd team all-NBA "star" players, but you don't win titles with them as your best player.

    To win a title you need a first team all-NBA MVP candidate player, and I think the odds of Rose being that player again are well and truly less than 10%.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Interesting take on what a star is, what does that make our 2 time allstar, Luol Deng, a role player, perhaps.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The only people who think Deng isn't a role player are those who feel like role player is a derogatory term. I think being a role player is a spectrum, at the top end you have guys like Deng who can play big minutes and contribute in multiple areas, in the middle someone like Dunleavy who brings a legitimate NBA skill like shooting, at the lower end someone like Nazr who can eat a few minutes while better players rest.

    Ultimately though even good role players should be somewhat expendable, especially if you're in the situation the Bulls are in of probably not yet having the top 5 player they need to build around.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Good point, it all depends on a person's definition of "role player".

    But in this case, I'm guessing 90% or so of the folks saying he is a "role player" are using it in a derogatory manner.

    Personally, anyone who makes more than one All-Star Game is more than just a role player.

    Was Dennis Rodman a role player? Just because he didn't care to score?

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Rodman was not a star in the sense you can build a championship team around him, so by my definition yes, he was a role player. Also I think you admit he's a role player implicitly - you say he didn't care to score, ie he knew his role.

    Possibly the greatest role player of all time though. Defends multiple positions at an elite level and the best rebounder ever to play the game, what more could you want from a role player? I'm a big Rodman fan, so I mean no disrespect at all when I say he was a role player.

    The thing is there's just not enough stars to go around in the NBA. 30 teams but how many have a real chance of winning anything? Not many because most team's best player simply isn't good enough. That's why a guy like Deng - who has never seen an all-NBA team or gotten a single MVP vote - isn't a star, he's a role player. 2 all star teams mean nothing, if Deng is your best player you're not getting anywhere near a championship. His lot in the NBA is to be a role player, or pretend to be a star on a bad - or at best average - team.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I agree with you, only I'd put a level between "star" and "role player". But again, it depends on your definition.

    But the overwhelming perception is that you can't be a "star" unless you score a lot of points, and that everyone else is a role player. But to me, someone who scores a lot of points but does nothing else isn't any more of a "star" than Rodman was.

    If a guy scores 25 a night but is a horrible, disinterested defender, a lousy rebounder, and is a black hole who never passes the ball, he can still be considered a "star". Melo comes to mind, IMHO he won't win you any more championships than Rodman could.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    I agree about needing to be able to contribute in multiple ways to be a true star.

    I don't think you can win a championship with Melo as your best player - outside of some freak once in a generation season, like how the Pistons won with Ben Wallace as their best player. I wouldn't consider him a true star, he's the sort of guy who pretends to be a star on a team that isn't a contender, but would have to be willing to play second banana if he wanted to win a ring. I'm not sure he could set aside his ego to accept that though. I mean he felt threatened by Linsanity, hard to imagine him taking a back seat permanently.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    As a basketball player only I'd take Rodman over Deng(and boozer) anyday, everyday. I'll take leading the league in rebounding(by a sginificant margin) over leading the league in minutes played anyday, everyday. I'll take a HOF player over a 2 time fake allstar anyday, everyday.

    The Bulls might well have beaten Miami in the ECF with Rodman on that team, he would have killed half their players and driven the other have insane.

    Yes, Rodman played a role, but he was the best in the game at his role, including being a much better and much more versatile defender than Deng. In fact by bringing up Rodman, you confirm the argument that I have always used against Deng, i.e. that he is not even the 3rd best player on a championship caliber team as Rodman(and Horace Grant before him) were.

    FYI, Rodman has 5 rings, Melo has none, and since I've never been a big Melo fan, I'd take Rodman over Melo too. Since you started comparing guys who aren't in the same class to begin with, how about Melo and Rodman over Deng and Boozer, gee tough call.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Excellent point, thank you for explaining what should be intuitively obvious to any and all intelligent Bulls fans.

  • Pat Riley talked about james worthy suffering injuries from 1983-1985 and not playing. He eventually came back and became "big game james". He broke his knee cap one year and suffered tendenites in a knee another year. He essentially missed 2 years.

