Posted on: January 20, 2011 10:23 am
Okay, so we all are aware that the Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov yesterday dropped out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes during a press conference. Yesterday it was also reported by YahooSports' Adrian Wojnarowski that the infamous Worldwide Wes is going to Chicago and sources are saying that Melo's "people" are going to try to work a deal with the Chicago Bulls.
This past summer the two sides talked about a trade and neither side would budge on two sticking points. The Bulls wanted to package Deng and his 40 million dollar contract as a centerpiece to any deal, but the Nuggets wanted no part of taking on the extra cap. Also, Denver wanted Joakim Noah and the Bulls flat out said no way. It is hard to think that a deal could ever be put together between these two teams alone. A third team would certainly have to be part of the deal.
So, do I think that Carmelo will become a Chicago Bull? Absolutely not. I think that any person with a clear understanding of how recent negotiations in the NBA have been cunducted with regards to superstars should have a keen insight as to what these talks between Chicago and Melo's people are really all about. It is simply smoke and mirrors. Sure Melo had Chicago on his short list "publically", but in reality there is but one team and city that he want to play for and that team is the New York Knicks. Not really a big shocker at all. So why now are Melo's people moving to the Bulls and trying to spark an old fire? They are using triangulation negotiation tactics in order to place a fire under Donnie Walsh's ass. Walsh is a pretty savvy businessman as he has stepped back a bit from this whole Nets/Nuggets deal and held firm on his offer. He most likely even knew that the Nets would back out. Now the Nuggets are in a hard spot. They turned down the best deal they could possibly get and now are either going to sit on Melo until this summer calling his bluff, trade him to a team like the Rockets or Mavericks as a loaner and get little back in trade, or try to work out a deal directly with the Knicks. Part of me thinks that Donnie Walsh saw all this coming a mile away. This whole thing has shifted a ton of power in the negotiations over to the Knicks who can make a reasonable offer and the Nuggets almost have to take it.
So the Bulls are only being mentioned as a cheap ploy to make it look as if there might be interest from another team in order to drive up the Knicks offer. Melo's people have a clear understanding that Nuggets ownership is being unreasonable and they know if a deal is to be done with the Knicks, that the offer is going to have to be higher or the Nuggets may simply hold onto Melo, or trade him for cap space and a picks as a rental. I am pretty sure that this angle will not work for two reasons. One, the Bulls are not going to part with Joakim Noah. That has not changed and if anything the Bulls will be more firm on the subject as Coach T loves what Noah does for the team and the Bulls have the upper hand now in the negotiation. Also, again the Bulls almost have to deal Luol Deng in any deal to make the money work. On the Nuggets side the Bulls simply have little to offer them. The Bulls would give up Luol Deng, James Johnson, Taj Gibson, and a 1st rounder, but the Nuggets do not want Deng's contract and I am sure they are not that desperate. Maybe a third team could get involved, but again this is never going to happen. Melo wants NY and so does his wife and we all know what that means. Wink wink.
Donnie Walsh must see right through this as well. He has no reason now to raise his offer. Melo may or may not be traded and all the Knicks need to do is sit and wait and sign him in the offseason. Sure Melo might say he would sign an extension in Chicago but I simply do not see it happening. Would Melo make the Bulls better? Sure, but how much better and is it even worth the risk? Deng is their top defender and Melo plays no defense or very little of it. Sure Melo is a superstar and a much better talent then Deng, but Coach T has a man crush on Deng as you can see from Deng's minutes(3rd in the NBA). The Bulls need an upgrade at the shooting guard, not a high usage player like Melo. I digress.
The bottomline is that Melo will be on the Knicks next season. He may or may not finish the year out with the Nuggets, but he will become a Knick.
