Aaron Brooks makes the Bulls better

The Bulls needed another shot creator off the bench, and it appears that they're going to get Aaron Brooks who was high on my list of guys to pursue for the role. He should help fill that D.J. Augustin/Nate Robinson role the Bulls will need if Rose is hurt or when the team simply needs another shot creator on the floor.

According to ESPN, the Bulls are finalizing the deal now. It wasn't oh so long ago that Aaron Brooks had a D.J. Augustin like breakout season for the Rockets. He was a young guy putting up quality numbers as the Rockets starting point guard.

After a poor 10/11 season, Brooks missed all of 11/12 while signing a contract in China during the NBA lockout. When he came back to the NBA he was respectable in 12/13, but never again showed the promise of that 09/10 season.

However, the Bulls won't be counting on Aaron Brooks (hopefully) to play like a starting caliber PG.

They signed him to be a third point guard, and he's more than qualified to do so. He's a guy who can get his own shot, get in the paint, and shoot threes. Probably a bit less so than D.J. Augustin, whom I'd still prefer, in all categories but enough to likely fill in admirably as the 11th/12th man on the team. Aaron Brooks shouldn't play in the regular rotation.

If he is, it means Kirk Hinrich is likely starting at SG, and my head is about to explode. However, he makes a nice hedge to Derrick's health for a minimum salary player and given the Bulls didn't have minutes or money to offer, I don't think they could have done a whole lot better.

Jameer Nelson was the one player I'd have considered putting in front of Brooks, however, Nelson's had some serious decline himself. He's a couple years older, an inch shorter, and has been a shooting under 40% for two seasons now. He's showed a better overall game, but you'd be gambling on his past couple of years being due to Orlando rebuilding rather than his better years being only due to playing with Dwight Howard.

While I could still make the case for Nelson, I'm quite happy with Aaron as the third string PG.

What's left for Chicago?

With the Bulls offering Bairstow a three year deal (no word on how much of that is guaranteed, so we don't know if it's a strong offer or not), Chicago will likely be set with 12 guys.

The regular rotation:
PG: Rose/Hinrich
Wing; Snell/Butler/McDermott/Dunleavy
Big: Noah/Gasol/Taj/Mirotic

The hope we don't need thems:
Brooks, Bairstow, vet min guy

Given the strength of the front court and overall depth of the team, it wouldn't surprise me to see Nazr back as purely a locker room guy (or someone taking on a similar role). The Bulls don't have any minutes to offer and look pretty well covered in all positions even for injury.

At this point, you definitely are looking for a vet who won't demand minutes and anyone with any potential locker room headaches is out the window. Potential takes a backseat to leadership, because it will be potential that will likely rot on the bench.

Congrats to the Summer Splash Bros

Doug McDermott and Tony Snell made the summer league first team last night at Vegas. It's summer league. It's crap, but hey, I'd rather have my guys look good in a crappy event than look bad in one wouldn't you?

The Bulls were eliminated from the summer league tournament when they held McDermott out for precautionary reasons and all of a sudden Tony Snell wasn't sitting wide open anymore. No real surprise there. The Bulls offense went from summer league juggernaut to something approaching what the Bulls looked like against the Wizards.

Either way, it was nice to see the boys get a little recognition for quality play. Now we just need to wait and see if either or both can carry it over against real competition. I'm much more confident in McDermott doing that than Snell.

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  • Dahntay Jones would be my pick for the final spot. Smart dude, went to duke, is still a viable 3&D guy, can play either wing position, aside from being known to be a cheap shot artist doesn't seem like a head case, can be had for the minimum.

    If our guard/wing position gets suddenly shallow, he wouldn't be a terrible option, he also had a stint with the bulls preseason team so there is history there.

  • Yes, tuned in and looked forward to see McDermott and it was pretty much unwatchable. Snell made plays, but you get the sense that he was forcing it to often.

    Snell has a nice touch and great range. He did throw up one horrible brick. It will be interesting to see if this guy can put it all together. I think he'll stick in the NBA for a long time and be decent because of his size/long body and shot. If it's not this year, maybe next year he can take that step...

