What will Jimmy Butler do with expected salary cap jump to 90 million?

What will Jimmy Butler do with expected salary cap jump to 90 million?

The Chicago Bulls certainly regret not signing Jimmy Butler to a large extension this off-season. However, there's no reason to view that decision harshly. Jimmy Butler has improved more this season than perhaps any player in the history of the NBA over one season.

Unlike most players who "improve" they really see stat increases due to minutes (seriously try to find examples of guys who take huge jumps without huge minute increases).

Butler's not playing more minutes. He just went from role player to all-star in the same number of minutes. He improved radically on offense in terms of his efficiency and volume in one year.

If Butler had stayed the same, cap smoothing had been implemented, and the Bulls gave him the money he wanted, they could have ended up paying him 18 million per year for a solid wing defender with pedestrian offense.

However, it didn't go down like that. Butler has take then all-star leap and looks like a stud on both sides of the ball going forward, and he's going to get paid. However, with the NBA Players Association rejecting cap smoothing, the question is how is he going to get paid?

The NBA announced Wednesday that the players' union formally rejected a so-called "cap-smoothing" proposal that would pay players the same 51 percent of basketball-related income they get under the current collective-bargaining agreement, while artificially lowering the cap over several years. The plan was put forth to manage the influx of revenue that is coming with the $24 billion television deal that begins after next season.

NBA teams using internal data are projecting the salary cap to jump to between $88 million and $92 million per team, sources told ESPN. To compare, this season the cap is set at $63 million and next season it is projected to land at about $66 million. To put it into perspective, the largest salary-cap jump in history is $7 million in one season. What happens in 2016 could triple that leap.

I'm not sure why the Player's Association rejected smoothing per se. I'm sure they felt it limited the maximum salary any player could get paid, so it must be bad. However, cap smoothing would have taken the money a few people will get and spread it to everyone in the league evenly.

A 20% raise for everyone seems like a much better deal than a massive spike for just the FAs. Wouldn't more players vote for that? It's hard to imagine why the players would vote to give all the money to a small minority rather than to everyone. Especially if you implemented the smoothing over a small cycle like a two year period.

At any rate, whether the Players Association made the right choice for its members or not, the decision is in now. The consequence for Jimmy Butler is this.

The Bulls will give Butler the qualifying offer and max qualifying offer. That means the Bulls will effectively meet the all in requirements, because it would be crazy for them not to. At this point, according to the CBA FAQ, the minimum offer Butler can accept from another team is a three year deal (not including option years).

This locks Butler into a fairly tight spot.

He can take the qualifying offer at a shade over three million then hope to bank in big time in the next season as an unrestricted free agent where he'll likely be eligible for a 4/96-98 type deal. This would put his total earnings over five years at around 100 million while taking a risk that he could tear his ACL or have some other huge injury and then end up with something considerably less (like 5/15 or so).

He could take the Bulls max deal which will end up being something like 5/90 right up the front in which case, he'll end up locking in huge amounts of money and be set with just a shade under the amount he would take if he tried the QO route.

He could try to play hard ball with the Bulls and demand a shorter contract so he can re up at the new max sooner. A couple options would be 2/34, 3/51, 4/70 with the possibility of one of those years also being an option year. However, the Bulls have very little incentive to do a two or three year (with option) deal since he can't get that offer with another team anyway.

Which means the only "short" deal he's likely to have any leverage to obtain is a 4/70 with the fourth year being a player option since another team could offer it. However, the whole world knows the Bulls will match anything on Butler since they'll have already gone in with the "max QO", so it would mean some team has to do Butler's agent a favor to force the Bulls hand on that one if the Bulls play hard ball. I'll assume Jimmy's agent can make that happen though.

That means for Butler the practical choices are this:

Plan 5 year Min 5 year Max
QO + Unrestrected $3 million $100 million
Full Max now $91 million $91 million
4yr/PO+FA $70 million $110 million

In short, the QO route is a non starter. If everything went well with it Jimmy Butler could make an extra 10 million over five years while taking the risk of losing 87 million dollars if things go poorly.

This effectively means no matter what happens that Jimmy Butler is a Bull for the next three seasons at a minimum. The final two plans each have their strengths and weaknesses. The smart plan for Butler is probably the three year + 4th year PO play where he aims at becoming a UFA in year three.