Posted on: November 16, 2010 3:31 pm
Before we know it the trade deadline will be just around the corner and one name is all the talk. Carmelo Anthony. At this point all the rumors have pointed to either him simply staying in Denver, or pushing for a trade to either Chicago, New York, or New Jersey. All three teams have nice trade bait for Denver to consider, but only one of them will land him. So, which team is most likely to land him? You have to consider things such as New York being his home and the chance they might add Chris Paul, Chicago being so close to being a contender and being a defensive minded team that he knows would be a top team if he were to choose them, and New Jersey being so close to home with some nice young players. Or will he wait out is time until the summer and then look for a team?
Posted on: November 10, 2010 11:26 am
Okay, it is well known that Carmelo Anthony is likely leaving Denver at some point. It could be as early as next week or at late as next summer, but the guy is leaving. The three teams on his list are the Knicks, Bulls, and Nets. I am not exactly sure what the other teams are willing to trade to land him but I am sure they can both offer nice packages as both have some nice young players. The Bulls have stated that they will not part with Noah in any deal for Melo and it is easy to see why. Of course Rose is not going anywhere and I think it is very unlikely that the Bulls will offer Boozer on December 15th simply because he is the scoring bigman that this team has needed for years. that leaves really only one offer that the Bulls can make and this is it.
Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, James Johnson, and a 1st rounder or maybe even two for Carmalo Anthony.
My question becomes: Does this make the Bulls a better team? I mean you really have to consider what the Bulls would be losing and what they would be gaining. Carmelo is a elite scorer that can hit clutch jumpers and back smaller guys down with his solid post skills. However, he is about as average a defender as they come. My real concern is his personality. He is yet another NBA player on a long list of players that have demanded to be traded. What happens if he beomes unhappy in Chicago? Will he cause major chemistry issues? If at some point he wants out he could cost us a title. It is not like the Nuggets are a bad team. They have bult around him prety well and have a good head coach. Does he simply want to be in a big city like Chicago or New York or is it about conflicts with team managers? Could he be a poison to a team? Call me drastic if you will but I am not sold on him and I think we might be giving up a lot in this trade.
Sure a starting lineup including Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah would be lights out and could compete with the big dogs. However, who comes off the bench? Kyle Korver and ... With no more Taj Gibson that would mean Kurt Thomas or Brain Scalabrine which is a hug drop off talent-wise. We would still need a better backup point gaurd because Watson has looked quite bad. We would also have issues still at the SG. I am sure Bogans or Brewer would be fine with the other four out there, but Wouldnt it be safer and a bit wiser to address real needs first like a bcak up point guard and perhaps a better shooting guard?
The Bulls would be losing a SF that can defend well and nail 3 pointers, can slash and post up in Luol Deng. They would also be losing a young power forward that is having a breakout season thus far in Taj Gibson. We could stand to lose James Johnson, but if it cost us 2 first rounders then we are selling out or future as well. It is a gamble and the Bulls are not in the business of taking a ton of risks. I think if we could goback in time and know that LeBron was going to Miami, then we could have kept Kirk Hinrich and signed Boozer and called it a day. The loss of Hinrich is causing our biggest flaw, a lack of a playmaker besides Rose. Once we have Boozer we should have plenty of scorig with Rose, Korver, Deng, Gibson, Boozer, and even Noah. Do we need another? Do we want to trade balance for another superstar?
I know people love to say that it takes superstars to win a title, well the Bulls have a young superstar in Rose and Boozer and Noah are both stars in their own right. Plus you have a Luol Deng that can drop 40 on you and you have both star power and balance. Titles are also won with good roleplayers as well as some depth. I am not saying a deep 12 man rotation is needed, but you need a solid 8 man rotation with 2-3 stars to win it all. Gibson will be a great roleplayer when Boozer returns and Korver, Brewer, and Asik are all nice players as well.
