The Bulls have now won nine of their past 10 with a bunch of quality wins and are looking like championship favorites.
Bulls Beat #349 - Even more domination
I didn't have time to listen right now, but just wanted to say after that New Orleans game: Jimmy Butler you are a STUD!!!(and I'm glad I supported you all along - Ha!). Seriously though with his post strength and constantly improving handle he is looking lethal with a unique game all his own which is the mark of a true all-star and league stud. Kudos Gar/Pax, shit.
I agree with almost all of your analysis, Doug.
1) The Bulls are piling up wins and beating some strong teams in the process. This team is a contender for the title.
2) The Bulls are not even close to their potential peak yet! Rose has not peaked. Noah has not peaked. Both are still healing and getting back into the flow. Mirotic has not peaked - he is still a rookie and learning. Even Butler has, IMO, not peaked yet - he should be better by April. And McDermott could contribute this season if he comes back healthy and adjusts to the NBA, tho it's hard to see that happening since his minutes will be so low.
3) As things stand now, I would give the Bulls better than 40% chance of winning the ECF - I make it about 67% right now, and the only reason it is so low is the high chance of injury. I agree with you, the Bulls have the best chance of any team, East or West, of winning the title.
4) I also agree, the Bulls need to add the wing. But they do not need to move yet. What will be the best deal remains to be seen.
A) Afflalo, but not for Taj. He will leave Denver for nada this summer, so he should cost less. Snell, Bairstow, Nazr (is he still with the team?), and the Bulls #1 should do it, but I believe the salaries are a problem.
Would I throw in Kirk or Dunleavy? Definitely, even both, with Moore looking halfway decent. But they may have verbal no-trade promises. This allows the Bulls to keep Taj.
Or, trade Taj, Snell, and the Kings pick for Afflalo and Nurkic. This gives the Bulls the 4th big to at least partially replace Taj.
I would not consider trading McD unless it was part of a deal for a guy like Lowry. Never for a rental of a few months.
B) How about Green? Maybe. Might depend on the cost. He certainly is putting up good numbers.
C) Martin? Probably if cheap enough. However, his salary might get in the way next summer.
The Bulls need to wait a bit on any of these guys or others to see what develops.
I think there is 100% agreement among Bulls fans (at least those still breathing) that we need an upgrade at small forward. Here is my proposal: trade Taj Gibson even-up for Thaddeus Young. Works on RealGM Tradechecker. Young has been playing power forward for the TWolves and that is the problem. TWolves are getting killed on the boards. Young has played a ton of small forward previously, is very athletic, and a decent shooter. Also plays defense. He is averaging over 14 points a game. Taj really helps the TWolves with defense, interior scoring and rebounding.
Why I like this deal is that Young can also be the fourth "big" and allow Niko more time on the floor. So he solves two problems- a starting SF and a back-up PF.
If I'm not mistaken he may be on the last year of his current deal. If the Bulls want to re-sign him he would probably command something in the $8-10 million range. I wIll leave the salary cap considerations for someone else. But if you were Young wouldn't you want to play for the Bulls after playing your entire career in mediocre or bad situations?
and if Taj were playing for the T-Wolves he would be averaging better than Young, think about when he started at times and how great he looked...I know Young has killed the Bulls before, but he isn't Taj Gibson, I'm sorry
You make some good points, Young for Taj is definitely a teaser. I think Young has some problems at SF, thats why everybody ends up playing him at power forward where he is clearly undersized. He seems like the classic tweener. I don't know if that would be the right move for the Bulls. He is 3 years younger than Taj which helps going forward. Tough call, Young and betting on near perfect health from Noah and Gasol.
Would you rather have Young or Jeff Green?
Green. But the Celts don't need another PF.
100% correct about WANTING another small forward, but sorry, if we have to give up Taj, that does almost nothing (actually makes it worse, since Thaddeus Young is good but not as proven as Taj). It is amazing to me how under-appreciated Taj Gibson has become. He has been solid since coming back and will get even better the rest of the year.
