Pau Gasol makes a nice plan B and might be part of plan A

Pau Gasol makes a nice plan B and might be part of plan A

The Chicago Bulls will meet in L.A. with Pau Gasol who's only interested in playing for a team that will contend for a championship. It's also most likely that only teams contending for a championship are interested in Pau Gasol, so that will work out for everyone.

The Chicago Bulls are hoping to be one of those teams, and if Derrick Rose comes back healthy, they will be as long as they are able to add a couple of pieces with the assets they have available. However, even the worst case off-season of just bringing in Mirotic and McDermott while perhaps bringing back Augustin still likely leaves them as contenders if Derrick Rose is healthy and M&M aren't busts.

There's some thought that the Bulls might find a way to trade Carlos Boozer for cap room as part of a three team deal. There are teams out there which may struggle to make it to the minimum salary threshold, and for those teams, adding Boozer isn't particularly onerous as they'd need to pay out the extra money anyway.

If so, a three team sign and trade with Boozer going somewhere other than New York, the Bulls getting Melo, Melo getting paid, and NY and the third team each getting some assets remains a possibility. In that scenario, the Bulls would have the MLE available and might choose to bring in Gasol rather than bringing over Mirotic who could simply come next year with no buy out.

That scenario lands the Bulls probably the best case team they could get this summer. However, it's a fringe hope because the Bulls will need to likely double down on assets used in order to get someone to take Boozer and then also find something to pay NY. It's also possible that the Knicks might agree to take Boozer if the Bulls take back J.R. Smith so they can clear salary off their books faster.

The Bulls have informed Boozer he'll be amnestied, but that doesn't mean they can't take it back and move him in a S&T instead. They could be using the media to leverage NY into a S&T if Melo wants out by threatening to pay Melo outright.

In any case, there are definitely a couple scenarios where Melo comes that Gasol is in play, even if they aren't overwhelmingly likely.

What might be more interesting are the scenarios where Melo isn't in play. First, its important to realize the Bulls are not a young team. Derrick Rose isn't that old in years, but with two knee surgeries, he's certainly old in terms of likely quality NBA years left. Noah and Gibson both have about two to three high quality years, and so the Bulls are looking at possibly a three year window before requiring to tear this thing down completely.

With that in mind, my plan B for this off-season is to bring in Paul Pierce and Pau Gasol. Two old guys who are absolutely in win now mode, both likely are going to play limited minutes, both looking for a team that's ready to contend for a title but still offer them a major role in the action. Chicago can deliver on those things.

If you can sign the pair of them to two year deals for 10 million per year total and save a little cap room to throw D.J. Augustin a deal, and bring back Hinrich for the minimum, the Bulls could look like this:

PG: Rose/Augustin
SG: Butler/Hinrich
SF: Pierce/Dunleavy/McDermott
PF: Gasol/Gibson
C: Noah/Smith

That's a team that's possibly going 11 deep with multiple quality shooters, great big men, great passing, and lots of scorers. It addresses all of the problems the Bulls had last year against Washington, and while it's completely unsexy to sign two guys who are near the end of their careers and could both potentially fall off the NBA cliff in terms of performance, I'd rather see that then see them max out Hayward, Stephenson, or one of the other rather pedestrian younger players.

That said, if Carmelo Anthony goes to the Lakers, Pau Gasol is rumored to resign there. Melo is meeting with the Lakers today after a six hour meeting with the Rockets yesterday and a two hour meeting with the Mavericks.

Wow, Kyle Lowry only grabs 48 million?

The Toronto Raptors got a relative steal in this free agency market locking Kyle Lowry into a four year 48 million dollar deal. Given the amount of teams with cap space and lack of quality players available I thought Lowry could have landed the max with someone. Hell, Hayward looks like he'll get a max offer sheet from Cleveland, and I'd take Lowry first.

My nightmare off-season was that somehow the Miami Heat would find a way to get Gortat and Lowry filling in both of their biggest needs, but both players signed elsewhere. Would not have predicted that Gortat would be the bigger earner of the two. Maybe Lowry simply didn't receive that much interest in terms of FA calls due to his position as PG is a pretty rich position in the NBA right now.

However, he would have been viewed as the second best UFA by my book after Melo (assuming we discount the big three who aren't even taking calls from other teams).

In other FA news..

Ben Gordon signed what is effectively a one year 4.5 million dollar deal with a team option on a second year with the Orlando Magic. Plenty of people think that's crazy, but I'd say it's one of the more reasonable signings this summer. Maybe the Magic paid him an extra million to get him to do a one year deal, but I would have loved to have Gordon back on a cheap deal, and I'm sure other teams would as well.