Even if Butler regresses some over these next three years, as long as he doesn't have catastrophic injury then he will almost certainly still be worth 2/20 in years 4/5 to break even with the full max plan. If he does have catastrophic injury then locking in 71 million total is enough that he will still have no regrets.

The real bonus for Jimmy is that he's 25 now, so if he plays enters free agency in three years at the age of 28 and is still at the top of his game then a four year max contract still looks pretty reasonable. That deal will likely be around 4/130.

His odds of playing well for the next five years and still deserving that deal at 30 (almost 31) seem considerably smaller. Taking the 20 million dollar risk to position himself much stronger for the follow up contract seems like a good option to me.

We'll see what Butler does, but my bet is on the three year deal with a fourth year player option. I suspect the Bulls will agree to that without playing hard ball and forcing Butler to find a team with money to offer it because it is a nice hedge for them too.

Butler's rise has been unprecedented, but that also creates its own worries about whether he'll really stick there or not. He still isn't a great ISO creator and most guys with this type of money are. Even if Butler declines some, his new deal will be the equivalent of a 10-11 million dollar deal with the new CBA. A risk they could easily live with.

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  • It will be interesting bc he has never gotten paid big bucks yet... I would take a nice LT deal and not risk another one year deal.

  • I believe, deep down, Butler knows he is a solid All Star player, but not a Super Star, or someone the Bulls could give the ball in isolation under 30 secs and being able to create his own shot. These are 2011/12 Derrick Rose, Lebron caliber players. Perhaps he will improve a bit more to become close to what Paul George was. But with the likely stay, Butler may decide to go with the longest contract possible to give him peace of mind if an uneventful career injury comes up in the future. But, the FO must be salivating on future FA prospects of Antony Davis in a couple of years after Rose's contract is out of the books.

  • Jimmy Butler still has a higher ceiling, he can get to the line and create a little bit so he can become a star. I still think he's a role player, a very good role player like luol deng of the past but not a true star player that can score easily and get you 25 pts a game. This is just how the NBA is structured, superstars like Lebron, Durant and Westbrook are underpaid and good role players are overpaid. This leaves little room for error with the midlevel exception/role players which the Bulls have done a good job with. You can argue the only bad contract on the Bulls right now is Rose but who would of guessed all those injuries, that is not the front office's fault. Of course the Hinrich contract sucks but that is pretty small but still shouldn't of been there. They should of known better and gone for DJ Augustin but they are putting feelings/relationships over business..........bad move in business of basketball.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Totally agree with all this. Jimmy Butler really is a glorified role player but he's at least better than Deng. Looking at the Bulls options going forward it's their best bet to take a chance on him. The way things are looking if the Bulls don't accomplish anything great in the playoffs it may be time to go in a different direction and start building more around Butler and Mirotic who's proven to be studs.

    I'm still a little disappointed Butler got that shoulder sprain when he did. With Rose out that was the perfect time to get a true evaluation of what he's really capable of. The timing for Butler to get injured was so perfect and out of no where that far be it from me to say it looked a little staged. lol

  • In reply to ajaychitown:

    A glorified role player but then you say the Bulls should start over and build around him and Mirotic. What team does that? I have never heard of any team in any sport building around a glorified role player. The idea that Butler is just a glorified role player really now we are talking about a 20pt score one of the better defensive players in the entire league I suggest that you start to watch more games

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I think the Bulls honestly thought Hinrich would be a better fit than DJ. They -- Thibs included -- thought Hinrich could play PG or SG where they saw DJ as only a PG. DJ can't defend the SG position but as it turns out, neither can Hinrich anymore.

    GarPax are not stupid and if they were so bound by feelings and relationships, they would have held onto Deng.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    So true and what makes this so bad Kirk has a player option for next season

  • The Hinrich contract was a disaster waiting to happen. Sort of like waiting for the landfall of a huricane when meteorolgists identify 100 mph winds off the coast of Cuba. There were so many options that were better which would have helped the team much more. For example, signing Rodney Stuckey to the vet minimum for one year (which is what the Pacers did).

    You were correct on your other points as well. True superstars are underpaid and excellent role players are overpaid. Jimmy will never be a superstar in the Lebron or Kevin Durant sense of the term but will get paid as if he were a superstar.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    It is really hard to say that the guys who keep re-overpaying Hangdog aren't stupid, especially when you look at the "100's" of guys like Stuckey that they could have signed instead of the corpsedog over the last several years, heck the last dozen years going back to his second contract with the Bulls.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Very hard to watch the Hangdog and Noah together on the court. There is no way in hell I would have given the Hangdog a two year deal. I am finally realizing how overrated Noah is, he cannot finish around the basket, no post game and has bad hands. It's frustrating watching him demands the ball so he can turn it over. I feel they should have traded him when he had some value.

