Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Clippers
Posted on: June 26, 2010 12:54 pm
 

Bulls vs Knicks vs LeBron

Ok, kmvenne here is my final attempt to shine a bit of light on this issue. In your thread you wanted to compare the top 4 players on both teams that are signed for next season. I think there is no argument that can be made as to the Knicks having a better roster then the Bulls. You can argue that New York is a better and bigger market and you can even use the Michael Jordan's shadow to debate your side but you cannot argue that the Knicks hae a better roster then the Bulls and still be considered sane.

I will make my arguement as simple as I can using one stat. I will compare each teams top 4 players in order and a clear picture should be made. I will simply use the NBA Efficiency Score. Sure the Efficiency score is not full proof but it does give a solid overall value to a player. I will use this seasons regular season stats as the Knicks missed the playoffs again. Ouch!

1. Derrick Rose 18.8(44th) vs Danilo Gallinari 14.6(95th) Winner=Derrick Rose +4.2

2. Joakim Noah 19.1(39th) vs Wilson Chandler 15.2(80th)
Winner=Joakim Noah +3.9

3. Luol Deng 18.0 (52nd) vs Bill Walker 9.5(192nd)
Winner=Luol Deng +8.5

4. Taj Gibson 13.1(123) vs Toney Douglas 8.3(228)
Winner=Taj Gibson +4.8

Total Winner=Bulls at +21.4

There is no argument to be made. The Bulls are clearly the better roster. If LeBron James wants to win Championships then Chicago is the place to go. I would say the Clippers, Heat, and Nets are better then the Knicks at this point if LeBron is looking to win now. The Cavaliers are better as well. I do not want to hear the crappy argument that Walker and Douglas were roleplayers so their stats are not as good as they could/would be. I will counter with "WHY where they roleplayers?". They are both scrubs that is why. If you cannot garner enough playing minutes or stats under Mike D'Antoni then you are a scrub, PERIOD. Gallinari and Chandler are the only two players of any value on the Knicks roster and Rose, Deng, and Noah are better then both of them. All three have been to the playoffs 2 or more times and are focal points of the team.

The bottomline is that the Bulls are a playoff team as is. Infact if they were healthy last season they would have finished the season with close to 50 wins and be in the top 5 in the east. Add LeBron and another close to max player and you have a championship contender. The Bulls also have a defensive minded head coach. Sorry, but run and gun will not win you a ring. No defense will have you out of the playoffs in the first round.

In closing, if LeBron want to win a championship then Chicago is the place to do it. Chicago is also a huge market as well. It may not be quite as big as New York, but when you couple Chicago's market size and roster then you have a no-brainer. A lot of how I view LeBron will be based on were he decide to sign. If he stays in Cleveland then I say the guy is loyal. If he comes to Chicago then I say he really wants to win and is not affraid of the ghost of MJ. If he goes to Miami or Jersey then I say he also wants to win now but also wants to party and have fun in south beach or with a rich Russian and Jay Z. If he goes to the Clippers then he is a brave sole that fears nothing and is willing to take a slight risk(Davis is nearly 300 pounds according to reports and last season #1 draft pick has yet to play). If he goes to the Knicks then he is a fool that is only after making money and wants nothing to do with winning. The Knicks roster is crap and I think LBJ sees that now. If he want to be a legend or a King he needs to win some rings. Even with Chris Bosh and Lebron the Knick are not a contender. They would not be better then the Cavs team he just left.

Nobody knows were he will end up, but we will learn a lot about James as a person by what he decides to do. 
Posted on: June 3, 2010 5:22 pm
 

If I Were GM of the Bulls I Would...