  • In reply to Granby:

    I agree that Snell is likely sticking in the NBA for a long time. My expectation for him will be him turning into Danny Green type player. Great shooter and decent defense. People forget that Danny Green didn't play much the first 2 years in NBA

  • In reply to handushk:

    Exactly. Green hit a couple floaters and shots at the rim in the Finals this year and that's not really his game - just like Snell. Snell is not ready for prime time, but he shot lights out from deep on high volume in summer league. I think he was 50% prior to the final game! He will get better, but we may not see it this season.

  • In reply to Granby:

    To me, Snell looks like a guy who can turn into a great set shooter. Just like Green. A guy who can space the floor and be able to hit an open shot, maybe pump fake and make a drive to the basket. I was impressed with his 18 pts in the second half.

  • In reply to handushk:

    Good comparison though I think Snell has a better handle than Green already.

    I hope he makes the best of his opportunities this season.

  • In reply to JPesos1230:

    Not sure if he will ever get a big stage to showcase his talents, like D Green in the Finals... If he does (the Bulls look to be good this next year) it would be interesting to see how he compares.

  • In reply to handushk:

    I hope so, but I don't think Snell's shot looks that good. He hit mostly open threes this summer, and he misses badly frequently which you don't see so much from great shooters.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I would imagine that most of the 3's he's going to have to hit during the regular season are going to be wide open corner 3's off DRose or A Brooks penetration.

  • In reply to Meloorbust:

    I think it's a different point. I was responding about his ability to compare to Danny Green who's an excellent shooter overall. I don't see Snell doing that. I could see him becoming an open corner three guy, but I think the value of that is less than people think.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree with you, he looks like a steak shooter at best, he doesn't have great or consistent form and needs space and time to get his 3 off. At best he seems to be a tease who will always disappoint in the long run.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Revisionist history in that Danny Green was in the D league after a couple years... NOBODY was excited about him. He couldn't stick on a LeBron-less Cavs team. He really improved and Snell can, too. At least Snell is on an NBA roster and has a chance to contribute (even a small role) in year 2.

    He does throw up his share of clankers, but Ray Allen and Kobe do, too. I think that when you shoot high volume from 23-25 feet, you are going to miss badly every so often.

  • The Bulls appears to be deep at all positions now. It will be up to Thibs and his assistants to come up with the best line up. I am still curious to know how the rotation will play out and how the new guys will adapt to the NBA. Will McD play the 2 or 3? He was mostly a 4 in college, but he won't be able to handle being a 4 on the NBA. Can Mirotic play 3 or 5 or he is only a 4?

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    Certainly with Noah and Gasol he isn't getting any minutes a 5, heck even Taj is ahead of him there. He's a stretch 4 who can run the floor. Maybe, you could try him at SF if he is paired with Noah, and Taj, and hide him on D.

  • watched the summerleague but why do the Bulls always stock up on unathletic guys, does gar and pax have something against athletes? the Kings were running circles around the Bulls. Anyway glad McBuckets and Snell showed well, even Bairstow showed he has promise despite being vertically challenged.

    This new Bulls team has a rock solid front court and mediocre wing play when it comes to scoring, somewhat resembling those 2010-12 teams. I think not getting one wing scorer, even someone like Aaron Afflalo will come back to haunt them. I would throw McBuckets out there to learn quickly but I doubt stubborn Thibodeau will do it.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Athleticism is going to be a big issue for the Bulls as well as going against teams with size. The Bulls have prioritized shooting over athletes and haven't been able to identify and acquire players who can do both.

    While the Bulls depth has been lauded, they have a lot of one-dimensional players and Thibs is going to have to find rotation combinations that doesn't sacrifice either too much offense or too much defense.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    I must disagree. Athleticism? Rose, Butler, Snell, Taj and Noah are all supreme athletes at those 5 positions. Brooks is an outstanding athlete and longer than DJ. Hinrich, McDermott, Dunleavy, Mirotic and Gasol (and Bairstow) ... the white dudes, in other words, are not at that level. However, Hinrich can still shut people down, McD and Dunleavy have sneaky athleticism, Bairstow is scary strong and moves his feet well, and Mirotic, while he doesn't have the measurables, reminds me of his countryman Vlade Divacs, with tremendous savvy play and quick off his feet and tenaciousness.

