Lance Stephenson goes cheap, Rodney Stuckey replaces him, I understand but mourn the loss of both

Lance Stephenson goes cheap, Rodney Stuckey replaces him, I understand but mourn the loss of both

Through out my column on Lance Stephenson. It would simply appear the Bulls weren't interested (or at least not interested enough to dump Mike Dunleavy). Lance will sign with the Bobcats on a three year 27 million dollar deal with a team option for the third year. Quite frankly, it's a much better deal than we signed Gasol to.

Even if Lance goes nutso on you, you're only committed for two seasons at a relatively cheap price before you could part ways. That'd be a pretty sweet deal for Chicago as it'd leave cap room open in 2016 when Kevin Durant will be a free agent and Chicago will now still have Pau Gasol on its books.

It certainly feels like the Bulls could have used Lance's skillset much more than Gasol's. This Bulls team is built very similarly to the 2010/11 team which was shut down in the playoffs by the Miami Heat by simply doubling down on Rose. Gasol's probably no better equipped to take the offensive load than Boozer was that season.

McDermott may replace Korver's offensive role, and then we've got no one else who's really better than Deng was on offense unless Mirotic has a really strong season, but given the Bulls have four big men, it's unlikely he'll have that large a role on the team.

Lance Stephenson would have given us the safety valve who could create off the dribble when the ball got thrown out of Derrick Rose's hands. The thing we felt we needed in that 2011 playoffs that we didn't have.

Bringing him in would have meant Nikola Mirotic would need to play a major role immediately. After dumping Dunleavy, they probably could have kept Smith and Randolph for extra big man depth [won't know for sure until we see the actual numbers guys signed at]. It seems they could have made it work but clearly choose to go down the path more traveled.

The competition will be different in the East this year, they won't be trying to get through a juggernaut Miami team, Indiana likely seems diminished as they lost the one of two players on the squad who was likely to improve rather than decline. The other teams on the rise aren't that much on the rise.

If Derrick Rose stays healthy then it really feels like it will come down to the Bulls and Cavs in the ECF this season. Perhaps the Bulls extra big man depth will play a bigger role against the Cavs than Lance would, especially given the Cavaliers will have similar front court challenges to Miami.

Maybe the Gasol move works out. There's reasons to choose him for sure. However, I'd have taken the flyer on Lance when only a two year commitment was needed. Maybe when the Bulls discussed with him he was still dreaming about 5/60 and only lowered his deal (effectively betting on himself) when there were no suitors left.

It's like airline tickets, the price changes as time goes on, and the price may have only changed down to this level because the Bulls (and other teams) left the table.

Missing on Stuckey at the minimum is similarly frustrating

Rodney Stuckey was then signed by Indiana at the minimum. Three seasons ago, this guy was in the midst of a very solid season. He'd had a PER in the 15-18 range for three years. However, the past two seasons he kind of fell off the map a bit. Perhaps the lane clogged a bit too much with Drummond and Monroe down there, and his drives no longer worked.

Perhaps he just had grown tired of the losing in Detroit. Perhaps he got lazy, worked out a bit less hard and lost a quarter step. Who knows. He was a combo guard version of Lance Stephenson at his peak though, a bit smaller, but a guy who'd bull his way into the lane and create havoc off the dribble.

He was also kind of selfish and had a reputation of not sharing the ball so well. However, for the minimum he'd have been a great fit for the Bulls to come in and be that secondary creator. I didn't think Stuckey would sign so cheap either, and he likely prefers the Pacers to the Bulls at the minimum anyway.

In Indiana, he likely has a clear role defined for him, and in Chicago he might not be in the rotation immediately. He needs to rebuild his value in the NBA if he's to get a non minimum contract next season, something I feel he can likely do, especially on an offensively inept Indiana team that might be more than content to get him the ball.