         Okay, here we go. The offseason is almost here and if you are not the Celtics or the Lakers then you have been busy at work trying to figure out your moves for the offseason. Every fan of the game likes to play GM for their favorite team and I have a nice long history of doing just that on these boards for the Chicago Bulls. Of all the teams going into this summer some could say that the Bulls have the most on their plate. They have to hire a new Head Coach for their playoff caliber team. They have to spend 24+ million in cap money on free agents. They have the 17th pick in the draft to consider. The Bulls have a ton of options and this makes this offseason a wet dream for a fan playing the part of a GM. So what moves would I make? Let us take a look.
          You will quickly find that my idea of a great offseason is not that sexy in most eyes. I have a certain love for smaller moves that adds chemistry and depth. I favor a strong 7 man rotation over 1 or 2 superstars and a bunch of crap. It is a balancing act. You want to have a couple of go to guys. You want energy players and strong defenders. You want that guy that can light it up for 40 points. I think the Bulls are a solid team as it stands. They were in the 5th seed this season before the Noah injury and were playing their best basketball of the season right then. I truly believe the Bulls had a real shot at 48-50 wins this season had they not got hit with injuries to Hinrich, Noah, Gibson, and Deng down the stretch. But injuries are part of the game and they can dash any teams dreams.
          Building a contender can be done in two ways. The easy way is to get lucky and sign a megastar like LeBron James or the hard way by making multiple smaller moves that builds a more balanced team with depth and rotation options. However, before we attack which players to target we need to sign a Head Coach.
          In a perfect world the Bulls would lure Phil Jackson back to Chicago but that is not happening. Byron Scott and Avery Johnson seem like good choices on the surface but both have had issues with the players they coach and in my eyes are not the best options. Besides Scott is looking to take over the Lakers and Avery might sign with the Nets. Jeff Van Gundy would be a great fit, but I do not think he is leaving the broadcast booth anytime soon. The Bulls said they are looking for a Head Coach with Head Coaching experience and that leaves them with a short list of below .500 head coaches that I think we should stay away from. Maurice Cheeks is from Chicago but I am not sold on him being a longterm solution for any team. This leaves one option in my mind. Tom Thibodeau.
          Thibodeau is the defensive mastermind behind the Boston Celtics and is said to be very interested in the Chicago job. If Paxson has an ounce of brains in his skull he would go out and lock him up now. Thibodeau is not just a great basketball mind but his players love him and respect him. he would demend the respect of the Bulls players not just because he has a Championship ring but because he is one of those rare minds in basketball that can outcoach another teams coach. he is younger and has a long future ahead of him. The Bulls also have the players on their roster right now that would feed into his system. Kirk Hinrich, a favorite of once Bulls head Coach Scott Skiles, quickly comes to mind, as does Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Taj Gibson. He might also be just the coach that pushes Derrick Rose's defensive game from average to good. Speaking of Scott Skiles, I think that is good comparison to Tom Thibodeau except Thibodeau might be even a better defensive coach and still have the ability to relate to players. Scott Skiles gets the nod for his play calling which I still feel he is stellar at. So there we have it, a new Head Coach. Was that too hard?
          Now we move to building a roster. Sure I could simply say the Bulls should just sign LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, or Chris Bosh and call it a day, but to be honest the odds are against Chicago landing any of those three. There is still a chance LeBron stays in Cleveland with the Cavaliers. There also is an equal chance that he signs with the Knicks and still yet an outside chance he goes to the Nets, Clippers, or Heat. I say the Bulls have a 20% chance to land him and I am not liking those odds. Wade will likely resign in Miami. Bosh will either sign with Wade in Miami or follow leBron to the Knicks. This is just how a see the summer going. If Lebron goes to New York with Bosh then I see Amar'e moving to Miami with Wade. BAM! The four biggest free agents are off the table. that leaves Joe Johnson, Carlos Boozer, and Dirk Nowitzki. I think the Bulls will then have to fight for one of those three and perhaps even offer a max contract which none diserve except for Dirk and I think he will head to the Suns if Amar'e is gone. Johnson is a nice player and would work well with Derrick Rose but why pay him a max contract. Let another team make that mistake like the Clippers or Nets. The same goes for the often injured Carlos Boozer. Let him sign elsewhere. You must now be in shock. Who is ChiTownCliff angling for. A cheaper option, David Lee. If I were John Paxson I would of course try for LeBron, Bosh, and Wade but if that does not pan out quickly then I would target David Lee with a 5 year contract for 13-14 million per.
          David Lee give the Bulls a cheaper version of Chris Bosh. Not bad if you ask me. Lee is a gritty player that cannot only grab rebounds, but can nail the open jumper and this gives the Bulls the perfect scoring bigman. He may not have a great back to the basket game but I think his scoring abilities fit perectly with the Bulls. The Bulls would surely lead the league in rebounds again but the real deal with signing Lee is pairing him with Rose. I think this is a great 1-2 punch. Imagine the PnP and PnR game these two could put on. Also, Lee's ability to hit long jumpers would draw defenders out of the paint and allow Derrick Rose to drive to the bucket and create. This signing also gives the Bulls room to sign yet another player that can have an impact. Enter Ray Allen.
          Say what you want I think this could happen. With Tom Thibodeau as the Head Coach Allen would at least consider it and there is a chance that the Celtics will let Ray go anyways even if they win another Championship. I understand that Ray is getting older, but he is one of those few athletes in the NBA that keeps himself in great shape. I bet he has 3+ good effective years left in him. He is a savvy veteran that fills one of the Bulls biggest needs, a deadly three point shooter. The Bulls lost Ben Gordon last season and his shooting was missed dearly. I think the Bulls could offer a 3 year deal at 8 million per and snag Allen as their new starting shooting guard. Now when Rose drives he will have a player out there that he can kick the ball to for 3. This makes the Bulls offense more complex and difficult to defend against.
          This leaves the Bulls with about 2 million in cap and I say they either resign Brad Miller to a one or two year deal or look for a backup point guard like perhaps Rafer Alston. I would rather resign Miller as he has stated he is very happy in Chicago and has made good friends with players on the team like Joakim Noah.
          When it come to the idea of making a trade I just do not see it happening unless it happens in a sign and trade for a superstar like Bosh or LeBron. I just do not see the Bulls being able t move Hinrich and his contract or Luol Deng and his massive contract. i think both remain Bulls for at least another season. The Bulls have no other players to trade aftre those two. they are not moving Rose and Noah and Gibson are cheap and quite good so you know they are staying.
          In the draft the Bulls will have only one position to fill. Either a backup center or a backup point guard depending on if they resign Miller or sign a veteran point guard. If they resign Miller then I think they should draft Eric Bledsoe. He is explosive and a solid shooter and could step right in and play a solid 10+ minutes behind Rose. If they sign a PG then they should draft Daniel Orton or Hassan Whiteside. I think Orton is the better fit of the two. The Bulls could also go the route of picking up another wing player to back up Deng. I understand the Bulls have James Johnson but they could use another option as Johnson can also play the PF role so perhaps a rookie that can play a little shooting guard and a little small forward would be wise. Xavier Henry would be perfect if he drops but James Anderson would be okay as well. I expect little from this draft pick but you never know. 
          By making these moves the Bulls have a strong starting five with a mix of defense, explosive scoring, veteran leadership, and chemistry. They also have a solid bench and depth at each and every position. The long NBA season is bound to bring injuries. I love the idea of Lee and Noah in the paint together with Deng slashing and Ray hitting jumpers off screens and Derrick doing his thing. Rose would have the firepower around him to get his assist numbers up around the 8pg mark. Ray Allen could rest and play only 30 minute per night or less with Kirk sitting on the bench.

