Chicago Bulls can wait on trades, Kevin Martin will be available in February

Chicago Bulls can wait on trades, Kevin Martin will be available in February

The Chicago Bulls look like your preseason number two team in the Eastern Conference. LeBron is playing it humble this time about expectations for his Cavaliers team their first season together, but the Cavs should easily be the favorite to win the championship this season and are massive favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference.

There's little Chicago can do about that to be honest. Unless Cleveland sustains a significant injury, they can merely hope that Derrick Rose plays at an MVP caliber level by the playoffs and can match LeBron when it counts in a series while the rest of their depth can overcome the Cavs other stars and slightly worse cast.

I wouldn't put a whole lot of money down on that, and when your team is close to the top but not quite there the "need to make a trade" gear starts spinning in your mind. I was initially a bit disappointed the Bulls weren't pursuing Kevin Martin.

Kevin Martin might help the Bulls. On the surface, he provides some things they need. He's an overall quality scorer. Two years ago the only two players to average both his points per 36 and his efficiency were LeBron James and Kevin Durant. That's a pretty sweet list to be the only three guys on it. Last year his efficiency fell off but still only 11 other players could match him.

He's got a bit of a 2010 Carlos Boozer vibe to him. He's RPM (Real plus minus) isn't a positive according to ESPN. His value above replacement player doesn't seem particularly great. Flaws in his defense, passing, and general floor game contribute to that. The Bulls could probably use the 2010 SG equivalent of Carlos Boozer though.

Especially at seven million per year. Imagine if Carlos Boozer signed a three year 21 million dollar deal in 2010. We'd probably have felt awfully good about that deal despite his flaws.

So while it makes some sense to pull the trigger on acquiring Martin, which Chicago can almost certainly do for Dunleavy + Snell, there's no reason to hurry for Chicago. The thing is the Wolves just want to shed his salary, so they won't care if Snell or Dunleavy get hurt or suck or anything else.

They've been trying to dump him for three months with no takers, so there's little risk that someone else jumps in and grabs him in front of us. In short, the option to get Martin in January will still be on the table. It makes some sense to see what we have until then. Maybe Tony Snell becomes a great player in the next three months (kind of doubt it, but you never know).

Maybe Kevin Martin gets hurt and is no longer desirable (certainly quite possible given his injury history).

Maybe the Bulls don't have a need at SG in February because Doug McDermott is a complete bad ass right out of the gates and does what Kevin Martin would do.

Maybe the Bulls see enough of Nikola Mirotic that they decide to package up Taj Gibson on his sweetheart deal to some team with someone else to get a different upgrade.

Maybe Derrick Rose gets hurt, Chicago's championship dreams are over, and it makes little sense to bring on Martin's long term contract.

I'd be content with upgrading this team with Kevin Martin right now and taking the bird in the hand. The Bulls, IMO, are better with Martin than with Snell/Dunleavy and the cost is low even if he isn't all you hope for.

However, there's simply too many scenarios that Chicago looks at what it needs in February and decides that it isn't Kevin Martin. No need to buy early when you can buy later. The price won't change. Kevin Martin won't cost the Bulls more in three months, nor will he cost them less as Dunleavy + Snell is about the only thing that matches salary.

The only real question is whether or not there will be something even better on the horizon.

Chicago has what looks like a quality team on paper. Tom Thibodeau will need to devise an offense that uses ball movement and player movement more so than dribble attacking to make benefit of his players, but if he can cover up that one weakness Chicago could be pretty special this year.

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    I don't get the Kevin Martin hype, but that's just me. I really don't get the excitement of trading away Snell, Dunleavy and a 2nd rd'r for him, then add another 2 mil to the team's salary cap.
    I couldn't have posted it better than Doug just did when he says to wait on this move. Personally, I'd rather the Bulls add an athletic high flyer like Gerald Green. There's a reason why players who can jump high also tend to be top draft picks, and Green can sore, plus he has a nice shooting stroke too.
    The Bulls have the 2nd best chance of coming out of the East, so let's enjoy the ride with what we have and hopefully the Bulls will meet the Cavs in the conference finals, and win a 7 gm series against them. Go Bulls!

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    Reason is Martin can score and do so efficiently. Yeah we have added shooters but we have no idea if any can be volume shooters. Martin is a guy that can get his own shot something we basically don't have outside of Rose.

