Bulls need to start Doug McDermott

Bulls need to start Doug McDermott

I know there are people who question how well Doug McDermott will translate. Most fans I've seen give him a 20 minute per game estimate in terms of playing time. Mike Dunleavy Jr is projected to be the starter, but let me say this. It'd be like starting Kirk Hinrich over Derrick Rose for a year to let him get his feet wet.

When the Bulls drafted Doug McDermott, I wasn't excited. My mind immediately went to the typical stereotypes you think about white players in the NBA. Lack of upside, lack of athleticism, lack of defense.

However, then I spent some time watching his college film (and not just highlights), and I watched him play in all four summer league games (not all great games either). I've seen enough to know this, McDermott is a much better shooter than Dunleavy, and Dunleavy sure as heck doesn't do enough of anything else to make up for it.

If we had Luol Deng here then I'd advocate letting McDermott attempt to earn his role. If we brought in Lance Stephenson to play shooting guard and moved Jimmy Butler to SF then I would do the same. However, the Bulls are faced with starting two of these five guys: Kirk Hinrich, Tony Snell, Mike Dunleavy, Jimmy Butler, and Doug McDermott.

Hinrich needs to come off the bench for Rose otherwise the Bulls have no backup PG, so this doesn't seem like a viable option. Tony Snell hasn't proven anything yet either as a player and while his percentages have been good in summer league, he still airballs or misses badly on a frightening number of shots which suggests to me that his good percentages are fluky rather than consistent. A consistent shooter doesn't regularly miss by three feet.

Jimmy Butler should and will start at either SG or SF. I think that goes without saying.

That brings us to Dunleavy vs McDermott. Dunleavy's a similar type of player with more height, but I don't think he's as quick as McDermott, his release isn't as quick, his range isn't as good [Doug's shown he can shoot from four feet behind the three point line with deadly accuracy], and he's not nearly as much a threat running off screens.

Doug's a guy management clearly believes in. They gave up three seconds, two firsts, and cash to land him. He has four years of college experience, so he's not raw for a rookie, and the only guy ahead of him is a low salary rental player who will be gone in a year.

When we get to the playoffs we'll need McBuckets to be ready to have a big role if this team is to have a shot to hang in there scoring wise with the other playoff teams, and it's better to acclimate him now. It's also harder to ramp up a guys minutes if he's sitting the first eight minutes of every quarter as it only leaves 32 minutes the rest of the game and only if he plays two 16 minute bursts.

This is why it was such a mistake to continue starting Carlos Boozer when Taj Gibson was the better player last season, it made it difficult to play Taj more than 32 minujtes and there were games you needed that. If you played him 32 minutes then he was likely more gassed in the fourth than if he played 40 minutes but had breaks at the start of the 2nd/4th as well.

Quite simply Doug McDermott is almost certainly a better player than Dunleavy right off the bat. He needs the experience, he's part of the future, and the guy standing in front of him isn't doing a whole lot. I'd be content to let him earn the role mid season, but we've already seen that once you start the season for Thibodeau that you're a lifer in that starting lineup. He won't change it.

The ultimate proof of this is with Bogans where there were multiple better bench guys then him who weren't playing many minutes (Korver, Brewer, and Watson were all better and all could have played an extra 10 minutes per game), but we kept on keeping on with Keith Bogans. It was shown again with Hamilton and Boozer.

When the Bulls were getting crushed in the playoffs and Taj Gibson was their best player by far we could never ramp up his minutes because Carlos Boozer was starting. He was always tired at the close of games because his time always came in two 16 minute consecutive chunks, one in each half.

Maybe it's unfair to pigeon hole Thibodeau that way. Maybe he can change, but he has to prove it to me first, and working under our present assumptions, Chicago had better start McDermott right away, because if they don't then we already know they won't shift later.

Bulls targeting Aaron Brooks

According to CSN, the Chicago Bulls are targeting Aaron Brooks to fill the need of secondary shot creator and third point guard.

Potentially following in the tradition of diminutive scoring point guards like C.J. Watson, John Lucas III, D.J. Augustin and fellow Seattle native Nate Robinson, free agent Aaron Brooks could be next in line to fill the role of the next Bulls' instant-offense scorer off the bench, CSNChicago.com has learned.

The Bulls have done a nice job with similar types of players, though I'm not sure Brooks is the same caliber of shooter the rest of the list is. He's definitely an okay shooter, but not great. That said, I think he can do a nice job of getting into the lane and the Bulls need that more than the shooting anyway.

Aaron's definitely high on my list of top potential targets, hopefully they're able to close the deal.

Lakers win? amnesty bid on Carlos Boozer

Paying a shade over three million, the Lakers won the amnesty bidding process for Carlos Boozer. I think this might be the most any amnesty player has ever gone for in the bidding process (it's the most I can remember anyway). The Bulls are now on the hook for 13.55 million of Boozer's salary for the year which is probably a bit better than they expected.

It's an odd fit for the Lakers whom seem like they're a rudderless ship right now. They're in no position to win now, and their draft pick goes to Phoenix if it's not top five. That's a tough spot for them to be in because their odds of getting out of the West seem quite long, and if they don't then they need to be really bad in order to get a draft pick.

Getting a one year rental on Carlos Boozer, whom they can't trade, doesn't seem to do much to further their cause unless, perhaps, they're trying to tank and will play him 40 minutes a night and feature him in the low post. We'll see how it works for L.A. but it seems like Boozer's actually a pretty good value for three million on a team and should help them if used appropriately as a fourth big man who plays 15-20 minutes a night.

Kind of a shame, it would have been nice to see him go to Miami for the minimum so that we could kick them when their down and laugh at Boozer at the same time.