PG. Derrick Rose/Eric Bledsoe
SG. Ray Allen/Kirk Hinrich
SF. Luol Deng/James Johnson
PF. David Lee/Taj Gibson
C. Joakim Noah/Brad Miller

          Maybe not the sexiest looking group of players or roster that you could imagine the Bulls having, but I think it would be very very effective on both ends and would contend for a top 3 spot in the east. Longterm the Bulls would have to move Kirk or Deng to make room to resign Rose or move both to sign future additions, but moving into next season this would be an ideal team. That is saying if we cannot sign LBJ, Wade, or Bosh. To be honest I might rather have Lee over Bosh.
          So what are your thoughts? What would you do as the GM for the Bulls this offseason or for your team for that matter? Thanks for taking the time to read this and i hope you enjoyed it.
Posted on: May 21, 2010 9:56 pm
 

3rd Annual Offseason Dreams and Delusions.

          Well here we are again with another offseason just around the corner. It looks as if both of the conference might be sweeps this year. David Stern cannot be too happy about that. Ouch! Well every year before the trade deadline and before the offseason I run a "Dreams and Delusions" thread. This is the place to drop your offseason solutions for your team faults. Weather that has to do with the upcoming draft, a trade, signing free agents, or a little bit of it all. What will get your team back on track or, if you are so lucky, keep your team a contender? I will start off by gining you my dream senario followed by some more realistic ones.

The Big Delusion.
          
          The Bulls are in pretty good shape going into the summer. They have a solid young team led by the Allstar point guard Derrick Rose and the crafty center Joakim Noah. The big target of all the teams with cap space is going to be LeBron James and that is no secret, but will he want a sign and trade? Maybe. The Bulls have to be on his short list due to the big market of Chicago and the young core of players. Derrick Rose is young and only going to get better and LeBron knows it.
          So let us say the Bulls and the Cavaliers orchestrate a sign and trade. The Bulls will have to send around 18-19 million in contracts to the Cavs so that would have to be Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich. Would the Cavs want Deng's longterm contract? Would they want another Guard? These are both reasonable questions, but a third team could get involved so that all parties got what they wanted. This thread is all about dreaming so I am going to say that the Cavs agree to take Deng and Hinrich. Both are good starters and Luol would fill the void at small forward.
          This would leave the Bulls with all their cap money to sign another big free agent. It is being reported that Chris Bosh is waiting to see were LeBron goes because he wants to follow him. I am not sure if this rumor is true but I am sure having LeBron would help sell the Bulls to any free agents. So then we will pretend the Bulls sign Chris Bosh to a max deal as well. The Bulls would have a hole still at the shooting guard position that would need to be filled, but they would still have 3-4 million to spend on a player after signing Bosh. So the Bulls could simply resign Ronald Murray or perhaps go after a scrub like Roger Mason to fill the void.
          This would give the Bulls a insane starting five of Rose, Murray, LeBron, Bosh, and Noah. The Shooting Guard could be anyone as long as they can play a bit of defense and hit from beyond the arc to help spread the floor. I love the idea of Bosh and Noah in the paint. They are like peanut butter and jelly. Bosh can score inside and out and Noah can do all the gritty work. LeBron would be drawing the double and so would Rose and that would cause nightmares for other teams. Bosh, Rose, and LeBron si a very scary and young big three that would win championships and be very good fo a very long time.
          This team would have a weak bench with James Johnson and Taj Gibson as the two only real players there. The Bulls would have to hope to lure a veteran into the mix and pick up some scrubs. Still this team would be a top 3 team instantly. But this is indeed a big Dream and a bit of a Delusion so lets look at some more reasonable option.
 
The Dream.
         
