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Tag:Ray Allen
Posted on: August 24, 2010 11:02 am
 

Top10 Third Options in NBA History

Well with it being a Tuesday morning and all, I thought it would be fitting to roll out a nice little poll thread. Many a time on these very boards have we ranked and debated the best players in the history of the hardwood. We have even listed the best second options ever and battled over it, but I want to go one step more. I want to bring forth a challenge to my fellow posters here the CBS boards. Can you rank the top 10 best thirf options to ever play in the NBA? This is not an easy task. I mean how many great players were the third option on their own team? Look at your favorite team right now. Who is your team's third option? Are they any good? Whould you call them an all-time great? Most likely not. I know Luol Deng is far from great.

So I went through the rosters of some of the greatest teams in NBA history and looked at their third options. Many factors came into play. Sure scoring is nice but I looked for guys that fit into the system like oil in a machine. Guys that were part of championships or at the very least parts of a great winning team. After a few hours of going over the numbers I came up with a top ten list that I am going to share with you. I also included a poll for fun so you can vote on the best third option ever. I also ask that you give your own list to fuel a bit of debate. Thanks and I hope you enjoy. 

Here is my Top10 list in order of lowest ranking to highest to add drama.Tongue out  

10. Horace Grant. Maybe not the first name to come to mind when considering te best third options but Grat fits into the oil catagory. He meshed in with the Bulls perfectly during the first three championships. He was a working man's player that could clean up the boards and shoot the 15 foot jumper. He had a solid game in the paint that opened things up a bit for Pip and Jordan. He also sported those grat goggles.

9. Tony Parker. Parker was clearly the third option for the Spurs during the Championship years. Duncan and Manu were the one and two but when your third option is your point guard you are in good shape. Parker was and still is an elite drive and kick player and has a gift at finishing around the basket. His savvy play with the ball in his hands made the Spurs even more deadly. Do you dare not double down on Duncan and risk Parker driving? Classic.

8. Ray Allen. Let us not fool ourselves. Even if you are a Celtics hater you have to admitt the addition of Allen as a third option was one of the greatest moves in the history of the sport. Allen's elite shooter ability simply opened the floor up on a grand scale. Also, who out there can claim to be a Ray Ray hater. The guy is just a nice dude and a great team player. Too bad he plays with a bunch of punks. Sorry, I could not help it. lol

7. Wes Unseld. When you think blue collar you must have a picture of Unseld in your mind. The guy would just give it his all and sacrifice his body down low. Playing behind Dandridge and Elvin Hayes, Wes was a double double threat every night he stepped on the floor and helped make those Washington Bullets teams unforgettable.

6. Dave Debusschere. In my eyes double D gets the edge over Unseld. Debusschere was pure passion on the floor. He is the very thing missing from much of todays NBA. He was "Effort". He was a double double machine and there were times were he played like the best player on the floor, and having Willis Reed and Walt Frazier as teammates, that is saying something.

5. Bob Cousy. Really Cousy was the first great point guard to grace the NBA floor. He was a master with the ball in his had and a true magician. With Russell and Jones as running mates Cousy would be a huge part of an amazing 6 Championships and on 10 All-NBA first teams and 13 Allstar teams. He was the tiny giant of his time.

4. Wilt Chamberlain. When Wilt went to the Lakers at the end of his career he was the thrid option. With Elgin Baylor and Jerry West on the team Wilt slid down to the third option, but that did not stop him from averaging 20 points and 21 rebounds in his first season there. Wilt battled through injuries and remained a force with the Lakers while there.

3. Kevin McHale. Sure the guy looks like a stand in for Frankenstein, but in reality he was a freak of nature. As skinny as a pole, McHale would defend the paint like few other againt players much larger then himself. He was much stronger then he looked and perhaps that was due to being created in the basement lab of a madman. He also had a pretty jumper and could score in many different ways within 17 feet of the rim. With Bird and Parrish, McHale and the Celtics would share the 80s with the Lakers.

2. Dennis Rodman. The baddest man to ever step foot on the hardwood. He had worst shots I have ever seen but man could he reound and defend. In my Eyes Rodman was the best pound for pound rebounder to ever play the game and certainly the best in the modern era. A 7 time rebounding champion with averages of 14.9, 16.7, and 15.0 with the Bulls Dennis was in a league all his own. His defense on Karl Malone during both Finals is a thing of legend. He was also the best looking NBA player ever to wear a dress in public.

