Posted on: May 4, 2010 11:22 am
Well what we all knew was going to happen has happened. Vinny Del Negro has been fired and the young Bulls are at a crossroads. They have a young and talented one-two punch in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah and a nice core or role-players in Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and James Johnson. They have the money to sign a max contract player like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, or Chris Bosh and a MLE player as well. They could go from an average team to an elite team this summer and picking the correct Head Coach this time around is very important. Here is a look at a few of the names being mentioned on the national stage as well as a couple I have heard mentioned on Chicago radio.
Doug Collins. Collins has 8 years of head coaching experience and is known as a players coach which might be fine for this Bulls team because they are a very mature group and self-motivated. Doug has a head coaching record of 332-287, but it should be noted that most of those wins came with a player named Michael Jordan playing in his early days. He is a smart guy and a veteran player that players will respect. Free agents will likely want to play for him as well as he is not known to be a screamer. The big issue with collins is that it is likely he will only coach for 2 seasons and no more then 3 as he is known to get a bit bored.
Byron Scott. Scott was a solid player in the NBA and has three rings on his fingers from his years with the Lakers in the 80s to prove it. As a coach he brought the Nets to the NBA finals twice only to lose both times. He is known to lose respect from his players after time and that could pose and issue as the Bulls need a longterm solution, not a 2 or 3 year firestorm coach like Scott Skiles proved to be with the Bulls. Still Scott is an interesting choice and has plenty of head coahing experience, but it is said he want to take over for Phil Jackson if and when he retires.
Lawrence Frank. He was the head coach of the Nets for 7 years and made the playoffs 4 times with those teams that included Jason Kidd and Vince Carter. Oddly those were good teams that never made it to the eastern conference finals once even though they had the talent. I think Frank is an average to above average coach at best and is not the type of hiring that will draw in a big free agent. His record of 225-241 leaves a lot to be desired.
Kevin Mchale. This is a joke right? I keep hearing this name and it make no sense to me. Sure Mchale is in my top 5 power forwards all time, but he was a poor GM and a bad coach as well. 38-105 coaching record is not only really really bad, but it proves that he does not even have that much experience as a coach and the Bulls need a coach that has been a head coach for a while to push them to the next level and Mchale simple is not the correct fit.
Maurice Cheeks. A former point guard and a Chicago native Cheeks looks like a good choice. His coahing record is not that great but he did not have the best teams to work with to be honest. Portland was a team full of selfish thugs at the time and I do not understand how he put up with those teams, and while the 76ers had some talent they just never had enough to compete. I would be happy if the Bulls picked him and gave him a chance with a real team that is both young and hungry.
John Calipari. This angle is simple. Land LeBron James. James and Calipari are well-known friends and if the Bulls were to hire Calipari it would signal a signing of LeBron James. I am not a huge fan of LeBron the person, but as a player he is clearly the best in the league and if a coach hiring can land the big fish of this free agent class then I am for it. Sure there are all those scandles in the NCAA but this is the NBA and this league is about making money and Calipari might fit in nicely, however if the Bulls sign his and do not get LBJ then I would not be happy.
Jeff Van Gundy. To me he would be the perfect hire. He has a ton of experience and is a very smart coach that is still young enough to stick around for a while if things work out. The isuue is weather or not he wants to coach agian. If so the Bulls should go after him asap. He is a very good defensive coach and that would fit well with the Bulls young core of defensive minded players. If Gundy wants to coach a team that will not make him pull the rest of his hair out then the Bulls are a good fit as they always give effort on both ends. Another big issue would be a realationship between John Paxson and Van Gundy as Jeff has made comments recently about the Bulls brass. I say fire Gar Forman and John Paxson and hire Doug Collins to be the new GM and Van Gundy to be coach. Wake up Cliff, wake up.
So which of these seven candidatesfit the needs of the Bulls best and why?
Posted on: May 25, 2009 2:39 pm
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: November 23, 2008 6:09 pm
Against the Warriors the Bulls went with a small lineup with Andres Nocioni at the power forward spot. It worked, but Bulls fans can not expect that kind of outing every night with a small lineup. I think Vinny will change his starters every night if needs be to attempt to hide the truth that the Bulls have a big hole on th roster. The Bulls need a starting bigman with an inside game worse now then they ever have before. Derrick Rose is the future of the Bulls for sure, but he needs a real talent down low for him to become a top NBA player. The Bulls are deep with talent and should be able to pull off a trade of some kind this season. Here are a few ideas on what they could do.