  • You all think this year is over and it has just begun. The fat lady can't sing already--its too soon. Sorry guys if I have come off a little arrogant, I apologize but I really don't see having a bunch of 1st round draft picks as being Chicago's answer to becoming a championship team. Nobodys had as many 1st round draft pick as Minnesota and look at them now--just an average team. Look at our team now, almost every player on the Bulls roster is a first round draft pick. And really have any you looked at the ages of those top draft picks next year--it will take them at least 5 years at 18 years old to become at least 23 years old and be ball players we need to help guide is to a championship. Five years from now we are looking at the year 2019. Think hard and long about us adding two more first round draft picks while trading Deng--yes these young guy are very talented players--but still they all must go through some kind of maturation process as well as NBA experience. And 5 more years of losing is a very dim prospect to look at. All we need this year is Turner, a big man and good health for everyone else on this years team.

  • What's wrong with this years and last years team? I think its a lack of leadership. Noah and Deng seem to be the only ones talking and saying what they think. Each player has to take ownership and responsibility for their play and management must allow some collaboration. During the Jordan and Pippen Era the players could voice their opinion--they st ill followed Michael but even Rodman could talk when he felt something was not working. Collaboration is now a critical part of coaching. Has this Thibs era team lost that freedom?

  • In reply to penwit1:

    During the Jordan, Pippen, Rodman era they had 3 hall of famers on the team. I think the lack of hall of famers on this team is more likely to be the difference than leadership.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    The Bulls also had a lot of good pieces in the MJ era. The current team has the pieces, but not the elite players. Until they get those, no more banners.

    If the team keeps Deng at $12 million per year, they really do risk not being able to sign an elite FA even if one wishes to come to Chicago! This is about money and talent evaluation.

    If you want to keep Deng, when was the last year that he had a great playoffs? Back when Skiles was coach. This team does not need Deng to make the playoffs, and he is not good enough to get them to the Finals if they do make the playoffs. Time to try for a talent upgrade on a cheaper contract!

    I agree, Rose is probably no longer elite. But they need 2 elites. IF Mirotic becomes one, they still need another. Those are more likely to come from higher picks in the draft. So, TANK! They can sign 3 1st round picks for less together than Deng will want. If one of those 3 hits, that may get them back in the Finals. Worth the shot.

  • I heard someone say on the radio on the way home 'it's not about having a bunch of high draft picks, it's making sure you're getting quality players wherever you draft.'

    Spurs- Parker was drafted at the bottom of the first round, Ginobili in the 2nd round. Leonard, not a lottery pick.

    Pacers- Paul George was only #10 overall. Hibbert was non-lottery, West and Hill the bottom of the first round, and Stephenson 2nd round.

    On the other hand, the Cavs have had the #1 overall pick 3 times in the last 10 years.

    It's kind of funny, people bitch and moan about the Bulls not putting another superstar next to Rose, at the same time talking up the Pacers and how they have a much better chance of beating the Heat than the Bulls do. Who is the Pacers' 2nd superstar?

    Who is the Spurs' 2nd superstar, Parker? His career stats are almost identical to Deng's.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Parker and Ginobili were drafted in a different era when teams didn't realise you had to scout Europe. They'd go in the lottery these days. Leonard is a nice player, but if he's your number 1 guy you're not a good team.

    Paul George is like the exception that proves the rule. Take a look at the stars of the NBA, it's mostly a bunch of guys who go high lottery, with the occasional guy like George who slips through the cracks. Even so, you still need to avoid the playoffs to pick 10th.

    That the Cavs suck at building a team shouldn't be a surprise. LeBron left for a reason.

    Who is the Pacers second superstar? The Spurs? I'll answer that question with a question: who is the Bulls first? If you say Rose I think you're playing the lottery at least as much as people who want to tank and hope to land one through the draft.

    Parker has 8 seasons with a PER above 20, Deng has 0. Their career stats are only "almost identical" if you squint really hard.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    C'mon man, are you so desperate to make a point that are even trying to say that Deng and Parker are equivalent players because their stats are supposedly identical, even if you omit what is the most important stat in the world according to you, all star games, which Parker leads Deng 5-2 and All NBA selections 3-0. and I highly doubt that their playoff stats are nearly identical, even by your definition of nearly identical.