  • In reply to juice44:

    I agree with both you and BigWay on Kirk. The problem - one can't wish a player to be what he once was! You have to see what he actually is now and likely will be in a year (or less).

    A lot of us did not like the Kirk resigning this season - and we were all correct! But Thibs and the FO must have been in bed on this one since Thibs has been overplaying Kirk big time. They are all pros and should have known better.

  • In reply to juice44:

    While Noah has never been great on the offensive end, this year he literally looks retarded, at least physically. It is actually hard to believe that an NBA player can look this mindnumbingly bad, never mind an all star, and first team all NBA center.

    To get the real value out of Noah, he needs to be surrounded by 4 good to great offensive players, which he never has been with the Bulls. If he played with Rose, Butler, Mirotic and a real starting caliber SF, like Jeff Green at a minimum or Rudy Gay then he would be a true asset and you could live with his offensive deficiencies.

    It almost doesn't matter anymore, as he is almost done even on the defensive end. I don't expect him to be worth resigning when his contract expires in the summer of 2016.

  • By the way, the performance by Kyrie Irving last night was one of the greatest individual efforts I have ever seen on a basketball court. That's saying something in that I have been an NBA fan since the 1950s. Do yourself a favor and see the game if you have not done so.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Actually, that entire game was a great watch, it totally felt like a 7th game of a great series. The Spurs kind of blew it at the end of regulation, up 7 with about a minute to go and then Leonard shooting free throws to put it away with 4 seconds to go and he misses both. Kind of reminds you of game 6 of the finals 2 years ago.

    When you see a game like that by Irving, or the stuff that Westbrook has been doing lately, it not only makes you miss the old Derrick Rose, it also makes you question if even that Rose was ever as good as these guys can be.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Lol really where would you rank it since you have been a fan since the 50's. I have been a fan since the 50's as well and I cant disagree because you said that you have ever seen but to me that means you miss a lot of great scoring games

  • The progress of Butler reminds me of how Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen developed. Both players defensively and offensively amazed us. Thibs may never take the team to a Championship final but he has given the Bulls a rare defensive mindset that is not common allowing Butler to be a shinning financial example to the other players on the team.
    If Snell, Mirotic, Mac-D and others take notice of Noah and Butler's value on both offense and defense --team success can be contageous and Chicago will have a dynasty no matter how good Cleveland gets.
    Last night Irving scored 57 point against SAS, Jimmy Butler, Snell and Thibs defense may be the only obstical capable of stopping any team with championship momentum making the value of each Chi Bull unlimited if each player can grab this opportunity.

  • One good thing I like about signing Butler up long term is that he's young and he's 2 guard which is one of the hardest positions to fill in the NBA. Just think about how long the Bulls have went without one, and it becomes obvious. It's far easier to find quality forwards, tweeners, and even point guards than it is to get a decent shooting guard that can make it to the free throw line consistently. That alone makes him worth the money let alone the defense.

  • In reply to ajaychitown:

    That's because nobody can shoot anymore. So, if you can fill it up from mid range and from deep, and you can defend other SGs at least adequately - you will be a max player.

  • One more thing, everyone who reads this blog must read this morning's Bleacher Report on the ceiling for Nikola Mirotic. Truly an eye opening analysis of Mirotic's potential based on advanced analytics. You won't regret it.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Thanks for the heads-up, here's the post if anyone is interested:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2395153-whats-nikola-mirotics-ceiling-for-the-chicago-bulls-now

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Yes, great article. Everything Bulls fans have hoped for over the last few years.

    Bulls need to trade a big - Noah, Gasol or Gibson. I don't know which one, but I'd look at the analytics and figure out who plays the best with Mirotic at the stretch 4. Probably not Gibson, who is more of a PF and not C, although I do love him.

    I think Gasol and Gibson both have nice trade value. Two years left on their team-friendly deals. Noah only has one year left and, as we saw with Deng, he will have little value with only one year remaining. Plus, he's been pretty bad this year and getting closer to 30.

    Gasol could age nicely given his offensive game, but his D is already pretty bad.

    This is why I think you need to start Mirotic and Noah together. If you keep Gasol, he should come off the bench for 25 mpg and match up mostly against reserves.