Well, now let us pretend that LBJ goes elsewhere. This leaves one clear option to me. Go after Bosh! I understand he will most likely head to the Heat to play with Wade or to the Knicks to play with LeBron, but he may still want the chance to be the leader and on the Bulls he could be that guy but have a real cast of players around him. I love him and Noah in the paint and Rose drawing double teams on the outside. That could prove to be deadly even more if Rose can perfect his 3 pointer this offseason. Last offseason he worked on his mid-range jumper and it showed as he hit almost everything he threw up this year. The Bulls could simply keep the cast of players they have and move taj Gibson to the bench. If you look at the Bulls starting five as they stand Taj is the weakest link. He is a solid rookie and wil turn into a good player and will have a long career, but Bosh is a major upgrade and it would be nice have Gibson come off the bench. The Bulls could then try to pick up a sharp shooter which is another of their big needs. A player that can spread the floor. Perhaps they might be able to pull off a signing of Ray Allen. With Bosh, Noah, and Rose I am sure the Bulls could land a solid veteran and I am not so sure the Celtics will resign him. That would give the Bulls a very good and balanced starting five of Rose, Allen, Deng, Bosh, and Noah, with Johnson, Gibson, and Kirk coming off the bench. Not bad depth at all. 
          This would be a balanced team that would be able to spread the floor with Ray and Deng to allow Rose to work his Magic and Bosh would create havoc on pick and rolls with Rose and Allen. Noah would clean up the boards and perhaps lead the league in rebounds if Bosh draws a lot of doubles and Noah gets a lot of put backs.

The Reality.
          The bottomline is that the Bulls are going to get better this offseason. It just matters by how much. With LeBron they become a contender but I am not holding my breath. With Bosh and a shooter I think they are more balanced and have greater depth and are also a contender. It will come down to were LBJ signs and if Bosh signs with the heat to join Wade. That will take Wade off the table as a third option in my book as he is much to much like Rose as a player and cannot hit the three pointer like we need. This will leave Carlos Boozer, Amar'e Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, and perhaps Dirk as the leftovers. Not the best bunch of players as they all have their weaknesses. Dirk is getting up there in age even though he is playing at the top of his game, but it will be a matter a couple of seasons and his game will decline as the Bulls are paying him max dollars. Not the best idea. Boozer is hurt so often that I would not think to sign him to a max deal, but even at 12-14 million he is a risk I would not want to take. Amar'e has been playing for a contract this season and I am not sure he would produce once the money was in hand. He would also want max money and the Bulls might find themselves in a bidding war with other teams like the Knicks, Clippers, and Nets. Amar'e is not worth max money even with the season he had. That leaves Joe Johnson. I am sure he will want max money too, but I have less of an issue spending it on him. I no he was lost in this years playoffs, but he would fill a huge need for the Bulls with his shooting and ability to create.
          I say that Joe Johnson is the clear target in this senario. The Bulls would then need to land a bigman and I like the idea of making a deal with the Knicks for David Lee. Lee is a poor man's Chris Bosh. I think the Knick would do a sign and trade sending Lee to the Bulls for Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson. This would give the Bulls a starting five of Rose, Johnson, Deng, Lee, and Noah. They would still have cap space to add a player or two to add depth. I think this team might not look sexy but could be a gritty team that could very well be a contender as well. Sometimes it is not all about having all the big stars but more about having the right balance of players. Rose is a leader and a creater for his team. He is as fast as they come and a top athlete in the league. He is simply a superstar. Johnson is the perfect storm with his ability to hit the jumper and nail the three to help spread the floor. Deng is the jack of all trades wingman that can slach, defend, and hit the open 18-footer. Lee is a crafty player who has been playing out of position in New Yrok. As a power forward he will have his way with lesser talents and hold his own against other Allstars and has the ability to also spread the floor with his jumper. Noah again is the heart of the Bulls with his nasty defense and big personality. I like the chemistry that this team would offer.
          In the end I see the Bulls having a offseason like the one I just laid out. No major superstars, but smart moves that quietly make the Bulls a balanced and powerful team.

          So what are the offseason Dreams and Delusions for your team?
Posted on: March 18, 2010 6:57 pm
 

Bulls fans are rooting for the Clippers now!

          Well the hopes of the playoffs are all but over now for Bulls fans as they have dropped 9 in a row. Sadly, there is no light at the end of the tunnel as the Bulls will continue to to play like a D-League team until they can put a healthy team on the floor. With Joakim Noah out the Bulls became a bad team and now that Derrick Rose and Luol Deng are sitting the Bulls are going to struggle to see another win this season. With the playoffs looking out of the question losing might be in the Bulls best option. I know as a Bulls fan that I should never say it is time to tank a season, but there is much at stake.

          As it stands the Bulls are looking at the 11th pick in this summers draft. The issue is that the Bulls will then have to swap that pick with the Bucks as part of the Salmons trade. If the Bulls can drop to the 10th pick then they get to keep it as the pick is protected if it is a top 10 pick. This brings me to the Clippers. They hold the 10th pick, but the issue is the Clips are 26-43 with 13 games remaining. The Bulls are 31-36 as it stands. They need to keep losing and the Clippers need to start winning.
          Therefore, I am now a Clippers fans until the end of the season. If the Bulls can land the 10th pick they will be in good shape going into the offseason. The Bulls need to let Noah just sit out the rest of the season. They should play Rose and Deng only if they are 100%, otherwise they should just let this season go. It make me sick to even be saying this, but this team is driving me crazy. Just a couple of weeks ago the Bulls were on fire and sitting in the 5th seed in the east and then it all fell apart. What is the point of even going to the playoffs at this point? The 8th seed will draw the Cavaliers and the Bulls would be swept  without a healthy big three(Noah, Deng, Rose). 
          The Bulls have 21+ million to spend this offseason and they should be able to add a player or two that will make this team close to a contender if not a contender flat out. It all depends on who they can sign. If they then also have a pick in the lottery then the Bulls will be just fine.
          My only major fear is that the Bulls get the 11th pick and then have to swap it with the bucks for the 16th or 17th pick. Then if the Bulls are unable to sign Wade, James, or Bosh and have to overpay a player like David Lee then things could be ugly in Chicago for some time. I just hope this senario does not pan out or I may have to move to another state.
          So, am I crazy? Should I become a Clippers fan for the next month? Can the Bulls drop to the 10th pick? Should the Bulls sit Noah the rest of the season? Will the Bulls be able to sign a superstar? There are a lot of questions jumping around in my mind and I cannot wait for them all to be answered.
Posted on: March 18, 2010 6:57 pm
 