Perhaps the Bulls made a play on Stuckey and missed, but he sure would have been a nice fit for us if we could have gotten him. There's some decent players left for the minimum, but the important thing for Bulls fans to remember at this point is that Chicago's probably not a great destination for any minimum salary player who wants to play minutes.

The Bulls probably have 10 rotation players on the team right now, so anyone who comes in at the minimum is only getting burn if there's an injury. This will likely put the Bulls near the end of the line for the quality minimum players.

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  • Stuckey signing for the minimum was surprising considering some of the recent deals. We're still in desperate need of that second creator.

    With Dion Waiters speaking out that he doesn't want to come of the bench, is it possible he could become a target for the Bulls?

    He's unlikely to get many minutes now in Cleveland with their recent additions. Not sure what it would take to get him or if he's even worth it due to his attitude issues. I know it's unlikely he would start in Chicago but he could bring shot creation.

  • You'd mourn a lot less if you'd stop quoting PER and start watching games. That said, I suppose ignorance makes it easier to write troll-like posts.

  • In reply to xfib:

    What is with the Doug Thonus hate? Anyway, Doug, your labor of love is much appreciated so please disregard the rantings of an angry anti-PERer.

    Anyway xfib, unless you own, bet or play you should not get so wound up. It's just a kid's game played by grown men for fun and entertainment.

    Go in peace.

  • In reply to xfib:

    I agree with Doug on the Lance issue. However, clearly there is room for disagreement based on facts. To attribute "ignorance" to someone's position without even attempting to argue the facts is not only unseemly but an insult to the fans who read this blog.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I like the Waiters idea. Lance had a PER of 14.7 and Waiters 14.0. However, looking at eFG% and the usage numbers, it seems Waiters is not as efficient as Lance. Also, I'm not sure the Bulls would have a package to get Waiters.

    I'm not sure why some folks are so upset by advanced metrics. They are just another tool in evaluating players. I used to be somewhat skeptical of PER, but having followed it for years now. It is pretty accurate in terms of measuring a players value. In many ways it just reinforces what your eyes already tell you, but it and other stats can sometimes add insight into a players value and/or metrics for their change in performance from year to year.

    That said I don't think you can discount what your eyes tell you, but to just completely ignore the other side seems short sighted.

    Also, in defense of Doug, though he doesn't really need it, he's one of the most fair writer's about the Bulls out there. This blog is consistently of high quality and gives a great amount of insight. I might not always agree with Doug, but he rarely if ever says things that are spiteful or small-minded.

  • In reply to Hoover:

    Thought about Waiter's myself, but I don't see the Cav's trading him until the Kevin Love situation is resolved. He is either part of the deal, or if Wiggins goes, he is the starting SG. If Love goes elsewhere, then maybe he makes enough of a stink to get moved. However, what do we have to offer for him.

  • In reply to xfib:

    Ignorance is bliss and apparently sparks posts like this.

  • In reply to xfib:

    First, you are the ignorant one and the troll. How can the man who wrote the blog you are commenting on be troll-like. It's his page, you're the troll.

    Nice work Doug, keep it up.

  • I would still prefer Pau over Lance. Pau has 2 rings, a great locker guy, can mentor Mirotic, is a true low post big who can find open guys when doubled. Lance can create off the dribble, but fails on all the other points as he is only looking out to his next big contract. We are not counting on Jimmy Butler who had turf toe injuries for the most part of the season. Prior to that, Jimmy was showing his ability to get to the hole and either scoring or getting faults. I personally think the Bulls is the Spurs of the East and if we are lucky and stay healthy, we will likely go to the finals this coming season.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    The Birdman has two rings too you taking him over Lance as well? The ring argument doesn't matter to me unless you are talking about the alpha dogs. Which neither are.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Uh, Gasol was the ONLY reason the Lakers won one of those rings. Birdman? Not so much. Gasol is one of the most underappreciated bigs in the NBA ... and he fits our Bulls perfectly. He makes the right play, again and again. On O, he's almost like a better shooting, scoring Noah, because he can see the floor and pass the ball extremely well. (D? Okay, not so much like Noah, but better than Boozer 10 out of 10 times.)

