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The Big Red Bus #13 – LBJ’s Future & Bulls Free Agent Discussions

See Red Fred @cbefred & Podcasting Legend @Doug_Thonus discuss a wide variety of topics as they take the Big Red Bus out for another ride:

The Warriors Sweep / LeBron’s Future / The Bulls Potential Free Poll / Kentavious Caldwell-Pope/ Playoffs Next Year w/ A Solid Free Agent for One Season / A Potential Trade w/ Denver / Zach LaVine’s Potential Deal / The Bamba Love on Youtube / The Bryan Colangelo

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The Big Red Bus #10 – Trade for Kawhi or Keep the Pick?

See Red Fred @cbefred and Podcasting legend Doug Thonus @doug_thonus start off the show answering the big question:  If the Bulls win the lottery, would you trade that pick for Kawhi Leonard?

Chicago Bullseye 380 – Basketball Historian Tim Gallagher Talks Tournament & Tanking

Basketball Historian Tim Gallagher Joins the Chicago Bullseye to discuss the NCAA Tournament and his take on the top 10 Prospects.  See Red Fred moderates.

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Chicago Bullseye 374 – Bye Bye Mr. Montenegrin Pie

The Original Bullseye Boys (See Red Fred & Mark) are back to discuss the trade of Niko Mirotic.   They discuss the Pelicans playoff-lottery chances and the career of Niko in a Bulls uniform.  At the end of the podcast, the Clippers-Pistons trade of Blake Griffin

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The Chicago Bullseye

 

Chicago Bullseye 365 – Quarterly Grades for the Bulls

Basketball Historian Tim Gallagher joins the Chicago Bullseye to provide his quarterly grades for each player on the Bulls roster.    Tim also provides his answer to the question, “Is Ben Wallace a Hall of Famer?”

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The Chicago Bullseye

Chicago Bullseye 361 – Bulls Pie in the Eye

Keith Frantz @BullScripted joins the Bullseye to discuss the awful West Coast trip just completed by the Beloved Bulls.  See Red Fred moderates this show.   The Jordan Bell drama and the “Go-Forward List” is also discussed, which designates the list of current Bulls who will be on the next playoff team.

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The Chicago Bullseye

Bulls Preseason Grades from See Red Fred

I’m still in a state of apocalyptic shock due to the end of the Game 2 of the Cubs-Dodgers series, so I decided to calm myself by writing about a team I actually expect to lose, my Beloved Chicago Bulls.  This season is expected by many to be an unmitigated disaster.  GarPax has designed it to go that way for a high pick in 2018.  The departure of Butler-Wade-Rondo has left the team w/ a young core of not/quasi/possibly/very talented players and Robin Lopez.

The preseason has gone far better than expected.  The Bulls were a surprising 3-3, with a fantastic win over Lebron and the Cavs.  Can this continue into the regular season?  No way in hell, so while the mood is generally good, let’s grade the players for their performance in the preseason:

Ryan Arcidiacnono, Preseason Grade: D * He’s basically a poor man’s version of Kirk Hinrich, so if you’ve ever heard any of my comments regarding the most overrated Bull of All-Time, then you know what a pile of suck I think Ryan Arcidiacono is.  25% from the field, 11.1% from 3 in the preseason is an embarrassment, and he can’t play defense.  The only benefit Ryan provides is that he’s taken a roster spot away from an elderly Kirk Hinrich.  For this, I am eternally grateful.

Antonio Blakeney, Preseason Grade: C- * 33% FG, 20% from 3.  I had a high hopes based on his summer league performance.  He’s been a massive disappointment in the preseason.  I like the kid, but he has to hit his open shots, and I have serious doubts now that he can do that consistently.

Kris Dunn, Preseason Grade: A– * In a league filled with Point Guard talent, having a defensive stopper at the PG position will be a desired piece.  Kris has everything required to be an elite defender in this league.  I love everything about Kris Dunn but his shooting, although he shot well in his 3 preseason games.   I want every available PG minute to go to him when’s back from the injury to his finger.  If he can develop an average NBA jumper, he’ll be a very strong player in this league.  If he can’t develop an average NBA jumper, he’ll be a career defensive specialist / backup PG.  It all depends on how well that jumper develops.

Cristiano Felicio, Preseason Grade: C- * Short Arms Felicio continues to frustrate me with every game I watch.  I recall the mob of Pau-haters proclaiming their ever-lasting love for Felicio in 2015, demanding that he claim the starting duties over Gasol.  In the interim, Pau developed a 3-pt shot for the Spurs (He quietly led the NBA in 3-pt percentage last year) and Felicio remains the exact same player that he was in 2015.  Felicio is athletic for a C, with little offensive talent outside of 3 ft.  He picks up fouls every 4th or 5th breath.   I’m hoping for some offensive development this year, but I expect more of the same.  His defensive prowess will always be limited by excessive fouling and arms so short he needs to bend over to zip up his fly.