    I really like Gerald Green but would take Martin over him for our team all day. Green is more of a 3D guy and someone who needs either open looks or fast breaks to get his points. He would be nice but Martin strengths (Scoring and ability to get his own shot) align with are biggest needs.

    Shooters are nice but they need to have their looks generated for them to be effective. I think the Bulls are betting heavy on being able to use ball movement for this to happen. It would be nice to see them an another shot creator for when Rose is not out there and as a fall back to the ball movement thing not working come playoff time...

  • In reply to Chad:

    Doug is getting paid by Minnesota to try to keep Martin hype going and he know the Bulls don't want to go down that road because he don't play defense the Bulls have enough scores... To give away Dunleavy and Snell who already know Thibs system for a guy Thibs won't play would be crazy. Making up some lame reason because Cleveland is better right now which I don't see how, because they haven't proven that they can play top 5 defense or top 10 defense yet. It's about balance of O/D to become an elite team and once Cleveland can show me that it has to be the Bulls the favorite at this point in the East... I will give Miami a go head before Cleveland at least they're the Eastern Champs at this point but once the season start it's raising of the horns and it's Bulls time Mr Doug.

  • Agreed! I don't understand the Kevin Martin fascination but then again neither did I agree with Doug's Ben Gordon fixation either. I would rather give the current roster a few months to play together before I make any premature trades.

  • In reply to ChuckB34:

    Bulls offense under Thibs has been driven by guard play since Thibs has come here. Gordon fits that JL3 and Nate Rob type volume shooter with irrational swagger. Not many teams offense put the emphasis on guard shot creation that our offense does and with our team historically being filled with one way players mostly of the defensive grinder mold it only increases the value of a volume shooter. Its why Nate Rob looked like a borderline allstar for our team. He was our most valuable player by far in the playoffs that season.

    It is a role that has potentially massive value for our team yet gets neglected every year. That is why IMO these articles about guys like Martin, DJ or Ben Gordon pop up frequently. While its easy to look at their games and say they suck why should I get excited about these busters, they really are a key piece of our offense.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Sorry but I actually watched all the games that season and not just the playoffs. Nate Robinson shot us out of as many games as he kept us in. While everyone was crying about losing Nate, I was crying about not resigning Belinelli who actually was a much better fit and player. Kevin Martin was a non factor in OKC and would be so on this Bulls team. Again it's a premature trade that does not make the Bulls better.

  • In reply to ChuckB34:

    Have to disagree with this post. The only reason some would say that is if he was 6'5 and at the two guard position no one would really think he's shooting us out of games. But being that he was 5'8 point guard his shots are a lot more obvious as some would say he doesn't play the pg the "right way." He was far more productive then Belinelli that year. Belinelli is a guy you want on a very good team with other guys creating see spurs 2014. Not on the 2013 bulls. Did Robinson have bad shooting nights? Of course everyone does. Kobe shot his teams out of games. Its one thing to shoot your teams out of games when your play with Hall of famers. But when your playing with Kirk Hinrich Rip Hamilton, Belinelli, Jimmy Butler. I think shooting a team out a games is overblown. What other options do you have lol.

  • In reply to chicity14:

    if you compare Nate Robinson to Kobe no wonder you disagree with my post. I can't stop laughing to even respond.

  • Kevin Martin is not all that much better than Dunleavy. Both their efficiency numbers are similar the last 3-4 seasons, given each players situations (Thunder and Bucks) I would say Dunleavy's efficiency is more impressive and consistent.

    Kevin Martin is a more well rounded offensive talent than Dunleavy but he still relies on others to get his majority of scoring opportunities.

    It's unfair to use the 12-13 season to make an argument for Martin. He played off Durant and Westbrook meanwhile Dunleavy had Jennings and Monta Ellis.

    In 12-13 season, from players that played at least 40 games and 25mpg with >= 17% usage:

    Martin: efg% - 55.1 rank -12th ts% - 60.8 rank - 5th
    Dunleavy: efg% - 54.5 rank -16th ts% - 57.7 rank - 16th

    Both Ibaka and Durant ranked above Martin in both categories. The Thunder were ranked 2nd in FG% while the Bucks were 28th. Martin's numbers are crazy enough to be mentioned alongside KD and Lebron but Dunleavy is just outwith that conversation.