    And I'll take him in heartbeat over the JR Smith clone in Lance Stephenson. This team just doesn't want head cases ... kind of like the Spurs don't either. Talent is not everything after all.

  • In reply to Curious E:

    He was the final piece, no way was he the only reason. Just like Michael never won a ring without Scottie and Grant/Rodman. and Gasol wasn't that teams Jordan, Kobe was.

  • I would not do anything with an eye for Durant in 2016. I don't think I could take another futile free agency flirtation.

  • I don't understand the hype and fascination with Lance. I watched him play well over a dozen times last year. He's an erratic, inconsistent player with a selfish style of play that wouldn't fit with this Bulls team. His offensive performance last year against upper echelon defensive teams was subpar. Check his stats.

    I prefer Butler all day. Bulls fans might need to consider that Pax and Gar also think Butler is the answer at two guard. As his first year as a starter he made the All Defense Second Team. Let's give the guy a chance. It's not like he doesn't have room to grow. We must also consider that management thinks they just drafted their future 3 in McDermott.

    Place me in the camp that's happy we signed a two time champion, a future HOF and a player that can score easy baskets for us around the rim. I cannot remember the last time the Bulls had a player with Gasol's skill-set.

  • In reply to Steve T:

    I like Gasol a lot but the knock is that you can't really put him, Noah and Taj all on the floor at the same time, whereas you could put Stephenson, Noah and Taj all on the floor at the same time along with Rose and a shooter (McD, Miro, Dunleavy all qualify).

    In those late game crunch situations it comes down to the best 5 players on the floor, not the guys on the bench. Stephenson would have made the Bulls' best 5 better. We'll see where this goes with Lance, it's hard to say with that guy, and that's probably why the Bulls stayed away.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    That is the only reason to lament not getting him. He was a better fit for positional need for this team. He fills the hole at SG and moves Butler to SF.

    However, as I pointed out yesterday, not that it is everything, and not to be an ignorant troll, but Gasol had just about his worst season ever last year, while Lance had his best and Gasol's PER was 19.3 while Lance's was 14.7. PER is far from everything, but it isn't nothing either, it certainly reflects some relative merit on offense at least.

  • In reply to Steve T:

    Same Jimmy Butler whose percentages plummeted when he was asked to be more aggressive on offense? Yeah I am not taking Jimmy all day over Lance who is younger and IS a two way player already.

  • Hola Doug N Friends,
    Let me preface this by saying I have League Pass, too much free time (Eng Prof in S.Korea) and watched an embarrassing amount of LA games last year. Friends and I shared many a laugh at Pau's game. He struggled to get up and down the court, missed more dunks than he made and, obviously losing confidence in his once respectable J, threw many hard off the rim. He both sucked, and put up decent #s because he was the only NBA player on an awful team.
    That being said, I was initially devastated by this obvious Bulls' signing. But, if you'll allow some positivity I've changed my outlook for when thinking about the larger picture.

    1. With a glut of respectable big men, Thibs will be forced to share minutes. I see all combinations of Pau, Jo, Taj and Mirotic starting throughout the year. I believe Pau chose the Bulls of OKC and SA because he knows he doesn't have much left and he will be most effective with a DWade'ish lazy season. With less responsibility, I think he'll perform much better, and be fresh for the post season. Also, Jo, as hard as he plays, may need the extra rest more than Pau. If Thibs doesn't share the minutes almost equally with the 4 during the regular season, he'll have a lot of blame for a Bulls Playoff exit.

