Tag:John Salmons
Posted on: July 1, 2010 10:12 pm
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Let's Not Be Too Greedy Bulls Fans...

          Okay, as a Bulls fan myself I too have been wooed by the prospect of landing both LeBron James and another superstar player. The problem is is that we as Bulls fans need to come back down to earth and look how far we have come and make the right moves during this free agancy. Sure acquiring LeBron would be great but we need to be careful to not put all our eggs in one basket. Sure we have a nice shot at signing him. Perhaps as good a chance as any other team aiming for him, but focusing on him is a big risk. A risk i do not want to take. I think the Bulls brass are wise to this as their gameplan heading into this thing makes a ton of sense.

          Waiting for LeBron James is a death wish if you ask me. There is a good chance he may stay in Cleveland. We all know the Dwyane Wade is staying with the Heat so he is off the table. This is why the Bulls need to go after Chris Bosh with all they have. offer him the Max deal right away. Tell him he is the guy that you want to build a Championship around. What has been the biggest hole on the Bulls over the last decade? One has been a supestar level player that can win games by himself. The Bulls have  player that is growing onto that role in Derrick Rose, but the other big hole has been a elite scoring bigman. Chris Bosh is not a lot of things but one thing he is is a scoring bigman. He can hit the jumper and can score in the paint. Sure he is a bit soft and shies away from contact. He is also not a great defender, but he sure can score and grab rebounds as well. Joakim Noah does the other stuff. i think a pairing of Bosh and Noah has great dynamics. They are a perfect match. 

          Of all the free agents Chris Bosh is also the most likely to bolt town. Chicago needs to make him their number one target before any other team gets their slimy little hands on him. Is he the best bigman in the game? No, but he alone could make the Bulls a contender. With Bosh in the bag the Bulls may be able to sway LeBron for sure, but even if they do not they are a much improved team. One year ago it seemed like a dream that the Bulls would be able to free up the money to be in the position they are in now. If you would of told me we would lose John Salmons and Kirk Hinrich but gain Chris Bosh, I would have called you a fool. But here we are.

          My point in this rant is clear. We should not become greedy and think that it is LeBron James or bust. That is not the case for our team. Let the Knicks fans worry about that. They bottomline is we now have the cap space to make our team better. We made it to the playoffs the last two seasons and last season were in the 5th seed until Noah, Taj, Hinrich, and Deng all had their injuries. We could have won near 50 games last season with the team we have now. I say add the right players and not the sexy ones. I am not saying that Lebron is not a great fit, but we have a greater need in the post and have had that need for darn near a decade. Rose is a great scorer and playmaker on the perimeter. That is why i say if we are to throw all our eggs into one basket, we should throw them into the basket of the player that not only is the best fit for our team but is also the most likely to sign with us.

          If we land Bosh and cannot obtain another star then who cares. John Paxson and Gar Forman would still have done a great job in my eyes. We cannot let ourselves set the bar too high, becuase we are certain to be let down. The Rumors last week of that it was a done deal that Lebron and Bosh were both coming to the Bulls simply are just rumors. Those kind of rumors can give us way to much false hope and they forve us to raise the bar on what we want. We go from a mindset were we just want to add any one other star player to our team to thinking we are owed two superstars. Do not fool yourselves. Set a realistic goal. I think Bosh is a realistic goal. If we cannot add him at the max then move to a player like David Lee with a smaller contract. There is no gun to our head that says we have to land a megastar. Lee is quite similar to Bosh in many ways. Both are solid shooting bigman that can spread the floor. Both are outstanding rebounders. Neither is a great defender or a great shot blocker. Lee is a better passer while Bosh is a bit more aggressive. Too me David Lee is a better backup plan then over paying for Carlos Boozer or Amar'e Stoudemire. If we cannot get Bosh then we should target Lee.

          The other glaring hole is the lack of a shooting guard and one who can nail the three pointer. Joe Johnson looks like he is signing the max deal in Atlanta so offering him what is left after signing Bosh will most likely not fly. If we lose out on Bosh and then sign Lee then Johnson will have long-since signed in Atlanta or elsewhere. We can make a pitch to Ray Allen but he is not a longterm solution. Sure he has some gas left in the tank because he takes great care of himself but sooner rather then later age will catch up to him. We can save some money and target a couple of role players to round out the roster instead. Perahaps pick up a shooter like J.J. Redick. or even Kyle Korver. Both are not very good defenders but they sure can spread the floor for Rose. There is always a player like Anthony Morrow that can be had. We could simply resign Flip Murry. After that we could go after a defensive player like a Matt Barnes. Then resign Brad Miller who has said he wants to stay in Chicago. We can grab a cheap backup PG like Kevin Ollie or Sergio Rodriguez. This would give us a deep lineup like this.

Starters

PG Derick Rose
SG Anthony Morrow
SF Luol Deng
PF Chris Bosh
C Joakim Noah

Bench

Brad Miller
Taj Gibson
Matt Barnes
Kevin Ollie
Kyle Korver

          Maybe this lineup is not super sexy and it is far from perfect, but it has all the working parts of a contender. A dynamic star in Derrick Rose. An elite post scorer in Bosh. A top shelf denfender of the paint and energy player in Noah. A slasher and jump shooter in Deng and a long range shooting threat in Morrow or even Redick. We would have a solid bench full of a nice mix of roleplayers. This very much what our team could look like heading into next season. Would we be the clear favorite to amke it to the Finals out of the east? No. Could we compete with the elite teams every night? Yes. This is all we can ask for and hope to get. Wade and Lebron are likely not coming so I am not holding my breath or getting my hopes up for them. I just want our team to have a chance at contending.

          I hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know your thoughts? Do you think I am off-base? Am I selling the Bulls short or am I being realistic? What are your thoughts on David Lee vs Chris Bosh? After Wade, Johnson, and Allen who is the best choice for a shooting guard for the Bulls?
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: December 26, 2009 11:25 am
 

Breaking Down the Bulls: Solution #2

     First of all I would like to say that I wanted to add pretty pictures to these threads but for some reason this site will no longer allow me to do so. With that being said I will now actually have to write something interesting as I will not be able to fool you with flashy images. Well, on to the subject of this thread. A week or so ago a laid out a plan for the Bulls involving a trade for Chris Bosh and the signing of Joe Johnson. Most Bulls fans loved the idea, but thanks to S&H and his realistic mindset I have been haunted with pessimism. This is a good thing. I was forced to try and find a more realistic plan for the Bulls. So let us take a look.