What makes the deal somewhat laughably stupid for Orlando is that they traded Aaron Afflalo away for cap room, Fournier, and the 54th pick in the draft. They then used the majority of that cap room to get Ben Gordon. Afflalo was going to opt out of his deal after this year, why not just keep him given your return absolutely sucked balls?

Oh, I know why, because you don't actually want to win basketball games this year. At least, that's the only reason I can think of.

The Pacers agreed to a four year 18 million dollar deal with C.J. Miles and also brought in a 6'10 Euro shooter Damjan Rudez.

The Spurs resigned Patty Mills to a three year 12 million dollar deal despite the fact he'll require shoulder surgery and miss the next seven months which is still a pretty good deal for the Spurs who probably don't really care so much that he'll miss the majority of the regular season.

The Mills signing also likely sets the ceiling on the market for D.J. Augustin. It seems unlikely that Augustin will return to Chicago as the Bulls will likely only have the room exception or Bi-Annual exception to offer him, but if he can't find something better it'd be great to see him back.

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  • Doug, about a week ago I commented on the possibility of signing Pau for a cheap contract but not Pierce. I think Melo doesn't leave NY, and this Plan A, B, C can still propel the Bulls into the ECF and beyond.

    If your scenario does happen, Thibs needs to and should spread out his minutes more. When the Bench Mob was at full strength he did so. Pau is probably better suited to come off the bench as the anchor and he can do a lot of damage against other benches. Pierce can still create his own shot and their playoff/finals experience will be invaluable.

    Young teams don't win titles either.

  • In reply to JPesos1230:

    While Pierce might be available for mid level money or less, I keep reading that Gasol in looking for 10-12 million, which really puts him out of the Bulls range. I'd rather bring over Mirotic and sign another guy with the leftover mid level range money. While he still has some offensive skills left, he has become boozer like dead on D. If Pierce leaves the Nets, the logical place seems more like Boston or the Clippers. I'd rather get Ariza than Pierce, but that would take a contract of more than 2 years which is all that the Bulls should commit to role playing free agents.

  • Have a feeling that Melo is not happening. Pau should be plan B with Mirotic and some SG like Morrow and / or Shefoloso. Pau may take up all cap Space, however.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Don't think you get Pau and Mirotic (or even try).

    I think the Bulls need more of an offensive creator as a guard than Morrow or Sefolosha, but options are awfully limited.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Right. There's just nobody out there. Kind of wish the bulls lost a few more games and didn't have to trade up for their guy McDermott. Could have a SG like Harris as well...

    Oh well, mirotic is a nice add and at least you can add another shooter in Morrow and than it's like they're loaded with shooters after last year.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    And, Miami is not looking good at this point so the East is wide open. Without Melo the Bulls can still make enough adds to make the finals IMO.

  • Assuming Rose comes back at 75-80% of his MVP level (say 17PPG and 6-7 APG...the fact that the team had him work out for Melo is a good sign, as was stated yesterday by you and others on the site), I think the roster you discuss makes at least one NBA Finals appearance.

    Seems to be some dissension in the ranks across the NBA. I am sure the Jason Kidd fiasco in Brooklyn is in Pierce's head as he weighs his options. More and more rumblings coming out of Miami that the salary desires of Bosh and James may spell the death knell of that team. Stephenson and the Pacers are still far apart on negotiations, last I read. Now would be the opportune time for Bulls to strike.

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    It will be interesting to see what happens with Miami. I'm curious to see if the rumors are just rumors or if there is validity. Miami doesn't have a lot of bullets to improve their situation though. Right now it looks like the big three are going to come back to an even worse team than last year if they come back.

    That said only Lebron has a potentially viable alternative in terms of winning. Wade/Bosh aren't going to find better situations.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I am surprised that they all opted out without having wink wink parameters already in place with Miami.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I am also surprised that Wade and Bosh would opt out with nothing planned. Who on earth can they add to make the team better outside of Gasol? They need a point guard and depth. And a SG if Wade will miss another 25 games.

    Bosh does have options to make close to max and win. He could make Dallas or Houston better, although they are in the West.

  • Love how Miami has nothing at this point. Gortat and Lowry spurned them, which is telling... (Partially that they just don't have the resources to sign guys, but also that guys were not willing to take pay cuts.)

  • In reply to Granby:

    The great irony is that it was Pat Riely that really started talking about 'the disease of more' back in the 80's. Now, his team has a seemingly incurable strain of it.

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    The guys on his team deserve more. Those three probably made the owners 500 million in value of the franchise, why shouldn't they want more?

    LeBron is probably worth 40 million per year in terms of fair market value.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If they want a slice of the franchise value they need to become owners not players. Do you pay your housekeeper more just because the value of your house goes up.

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    In reply to BigWay:

    Well, if your house goes up in value because your housekeeper keeps better house than any other housekeeper, then yes, you pay more. If your housekeeper leaves, your house starts to look like crap and your house value goes down. If you can replace your housekeeper with an equally good one, then no big deal.