    2. Also, with respect to Lance and Rodney or any other shot creator; the Spurs really did change the game last year and I'm confident the Bulls FO is not as short-sighted as we think. They realize having a roster where nearly every player can hit an open jumpshot is a HUUUUUGE advantage. Yes, Lance can create, but he's not a very stable system offensive player. As boring as this sounds, this is what wins in the NBA now. We will move the ball around, we will have the defense hustling to close out because we have tons of respectable shooters and and shots WILL be available because we're unselfish and a smart team. Obviously, there will be times when the system fails, and Derrick will have to create something out of nothing, but that's why he's paid the big bucks and I'm confident he'll succeed more times than not. Of course, if he's hurt, no one else can do this role, but we know we're done w/o him so it's not worth talking about.

    Sure, I'd like Lance, or DJ, or Rodney, but I think resting our big men, having MJD, Mcshooter, Snell, Rose and (PLEEEEAAASE) a rested and better shooting Hinrich and JB all confidently shooting open 3s and, of course, Bulls D: we're the team to beat in the East. Pau will play the 2014 Duncan role; no longer a constant post threat but capable, when the system doesn't create, of backing down and getting a decent shot on the rim.

    My friends, we're going to the Finals!!! Lance can dance all he wants, we'll space, pass, and shoot confidently!

  • In reply to retrodman:

    The Spurs can shoot very well but they can also put the ball on the floor and drive. Parker, Ginobili, Leonard and even Diaw sometimes can break the defense down from dribbling. The only player(s) we have with an above average-dribble drive game is Rose.

    Ball movement will get you open shots but we also require to attack the basket at least through the 1 and 2. Jimmy has poor ball handling or lack of confidence, while McDermmott is highly unlikely to beat defenders of the dribble. The Spurs are special as they can put 5 players on the floor that could create for others, it's not possible and too much to ask for any management to put together a team like that. Against the tough defenses that can guard Derrick the offense will look similar to the last couple of seasons, passing the ball around the perimeter looking for a shot.

  • In reply to retrodman:

    That is what scares me most about Gasol, he looked gassed last season, like 2 pack a day Vlade Divac. Don't know if that was an abberation due to the crappy team and coach, or if that is all he has left.

  • Lance is a tough call. I am not a Lance fan b/c of his antics and he is as bad a ball stopper as there is. His shot selection is terrible. He often makes bad decisions. Nevertheless, he is quite talented across the board - scoring, rebounding, passing, defense, ball handling, etc...

    I think Lance was the home run play. Gasol is hard to argue against on the deal he got. I envision Gasol/Noah/Gibson/Mirotic holding down the PF and C and none really playing huge minutes. Thus, Gasol could extend Gibon and Noah's careers.

    Nobody on the Spurs played more than 30mpg during the regular season. I would love to see Thibs play Noah and Rose no more than 35 mpg, maybe even less.

    I assume Mirotic won't get big minutes right away.

    Also, I think Butler will bounce back with better shooting than last season. He showed the season before that he can hit the 3 for a long stretch. Maybe if he's not playing 48mpg that would help and hold off the turf toe. McDermott, Snell and Hinrich should be able to keep his mpg to under 35, you would think. Unless, Rose goes down again...

  • In reply to Granby:

    Noah should be fine minutes-wise but Rose is another question. With Rose currently being the only creator expect him to get a lot of minutes. Kirk is unlikely to stay healthy the whole season so unless Thibs places some sort of minutes restriction on Rose, he'll probably have a few 40+ min games under his belt by seasons end.

  • In reply to Granby:

    additionally, maybe if Butler is the starting SF he will more often be in position to take the corner 3 which is the only one that he has shown any proclivity to hit on a regular basis.

    My hope is that McStrokin proves himself good enough to earn the starting SG position, that allows us to be the best team that we can be with the current personnel.

  • Nobody wants to spend the rest of the summer feeling badly about the Bulls upcoming season. Adding a possible quality scorer in McD and a proven big in Gasol helps alleviate those concerns. Mirotic also could be a quality scorer maybe better then a Ryan Anderson. Maybe a lot better.