One option would be the blockbuster route. I think the Bulls could target Dirk Nowitzki if the Mavericks continue to hover around or below .500. The season is young but if the Jason Kidd trade continues to look like a mistake and the Mavericks can not solidify themselves as a contender then the door could be open for a trade and the Bulls could make a very attractive offer.
I think the Mavericks would like to replace the two first round draft picks they lost in the Kidd trade, so the Bulls would have to offer at least one and maybe two 1st round picks right from the get go to show that they are serious. I think if the Bulls packaged two first round picks with Drew Gooden, Andres Nocioni, and Thabo Sefolosha that the Mavericks might make the trade. Gooden's contract expires this summer so the Mavericks would free up some money, and the Picks would get them back into the draft.
Another option is the two picks and Drew Gooden, Ben Gordon, and either Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah, or Thabo Sefolosha. With Gooden and Gordon the Mavericks would have two expiring contracts. That might be hard to pass up on.
The bottomline is if Cuban could let go of Dirk or not. Dirk has not provided them with a Championship yet even when he was surrounded by talent, so maybe Cuban would make the smart buisness decision and not be stuck in the mindset that Dirk has to stay. Like I stated though, this trade depends on the Mavericks not perfroming well by the deadline.
Another trade idea that would not be quite as glamorous but almost as effective would be to go after Chris Kaman. While I understand that Kaman is far from the player that Dirk is, he is never the less a very solid inside threat and that is just what the doctor ordered. The Clippers just picked up Zach Randolph and already have Marcus Camby, so they would not be hurt that bad by losing Kaman.
I think the Bulls would also have to include a first round pick to get the deal done. I would package Drew Gooden and Ben Gordon with one first round pick and I think the Clippers would jump on it. They would get two expiring contracts and a first rounder. The Clippers would also have to through in another small piece to make the numbers work, but it could get done.
John Paxson and the upper brass of the Chicago Bulls passed on making deals for Kevin Garnett and Pau Gasol. They need to make some kind of deal before the deadline. I would love to see them steal Chris Bosh from the Raptors or Al Jefferson from the Timberwolves, but that is unlikely at best. They need to focus their attention on teams that are struggling and have a solid big that we could make an offer for.
In the end the real problem is the real lack of solid bigman in the league. If your team does not have one then you can expect to pay a lot for one, hence having to offer one or two first rounders just to get the door open to talks. The Bulls could just keep playing with what they have and wait until the big summer of 2010, but that is a big gamble. What if the Bulls can not pick up one of those prized players when that day comes. Then they will again be on the outside looking in for a long time.
Posted on: October 15, 2008 11:03 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2008 7:00 pm
1. Chris Paul
At the begining of last season there was a debate over who was better Deron Williams or Chris Paul. That debate is over for now. Paul is clearly the best PG in the NBA right now. That is not to say that Williams is not right on his heels, but Chris just has a slight edge across the board. Scoring 24.1 ppg in the playoffs and dishing out 11.3 assists is stellar. Now you have to through in 4.9 rpg and you have an alltime great stat line. Paul will only make strides forward. He is a winner and it shows. He plays without mercy and shows his willingness to step on an opposing teams thoat when they're down. He reminds me of Isiah Thomas but even better, if that is possible and I think it is fair to say that we could be looking at the best Point Guard since Magic Johnson.
2. Deron Williams
Deron is as much the second best PG as Chris Paul is the Best PG. What I am saying is it is a two man show right now on the top at this point. Williams also had some impressive numbers in the postseason last year with 21.6 ppg, 10 apg, and 3.6 rpg. His assist/turnover ratio is also lower then Paul, so it becomes very difficult to say he is the better player. With the comparisons aside he is still a great PG and the only PG I see with a chance of becoming better then Paul. What is really nice is that both Williams and Paul have good teams around them, and they both have a shot at a Championship this year. It is also true that they both make there teammates better and they have made the PG a hot commodity in trades and the Draft.
3. Baron Davis
Baron Davis is a savvy and deadly Point Guard. He is a scorer first in some cases but is very able to run a team and dish out passes. Davis looks to be at about his peek right now. That is debatable. I think he may be on the fade personally, but his numbers do not lie. Last season he averaged 21.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 7.6 assists. He also managed 2.3 steals which goes to show that he is a good defender despite the fact that many say he is lacking in that area. He makes teams be a little more careful with the ball when he is on the floor. He is very dangerous because he can hurt you in so many ways and he has a killer instinct. The Clippers got a great player and I think he will make the rest of the team better and could push them into the playoffs.