    Given the chance, even you would trade Deng for Parker(or Rodman for that matter) without blinking an eye, one guy is a difference maker and 3 time NBA champion while the other is the definition of a role player.

  • Thanks Don,
    That makes sense, but what's happening here on this site. When we have logical and sensible conversation they dismiss the value of what we have to say as if it has no place here. In other words, there is only one side--their opinion.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    Well, I don't think most fans here disrespect contrary opinions, we simply do not agree. As for Tony Parker, his stats might be similar to Deng's, but Parker could create his own shot! Thus the opposing D could not double-team the Spurs' superstar -- which, of course, is precisely what Miami did multiple times with Rose.

    Don, you are a sharp analyst. I have asked this question 4 or 5 times with no answer from any Deng supporter: When was the last year that Deng had a great playoffs?

    If the team trades Deng now for a good young prospect, or a pick, or both, they will also dump $8 to 10 million of his salary per year after paying the pick or prospect. Will the pick be as good as Deng immediately? If not, the pick will still be a better cost/value player.

    But maybe the pick will be better than Deng. Brand and Jay Williams were. Noah was equal. Tyrus was not. Artest and Crawford became good, but it did take time, and they peaked after they left the team. Of them all, only Brand was worthy of being an Allstar, though I do believe Williams would have been by his 2nd year.

    This is the year to tank and get higher picks! You really want to give that up to resign Deng for $12 million a year? You will likely get the same results as the past 4 years, and that seems "logical and sensible" to me. That is what the majority of fans on this blog believe, starting with Doug.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Deng is the 3rd highest paid guy on the team, which is exactly where his place in the league should be. At $12 million a year, he's worth his money. At $15 mil, not nearly as much, maybe not at all.

    And the Bulls are already adding one lottery pick in Mirotic, who is guaranteed (almost) to be the most NBA-ready rookie next season. Give me Rose, Mirotic and Deng as my top 3, and I'll compete with any team in the league. Especially when Noah is #4.

    And who knows, I may change my mind by the end of the season. Snell is impressing the hell out of me, and he certainly could be the long-term answer at SG (with Butler at SF). But if we can resign Deng to a decent contract, he's easily traded.

    We're not getting a lottery pick for him even if we trade him, I'd rather take a chance on being able to resign him. We have plenty of youth already, and more on the way.

    I don't know why people are now writing off Rose, when 99% were convinced he'd be back to his old self after tearing an ACL. The meniscus is nothing in comparison, look how quickly Westbrook has recovered.

    We're stuck with Rose for 3 years either way. If he doesn't make it back by the end of the 2015-16 season, then I say blow it up.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    The decision to sign or resign a player comes down to the money-talent equation, does it not? Simple in concept, difficult in application. Why? Lots of reasons. The emotions of the decision makers, including fear of making a poor trade or draft selection; the difference between potential and play on the court; the need to appease owners, coaches, agents, and fans. Especially fans because if they get to upset, the team will lose revenue.

    The best GMs diminish the emotions and they are realists. It is an unforgiving business -- in the end, everyone sees how you did by how deep your team went into the playoffs. So, we fans are not GMs, but are we realistic? How far have the Bulls gone in each of the last 4 seasons?

    I kept thinking, The Bulls are a player away from a ring! Obviously, neither Watson nor Nate nor Dunleavy proved to be that player. Obviously, an Anthony or Love or Aldridge would have helped, but the Bulls never landed such an elite. So what now? Our answer to that is where we differ.

    BTW, Don and Penwit1, still no answer to my simple question, When was the last year that Deng had a great playoffs?

  • In reply to rustyw:

    What's your definition of a "great playoffs"?

    I know most people only look at offensive stats- and while they are certainly important, defense and rebounding are 2/3 of the game.

    When is the last time Deng was healthy and playing the proper role in the playoffs? Deng is certainly not a #1 option on offense, but he's pretty damn good for your #3 option.