    A team featuring Butler, Mirotic and Rose (at 85% of what he was) can be championship caliber moving forward given all other team assets - Suns 1st rounder possibly next year and whatever we get for trading Gibson/Gasol. Rose only has two years remaining after this year and his salary should surely be adjusted downward unless he suddenly gets healthy and develops an outside shot.

  • In reply to Granby:

    The article pretty much seals it for me in that Taj is the one who should be traded, not Gasol. Taj is tough as nails and a super team guy and Gasol isn't those things, but here's why you do it:

    Fact: Mirotic is younger than Taj with immensely more upside, on a cheaper contract, and it's my opinion that he's a better player right now. I've seen him take flight since the injuries to Taj, Rose and Butler. He's been a primary scoring option, and it's a role he can handle right now, imagine with regular minutes along with a couple years of NBA-level conditioning and strength training?

    Fact: We have four big men all deserving of 30-35 minutes per night and really, both Mirotic and Taj could probably go 35-40, in Mirotic's case his stamina isn't there yet but it will get there and he certainly has the ability. There simply aren't enough minutes to go around and someone has to go.

    Based on what we've seen from Mirotic since he's been starting in Taj's absence, it is my opinion that Taj is blocking his development and therefore needs to be moved. It's about maximizing assets, dealing from a position of strength to address (a) position(s) of weakness.

    All of this points to GarPax growing some cajones and trading away one of their favorite players in Taj Gibson. Let's face it: Noah is an injury-risk and to me Gasol is a great hedge against that, say whatever bad things you want about him. If you wanted to shorten playoff rotations, Noah gets all the minutes at PF that Niko doesn't get. You bring in someone who can give you 10-15 quality minutes per night, even a Drew Gooden type would suffice with the quality you have in front of him. Plus I think it would be a little easier to find a PF than a C, though I could be wrong since it seems that veteran PF's become C's eventually.

    The hope is that there are multiple teams interested in Taj, the only way you're going to get anywhere close to fair value for a starting-caliber two-way veteran player on a team-friendly contract. It's absolutely a risk to trade an asset like Taj and if there aren't multiple teams interested, Bulls probably get a weak, Deng-like return for him. Only then would I consider trading Gasol, and even then, only if you could get something better in return, and only because he destroys the pick-and-roll defense.

    Use the opened up cap space, plus the asset(s) received for Taj to upgrade at starting SF, someone who can give you 16-18 per night with some boards and some defense (or more defense, less offense like Deng used to be), basically a Taj-caliber player who starts at SF. Snell and McDoug are backups at best.

    One other idea that has come up is to upgrade the PG position. Rose just can't be counted on, maybe you spend some money or a high draft pick on someone at the position at this point, but if I had to pick, I'd rather gamble on Rose and get the best SF I could.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Either way we're gonna be stuck with Rose for at least another 2 years so all we can really do is ride it out with him and hope one of these days he has a healthy season. Even still I don't like the idea of gambling the future on a guy who's had 3 knee surgeries so i would like to see the Bulls bring in some young legs to start and bench Rose in more of a Ben Gordon kind of role seeing as how we're stuck with him. Some may disagree with that but I actually thought Rose should have been coming off the bench this year behind Augustine but obviously that ship has long sailed.

    I agree that Taj is the one who should go but part of me would like to see Gasol go instead or both. I think Gasol is a good option to have but only if he's willing to come off the bench behind Mirotic in a lessor role. With his ego and that whiny pouty attitude of his it's not gonna happen. He wants the lion share of all the minutes even at the end of games and simply wont settle for anything less without putting up a fuss. I would like to see him get dealt while his value is still high because he's not gonna have too many good seasons left and the minute he starts to decline we're gonna be stuck with him. The good thing though is he's actually on a decent contract so it makes him a little more forgiving than say Boozer or Wallace, but it also makes it easier to trade him. If we don't win a championship this year it's really no point in keeping him. We're in win now mode so if we don't win now then may as well start planning ahead.

  • In reply to ajaychitown:

    Thats another problem with Gasoline, he is too entitled/self important, he simply will not accept anything less than starting and finishing without becoming a huge mope and team cancer. More or less a repeat of his last 2 Lakers seasons.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Lol gasoline never thought of him as such but gasoline makes things go faster something that G-slow is never going to do. He and and Jo should never play together. He cant guard and Jo cant score. G-Slow inability to defend and having Jo not protecting the paint is one of the main reason the Bulls defense has suffered. Plus another D-Slow-Dunleavy is another player is just getting minutes like Kirk and doing nothing on either end of the court.