     Why Boozer?
OK, for the big trade I think we could shift our focus away from Chris Bosh and towards Carlos Boozer. Boozer is a perfect sized power forward in the mold of Karl Malone. He has has a high level of back to the basket skill. Infact, he is much more of an interior scorer then Bosh. In many ways Boozer is a better fit for the Bulls. He is a brute and not afraid to get dirty in the paint. A combo of Joakim Noah and Boozer would leave other teams at a 10+ rebound deficit everynight. Second chance points would be crazy. They one glaring downside to Boozer is his injury history. He has missed a ton of games. That would be a risk but a solid gamble if you ask me.
     Now what would be a good trade for Boozer? Well the Jazz have a point guard in Deron Williams, but the rest of the team is just OK outside of Boozer. Boozer will leave Utah this summer so the Bulls still have a bit of leverage in that the Jazz will loose Boozer for nothing. If the Jazz want cap space they may not bother to make a trade however. I think Jerry Sloan has a man crush on Kirk Hinrich and Kirk's contract is an asset because it gets smaller every season. I wonder if the Jazz would move Boozer for Hinrich and rookie Taj Gibson, who has shown he is really smart and can start even on some teams. Hinrich would give the Jazz a solid 6th man or he could even start alongside Williams. That would be a scary guard combo. Now we would have to give up a pick in this senario or maybe we could swap Gibson with Tyrus Thomas and make a straight up swap of Kirk and Thomas for Boozer. We could throw in a 2nd rounder as well. Another option is to package Deng for Boozer but the Jazz already have Kirilenko and that would tie up about 27 million dollors in small forwards between Deng and Kirilenko.
     The bottomline is Boozer might be had for less then Bosh and in the long run he may be a better option if he can stay healthy. We could also wait until the summer and just try to sign Boozer straight up. If we can make the trades I layout below then Boozer may want to come play in the Windy City. Now we need a shooter to pair with Derrick Rose and Boozer.



The Bluelight Special. Yes, I am talking about Kevin Martin. He is just the type of scorer we need to replace Ben Gordon. Word is that the Kings are willing to move K-mart because of how well rookie Tyreke Evens is playing. Now we can go two routes for this trade. If the Kings want cap space then we offer up Brad Miller and our first round pick or if they want talent we could try and sell them on Luol Deng. Another option would be a combo of both like Jerome James and John Salmons and our pick. I could go on and on with trade senarios with the Kings because they make a very good trade partner for us. Another option I would jump at is Deng and Jerome James expiring contract for Martin and Nocioni. Nocioni is overpaid thanks to us and the Kings may want to clear up some cap and still get a solid starter in return.

Other Shooters on the Radar. If a move for K-mart fails we could move Deng and his large contract to the Suns for Jason Richardson. We would have to throw in Aaron Gray to make the money work, but Steve Kerr really likes Deng and he would be a nice fit for that team. The advantage on our end is we get a shooter with a shorter contract. Michael Redd is also and option but he is also a health risk. I also wonder if we could make a deal with the Pistons for Rip. With Ben Gordon on the team the Pistons may be willing to part ways with Rip. The issue with Rip is he is overpaid so Deng would have to be part of this trade and to be honest i would rather have Deng longterm then Rip. So scratch that idea. I will leave this open to you guys. Can you think of some solid Starting quality shooters that we could get that would fit in well with Rose, Noah, and Boozer?

The Main Idea Here... The idea of landing Bosh and Wade, or Joe Johnson, or even LeBron James might be out of the question. Boozer is a solid starting point for the Bulls in a realistic attempt he mend things on this team. Add a shooting guard that can score from the outside like Kevin Martin and you have a solid team. It is not a team as sexy as Bosh/Wade, but could very well be just as effective. With the right chemistry of players the Bulls can contend without having a household name type of player on the roster. We have some nice pieces that can be traded, now all we need to do is make the right series of moves and in the right order to attract veteran help in the offseason. If we can land Boozer/Martin this season or this summer then a player like Camby may want on board or another veteran or two. 

I hope you enjoyed the read and please reply with your ideas or thoughts. 
Posted on: December 13, 2009 1:00 pm
 

Chris Bosh 4 Luol Deng.

   It has been long rumored and talked about. That is some sort of trade between the Bulls and the Raptors that would send Chris Bosh to Chicago to play alongside Derrick Rose. The issue has always been what is a fair deal for the Raptors? Well both teams are not playing very well with the Bulls looking very sad if you ask me. Something has got to give. Bosh will walk this summer if the Raptors do not pull it together and it looks as if the Raptors will miss the playoffs again. The season is young and both teams could finish strong but the bottomline is that both teams are not contenders and Toronto is in jeopardy of losing Bosh for nothing. Here are a few interesting trade scenarios. Vote on which one looks the best to you, or come up with your own.

Option 1.
Chris Bosh to Chicago for Luol Deng and John Salmons. In this trade the Bulls would be giving up to starters for one and is a very solid offer if you ask me. Some might say too solid. Luol Deng is healthy and playing his best basketball yet. He will be the center of any Bulls offer. Bulls would be wise to trade Deng while he has value due to his large longterm deal. This deal might scare away most teams, but the Raptors would at least have a solid player stuck in Toronto for the next few years.

Option 2. Chris Bosh to Chicago for Luol Deng and Tyrus Thomas. Thomas' days in Chicago may be over as he sits with a broken arm. He has had an oil and water realationship with the Bulls brass from day 1. However, Tyrus is a stud and a paint protecting wizard with upside. The Raptors again would gain two starters.

Option 3. Chris Bosh to Chicago for Tyrus Thomas and Kirk Hinrich. Tyrus would be a poor replacement for Bosh but in time Tyrus could still prove to be a 15 and 10 power forward. Hinrich would give the Raptors a great backup guard that can play defense which is some thing the Raptors need.

Option 4.Chris Bosh to Chicago for Luol Deng and Jerome James. Toronto lands Deng and an expiring contract worth 6.6 million.

Option 5. Chris Bosh to Chicago for Brad Miller and Tyrus Thomas. Miller is a huge expiring contract worth 12.2 million. This would be a money saving option for Toronto for sure, but many teams are trying to free up money these days. However, the Raptors would have trouble landing any free agents with no Bosh on the team. They are better off getting solid players in a trade then free agency.

So, do you think any of these trades look good? If so, which one? Do you have your own trade ideas for the Bulls and Raptors?
Posted on: October 30, 2009 11:18 am
 

Breaking Down the Bulls: Hold Your Horses.

     OK, so the Bulls stunned me last night by not only beating the Spurs but by controlling the tempo of the game throughout the second half. Tim Duncan looked in prime form but the rest of the Spurs looked flat and rusty. I honestly felt like the Bulls could open the season really slow but last night gives me hope. Do I think the Bulls are contenders after knocking off a top 5 team? No. I am my own teams biggest critic in many ways and I think tonights game against the Celtics is the real test. So Bulls fans I ask that you "Hold Your Horses". There were three things I was looking for in this game before it started so did I see what I wanted to see? Let us take a look.