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  • I could not agree more. Spot on with your analysis, Doug. I hope the front office is listening.

  • I really don't like this aspect of Thibs. In a perfect world, I think you'd start McDermott off the bench, and let him play his way into a starter's role. But I definitely agree with you that he *should* be the better player eventually (and maybe even right away), and it sucks to think about Thibs keeping him as a bench guy the whole way.

  • Great work as always, I'm not sure Snell won't get the starting job.

    His ball-handling and defense are what have impressed me the most so far, so maybe Thibs starts him at SG and uses McDoug as his backup and the finisher, kind of like how Korver was the finisher his two years.

    Everyone talks about how Thibs loves to finish with defense- which he does, but go back to that first season and his usual finishing crew was:


    I don't know if people still buy the myth that Gibson and even Asik were finishing a lot of games in 2011, but in the playoffs those 5 were the finishers. He would sometimes go offense/defense with Boozer/Gibson, but I can see him going Rose/McDoug/Butler/Noah/Pau to finish.

    I just hope Noah is spending every waking second working on his 18-20 foot jumper.

    I don't think the Lakers have a choice but to tank, but unless Kobe goes down they're not going to suck bad enough to be bottom 5.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Don, respectfully, you always say this, but Asik and Gibson were getting a lot of 4th quarter time in the Heat series. Perhaps Noah/Boozer returned for the final 2-3 minutes, but Asik/Gibson seemed to get more run as far as I remember.

    Whatever, not a big deal.

    I'd rather talk about McDermott vs Snell starting. Hopefully, it's one of those two guys. I didn't catch much of summer league - although I DVRed the summer league replays all night so hopefully one of those is the Bulls/Sixers...

    McDermott blocked two shots in a row and then came down and swished that 3 from 2 feet behind the line in transition a second later... quick, smooth release from so deep.

    I'm not giving up on Snell. He seems to be a hard worker. He has all the tools to develop - shooting, ball handling, D, size/length. He just needs to relax and gain confidence.

    Butler - what's the deal with his contract? Is this the summer where the Bulls must decide on whether or not to extend him by 10/31 or else he's restricted next summer? What should be the strategy here? He's coming off a somewhat down year compared the how he finished the prior season. May not be a bad time to lock him up to a reasonable deal. I still believe in him. Tough, great defender and his offense is not terrible with better talent around him, which he'll have this year.

  • In reply to Granby:

    No it's cool, those guys certainly got a lot of 4th quarter time, but it was almost always Noah and Boozer who finished.

    I remember like a year or two ago I went through the entire EC playoffs from 2011 when we went to the ECF, and there was one or two games where Asik was on the floor with under 5 minutes left in the game- and one of them was the game we blew out Miami in Game 1 and he was only out there because it was a blowout.

    If you look at http://www.82games.com/1011/1011CHI.HTM
    During our "clutch" minutes- which according to them is last 5 minutes of the game, neither team winning by more than 5 points, this is what percentage of the clutch minutes each guy played:

    Noah 57% (40%)
    Boozer 48% (47%)
    Gibson 31% (44%)
    Thomas 28% (30%)
    Asik 4% (25%)

    The (number) is the % of our team's total minutes each guy played that season. Boozer and Noah only played 59 and 48 games that year due to injury.

    Noah only played in 58.5% of our games, and 57% of our clutch minutes. When he was healthy, he was out there.

    Boozer only played in 70.7% of our games, but 48% of our clutch minutes.

    Korver played 82% (42%) of the clutch minutes, Deng 88% (76%) and Rose 92% (81%).

    Obviously, those 3 and Boozer/Noah (when healthy) were the closing 5 the overwhelming majority of the time.

    Anyway, my point is that Thibs WILL play offensive players at the end of games. With the way he shoots the ball, I don't see how you can NOT have McDoug on the floor at the end of ball games.

    And Mirotic might be the same way, though- and if you've got Rose, Noah and Mirotic/McDoug/MDJ out there, and run a pick and roll with Rose/Noah, it's truly pick your poison. Maybe even Jimmy instead of MDJ, if he's WIDE open I think he's got the clutch gene to knock down the big shot.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Didn't Asik get injured in that serious and miss half the games?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    He got injured late in Game 3 of the Miami series, then tried to play in Game 4 and couldn't go. I think he played like 2 minutes and couldn't do it.

    IIRC, the rest of the playoffs (he got injured in the 14th game) he made two appearances in the last 5 minutes of a game, and one of them was our Game 1 blowout of Miami. I mean literally not even for a few seconds, it was all Noah in the last 5 minutes of games.

    This isn't an anti-Asik thing, I'm just trying to point out that Thibs will definitely play offensive-minded players down the stretch of games. He did it with Boozer and he did it with Korver.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    yep was going to say this

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Totally agree with your last paragraph about the pick your poison if that combo of players are on the floor. I can't see a single reason why Mirotic won't be a premiere deep threat from day one, just like McDermott. Mirotic's height is incredible, good luck throwing off his looks.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Yes, this is the summer that we must decide on Jimmy, I say give him a deal starting at the MLE and see if he bites coming off a down year. His defense and slashing make him worth that alone. I don't want him having a big year this year and then demanding a Taj-like deal. A deal at the MLE is only about $2.5MM over his Restricted QO next year.

  • In reply to Meloorbust:

    I certainly hope to sign Jimmy for less than Taj, but are you insinuating that Taj is being overpaid? Taj's contract is looked upon as a great team friendly deal by not only the Bulls but the entire league. Noah and Taj both have contracts that NBA teams would love to have.

  • In reply to Granby:

    "McDermott blocked two shots in a row and then came down and swished that 3 from 2 feet behind the line in transition a second later... quick, smooth release from so deep."