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    A bit unrelated but I have a question from far away. Anyone else get a feeling that the relationship between Thibs and Gar is getting better? After the draft I got the feeling that Thibs had been in the process quite alot and that they were i sync concerning getting McDermott. Also in the Pitch to Carmelo I got the same feeling. What do you say?

  • In reply to Mattias:

    Could be. It's impossible to say given they have a strong PR incentive to make it look that way even if it's not true, but yeah, it appears that way.

  • Managment are too focused on signing Melo that they missed a steal in Arron Afflalo. If they added Afflalo along with Gasol then this team would be set.

    Why does everyone just ignore what the Spurs have just done? They just destroyed the 'Big 3' on the Heat, almost swept them. The Spurs set the standard that every team should try to follow. Instead were trying to make a big three with Melo that will make us the next Thunder. The team that wins during the reg. season, becomes one of the championship favourites and falls flat in the playoffs.

    The plan B should really have been plan A. Doubt that the Bulls will make much of an impact now in FA, especially with guys like Gordon Hayward rumored to get max. It feels like we've already lost out.

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    Most people tend to overlook that the Spurs have 3 potential HOF players in Duncan, Parker, and Manu as their FOUNDATION. Yes they have been brilliant in identifying key role players, but this foundation can't be overlooked, even if two of them are in the twilight of their careers.

    The Bulls have a big 1.5...Rose and Noah. Not enough fire and star power as a foundation.

  • In reply to JPesos1230:

    It's the system though. What would Duncan and Ginobili look like on other teams, Duncan would certainly not be playing at the level he did. Those are all unselfish players that excel, especially at their age due to the 'ball movement'.

    Melo is a 'ball stopper', he does not make teammates better. I know it's impossible to put together what the Spurs have due to the paycuts the players have taken but that is the direction we should be heading. Against the better teams, team oriented offense with good scorers is much more effective than isolation ofeense with great scorers.

    Take the Thunder for example. The Westbrook-Durant combo would be similar to the Rose-Melo combo. Durant and Melo have a similar game, although Durant is much more efficient. Rose and Westbrook have a similar aggressive, attacking style, and we'd be lucky if Rose now plays at the same level as Westbrook. Albeit, Scott Brooks has no clue how to run that team but they rely on Durant and Westbrook so much to score look what happened when the came up against the Grizzlies defense. They were lucky to scrape by.

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    I would happily take a similar lineup to the Thunder all day every day over our roster makeup of the past 10 years. Sure Anthony is not the Durantula but offensively they our fairly comparable and Rose might not get back to his old self but our Front Court is vastly better and so is our Coach. Kendrick Perkins is terrible and has stupid facial expressions.

  • In reply to JPesos1230:

    and most importantly those guys made less than $30 million combined.

  • Not sure I would want to give Pierce 10 mil per after averaging 13 points last year. Although if you miss on Melo you are put in a really bad place.

    I am not optimistic about being a championship contender if we miss on Melo. We have added shooters if we can bring in Mirotic to go with McDermott but both are unproven. We had arguably the best shooter in the league in Korver and our offense was still one dimensional with Rose being the lone shot creator. Seems like we would still be a shut down Rose you shut down the entire offense ie the same reason we suck every year in the playoffs...

    Adding shooters is important but doesn't solve the shot creator problem and neither does Pau who would be a sweet upgrade and Nazr and finally give us a seven footer on the roster. Just seems like its Melo or bust. Pierce used to be a shot creator but his already limited athleticism is rapidly declining.

    If we miss on DJ Augustine there are some other interesting PGs with shot creation skills like Aaron Brooks, Jerryd Bayless and Ramon Sessions who might be in our price range. I think Brooks and Bayless would be very good fits as Rose insurance should DJ get paid. If your talking best bang for your FA buck these three would be it in our offense IMO.

    Maybe I am crazy but I would take a flier on Michael Beasly too. He would be really cheap and while he is a terrible defender he has all the athletic ability and offensive ability to be a home run. Although its probably much more likely he gets Tyrus Thomas treatment and told to just go away until we cut or trade you. But I would take the gamble and the price should definitely be worth the risk.

    Lets get some value up in here and stay far away from getting another future albatross like Hayward or Stephenson.

  • In reply to Chad:

    I was suggesting 10 mil total for Pierce/Gasol. 5 million a piece.

  • In reply to Chad:

    You are not crazy. I think Beasley has great potential as a sixth man. Yes, he is a little undiciplined but his overall game has improved and if you need buckets (any team you know?) he is your guy. However, with McDermott and possibly Mirotic coming aboard this year I would take a pass. Only so many shots to go around.

