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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