Without Taj, if either Noah or Gasol go down, or even Mirotic, then the minutes will get too heavy for either Gasol or Noah, since Nazr aint being used. The FO understands this 4 man monster is a BIG advantage!
Obviously, the guard play by Jimmy and Rose and a little AB taking turns in the 4th quarter is the most important, but the bigs are so crucial with the depth and so many Bulls fans just want to throw that away!!! I am honestly still amazed how people want to and actually think that a change can happen right now...guys, if we get a wing and give up Taj it may create another hole, and oh by the way, mess up the defense....
I would love to acquire another wing for a bag of balls as everyone basically is suggesting, but they don't just give away quality wings for crappy draft picks and crappy end of the bench players....wait til the offseason to talk about this, stop dreaming, please enjoy this team the way it has been constructed.
How is Young less proven than Taj. He has been a starter for most of his career(averaging 30 mpg, 14ppg, 5.5 rpg) while Taj has never been a starter(averaging 24 mpg, 9ppg, 6rpg) unless someone is injured. Young is absolutely a proven commodity, unfortunately, he is proven tweener, not really a small forward, and undersized for a PF.
While some/many might not think that he is worth trading Taj for, Young is within the realm of the type of player than you can get for Taj straight up. I'd probably hold out for a better deal for a player that is a legitimate starting wing.
I have always been a proponent of having 4 quality bigs, but when your 2nd and 3rd wings are Hangdog and Casper you just might have to make a move to shore up a position of weakness from a position of strength.
I agree with you that everyone is dreaming that we can convert Snell, Dunleavy, Hangdog, Bairstow or even McPillsbury and our draft picks into a starting wing. That is why trading Taj is the only likely avenue to acquiring one during the season. Maybe it makes the most sense to ride out this season and see what we can do in the offseason with the MLE or trades. If you want to get a starting caliber player you have to give up someone that someones else thinks is a starting caliber player.
Unless someone knocks the Bulls socks off, I don't think that they move a big this season. However, this issue will only bet more difficult to deal with over the next 2-3 seasons, unless injuries make the decision for us. On the other hand if the Bulls think that they have a legitimate chance to win it all this season and that the only thing holding them back is a better starting wing then they almost have make a move. Continuing to wait until next year is not really an option as this roster is constructed to win now and will be in rebuild or blowup mode in 2-3 years.
Can't we just trade Snell, Hangdog and Casper for Tyreke Evans.
Did you guys notice that Thibs played Mirotic some at SF last night with Taj and one of the Centers on the floor at the same time? Not a bad look at all. With the way Moore has been playing, he can also spend quality time at the 2 and let JB play some at the 3. I wouldn't mind getting a wing if it doesn't mean giving up Taj. But, seeing some of these potential lineups, I feel like this team is rock solid even without making a move.
Yea, I believe he tried it for a minute or two at the end of the first quarter, he didn't go back to it in the second half though.
Hey Doug- I'm with ya and evena bit more optimistic. This is the year, I'll stand by it. Bulls will win it. I have been saying it the last week and I have never made such a bold prediction with this team. I think our depth will not only help us coast into the playoffs, but ensure we get there with NO INJURIES! Knock on some serious wood!!! Anyways, I do NOT think we need to trade Taj for a wing. Grant it, it'd be nice, but our four bigs should trounce the hell out of any other team. They will provide injury insurance, not only do we have a back-up, but if we can keep minutes under 30 per game, Noah and Pau should be in great shape come playoff time. Our weakest position is SF and Dunleavy is servicable. If McD's can come back and just get some experience/confidence, it'll be better than Snell and we'll be fine. Jimmy is making me a believer and I don't have any concerns about Rose. He's not exploding now, but he was at the beginning of the year. I get the sense that he is just pacing himself and trying not to get injured to he can get some experience and string together some games. He will ball come playoffs. Mirotic is another reason, I'm just giddy. We are way better than I thought we'd be and we are not even playing our best ball! This team is scary! No moves needed! Bullieve it!