1. James Worthy. Here is a guy that could have led his own team deep into the playoffs, but when Magic Johnson and Kareem are on the floor with you, you need to fing your role and Big Game James did just that. He became a effecient scorer and jump shooter but more importantly he was willing to hit the game winner. Many a Lakers games during the 80s were won by Worthy's last second shooting. He was a 3x Champion, a 7 time Allstar, and winner of the Finals MVP in 1988. He was a complete player and ranks on everyones Top10 list for small forwards in NBA Histoy. That is saying a lot for a third option.

So, I hope you enjoyed my rankings and I would love to see yours. I left Chris Bosh off my list as we have yet to see him play for the Heat. Perhaps by this time next year he will be on this list. I also wanted to add Hornacek at 10 but the Jazz never made it past the Bulls and he just missed the list.
Posted on: July 1, 2010 10:12 pm
 

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: June 3, 2010 5:22 pm
 

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

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

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

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

3rd Annual Offseason Dreams and Delusions.

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

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

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

          So what are the offseason Dreams and Delusions for your team?
Posted on: February 12, 2010 2:12 pm
 

Trade Rumors. Which ones will happen?

OK, there are a few trade rumors starting to float around on the web. Some seem to make some sense and others seem very odd. Let us take a look.

Celtics and Wizards.
This has to be the biggest rumor of the day. It has the Celtics moving Ray Allen to Washington for Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. Boston would throw in Scalabrine and Giddens to make the money work. This is a no-brianer for the Celtics. They would agian be a lock for the Finals adding these to players. What a sick lineup this trade would create for the Celtics. If they did not win a Championship after this move it would be a huge upset. The Wizards are clearly looking to start over again and this would give them some big time cap space. Perhaps the Wizards could land the Celtic's 1st rounder out of the deal. Cross your fingers Celtic fans.

Bulls and Trail Blazers.
The Blazers are hurting in the paint and the Bulls really want to move Tyrus Thomas so this seems like a good partnership. The Bulls have had little luck turning Thomas into a star power forward that many thought he could be and perhaps a job in the new city could be just what he needs to turn his raw talent into something. The Bulls would be getting a expiring contract or two in return along with two 2nd rounders from Portland. Bulls get picks for a bad seed. Makes some sense.

McGrady to the Knicks.
Now this makes sense on all levels. The Knicks love to bring in old fading superstars in hopes of the player having a turn around. Could the Knicks consider resigning Tracy in the summer? Maybe, if they cannot land one of the big free agents. This deal would give the Knicks some more cap space, but who do they plan on signing. LeBron looks like he is staying in Cleveland for now. Wade will stay put unless he moves to Chicago. Bosh might go the New York, but the Knicks need to lure two superstars if they plan on making any noise in the east. The Celtics, Magic, Cavaliers, and Hawks are just too good as it stands. Darko, Nate, Larry, or Al look to be part of the Knicks bait.

Cleveland in lots of talks.
It looks like the Cavaliers are looking into many different players from Rip Hamilton to Troy Murphy. Even Antawn Jamison is in the works. It looks like most of these trades would involve a third team, most likely Houston. If the Cavs can land a solid big like Jamison or Murphy then they will be even sicker.

There are a lot of rumors flying and I for one cannot wait for a team to make the first move. So, do you have any thoughts on these trades or have you heard or any other one?
Posted on: July 2, 2009 10:09 pm
 

Is the NBA getting more and more unbalanced?

     Well there have been a few big moves in the NBA over the last week and I am not so sure it is for the best of the NBA or not. The Cavaliers which were already in this last seasons eastern conference look to have locked up Shaq for next season and gave up basically nothing in return. Vince Carter is going to play for the Magic next season. The Spurs, who are still a good franchise but have battled injuries, have bolstered their lineup with the addition of Richard Jefferson. The Celtics look to be adding Rasheed Wallace and now there are talks of Ron Artest joining Kobe on the Lakers. Are all these moves good for the NBA? Let us take a look.