  • In reply to BullySixChicago:

    Actually, I borrowed it from Roman, who did it on accident, but I thought that it was apropos since gasoline can be used as an accelerant to start fires and Gasol sets our defense on fire as in burns it down. But your interpretation also works. I call Hangdog, Dunleavy and Gasol the OSW crew, old, slow, white. No 2 members of the OSW should ever be allowed on the court at the same time.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    However, if you trade Gasoline and elevate Mirotic to the starting role then Taj stays in the role that he is best suited for backup PF/Big. Given Gasolines defensive deficiencies, I think that Noah/Mirotic/Gibson is a much better bigman rotation than Gasoline/Noah/Mirotic.

    Plus, I still think that Pau brings more in trade value. Can we trade any of our bigmen(besides Mirotic) for a second half of the lottery pick to take Cauley-Stein (a taller more athletic Noah). That is the question, what are they worth.

    My guess is that the Bulls will explore trading Taj this summer, but not Gasoline, he's the new Hangdog(teachers pet) just more offensively talented.

    I also agree that we need to upgrade the second PG position, but with the POSdog already on the books for next season, I say the Bulls wait one more year to address that need in a serious way.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Just asking, can Taj play C at all, like in a backup role? Mirotic should be building towards playing 40+ minutes per night in most games next year as far as I'm concerned. He's one of our best players and should be on the floor more as much as he can handle. You really only need a backup PF to play 10-12 minutes a night on average. Taj would have to get his minutes backing up Noah and I don't think that would really work. Neither Mirotic nor Taj should play SF at all unless absolutely pressed due to injuries.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I totally agree with you on this point. But neither Gasoline or Noah should really ever play PF, certainly at this point in their careers.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I see the flaws with Gasol but it's easier to find minutes for him because Noah isn't really a 40+ minutes per night guy. Niko should be.

    Actually since Noah has been healthy he's been better at PF. It's still a sub-optimal position for him, clearly, but he looks like he can play the position in spurts. You ask him to do this for about 6-8 minutes per game, which gets both he and Gasol close to 30 minutes per game with Niko playing 40+ and a fourth big, a backup PF type, playing 10-12 minutes during the season and then not really playing during the playoffs unless there's an emergency.

    As Sam Smith wrote, Bulls need to use more offensive "horns" looks with Gasol and Noah on the floor and better utilize the two big men, but you close the game with Noah/Mirotic, our best duo. In any scenario, Gasol has to accept a slightly lesser role and while he might pout initially, ultimately I think he'd be a pro about it. If not, then forget everything I wrote and ship him out ASAP, we don't need guys who won't accept their roles. You still maybe trade Gibson though since the team needs a legit backup C who can start in spurts since Noah is who he is.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    If you go with Taj, what about Taj and the Sacto pick back to Sacto for Rudy Gay, who if I'm not mistaken will be on the books for 3 years @$40 million after this season.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Well Rudy Gay would fit in really well with the Bulls as another injury-prone player. If I could make that deal, that's the kind of gamble I probably would take. Would Sacto want Taj? Does anyone outside of Chicago really value him?

  • In reply to Granby:

    As I've contended all season and DE pretty much proved with a pile of stats, Noah/Mirotic is our best bigman pairing overall and maybe at both ends individually. Thus, its either Taj of Gasoline. Gasoline mucks everything up by displacing Noah from the center position while simultaneously not displacing any opposing player from the scoring column while he is occupying the center position.

    I think that they will trade Taj, but Gasol would be the smarter move despite his "guady" career numbers.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    An eye opening article in the sense that it makes it seem like he can be even better than even the most wild eyed optimist among us thinks he can.

  • Butler has missed quite a few games due to injury this season, plus he was hurting much of last season. That should potentially hold down his value some. He's had a few games where he didn't score much, too. If a player misses 25% of a season, then that inflates what he is paid per game! Some caution might be wise here.

    The Hinrich signing was stupid! To some extent it neutralizes the Gasol signing. Great GMs avoid such foolishness - usually. Not much excuse for it either. Could have had Augustine for a few hundred thousand more.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Nonsense. Great GMs make mistakes too, and as much as we all dislike Hinrich, it's really a pretty small mistake that will not influence the Bulls' ability to win a championship, IMO. Not that GarPax are great GM's, but they're good.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    It is the nature of the mistake that really stinks, Roman. Many fans hated the Kirk resigning. Ask yourself, Why? Because we all saw how limited he was, and he would take up court time of superior players. Guess what? That is exactly what has happened! Altho this is on Thibs as much as the FO for playing the guy, slowing the development of M and M and keeping the minutes of Brooks way down.