One more factor to consider is Derrick Rose. The guy openly stated he wants to be a MVP. He wants to be the best player in the league, so he certainly wants to be the best player on his own team. Carmelo Anthony is right now a better player then Rose, so would adding him upset Rose? Let us be honest here Bulls fans. Rose wants to be an Alltime great and he never reached out to LeBron in the offseason. Had he we might have seen a different Bulls team this year. one with LeBron James on it. Was it Rose's desire to be the best that kept him from even calling LeBron once? that is something only he knows, but it is certainly something to tink about. Adding Melo could upset Rose.
Well, that is the end of my rant. My question to you is if you think the Bulls should for Melo and trade how much?
Posted on: July 4, 2010 10:21 am
Okay, I am starting to get a bad feeling about this whole free agency process. I am really starting to read and hear things that I am not liking. For one thing I do not trust Dwyane Wades false desire to play with the Bulls. Just a couple of weeks ago he was throwing out false lies about the Chicago Bulls in order to form his super team(LeBron, Bosh, and Himself) in Miami. I think his 2nd meeting took place to throw the Bulls off guard and distract them. Meanwhile the Knicks look to be adding Amar'e Stoudemire which could very well appeal to LeBron James. There is also word that Chris Bosh wants not only the max but he wants it via a sign and trade so he can get a 6 year deal instead of a 5 year deal. The Bulls have players to make the move for Bosh but so do many other teams including the Houston Rockets. Some are saying Bosh is strongly considering Houston.
What does this mean for the Chicago Bulls? Nothing good that is for sure. It looks like Joe Johnson is now back off the fence with the Hawks and he will most likely resign with them. He would be an idiot not to. The full max contract is way too much for Johnson if you ask me. The guy is really good and a top 5 player at his position but he is nearly 30 years old. The Hawks are making a huge longterm mistake, but hey, let them make it.
This is how I see things playing out right now.
1.Amar'e Stoudemire will sign with the Knicks, we all know that.
2. Joe Johnson will resign with the Hawks. he simply cannot pass on all that extra cash and the extra season.
3. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will sign in Miami.
4. Lebron James will most likely stay in Cleveland. There is a small chance he goes to the Knicks if he likes the idea of playing with Amar'e and under Mike D'Antoni.
5. I see the Knicks then going after a player like Mike Miller or a shooting guard or a servicable point guard.
6. The Nets and Bulls will battle it out for the likes of David Lee and Carlos Boozer.
I have been saying it for a very long time now that I think David Lee is a great fit in Chicago. I had a poll thread about a year ago were I argued that Lee was almost as good if not as good as Chris Bosh. Both are not top shelf players if you ask me. The big difference is that one of them knows that and the other does not. Chris Bosh thinks he is the best bigman in the game and views himself on par with players like Wade and LeBron. The fact is is he is a 2nd option on a championship team at best. That is why I lean towards David Lee for my Bulls. Sure his stats were a little blown up playing for Mike D'Antoni, but the facts are facts. He can shoot the jumper as good as Bosh and is just as good of a rebounder if not better. Neither player has a great back to the basket game and neither is a great defender. To me the are very much the same player except one plays with heart every minute he is on the floor and the other is a bit softer. So I would take a David Lee for 13 million a season over 5 years in a flash over a Chris Bosh for 5 seasons at the max. call me crazy but that is hwo I feel.
This brings me back full circle as to how I a starting to feel that things are going to pan out. I think the Bulls will be looking at Lee or Boozer come next weekend or so. If that is the case it is even more of a no-brainer to me. Boozer would certainly give the Bulls a great back to the basket player, but that is about it. He is a solid passer but is he any better then Lee? No, Lee is a better playmaking bigman and he has a better jumper so I can see a great PnP and Pnr game with Rose and Lee. Plus, I think Boozer will be looking for more money then Lee so the Bulls could just sign Lee, keep Luol Deng, and then look for a solid shooting guard with range like a Mike Miller or a Anthony Morrow.
So if the Bulls are left with a choice between David Lee and Carlos Boozer which way should they go?