4. Tony Parker
Tony Parker has been a top Point Guard on a top team for years now and he has been very steady. Parkers ability to drive and kick could be his strongest asset and in my mind it is. He really is able to open up the floor for his teammates with his skill to score in the paint. He is not the greatest defender and he can turn the ball over sometimes too much, but those are really his only weaknesses. My fear is that the Spurs are on the downturn and Tony might get trapped on a team that will not contend in a couple of years with all their key players getting older.
Chauncey is a all around great PG. His game is fading as his age increases, but he is still i my top 5. He was up for a MVP but a couple of years ago and his skills have not slowed that greatly. He averaged 17 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 6.8 assists last season which are still very nice numbers, but they are low compared to a few years ago. Billups is still a floor general and demands respect. He can make the tough pass and drain the 3 pointer at will. He is a good defender and can lock down on most opponents. I think the Pistons like the Spurs are slipping a bit, but I think Chauncey could still lead the Pistons back into the Finals.
In The Mix:
Posted on: October 12, 2008 11:49 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2008 4:36 pm
A person would have to be the captain of the championship debate team in order to convince me that the Southwest Division is not the best and deepest division in the NBA right now. With four teams that won more that 50 game apiece last season and each of those four look to win as many if not more again this year, it is hard to argue against the Southwest. Some of the best players of the past decade along with some of the brightest future stars reside here. The Hornets, Mavericks, Rockets, and Spurs are all but locks to make the playoffs again this year. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies they are still the blacksheep of the division, but there lies hope in some of their young talent.
It is a difficult task for one to attempt to wrap their mind around this season and just how the Southwest will play out. The Spurs have made no real roster changes, but are always a threat to make a run for another title as long as Tim Duncan is still wandering in the paint. The rags to riches team of last season, the Hornets, look like they will be even better with the addition of the gritty James Posey. This could be the Rockets' season to return to the Finals with the risky acquisition of Ron Artest, or will major injuries to either Yao Ming or Tracy McGrady hold those dreams in check? Will the Jason Kidd trade look like a great move as the Mavericks make it to the final dance, or will lack of defense and passion make the trade look like a mistake?
The only way to get to the bottom of these questions and many more is to take a good look into each team and try to seperate fact from fiction. Let the breakdown begin:
1. The New Orleans Hornets (60-22) (2nd Seed)
The only true challenge that faces the Hornets this season is if they are good enough to have another great season after surprising the league last year. They are no longer off the radar. Will they be able to step up and play against harder competition? I think they will take that step. My reasoning is simple. They have Chris Paul. To me Paul is the second best player in the league this year and if the Hornets are as good as they were last season, I think he will take home the MVP. Who is the best player you ask? Well, he is not in this divison so I will refrain from that agrument. Chris has that special talent that makes everyone on his team better. He is the ultimate team player. The Hornets also have a balanced team with David West, Peja Stojakovic, and Tyson Chandler. West is now considered one of the top low post players in the game and Tyson is a great defender and put-back man. The player that is standing out this preseason is Mike James. I understand that it is only the preseaon, but having another scoring threat on the floor only makes Chris Paul more dangerous. I also love the addition of James Posey. The Hornets will only benefit from having the tough as nails Posey around. Every great team has that player who can get under the opposing players skin. Think Rodman or Bowen. Posey will not put up big numbers, but will be responsible for more then a couple of wins. Overall, the Hornets have a great chance to go all the way, but so do three other teams in the division. I just think they have the most complete team with a superstar handling the ball.
2. The Houston Rockets (57-25) (3rd Seed)
I would love to see everything work out perfectly for this team, but something deep in the back of my head says something will happen to take the glory from McGrady's hands. I do not believe in curses, so I do not think that some force from the outside is toying with poor Tracy. What I do believe in is injury reports and history tells me not to put too many eggs in the Rockets' basket. With that being said, If the Rockets stay healthy, both Tracy and Yao, then they could very well make it to the Finals. Yao Ming is a top center and Tracy McGrady is one of the best players in the NBA period. With the addition of Ron Artest the Rockets could finally have all the parts needed to take that next step. I think Artest is a great player for the Rockets. He can drive a fan and a coach crazy at times, but if his talent is harnessed correctly he could be the key. The Rockets also have some other interesting players to consider. Brent Barry is a solid pick-up. He can open up the offense with his sharp-shooting. Luis Scola will only get better, and Shane Battier will always play smart ball whenever he is on the floor. Rafer Alston is a solid Point Guard and is able to run the team on the floor. Overall, The Rockets could be the best team is the league if they suffer no major injuries to McGrady or Ming.