    I didn't watch much of the game last night, but I caught that sequence, and I immediately thought, what if that is the highlight of his career. I doubt that he ever blocks 2 consecutive shots again.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    It's a bit hard to say anything in regards to projecting McDermott's defensive abilities. He was literally forced to not play D at Creighton as opposing teams only way to stop him was to get him in foul trouble. He was instructed never to go for steals or risky blocks, in the NBA he'll be able to be much more aggressive, and while it seems that it is safe to say McDermott has NBA caliber offensive skill, I don't think you can paint him one way or the other on D yet.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Thibs starting Snell is my biggest fear, and I could see him doing just that.

  • Aaron Brooks is undersized, how much court time will he share with Rose if Thibs likely goes for more defensive lineups.

    At the end of close games are we really going to see hi m on the court. Would've been a nice backup to Rose if didn't sign Hinrich but still don't think he fills that secondary shot creator role.

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    I don't think Aaron Brooks shares any court time with Rose. He's an emergency third point guard if Rose gets hurt again who can create some off the dribble and play with other

    The secondary shot creator role in this context is to replace an injured Rose not along with him, but I agree the Bulls need a guy who can do that to play with Rose. It's just not practical to find that guy for the minimum, so Brooks is only a hedge which is still necessary given Rose's history.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It's silly that management is looking for a solution now when they passed on DJ just days ago who was sure thing that previously thrived in Thibs' system. For all we know it could have Thibs determined to keep Kirk over Augustine.

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    It's certainly possible that DJ would have taken less to sign here, but we haven't heard him say that, so we just don't know.

    The only fact we know with 100% certainty is that DJ signed for more than what the Bulls could offer.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    However, he did so immediately after the Bulls agreed with Hinrich, which could indicate that he was waiting on the Bulls.

    Water under the bridge now, most just don't want to have to suffer thru watching Hangdog play. Whatever, the on/off, plus/minus numbers say, Hinrich is brutally painful to watch as is the Bulls offense with him running it.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Yeah it would be nice to know, like you said it doesn't matter now but still it's always informative to know what people are really thinking.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Yeah you can't say DJ would have signed here for less. The guy was nearly out of the NBA last year and likely really NEEDS to maximize his worth right now and cash in. Maybe he has a few solid years, makes his money, and comes back to the team that gave him the opportunity to cash in. I'm happy he got paid and wouldn't feel right to me for a player like that, who needs a payday, to sign back with the Bulls right now just because they gave him his opportunity.

  • McDermott will likely play best alongside Rose. He can space the floor with his shooting ability and probably won't have guys sticking to him while Rose is out there, so he'll be open enough to hit some threes. Basically, it's the argument Doug used to make for starting Korver, but the offensively-challenged Thibs was pretty intent on bringing Korver off the bench to catch-and-shoot instead of leaving him in with Rose where he'd be open a lot more. This is why Korver's percentages have gone up with the Hawks vs. the Bulls. Hope Thibs doesn't repeat the same mistake.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Yes, I agree. But, Snell can shoot, too. You want the shooters in with Rose and Bulls have sufficient shooting on paper.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Like Doug, I still have no trust in Snells shooting. It really isn't even close with between he and McStrokin. When Dougie shoots, you get excited everytime because you expect it to go in. His stroke is beautiful and inspires confidence. For me nothing about Snells games does that.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Snell shot 32% from three last year. Over a much bigger sample than a few summer league games. Now maybe he's improved, I hope so, but lets not get carried away over a few good games. The evidence from real competition thus far has been Snell can't shoot or do much at all at an NBA level.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    The good thing is, almost every player in NBA history has been better in his 2nd season than his 1st.

    His shooting this summer means nothing to me, anyone can get hot for 4 games. I've been impressed with his ball-handling and aggressiveness in Vegas, those are the areas where he needed to improve.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    There's a lot of survivor bias in the idea that all players improve substantially through their rookie contract - the ones that don't tend to fall out of rotations and the league.

    It's a lot easier to be aggressive in summer league against guys you're better than and aren't organized in the way a real NBA defense is. Snell might be improved, and obviously I hope he is, but I don't see the harm in making him prove it and win a rotation spot rather than gifting it to him. Give him some minutes - not a starting role - to do that at the start of the regular season. If he shines then maybe he can take some of Dunleavy's minutes. If he doesn't, relegate him to garbage time.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Oh sure, he'll certainly have to prove himself in training camp and preseason. I didn't mean to imply he should be named the starting SG today, in fact knowing how much Thibs like his veterans Snell could score 40+ in the three remaining SL games and Dunleavy would still most likely go into training camp as the starter.

    We've all seen how Thibs works, whoever wins the starting job in October will most likely continue to be the starter throughout the season. Especially if the team is winning games.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    In my opinion McDermott has the one thing Korver didn't, one thing that makes it much easier for Thibs to reason starting McDermott that he didn't have with Korver. McDermott can actually move with the ball. He isn't going to be running around like his heads cut off, getting a pass, and quickly passing again if he doesn't have the space. McDermott will be able to cut to the basket and either score or create for others. I loved Korver, but he was very one dimensional on offense and McDermott absolutely is not.

  • On the McBuckets topic, I totally agree with you Doug. Another supporting reason is that he would play more time with Rose if he starts and for sure will have more open looks than with Kirk at PG. Hands down McBuckets as a starting 3.