 1. Can Joakim Noah defend against a bigman like Tim Duncan?
While Noah is a pesk and a very good defender of the paint he is not yet near the level needed to take on the task of a great like Duncan. Only few players are of that caliber. Players like Kevin Garnett, Ben Wallace, and Dikembe Mutombo are of the few that can matchup against great players. Can Noah ever be a defender at that level? My guess is no, but he can be pretty good and should be able to slow down most players. The 10 points and 10 rebounds he gathered last night could very well be his season average by the end of the year.

2. Will Kirk Hinrich be a spark off the bench? Yes he can and I think he will see close to 30 minutes a night and that could put him in the running for 6th man award, but most likely he will average about 12 points a night with 4 assist and 3 rebounds and play some gritty defense. He is a great luxury to have coming off the bench, not only because of the things I already mentioned, but more because he is a great floor general and can control the tempo of the game. He knows when to push it and when to slow things up. I am happy the Bulls kept him.

3. Will Rose shoot or pass? The answer is both. Rose was clearly on his way to getting close to a triple double last night with 13 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds in 33 minutes on a sore ankle. As Bulls fans we are now going to have to worry about an injury to Rose like Miami does about Wade or the Celtics would about KG. Rose is the heart of this team and without him they are a sub .500 team. Rose should become an Allstar this season even with all the competition. He is that good in my eyes. He can drive and create like Tony Parker and can pass like Chris Paul, he just needs to become a defender like Kirk and a Leader like Billups and all things will be grand in Chicago. I do think Rose have the leadership thing down as all the Bulls players seem to clearly see that Rose is the best player on the team.

Nice Surprise. Luol Deng was a treat to my eyes last night. I am not sure he can be that 18 and 8 player every night for the Bulls but he sure looked great last night hitting a high percentage of shots and cleaning up the glass like a window washer. If we can count on Deng for 15 and 6 then the Bulls will be better served because they can go to any number of players for offense. John Salmons and Brad Miller can score as well as Thomas and Kirk. Bottomline is that the Bulls are very deep and it showed last night. Miller and Kirk are starters on most teams in the NBA and Taj Gibson looks like a steal at 26 in the Draft. he has a solid jumper from 15 but more importantly he plays defense like a savvy vet already, not to mention he can handle himself in the paint fairly well. Add to that rookie James Johnson and a shooter in Pargo and you have a very good 2 deep rotation.

The Celtics test and what I am looking for tonight. Tonight will be the real test for many reasons and the two bigget reasons have to do with composer.

Can the Bulls live up to the hype of last seasons 7 game series with the Celtics? For Celtic and Bulls fans last season 7 game first round series was perhaps the best we ever witnessed with our own eyes. I was pulling my hair out and biting my nails. I was jumping out of my seat sceaming in joy and putting my head in my hands in sadness. It was what being a fan is all about compressed into 7 games. So can the Bulls step up to the challenge of dealing with the pressure of this new found rivalry? Sure the Celtics are a contender and could very well be in the Finals this season and the Bulls will have to play perfect basketball to become a 4th seed, but still if you ask any Bulls or Celtics fan they will tell you that a Bulls/Celtics matchup is must watch TV. The Celtics will play hard and they are just as deep as the Bulls if not deeper and have plenty of leadership and Kevin Garnett will be playing this time. Maybe a healthy Deng can offset Garnett a bit, but any way you look at it the Bulls are the underdog and I wonder if they can play with heart or will they fall apart at the first signs that the Celtics could pull away. Bottomline question, will the Bulls fold if down by 7 or 8 or will they kepp fighting?

Will the Bulls be over-confident? Over-confience is poison like no other in sports. The Bulls already knew that they pushed the Celtics to 7 games on a national stage and now they are coming off a huge victory over the Spurs. Will they walk into Boston with their heads held too high? Maybe. Tyrus Thomas comes to mind. I could see him trying to force too much and get dismantled by Garnett. The key will be Rose. If Tyrus acts like a fool then Vinny can pull him and throw in Gibson or even Miller, but he can not really replace Rose and have any hopes of winning. I think we have seen enough of Rose to know that nothing seems to faze him. When he steps on the hardwood his blood turns to ice. No smiles on his face. It is all about the game.

Well I hope you enjoyed the read and as you can see I am very happy the regular season has started. Let me know your thoughts on the Spurs game and what you think will happen to the Bulls tonight Against the Celtics and the season for the matter. Thanks.

  

Posted on: August 26, 2009 12:44 pm
 

Bulls - Best/Worst-case - Final Report

     Up to this point I have broken down each of the Bulls players that should see major playing time. Those players include: Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, John Salmons, Brad Miller, Tyrus Thomas, James Johnson, and Joakim Noah. I have reposted each of those blogs below, and have treaked my predictions as to their statistics a bit. For the most part things remain the same. After all of the player reposts I have my final report as far as Best/Worst-case senario for the Bulls as a team and my predictions for wins. I hope you enjoy the read and please reply with your thoughts.

Derrick Rose.

     Well I have written a blog on each of the Bulls major contributing players over the last few weeks and I will finish with Derrick Rose. It only seems fitting to end on a high note. While Rose had a wonderful rookie season there looks to be a lot of room to grow. He has size for a point guard and mad speed. He can break down defenders and make the pass. To be honest he is the total package. His only black eye at this point is the controversy in regards to memphis and coach John Calipari. This could cause a distraction for a young player and we will have to pay attention Rose to see if he can or can not move past this. So will Rose become a top 5 point guard this season or will he struggle to focus with the Memphis blues? Let us take a look.

Best-case.
To me this would start with Rose being honest and up front with the fans about his behavior at and prior to playing at Memphis. He could then put all of that in the past and focus on basketball. In regards to basketball Rose is a future Allstar for sure and if the Bulls make any kind on noise before the Allstar break this season and Rose is playing great then I could see him making the team. The Bulls have not had an Allstar since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. That is sad. Derrick Rose reminds me a lot of a cross between Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul. He has speed and vision like paul and the driving and finshing ability of Wade. Sure Paul is a better playmaker and Wade a better finisher, but Rose is a nice hybrid. He can run the floor faster then 99% of the league and can finish with a dunk. He has strength and size to take contact but still make the shot setting up the and one. His weaknesses are his defense and shooting, but I could see both of these only getting much better. He will never be a defender like Hinrich, but with his size and strength alone he should be able to be an above average defender. His shot looked pretty good last season to tell you the truth. The media had me believing he could not shoot past 15 feet to save his life. Those stories were fiction. His jumper will get better and when you couple that with his court vision and driving ability you have a winning combo. Rose will see a ton of minutes and for this reason I could see him averaging 22 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and making the Allstar team.