    Happy days are here again..? If there wasn't such a dire need for a SG/wing to slash to the basket to make teams pay for the playoff/Miami extended doubles on Rose then all would be well. Still, I wonder if there would be so much love for Lance Stephenson if the Bulls could have already filled that need by trading Taj or passing on Pau. A majority of recent posters including Doug obviously like the guy(Lance). Fresh from an enigmatic, troubling implosion of a Pacers team that looked like it was ready to topple Miami - no worries. We'll see how tings turn out in Charlotte the home of brilliant team building.

    While I like the Gasol pick up, the imbalance as in over load of bigs salary wise compared to time on the floor seems obvious. What Noah/Gasol 33 minutes let's say at PF/C. That leaves 15 minutes a night at those relative positions. Yet you have Taj and highly regarded scorer in Mirotic left to survive on such meager scraps?

    You'd think a Taj or Mirotic trade for a quality wing would be the obvious next step. The problem is we just passed on Jodie Meeks, Aaron Afflalo, and now Lance Stephenson. So do the Bulls wait until the trade deadline or make an August/pre-season trade for a wing? Gordon seems a big time gamble with his shaky knees. Tyreke Evans can't shoot threes so defenses could collapse on him. I really would have rather filled the terminally unfulfilled need at SG/wing and either traded Taj or not signed Gasol.

    But then again there's a reason you've never filled the position all these years and then instead choose to spend your money hanging onto Klank who shot a 2 point% on significant attempts of .367 and 41% the last two years. McDermott looks like the right move draft wise right now. Maybe Snell can come in and hit some threes for you. But the glaring hole at SG remains.

  • In summary, this depth should allow the Bulls to place with faster pace AND keep minutes down bigtime... Gar/Pax and Thibs need to go all-in on the Spurs blueprint because all the signs are that it could work, including enhanced shooting.

    Don't have to play a reckless, wide open style, just refrain from the usual walking the ball up the floor after made baskets. Look for longer outlet passes when the big guys get a rebound. Don't let the defense get set. Don't let the defense rest by too much iso play. Keep the ball moving. We have excellent passing bigs and the shooting is actually pretty darn good, depending on the PT that Mirotic, McDermott and Snell get. And, if Butler can shoot closer to two years ago.

  • In reply to Granby:

    By the way that is Mirotic's style of play, for a big the guy loves to run the floor and get out on the break. We'll see if the Bulls figure that out and make use of it.

  • Doug - could not agree with you more. Stephenson and especially Stuckey was a miss. Stuckey at minimum would have been great to backup Rose.

    Going forward - Bulls still need 2nd shot creator and ball handler who can stress defenses, take it to the hole and create offensively. Would like to see the Bulls go after my guy, C.J. McCollum. I'd offer Dunleavy and 2 1sts for McCollum and Allan Crabbe. Blazers have Lillard and Matthews entrenched as starters. They just signed Blake to back up Lillard which might make McCollum available. Blazers have a big need for outside shooting. Someone who can pick and pop or another guy who Lillard can kick the ball out to. Dunleavy would fit what the Blazers need.

    For the Bulls, McCollum would be an excellent fit. He can play off Rose and start at the two, share ball handling responsibilities which would allow Rose to get a breather, and allow provide a great insurance policy should Rose go down again.

    Crabbe is an interesting big guard who can handle and shoot but is needed only for salaries to match. I think this would be a great fit for both teams and if it takes 2 1sts to do it, I'd do it.

    Rose, McCollum, Hinrich as ball handlers
    McDermott, Snell, Butler, Mirotic as your wing shooters
    Gasol, Butler, Noah as big inside

    Thats 10 deep giving you offensive creators, defensive stoppers, rebounding and outside shooting. Fill the rest of your roster with minimums and this team is the best in the East.

    GarPax needs to go all-in. East is wide open for taking and you have a 2 year championship window. For me, McCollum is the missing piece because it rounds out this team and gives Thibs options and covers the team from injuries.