     I guess there are to theories to go by on this one. One, that having a handful of great teams will make the conference finals and NBA finals better. You know that these blockbuster teams will all go deep into the playoffs and that the Finals should include two of the teams mentioned above. The other thinking is that these teams are now just all too good and that the regular season and the entire season for that matter is pointless to watch for fans of other teams. Do fans of the Hawks or Mavericks have anything to hope for?
    I for one am torn on the issue. I consider myself a true fan of the sport so part of me can not wait for the season to begin to see how Shaq and LeBron coexist or if Vince Carter can be the missing part to push the Magic to the next level. On the other hand I am a fan of the Chicago Bulls which are a good young team with depth and promise, but really are no match for onr of these new Mega-Teams.
     The rest of the NBA stands little chance agaist these new teams. Part of me thinks it could hurt the NBA fanbase a bit. I am sure it will attract a ton of new fans, but some diehards may just give up on their teams. Why keep watching their team when we all know who is going to be in the Finals. I am not saying that I am one of these fans, but i can understand that view.
     Let's look at these new Mega-team's lineups for a minute. Who stands a chance againts these five teams is my real question.
     Lakers- Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest, and Pau Gasol. This team has it all. A legend in the making leading the way in Kobe. A great inside force in Gasol. A versatile wingman in Gasol and a bonecrusher in Ron Artest. Crazy.
     Spurs- Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson. The best power forward ever in the middle. I understand that Duncan is older but he is still great. Manu if healthy is a nightmare for other teams. One of the best, if not best penetrateing point guards in Parker and now a allstar caliber wingman in R.J.
     Celtics- Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace. If Boston can keep Allen and sign Wallace then, if healthy, they will have a great shot at another NBA title. That is an older but still great lineup. They could cause a lot of damage with this team.

     Magic- Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis. You have to think that Turkoglu is going to go elsewhere for the money, but a guess he too could still be in the fold in Orlando. This team has all the parts needed to win a title with Howard anchoring this team. I think Carter might just be the player the magic needed in the Finals. A guy who can hit the clutch shots and draw defenders out. If they somehow manage to keep Turk as well then they are going to go back to the Finals.
     Cavaliers
- LeBron James, Shaq, and Mo Willaims. Not quite as deep as the others as far as talent, but Shaq might work out very well for the Cavs. If James and him can work off eachother well then most teams will have their hands full facing the Cavaliers next season. Shaq draws the double team and so does James. That is a recipe for a Championship.

     Well as a Bulls fan, unless we trade for Chris Bosh or Amar'e this summer, I can hope for no more then maybe a trip to the second round of the playoffs next year and that is better then I can say for most other teams. So do you think that these new Mega-Teams will cause some fans to finally give up on their teams or are you just excited to see how all these move play out? I for one can not wait to watch these new teams, but to be honest part of me is a bit sad that my team is on the outside looking in.

Posted on: May 25, 2009 2:39 pm
 

The Smart GM Trades Kevin Garnett this Summer.