Bulls fans are rooting for the Clippers now!

          Well the hopes of the playoffs are all but over now for Bulls fans as they have dropped 9 in a row. Sadly, there is no light at the end of the tunnel as the Bulls will continue to to play like a D-League team until they can put a healthy team on the floor. With Joakim Noah out the Bulls became a bad team and now that Derrick Rose and Luol Deng are sitting the Bulls are going to struggle to see another win this season. With the playoffs looking out of the question losing might be in the Bulls best option. I know as a Bulls fan that I should never say it is time to tank a season, but there is much at stake.

          As it stands the Bulls are looking at the 11th pick in this summers draft. The issue is that the Bulls will then have to swap that pick with the Bucks as part of the Salmons trade. If the Bulls can drop to the 10th pick then they get to keep it as the pick is protected if it is a top 10 pick. This brings me to the Clippers. They hold the 10th pick, but the issue is the Clips are 26-43 with 13 games remaining. The Bulls are 31-36 as it stands. They need to keep losing and the Clippers need to start winning.
          Therefore, I am now a Clippers fans until the end of the season. If the Bulls can land the 10th pick they will be in good shape going into the offseason. The Bulls need to let Noah just sit out the rest of the season. They should play Rose and Deng only if they are 100%, otherwise they should just let this season go. It make me sick to even be saying this, but this team is driving me crazy. Just a couple of weeks ago the Bulls were on fire and sitting in the 5th seed in the east and then it all fell apart. What is the point of even going to the playoffs at this point? The 8th seed will draw the Cavaliers and the Bulls would be swept  without a healthy big three(Noah, Deng, Rose). 
          The Bulls have 21+ million to spend this offseason and they should be able to add a player or two that will make this team close to a contender if not a contender flat out. It all depends on who they can sign. If they then also have a pick in the lottery then the Bulls will be just fine.
          My only major fear is that the Bulls get the 11th pick and then have to swap it with the bucks for the 16th or 17th pick. Then if the Bulls are unable to sign Wade, James, or Bosh and have to overpay a player like David Lee then things could be ugly in Chicago for some time. I just hope this senario does not pan out or I may have to move to another state.
          So, am I crazy? Should I become a Clippers fan for the next month? Can the Bulls drop to the 10th pick? Should the Bulls sit Noah the rest of the season? Will the Bulls be able to sign a superstar? There are a lot of questions jumping around in my mind and I cannot wait for them all to be answered.
Posted on: June 26, 2009 12:20 pm
 

Breaking Down the Bulls: Is Tyrus Thomas gone?

     Well, the 2009 NBA draft is now behind us and there have been a number of big moves around the league, but nothing involving the Chicago Bulls. One thing stands out from the draft and I am sure many Bulls fans thought of it after the Bulls drafted Taj Gibson. Having already picked up James Johnson with the 16th pick the Bulls then draft another power forward. There have been rumors that Tyrus Thomas might be traded, so was the Bulls decision to draft two power forwards a sign that a Thomas trade is in the works? Let us take a look.

