Is D.J. Augustin a keeper?

Is D.J. Augustin a keeper?

D.J. Augustin's 38% shooting from the field as a Bull certainly wouldn't suggest so, yet watching Augustin play makes me think he could stick around next season.

First, we'll have to see if he can stay healthy. He'd also have to take the minimum. It's certainly possible that with PGs always in demand that some team will offer him Nate Robinson money [ie, not much, but more than the min], and Augustin will simply move on.

The Bulls probably won't have more money than the minimum to burn depending whether they amnesty Boozer, come to terms with Luol, and bring over Nikola Mirotic. If they do, I'm not sure they'd be looking to spend it on D.J. Augustin anyway.

Chicago will be in a tough boat next season though. Kirk Hinrich's deal is up, Derrick Rose still can't be counted on, and Marquis Teague went from a guy the Bulls want a first rounder for to a guy they'd likely love to just get off the books even if his deal's cheap.

They'll need to find backup PG help somewhere, and with Rose's history, they may want more than one. D.J. Augustin certainly fits the bill as one of those guys so far.

After finding his way through a rough couple games early, Augustin has shown solid court vision. Unlike Nate Robinson, he's tended to make the smart passing play over the past few games and isn't always looking for his own shot or jacking up threes early in the shot clock with no rebounders.

Of course, while his decision making is probably much better than Nate's, Nate was certainly the more likely of the two to tally up huge points as he shot with better percentages, but while Augustin's shooting percentages are fairly low right now, he does bring some of the Nate Robinson ability to create his own look.

Sadly enough, D.J. is probably the Bulls best offensive creator on the team outside of Derrick Rose. That's probably not a good sign when the second best offensive creator (and best healthy one) was waived by a lottery team and picked up for the minimum.

Still Toronto's loss is our gain, unless Augustin leads us to a bunch of wins, then our gain might be our loss, but that's a different story.

Augustin certainly isn't a plus defender. He lacks the size to really body guys up, and he hasn't shown a great emphasis on fighting through screens yet, but you can't get everything, especially with your backups, and especially at the minimum.

It's been a brief look so far, but there have been more positives than negatives IMO, and Augustin has an excellent chance to make the case for inclusion with next year's team.

Filed under: Players

Tags: chicago bulls, d.j. augustin, nba

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  • What a sad state of affairs. It isn't even Christmas yet and we are talking about a guy making next year's team...

  • sweet.

  • 38% I don't really see him improving that number as that has been about his average the last couple seasons. It is sad but that has been GarPax MO the last few seasons they almost completely disregard the role of offensive creator. Its really stupid too because it has been a role that has been heavily utilized by Thibs out of neccesity because all these defensive grinders are afraid to take shots. This mess is GarPax's fault 100% worst part is they don't even want to tank they actaully are trying. I think this should cause some heads to roll in the FO but it won't.

    What is up with BJ Armstrong and Paxson not being on speaking terms? How the F does that happen? He should be the easiest of all managers to keep happy as 1) they played together and 2) Rose negotiations are something a trained monkey could handle as they come in and demand Max money and you say ok. How do you piss that guy off so bad he won't talk to you? Bulls FO has regularly shown enormous amounts of arrogance and yet has only backed it up with piss poor preformance of late. Just hoping the Axe Pax (and Gar) movement gets some major steam this year.

  • He definitely has good court vision and could hit the occasional three. I think at this point it makes zero sense in retaining kirk hinrich and you have to try to resign DJ Augustin. Forman has been scouting point guards like marcus smart and kendall williams recently. They will draft a point guard and I think they should at least try to get one with good size 6'4" or taller. I hate it that our backup center sucks and still have a major crater at that role but with Derrick's knees being shot, they have to get another point guard.

  • Not many of us can read Spanish I know but the article below basically says "Real Madrid is trying to extend Nikola Mirotic's contract, which comes to an end in 2016".

    http://www.marca.com/2013/12/23/baloncesto/acb/1387779591.html?a=b16cbbcb62a8d777082d55c3c20744ea&t=1387792882

    Hoping this latest news on Mirotic is simply a desparate attempt on the part of Real Madrid and our boy Nikola won't really entertain it. Meaning I hope we don't cheap out and lose out on getting to come to Chicago.