    Now look at last season, they both played on poor offensive teams. Bulls ranked 30th in FG% while Wolves ranked 24%:

    Martin: efg% - 48.6 rank -77th ts% - 55.3 rank - 58th
    Dunleavy: efg% - 51 rank -53th ts% - 54.9 rank - 59th

    Dunleavy is also a better defender. They are both role players but the fact that Dunleavy only makes 3mil closes the deal.

    Just for sake of argument:

    Arron Afflalo: efg% - 52.2 ts% - 57.4%

    Much better player than Martin for the same price but management passed because they were to busy trying to amuse Carmelo.

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    Interesting post, especially for those of us who question how good Martin really is, offensively at least.

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    Excellent post. Mike Dunleavy is just a much better basketball player than Kevin Martin is. He's also quite a bit tougher. Kevin Martin is just such a little puss. Kevin Martin is also one of those guys who losing just follows around. Dunleavy has also been very good in the playoffs when he's ;been there. Martin has sucked pretty bad in his two appearances in ten years..

  • In reply to 5stringking:

    Don't know how accurate that RPM stat is. While Martin had a negative and ranks amongst 2nd and 3rd tier players, Dunleavy ranks just behind James Harden and just ahead of Kawhi Leonard. Really don't understand the hype around Martin and fans wanting to give away Dunleavy without a second thought.

  • Derrick Rose has not really played basketball for two years. The FIBA thing, he looked like garbage. I liked Derrick a LOT for his past career with the Bulls, but aside from basketball performance, personally/mentally I think he's in a serious funk right now. I would personally be shocked if Derrick Rose was ever a star in this league again. Minimum 20ppg and up 45% shooting and whatever from limited threes, just don't see it happening. People that say he doesn't need to score to be a star, that's crap. Stars score. Period. Teams don't win championships(recent version of Spurs still had two proven HOF's and Detroit with the Wallace's are rare instances) without a dominant scoring stud.

    People who still think Thibs should be a head coach or that he is an "elite" coach...? As a genius defensive coordinator so to speak he nearly helped Boston win two championships. However as a head coach he has shown me nothing in team/player development playoff wise that would indicate he's the guy to sit in the Head coach's seat. He tries to be a hard ass as in "the boss" and it just doesn't work. I can't stand watching him coach the Bulls most of the time he just looks morose. I never see any happiness out of the players interacting with him - never. And that's a shame.

    Gar/Pax? We'll see. If McD is a good or better player then I'll give them a lot of credit for that pick-up. Same with Mirotic. As for Snell based on his college career, if he does by chance become a good player I would have to say you won the lottery more then give anybody who drafted him kudos. But fine if he turns out to be a good player then yes I will give them major credit because in the end they did draft him. I do think Mirotic could be a very nice offensive player. McD..? I'm not so sure. If however, these guys turn out to be disappointments, then Gar/Pax should without doubt be gone.

    IMO the Bulls at best will be a pretty good team to watch for entertainment, but will also be frustrating due to Thibs and Derrick. I doubt I will be watching a lot of their games beyond the third week of November. Any homer who thinks the Bulls are not a legitimate huge question mark, then that's your fantasy er prerogative. But yes it is certainly possible that Chicago turns out to be pretty good - though even if so, playoffs wise I don't see them reaching the ECF. They(Noah, Butler) sure looked exposed against Washington injury excuses be damned.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Agree with everything except questioning Thibs as a head coach. He is stubborn and his inability to adjust will hurt the team as we have seen previously. I doubt he will ever build good chemistry with his players but I'd much rather have a coach than a cheerleader. When you have guys like Scott Brooks and Mark Jackson coaching some of the best teams in the league, do you not feel relieved to have Thibs as a coach. Thibs gets the team wins. Is there more than 2 or 3 coaches that could have done a better job with the Bulls?

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    Let's be clear and specific... Thibs gets the Bulls team regular season wins.

  • In reply to Edward:

    The Bulls always play their best. They are always at 100%, they do not have another level to go to during playoffs. The Bulls have never lost to anyone they should have beaten. They have always been eliminated by the better team. Do you think Popovich could have led this team over the Wizards or the Heat?

  • In reply to Edward:

    The only time he had his best two players in the playoffs, he got them to the ECF's. I love how Thibs gets criticized for playoff woes in situations where his team should not even have been there.

    1.) Lose Rose and Noah in 2012 playoffs.

    2.) No Rose, no Deng, Taj and Jo limping around and the whole team throwing up on the bench vs. BKN. Spinal Tap-gate.