     I for one think Tyrus Thomas is a great player but is too small to play the power forward and not a good enough ball-handler to be a star small forward. He is the classic tweener. He can jump out the gym and could very well be the most athletic player in the NBA. It would seem he would be a perfect fit alongside a point guard like Derrick Rose, right? He has worked hard on his shot and has become a fairly good shooter from around 17 feet but the problem is he can not seem to shake a player off the dribble and then drive to the basket. If only he had a better basketball IQ and some better handles around the rim. He is an enigma and therefore a hard player to just give up on. 
     The problem now is that the Bulls have way to many tweeners. Luol Deng is a small forward but plays the PF position at times because he does not have great speed but does have length. Tim Thomas, Tyrus Thomas, James Johnson, and Taj Gibson along with Deng is just way to much depth. Something has got to give and with Ben Gordon maybe leaving the Bulls really need a starting shooting guard unless they plan to use John Salmons there which could work nicely. 
     If the Bulls lose Ben Gordon then they will most likely keep Kirk Hinrich to backup both Salmons and Rose. This would give them solid depth at the guard position. Vinny could start either Captain Kirk or Salmons at the 2 spot depending on what team they face. The Bulls could pick up another true point guard as well for depth or just keep Hunter around if he does not retire. Rose will be playing 40 minutes a game this season for sure. I think the Bulls will be fine with or without Gordon. Infact if Gordon stays and Luol Deng is 100% heathy this leaves John Salmons the odd man out and Salmons should be starting. Hinrich is not as good as Gordon overall, but he is a great floor leader, playmaker, and defender. 
     This brings me to the small forward spot. If healthy Luol Deng is a 18 and 8 player and maybe better so he needs to start. I could see James Johnson filling the backup role very nicely behind Deng. Johnson is athletic and a solid shooter. He is not a great defender but is Deng? I could see Johnson playing a solid 15-20 mionutes off the bench. He has size and strength to play right noe in the NBA.
     We will come back to the power forward spot in a minute but first let us look at the center spot. I do not know about you but I feel good about Joakim Noah as a starting center in this league. He is not the big back to the basket center that wins championships, but really how many of those types of Centers are there? Not very many. Infact Yao Ming, Shaq, and Dwight Howard are the only true giants in the NBA right now and Ming is hurt and Shaq is old. The fact of the matter is that Noah is a good center in todays game. What he really needs is a back to the basket scoring power forward to share the paint with him. You also could do much much worse for a backup center then the savvy veteran that is Brad Miller. I think the Bulls are solid in the center position for now. The gaping hole to me is at the power forward spot.
     Tyrus Thomas is a shot blocking, rebounding, energy player and that might be it. He makes bad choices with the ball and I am in fear every time he is on the floor at the end of a close game which ironically not often. Vinny sees it too. Tyrus has limits. He is not a good man to man or off the ball defender. He is good for a few amazing blocks a game and somecrazy dunks but that may be it. Noah, while not nearly as athletic is ten times smarter and knows when to get rid of the ball. Tyrus loves to force low percentage shots in the paint at that cost the Bulls games. When he tries to blow past a defender he simply does not have the skills to do so and often just plows them over and gets called for the offensive foul. We could do better then Thomas. Tyrus could fit well on a different team like the Warriors or Knicks. Tim Thomas is an expiring contract that othe teams may bite on. He is still a good shooter and can hit some big shots, but again he is not a post player and can not drive to the hole very well. We could stand to lose Tim Thomas as well. Taj Gibson is at best an energy player and defensive stopper. He is very much like Tyrus in that his Basketball IQ is below average. Gibson is a garbage minutes player.
     I really do not understand why the Bulls took Gibson at the 26th spot of the draft. Blair was still there and while fat and slow he is a back to the basket player that would have been a steal at 26. If Tyrus is traded then the Bulls could have started Blair in place of him and had a scorer in the paint. Think Big Baby Davis here. I am not saying that Blair is the answer to anything longterm, but he would have made much more sense then Taj. The only thing that makes sense is that Blair's knees are really that bad off.
     So how do we solve our power forward issues. Well after drafting two power forwards I would say that Gar Forman has a plan. I think Chris Bosh is off the table this summer but maybe a mid-season trade with Toronto could still happen. The Bulls could just offer Bosh a contract in the summer of 2010 when he becomes a free agent. I still think the Bulls can make a trade this summer and fix the PF mess.
     One idea I had before was a trade with the Knicks for David Lee. I still contend it is worth looking at. Tim Thomas and Tyrus Thomas in a sign and trade for Lee might just work. Mike D'Antoni could start Tyrus at the 3 spot if he wanted to alongside rookie Jordan Hill. that could be an exciting team and if the Knicks could work out a deal with the Timberwolves for Ricky Rubio then the Knicks could become a very fun team to watch. The Bulls would get a solid blue collar power forward that can post up and rebound. I think the Bulls could get by with Lee and Noah. There would be a ton of second chance scoring and physical play. If then Bosh goes on the market before the trade deadline the Bulls could package Brad Millers expiring contract with Joakim Noah and maybe land Bosh. That line up would look like this:

PG- Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich
SG- John Salmons, Kirk Hinrich
SF- Luol Deng, James Johnson
PF- Chris Bosh, James Johnson, Taj Gibson
C- David Lee, Aaron Gray

     Not to bad. In the end us fans will have to see just what happens, but I do smell something in the works. I could also see the Bulls going after a player like Chris Kaman. The Bulls could then slide Noah into the power forward spot. The Clippers have to get rid of some bigmen with having just drafted Blake Griffin. Bulls could make a similar trade for Kaman as they would for Lee and the Bulls might be able to pry a future draft pick out of the Clippers hands. 
     I do not know about you, but I can not wait to see what happens this summer.

 

Posted on: May 25, 2009 2:39 pm
 

The Smart GM Trades Kevin Garnett this Summer.

     I understand that many will call me crazy for even thinking that the Celtics should trade Kevin Garnett, but there are plenty of reasons as to why it is the right move. I made mention of this idea back on one of the Bulls vs Celtics playoff threads and then again on another thread about Bostons future and I got mixed feedback. I have since taken a little time to research a bit more as to a few trade ideas and to also solidify my argument. So let us take a look at a few reasons as to why it makes sense for the Celtics to break up the big three.