  • In regards to the much maligned shooting guard issue, there's several teams stacked with s2 and here's to holding out hope that a deal could swung to give floor balance.
    1. Charlotte has Lance Stephenson, Gerald Henderson, and PJ Hairston manning the shooting guard. Hairston and Stephenson are newly signed and Henderson is slightly deficient in his shooting, but he's an athletic 2 who has scoring skills the Bulls don't have right now.
    2. Denver is sitting with Afflalo, Gary Harris, and the aforementioned Brooks, whom I feel is duplicating efforts and talent languishing on the bench ( ok maybe not languishing, but could be better used).
    3. Cleveland is putting the Love for Wiggins trade back on the table and they have Dion Waiters as a luxury waiting in the wings ( pun intended) behind a possible deal. If a deal isn't struck and you've got potential disharmony again this year ( Waiters implying that he's NOT a bench player) let's see what can be done to make it happen.
    If there's any gaps to this, by all means, shoot it down. I learn so much from the savants on this blog and I believe that gleaning some talent from somewhere else is the way to go. The roster presently constructed is incomplete and we ourselves are guilty of duplicating our efforts in the pivot this year.

  • In reply to mummuhwalde:

    Also like the Waiters suggestion. He would more than capable of starting for the Bulls and could provide the shot creation we need. He played well in a very poor offensive system. When Kyrie went down last year he averaged 22 points and 6 assists against the top teams.

    With the Cavs/Bulls competing for the East would they really want to help each other. Don't know what the Bulls could offer them, you could match salaries with Dunleavy and I'm not sure what picks the Bulls have left.

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    I would love Dion Waiters, but that is not happening. 1) CLE will not want to help their primary Rival in their division and conference improve. 2) It is very possible that Waiters may need to be part of a deal for Love given that there is some conflict between Irving and Waiters for possessions already. This would assume Bennett stays as the less proven at the NBA level player. CLE will need Waiters more if they trade Bennett, or he will be gone in the deal for Love. Going to Chicago is not likely. CHI getting Waiters from MIN would be possible, but it will cost Chicago something to get something.

  • In reply to tomeboy28:

    Yep, been saying that for days. The only way that it makes any sense is if Love goes somewhere other than Cleveland, and even then what do we really have to offer.

  • In reply to tomeboy28:

    The Cleveland Plain Dealer is taking a poll as to whether to include Wiggins in a trade for Love. 57% voted no. To say the least I was somewhat shocked. If Wiggins were necessary to make that trade I would do it in a heartbeat. My fear is that no team will beat the offer of Thompson, Waiters, Bennett and picks for Love. Golden State better cough up Klay if they want Love.

    For some reason, I feel that Flip Saunders is holding my emotional well-being for the next five years in his hands. Am I delusional or does anyone else share these feelings?

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Yea, the Cavs getting Love and keeping Wiggins would be as disgusting as the Big 3 getting together in 2010 or Kobe and Shaq going to the Lakers in 96. I'm rooting for him to end up in GS or anywhere out West.

    Although getting Wiggins away from Lebron would be good for the Bulls also. Bills Simmons @Grantland did another interesting piece where he did the Wiggins as Pippen to Lebrons Jordan argument like I offered the other day. Lots of great arguments for both sides of the Wiggins for Love trade.

    Here is some of it.

    That brings me to the third thing I’d bring to Gilbert’s attention: You know who else doesn’t need to make a move right away? The Cleveland Cavaliers! What’s the rush? Why do we have to finish our roster in July? What’s wrong with riding out the current nucleus for a few months, getting everyone in a training camp with LeBron, then seeing how everyone meshes with him?
    What if Wiggins shows signs — day after day after day — of becoming the Pippen to LeBron’s MJ? What if LeBron is throwing him crazy alley-oops left and right and gushing, “I’ve always wanted to play with a freak athlete like this”?

    What if Wiggins and LeBron are roaming around defensively like coyotes, stripping dudes at midcourt, jumping passing lanes and basically looking like mid-1990s Pippen and MJ reincarnated?

    What if sending Wiggins to Playing With LeBron Camp turned out to be the greatest thing that ever happened to Andrew Wiggins? What if this single-handedly altered his professional destiny? What if LeBron turned him into his basketball clone, much like Jordan brainwashed Pippen into evolving into his perfect sidekick?

    Here’s the point: THE CAVALIERS HAVE TO FIND OUT. And they’ll know, or at least have a really good idea, by December or January.

    And guess what. That same Wiggins-for-Love deal will still be sitting there after Christmas. None of the other 28 teams are trumping it. If it has to be done, then it has to be done — the Cavs can’t waste the rest of LeBron’s prime if Wiggins isn’t close to being ready yet, not with LeBron passing 40,000 career minutes during the first quarter of his first 2014 Cavs game. There’s a shelf life here. The Cavaliers can’t take their sweet time and wait for their supporting cast to catch up with the greatest player of his generation. They can’t.

    At the same time, I need to see LeBron and the young’uns for a few months before I swing a mega-deal. I want to see how Kyrie Irving and Wiggins blend with LeBron — if they figure out how to run with him, space the floor for him, ease some of his playmaking burden and let HIM be the guy taking advantage of everyone else’s young legs for once. I want to see if Dion Waiters can become this generation’s Vinnie Johnson, a.k.a. Microwave 2.0. I want to see if Anderson Varejao can stay healthy for the first time since 1975, and I want to see if Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett jump a level because they’re suddenly playing with one of the league’s best passers.

    I mean … is it OK that I see this for 45 to 50 games? Is that fine with everyone?

    Best-case scenario: Wiggins proves to be untouchable and Bennett shows signs of becoming a late bloomer/belated keeper, followed by Flip begrudgingly settling for a February deal of Love for Bennett, Waiters, two unprotected first-round picks (including Miami’s first-rounder that’s unprotected in 2017) and one pick swap over the next five years … a deal that, by the way, is still better than any other offer they’ll get. Yes, including the right to overpay David Lee and eventually overpay Klay Thompson.