Posted on: June 26, 2010 12:54 pm
Ok, kmvenne here is my final attempt to shine a bit of light on this issue. In your thread you wanted to compare the top 4 players on both teams that are signed for next season. I think there is no argument that can be made as to the Knicks having a better roster then the Bulls. You can argue that New York is a better and bigger market and you can even use the Michael Jordan's shadow to debate your side but you cannot argue that the Knicks hae a better roster then the Bulls and still be considered sane.
I will make my arguement as simple as I can using one stat. I will compare each teams top 4 players in order and a clear picture should be made. I will simply use the NBA Efficiency Score. Sure the Efficiency score is not full proof but it does give a solid overall value to a player. I will use this seasons regular season stats as the Knicks missed the playoffs again. Ouch!
1. Derrick Rose 18.8(44th) vs Danilo Gallinari 14.6(95th) Winner=Derrick Rose +4.2
2. Joakim Noah 19.1(39th) vs Wilson Chandler 15.2(80th) Winner=Joakim Noah +3.9
3. Luol Deng 18.0 (52nd) vs Bill Walker 9.5(192nd) Winner=Luol Deng +8.5
4. Taj Gibson 13.1(123) vs Toney Douglas 8.3(228) Winner=Taj Gibson +4.8
Total Winner=Bulls at +21.4
There is no argument to be made. The Bulls are clearly the better roster. If LeBron James wants to win Championships then Chicago is the place to go. I would say the Clippers, Heat, and Nets are better then the Knicks at this point if LeBron is looking to win now. The Cavaliers are better as well. I do not want to hear the crappy argument that Walker and Douglas were roleplayers so their stats are not as good as they could/would be. I will counter with "WHY where they roleplayers?". They are both scrubs that is why. If you cannot garner enough playing minutes or stats under Mike D'Antoni then you are a scrub, PERIOD. Gallinari and Chandler are the only two players of any value on the Knicks roster and Rose, Deng, and Noah are better then both of them. All three have been to the playoffs 2 or more times and are focal points of the team.
The bottomline is that the Bulls are a playoff team as is. Infact if they were healthy last season they would have finished the season with close to 50 wins and be in the top 5 in the east. Add LeBron and another close to max player and you have a championship contender. The Bulls also have a defensive minded head coach. Sorry, but run and gun will not win you a ring. No defense will have you out of the playoffs in the first round.
In closing, if LeBron want to win a championship then Chicago is the place to do it. Chicago is also a huge market as well. It may not be quite as big as New York, but when you couple Chicago's market size and roster then you have a no-brainer. A lot of how I view LeBron will be based on were he decide to sign. If he stays in Cleveland then I say the guy is loyal. If he comes to Chicago then I say he really wants to win and is not affraid of the ghost of MJ. If he goes to Miami or Jersey then I say he also wants to win now but also wants to party and have fun in south beach or with a rich Russian and Jay Z. If he goes to the Clippers then he is a brave sole that fears nothing and is willing to take a slight risk(Davis is nearly 300 pounds according to reports and last season #1 draft pick has yet to play). If he goes to the Knicks then he is a fool that is only after making money and wants nothing to do with winning. The Knicks roster is crap and I think LBJ sees that now. If he want to be a legend or a King he needs to win some rings. Even with Chris Bosh and Lebron the Knick are not a contender. They would not be better then the Cavs team he just left.
Nobody knows were he will end up, but we will learn a lot about James as a person by what he decides to do.
Posted on: June 3, 2010 5:22 pm
Okay, here we go. The offseason is almost here and if you are not the Celtics or the Lakers then you have been busy at work trying to figure out your moves for the offseason. Every fan of the game likes to play GM for their favorite team and I have a nice long history of doing just that on these boards for the Chicago Bulls. Of all the teams going into this summer some could say that the Bulls have the most on their plate. They have to hire a new Head Coach for their playoff caliber team. They have to spend 24+ million in cap money on free agents. They have the 17th pick in the draft to consider. The Bulls have a ton of options and this makes this offseason a wet dream for a fan playing the part of a GM. So what moves would I make? Let us take a look.