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

     Be honest with yourselves. What will it take for the Celtics to get back to the Finals and win another championship? It will take a few things happening that I feel is just a huge gamble for Boston. Kevin Garnett will have to return and be near 100%. Leon Powe will have to heal and continue to grow. Ray Allen will have to shoot consistently and stop aging. Celtics will have to resign Big Baby somehow to slowly take over for the fading KG. Paul Pierce will have to show up a little more in the playoffs. Rajon Rondo will have to pick up the slack by becoming a superstar.
     Can all 6 of those things happen? I think not. If Garnett returns and plays well then the Celtics will make it to the second round of the playoffs again, but the east is fastly changing and the Celtic's core is getting very old. If Boston does not make moves this summer they could very well turn into the next version of the Pistons. An motley grouping of aging vets and mismatched parts that have little trade value. Think of what the Pistons could have done a few years ago if they were smart enough to break up their team. But instead they pressed on and slowly slipped out of contention. Sad.
     The time is now for Boston to bypass this fate. If KG can recover and pass a physical then they should move him while he still have some value. In a year or less he could be worth as much as Rasheed Wallace. Scary. Yes it would be a cruel thing to do to KG after he gave Boston a championship, but basketball is a business not a retirement home. Kevin Garnett could recover and have 1 or 2 good seasons left but that is a big risk to take. I think moving him now is the best option. Rajon Rondo is clearly the future of this team as Paul Pierce will himself slowly start to fade in the next 3 or 4 years. He has a lot of miles on him and to me Rondo looks to be the most well rounded talent on the Celtics right now.
     Many have been saying the Celtics should move Ray Allen but he has only one year left on his contract that expires in the summer of 2010. Having 18 million dollars in cap space next summer might be enough to grab a superstar free agent if the Celtics aready have the right players on board. I say hold onto Ray. Here are a few ideas for the Celtics.
    1) I understand that the Raptors are in the same division as the Celtics, but both can gain somthing by making a deal. The Raptors have to understand by now that Chris Bosh is most likely bolting after next season and they need to start listening to offers now. I want my Bulls to make an offer to be honest. I think if the Celtics offered Garnett and thier 1st round pick they could land Bosh and Jason Kapono. Bosh is not as good as KG was in his prime but Bosh is younger and Kapono gives the celtics another three point threat which they could really use. Toronto gets a superstar in KG and a pick. All of these trade ideas work on the ESPN trade machine just so you know. Different combinations of picks could be used to even out this trade but I think if they can move past the idea of both being in the same division that this is a solid moves on both ends. Raptors will either want another superstar for Bosh or young talent and picks. Few other teams can offer a player like Garnett to the Raptors so they might swallow his huge contract to just fill some seats at home.
     2) OK, I understand that Zach Randolph is a nightmare in the locker room but the Celtics could try to move him during the season or a third team could be involved. I think Camby is a solid replacement for KG. They are both old and Camby is not what he used to be but both ZR and Marcus' contracts expire before KG's contract. In the end this trade really just gives the Celtics a little more flexability and I am sure the Clippers would throw a future draft pick on the table. Clippers love to make bad trades so maybe the Celtics could pull a John Paxson and land two future 1st rounders. The Clippers really want to move Zach. I understand that this is not a sexy trade and it would certainly have the Celtics taking a step back, but if they can land a 1st round pick or two from the Clippers then it is a no brainer to me. The Clippers are always in the lottery and often hold a top 5 pick.
     3) Now I like this idea. Peja Stojakovic's contract is hard to swallow for what he offers but it is one season shorter then KGs. David West on the other hand is a solid young power foward. The Hornet could bite if the Celtics ate another contract and offered a 1st and 2nd round pick. The Hornets might not want to give up a young star like west for an aging one like Garnett, but they might also want to make it look like they are trying to build a contender to keep Chris Paul happy. I seem to remember the Mavericks trading away a budding star in Devin Harris for Jason Kidd. You just never really know what a team will do. But If the Celtics can bring home a player like David West then I think they would remain contenders. I also think that boston can stand to let go of a couple of picks. Rondo, Pierce, and West could be a deadly trio.
     4) Speaking of the Mavericks what about a trade for Josh Howard and Erick Dampier. I think that this could be a nice even trade as is. Howard has a few injuries to ovrecome and a fondness for herbs and Dampier is also getting older but is still a solid player in the paint. Plus Howard's contract ends next summer to give the Celtics some extra cap space and Erick's ends the next summer. Mavericks could be scary with Garnett and Dirk on the floor together. If Jason Kidd can muster a bit more out of his HOF career then the mavericks could contend with this move. Howard would look nice running the floor with Rondo and if the Celtics lose Big Baby then Dampier could be a short term fix. I think with this move the Celtics would free up enough money for the summer of 2010 to go after perhaps Amar'e, Bosh(if he is not already traded), or Wade.
     5) This trade is all about freeing up a bit of money. Celtics would save 5 million right off the bat with the differences in contracts and Matt Harpring's contract ends next summer and Kirilenko's is a year shorter then KGs. AK47 could play the 3 or 4 and be a solid replacement for KGs defense. I am not saying he is as good but he is a very good defender. With freed up cap space the Celtics would have money to add a superstar and maybe resign Big Baby this summer. A 2010/2011 lineup of Rajon Rando, Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, AK47, and Big Baby would be a great team to watch and a very good defensive team. Maybe a big instead of Wade might more sense. For the Jazz they get KG to replace Boozer who is sure to leave this summer.
    
     Well, I hope you enjoyed the read. Please understand that these trade ideas can be tinkered with a bit by adding smaller pieces or draft picks to even thing out. I can already see all the negative replies about a couple of these trade ideas. What I really want to hear from other posters is 1) is moving KG in and of itself just a bad idea? and 2) what other trade ideas can you come up with?
Posted on: March 21, 2009 12:07 pm
 

Should Bulls Avoid 7th Seed?

      The Bulls now hold the 8th seed in the eastern playoffs, and while they could very likely still lose that seeding and slip out of the playoffs all together, one has to wonder if they really want to move up to the 7th seed. The Bulls have a very light schedule the rest of the way. They face one real strong team tonight in the Lakers and then things become much easier the rest of the way. My real point here is that the Bulls could very well pass the Pistons or 76ers for that matter and move into the 7th spot in the playoffs. The problem there is that they would then be faced with the Celtics or Magic in the first round and while I do not see the Bulls getting out of the first round, I do think their best shot is against the top rated Cavaliers.