    Worst-case scenario: Wiggins suffers enough growing pains that you no longer feel fearful or guilty about flipping him for Love in February … which means Cleveland would be trotting out one of the seven best basketball players of all time and one of the league’s 12 best players as his sidekick.

    In summary, the Cavaliers can’t lose no matter what happens. I look forward to them screwing up the final decision and somehow having it work out. In Gilbert We Trust.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Its funny that Simmons thinks the Cavs would be best waiting and seeing how Wiggins is during the first half; I've noted previously that I think its actually the Wolves who are best off waiting, for the same reason. The Wolves can trade for Wiggins now, or wait half a season and make their call with half a season of NBA tape on Wiggins to inform their decision. So that kind of stands as the counter to Simmons point. The Cavs can wait and see, but if Wiggins performs at a truly below expectations level, the Wolves could very well move to other deals that include proven NBA players. If Saunders makes the right move and takes the wait and see approach, the Cavs will get their look at Wiggins NBA talent whether they like it or not. Best case scenario for the Wolves is he plays great but the Cavs don't meet Lebron's standards as a championship team. In that case Lebron says, yea he's ok but we need more so go ahead and trade him. The Wolves get their guy, and feel much better about losing Love going forward than they would trading for Wiggins now where they'd be happy to get the number 1 pick but still have the possibility of Wiggins being a bust hanging over their heads. The Wolves have every reason to wait and see, and considering the past 5+ years, they know how real the possibility of ultra high draft prospects busting is.. Johnny Flynn, Derek Williams, and Wesley Johnson anyone? All drafted in the top 6 in the past 5 years, all play for teams not named the T-Wolves and none of them are even starting caliber players. Wiggins is a much much much better prospect, but to say prospects of equal scouting value have never ended up being shit NBA players would be foolish. Of course theres always the possibility that by waiting on Wiggins, the Wolves miss out on a great player, in the event he plays so well that the Cavs take a pass on Love after seeing what Wiggins can do. It'll be the Wolves who have to balance these possibilities, personally I think the chances that Wiggins plays so well that trading him for a 26 year old Love no longer makes sense for Cleveland are minute, maybe 1%. Wiggins can come out blazing, hell he could average 18 points a game as a rookie in the first half and trading him for Love would probably still make sense for Cleveland. So I would take the wait and see route if I were Saunders and the Wolves, justifying it by the fact that the chances he doesn't end up being a very good player are much higher than the chances he's good enough that Cleveland won't make the deal. If Wiggins is only pretty good, the Wolves can compare that against their other offers, be it Klay T in GS or whatever else is on the table come trade time. Right now they can confidently say Wiggins has a good chance to be much better than Klay Thompson, but its only a good chance(maybe 50/50) and if you can wait and make that call when you know he has a great to guaranteed chance(80/20) to be better than Thompson, you wait.

  • I like McDermott, but don't kid yourself to call him an NBA starter. As of today, Dougie is averaging 18ppg @ 44.2% shooting, 4 rpg, 2.8 apg. Remember also that this is NBA Summer League competition of rookies + a few 2nd year NBA guys and D-League guys. The NBA will drop all these numbers for EVERY one of these players.

    With that said, why would you skip over Tony Snell to be the starting SG, and play Butler at Starting SF? Tony is having a BETTER year than Doug's rookie Summer League campaign. Tony is 20 ppg @ 47.5%, 4.3rpg, and 2.8 apg. These guys are very close in numbers, but Tony has the edge and has a year of working with Thibs and NBA competition going in his favor.

    Finally, Jimmy Butler struggled with his jump shot from range last season. It makes sense for Chicago to upgrade at SG and let Jimmy shift back to SF where his driving play, shorter range shots, and defense is much more valuable. Tony and Dunleavy should be the SG, with Jimmy and McNickname at SF. Kirk is the backup PG.

  • In reply to tomeboy28:

    28.4 min, .294 fg, .410 ts%, 9.5 pts, 5.5 ast, 4.0 to
    37.0 min, .475 fg, .516 ts%, 16.8 pts, 6.3 ast, 2.5 to

    Going from Summer League to regular season doesn't drop EVERYONE'S numbers.

    Those are Derrick's SL numbers vs his regular season numbers.

    McDermott is the #1 option drawing all of the defense's attention djuring SL. In the regular season, he'll be the #3 option at best, playing off of Derrick's penetration and Pau's post game.

    I'm liking what I see out of McDoug's game so far, I didn't know he could score in so many different ways. He reminds me a lot of Pierce coming out of college, not quite as athletic but a better shooter.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Don, good point but also keep in mind that Derrick was hobbled by tendinitis. They're two completely different players too so I'm not sure you can project what the regular season would look like.

    McD is very skilled offensively and I'm very impressed, but from what I've seen so far I'd start Snell over McD at SG. Again it's summer league so even though McD looks decent on D, it'll be completely different when he's iso'd or put through P&Rs with SGs like Wade, Lance, etc.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Interesting that you brought up Pierce, I mentioned him early on as a comparison but no one bit.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Really? Wow, it seems so obvious from watching him play that PP is the easy comparison.

    I don't understand why so many people get so caught up in the "shot creator" thing and think that you have to be a cross between Curly Neal and Willie Gault to create a shot. Body positioning and IQ are just as important- PP has never been fast, and he's never been a great ball-handler.

    Dude sure could score the ball, though...

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Willie Gault was a wide receiver for the Bears- not a basketball player.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    LOL, yes I know. I was just using an example of someone who was super-fast.

    Gault was an Olympic-level sprinter, back in the 80's lots of my friends used to joke that he was a sprinter not a football player because he never had very good hands. He was a world-class sprinter, an average (at best) WR.