You will quickly find that my idea of a great offseason is not that sexy in most eyes. I have a certain love for smaller moves that adds chemistry and depth. I favor a strong 7 man rotation over 1 or 2 superstars and a bunch of crap. It is a balancing act. You want to have a couple of go to guys. You want energy players and strong defenders. You want that guy that can light it up for 40 points. I think the Bulls are a solid team as it stands. They were in the 5th seed this season before the Noah injury and were playing their best basketball of the season right then. I truly believe the Bulls had a real shot at 48-50 wins this season had they not got hit with injuries to Hinrich, Noah, Gibson, and Deng down the stretch. But injuries are part of the game and they can dash any teams dreams.
Building a contender can be done in two ways. The easy way is to get lucky and sign a megastar like LeBron James or the hard way by making multiple smaller moves that builds a more balanced team with depth and rotation options. However, before we attack which players to target we need to sign a Head Coach.
In a perfect world the Bulls would lure Phil Jackson back to Chicago but that is not happening. Byron Scott and Avery Johnson seem like good choices on the surface but both have had issues with the players they coach and in my eyes are not the best options. Besides Scott is looking to take over the Lakers and Avery might sign with the Nets. Jeff Van Gundy would be a great fit, but I do not think he is leaving the broadcast booth anytime soon. The Bulls said they are looking for a Head Coach with Head Coaching experience and that leaves them with a short list of below .500 head coaches that I think we should stay away from. Maurice Cheeks is from Chicago but I am not sold on him being a longterm solution for any team. This leaves one option in my mind. Tom Thibodeau.
Thibodeau is the defensive mastermind behind the Boston Celtics and is said to be very interested in the Chicago job. If Paxson has an ounce of brains in his skull he would go out and lock him up now. Thibodeau is not just a great basketball mind but his players love him and respect him. he would demend the respect of the Bulls players not just because he has a Championship ring but because he is one of those rare minds in basketball that can outcoach another teams coach. he is younger and has a long future ahead of him. The Bulls also have the players on their roster right now that would feed into his system. Kirk Hinrich, a favorite of once Bulls head Coach Scott Skiles, quickly comes to mind, as does Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Taj Gibson. He might also be just the coach that pushes Derrick Rose's defensive game from average to good. Speaking of Scott Skiles, I think that is good comparison to Tom Thibodeau except Thibodeau might be even a better defensive coach and still have the ability to relate to players. Scott Skiles gets the nod for his play calling which I still feel he is stellar at. So there we have it, a new Head Coach. Was that too hard?
Now we move to building a roster. Sure I could simply say the Bulls should just sign LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, or Chris Bosh and call it a day, but to be honest the odds are against Chicago landing any of those three. There is still a chance LeBron stays in Cleveland with the Cavaliers. There also is an equal chance that he signs with the Knicks and still yet an outside chance he goes to the Nets, Clippers, or Heat. I say the Bulls have a 20% chance to land him and I am not liking those odds. Wade will likely resign in Miami. Bosh will either sign with Wade in Miami or follow leBron to the Knicks. This is just how a see the summer going. If Lebron goes to New York with Bosh then I see Amar'e moving to Miami with Wade. BAM! The four biggest free agents are off the table. that leaves Joe Johnson, Carlos Boozer, and Dirk Nowitzki. I think the Bulls will then have to fight for one of those three and perhaps even offer a max contract which none diserve except for Dirk and I think he will head to the Suns if Amar'e is gone. Johnson is a nice player and would work well with Derrick Rose but why pay him a max contract. Let another team make that mistake like the Clippers or Nets. The same goes for the often injured Carlos Boozer. Let him sign elsewhere. You must now be in shock. Who is ChiTownCliff angling for. A cheaper option, David Lee. If I were John Paxson I would of course try for LeBron, Bosh, and Wade but if that does not pan out quickly then I would target David Lee with a 5 year contract for 13-14 million per.