    Defense wins championships, and yes the Bulls need more offense- but defense is more important to winning a championship.

    This is the season rankings of the last ten NBA champs:

    Defense 9, 4, 8, 4, 6, 1, 2, 9, 1, 2... avg 4.6

    Offense 2, 4, 8, 11, 3, 10, 5, 7, 8, 18... avg 7.6

    Nobody has won a championship with a defense that wasn't top-9 in the league, while 3 teams have won championships with offenses ranked 10th or worse.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    On this point we are in total agreement. Even the Jordan Bulls won with defense over offense.

    Which is why I have never hated Deng like I rationally do boozer. I just don't think that Deng is part of a championship solution going forward, at just about any realistic price. We would be better off moving Jimmy to small forward and using our resources to get an impact scorer at 2 guard(I doubt that Snell is it, but it is still way too early to know). Trading Deng for something(Waiters, Afflalo, DeRozan, Draft pick), gives you a shot at that solution, execution is of course never guaranteed.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Nice analysis as usual, Don.

    You asked. "What's your definition of a "great playoffs"?" Contributing dominant play throughout the playoffs! Most players, and therefore most teams, up their game in the playoffs. Deng does not. The Bulls have not, certainly not to the level their competition has.

    Partly that is because they have been injured -- the top 3 players, Rose, Noah, and Deng, have all missed significant playoff games over the last 3 years, and others like Asik and Korver have also gone down at inopportune times. So what?

    Two choices. Keep these top 3 together and hope they are all healthy next year. History says that is a futile strategy. Or upgrade some players even if it means moving Deng (or anyone, for that matter). It is not a sure thing, but current strategy is a sure thing -- for mediocrity!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Thanks rustyw.

    I'm not sure what I think on the injury front, I'm as sick of it as anyone else. We all know that when Rose/Deng/Boozer/Noah all play, the Bulls' record has been dominant- but what good is that if they are never healthy?

    I'd rather keep Deng on a decent contract, because he should be easy to trade if it comes to that. But if it's going to take more than the MLE to get Mirotic over here next summer, then it's bye-bye, Lu.

  • BigWay,
    I would love to see Afflalo, DeRosen or Turner in a Bulls uniform--but, not at the expense of losing Deng. For any of those players to be effective in the Bulls system Deng is important. Of those players only Turner is or will be available and can probably be had for a draft pick or maybe a pick and Hinrich. I'd like to see him on the team now and I don't care how much the Bulls have to pay this year. I wouldn't like to lose Hinrich cause I can see him being a Bulls pg coach or player coach--helping Teague to progress. How effective has Deng been in the playoffs--I don't think we can gage Deng fairly. How effective can any player be in the playoffs after playing 40 minutes in every game during the whole season. How effective has any team for that matter, how effective have they been against Miami. Why pick on Deng when it is the team that should be effective as a team and not as an individual player. This is a team sport, right?

  • In reply to penwit1:

    You wrote, " How effective has Deng been in the playoffs--I don't think we can gage Deng fairly," and "Why pick on Deng when it is the team that should be effective as a team and not as an individual player."

    Do you realize that this is an admission that Deng has not been particularly strong in the playoffs? Yet you want to spend $12 million per year on him when his skills will likely be declining over his next contract.

    Also, a team is not signed as a whole, it is a group of players on individual contracts, obviously. If an FO overpays for a few of those players, they they will not be able to acquire other superior players to build a stronger team. So, that is the issue here. How do the Bulls build the strongest team?

    This FO has a team consistently in the playoffs -- and consistently not in the Finals! If they keep following the same approach, they will probably keep getting similar results.

    Something needs to change! I suppose every fan with common sense recognizes that. But exactly what should change? We fans are all over the place on that. My point is simple. The Bulls need two elite players. Resigning Deng for $12 million per makes it less likely that the Bulls will get those elite players.

    Unless you believe Deng is the glue that holds the Bulls together, why wouldn't you sacrifice him (along with Boozer and Hinrich and perhaps some others) to make the team better? History shows Deng is not so important as you make him out to be. He is a fairly typical 3rd player on a team.

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