    One guy under the radar is James Johnson. I think he is a FA but not sure. I love his intensity and his two-way game. He can't shoot much but can score. I can see you guys snickering right now but if you really saw him last year at Memphis you wouldn't be. He impacts the game off the bench. His stock is in the toilet because of his alleged assault on his wife (was dismissed however.) Some guys just take a while to develop.

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    In reply to Chad:

    I agree.........when the cheapness of Reinsdorf and inadequate management of Gar /Pax is exposed when we swing and miss on Carmelo and Pau. I really hope they take a chance on Beasely......we need to take a chance on a player to get some offense, because we are not getting the name brands to come here.

    Beasely could end up being the most improved player in the league w some good coaching and motivation or he could be cut before the season starts.......

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    If he couldn't make it in 2 stints with Miami, I doubt that he is suddenly going to get it just because he comes to the Bulls. I don't see the Bulls bringing in any guys with character/chemstry issues.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree, but the thing is he is a lottery ticket. If he works out then its a huge payoff if it doesn't it didn't cost much more than a roster spot and a 1 year deal probably near or at the vet min.

  • Somebody said Bosh wants more money not less. What if Riley, with LeBron's approval(and Wade's concurrence), dumps Bosh and uses that money on Gasol and other parts? If Gasol takes less to win then you have some actual money left over to add newly invigorated ring chasers. Just a tought/hunch after Bosh's supposed "mutiny" demanding more not less.

    Adding Pierce and Gasol post Melo rejection would be a great "win now" Plan B move IMO. Problem is if we have Butler and Hinrich at SG those two are suck offensive pieces IMO. Do not like that at all as in find another option or you're sand bagging a great add in Pierce/Gasol plus a healthy Rose.

    I guess there's no way we could add Pierce and Gasol plus sign Mirotic? I just wonder how good Mirotic could be right away? Probably not as good as a Pierce or Gasol if they can replicate last season's numbers. In the end, I'd be shocked if we get both Gasol and Pierce. Even just bringing in Mirotic would be a pleasant surprise given his lack of interest/urgency from his past statements.

  • What teams are near the Salary cap threshold and do they have a need for a Carlos Boozer?

  • In reply to LandoBate:

    76ers

  • How about Plan A and B?

    Pau says he will resign for LAL if Melo signs so why not use that here

    Amnesty Booz lose MDJr Taj Snell and waive the non-guaranteed gives us the money to sign Melo and use the Mid-Level to get Pau (so long as we are about $1.5m below Cap with holds after signing Melo)

    I haven't looked to deeply into the math but possible if think

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Melo has no desire to leave NY. But you may be right about Melo + Pau. Phil would like to sign the older Gasol this year on the cheap, and then give a max deal to brother Marc next year. Broussard and Stephen A have both said they think this may happen. And for all their blowhardiness, they are often right about free agency.

  • In reply to sfpaper:

    Stephen A is, Broussard is not, Broussard said LeBron was coming to the Bulls 4 years ago. Stephen A is the one who broke LeBron to Miami.

    Broussard Sucks Whale Tits!

  • In reply to nolebron:

    I should have clarified that - Broussard has insight to the Knicks and Knicks alone. He is much like KC here. Half the time he has valuable info, half the time he is leaking PR for the team.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Here's the math

    DR $18.9m
    JN $12.2m
    JB $2.2m
    DM $1.9m
    GS $1m
    CB $1m
    (RH $0.3m stretch)

    Other Cap Holds (6x$0.5m) $3m

    Total = approx $40.5m

    So sign Melo for $18m, Pau for $5m, Miro for MLE, BiA on backup PG (Clunk?) and finally mins on (Bogans? (lol)) 3&D backup SG/PG

    gives

    DR/Clunk
    JB/3&D
    CM/DM
    PG/Miro
    JN/GS/CB

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    I don't think that there is anyone on the Bulls who would trade Taj for Gasol straight up at this point, and that probably includes Melo.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree, Taj is more valuable now, almost won 6th man award. Gasol is not what the Bulls need.

    Look, it's time to work M & M into the lineup. If these guys become strong starters, all the team needs for the ring is the strong SG and a healthy Rose. M & M are the future - we hope. And they will be cheap for 3/4 years. So, go find out. If signing Gasol keeps Mirotic in Europe, that would be major stupid!

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but I believe if Bulls clear out salary cap space by amnestying Boozer they lose the MLE.

  • Bairstow is going to make $0.5MM. Mirotic would have to come on the Room MLE since you're assuming we're under the cap and If you use the Room MLE, you don't get to use the Bi Annual Exception.

    I like this squad, although, I would be sad about Taj having to go.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Mirotic can't sign for the Room MLE, he has to sign for 3 years and the RMLE is only two years max.

  • Not much being made about the headband rule this time around, but with the imposing of Melo's image in a #7 uniform including a headband, looks like point is subtlety made. All out great classy effort from management this time - have come a long way from Krause and his mascots, brass band, & dancing girls.