Worst-case. Rose is still young and last season he had a great offensive player to pass to in Ben Gordon. Gordon was the centerpiece of the Bulls offense most of the time. Well this season Derrick will take over that spot. Sure the Bulls will have John Salmons and a healthy Luol Deng, but I have to think Rose will be the go to guy. Part of me wonders if that is too much to ask. With all the Memphis controversy stuff going on as well will this take a toll on the young Derrick Rose? Maybe. Maybe he might burn out a bit under all the pressure. Last season he was as consistant as any player in the NBA. Will that change? I do not think it is possible for him to lose his starting role, but he could see his minutes drop if he lacks focus and starts fouling to much or throwing the ball away to often. If this is the case we could see him average 16 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and not make the Allstar team.

My Prediction. Derrick Rose is a fierce competitor and is very strong mentally so therefore I do not see him getting distracted very easily. Infact I think he will flat out just ignore the whole Memphis deal and focus on Bulls basketball. What I am saying is I am leaning towards the best-case senario for Rose. Do I think he will make the Allstar team? Maybe. Something tells me that Allen Iverson is not going to be starting on any Allstar team this season. This leaves us with a few very good point guards in the east. There is Devin Harris, Rajon Rondo, and Jameer Nelson to deal with. If the Bulls are playing well I could see Rose making the team. Chicago is a big market and Rose could get a lot of fan votes, but he would be competing with two other large sports markets in Boston and New Jersey. In any event Rose should have a steller season even if the Bulls do take a step back. My prediction is for him to average 20 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds while shooting .470 from the floor.


James Johnson.

    I would like to breakdown the Bulls as a whole going into next season, but I thought I would start with writing a blog on each of the Bulls major contributing players first. I already have wrote on Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, John Salmons, Tyrus Thomas and Brad Miller. Now it is time to take a look at James Johnson. I for one liked what little I saw of Johnson before the draft and I thought he would be a good pickup if he slipped to the Bulls at 16 and he did. To me Johnson was a no-brainer. I think however that the Bulls should have gambled on DeJuan Blair at 24. That could haunt them. There is nothing that sexy about James and there are a few questions about his work ethic but from what we saw this summer he looks to be fairly good. He has a NBA readt body which is a plus. He is not the best defender but can score down low and can handle the ball very well. He could look nice on the floor with Rose. So will James Johnson be a difference maker this season or a total waste of a pick? Let us take a look.

Best-case. In an ideal world Johnson could step into the rotation and play backup to Luol Deng and Tyrus Thomas and log about 15-20 minutes a game. He is quite athletic and is a good playmaker for a big and can handle the ball very well for his size. He has a soft touch and can play a bit in the paint. He also can create his own shot and is pretty good at driving to the rim. The downside on his is he is a bit big and slow to play against many small forwards in the league and to small to play against most power forwards in the NBA. This makes him a tweener and in many way in the same mold as Tyrus Thomas. He however reminds me of a young Tim Thomas back when he played for the Bucks. I think he can be that kind of player on the right team. If he was on a bad team and saw 30+ minutes a game he could average 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, but he is on the Bulls and will not see those kind of minutes even in a best-case senario. If he works hard and can find a way to impress the coaching staff he could see near 20 minutes a night and average 10 points and 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Worst-case. There are rumors floating that he has a bad work ethic and even tried to leave a practice early. Does James Johnson have an Ego problem like so many young players in the league? If so the Bulls will have no part in it. The Bulls have a long and sound history of benching or even buying out players that they view as lazy or as ego cases (see Eddie Robinson, Tim Thomas, J.R. Smith, Eddie Curry, and Larry Hughes). In many ways the Bulls are the anti-Knicks/Warriors in that they take no chances on players that are headcases. This is good and bad. Bulls teams are always hard working but often lack pure talent because often there are strings attached to that talent. In any case I can see Johnson becoming a problem if he thinks he needs more playing time and then demands more playing time. He has a lot of raw talent and could be a solid player but if he does not understand his role as a backup things could get ugly. If this is the case then he may only see garbage minutes as the Bulls let the hardnosed/hard working Taj Gibson eat up his minutes. Johnson could see less then 10 minutes per game and average 3 points per game.

My Prediction. James Johnson is a rookie so I have to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he will understand that he is not a starter and just a backup. I think he gives the Bulls a nice scoring threat off the bench and could cause matchup issues with his size at the 3 and his speed at the 4. I also love the way he controls the ball like a point guard. He has some nice skills. He is a solid shot blocker but not the greatest defender and could get into foul trouble often as a rookie. I hope he is a sleeper and I hope even more that he is not another ego-case like Eddie Robinson was. I think he will see 15 minutes a game and average 4 points with 2 rebouds and 1.5 assists. Nothing great but he will have his moments and could have a 30 point game one night.

Brad Miller.

  I would like to breakdown the Bulls as a whole going into next season, but I thought I would start with writing a blog on each of the Bulls major contributing players first. I already have wrote on Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, John Salmons, Tyrus Thomas. Now I shall turn my attention to Brad Miller. Picking up Miller along with Salmons was one of John Paxson's best moves as GM. I hope Gar Forman can add one or two more pieces to this puzzle we call the Bulls. Brad Miller gives the Bulls a gutsy veteran presence in the paint. He is a good teammate and can teach Joakim Noah a trick or two. Let us not forget that he also has size for a center at 7 ft tall and over 260 lbs. Miller give the Bulls a big strong body to throw at some of the bigger centers in the league. So is Miller going to be a bigger factor in the locker room or on the hardwood? Let us take a look.

Best-case.
Joakim noah will be the Bulls starter at center unless Noah has a major meltdown that is. Miller is getting older and really can not play a ton of minutes and still be affective. Anything more then 20 minutes a night is pushing it if you ask me. Vinny will have to be smart when using Miller by trying to exploit mismatches and by pulling the other teams center out of the paint with his shooting ability. Miller is a great passer and a pick and roll with Rose could be used effectively. Let us pretend that Miller comes into this season is great shape and can play 20 solid minutes as a backup. If this is the case then I could see him averaging 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Worst-case. Age has a way of creeping up on players in the NBA and centers seem to be the first hit due to all the years of banging in the paint. Miller is a banger and has always been one so he could start to really fade as a player. His knees could start to slow him down even more. I can vividly recall a few plays last season were Miller would put the ball on the floor and try to drive. It was comical to me because he has the footwork and skill but is as fast as molasses. It would not be a stretch to think that Miller will take a substantial step back this season. He might be only able to play 15 minutes or less and if this happens look for him to become a 8 points and 6 rebounds type of player.