  • fb_avatar

    It's getting hard to find a good 2 guard in the NBA and when you do you should keep him. This is why the Lance Stephenson move is such a head scratcher. Why would Indy let him walk? Why wouldn't the Bulls sign this guy? Oh well.
    Don't get your hopes up on Pau Bulls Nation, @ 34 yrs old his production may taper off under Thibs stringent demands to play defense. I for one feel Pau should be the 1st player to come off of the bench, and play primarily with the 2nd unit.
    I'm hopeful that Thibs will have a change of heart on how he uses his rooks. Do not limit them to practice players who spend game nights watching and cheering from the bench. Insert them into the regular rotation, and allow them to play through rookie mistakes. The more they play during the regular season, the more they become familiar with the size, speed, and the competitiveness that's around the NBA. The more they play, the better they become, and with three quality rooks who are 21 yrs old and older they should be mature enough to handle professional basketball, unlike some of the 18 & 19 yr old kids out there.
    Bulls starting 5 should be: C. Joakim Noah PF Taj Gibson SF Doug McDermott SG Jimmy Butler PG Derrick Rose. 2nd unit: C Pau Gasol PF Nikola Mirotic SF Mike Dunleavy SG Tony Snell PG Kirk Hinrich.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    Other than a couple of days at the Berto, McDermott hasn't even practiced, and he damned sure isn't playing against NBA-level talent (or defense) in Vegas. Hey, I like what I see too, but let's not expect too much too soon. I'm more excited I think about what I've seen from Snell, as he has all of the physical tools to make a great 2, and we sure could use a 2.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    It's pretty clear that Thibs wanted McDermott so I think he was taken with the idea that Thibs would actually play him as a rookie. I'm not certain his versatile offensive game will translate to the NBA, but I can't see him not being a great shooter.

    You do have to wonder about Lance. If he's so great, why did the team he played for not want him back at a reasonable price?

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I'd say that 5ys/$44 million was a very reasonable price, for both parties. Apparently Lance wanted a shorter deal, and Indy wouldn't do it, which is why he left. Dallas had 2yrs/$20 million on the table if Houston matched on Chandler. Kind of surprising that Indy was locked into a 5 year deal, you would think that they would have been more than happy to go shorter.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Once Lance turned down the 5 yr $44 mil. deal looking for a $12 mil. deal that never materialized, Indy moved on to Miles and some overseas player of their own. At that point it looked to me like the money for Lance was spent. I don't think it ever came down to length of contract with Indy. I think he found he couldn't get what he wanted elsewhere, couldn't go back to the Pacers, but saved face by squeezing out a few hundred thousand more in starting salary than he turned down with the chance to chase his bigger deal in 3 years.

  • Stuckey at the minimum would have been great, he is a great get for Indy as a last minute replacement for Lance. I'm quite surprised that is all that he got. I would have been much happier to give him(as well as a number of others) the room exception that Hangdog.

    As for Gasol not being any better than boozer offensively, I couldn't disagree more, if nothing else he is 4 inches taller than the Hole and he isn't boozer.

    The biggest negative about Gasol(other than his boozerlite defense) is that it would appear to be a roadblock to playing time and development for Mirotic, which seemed to be something that bothered him in Europe.

    By the way since Doug went back to the 2011 ECF, there is another way to look at the Gasol signing. We have essentially traded Asik for Gasol, i.e offense for defense, and substituted Gibson for boozer, defense over nothing. Would we have beat Miami with Gasol instead of Asik, who would you rather have right now and for the next 3 years.

    Personally, I have always craved having 4 quality bigs, I guess that we will see how that works out over the next couple of years.

  • Lakers "win" the bidding for boozer's services. Here is what ESPN had to say about those services.

    "The Lakers may not be getting exactly what they want in Carlos Boozer. He is coming off of one of the worst seasons of his career. Last season, Boozer posted a player efficiency rating below the league average for the first time in his career."