    Still don't really get who's gonna be the 2 guard. Still might be a championship contender in spite of, but this could be the MJ curse.

    Glad the Heat are now suffering from the disease of more, and that they'll only finish with having won an underachieving 2 rings. The Spurs have several future HOF'ers, all on great deals. That is a model franchise worth copying. There is going to be some interesting decisions concerning the next contracts of Rose, Noah, & Gibson. Don't think you tear it down completely, but if they can sacrifice & age as well as the Spurs & get Melo to take less, I think the window stays wide open.

  • If they are somehow able to add Gasol, Pierce and Mirotic, they'll be a much improved team, and if everything works out as well as it could, a potential championship contender. Melo, even if he decides to leave NYC, is a big roll of the dice. We really don't know how the team will play with him. If you can add two veteran scorers who can spread the floor, you might have a better overall team. Don't get me wrong, I'm all in on Melo, but Gasol + Pierce might actually improve the team as much or more, and as we know, it might be the only real option. Melo is very likely staying put and there's no sign that Love is getting traded anywhere right now. I would have liked Afflalo but that ship has sailed.

  • fb_avatar

    I'm surprised at how many people are OK with Pau and Pierce as a Plan B. This is some serious arm-chair quarterbacking, but I still can't believe we didn't make a play for Afflalo, he could've been an impact player for the Bulls. For example, Afflalo + Pau > Melo. I've still got my fingers crossed -- if he wants to win now, like everyone says he is saying, it's a perfect match.

  • In reply to Steve Merritt:

    I'm also hopeful that Melo meant what he said though nobody seems to really believe him.

    The Bulls reportedly DID ask about Afflalo, and so did at least one other team besides Denver. I wish the Bulls had gotten Afflalo too, but the Magic wanted Fournier for whatever reason, you can't get too upset every time a decent player changes teams. I'm sure people on this blog will constantly update us if Afflalo has a good year.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    "the Magic wanted Fournier for whatever reason"

    The are probably planning a tank-job next season.

  • IMO, the Bulls would be better off with M & M over Pierce and Gasol. Why?
    1) They are the future;
    2) Need to develop them into NBA All-stars, which means time on the court;
    3) They will cost less, so Bulls might be able to land a SG.

    If Melo does not come, then use the loot for Mirotic and a mid-level SG instead of for P & G. Remember Hamilton and Wallace - older guys who never earned their salary!

    Develop the team's potential future All-stars (or even strong starters).

  • I give our FO credit for rolling out the red carpet for Melo and even for Rose to be there to show Melo that he hopefully is somewhat like his old self because Melo will not want to be like Rose years ago and carry the whole team himself & Thibs to bark at him the whole time on and off the court!
    Amnestying Boozer who lives in Miami will be gift wrapping him to the Heat and he will get this 16.9M to go away from the Bulls and not be counted against their Cap $, but he is the type of vet that the Heat could use alongside Bosh and could pay him the vet minimum since he is making $16.9M the Bulls would have to pay him...quite a FU to us! :-(
    I do like the possibilty of Pierce and P. Gasol to come to the Bulls on the cheap to try to win a championship. I see Pierce, however, going to the Clippers and Rivers though and they tried already to make a deal for him. (Dudley & Barnes) for Pierce.
    It sucks Affalo went back to Denver so cheap!!! He would have been a perfect SG we have needed since Jordan retired! Butler is good offensively, but doesn't give much offense but with Melo & Rose, and maybe also Pau, probably a defensive specialist like Thabo in OKC would be a ok role for Butler on the Bulls! Only 1 ball! :-)
    Hope we get some vets and are a contender again this coming season, not a pretender as in prior years! :-)

  • In reply to smiley:

    The Heat would have to make a higher waiver claim than any other team to get Boozer. Hard to believe that would happen in their cap-strapped state. And one of their major weaknesses is interior defense. Not gonna help to add possibly the worst defending big in the league.

  • In reply to sfpaper:

    If you thought those guys yelled at Chalmers a lot, it would be hilarious watching their reactions to boozers spectator defense in combination with his get dat bron screams.

  • Sounds more and more like Anthony is taking the money as suspected and staying in New York. Phil may be bringing in Pau and at some point brother Marc though how he dumps salary/makes room I don't know.

    Wojo Yahoo says LeBron's agent has had talks with Mavs, Houston, and Suns. Unless Riley pulls a rabbit out of his... hat, LeBron and his agent could have face to face talks with said teams next week. Would love to see Melo and LeBron join Mavs just to see look on Riley's face.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Yep, Knicks are going to get Mega-Max Melo. Maybe he takes a slight paycut over the absolute maximum 129/5 he can get, say 10 million, so he can go as a PR exercise "see guys I took a pay cut I'm all about winning".