My Prediction. For some reason I feel that Miller will lean a bit towards the worst-case senario this season, though it will have more to do with Joakim Noah stepping up his game and eating up most of the minutes. If healthy and in shape Miller can play 20 good minutes, but we all saw him struggle at time last season when he played more then that. Only on a few occasions did he play well for over 30 minutes. I think age will become a factor and I see it as a burden on the Bulls if they are forced to play him over 20 minutes. Also, I see most of the Bulls points coming from Rose, Deng, and Salmons so Miller will be asked to grab boards and make plays. Tyrus will be the Bulls scoring bigman. I know that scares many of you but he has the potential to score 15 a night or more. All in all Miller will be a nice player to have and will be called upon to be a leader on this young team. I think he will average about 20 minutes a night and 9 points and 6.5 rebounds.


Tyrus Thomas.

   I would like to breakdown the Bulls as a whole going into next season, but I thought I would start with writing a blog on each of the Bulls major contributing players first. I already have wrote on Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, and John Salmons. Now it is time to tackle the most mysterious of all the Bulls and hardest to predict, Tyrus Thomas. We have seen him shine by hitting the outside jumper and blocking a ton of shots and we have also seen him disappear. His biggest problem has been his inability to be consistent. Often times he is sitting on the bench at the end of close games while Noah is out there hustling. I really think it all comes down to effort and focus with Tyrus and those two things come with maturity. Thomas is very young still and has the talent to ne an allstar level player but it is all up to him as to how bad he wants to make that leap. So which Tyrus will we see this season? Let us take a look.

Best-case.
Last offseason Tyrus worked on his jumper and when the season started and he began to shoot jumpers I cringed. I was so used to his ugly shot that it took me a while to realize that he had worked hard that offseason. Let us assume that Tyrus is working hard this offseason as well. I hope he is working on an inside game and defense but in any case it is quite possible that we will see a better Thomas on the floor this season. His numbers over his first three seasons tell us that he is getting much better with every passing year. He will will be our starting power forward this season and if he can be consistant and stay focused then he could see a lot of playing time and his numbers could make a big jump. His scoring has gone from 5.2ppg to 6.8ppg to last seasons 10.8ppg. His rebounding has gone from 3.7 rpg to 4.6rpg to last seasons 6.4rpg. Those are nice trends and you know he will be blocking shots left and right. It might not be likely but Thomas could have a breakout season and average 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game while shooting .470 from the floor.

Worst-case. It is hard to not look at the growth that Tyrus has shown but at the same time he seems to lack consistency way more then any other Bull. You just do not know what you are going to get from him night to night and for that reason Vinny may continue to keep him out of close games and Thomas' minutes may suffer. He can be a 20 and 10 guy for three games straight and then lay egg after egg after egg. It is not a huge stretch to think that this style of play could persist into this season. My biggest fear with a young emotional player like Thomas is a mental breakdown. His lack of attention could easily lead to frustration and that frustration could lead to a breakdown or at least very unpredictable play. Could we have seen all that tyrus can be? Has he hit the top? Will his lack of focus and effort keep him from blossoming? If so then he may only average 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks while shooting .450 from the floor.

My Prediction. Tyrus seems like the kind of player that puts a lot of effort into practice and getting better. You can see it in his eyes that he knows that he is good and can be great. But when he steps on the hardwood things seem to change a bit for him. He does not look so comfortable. He has improved in this area, do not get me wrong, but he often has that lost look on his face when he has lost his man on a pick or when he gets a pass down low. The Bottomline to me is that he is young and has gotten better each season and I think he will mature in time to become a very good player in this league. I just do not see him breaking out this season. I could be wrong on this as he is very hard to predict but a breakout season is a best-case senario and I can not make that my prediction. I think he will improve this season for sure as he has done every season in the past. He will come into the season with a few new tricks for sure. Maybe a three point shot, which I hope is not the case, or better footwork in the paint. I think if Tyrus puts in the time that he could become great at anything he just has to pick the right areas to work on and work hard at it. I think we will see less of the lost looks on his face this season as well. In the end I predict him to average 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game while shooting .465 from the floor.


John Salmons.

   I would like to breakdown the Bulls as a whole going into next season, but I thought I would start with writing a blog on each of the Bulls major contributing players first. I already have wrote on Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Kirk Hinrich. Now it is time to breakdown John Salmons. Salmons came to the Bulls along with Brad Miller in perhaps the best trade of last season. Some will argue that the Nuggets trade for Chauncey Billups was better and I might agree, but nobody can say the Bulls got the short end of the deal with the Kings. The Bulls robbed them. Salmons was a steal. He is a sure starter on just about any team. He can play both the shooting guard and small forward and is a good defender and can create his own shot. In many ways he is what the Bulls wanted Ben Gordon to be. Sure BG is a better scorer and a bit more clutch, but Salmons is bigger and plays savvy basketball on both ends. Something that Gordon will not give you. Bottomline Salmons is a complete player, much like Kirk Hinrich. So were does Salmons fit in on the Bulls and how good can he be? Let us take a look.

Best-case.
First off, with no Ben Gordon on the team Salmons will be looked for to score more and he will see a lot of minutes. There is a chance that the Bulls may have Salmons start at the small forward spot and have Luol Deng come off the bench until he can prove himself, but in a perfect world John Salmons would be out starting Shooting guard and Deng would play well enough to start at small forward. Hinrich would then be the 6th man. If this is the case, which I hope it will be, then look for salmons to be playing 35+ minutes a game and be either a second or third option on offense. For the sake of best-case senario we will have John as the Bulls number two option and spliting time as the starting SG and some time at SF. It is possible then that Salmons could average 20 points, 4.5 rebonds, and 3.5 assists while shooting .475 from the floor.

Worst-case. I think it is within the realm of possibilities that John Salmons had a career season last year and that he really is not that good. Many players have come into this league and had one good season and then gone down hill. Remember Ron Mercer? Mercer had season were he almost averaged 20 ppg. So one could argue that Salmons having one solid season was a fluke and that nobody should count on him to repeat what he did this year. He is also 29 years old. That is pretty old to finally be figuring out how to play in the NBA. So let us pretend that this season was an accident and that Salmons returns to his old playing habits. If this happens then Kirk will be the starter and John will come off the bench and may only see 25 minutes a game or even less. If this is the case then he may only average what he did a season ago. 12.5 ppg, 4 rpg, and 2.5 apg, all while shooting .460 from the floor.