    Regarding going against teams with size, do you mean the Wizards or Pacers? They're the only two teams with size that can hurt the Bulls, but this time around hopefully Noah will be healthy (he wasn't against Nene). We know Taj will hold his own, and then have to hope that Gasol and Mirotic (and Bairstow) can learn Thib's schemes.

  • In reply to Curious E:

    Butler himself would disagree with your calling him a supreme athlete.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    Bulls have about as much size as anyone.... they can play Gasol (7 ft) and Noah (6'10) together inside.

    As far as athletes, Rose is about as good as it gets. Others like Butler and Gibson and Noah are solid. This team is probably about average in terms of overall athletic ability. But, the Spurs are nothing special athletically! They play fast, but below the rim.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Agree, last season we were undersized. the addition of Gasol and Mirotic gives us good if not great size to match up with anybody in today's game.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I understand your viewpoint. I once shared it, but then I realized that their most athletic player was injured for 2 years. I wondered as well why we were stocking up on these non athletic players this offseason when it was obvious why we got bounced last postseason was because of lack of athleticism (IMO more than lack of scoring). But once you think about it with Rose back healthy and Snell able to take on a bigger role this team suddenly doesn't lack athleticism and has a nice mix of both scoring/shooting & athleticism. The team is a much more balanced team and much more equipped to play Thibs style of offense.

    I'm excited to team what the team can do. I think our season goes as Rose goes. What makes me excited is we no longer need him to be God almighty this season.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Everyone you get is going to have some weakness or else they wouldn't be easily available. You're going to miss on athleticism, shooting, dribbling, defense, something, or else the guy is just a superstar.

    Bulls added a lot of guys who were skilled offensive players at the cost of athleticism, but they did so with #11 in this draft, #23 from a few drafts ago, and a 6.7 million dollar FA. Would have been difficult to address those needs and get everything with what was available no?

    The Bulls still have plenty of athleticism on the team. Rose, Butler, Taj, and Noah are all plus athletes. Snell and Brooks are good athletes as well.

    So that's about 50% of your primary rotation and a couple guys who might be minor rotation players. It probably makes them an average athletic team overall maybe slightly above.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Boy is he vertically challenged, I can't think of a guy who appears to have less lift, Aaron Gray, Charles Oakley during his second run with the Bulls. I was hoping that he might be a Scott Willaims type guy, be he seems far less athletic.

  • Bulls definitely have a deep team and Aaron Brooks certainly helps that but I still think they are lacking a dynamic element to their team. The need for a dynamic 2 guard or combo guard with athleticism who can handle the ball, shoot and penetrate is still a glaring weakness. A Lance Stephenson type player is what would be perfect.

    I hope the Bulls don't rest on this team until they find that missing piece. Bulls still have a trade asset in Mike Dunleavy Jr on a cheap and expiring contract and 2 1st round picks in the 2015 draft that can be used to try and get this type of player. My eyes are still towards the Blazers C.J. McCollum or Trey Burke of Jazz or Michael Carter-Williams of the 76ers. I know MCW is well liked by the 76ers but they seem to be operating on a different timeline.

    Overall, it wouldn't be terrible if the Bulls went into the season with the current roster but I'd like to see the Bulls to use all assets in their possession to really go for it if the opportunity presents itself.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    I agree the Bulls are lacking a dynamic shot creator/athlete to do some damage. Lance would have been good in that role.

    Chicago opted to not go that route possibly due to cost at the time (Lance's price was originally at 12 mil and he settled once bidders dropped out of the market) or attitude (his issues have been well chronicled.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The Bulls could have offered Lance $12 million per since that is what they gave Gasol and Mirotic in first year salaries, they just chose not to.

    Was this because they just liked Gasol better than Lance as a free agent for this team, or did they not want to lose Mirotic for this season(if not longer) by using all their cap space on Lance. Or did they simply not want to add a combustible character to their locker room. Most likely, it was a combination of all three.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree with ripiceman, if the Bulls are playing strong at the trade deadline (or even sooner), but missing the SG, then go get one and shoot for the title. Maybe even Afflalo from Denver as a half-season rental could come fairly cheap, and he could be the final piece for a real chance at the title. But this depends on how everyone jells the first half of the season.

    Lance was just too much of a dice roll for a team as close as the Bulls are - why take the risk?

    Plus, as BigWay noted, they wanted to get Mirotic over. IMO, that was absolutely necessary to let the kid develop, since it may take him another year or two to hit NBA speed.