  • Carmelo could be in the championship if he was with the Bulls.....but he will never see one if he stays with the Knicks......LaLa must be some type of woman.
    ----------------------------
    James & Carmelo together in Phoenix!........nah.
    ---------------------------
    Gasol is not going to be with the Bulls......
    ----------------------------
    Say it is dumb, but I would let Boozer stay if we land no one
    --------------------------

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if that's what ended up happening. The Bulls never have any luck in free agency no matter how hard they try. All we can do at this point is hope they don't get desperate again and take on another bad contract again.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Yes, she tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios (per K.Garnett)

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Yea, I would let boozer stay too, in Antarctica.

  • I don't think we get Melo or Gasol. One thing I've learned about the superstars of this generation is they all are exactly the same and only want to play in the same markets: LA, New York, Texas, Florida, or somewhere close by. They also only want to play with each other. I wouldn't be surprised to see Gasol, Melo and Pierce in a Knicks Jersey by the start of the season. It makes me so angry because no stars never wants to play for Chicago. They only entertain the idea which to me just seems like protocol or just another way to build up hype like Lebron, Wade, and Bosh did last time. I don't see this offseason being no different then the others. Our only hope to get better is for Derrick Rose to come back healthy, find a potential trade partner for Boozer to clear some cap, bring Mirotic over, resign Hinrich and Augustine, and just hpe to god that McDermott's offense translates to the NBA.

  • I don't understand this interest in Pau Gasol. He is 34 this weekend. When I watched Pau this last season he looked old and slow. In 2007 or 2008, YES! In 2014 or 2015, NO!

    When Melo signs elsewhere, it becomes official that Bulls refusal to Tank for one-short-season (due to Rose's injury) to improve their draft pick was a foolish, short-sighted decision that will have lasting ramifications for years to come.

    Where is the Bulls starting SG???

  • In reply to Edward:

    If they tanked and didn't get into the top three, they probably draft McDermott anyway.

    I'd like Gasol if he was signed as Noah's backup on a two year deal. If he is brought in as a starter, then no. I still think that someone like Alan Anderson would be a great fit. If Melo says no, and they could sign Anderson, he could start at SG, Butler at SF and Hinrich could be the backup SG hoping for DJ to backup Rose. It wouldn't be an All-Star backcourt, but I think it would be good enough.
    PG: Rose/DJ
    SG: Anderson/Hinrich/Snell
    SF: Butler/McDermott
    PF: Gibson/Mirotic/Bairstow
    C: Noah/Gasol
    Would love to see them sign a rookie like Patrick Young or the shot blocker from Arizona St to be a third Center. Deonte Burton would be nice to as a third PG.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    If Bulls Tank they most likely get a top-10 pick (maybe 7-10 worst case), not a top-3 pick. But Bulls would still have the Charlotte pick at 16 and would not have to trade it away, two-for-one.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I should add, Bulls would have had other options besides McDermott if they Tanked for a top-10 pick. Perhaps SG Nik Stauskas among them. Or a SG with the Charlotte pick 16.

    This assumption (whether by fans, media or the FO itself) that Bulls can greatly improve through free agency is a fallacy that is now playing as a rerun. Bulls have always had to improve internally, and the draft is the primary method.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Something is very wrong when fans are advocating intentionally losing as many games as possible.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I agree with you. However whatever is "right" or "wrong" has always been a cultural norm depending on how we are conditioned. For example, many fans were disgusted by Lebron, Wade, and Bosh colluding with that oily germ Riley to form a super-team. Four years later this now seems to be an acceptable norm among players, teams and fans. I think it's "wrong" but I'm probably in the minority now.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    To be honest, I don't even like seeing LeBron shopping himself around like he is now, even though he's probably staying with the heat.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I'm thinking LeBron may have lost confidence in Bosh and Wade, and doesn't think they are enough to win any more rings. Can Riley add enough talent to convince LeBron to stay?

    If LeBron does leave for another team, its not easy to assemble all the necessary pieces to create a contender in one off-season. King James "reign" may be ending, he can't carry a team by himself.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    After Rose went down, we were all pretty much there, But, as much as we all enjoyed DJ's play, it is hard to believe that he was worth 15 wins, which is about what it would have taken us to get a top 10 pick, or 20 wins to get into the top 5. Tanking would have taken a lot more than not signing DJ, like shooting Thibs and Noah and replacing them with boozer clones(or is it clowns).

  • In reply to BigWay:

    They even did some tank-y things like trading Deng and starting Boozer. They would have had to bench Noah and given Teague significant starting minutes.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Augustin, Robinson and Korver would vehemently disagree.