My Prediction. Well if you look at Salmons career stats you will quickly see that he has gotten better every season and has taken a couple of big jumps the last two years. To me he simple is comming into his own and the Bulls just might have a very good player on their hands. If Salmon's game continues to improve at the same pace that it has then he could be an Allstar, but I am not that bold to predict anything like that. I do think that he has shown to be more reliable then Deng and therefore should be the Bulls second leading scorer behind Rose. Infact he could become the leading scorer depending on how much better Rose is this season, but one would have to think that Rose will be the centerpiece of the Bulls offense and judging on his rookie play you have to think he is an Allstar talent in this upcoming season. I think Salmons will fill in nicely for Ben Gordon if he starts at the two guard which i think he should. He is the perfect sized SG at 6'6" and 210 lbs. He also is a solid shooter from anywhere on the floor. I think he is a much better fit with Rose then BG was and is smart enough to know when to pass the ball. I think Salmons will be a big factor for the Bulls this season adn should see about 35 minutes a game and average 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists all while shooting .470 from the floor.

Kirk Hinrich.

    I would like to breakdown the Bulls as a whole going into next season, but I thought I would start with writing a blog on each of the Bulls major contributing players first. I already have wrote on Joakim Noah and Luol Deng. Now it is time to tackle Kirk Hinrich. A few years ago Kirk was considered in many fans eyes as being the Bulls most complete player and the teams clear leader, but sadly Kirk has not been himself for awhile. The Bulls also now have Derrick Rose who is the Bull franchise player and he plays in Kirk's position. To add to matters, whenever a trade is rumored you almost always hear that Hinrich is involved somehow. So were does this leave Captain Kirk? Let us take a look.

Best-case.
Ok, Kirk is not going to be the Bulls starting point guard this season and everyone knows that. Kirk can however play both the guard positions so there is a slight chance that he could start at the shooting guard spot now that Ben Gordon is gone. It is more likely however that John Salmons will start at the 2 spot. The Bulls will need scoring with BG gone and Salmons is a better scorer then Kirk, and while Salmons may not be as good of a defender as Hinrich he is bigger and can hold his own. So I see the best-case senario for Kirk being the 6th man spot. Something that I think he could be very good at. He would see starter minutes playing behind Salmons and Rose and would be a spark off the bench. Not only can he score and defend but he can run the offense. That is very valuable in this league. With about 32+ minutes a game I could see Kirk averaging 15 poits and 5 assists and be in the running for 6th man of the year.

Worst-case. Even without an injury Kirk could still have a rough season. Not starting could prod at his ego a bit and with inconsistent playing time his scoring could suffer. Hinrich can be a steaky shooter scoring 5 points one night and 25 another and if he can not stay focused he could get into a lot of foul trouble and play himself out of games. If this happens then I see Kirk playing only 20 minutes a game with Pargo snagging some of his minutes. Kirk would then average 10 points and 4 assists per game.

My Prediction. Kirk Hinrich is a team captain and a solid veteran and for this reason I lean a bit more towards the best-case senario. Kirk plays with heart and it a gritty player and will be a defensive stopper off the bench. With no Ben Gordon slowing down the offense I see Kirk stepping up and being a very good 6th man. I am now seeing clearly how much crisper the Bulls rotation looks without Ben Gordon. Sure BG won us some games last season with his crazy scoring but Kirk is a more complete player and I think he will shine without BG on the team. The Bulls can go small with Rose, Hinrich, Salmons, and Deng if they want in some games and this too could be a great advantage for the Bulls. Keeping Kirk makes so much sense for so many reasons. I predict that Kirk will come off the bench as a very good 6th man and play 30+ minutes a game and will Average 12 points and 4 assists.

Luol Deng.

     I would like to breakdown the Bulls as a whole going into next season, but I thought I would start with writing a blog on each of the Bulls major contributing players first. I already tackled Joakim Noah earlier this week and now it is time to breakdown Luol Deng. Deng is a hard player to predict. Many thought that he was going to have a breakout season two years ago after he was the key factor to the Bulls sweeping Shaq, Wade and the defending champion Miami Heat. He looked like a true Allstar. But things have been up and down the last two seasons due to injuries and Deng has yet to prove worthy of his big contract he signed last summer. So will Deng be back to his 18 and 8 ways or will he continue to battle injuries? Let us take a look.

Best-case.
If Deng can stay healthy and play healthy then he could become a key factor for the Bulls. He is not a 1st option type of player and I do not see him every being that kind of talent even in a best-case scenario. Two years ago Deng had a great season averaging 18 points and  7+ rebounds per game while shooting over .500 from the floor. He became a deadly shooter and a very good slasher, but injuries struck and he has been up and down since. I think he will see plenty of minutes if healthy as the Bulls starting small forward and John Salmons will move over to the shooting guard spot. If Deng can remain healthy one could argue that he could still become an allstar level player with a star point guard in Derrick Rose running the team. Deng could see a lot of open shots with Rose driving the lane. Also, with no Ben Gordon on the team you have to think Deng will touch the ball a lot. If things work out just right for Luol I could see about 20 points a game with 7 rebounds and a return to his sharp shooting ways with a FG% of .500+.

Worst-case. A battle with injuries seems fair with Deng. I stayed away from the thought of injuries while writing about Noah because he has shown no real history of being injury prone, but Deng has. Deng getting hurt would shock not one Bulls fan. That is what I am saying, so it becomes clear that another injury plagued season could easily happen. In this case Deng might only play in 40 games and only start in half of those. This being the case, Deng would only average about 12 points, 5 rebounds, while shooting around .440 from the floor.

My Prediction. With Rose running the teams offense and Ben Gordon being done I see Deng being a big part of the Bulls season. I think he will get hurt at some point and miss about 10 games total. He will lay a few eggs thoughout the season as well, but he will also have a few superstar-like games as well. During a healthy stretch last season Deng averaged 20 and 8 and was shooting well over .500 from the floor. He was also very consistant in that stretch, so I think he will be overall a pretty consistant player this season. John Salmons still gives the Bulls another outside scorer to spread the defense so Deng should be able to do his thing. If the Bulls keep Kirk Hinrich, which I hope they do, then the Bulls will have another shooter as well. Rose is the first option on this team now that Gordon is gone and I see Deng being a solid second option. My guess is he averages about 16 and 6 while shooting .485 from the floor. I also think he will score 40+ in at least one game.

Joakim Noah.

     I would like to breakdown the Bulls as a whole going into next season, but i thought I would start with writing a blog on each of the Bulls major contributing players first. I thought I would start with Joakim Noah. He was the Bulls starting center last season and had a great post season in the now epic Bulls vs Celtic series. So, just how good can Noah become, or have we seen the best of what he can offer already? Let us take a look.