David Lee give the Bulls a cheaper version of Chris Bosh. Not bad if you ask me. Lee is a gritty player that cannot only grab rebounds, but can nail the open jumper and this gives the Bulls the perfect scoring bigman. He may not have a great back to the basket game but I think his scoring abilities fit perectly with the Bulls. The Bulls would surely lead the league in rebounds again but the real deal with signing Lee is pairing him with Rose. I think this is a great 1-2 punch. Imagine the PnP and PnR game these two could put on. Also, Lee's ability to hit long jumpers would draw defenders out of the paint and allow Derrick Rose to drive to the bucket and create. This signing also gives the Bulls room to sign yet another player that can have an impact. Enter Ray Allen.
Say what you want I think this could happen. With Tom Thibodeau as the Head Coach Allen would at least consider it and there is a chance that the Celtics will let Ray go anyways even if they win another Championship. I understand that Ray is getting older, but he is one of those few athletes in the NBA that keeps himself in great shape. I bet he has 3+ good effective years left in him. He is a savvy veteran that fills one of the Bulls biggest needs, a deadly three point shooter. The Bulls lost Ben Gordon last season and his shooting was missed dearly. I think the Bulls could offer a 3 year deal at 8 million per and snag Allen as their new starting shooting guard. Now when Rose drives he will have a player out there that he can kick the ball to for 3. This makes the Bulls offense more complex and difficult to defend against.
This leaves the Bulls with about 2 million in cap and I say they either resign Brad Miller to a one or two year deal or look for a backup point guard like perhaps Rafer Alston. I would rather resign Miller as he has stated he is very happy in Chicago and has made good friends with players on the team like Joakim Noah.
When it come to the idea of making a trade I just do not see it happening unless it happens in a sign and trade for a superstar like Bosh or LeBron. I just do not see the Bulls being able t move Hinrich and his contract or Luol Deng and his massive contract. i think both remain Bulls for at least another season. The Bulls have no other players to trade aftre those two. they are not moving Rose and Noah and Gibson are cheap and quite good so you know they are staying.
In the draft the Bulls will have only one position to fill. Either a backup center or a backup point guard depending on if they resign Miller or sign a veteran point guard. If they resign Miller then I think they should draft Eric Bledsoe. He is explosive and a solid shooter and could step right in and play a solid 10+ minutes behind Rose. If they sign a PG then they should draft Daniel Orton or Hassan Whiteside. I think Orton is the better fit of the two. The Bulls could also go the route of picking up another wing player to back up Deng. I understand the Bulls have James Johnson but they could use another option as Johnson can also play the PF role so perhaps a rookie that can play a little shooting guard and a little small forward would be wise. Xavier Henry would be perfect if he drops but James Anderson would be okay as well. I expect little from this draft pick but you never know.
By making these moves the Bulls have a strong starting five with a mix of defense, explosive scoring, veteran leadership, and chemistry. They also have a solid bench and depth at each and every position. The long NBA season is bound to bring injuries. I love the idea of Lee and Noah in the paint together with Deng slashing and Ray hitting jumpers off screens and Derrick doing his thing. Rose would have the firepower around him to get his assist numbers up around the 8pg mark. Ray Allen could rest and play only 30 minute per night or less with Kirk sitting on the bench.
PG. Derrick Rose/Eric Bledsoe
SG. Ray Allen/Kirk Hinrich
SF. Luol Deng/James Johnson
PF. David Lee/Taj Gibson
C. Joakim Noah/Brad Miller
Maybe not the sexiest looking group of players or roster that you could imagine the Bulls having, but I think it would be very very effective on both ends and would contend for a top 3 spot in the east. Longterm the Bulls would have to move Kirk or Deng to make room to resign Rose or move both to sign future additions, but moving into next season this would be an ideal team. That is saying if we cannot sign LBJ, Wade, or Bosh. To be honest I might rather have Lee over Bosh.