    What are the odds that the #16 pick in this year's draft is better than whatever role player the Bulls sign in free agency? I'd say almost nil this year, and odds are that the #16 pick wouldn't improve the team "greatly" any time soon, either.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    History shows you are right but there are always years that are outliers. I think there will be many players drafted 16 or lower this year that will be terrific players in the league because of the nature of this draft.

    For example, a middling player from a middling program, Tony Snell, was drafted #20 last year. This year a solid player from a solid program, Rodney Hood, was drafted #23.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    There won't be "many", there might be 1,2 or a few collectively, but even then the odds of any team getting the right one in the bottom half of the draft are still quite slim. This draft will probably be looked at as over hyped in retrospect.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    In retrospect, most players drafted out of the lottery turn out to be disappointments. I understand this. However, I found this past draft extraordinary. For example, Cleanthony Early was the best player on arguably the best regular season team. He was terrific and I cannot believe he won't be a rotation player in the league. He's that good. Yet, inexplicably, he was a second rounder (#34).

    Tony Snell, my all-purpose whipping boy (and deservedly so), was a first round pick(#20). Bairstow drafted #49 this year from the same program, was a much superior college player than Snell by just about any metric you choose to use. My hunch is Snell will be a crossing guard at a neighborhood school in Albuquerque in five years. That is not to say that Bairstow won't be bagging groceries In five years but the difference in the quality of this year's draft is dramatic. That is why I believe we will see many solid players coming out of this draft lower than #16.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I agree about Signing Pau. It would be a huge costly mistake, possibly end up worse than Hamilton.

  • In reply to Edward:

    1. I don't understand Pau either if Mirotic coming over. How do you divvy up the minutes?

    2. Agree that additional ball handler-shooter at the two position is important (see 4 below).

    3. Bulls talking to Shawn Marion. A couple of months ago I posted that Marion could be Bulls target. Makes a lot of sense. Can still play, is cheap, and will be a placeholder for Wally (er, I mean Doug M.)

    4. Although a major risk, the best F.A. out there for the second ball-handler shooter is Lance. I would do it for $9M a year. (Please don't send me hate mail. I am an old man with a heart condition.)

    5. Bulls need to think outside of the box on trades if can't get FA that fits. The Boozer/E.Gordon trade brought up by some posters over the last couple of months actually makes sense if Gordon healthy.

  • In reply to Edward:

    He's at home, looking for a spot on his trophy shelf where he can put his All-Defense 2nd Team trophy...

    I will agree with you that "the Bulls refusal to Tank ... will have lasting ramifications for years to come".

    For the next 10-15 years, a certain group of fans will be crying "if the Bulls would have tanked in 2013-14, then we'd have (whichever player from this draft has the best career) now."

    And of course, the same people who bitch and moan about GarPax "pissing off Thibs by firing Ron Adams" would have been perfectly fine with GarPax pissing off Thibs by not bringing in another veteran PG to play with Hinrich.

    Why do people think Thibs would have been fine with tanking last season? His 7-man rotation proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that he would have had nothing to do with tanking.

    The inconsistencies and hypocrisy of the GarPaxDorf haters never ceases to amaze and entertain me.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I agree, like I said, these days he looks like 2 pack a day Vlade Divac, especially on D where I wonder if he is even as mobile as boozer minus the gesticualating and screaming. He can still get you some points on O, which is a Bulls problem and I guess that he still rebounds some. But how does he fit in with Noah, Taj and now Mirotic. Gasol has always been more of a pure center, even moreso as he ages. I'm sure that he still sees himself as a starter. I'm not really sure why the Bulls are even pursuing him, unless they are losing Taj to get Melo, and then think that they can still find a way to land Gasol.

  • Time to move on to "Plan C".....whatever that will be.

  • Articles are surfacing saying Mirotic is definitely leaving Europe for Bulls. I'd much rather have Mirotic than the mid-30s version of Pau Gasol.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Or Chandler Parsons, or Trevor Ariza. Luckily, I doubt that Gasol choses Chicago either, but if a miracle occurs and he does, they better not offer him more than a 2 year deal.

  • In reply to Edward:

    "... the 6-foot-10 Mirotic secured a buyout Thursday for $3 million with Real Madrid, according to several reports in Europe. He is now free to join the NBA."

    If Bulls amnesty Boozer, and use cap space to sign PF Mirotic, they may have a little extra cap space to sign another(s) low-mid level free agent(s). Yet I still ask, where is the upgrade to the wings? Where is our starting SG?

  • In reply to Edward:

    Reasonable question. I wonder what Denver would take for Afflalo? I bet he would opt in for a 2nd year to get to the Bulls.

    Noah, Taj, and Mirotic, plus Rose and Afflalo, with McDermott, Dunleavy, Bairstow, and maybe Augustine off the bench - that team should challenge for the ECF, maybe for the ring.