    If Kirk had been resigned for the minimum for 1 year - maybe. But 2 years for over $5 million? Duh! Could have had Augustine for a bit more!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Actually, we could only have kept DJ for the exact same contract that we foolishly gave Kraptain Klankaroo, the room exception, about 2 years and $5.6 million.

    DJ more or less said that he would have stayed with the Bulls if they had offered him that deal, but they could not because the POSdog was too insulted to play for the vets minimum, despite being overpaid by the Bulls since the day that he signed his second contract.

    However, the Bulls management and Thibs are indeed not stupid, it is the fans who simply don't know anything about basketball. Just ask Senile Sam Smith who has spent half this season calling anyone who doesn't "see" the value that Hangdog brings a moron, while spending the other half counting Gasolines double doubles, and his remaining time collecting C-notes every time that he passes Gasoline or Hangdog in the halls of the UC.

  • It will be interesting to see what Jimmy Butler does in the playoffs this year. If he's a stud or close to it living up to his regular season numbers then you likely go for the four year plan I would think. However, and this is a BIG however, if he's diminished i.e disappointing and not at all dynamic this post season then you MIGHT I say think about a trade while his value is still relatively high. It may be sacrilege to some, but what could you convert Jimmy Butler into in the way of a needed stud, young pedigreed(high draft) up and comer, or high draft pick? Remember a trade could mean better flexibility payroll and roster wise moving forward.

    Just for the sake of fantasy trade i.e franchise tinkering G.M. role play what could you turn Jimmy Butler into/get in his stead?? I'd have to think about that one. Myself, if Jimmy Performs even close to what he is providing this year in the post season then I would keep him. This is just a what if.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    But it is a good what if. Time to think ahead. I had not thought about trading Butler, but in principle, why not?

    If you draft a guy who contributes immediately, then you get a player for 4 years on the cheap! If he rides the bench for 2 years and then become good, you got a player on the cheap for only 2 years. Moneyball.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    You wrote: "If you draft a guy who contributes immediately..."

    Easier said than done. What rookie comes in and contributes on championship caliber teams? Almost zero percent chance of happening. It took Leonard at least a couple years on the Spurs. Mirotic is doing quite well this year, but he's not your average rookie. Wiggins has come on strong recently, but he is on the T-Wolves and he was terrible until January.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Which is why we should have drafted Saric this past summer and brought him over in 2 years to be the second coming of Mirotic or Kukoc. I sure hope that McDNP becomes at least as good as Korver, or Wally Z, or even JJ Redick.

  • So many comments here refer to trading Gibson or Butler. Why make the Chicago Bulls a farm team for the rest of the league. We've watch the Chicago Cubs trade away their talent for 100 years and almost each time through the years the team they trade good talent away to always seems to be involved in championships. Chicago teams never seem to get the better end of any trade--so why should we expect something better when it rarely happens. We hear the Bulls fans talking about trading away good players all the time--I'm glad the FO does not listen to many of these comments. It seems like the Bulls fans never make a trade that they regret. The Bill Cartwright trade for Charles Oakley was an exception to rule of what happens when a Chicago team makes a trade.
    The Chicago Bulls have all the pieces it needs to compete for a championship with Butler playing SG and possibly Snell or McDermitt at SF--many times to get what we need--it's just a matter of coaching utilizing the players we have.
    Gibson is a valuable six man that plays offensively and defensively that is a rare find--why trade a valuable piece for some player or players other teams are willing to get rid of who are only one dimensional playing only offense.
    From what we have seen of Mirotic he needs to start at PF along with Snell as SF. This would give our team a starting five of Noah, Mirotic, Snell, Butler, and Rose which is a great combination of offense and defense. If I were the coach Gasol would come in off the bench with Gibson (PF), McDermitt (SF) and Brooks (PG. Moore would be a defensive player against taller PG's. I would never use Gasol at PF.

  • At first glance the players union decision seems short sighted or selfish on behalf of the superstars or guys who are free agents in 2016. But what they are banking on, and are probably right is that the huge overpaid contracts that will be doled out that summer will become the defacto going rate for everybody going forward thus raising overall salaries more and faster than any smoothing spread the wealth scheme.