    In case you didn't get the joke, my point is that you don't have to be a great ball-handler or incredibly quick to be a "shot-creator".

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Paul Pierce has never been fast, at all, that much is true. But to say he has never been a great ball-handler? I would have to disagree.

    Pierce is by no means a "pretty" ball handler, but he has still managed to be a great one. It looks like a train wreck at times, but no one as crafty and scoring capable as Pierce isn't a great ball handler, you simply can't do the things he's done at that position if you are. I know I'm splitting hairs here, and its a matter of semantics in a way. But I had to stand up for my boy PP here.

  • In reply to Chicagosportsguru:


  • In reply to Chicagosportsguru:

    Pierce was certainly effective, even though he was like you said an ugly ball-handler at times, but it certainly got the job done!

    He was a very, very good ball-handler yes, but I can't give him "great". :+)

  • In reply to tomeboy28:

    Snell had easily been the build best player in summer league. He's been a leader on the court too which is interesting change from last year. His three point shooting has been great and he is also showing a very good first step when driving by defenders. He does not finish as well when driving but that is fixable.

    He does throw up a good air ball once a game as you mentioned but ever other shoot drops from the sky hitting nothing but nylon. I know this is summer league but if he can shoot this well on open shots I'm happy.

    I would love the whole team to really split time this year so every one can find a role and get comfy...

  • I like Doug's takes on things because he's not always numbingly conservative. Before last night's game McDermott is averaging what 20ppg on at least high 40's efficiency/%, and shooting threes has to be way over 40%. With such a small sample size of course one bad game(vs Philly) is going to take those numbers down considerably. It will be interesting to see if he bounces back on Saturday and what his final stat line will be. 18-19ppg 45% and up with threes at 40% would be a pretty good indicator that the four year player likely(not guaranteed) is NBA ready(in offensive production anyway). He's certainly shown some mid range ability to create space/get his own shot.

    IF McD(please somebody come up with something besides McBuckets, yecch) ends up with 19-20ppg on 45% with volume threes at 40% and up then I think that's a pretty good indicator he's ready to play in the NBA. However, in regards to starting, despite looking impressive, I would for his own good, not put that pressure/spotlight on him to start with.

    If he looks legit in pre-season, Play him 28-30 minutes a game at SF to start with, increasing minutes gradually and if he's excelling/playing like a solid/good starter then say by late Nov. to early December he moves into the starting lineup. If his play dips you can put him back in his more comfortable rotation slot with little fanfare. Personally, I don't think there's any way Doug can play SG. Even as a small forward his defense is rated as sub-par though with his underrated mobility and with experience I can see a guy who can be viable as a starter defensively with a good team support system aka Thibs scheme. Snell is still a wait and see also as in NBA pre-season, but I have to admit is encouraging with shooting and better physique and a better handle.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Most of that second paragraph was a repeat/forgot to edit out sorry.

  • The Bulls need a shooting guard so bad. I really think when all is said and done Jimmy Butlers natural position will be small forward. As he continues to grow and get stronger it will become more evident. Maybe it's just me but he just seems a step too slow for a guard, which I thought was obvious that 1st round of the playoffs. As far as i'm concerned we have 2 point guards, 3 small forwards, with Snell as the only true shooting guard which I think he still has a long way to go before he's ready to start. There should be a midseason trade when something comes available unless the Bulls really want to pay a long term contract to keep Butler around which I think would be money better spent elsewhere. We haven't had a real Shooting guard start on this team since John Salmons left which is a damn shame.

  • In reply to ajaychitown:

    I think that we all agree on Butler, which is why I keep suggesting that McStrokin needs to demonstrate that he can start as a SG. If they play together it might not matter since Butler would defend the better scorer and McD can play SG on offense with Butler filling the SF role on offense.

    I also agree that Snell is a SG only, and I could see Thibs starting him at SG if he decides not start Dunleavy and move Jimmy to SF.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    We need to trade Dunleavy. He is a one dimensional player and now that we have other shooters on the team his role is not as important. I agree with Doug that McD is a better shooter already and actually makes Dunleavy irrelevant, as well as Gasol, and Mirotic is a wild card. Dunleavy has no future with the Bulls and if anything we need another slasher that can get to the free-throw line. I like the Makeup of the Bulls now but what I'm afraid of is we're too much of a perimeter team. The only thing that makes us not a perimeter team is Derrick Rose and his health is a huge concern. These are the times I wish we could have just hung on to Nate Robinson but that's just me. Hopefully Rose can play a full season this year but if not then we'll just have to see. But long story short and maybe it will be seen as a bit of apipe dream but I would package Dunleavy, Bairstow, and Butler, or Snell for a legit 2 guard.

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    Why would i want to laugh at Boozer? I don't hate the guy.

  • In reply to Sergio Iván:

    Agreed. Boozer's skillset may not have been an ideal fit while with the Bulls, but he seemed to be a good teammate, was professional, and I'm guessing played more games than any other Bull during his tenure. His on-court verbal outbursts were also entertaining. Yeah the Bull's FO definitely overpaid him, and Thibs mis-managed his minutes; but that's not Boozer's fault. Wish the guy good luck, and hope the Lakers are a good fit.

  • In reply to BullsMan:

    I still don't know how anyone can be considered a good teammate or a professional when they constantly sabotage the entire teams effort(particularly on D) by simply never even bothering to try. That is simply not professional in my book. But I guess in today's world of moral relativism, if you"re not an actual criminal that makes you a good teammate and a professional.

    Do you like working with people who don't carry their weight, cause you to do more work and your entire organization to be less successful, yet make more money than you do and never shut their trap?

  • In reply to BullsMan:

    You fellas are both being very mature!