  • With the Knicks and Lakers both said to be offering Melo the respective maxes, I'd say that makes them 1A and 1B to land him. Clearly the Bulls only shot is in a "forced" S & T involving boozer getting Melo the max from the Bulls. Basically, he has to want to be a Bull first and foremost, or maybe LaLa does.

    I'm not sure what marrying a chick like that says about a man's character, but I know that it isn't a positive statement, and it sure isn't a Chicago statement.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Maybe that's why Melo holds the ball so long on the basketball court, because at home LaLa always has his?

  • fb_avatar

    I'm far from a capologist, but could this work as a Plan C?

    - Amnesty Boozer
    - Ship out Dunleavy, Randolph, and Snell.

    That leaves the Bulls at roughly $42.1 million minus the cap holds with just Rose, Noah, Gibson, Butler, and Smith under contract.

    - Add McDermott at $1,898,300.
    - Add Bairstow at roughly $750,000???
    - Add Mirotic with cap space at about the MLE price of $5,305,000.
    - Add 2 Veteran Minimum players (Jameer Nelson and Kirk Hinrich).
    - Add Lance Stephenson with remaining cap at roughly 4/$42,000,000.
    - Add Paul Pierce via MLE for $5,305,000.

    Cap about $68.5 million... About $8.5 million under the tax line for Reinsdorf.

    Roster

    PG - Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Jameer Nelson
    SG - Lance Stephenson, Jimmy Butler
    SF - Paul Pierce, Doug McDermott
    PF - Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, Cameron Bairstow
    C - Joakim Noah, Greg Smith

    One of the better starting 5's in the league and the best and most versatile bench.

    Possible?

  • In reply to Leeroy Jenkins:

    For one, You can't have/use cap space and the MLE, you only have the smaller 2 yr room exception about $5.5 million total. The cap is around $63+ million, not $68+, although maybe that is where you used the MLE that we don't have. If they go under the cap, the Bulls would be limited to about $66 million for this season.

    I'd be surprised if Nelson doesn't end up in Miami, they need a pg badly, and he probably doesn't really want to leave Florida. The only way he does is for a much bigger payday, which takes him off the Bulls Radar anyway.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BigWay:

    Could you use the $2.6 million room exception and the last $3 million or so cap space on Pierce and then sign the 2 Vet Min players afterwards?

  • In reply to Leeroy Jenkins:

    Either/or, yes, but you can't combine the cap space and the Room MLE. But if we're talking that kind of money, I don't see any way in hell that Pierce doesn't head to LA where he can play for Doc.

    And yes, you can sign vet min players after you use all your cap space.

  • For anyone still scratching their head as to why the Magic used the traded Afflalo only to waste the money on Ben Gordon, here is the best perspective on it from Zach Lowe(Grantland)

    Sussing out the market for a specific player is always tough. Basically the entire NBA world thought Ben Gordon was a minimum-salary player, and a few team executives even suggested to me on Wednesday that Gordon should have had to earn his keep as a training-camp invite after snoozing through two disgruntled seasons in Charlotte.

    But the Magic signed Gordon to a partially guaranteed two-year, $9 million deal for reasons that are unclear but probably pretty simple. The Magic aren’t in a rush to be good, and they need to fill cap space to meet the league’s mandated minimum salary floor without binoculars. They need shooting on a defense-first roster bereft of it, and Gordon can still knock down shots if he can run himself into open spaces — something that has proven harder for him with age. His new salary is a perfect matching ingredient in trades, and if he rehabs himself, the Magic could flip Gordon for a second-round pick down the line.

    In the meantime, teams trying to re-sign their own shooters are kvetching about how Orlando has nudged the marketplace in the wrong direction.

    Expect Gordon to be cut by next summer.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Ben Gordon's NBA ceiling was always 6th man, off-the-bench playing 20-25 minutes against the opponent's 2nd string. That was a role he could fill. But no team, past or present, would or will ever go anywhere with BG as a starting SG.

    I know this is difficult for Doug to accept, but its the truth.

  • fb_avatar

    Here comes the whining and complaining about Gar/Pax !!!!! If anyone thought he was coming to Chicago ,
    please don't drive tonight because you are clearly wasted !!! He had no intension of ever playing here. Just ask the people of Denver how sincere Melo was and or is. Totally selfish player.

  • In reply to Sportsgod:

    Yes I'm sure there will be howls of "See! Nobody wants to play in Chicago/for GarPaxDorf!" There has been a group here who has not wanted Melo all along, admittedly a small minority. Anyways it looks like a done deal, Melo is staying in NYC after hearing from the Knicks that they want him and they will pay him the max. It's one of those lose-lose-lose deals, Bulls lose, Melo never wins a championship and quite possibly, the Knicks lose too, over-paying Melo in terms of his value to their franchise in its current state. Same thing happened with Joe Johnson.

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