     Be honest with yourselves. What will it take for the Celtics to get back to the Finals and win another championship? It will take a few things happening that I feel is just a huge gamble for Boston. Kevin Garnett will have to return and be near 100%. Leon Powe will have to heal and continue to grow. Ray Allen will have to shoot consistently and stop aging. Celtics will have to resign Big Baby somehow to slowly take over for the fading KG. Paul Pierce will have to show up a little more in the playoffs. Rajon Rondo will have to pick up the slack by becoming a superstar.
     Can all 6 of those things happen? I think not. If Garnett returns and plays well then the Celtics will make it to the second round of the playoffs again, but the east is fastly changing and the Celtic's core is getting very old. If Boston does not make moves this summer they could very well turn into the next version of the Pistons. An motley grouping of aging vets and mismatched parts that have little trade value. Think of what the Pistons could have done a few years ago if they were smart enough to break up their team. But instead they pressed on and slowly slipped out of contention. Sad.
     The time is now for Boston to bypass this fate. If KG can recover and pass a physical then they should move him while he still have some value. In a year or less he could be worth as much as Rasheed Wallace. Scary. Yes it would be a cruel thing to do to KG after he gave Boston a championship, but basketball is a business not a retirement home. Kevin Garnett could recover and have 1 or 2 good seasons left but that is a big risk to take. I think moving him now is the best option. Rajon Rondo is clearly the future of this team as Paul Pierce will himself slowly start to fade in the next 3 or 4 years. He has a lot of miles on him and to me Rondo looks to be the most well rounded talent on the Celtics right now.
     Many have been saying the Celtics should move Ray Allen but he has only one year left on his contract that expires in the summer of 2010. Having 18 million dollars in cap space next summer might be enough to grab a superstar free agent if the Celtics aready have the right players on board. I say hold onto Ray. Here are a few ideas for the Celtics.
    1) I understand that the Raptors are in the same division as the Celtics, but both can gain somthing by making a deal. The Raptors have to understand by now that Chris Bosh is most likely bolting after next season and they need to start listening to offers now. I want my Bulls to make an offer to be honest. I think if the Celtics offered Garnett and thier 1st round pick they could land Bosh and Jason Kapono. Bosh is not as good as KG was in his prime but Bosh is younger and Kapono gives the celtics another three point threat which they could really use. Toronto gets a superstar in KG and a pick. All of these trade ideas work on the ESPN trade machine just so you know. Different combinations of picks could be used to even out this trade but I think if they can move past the idea of both being in the same division that this is a solid moves on both ends. Raptors will either want another superstar for Bosh or young talent and picks. Few other teams can offer a player like Garnett to the Raptors so they might swallow his huge contract to just fill some seats at home.
     2) OK, I understand that Zach Randolph is a nightmare in the locker room but the Celtics could try to move him during the season or a third team could be involved. I think Camby is a solid replacement for KG. They are both old and Camby is not what he used to be but both ZR and Marcus' contracts expire before KG's contract. In the end this trade really just gives the Celtics a little more flexability and I am sure the Clippers would throw a future draft pick on the table. Clippers love to make bad trades so maybe the Celtics could pull a John Paxson and land two future 1st rounders. The Clippers really want to move Zach. I understand that this is not a sexy trade and it would certainly have the Celtics taking a step back, but if they can land a 1st round pick or two from the Clippers then it is a no brainer to me. The Clippers are always in the lottery and often hold a top 5 pick.
     3) Now I like this idea. Peja Stojakovic's contract is hard to swallow for what he offers but it is one season shorter then KGs. David West on the other hand is a solid young power foward. The Hornet could bite if the Celtics ate another contract and offered a 1st and 2nd round pick. The Hornets might not want to give up a young star like west for an aging one like Garnett, but they might also want to make it look like they are trying to build a contender to keep Chris Paul happy. I seem to remember the Mavericks trading away a budding star in Devin Harris for Jason Kidd. You just never really know what a team will do. But If the Celtics can bring home a player like David West then I think they would remain contenders. I also think that boston can stand to let go of a couple of picks. Rondo, Pierce, and West could be a deadly trio.
     4) Speaking of the Mavericks what about a trade for Josh Howard and Erick Dampier. I think that this could be a nice even trade as is. Howard has a few injuries to ovrecome and a fondness for herbs and Dampier is also getting older but is still a solid player in the paint. Plus Howard's contract ends next summer to give the Celtics some extra cap space and Erick's ends the next summer. Mavericks could be scary with Garnett and Dirk on the floor together. If Jason Kidd can muster a bit more out of his HOF career then the mavericks could contend with this move. Howard would look nice running the floor with Rondo and if the Celtics lose Big Baby then Dampier could be a short term fix. I think with this move the Celtics would free up enough money for the summer of 2010 to go after perhaps Amar'e, Bosh(if he is not already traded), or Wade.
     5) This trade is all about freeing up a bit of money. Celtics would save 5 million right off the bat with the differences in contracts and Matt Harpring's contract ends next summer and Kirilenko's is a year shorter then KGs. AK47 could play the 3 or 4 and be a solid replacement for KGs defense. I am not saying he is as good but he is a very good defender. With freed up cap space the Celtics would have money to add a superstar and maybe resign Big Baby this summer. A 2010/2011 lineup of Rajon Rando, Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, AK47, and Big Baby would be a great team to watch and a very good defensive team. Maybe a big instead of Wade might more sense. For the Jazz they get KG to replace Boozer who is sure to leave this summer.
    