  • Augustin looks like a keeper, if Thibs doesn't burn him out and he gets hurt also like the rest of the team.

    I just wonder if all of these injuries put the franchise at risk. I wonder how long will Pax and Gar put up with the abuse of players not getting a simple blow when they are tired. This is the NBA and not a video game where you can play a player for hours. D.J. Augustin played for 43 minutes the other night even while the team was way ahead in the score. And look at poor Deng--he never seems to get a blow--and late in games his scoring suffers. How long can the franchise stand when a coach cannot ascertain when his players need a break?

  • I think its trivial to talk about the best "Shot Creator" as that term will typically be limited to guards. And our guards are a joke. I think Loul and Boozer are easily the best offensive weapons we have on this team, regardless if they could be deemed as shot creators.

  • In reply to Villageworker2:

    Deng has only been assisted on 59% of his FGs this season, so obviously he has created his own make 41% of the time.

  • The Bulls need to replace Hinrich($ 4 million per the past 2 seasons) next season. So even if they offer Augustin their biannual exception for 2 years(about $2 million per, or Nate Robinson money) they are getting a better backup pg at half the current price. So I don't view Augustin as a minimum of bust candidate. Unfortunately, the better that he plays the greater the likelihood that he gets a bigger offer elsewhere, one that the Bulls can't/won't match.

    Augustin presents a weird conundrum. I find myself rooting for him to do well/better, yet I want us to tank, which means I should be rooting for him to play like Mr. Layup Line, the mope a dope himself, Marquis Teague.

    I have to admit, with Augustin on the floor, the Bulls are almost tolerable/watchable some if not most of the time. What's a Bulls fan to do.

  • Good article. Love that you sound like you're on the fence about DJ and some of these other comments. It's almost like everyone forgets all the intertwined things involved when it comes to basketball.

    First, looking at his shooting percentage (right now) is not really fair. Lots of reasons. The guy was sitting on the bench and was thrown into the fire. Even Dunleavy wasn't shooting that great when he first got here. In fact, until they figured out that he's more of a curl/rhythm shooter he wasn't shooting that great.

    I actually like what I've seen from DJ's shooting so far - big time. He knows when to take shots, great form and I think he's going to have no problems hitting his open shots, which will help keep the floor spread. I often wonder if smaller guards just are more challenged in the FG% area anyway because it's easier to contest their shots. Come to think of it, I just saw a stat that he was shooting 41%+ from three. Given that you're always tight your first few games with any team that's not bad. But, regardless...you really have to sort of pick and choose your battles and realize that his shooting really is not as big of an issue as the other things he seems like he brings to the table. Already this guy looks like he just fits perfectly into this offense/system.

    Thibs has been trying to run this type of offense for at least the last two seasons without much success until Kirk came back...and even still (as much as I'm a huge Kirk fan), he just has some consistent problems with natural PG like fundamentals. I think the reason why he runs it as well as he does is because he's a pretty darn smart basketball player with a lot of experience. But often times he just doesn't get us into the offense fast enough - now part of that is our guys - they don't get into their floor cutting, rotations, moves and dives quick enough - clearly we have a shot clock problem - but instead of pointing out where Kirk falters with this...I'll say this - if you've been listening to Thibs and the players lately, even they have clearly pointed out some things that he (DJ) does well (as if they've been missing that).

    If he continues to do these things, it will pay huge dividends we haven't seen yet - maybe even with Rose (there was a recent Suntimes or Trib article about how the team is actually scoring more with DJ than they even were in Rose's first 10 games back - of course Rose was rusty, but DJ came off the Toronto bench and was thrown into the Bulls fire, so clearly he was too). For some reason the players really didn't execute well with Rose as the PG (even when he was healthy - there are tons of theories why)...but with DJ, it's like they know they have to help him and back him up, so they stay more alert...plus the fact that he's not as dominant as Rose with the ball, yet quicker and more creative (and smoother) off the dribble than Kirk...makes him like this in the middle player - and maybe exactly what this particular Bulls team needs - a guy who can quickly get them into the offense...even if they aren't at their spots yet.

    I think having him run the 1 next year and Rose the 2 would be purely unstoppable. Screw that, he'll be the back up crap. Make someone else the backup unless you can get someone who runs the offense better - because this particular team will always need to execute to succeed...so we need to just accept them or start trading people.