3. The San Antonio Spurs (53-29) (5th Seed)
As much as I love to watch Tim Duncan and the Spurs, I truly feel they are starting to fade. It all started last year when they were pushed to seven games against a much younger and less experienced Hornets team. However, I can not just write them off. I think they will still be a top team and cause a lot of problems for other teams. At the end of the day though, I am not sure they have enough left in the tank to win another Championship. If somehow I am a fool and they do win another ring, then Tim Duncan will be the best Power Forward that the NBA has ever seen. Many already make that claim now, but nobody would be able to refute it if they win it all again. The other key factors on the team are also getting older as well. Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Michael Finley are all about ready to sign up with AARP. I thought the Spurs would make a splash in the offseason, but it never happened and now they face the season one year older. Tony Parker is the young guy on the team and he is certainly a superstar in the league, but he can only do so much. Manu Ginobili is now 31 and his body might start slowing him down. Will manu still have his quickness and in turn still be so effective? I am not sure. In many ways that is a good way to look at this team now. "I am not sure". In the end however, I can think of really no team that would want to face them in a seven game series. I just hope they get some more talent around Duncan before it is too late.
4. The Dallas Mavericks (52-30) (6th Seed)
Yes, I think the Mavericks will be a better team this year. Not a lot better, but a little better. I do think they will edge out the Suns for the 6th seed as well. Sorry Suns fans. Jason Kidd has much to prove and will play quite well this season. The thing is is that the Mavericks still just have so much talent that they can not lose. Will they play hard defense under new Head Coach Rick Carlisle? No. Will they score a lot of points and out run most teams? Yes. Dirk Nowitzki will do what he has always done. He will score like crazy from all over the floor. Jason Terry and Josh Howard will also just flat out score. This will work in most cases. This will get them into the playoffs. However, the Mavericks will never win the Finals without some more defense. The Mavericks are the best team in the NBA on paper, but only the tenth best on the floor. The Mavericks really should have made the trade for Ron Artest, even if it meant losing Josh Howard. The NBA is full of Josh Howard type players, but there is only one Ron Artest. Say what you want about Artest, but he would have been a nice fit on the Mavs. A bright spot in Dallas however is the young Brandon Bass. He looks like he could turn into a real monster down low. Overall, I really do not see the Mavericks making it out of the first round. That is sad because they ooze talent.
5. The Memphis Grizzlies (24-58) (miss playoffs)
This brings me to the bottom of the pack. The Grizzlies have a few parts, but let's face it, they are a long way from being any good. To top it off they are in the best division within the best conference. I gave them two more wins this year simply out of pity. Rudy Gay is the star of a one man show. Sure there is Hakim Warrick, Mike Conley, and the rookie O.J. Mayo to make things interesting and entertaining form time to time, but really this team is in a rebuilding period. Maybe even a promising one at that, but they are far from competing. The Grizzlies fan must sit back and not look at the wins and loses. He must look to see if the young guys are getting better. He must make a fist pump when Marc Gasol slams one home and jump out of his seat like a madman if Gay hits a buzzer beater. Take it from a Bulls fan, you must find some joy in the little things. The real doom of this team can be found on the roster. His name is Antoine Walker. I predict that he alone will account for at least 50 of the 58 loses. All kidding aside Grizzlies fans, you are the underdogs, so stand up and have some pride in yourselves. You are going to need it.
Well I hope this was half as fun for you to read as it was for me to write. I really like the Hornets this season to go all the way. They are the one team that really stands out to me from the rest of the pack in the Southwest. However, Anything can happen, as it often does, in this wonderful game we call the NBA.
Tags: Brandon Bass, Bruce Bowen, Chris Paul, David West, Dirk Nowitzki, Grizzlies, Hakim Warrick, Hornets, James Posey, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Josh Howard, Kurt Thomas, Luis Scola, Manu Ginobili, Marc Gasol, Mavericks, Michael Finley, Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, Rafer Alston, Rockets, Ron Artest, Rudy Gay, Shane Battier, Spurs, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Tracy McGrady, Tyson Chandler, Yao Ming