  • Well does anybody want to change their vote on the trading Gibson over Gasoline debate after that debacle, or maybe we want to throw Noah into the conversation.

    In another case of playing against a team without a single center on the active roster our bigs absolutely get their asses kicked up and down the court by Bismak Biyambo and Jason Maxeil, getting outrebounded 55-36 and 17-4 on the offensive boards.

    The KKP was tossed around like the paper mache pussy that he is, and reacted to the flagellation like the whiney little bitch that he is. Noah was completely useless as he usually is when he comes back from missing even a single game, mostly playing with his head up his ass, and the KKP's panseyness seems to be rubbing off on Niko with every passing day.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    To be fair the Bulls have to be exhausted from playing so many games back to back short handed, and Noah shouldn't even be out there in his condition. This is another reason why I wantd them to keep Greg Smith. He was a young, strong, physical, athletic big who could play the 4 and the 5 for cheap. Actually even cheaper than Nazr who barely even plays even when we're short handed. Apparently the Bulls have something against young athletes because they only seem to like old slow players that's past their prime.

  • In reply to ajaychitown:

    Totally agree, I simply would not have given away Greg Smith to gain a lousy $400K in cap space to give to Gasoline(Mirotic). Probably an early sign of the sneaky selfishness of Gasoline. I like what Smith can give you as a 4rth-5th big. Haven't heard anything about the guy this season, so maybe he never recovered from his knee injury(surgery?) and is buried on someones bench.

    Also, totally agree that I would not have run Noah out there tonight. I would have at least waited until Sunday against OKC, maybe longer if his knee is injured again.

    As for being shorthanded and tired, the Hornets certainly didn't look tired, they looked like teenagers running circles around, over and through the Bulls, especially their bigs vs our bigs. When all 4 bigs are healthy Gasol, Noah and Taj have been getting all the big minutes with Mirotic only playing SF, so last night with 3 healthy bigs was no different as far a minute distribution among the bigs.

    As the season wears on Gasoline is looking more and more like the 3 pack a day Vlade Divac that he looked like with the Lakers the past 2 years(including the incessant whining), and I don't think that gets any better in the playoffs, it likely gets worse.

    Teams have clearly figured out that you can beat the Bulls with Bully ball. If you can combine athleticism and Bully ball, the bulls have no shot. I'd say Indy and the Wiz the Bulls most likely first round opponents are definitely Bully ball proponents and seem to have a disdain for the Bulls that translates into a confidence that they can beat the Bulls whenever they want to.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The Bulls front court is just soft plain and simply. Our primary frontcourt rotation consists of Noah, Taj, Gasol and Niko. Noah obviously hasn't been 100% this year and neither has Taj. Both have been battling injuries all season and truthfully have been playing in many games they shouldn't. I understand they like to play through pain but the only thing that accomplishes is increase the risk of re-injury and shorten their own career. Why the coaching staff allow these guys to play like that when you have 2 other able bodies ( Bairstow and Nazr ) to put out their while they recover is beyond me. If they don't feel confident playing these guys then they shouldn't even be on our team.

    Then there's Gasol who in my opinion epitome of softness. Like Kobe would say he's softer than Charmin. There are aspects to his game that I appreciate. He has a surprisingly good mid jumper, good length, good shot blocker, and good leadership qualities. Unfortunately for me the bad out weighs the good. I'm not going to get into the bad because there really is too much to cover but I'm sure you're well aware, however i do want to point out that he's terrible at creating in the post because his ball handling is atrocious. Everytime he tries to create down low it almost always results in a steal, turnover, or ugly shot. That's because he's too soft to fight for position. He's at his best when he's already in position and a guard finds him but he hardly ever can get it because he can't box anyone out and whenever he tries he gets thrown to the floor and then complains to ref about a foul. I've see him do that so many times this season I've lost count.

    As for Niko I don't really have anything bad to say about him. I know he's not perfect but then again he's a rookie. He's giving us a lot more than I ever would have expected in his 1st tenure so kudos to Niko.

  • A clip from a Mark Heisler, (who used to be my favorite NBA/sports writer but seems to have disappeared) in an article about the length of the season and players taking games off.

    "Now, of course, there are rules covering that.

    You can sit out anyone you want whenever you want to, but must notify the league in advance.

    Now coaches ease up except rare hard cases like Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau".

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