Tag:Taj Gibson
Posted on: January 20, 2011 10:23 am
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Carmelo to the Bulls? Nope. Not happening.

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: October 29, 2010 1:41 pm
 

3-Way Trade. Bulls land Carmelo?

Here is a 3-way trade I was considering that would include the Nuggets, Bulls, and 76ers. There have been a few rumors that the 76ers wanted to swap Andre Iguodala for Luol Deng recently. I am not sure how true these rumors are, but they are just rumors. I am not certain this is a great idea for the Bulls as Luol, if healthy, is a great fit. Iggy is a better defender and a better slasher, but not by much and Deng is a better shooter and is now nailing threes. However, Carmelo if Carmelo wants to play for a bigger market and with a better cast then the Bulls might be a great option. I lineup of Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah, would have to be a contender right? So I ran this trade on ESPN's Trade machine and it works. What do you think?

Bulls get: Carmelo Anthony

Nuggets get: Andre Iguodala, Taj Gibson, James Johnson, and Bulls future 1st round pick.

76ers get: Luol Deng

Bulls
would land a top 10 player and a superstar that would have to sign an extension for the deal to go through and the Bulls would beome a powerhouse.

Nuggets would land a star shooting guard to ease the pain of losing Melo and a nice young double double machine power forward in Taj Gibson. James Johnson is a raw talent that in time could become a solid player. The 1st rounder from the Bulls would be in the mid to upper 20s but still it is a pick.

76ers would get the player they wanted and only lose the player they were willing to give up.

Thoughts?

Posted on: October 6, 2010 10:46 am
Edited on: October 6, 2010 11:17 am
 

I Know It's Just One Preseason Game But...

...I do have a few opinions and I shall lay them out as likes and dislikes. So here we go.

Like. Kyle Korver Looked really good and a great fit for the Bulls with all the screens we run. I knew he was a great shooter but I did not know he was so good of a shooter off a pick. He has a very quick release. I think the Bulls need to strongly consider starting him at the 2 guard as much as possible. His defense looked above average as well. I really like tis kid and it finally looks like we have a solid scorer to replace Ben Gordon.

Dislike. James Johnson still looks lost. He looks like he is in great shape, but He makes bad choices with the ball in is hand. He seems to think he is a point guard, but he lacks the skills to be a playmaker. His drives to the rim remind me of Andres Nocioni in his rookie season. Out of control!

Like. Keith Bogans looked pretty good as well. He did not produce a great statline but he was playing smart ball and looks like a savvy vet. Once Ronnie Brewer is back I am sure Bogans may not see many minutes, but at least the Bulls have good depth in a position that was in bad shape last season. I am sorry Flip Murry but we have 3 2 guards much better then you.

Dislike. Omer Asik needs to spend some time in a tanning bed. It was hard to look at the screen when he was on the floor, not just because he looked completly lost, but because he is so white he looks like a 150 watt lightbulb. Besides giving up the ball every time he got it in the post, his defense was way bad as players just drove past him. He is a project for sure. The one thing I did like was is slam dunk, because he never lowered the ball, he just went up and dunked it. Too many bigman lower the ball and get it stripped or allow defenses to adjust and he just went right back at the rim. I was taken off guard by that to be honest.

Like. Brian Scalabrine looked pretty good. I really thought this guy was a joke and he may still prove me wrong but he looks as if he could be useful in small stretches like perhaps 8 minutes a game. He has range and he plays hard and his defense looks perfect for the Bulls new system. On the flip side he is very slow, cannot finish around the rim, and to be honest just looks silly with his little red afro. 

Dislike. Taj Gibson looks like he lost weight over the summer. I was hoping he added at least 10 pounds but he looks skinny and he tweeked his back. His conditioning looked off and if he does not spend more time with the strength coach he may see another season on the bench in street clothes or playing hurt.

Like. I love what I saw from Luol Deng. The guy was driving and slashing and moving great without the ball. He looks like the Deng of old and had his way whenever he wanted it. He really did a nice job of using his length to shut off passing lanes and his defense in general was good. His jumper also was solid and he added a little range to his jumper as he looks in control while shooting threes.

Dislike. I thought that C.J. Watson would be a bit more agressive with the ball in his hands and he seems to be giving it up to Korver all night long. It is always wise to get the ball in the hands of the hot shooter, but sometimes he forced the pass when he could have just rotated the ball or drove himself. He had little Earl guarding him so he should have backed him down or shot over him. I expected a little bit mor from him.