    Back to the PG thing: I've seen Kirk consistently wait for guys to get to their spots (and hence he's out there just dribbling around)...and even though that's not his fault, it still doesn't help us because it gives the defense too much time to lock in. DJ however, uses basic fundamentals and will just make a move right into the teeth of the defense or call for a pick from someone who's close - and create movement, which creates displaced defenders, which creates much better scoring opportunities. IF this was being done better in the first place there might not be so much pressure on the PG position of this particular Bulls team in the first place.

    One indication of this is how many shots the Bulls take. Part of that is they are being lazy and not attacking and just settling, but part of it is also, as Taj said a couple of days ago, because the lane has just been real clogged lately and this year. Being a great shooting PG isn't the only thing that opens that up. In fact, if he can continue to get the guys going (in the offense) then I think it'll pay way more dividends than if he were a few percentage points better of a shooter...because when everyone is moving and attacking on the Bulls, they're pretty darn good.

    The other intangible thing I'm very optimistic about is DJ's tempo - it's hard to see all this stuff in only a small amount of games, but I've played PG all my life and studied under two of the greatest coaches alive so maybe I'm uniquely fortunate in that way...anyway, his tempo - is absolutely perfectly for the Bulls...it not only doesn't allow them to be lazy and keeps them on their toes, but it allows them to be more reactionary and I think anyone would agree that we have a much more reactionary group than decisive, aggressive one-on-one style players. Right?

    Case in point, I think the reason why Carlos played so well in Utah, is Derron Williams, he was that type of PG...you never knew what he was going to do. When the Bulls slow it down too much and then ask Carlos to take the ball in the low post, he more often just fades or shoots...however if you have someone on the move then it's much harder and not as natural to just stop and shoot, versus making a momentum move towards the basket - the same goes even once they're already in the half court - IF the PG is constantly putting pressure on the D by moving around screens and picks and passing it...then it makes it much more natural to make a play towards the basket.

    There are way more things I've seen this kid do - small things that I was trained to do as a PG/player all my life and have taught as a coach...and I suspect this is going to be more about him being a fit for this team than him being individually great at this or that. Whoever made that pick up...smart, smart move.

  • In reply to AskEachOther.com:

    Wow! Now that was a very professional analysis. What do you think about the excessive minutes he played? Should a good coach wear out a player like Deng or Augustin by giving them excessive minutes every game. Augustin player 43 minutes. This was not the NBA finals!

  • You spoke of many intangible skills--how a point guard should notice and be aware of so many things as well as respond to what's taking place on the floor--and I agree whom ever made that pickup made a quality analysis like you have. Does Marquis Teague have some of the same skills we have seen in D.J or Hinrich--and do the Bulls need someone like yourself on staff to instruct Teague while the Coach is coaching a game? When Teague is on the floor it's almost like he's completely on his own--even though we all recognize he needs instruction on timing and intangibles. Maybe Hinrich should be a player coach or the Bull should have a pg coach to assist Teague!

  • In reply to penwit1:

    Penwit , there is a reason why Thibs had been an assistant for 22 years. We are living it. He's a teacher , not a coach or game manager. These injuries are not a coincidence , he suffers from blind ambition ,ex 8-0 preseason with heavy starter min, for what? Can Teague play? I think the kid has some game but like Snell this year and Butler +Bellinelli last year it takes an injury for someone to see the floor so who knows? Two weeks ago Butler and Deng were a out and Murphy saw 18 seconds..

  • In reply to Kramer:

    I concur!

  • No wonder Doug has abandoned the game/player articles, "Is DJ Augustin a keeper" being the burning question for the Bulls is just tool depressing.

    Can't believe the NBA is thinking about the draft wheel to get rid of tanking. I can't imagine how boring this season would be if we already knew where the Bulls would pick, whether that be 1 or 30. If I knew that I'd pay zero attention to basketball until the draft. Tanking drives interest in the game, it makes every game matter whether your team is good or bad.

  • Augustin will always be the guy in my mind who couldn't get the ball up the floor, let alone score or distribute during the playoffs last year against the Heat. That bunch, headed by Augustin, was absolutely atrocious. The Pacers got annihilated during those bench minutes.

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