    Category Boozer Worst Since
    PPG 13.7 2002-03
    RPG 8.3 2002-03
    FG % 45.6 Ever
    PER* 14.4 Ever
    *Average PER is 15.0
    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    Reiny saves $3.25 million.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    By the way did anyone read SSSmiths eulogy to boozer yesterday, it sounded like he was talking about Richard Nixon after he died. Smith sounds like he is going to miss those C notes that boozer slipped him every time that he saw him over the past 4 years.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    LA is going to be a brutal situation for Boozer. We've seen how bad he looks on a good defensive team, the Lakers don't have a single plus defender to put around him. Whoever agrees to coach that bunch is earning their money.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Lakers get Boozer's final year for $3.25MM. Bulls and Lakers essentially traded Gasol for Boozer and $4MM cap space. There are Lakers fans thinking that they got a good deal, wait until they see what they really got. Bulls got the way better end of this, money included.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Wait until Kobe starts glaring at him, and then chewing his ass out, I could see blows being thrown.

  • Just a thought, but with Stephenson in Charlotte, effectively taking Gerald Henderson's starting job, what about trading for Henderson, he has one year and a player option left, he's kind of a baby Afflalo, maybe. Doubt that the Bulls even consider it, but Dunleavy and Snell might get it done.

  • Baron Davis as our 13th man?

  • I think you're selling the abilities of the team short compared to the 2010-11 team if Rose is doubled.

    Look at the like for like comparisons of the other 9 players when it comes to handling the ball:

    Noah is much better now than he was 4 years ago at handling the ball.
    Gibson is much the same.
    Gasol is miles ahead of Asik.
    Mirotic is hardest to judge, but if as good as advertised should have an advantage over Boozer in this area.
    Dunleavy is the only downgrade, he's not as good as Deng.
    McDermott should be a better handler than Korver though.
    Butler to Bogans isn't even a question, Bogans was assisted on 94%?!?! of his shots.
    Snell over Brewer is probably an upgrade too, Brewer didn't really have an on the ball game at all.
    Hinrich and Watson isn't a huge difference either way.

    That to me looks like an improvement - as a group - over the team from 4 years ago even if there's not one stand out guy there.

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    In reply to Shakes:

    I agree w all that except CJ Watson. He was really good for us that year.

    ALSO, we don't know if we are getting MVP Rose or rusty, can't make an outside shot Rose. ( whose now 3 years older w two surgically repaired knees)
    If he has 75-80% of his explosiveness and his shot is better, then this team could really make a legit run.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    That was mainly in the context of handling the ball and creating if Rose is doubled, not overall play.

    I liked CJ but mainly for his outside shooting, he was no better at handling the ball than Kirk is - lots of people wanted a "real" backup point guard at the time. Both of them are absolutely dire at finishing under any sort of pressure too.

    Of course how Rose plays is the key, but I think the cast around him is good enough to work out how to take advantage if Rose is healthy enough to get double teamed.

  • "Maybe when the Bulls discussed with him he was still dreaming about 5/60 and only lowered his deal (effectively betting on himself) when there were no suitors left."

    I'd say there's a very good chance that's exactly what happened Doug.

  • In reply to Chicagosportsguru:

    I guess Mike figured it out.
    Reinsdorf wants choir boys now.
    They would tolerated Melo but Lance was probably never in the discussion. There was a huge gap between what Lance was perceived to have wanted versus what he signed for with Mike.
    Noah, Rose, Taj...they would have kept him check. It would have been a great, dynamic signing.

  • When Melo"s World Tour hit Chicago I would have been very blunt. I would have explained the parameters I was operating under. Gutting the team was not an option. Perhaps brought in high powered marketing and financial experts that could explain to Melo could have made his money and competed for a championship. If I unable to convince to sign with my team THAT NIGHT, I would have shook his hand and then got on the phone to work out deals for Love and/or Lance.

  • In reply to mcgrad70:

    You do realize that we'll have to gut the team for Love just as much- if not more- than we would have gutted it to give Melo the max, right?

    And I'll take Gasol over Lance any day of the week.

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