Overall. It was a good game. I like the Bulls depth but they do have some bugs to work out. I think the preseason will give the Bulls the time they need to do just that. Derrick Rose looked great. He was in control whenever he had the ball and made smart plays. He should have a superstar season. My concern is with post scoring without Boozer. Noah looks better in that department but not great. He needs to use his size and strength and just slam over some of these guys instead of tossing up a flip shot. Gibson has the fundamentals to be a solid post scorer but like a stated above the guy needs to add weight, like 20-25 pounds worth. Other then that I think the Bulls have a nice balanced team that just needs time to gel and should be able to win 50+ games this season.

A note on the Bucks. I understand it was just 1 preseason game but the Bucks are scary. Jenings did not look great but the rest of the team that played played hard dispite 25+ turnovers. They were without Slamons, Bogut, Maggette, and Redd. When those four are back and somewhat healthy this team is going to be very very good. I will go so far as to say that they could easly win the Central and snag a playoff seeding as high as the 2nd. No I am not sniffing glue. This ina veteran team with a very good head coach. They just need to get healthy. I predict them to be 2nd in the central behind the Bulls and land the 5th seed, but I would not be shocked if they moved up from there ahead of the Magic, Celtics, and Bulls 
Posted on: October 3, 2010 6:37 pm
 

Chicago Bulls: Season Preview & Predictions.

Okay, so it is time to start blogging again with the preseason starting this week and all. I am so happy the season is finally here and what a great season it could be for many teams that made big moves this summer. I think it goes without saying that the Miami Heat made the biggest moves but a few other made some solid moves as well including my Bulls. So where do the bulls stand in the East now? How many games should we expect them to win in the regular season? How well will each player perform? Will the Bulls make it out of the first round tis season? There are a lot of questions to answer so let us get started. I will first break down each player and then the team as a whole. I hope you enjoy.

The Players.

Derrick Rose. Rose is certainly the new face of the Chicago Bulls and the first Allstar we have had since MJ and this being his third season we should get an idea of what we have here in Chicago. Most Superstars become superstars in the third season. Will Rose? Maybe. I do not think he will enter the ranks of Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, But I think he will become a bigtime player. A seond tier Superstar if you will. Last season he ranked 14th in point per game and I see him moving into the top 10 even with the addition of Boozer. Derrick has had to holes in his game in the past. One being his ability to hit from downtown which looks to be vastly improved, but the other issue, his defense, is still a big question mark. Rose has the size, strength, and speed to be a very good defender, he just needs to get there mentally. Coach T is a good fit to help Rose become the best player he can be and I think Rose will shine this season. His assist numbers should move up a bit with the addition of Boozer and Korver who both hit a high percentage from the floor and his scoring should increase a bit if he is sharing the backcourt with Brewer who is more defense minded.

Stat Prediction: 23 ppg, 8 apg, 3.5 rpg, 1 spg, .475 FG%, .350 FG3%

Carlos Boozer.
The Bulls finally have their back to basket player that they have been seeking since Elton Brand was traded away nearly a decade ago. If healthy Boozer is the perfect fit in Chicago. I know I was pro-Chris Bosh before but that was mainly do to the fact that Bosh was younger and healthier. Boozer is really the better player if healthy and a great teammate. his ability to make the pass in the post and his pick and roll skills are a great match. If he gets the double he can pop it out to an open Korver, a driving Rose, a slashing Deng, or simply bounce pass it to Noah on the block. There really is not a player out there with his skill set that the Bulls could have snagged and the Bulls also got him at a bargin with teams like the Knicks overpaying for Amar'e Stoudemire and the David Lee deal. I am happy with this pickup as it does put the Bulls close to contention. The big looming storm cloud is Boozer's health. Last season he put up great numbers, but I am not sure the Bulls will see those kind of stats from him. He will not be great but he will be just what the doctor ordered.