    Seriously, the Boozer outrage that has gone on in forums like this one has been absurd. It's at least a bit ironic that the guy was considered an over-achiever at pretty much every stop in his career. For example, not many major college basketball players have come from Anchorage, AK, let alone guys who became top players at arguably the best program in the NCAA. At the next level, not that many 2nd-rounders have become starters in the NBA in recent years, let alone All-Stars. You have to figure he was a hard worker who spent a lot of time honing the somewhat-limited skills he does possess. So when all that hard work finally paid off for him in the form of a nice contract from a competing team, suddenly he became—among fans & the local media alike—a primary object of scorn, derision and in many cases (you all know what I'm talking about here) ridicule. Yes, he was over-paid and mismanaged, but his only real crime was that he wasn't as talented as some people expected him to be. In the long run, 16 ppg and 9 rpg is pretty darned good for a guy who was his team's iron man, not to mention someone who split much of the available time at his position with a very capable backup. Like Luol Deng, Boozer wasn't the game-breaker the Bulls needed. But he contributed, and was by all accounts a good teammate. Maybe we three (Sergio, BullsMan and myself) will take flack from the "seethers" on this forum for our sentiments, but honestly, I hope Carlos has a nice remainder of his career. Can't say I wish he would stick around for the last year of his contract, but unlike apparently many other Bulls fans, I harbor no ill-will toward the man.

  • In reply to SloanVanLier:

    I don't think that even the biggest bozophile would consider him an over achiever as a Bull. and I doubt that Thibs would consider him an over achiever on D either. and that is even before you factor in his massively overpaid contract.

  • In reply to BullsMan:

    The Lakers situation is an excellent fit for Boozer's skills. They're desperate to keep their pick and need to finish bottom 5 to do so. Boozer's game is perfectly suited for that goal - their bid for him was a calculated move to be bad, not good.

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    Why compare McDermott to Dunleavy? It's simply my opinion, but I don't think Dunleavy will last on the Bulls roster past the trade deadline in Feb. The sooner they trade Dunleavy the better it'll be for McDermott and Mirotic.
    It's going to take both rooks to make an impact in order for the Bulls to compete for the EC title. Hopefully, both will buy into Thibodeau's 5 man defense quickly and earn enough court time to be candidates for co rookies of the year.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    If you are talking about McD and Snell, they both need to step up this year and provide floor spacing at a min. I don't think the other true rookie, Bairstow, will get much time. He may be crack the rotation in a couple years, perhaps.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    Yea, it is very hard to see where Mirotic's playing time is going to come from, somebody would have to go/step aside.

  • Bucks please pass the Mayo! ;-)
    Waiters on the Cavs would/could fit in nice but need to give up someone/something which the Bulls seem hesitant to do when they try to sift thru the Goodwill bin! Aaron Brooks for the vet minimum would be great, too bad we couldn't keep DJ! Well small guards should be looking to the Bulls with envy as they have made Lucas, Robinson, DJ look good, Jimmer was here too short of a time and post DJ, but he didn't seem to have enough ball handling skills to be a combo guard, really a short 6' SG.
    How about trying to get cool Beasley for cheap?! I know the future is in Mirotic/Taj/McD...but Beasley is the instant offense we need and I feel Thibs and the Bulls are strong enough to utilize him probably not to his full potential but the guy is just about out of chances in the NBA with his mental illness & associated drug use

  • In reply to smiley:

    Mayo, Yes. Beasley, No. Bulls need a SG!

    They might be just a player away from the Finals this year. If so, that player is a SG or LeBron/Durant guy!

  • Hard to disagree with anything you said today. I was thinking about asking the question myself, who would win a 3 point shoot out on the Bulls current roster. I would lean toward McStrokin over Dunleavy, what about Mirotic, we haven't seen him yet. But we do have 3 guys who are legitimate threats to shoot 40+% from 3, that's something we've never had before.

    It will be very interesting to see who Thibs anoints as the "permanent" starting lineup. However, if he does remove Dunleavy, then is McDermott replacing him, or is Jimmy replacing him and with McDermott replacing Jimmy. It still looks like McDermott is going to have trouble defending either position, not sure that he moves any better than either Korver or Dunleavy. Does he get better with time and experience, will that he ever be good enough to be a legitimate 2 way starter.

    Always like Aaron Brooks, at this point I'd be quite satisfied with him in the Nate/DJ role, even if he isn't quite the shooter that either of those guys are.

  • I like all the debate of the different line-up options. Good points all around. In the end it will come down to who THIBBS trusts and I think that will be sorted out by who performs. But IMO, Thibbs likes Dunleavy off the bench - just couldn't do that atter the Deng trade last year. So I see McD or Snell as the choice and right now its too close to call. But one other off the wall option is to start Mirotic as the more experienced rookie sharpshooter. If you want to blend offense and defense it might make sense to pair Mirotic with Noah at the start of games and then match Taj and Pau. I know that isn't likely, but in that case I'd probably want McD to play with Taj/Pau and Dunleavy with Noah/Mirotic. I guess in the likely event Thibbs goes with Noah/Pao as the starting front court, my definite preference would be McD in the starting line-up.

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    Tony Snell needs to start not Doug McDermott.

  • In reply to Curtis Burt:

    Snell will have to earn that!

  • In reply to Curtis Burt:

    If he does, then we are in trouble.

  • Just watched the Mirotic presser, apparently he will be Pistol Pete Mirotic as he will wear #44. Don't think Hammerin Hank Mirotic sounds as good, wrong sport anyway. Trying to think having we had anybody where that number before, anybody good?