Does anyone really see Bulls gambling away a 1st round pick for a 3-month rental on an unrestricted-free-agent (UFA), such as Afflalo? I don't have the complete analysis, but a number of trades for UFAs have backfired recently, leaving the acquiring team with nothing. Dwight Howard and Luol Deng come to mind.
After totally fleecing Cleveland in the UFA Deng trade by getting
Sacramento's 1st round pick in return, does anyone see Bulls being eager to get on the wrong side of a trade with another UFA? I don't.
Also, Bulls know its likely they would have to overpay UFA Afflalo to resign him for 2015-16, while also having to pay Big$$ to keep Jimmy Butler. This makes me even more skeptical Bulls would give up a 1st for a 3-month rental of Afflalo.
I also don't see Bulls trading Taj Gibson as big man depth is important. I look for Bulls to make some kind of value transaction at SF.
Dunleavy as our starting SF (along with Hangdog as our backup wing) is likely the thing that prevents us from winning a title this season. We are kind of between the proverbial rock and a hard place with regards to trading Taj to upgrade over Dunleavy.
F.Y.I. update, with his monster night last night(3,2,2) Casper's(Dunleavy) totals for the last 5 games combined are now 17 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. Realistically, how much worse if any would Snell do if he started. With Noah's near total lack of an offensive game and Casper's Claude Reins act, we are basically playing 3 on 5 with our starters on the floor.
Yes, I agree Bulls need a quality starting wing (SF) added to this roster.
But Bulls moves almost always have a business element to them, i.e., good value, moderate salary, etc., and not solely a basketball element. That's the reason for my comments above.
Like Doug, I have been waiting for the mirage that is Jimmy Butler this season to regress to the mean as the season goes on. It just doesn't seem to be happening, but it is still hard to believe that this new Butler is the real Butler.
I got stuck with the NO feed on league pass last night. Their announcing team made a very interesting point about Butler. They noted that his scoring kind of sneaks up on you, he isn't hitting you with a barrage of scoring or a bunch of spectacular shots, but kind of steadily grinding away and all of the sudden you look at the scoreboard and he has 25 or 30 points.
Taj played a nice game last night, hit the boards a bit, and just let the game come to him on offense, much better.
As I suspected the Refs(racist) totally abused Mirotic every time that he was in the same zipcode as Anthony Davis, calling every contact a foul on Mirotic.
Our big men were really pansies at the rim last night, were they intimidated by the presence of Davis.
Also getting tired of hearing about what a great passer Gasol is, really haven't seen much evidence of that yet. Every time that he attempts to feed the post it results in a turnover or the post guy being taken out of the play chasing down the errant pass.
Other than his midrange game Derrick Rose was a nonchalant mess
last night. He should be forbidden from taking a 3 point shot for the first and last 6 minutes of the game.
Jimmy 12-15 on his non 3 point attempts last night, amazing.
As someone who was always in favor of trading Deng for Tyreke Evans, is there any way to get that guy now. I know he isn't the classic SG, but Jimmy couldn't keep the guy in front of him all night. He is a physical presence at that position and would make a heck of a pairing with Butler and Rose.
Just wondering, but is Gasol heading toward getting the boozer treatment, playing the entire first and third quarters and not playing at all in the second and fourth?
Who cares if the team is winning 9 of 10? Gasol needs to play less anyway.
IMO, the bigger issues are Dunleavy's falloff, as you have highlighted, and Hinrich playng more than Brooks.
BigWay, do you think Taj and the Bulls 1st rounder would pry Jeff Green from the Celtics? I have not checked the salary implications, but I recall reading that the Bulls could sign Butler to a max and still keep Taj. I imagine that would still apply if Green replaces Taj.