Stat Prediction: 17.5 ppg, 3 apg, 9.5 rpg, 1 spg, .5 bpg, .525 FG%

Luol Deng.
Here we have another player that is known to get hurt, but he had a solid rebound season last year and I think he is a perfect fit for a third option on any offense. I understand he is being paid like a number 1 or 2 option, but with Boozer and Rose taking the big shots, Deng can focus on defense with his long frame and he can also keep defenses honest with his ability to hit the open jumper. Deng is at his best when he is slashing and moving and we saw a lot of that last season and I think we will only see more. Luol is far from great at creating his own shot, but with Boozer drawing in defenders Deng could see more open shots in stride. Overall, I think the addition of Boozer will hurt Deng's numbers but I think he will be a more effective player with open lanes and looks.

Stat Prediction: 14.5 ppg, 2 apg, 6 rpg, 1spg, .485 FG%, .375 FG3%

Joakim Noah.
I am a huge fan of Joakim Noah and his ability to get under the skin of other players and play nasty defense, but to be honest I am not sure he is going to get all that much better stat-wise as a player. I think he is close to his ceiling. He is a double double machine that can shot block and rebound like nobodies business. I simply cannot see him becoming a better scorer and he already is a good ball handler and passer for a bigman. Having Boozer in the paint could hurt his rebounding numbers a bit but his scoring could go up slightly. I think we all know what we are going to get from Noah when he steps on the hardwood. Energy, energy, and more energy, and he is just the type of player that most Championship teams have in the fold in one way or another. The Bruce Bowens, James Poseys, Dennis Rodmans, Ron Artests of the world. The players that are not affraid of anyone or anything and are willing to roll up their sleeves and get dirty.

Stat Prediction. 12 ppg, 2.5 apg, 10.5 rpg, 1 spg, 2 bpg, .500 FG%

Ronnie Brewer.
I remember a few years ago when Brewer was getting a lot of hype as an up and comer. Those ideas have faded as Brewer has never been able to turn into the complete player that many thought he would become. He is very athletic and a good finisher, but his jumper is off and he is scary bad from downtown. However, Brewer has change his game and now focuses on being a defender first. In many ways he is a lot like Hinrich with his ability to matchup with the other teams elite player and slow them down or shut them down, but Brewer is bigger, stronger, and much more athletic then Kirk was and should fit in nicely even if he does come off the bench which I would prefer. A Brewer/Watson Combo off the bench would have defense and firepower. I am not expecting much from brewer this season, but think his defense will be a big part of the Bulls chances of advancing in the Playoffs.

Stat Prediction. 8 ppg, 2.5 apg, 3 rpg, 1.5 spg, .475 FG%

Kyle Korver.
Korver was a great backup plan to J.J. Reddick and perhaps an even better fit for the Bulls. He Knows his place and his job is clear. Hit open threes all night long. Kyle is an average deffender at best but I like him as a starter for the Bulls at the shooting guard and splitting minutes with Brewer. I think his ability to spread defenses has to be utilized as much as possible with Derrick and Boozer. Having him come off the bench kills the whole reason we brought him in. He needs to be out there with Rose nailing threes and driving other teams coaches mad. With him in the starting lineup the Bulls would have a nasty starting offense that could blow up a big lead in a hurry and then the Bulls could slow it down a bit and bring in Taj and Brewer to play defense.

Stat Prediction. 9 ppg, 1.5 apg, 2 rpg, .5 spg, .480 FG%, .450 FG3%

Taj Gibson. With Boozer on board Gibson's minutes will be cut bigtime and thus so will his numbers. Gibson will continue to be a great defender and should have his way in the paint with most other teams bench power forward. Gibson is a jack of all trades kind of player in the mold of P.J. Brown. He is fundamentally sound but lacks the talent to be a star in this league. He will have a long career as a backup and a darn good one at that, but he just lacks the flash and skills to be a huge threat. He can be brought in to be a pest on defense or to slow down another teams bigman and he is always good for a shot block or two. The best thing about Gibson is his basketball IQ, which is very very high and he always makes great choices with the ball or without the ball. He will have a few games this season were he will put up big numbers but Boozer is the man now and Gibson needs to keep on adding bulk and perfecting his jumper which is not bad as it stands.

Stat Prediction. 6.5 ppg, 1 apg, 5 rpg, 1.25 bpg, .510 FG%

C.J. Watson.
I think the Watson pickup might be the sleeper pickup for the Bulls this season. He is a great firecracker off the bench and he should do what the Bulls were hoping Pargo would do last season and that is to be a spark off the bench. Watson is fast and can score very well from within 18 feet or so. His 3 pointer is not great but he can get hot. His defense is a question mark but with Brewer sharing the floor with him the burden is less. I think he could be a great pickup but I will try and keep my hopes in check and wait to see what he looks like in the Bulls system. Scoring a lot of points for the Warriors is not hard to do. I think he will do just fine with the 10 minutes or so he sees every game.