  • If Gibson and Butler are the other starers then being the best shooter you start McDermott for team balance reasons, even if Dunleavy was an otherwise better player. You don't want a situation where every player from 1 through 4 there is a better shooter on the bench unit than the starting lineup. Honestly if Mirotic puts in a good pre-season showing I'd have him starting over Gibson too.


    Seems to me the best way to balance the units for offense/defense. With the depth Thibs now has I expect we'll see a return of a "bench mob" style rotation where the second unit play a lot of time together as a group.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I like your first/second team lineup there. Although I think it might be better early on to keep either McDermott or Mirotic on the bench to start games. Doesn't matter much which one, Dunleavy and Gibson are both very capable starters, and it'll be best early on to have the two rookies with guys like that next to them on the floor. Personally I'd go with Mirotic starting if Pau is, and off the bench if Pau is as well. I think it'll be good to have Pau playing with Mirotic as much as possible early on.

  • In reply to Chicagosportsguru:

    Starting/finishing doesn't mean that much to me, I think balancing the lineups is the most important thing.

    a) One of Noah or Gibson should be on the floor for defense.
    b) Rose and Butler are the two worst shooters in the 1-3 rotation, when they play together it should be with Mirotic at the 4 for spacing.

    The easiest way to make that happen is to start Mirotic - you can still give Gibson more minutes than him. Coming off the bench limits a players minutes like Doug says, but with a 4 man rotation of Noah/Gibson/Gasol/Mirotic do any of them really need to exceed 30 minutes a night?

    As far as two rookies starting: I think back to the 2005 team though with Duhon starting, Noc and Deng splitting starts and Gordon the 6th man - no reason not to start rookies if they fit what you want to do.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Yea, especially with Mirotic and McDermott, with Mirotic having played so much pro ball, and McDermott being a 4 year guy, they aren't your typical 19-20 year old NBA rookie.

  • I am happy with the transactions this year. How the bulls navigate their PF/Cbisvgoing to be interesting to say the least. This might be great fo Jo. Gasol will be great off the bench. Hopefully Doug McB's can deliver!!! Go bulls can't wait for the season. Thanks doug and F' melo!

  • My last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is wha­ I do...... WWW.JOBS25.COM

  • I'm happy with the Brooks signing at the minimum. This kid was really good before the lockout and his lost bet playing overseas. He's been pretty good since, too. He brings more to the table than Hinrich in my opinion.

    I'm still not seeing what this team added that makes them fundamentally more equipped to deal with the Rose double/triple/LeBron coverage they had no answer for in the ECF. Is 2014 Gasol even better than 2011 Boozer? Hopefully in the playoffs he will be. I'm hoping Brooks might be able to alleviate some of that pressure, but I can't pin much hope on a signing at the minimum. The Bulls have yet to add that offensively dynamic threat on the perimeter to pair with the Rose. I still see that as a recipe for playoff disaster.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    Brooks strikes me as more of a high end John Lucas III or Janero Pargo - other than one really good year in Houston he's been pretty much just a chucker. Still you need one of those on the roster, and they have tended to thrive under Thibs. Probably shouldn't be playing when Rose is though, might be useful if Rose needs games off.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    One thing about the 2011 ECF is that when Derek was getting doubled Miami only had to keep him from passing to one player, Kyle Korver. The Bulls were void of 3 point shooting, my hope this year would be that late in games when the timeouts and fouls are flying, Thibs will have the opportunity to load up on 3 pt shooters on offensive possessions. 2011 had Rose, Korver, and Deng as its best 3 point shooters. Deng and Rose being below average, and Rose obviously unable to shoot while guarded by Lebron +1. This year we'll have Mirotic, Dunleavy, and McDermott; and personally I think McDermott and Mirotic will be ELITE 3 point shooters over the course of their respective careers. It's easy to double Rose and guard one true 3 point threat from his pass off; much more difficult when there are two or three 3 point threats for him to dish to in times of need.

  • In reply to Chicagosportsguru:

    Yup, great post.

    And it didn't help that as usual, Korver didn't really shoot 3's at a high rate in the post-season. 42.5% regular season vs 38.6% playoffs for his career, and he was a pathetic 4/14 (28.6%) in the ECF, including 3/12 (25.0%) in the final four games of the series (all losses, of course).

    People forget that after trailing the entire 2nd half, we had Game 2 tied at 73-73 with under 7:00 to play, but then Korver missed a wide-open 3 that would have given us the lead. Then we were down 5 with 3:00 to go and he missed another open 3 that would have kept us right in the game.

    Then we were up 5 heading into the 4th quarter of Game 4 with a chance to tie the series, but Korver went 0-2 with a Turnover in the 4th quarter and we wound up losing in OT.

    Korver's only job was to make 3's, but then when it came right down to it in clutch time, he couldn't do it in the ECF when it counted.

    I'm not saying Korver cost us that entire series, but if he could have done the one thing he was paid to do, it could have been a lot different.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Even when Korver isn't hitting his shots teams are very mindful of where he is so I think he's still a net plus on offense. I think a bigger problem in that series was that he had nobody he could guard when LeBron and Wade were both out there. That limited Korver to only 15 minutes a game.

    I have absolutely no doubt McDermott is going to have a similar effect as Korver in forcing teams to guard him, the question will be whether he can guard anyone well enough to be a net positive. Korver was against many teams where you could hide him on a weaker player, but not against a Wade/LeBron combo. Fortunately there aren't currently any wing combos that good so the bar is a little lower now.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Right, Wade was still an elite athlete at the time. People tend to forget how well he could defend on the ball when he wanted to. In the regular season he was a guy who stacked up steals by playing the lanes, but in that series, and the playoffs in general up until last year, he was a pain in the ass and next to Lebron the two were an absolute nightmare.

  • Doug's last phrase there about Boozer and Miami...

    Love it, would have been great.

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