So what are your thoughts? What would you do as the GM for the Bulls this offseason or for your team for that matter? Thanks for taking the time to read this and i hope you enjoyed it.
Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire, Avery Johnson, Ben Gordon, Brad Miller, Bulls, Byron Scott, Carlos Boozer, Cavaliers, Celtics, Chris Bosh, Clippers, Daniel Orton, David Lee, Derrick Rose, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Eric Bledsoe, Hassan Whiteside, Heat, James Anderson, James Johnson, Jeff Van Gundy, Joakim Noah, Joe Johnson, Kirk Hinrich, Knicks, Lakers, LeBron James, Luol Deng, Nets, Phil Jackson, Rafer Alston, Ray Allen, Scott Skiles, Suns, Taj Gibson, Tom Thibodeau, Xavier Henry
Posted on: May 21, 2010 9:56 pm
Well here we are again with another offseason just around the corner. It looks as if both of the conference might be sweeps this year. David Stern cannot be too happy about that. Ouch! Well every year before the trade deadline and before the offseason I run a "Dreams and Delusions" thread. This is the place to drop your offseason solutions for your team faults. Weather that has to do with the upcoming draft, a trade, signing free agents, or a little bit of it all. What will get your team back on track or, if you are so lucky, keep your team a contender? I will start off by gining you my dream senario followed by some more realistic ones.
The Big Delusion.
The Bulls are in pretty good shape going into the summer. They have a solid young team led by the Allstar point guard Derrick Rose and the crafty center Joakim Noah. The big target of all the teams with cap space is going to be LeBron James and that is no secret, but will he want a sign and trade? Maybe. The Bulls have to be on his short list due to the big market of Chicago and the young core of players. Derrick Rose is young and only going to get better and LeBron knows it.
So let us say the Bulls and the Cavaliers orchestrate a sign and trade. The Bulls will have to send around 18-19 million in contracts to the Cavs so that would have to be Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich. Would the Cavs want Deng's longterm contract? Would they want another Guard? These are both reasonable questions, but a third team could get involved so that all parties got what they wanted. This thread is all about dreaming so I am going to say that the Cavs agree to take Deng and Hinrich. Both are good starters and Luol would fill the void at small forward.
This would leave the Bulls with all their cap money to sign another big free agent. It is being reported that Chris Bosh is waiting to see were LeBron goes because he wants to follow him. I am not sure if this rumor is true but I am sure having LeBron would help sell the Bulls to any free agents. So then we will pretend the Bulls sign Chris Bosh to a max deal as well. The Bulls would have a hole still at the shooting guard position that would need to be filled, but they would still have 3-4 million to spend on a player after signing Bosh. So the Bulls could simply resign Ronald Murray or perhaps go after a scrub like Roger Mason to fill the void.
This would give the Bulls a insane starting five of Rose, Murray, LeBron, Bosh, and Noah. The Shooting Guard could be anyone as long as they can play a bit of defense and hit from beyond the arc to help spread the floor. I love the idea of Bosh and Noah in the paint. They are like peanut butter and jelly. Bosh can score inside and out and Noah can do all the gritty work. LeBron would be drawing the double and so would Rose and that would cause nightmares for other teams. Bosh, Rose, and LeBron si a very scary and young big three that would win championships and be very good fo a very long time.
This team would have a weak bench with James Johnson and Taj Gibson as the two only real players there. The Bulls would have to hope to lure a veteran into the mix and pick up some scrubs. Still this team would be a top 3 team instantly. But this is indeed a big Dream and a bit of a Delusion so lets look at some more reasonable option.