Stat Prediction. 6.5 ppg, 2.5 apg, 1.5 rpg, 1 spg, .450 FG%, .350 FG3%

The Others.
Past the players that I have listed are some solid roleplayers that will not see many minutes unless there are injuries and the players that could see some action are:

Omar Asik. Will see minutes behind Noah and sounds like he has some offense in the post and is a decent blocker and rebounder. Must see him play on the NBA hardwood to see how good he really is.

James Johnson. Will see minutes perhaps behind Deng, but from what I have heard the Bulls brass are not liking JJ's work ethic. We need no drama so I hope this guy settles down.

Keith Bogans. 6 teams in 7 years is never a good sign, but he could see minutes if there is an injury and he is a solid vet and a consistant player.

Kurt Thomas. Yes, this guy is still in the league. He is a locker room vet that will be a nice to have sitting on the bench and keeping the guys focused. He is also good for 3 minutes a night during a blowout. lol.

Brian Scalabrine. The golden horseshoe himself is now a Chicago Bull so mark your calendars for June because we are going to the Finals baby!

The Team.

The addition of head coach Tom Thibodeau was a fairly bold on the Bulls part and I liken him to Scott Skiles who we never should have gotten rid of in the first place. From what I have heard Tom has been pushing the Bulls hard in training camp as has made his place known and the players seem to have fallen suit. We all know that Thibodeau is a defensive wizard but I think we are all holding our breath to see what the Bulls offense looks like. To me it is simple. push the open floor with Rose on fast breaks for as many easy buckets as you can get. The Bulls will be quick and with Noah on the floor dangerous. If the fast break is stopped then set up the half court slow down game with Rose and Boozer utilizing the pick and roll or rune a series of high screens but leave Noah in the paint for rebounds and easy buckets. Noah no longer has to set those high screens with Boozer on the team and Noah never could hit the jumper or drive to the basket anyways. Keep Joakim were he belongs. The Bulls could also try to get Boozer down low in position first and run the offense through him. Let him decide with the ball in his hands. He has plenty of options. On any fast break were Noah or boozer are in the paint and Korver is standing on the 3 point line make the pass to Kyle for the 3 in stride. 

What I am getting at is that the Bulls players pretty much spell out what needs to be done on offense and I think Tom knows this. Hand the ball to Rose and let him work his Magic. I really feel that the Bulls are a very balanced team and their chemistry should work out just fine. I know there are a lot of new faces, but they are all vets for the most part and everyone seems to know their roles. There really are no headcases on this team and a starting lineup of Rose, Korver, Deng, Boozer, and Noah is very explosive. If the Bulls want more defense then the starting lineup could be more conservative with Rose, Brewer, Deng, Boozer, and Noah. This linup has few holes. The Bulls bench is fairly deep. Not the best in the league, but solid with Korver/Brewer, Gibson, Bogans, Asik, and Watson. 

I think the Bulls will be a top 4 seed. The Heat should lead the pack and the Magic and Celtics will most likely be ahead of the Bulls, but it could be close with those two. The Celtics cannot be counted out. I thought they were done last season at this time only to see them back in the Finals again. The magic could go either way. They do not look quite as sexy on paper as they did before the Heat and Bulls trades. The Bucks and Hawks will be in the mix as well. I could see the Bulls winning as many as 56-58 games this year and I would not be shocked. On the other end we could be looking at a team just above .500. I have to believe the Bulls are better then last season and even better then the team that won 49 games and swept the Wade/Shaq Heat in the first round and few years ago. Injuries will play a big part for sure with players like Boozer, Deng, and even Noah playing. The Bulls lost 10 game in a row last year late in the season when noah was out with his foot injury. The Bulls were playing great basketball at the time and could easily have had won 5 or 6 of those games and finished the season with 46 or 47 wins. Subtract Kirk Hinrich and add Boozer, Korver, Brewer, and Watson and the Bulls are a better team.

My Prediction. Record: 52-30. Advance to the second round in the Playoffs and push either the Magic or Celtics to a game seven but ultimately lose.

Possible Bulls Regrets. Not signing Tracy McGrady if he goes off with the Pistons.