    3.) Last season the team has no business even being in the playoffs let alone winning 48 games. People were still on the tanking bandwagon in Feb. for God's sake.

    So, judging Thibs for the last three seasons playofffs is asinine and not fair. He should be applauded for even getting the team to the playoffs last year. He should be applauded for winning the BKN series two seasons ago with a depleted roster and everybody sick. Last season he should get an award for winning 48 games with 7 NBA caliber players and even getting to the playoffs.... yeah, even in the EC.

  • Add BigWay and myself to the group that says, Wait and see. We and the FO should know what move to make by mid-December.

  • I swear that I'm not trying to bring up Aaron Affallo every chance that I get. With that said, if it means anything, I'm calling denver's bluff. There's no way in hell that they're making the playoffs. Neither is aaron affallo in their playoffs odds. Consequently, he's probably available in February as well. Similarly, he won't cost much as he's a free agent looking to get paid.

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    I think you are correct, there is a good possiblity the Bulls could pick up Afflalo for the playoffs.

    OF course, if Snell is doing really well (probably not!) then they may not need Afflalo or similar SG. We will find out.

  • Um, didn't we just get 2010 Boozer on a $7mil/yr contract in Pau Gasol? And Gasol even can play in the post...

    If Kevin Martin were a missing piece three things would most likely be true: somebody would have traded for him and he wouldn't be available, he'd cost a lot more than Dunleavy/Snell, and he certainly wouldn't have a negative RPM...

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    I certainly hope that Gasol is not another 2010 boozer, even at half the price, I simply cannot stand another 3 years of watching a useless clown pretending to play basketball.

  • I agree with the wait and see position. The Bulls should easily be the second best team in the conference, so shouldn't we let them play a little before we look to shake things up? Maybe they are better than the Cavs right now. They have questions and concerns too. At this time last year, I don't think many people had the Spurs as the best team in basketball, but by the end of the year they were by far the best. I don't need the Bulls to be preseason favorites on paper. I just want them to prove it on the court. So let's wait and see before deciding who needs to go.

  • The reason for the Kevin Martin hype is because SG is a glaring need for this team and Martin is available and meets the need, what's so hard to understand?

    Martin has his warts but everyone does besides LeBron and Durant. I've read people on this site say they didn't want Melo, other said they didn't want Love, and they are 2 of the of the 5-10 best players in the in the world.

    Martin is a quality, starting-caliber SG, which is something the Bulls haven't had since Rose joined the team. We'd all prefer Afflalo but he's not currently available and there's no guarantee he will be. Martin is a good player, Durant was pissed when OKC lost him, and he's available. If I'm Gar, I pull the trigger.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Again, everything that you say makes sense, if you completely ignor cost and cap space flexibility. If Martin had only 2 years left at $7 million then the move would be a borderline no brainer. But that 3rd year, coming in the summer of 2016 is extremely problematic. Do we really want to double down on the problem that we already have with Gasol's 3rd year. Who could we have targeted with that extra $14 million in cap space. Nevermind that Noah will be looking for a new contract that summer that could very well be in the $14-15 million per range.

    Doug's post today mirrors most of what I said a couple of days ago when the Martin trade first came up. I see no great urgency to make this move before training camp, as there is no one beating down the door trying to pry Martin away from Minny. There is a good chance that by January(or sooner) he won't even be starting for them.

  • "Maybe the Bulls don't have a need at SG in February because Doug McDermott is a complete bad ass right out of the gates and does what Kevin Martin would do".

    As I said last week, other than Rose's health the thing that I will be rooting for the most this season is McBucketts proving that he is worthy of being our starting shooting guard going forward. Followed by Mirotic being at least as good as Tony Kukoc, either as a 6th man or as a starter. Followed by Gasol never reminding me of boozer in any of his Bulls years.

  • I hear a lot of wisdom here and I like what all of you are finally saying: basically play the guys we have and allow the newer players playing time to become what we need Simply speaking, we all must be patient. If this does not work who knows who may be available before the trade deadline.

  • K. Martin does not make the Bulls better, even if we trade Dunlevey and Snell. We will probably end games with Rose and Kirk as the 2 ball handlers, which is also no worse than Rose and K. Martin. However, I still like our chances agains the Cavs because they are going to suck in defense and we will end up scoring more points than they will.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    I really don't want to see Klank out there at the end of games, Martin or no Martin.

  • lets face the facts will be a Mike James signing in February.

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