The Celtics seem to be collecting as many firsts as they can get their hands on. My impression is that Bulls fans don't think that Taj for Green straight up is a good deal, so they wouldn't be happy at all if we had to throw in a first.
I'm not looking to get rid of Taj, but I'd have to take a long look at that trade. My concern with Green is that he is inconsistent, and that may be due to effort, not talent.
Rose is scoring more due to Aaron Brooks, Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler and others drawing defensive attention. Teams can no longer design their defense to take the ball out of Rose's hands.
Pau Gasol has been a Godsend. I can't remember the last time the Bulls had a true low post scorer which demanded so much attention. He's the true MVP of the team imo. Without Pau Rose and Butler would not be as efficient offensively.
Aaron Brooks has been as good or better than Rose has in the 4th qtr. While Rose gets more playing time and is praised for being back to his former self, it's Brooks who is sparking the team from the back court.
Doug: I don't know what you see in Kevin Martin, but he's not an improvement to the 3 pt shooters that we already have, and he's not much of a defensive player. I've noticed how you seem to bring his name up in trade talks and that would be a step back. from what Niko Mirotic can do. I would still like to trade for a good two way wing player, but the more I see E'twaun Moore play the more I'm inclined to keep the team in tact. Even keep Tony Snell.
If the Bulls are win the championship it won't be due to Rose, Pau and Noah... It'll be from them having the strongest weakest link player. If they can get anything from McDermott, and Snell I give the Bulls the best chance to win it all.
Unfortunately don't get used to seeing Moore play, as soon as Hangdog recovers from his hangnail, Moore will vanish from sight, just like Dunleavy has over the past five games.
Amazingly, Derrick Rose is still under-appreciated from much of this forum. The guy is still scoring around 20 in the past few weeks, while his time is being limited and he isn't even trying that hard!
I think we can live with his jump passes and 3 pointers for now. He hit 2/5 from 3 yesterday, but people only remember when he goes 1/7. He makes some amazing passes with a zip on the ball that most NBA players can't make, yet people only remember the turnovers. I can handle the silly turnovers and poor 3 point selection, since he is still our only chance at a championship. I love Jimmy and what he has been doing just as much as anyone else, but don't you think Rose would score 40 if he had the minutes and health of Butler? I know, I know, the fg percentage is poor and the turnovers would increase. But, that's just gonna come with his game, and I think it's well worth it.
Bottom line, if Rose goes down, I don't see Jimmy Butler leading the Bulls to a championship. He's a great #2 right now, I just don't see the Bulls in serious contention for a Title without a healthy Rose. Maybe an ECF appearance, but that's not the goal.
Is it really an amazing pass if it hits the other guy in the face and results in a turnover. Even when his passes don't result in a turnover, they are inaccurate, so that the receiving player is not always able to immediately make a move to benefit from the pass.
The Bulls especially this season are a team of inaccurate passers and in general have bad hands in receiving those passes. Even Noah seems to have regressed from last season. He seems to be forcing passes into spaces where there is no room again resulting in turnovers. We just been a very sloppy ball handling team this year.
Rose looks less and less like a point guard and more and more like a pure scoring guard. Nothing wrong with that if he accepts it and cuts down on doing the things that he isn't doing well, and increases the things that he does best, i.e his midrange game.
Obviously, the Bulls need a healthy Rose in addition to the new and improved Butler to go anywhere in the playoffs.
couple things I wanted to point out about NO game:
1) I love Brooks but his shot selection in the 2nd quarter was as bad as it has ever been. He made it up down the strectch, but there were 4-5 shots in a row that were, as Sir Charles would say 'just terrible'
2) I havent seen Davis play much, but I thought same about him as the NO announcers felt about Butler... He seemed to have a reasonably good game, but not spectacular. Then I noticed he had 29 pts! The one thing I will give him is that defensively, he is a stud. What a strong presence all game game long!
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