     Best-case. I think Noah would have the best chance to grow and prove himself this upcoming season without the likes of Chris Bosh or Carlos Boozer in a Bulls uniform. While having either of those two might be best for the Bulls as a team, I think Noah's statline would suffer. I do think that having an offensive minded player like Bosh or Boozer could make Noah shine in the sense that he would complement either of those two greatly. He plays with energy and has become a good shot blocker and a very good low post defender. On offense he is in the top ten percentile when it comes to basketball knowledge for a center. He is a smart player and knows were to be on the floor at all times. He is a great passer for a bigman and more importantly he knows when to give up the ball. He knows his own limitations and then might be his greatest strength.
     So what kind of season would be a best case senerio for Noah? I think if the Bulls decide to make no trades and stick with what they have for one season that Noah will see big minutes and be a much bigger factor for the Bulls then if they were to land a star low post player. Like I said though, this may not be the best overall choice for the Bulls, but Noah would surely. I think if all the stars are aligned Noah could average 13 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks in 36 minutes of action.
    
      Worst-case. Obviously a major injury would be worst-case so I will exclude injuries from my analysis. Like I mentioned I think if the Bulls acquire a player like Bosh or Boozer that it will hurt Noah's number. It may very well help mature Noah and make him a better player, but you would have to think then Boozer would get his points and rebounds and that Noah would take on the role as energy guy/defender. Also, was the series against the Celtics just a fluke? Kevin Garnett was in street clothes. Would Noah have averaged 10 points and 13 rebounds if the Celtic's bigmen were healthy? I think not. Was Noah's steal and 70 sprint to the basket for an and one the highlight of his career? What I am saying is that we just might have seen the very best of Noah already. So, if all the stars do not line up I could see Noah slipping a bit and averaging 6 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block in 28 minutes of play.
     
      My Prediction. I think it is a good idea to look at the best/worst-cases for a player and then go somewhere in between. I do not know what the Bulls might do as far as a trade. Boozer this summer? Bosh before the deadline? Amar'e? There are a lot of questions, but I have to tink that Noah still has some room to get better. Will he be the player we saw in the Celtics series every night of the season? No. I think he will lay his eggs as he matures, but I also think that this might be the season were we see him have some crazy games were he might score 15 points and grab 20+ rebounds. He has talent and a brain. He may not be very athletic but he can make up for that with grit. I think it is safe to say that he will average 9 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks in 32 minutes of action. These stats are up across the board from this past season. I just think Noah proved himself in the playoffs to be a solid starting center in the NBA and he will see the minutes to produce.

     There is a solid debate to be had as to if the Bulls are better or worse for having lost Ben Gordon in the offseason. One thought is that the Bulls lost their best player and their clutch go to guy and that they will be lucky to even make the playoffs. The other side of the debate is that losing Ben Gordon made the Bulls a more balanced team and allows Derrick Rose to shine. Both side have very valid thoughts behind their theories that should be looked at. So, are the Bulls better by subtraction, or will they be taking a step back this season? Let us take a look.

Best-case. Addition by subtraction is the theory here. Some believe that the Bulls are better for having lost Gorodn in the offseason. Could the Bulls be more balanced? Maybe. Ben Gordon did slow the offense down and was only average at best on defense. If John Salmons slides over to the shooting guard then the Bulls gain size and defense at the sacrifice of of a little offense. Salmons is no push over on offense however and could match Gordon's output last season without raising any eyebrows. Many of us remember a past president saying that "The buck stops here!". Well with BG the saying is "The ball stops here!". Gordon would often hold onto the ball and dribble to much and force bad shots. This is not to say this happened all the time, but often enough to really slow the offense down. I myself would rather have Rose with the ball. Rose is a much better play maker and a bigger threat to drive and finish. Everyone knew that Ben was going to shoot a jumper and that allowed defenses to roam a bit. Losing BG also gives the Bulls a better rotation with Rose and Salmons starting and Kirk coming off the bench as a 6th man Manu-style. Kirk would be deadly off the bench. A combo guard that can run the offense very well and defend just about any guard in the league. The big question in this all is Luol Deng. If Deng is healthy and his old self then the Bulls can start him and move Salmons over, but if Deng struggles again then John may have to start at the small forward making Kirk the starting SG and thereby creating a small lineup that would be challenged on defense for sure. Pargo would then be in the rotation and I would rather have him used on a smaller scale. If things work out for Deng and the Bulls are healthy with a solid rotation and depth then it would not be out of the question for the Bulls to win 50 games and snag the 4th seed in the playoffs.

Worst-case. In this senario the Bulls would struggle badly on offense without the go to player in Ben Gordon. Also Deng would struggle again with injuries and not be effective. Salmons would be forced into the starting small forward spot and the Bulls would again have a small lineup. Tyrus Thomas would hit a wall and not continue to improve. A heavy burden would be placed on the aging Brad Miller at center and he would be made to play more minutes then he should. Derrick Rose would be distracted with off court issues and would not improve greatly. The Bulls could start off really slow and the losses would pile up. They could enter the new year with a twice as many losses and wins. This would shatter confidence on the young team and that would boil over into the locker room. Vinny would get the axe and the season would be a loss. This would also set up a deadline trade were the Bulls would have to give up much more to get what they want had they had a winning record. Just writing this makes me sick because as a Bulls fan I have seen this type of season all to often in the past. The Bulls would end the season strong but miss the playoffs with only 37 wins.

My Prediction. The original idea behind this Best/Worst-case senerio series was to find that place in the middle for making a sound prediction and this is were it really comes into play. The Bulls are one off the most difficult teams to predict this season because they could really go both ways and nobody would be shocked. However, if I simply go in the middle here then I place myself in the light of not being able to be bold. I will have to use caution here. I think Rose will have a great season and that will be the heart of the Bulls season. I do tend to lean on the idea of addition by subtraction so I think the Bulls will make the playoffs. Deng is a big question to me. If healthy the Bulls could be really good. Also, I do think Thomas will get better this season. I just hope he does not shoot to many jumpers this year and I hope he learns a few post moves. I think noah will continue to be a pest of defense and could average 10+ rebounds a game. I think overall the Bulls will be more balanced and I love the idea of Kirk coming off the bench. The Bulls will start off slow like always but I think will be close to .500 come the new year. I am not slod on the Bulls making a midseason trade unless it is for a player like Chris Bosh and that would require the Raptors to not be playing well. The best bet is keeping the team together and making a splash next summer with all the money they will have. They should be able to land a superstar like hometown hero Dwyane Wade or a bigman like Bosh. Then the Bulls would be clear contender. Ok, back down to earth. I think the Bulls will have a slightly better season this year and could take a team to a game 7 again in the first round. In the end I am going to predict 43 wins and the 6th seed.