     The Bulls just match up better with the Cavaliers and I can see the Bulls stretching a seven game series to a sixth or seventh games. The Bulls have a pretty balanced team right now with Brad Miller down low giving the Bulls some size and skill for the first time in a long time. Tyrus Thomas is starting to show signs that he can be a force in the paint on both ends but more so on defense were his ability to get above the rim and block shots is at the highest level in the league. He is starting to remind me of Tyson Chandler a bit on defense, but with the ability to hit the outside jumper. Thomas is coming into his own and his future is bright.

     LeBron James can not really be stopped by anyone so the Bulls would have to rely on a team effort to try and slow him down a bit. The one thing the Bulls can do is make it hard for hm to score in the paint. Thomas, Joakim Noah, and Miller offer a nice combination of size, skill, defense, and athleticism. Most of all Brad Miller matched up well against clevelands bigs and I think if Tyrus continues to grow that the Cavs might have trouble defending against him. I am not saying that Tyrus is a 20 and 10 player against the Cavaliers, I am only saying that I think he matches up well against them. Anderson Varejao is about the only guy I can see slowing him down. Joe Smith is a bit to slow to hinder him, but Smith is a savvy vet so I could be wrong there.

     I think Cleveland might have a bit of an edge with Mo Williams facing Derrick Rose. Rose has shown that he struggles against larger point guards like Rajon Rondo and Williams. If Rose can rise to the occasion then the Bulls have a shot every night. The Bulls have an overall edge with guards due to their strong depth with Rose, Kirk Hinrich, and Ben Gordon. That is a strong rotation with option to score, playmake, and play defense. I really like how the Bulls matchup here. While the power forward and center positions almost seem to be a wash, I think the Bulls have an edge in the guard catagory.

     Then we come to the small forward position were the Bulls have a nice all around player in John Salmons who can do a bit of everything and the often injured Luol Deng. If Heathly Deng can be a nice player to have on the floor but Salmons is the better defender and just seems to fit better with Vinny's gameplan and more importantly he seems to complement Derrick Rose much better then Luol Deng. Deng had a nice string of strong games before hurting his leg last month, but Salmons needs to be the starter here for the Bulls.

     While John Salmons is nice he is in no way in the same category as LeBron James. James is just better in every way. James is just a machine set on kill mode. So by default the Cavaliers get a huge edge here and in my mind the ability to move on to the second round. I think if the Bulls play hard the series could be stretched but it would take an effort not yet seen by the Bulls for this to happen. On the other hand, I do not see the Cavs sweeping the Bulls. The Bulls will have at least one night were all their jump shooters are hitting and this will most likely happen in the United Center. If Gordon, Salmons, and Rose are hitting their shots then really nobody can stop them.

     The real question is if the Bulls can score inside as well as outside. If Miller can find his shot and in turn spread the floor then Tyrus and Noah might be able to make noise down low. I still think that Vinny needs to run the high screen and roll with Miller and Rose much more. Miller is an outstanding passer for a bigman and can shoot the seventeen foot jumper. Derrick can shoot, pass, or drive. I see the high screen and roll with these two as a powerful weapon not truly utilized. This would spread the floor and allow Tyrus and Salmons to slash to the rim for feeds from Rose. I would just like to see this happen more often. Gordon could sit on the three point line for an open shot and to keep the floor spread and the the forwards could cut to the rim. Seems like a simple gameplan that could win a lot of games.

     The real reason however that I want the Bulls to hold ont the 8th seed and not move up is I think they could very well get swept by either the Magic or the Celtics. We have no answer for Dwight Howard at all and Kevin Garnett seems to charm Tyrus Thomas everytime they matchup. Rondo is not a great matchup for Rose at all and Paul Pierce and Ray Allen demand more defense then the Bulls can offer up. The Magic and the Celtics both are to balanced and have to much depth for the Bulls. The Bulls too are more balanced now and have depth but are to inconsistant.

Bottomline, if the Bulls are to have any hope of making it to the second round, which is unlikely at best, it will be through the Cavaliers and not the Celtics or Magic. So listen up Bulls! Keep playing well but lets not go on a 5+ game winning streak.   

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com