Midseason Trade? Most likely not unless the Bulls can move Deng. The Carmelo Anthony for Joakim Noah trade talks will continue until the Bulls lock up Noah. If the Bulls do not lock up Noah then he could be part of a big trade of some sort. If the Bulls resign Noah and are above .500 by 5-8 games come the deadline then the Bulls will not be making any moves.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this preview. Please reply with your thoughts on my predictions or your perdictions for the Bulls or the east in general. I tried hard not to be bias so let me know what you think.
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 26, 2010 12:54 pm
 

Bulls vs Knicks vs LeBron

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total Winner=Bulls at +21.4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Maybe not the sexiest looking group of players or roster that you could imagine the Bulls having, but I think it would be very very effective on both ends and would contend for a top 3 spot in the east. Longterm the Bulls would have to move Kirk or Deng to make room to resign Rose or move both to sign future additions, but moving into next season this would be an ideal team. That is saying if we cannot sign LBJ, Wade, or Bosh. To be honest I might rather have Lee over Bosh.
          So what are your thoughts? What would you do as the GM for the Bulls this offseason or for your team for that matter? Thanks for taking the time to read this and i hope you enjoyed it.
Posted on: June 2, 2010 2:14 pm
 

Hornets or Bulls?

Okay, so a debate started on another thread about these two teams and why Tom Thibodeau should choose to coach them. I think this is a great debate but I think we should move away from the arguments about which city is better, which city is bigger,  or even which team plays in which conference and I think our focus should be on which roster looks better to an incoming coach. The other stuff is nice but I think Head Coaches know that it is really the players that make the difference. So let us take a look and debate.

For fun I am ranking both teams rosters together. Feel free to yell at me or post your own rankings. Now you must also consider that the Bulls will add a player or two with their cap space. LeBron James or Dwyane Wade might not happen but Chris Bosh could or even Amar'e Stoudemire. Heck the Bulls might just land David Lee on the cheap and then pick up a 3 point shooter. In any case the Bulls will have one or two impact players heading into next season to consider. To be fair the Hornets will also have cap space after this next season to go after a max player their own so that is on the horizon. But you are playing the part of the head Coach and you must pick which team's roster looks better now and in the future.

1. Chris Paul He is clearly the best player of the bunch. He is a superstar and the best all around point guard in the league. Rondo and Deron may be better defenders, Rose a better scorer, Nash a better playmaker, and Billups a better clutch shooter and leader, but CP3 is in the top 5 in each of those catagories.

2. Derrick Rose. A rising star and a scoring machine. He has a great jump shot but needs to work on his 3. His defense is average and is his only real weakness. Ranked 14th in scoring in his 2nd season and could be top 5 this year.

3a. David West. A good inside scoring option and an overall solid player. He should average more rebounds for his size and is not a shot blocker at all. A good back to the basket player but just an average defender at best.

3b. Joakim Noah. The anit-David West if you can follow me. Noah is an average scoring bigman but a savvy defender. He is a top rebounder and shot blocker and is full of energy and is vocal which can be good at times. Needs to work on his offense a bit.

5. Luol Deng. He plays the part of a second option but should really be a third option. He is a solid defender with his length and has a silky jumpshot. He has yet to become a threat from downtown.

6. Emeka Okafor. A good defender of the paint and can sometimes be effective on offense. It is he later that is his true weakness. I do not think he will ever become an Allstar level player but is close.

7. Darren Collison. He is an explosive player that could be a starter on a few teams around the league. Will continue to grow as long as he gets playing time.

8. Taj Gibson. A steal in the draft Gibson only got better as the season went on and should come close to averaging a double double if he gets the playing time. He is a good defender and has a nice jumper and reminds me of a smaller P.J. Brown. Needs to add size.

9. Kirk Hinrich. A streaky shooter that looks to often to pass then shot, but he is a top shelf perimeter defender and often is guarding the other teams top scorer even if that means playing small forward at times when he is clearly a point guard playing out of position.

10. Marcus Thornton. He is a young scoring stud that has a bright future and could move up this list if he works on other aspects of his game. We know he can score but I want to see what else this sleeper can do before I am sold.

Good arguments could be made in a few spots but I think that is a fair top 10.

So based on rosters alone which team would you rather be the Head Coach of going into next season.
 
 
 
 
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