I hope you enjoyed the read and again please reply with your thought. Thanks.

Posted on: July 31, 2009 9:44 pm
 

Bulls - Best/Worst-case - John Salmons

   I would like to breakdown the Bulls as a whole going into next season, but I thought I would start with writing a blog on each of the Bulls major contributing players first. I already have wrote on Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Kirk Hinrich. Now it is time to breakdown John Salmons. Salmons came to the Bulls along with Brad Miller in perhaps the best trade of last season. Some will argue that the Nuggets trade for Chauncey Billups was better and I might agree, but nobody can say the Bulls got the short end of the deal with the Kings. The Bulls robbed them. Salmons was a steal. He is a sure starter on just about any team. He can play both the shooting guard and small forward and is a good defender and can create his own shot. In many ways he is what the Bulls wanted Ben Gordon to be. Sure BG is a better scorer and a bit more clutch, but Salmons is bigger and plays savvy basketball on both ends. Something that Gordon will not give you. Bottomline Salmons is a complete player, much like Kirk Hinrich. So were does Salmons fit in on the Bulls and how good can he be? Let us take a look.

Best-case.
First off, with no Ben Gordon on the team Salmons will be looked for to score more and he will see a lot of minutes. There is a chance that the Bulls may have Salmons start at the small forward spot and have Luol Deng come off the bench until he can prove himself, but in a perfect world John Salmons would be out starting Shooting guard and Deng would play well enough to start at small forward. Hinrich would then be the 6th man. If this is the case, which I hope it will be, then look for salmons to be playing 35+ minutes a game and be either a second or third option on offense. For the sake of best-case senario we will have John as the Bulls number two option and spliting time as the starting SG and some time at SF. It is possible then that Salmons could average 20 points, 4.5 rebonds, and 3.5 assists while shooting .475 from the floor.

Worst-case. I think it is within the realm of possibilities that John Salmons had a career season last year and that he really is not that good. Many players have come into this league and had one good season and then gone down hill. Remember Ron Mercer? Mercer had season were he almost averaged 20 ppg. So one could argue that Salmons having one solid season was a fluke and that nobody should count on him to repeat what he did this year. He is also 29 years old. That is pretty old to finally be figuring out how to play in the NBA. So let us pretend that this season was an accident and that Salmons returns to his old playing habits. If this happens then Kirk will be the starter and John will come off the bench and may only see 25 minutes a game or even less. If this is the case then he may only average what he did a season ago. 12.5 ppg, 4 rpg, and 2.5 apg, all while shooting .460 from the floor.

My Prediction. Well if you look at Salmons career stats you will quickly see that he has gotten better every season and has taken a couple of big jumps the last two years. To me he simple is comming into his own and the Bulls just might have a very good player on their hands. If Salmon's game continues to improve at the same pace that it has then he could be an Allstar, but I am not that bold to predict anything like that. I do think that he has shown to be more reliable then Deng and therefore should be the Bulls second leading scorer behind Rose. Infact he could become the leading scorer depending on how much better Rose is this season, but one would have to think that Rose will be the centerpiece of the Bulls offense and judging on his rookie play you have to think he is an Allstar talent in this upcoming season. I think Salmons will fill in nicely for Ben Gordon if he starts at the two guard which i think he should. He is the perfect sized SG at 6'6" and 210 lbs. He also is a solid shooter from anywhere on the floor. I think he is a much better fit with Rose then BG was and is smart enough to know when to pass the ball. I think Salmons will be a big factor for the Bulls this season adn should see about 35 minutes a game and average 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists all while shooting .470 from the floor.

Hope you enjoyed the read and let me know what your thoughts are. Next Up. Tyrus Thomas
Posted on: July 27, 2009 8:21 pm
 

Bulls - Best/Worst-case - Kirk Hinrich

    I would like to breakdown the Bulls as a whole going into next season, but I thought I would start with writing a blog on each of the Bulls major contributing players first. I already have wrote on Joakim Noah and Luol Deng. Now it is time to tackle Kirk Hinrich. A few years ago Kirk was considered in many fans eyes as being the Bulls most complete player and the teams clear leader, but sadly Kirk has not been himself for awhile. The Bulls also now have Derrick Rose who is the Bull franchise player and he plays in Kirk's position. To add to matters, whenever a trade is rumored you almost always hear that Hinrich is involved somehow. So were does this leave Captain Kirk? Let us take a look.

Best-case.
Ok, Kirk is not going to be the Bulls starting point guard this season and everyone knows that. Kirk can however play both the guard positions so there is a slight chance that he could start at the shooting guard spot now that Ben Gordon is gone. It is more likely however that John Salmons will start at the 2 spot. The Bulls will need scoring with BG gone and Salmons is a better scorer then Kirk, and while Salmons may not be as good of a defender as Hinrich he is bigger and can hold his own. So I see the best-case senario for Kirk being the 6th man spot. Something that I think he could be very good at. He would see starter minutes playing behind Salmons and Rose and would be a spark off the bench. Not only can he score and defend but he can run the offense. That is very valuable in this league. With about 32+ minutes a game I could see Kirk averaging 15 poits and 5 assists and be in the running for 6th man of the year.

Worst-case. Even without an injury Kirk could still have a rough season. Not starting could prod at his ego a bit and with inconsistent playing time his scoring could suffer. Hinrich can be a steaky shooter scoring 5 points one night and 25 another and if he can not stay focused he could get into a lot of foul trouble and play himself out of games. If this happens then I see Kirk playing only 20 minutes a game with Pargo snagging some of his minutes. Kirk would then average 10 points and 4 assists per game.

My Prediction. Kirk Hinrich is a team captain and a solid veteran and for this reason I lean a bit more towards the best-case senario. Kirk plays with heart and it a gritty player and will be a defensive stopper off the bench. With no Ben Gordon slowing down the offense I see Kirk stepping up and being a very good 6th man. I am now seeing clearly how much crisper the Bulls rotation looks without Ben Gordon. Sure BG won us some games last season with his crazy scoring but Kirk is a more complete player and I think he will shine without BG on the team. The Bulls can go small with Rose, Hinrich, Salmons, and Deng if they want in some games and this too could be a great advantage for the Bulls. Keeping Kirk makes so much sense for so many reasons. I predict that Kirk will come off the bench as a very good 6th man and play 30+ minutes a game and will Average 13.5 points and 5 assists.

Hope you enjoyed the read and let me know what your thoughts are. Next Up. John Salmons
 
 
 
 
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