     Well, I hope you enjoyed the read. Please understand that these trade ideas can be tinkered with a bit by adding smaller pieces or draft picks to even thing out. I can already see all the negative replies about a couple of these trade ideas. What I really want to hear from other posters is 1) is moving KG in and of itself just a bad idea? and 2) what other trade ideas can you come up with?
Posted on: February 21, 2009 7:50 pm
 

Power Rankings Feb. 22nd

Here we go:

  1. Lakers. The team to beat and without doubt the best in the NBA right now. Best record plus being the hottest team in the league is proof enough.
  2. Cavaliers. Just when you think this team is not as good as the Celtics LeBron James does something insane that gives me a Michael Jordan flasback. Lack of depth? Who cares? Who is going to stop LBJ?
  3. Spurs. Overtime loss to the Knicks was a hard one for any fan to watch who does not live in New York. I still think this team has a real shot at an upset when the WCFs roll around.
  4. Celtics. How will this team adjust without Kevin Garnett? I think they just lost themselves the number one seed for sure. Will KG come back in full health? Scary for Celtic fans I bet.
  5. Magic. Rafer Alston was a great move for the Magic with Jameer Nelson out for the season. Magic fans must be breathing a sigh of relief right now. There is yet a flicker of hope off in the distance.
  6. Nuggets. Loss to the Bulls was ugly for sure. But Billups has been great for this team. They need to be a bit more consistant and play with passion every game.
  7. Portland. With Michael Ruffin on board they could make it to the Finals. Sorry, that was a joke. This team is young and balanced. Most of all they keep winning games.
  8. Jazz. Look out here they come. They are just 3 1/2 games out of the 4th seed and playing quite well. Have won 3 in a row. I smell a darkhorse.
  9. Rockets. This team iwins three games without Tracy McGrady. Didn't this happen before? Tracy McGrady is a cursed player. There I said it.
  10. Mavericks. Another darkhorse team. Dirk is playing his best ball this season and this team has nice depth. I hope they can do without Jason Terry.
  11. Hornets. I really liked the double reverse trade for Tyson Chandler. I wonder if they knew how bad his toe was? This will hurt them in future trades. What seed does this team get in the playoffs? 8th vs Lakers? Ouch!
  12. Hawks. Young and balanced. They are the fourth best team in the east but are this low in the rankings. Says a lot about the east.
  13. Suns. This team was reborn the day they fired Terry Porter. How far will they get without Amar'e Stoudemire? That is the real question.
  14. Heat. Not to sure that JO was the right move or not. He is injury prone so you have to wonder if he will be there come playoff time. Good thing they have that other guy Dwyane Wade to carry them.
  15. Bulls. This team is one of the hottest teams in the east right now. Beating the Nuggets with only 7 players says a lot about this teams passion. They are playing gritty, backs against the wall basketball. Hello playoffs.
  16. Pistons. Rasheed Wallace will jack up 5 failed 3 point attempts before I finish writing this sentence. Someone needs to buy Coach Curry a chemistry set. Sad when AI is not the problem.
  17. Bucks. This team has one thing going for it. Scott Skiles. He and he alone will will this team into the playoffs. I am not sure that will be enough at the end of the day.
  18. 76ers. This team will most likely make the playoffs but lets hope Miller gets back soon to run this team before they rack up to many losses.
  19. Knicks. Starting to rack up a lot of points on other teams. Larry Hughes should be a nice addition to Mike D'Antoni's run and gun offense. Knicks could slip into the playoffs yet.
  20. Pacers. This is were the teams really start to slip off for me. Granger can not do it by himself. This team needs to make some smart draft selections this summer and let the rebuilding continue.
  21. Nets. They could not get rid of Vince Carter. Souldn't they have done that like 3 years ago anyways? Brook Lopez is a solid piece to the puzzle for the future.
  22. Warriors. Despite what some Warriors fans think Monta Ellis has not been playing that well and without Andris Biedrins in the paint this team will continue to struggle.
  23. Raptors. Record or no record, a team with Jose Calderon, Chris Bosh, and Shawn Marion can not be this bad, can they?
  24. Bobcats. Is this team ever going to be a .500 team after an Allstar break? They have rebuilding down to a fine art in Charlotte.
  25. Timberwolves. No Al Jefferson equals a lot of tears in pillows. Timberwolves fans need only think about the draft to find comfort.
  26. Grizzlies. At least this team has a bright future to think about. To bad the owners do not like to spend money.
  27. Wizards. Two wins in a row is nice to see. Other then that this team has been shockingly bad this season.
  28. Clippers. Baron Davis needs not to be traded for Tracy McGrady, we need to get these two guys on the same team. That would be interesting.
  29. Thunder. Maybe the best young talent in the NBA reside here in Kevin Durant. What a joy to watch he is. Let's hope they can build something around him.
  30. Kings. What else can be said. Drew Gooden and Andres Nocioni could help things out. I will miss Andres Nocioni though.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com