  • I think Kirk and Dunleavy are much more likely to start than McD.

    And I dont see McD starting at any point his rookie year, especially if he isnt starting day 1. Thibs likes to run things a certain way, and he is very set in those ways.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Everyone says that Thibs will not play rookies, but in fairness to him, he has never had any that have been ready nor any who have warrented a ton of playing time in their first season.

    I'm not saying McDermott or Mirotic will set the world on fire right away, but they are more polished/NBA ready than any other rookie in the Thibodeau era.

  • In reply to John Kerth:

    Agreed, it will be interesting to see what he does with these guys. The Bulls haven't had a lot of promising rookies under Thibs previously.

  • I'm fine if they add Brooks, but I hope they at least thought about adding Lazeric Jones. I thought the guy played well for them and could have some potential. I liked Billy Baron early, but as the games went on he got worse.

  • I was pleasantly surprised they were able to get Brooks on a vet minimum deal - especially while there were still teams with space and/or exceptions. I also think he will be part of the rotation - I'm surprised that someone so down on Hinrich conceded the #2 PG spot to him. And when you look at Brooks stats they are better than DJ's were PRIOR to coming into Thibbs PG oriented system.In fact Brooks may have the best credentials of any of Thibbs prioir PG scrap heap reclamation projects.

    IMO Dunlevey is the one who will eventually get squeezed out, with Snell earning more minutes at SG pushing Butler more to SF backed by McD and Kirk getting more back-up (not starting) SG minutes while Brooks logs the majority of the PG#2 minutes. After all, Dunlevey is 34 and on an expiring contract. If they can't trade him he may end up an injury insurance guy - maybe not initially but over the course of the season.

  • Aaron Brooks' career numbers are eerily similar to Nate Robinson. Similarities end there as Brooks has a degree in political science. Regarded as solid character guy coming out of college. Will jack up ill advised shots at times. Good pick up IMO.

    I agree Lazeric Jones(shorty 6'0 but 6'7 wingspan) looked good in summer league, but he's a does everything well guy. Not really a scorer per say or an excellent assist/TO PG. Thus a role player who does one thing really well he's not, and will likely never play in the NBA. That said, if Klank were to suffer an unfortunate injury, I'd invite him to pre-season. Doubt Bulls/Thibs would want him/give him a chance though.

    I just wonder where Mirotic will get minutes? It's at least a possibility he's ready to contribute right away. Will Thibs give him a chance if he struggles early when he has defensive stalwarts in Jo and Taj to combine with Gasol? McD on the other hand, you could see him with maybe 20 minutes per game of rifleman duty right out of the gate. Provided he learns the rotations/Thib's scheme. Fingers crossed that Mirotic and McDermott look impressive in pre-season.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    For those looking for a better nickname than McBucketts, maybe he can reprise Chuck Person's role as "the Rifleman".

  • Side note: Everybody(many posters) liked Tim Hardaway in last year's draft while nobody was talking about Tony Snell. Both played well in summer league. Be interesting to see how they stack up next season. Certainly Jr showed signs last year of being a solid contributor for the Knicks.

  • Like you, I am totally satisfied with the Aaron Brooks pickup. Is Brooks a better pickup than Sessions or Nelson? Who knows, maybe those guys are still holding out for more than the minimum. Along with DJ, I would rather have had any of those guys over Hangdog. With Brooks taking the minimum, we could have had 2 out of the 4 of them. I'd have gone with Sessions or DJ and then Brooks.

    It is pretty obvious that in addition to loyalty(to Hinebrick) the Bulls favored his defensive abilities over the offensive abilities of the others.

    Personally, I've always liked Brooks, even though it seems like he never gets a fair shake wherever he is at. If he gets some playing time(hopefully because only Hinrich gets injured) he could very well surprise to the upside, just like Nate and DJ did.

  • I don't care how good everyone thinks this bulls team is if they dont get another shot creator they will come up short

  • In reply to rjm43:

    If the FO sees that at the deadline, don't be surprised if they get the SG - like Afflalo or similar. Championship runs bring a ton of profits!

  • The Bulls do appear to be deep at all positions now. It will be up to Thibs to keep them healthy for the post season--which is the only season that counts.

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