Well, now let us pretend that LBJ goes elsewhere. This leaves one clear option to me. Go after Bosh! I understand he will most likely head to the Heat to play with Wade or to the Knicks to play with LeBron, but he may still want the chance to be the leader and on the Bulls he could be that guy but have a real cast of players around him. I love him and Noah in the paint and Rose drawing double teams on the outside. That could prove to be deadly even more if Rose can perfect his 3 pointer this offseason. Last offseason he worked on his mid-range jumper and it showed as he hit almost everything he threw up this year. The Bulls could simply keep the cast of players they have and move taj Gibson to the bench. If you look at the Bulls starting five as they stand Taj is the weakest link. He is a solid rookie and wil turn into a good player and will have a long career, but Bosh is a major upgrade and it would be nice have Gibson come off the bench. The Bulls could then try to pick up a sharp shooter which is another of their big needs. A player that can spread the floor. Perhaps they might be able to pull off a signing of Ray Allen. With Bosh, Noah, and Rose I am sure the Bulls could land a solid veteran and I am not so sure the Celtics will resign him. That would give the Bulls a very good and balanced starting five of Rose, Allen, Deng, Bosh, and Noah, with Johnson, Gibson, and Kirk coming off the bench. Not bad depth at all.
This would be a balanced team that would be able to spread the floor with Ray and Deng to allow Rose to work his Magic and Bosh would create havoc on pick and rolls with Rose and Allen. Noah would clean up the boards and perhaps lead the league in rebounds if Bosh draws a lot of doubles and Noah gets a lot of put backs.
The bottomline is that the Bulls are going to get better this offseason. It just matters by how much. With LeBron they become a contender but I am not holding my breath. With Bosh and a shooter I think they are more balanced and have greater depth and are also a contender. It will come down to were LBJ signs and if Bosh signs with the heat to join Wade. That will take Wade off the table as a third option in my book as he is much to much like Rose as a player and cannot hit the three pointer like we need. This will leave Carlos Boozer, Amar'e Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, and perhaps Dirk as the leftovers. Not the best bunch of players as they all have their weaknesses. Dirk is getting up there in age even though he is playing at the top of his game, but it will be a matter a couple of seasons and his game will decline as the Bulls are paying him max dollars. Not the best idea. Boozer is hurt so often that I would not think to sign him to a max deal, but even at 12-14 million he is a risk I would not want to take. Amar'e has been playing for a contract this season and I am not sure he would produce once the money was in hand. He would also want max money and the Bulls might find themselves in a bidding war with other teams like the Knicks, Clippers, and Nets. Amar'e is not worth max money even with the season he had. That leaves Joe Johnson. I am sure he will want max money too, but I have less of an issue spending it on him. I no he was lost in this years playoffs, but he would fill a huge need for the Bulls with his shooting and ability to create.
I say that Joe Johnson is the clear target in this senario. The Bulls would then need to land a bigman and I like the idea of making a deal with the Knicks for David Lee. Lee is a poor man's Chris Bosh. I think the Knick would do a sign and trade sending Lee to the Bulls for Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson. This would give the Bulls a starting five of Rose, Johnson, Deng, Lee, and Noah. They would still have cap space to add a player or two to add depth. I think this team might not look sexy but could be a gritty team that could very well be a contender as well. Sometimes it is not all about having all the big stars but more about having the right balance of players. Rose is a leader and a creater for his team. He is as fast as they come and a top athlete in the league. He is simply a superstar. Johnson is the perfect storm with his ability to hit the jumper and nail the three to help spread the floor. Deng is the jack of all trades wingman that can slach, defend, and hit the open 18-footer. Lee is a crafty player who has been playing out of position in New Yrok. As a power forward he will have his way with lesser talents and hold his own against other Allstars and has the ability to also spread the floor with his jumper. Noah again is the heart of the Bulls with his nasty defense and big personality. I like the chemistry that this team would offer.
In the end I see the Bulls having a offseason like the one I just laid out. No major superstars, but smart moves that quietly make the Bulls a balanced and powerful team.
So what are the offseason Dreams and Delusions for your team?
Posted on: 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?