Jerian Grant, Preseason Grade: C+  * Grant had a fantastic final game of the preseason, almost achieving a Triple Double vs. the Raptors.  According to my back of the napkin math, Grant also leads the league in bad jumpers that lead to easy fast break points for the opposition.  I thought Grant’s disastrous playoff series vs Boston would lead to his departure, but he’s back and starting and eager to make amends.  I’ve soured on Grant big time.  To me, his ceiling is clearly as the 3rd point guard on an average team.  His special talent is hitting teammates with passes at the knees, just enough to disrupt a shooter’s rhythm.  I’m clearly in the minority on this take, so I hope this will be the 3rd time in my life that I’ve been wrong, and I don’t remember the first 2.

Justin Holiday, Preseason Grade:  A– * Justin has been given a great opportunity here and so far, he’s grabbed the Bull by the horns.  He shot 52% from 3 during the preseason, a number clearly not sustainable, but if he can remain over 40%, he’ll be a valuable trade chip at the trade deadline, or serve as a key member on the Bulls next playoff team, which I believe can happen as early as next season.

Robin Lopez, Preseason Grade: A– * Robin is one of the most underrated players in the league, a leader by example who provides solid defense and continues to improve every year.  He is one of the only plus defenders on the roster (the other being Dunn).  He has a unique, somewhat awkward but effective offensive game.  I love the kid, and he brings real toughness (not the Bogans kind) and true grit.  I’m sure he’ll be an attractive trade piece that will be sent packing at some time this season.   I do feel his absence will be a major setback for the Bulls, since interior defense is extremely important, and he’s the only one holding it together.

Lauri Markannan, Preseason Grade: B– * I was greatly disappointed in Lauri until the 3rd quarter of the Cavs game.  Then, in a deluge of threes, fade away jumpers, and dunks, you saw all the limitless possibilities with this kid flash right before your eyes.   If Markannen can add some scowl, anger, & a general “I’m going to kick your a$$” attitude, he’s going to be a major force in this league.  But that’s a big ask.  At worst, he’ll be a great spacer, opening the floor like Ryan Anderson.  At best, he’ll be just like Dirk, drawing double teams and potentially leading the Bulls to their 7th title.  Let’s hope for him to approach the latter.  Either way, so far, I like what I see.

Niko Mirotic, Preseason Grade: D+ * The numbers (34.5% from 3) aren’t as bad as my grade.  That said, every one of Niko’s irritating faults was on display in this preseason.   If he’s not hitting early, he will almost always suck for the entire night.  It’s rare that he’ll overcome a poor start and recover with an A game.  He’s either hot, or more often than not, he’s Chicago cold.

I’ve also grown tired of the legion of Niko apologists. I’ve seen a lot of Bulls players in my day, but I’ve never seen one receive the benefit of so many fan base excuses than Niko Mirotic.   There’s always an excuse for Niko:  “Fred isn’t utilizing him correctly”, “He needs to play all the time at the 4”, “Jimmy and Rose aren’t setting him up”….I hate to break the news to you Niko Lovers, but he’s not good enough to build an offense around.  The league is roaring toward a “positionless” offensive system, where players can seamlessly play multiple positions.  Not Niko, who apparently can’t play anything but Power Forward, despite the fact that is almost always outmuscled and outweighed at the position.   He finally decided to add on 30 pounds of muscle and leg warmers, embarrassingly detailing these efforts in the offseason on Instagram.  Niko’s sucked this preseason, he’s sucked in 17 playoffs games, he has sucked for the vast majority of 2 out of 3 seasons. Is it possible he just sucks?

His poor production belies his talent.  Niko has the ability to be a good player.  I thought he had an underrated 2nd season, when he finished that year shooting 39% from 3.  That’s all I want from Niko.  He should have been able to replicate those numbers last year, but instead bricked his first 200 3-pt attempts to a 30%-ish percentage, until a hot March brought some respectability.   I hope one day the light will go on for Niko, not just for a game, but for a season.  I have no faith it will happen.

David Nwaba, Preseason Grade B+ * His athleticism is off the charts, and he’s a great addition to this team.  He shot a fantastic 55% in 6 games. I have reservations about this size.  He’s a tweener with handles not sufficient to play point, and a shot not sufficient to play shooting guard.  But his shooting can improve, and when you can jump through the roof like Nwaba, he’s worth the roster spot.

Bobby Portis, Preseason Grade D– * Bobby has taken me on a roller coaster ride.   I’ve been extremely high and extremely low on him at various points in his career.  I think he’s an awful defensive player, a real rim presenter who offers little in terms of paint protection.  In order to be effective, he should be paired with Lopez.  On the bright side, Bobby has displayed signs of fantastic offensive skills and shooting ability, notably in the 2nd half of last season.  I was on hand at the UC when Portis efficiently dismantled a solid Utah team.  He also performed well in game 1 of the victory of Boston in the playoffs.  I was eager to watch for Bobby’s progression this preseason and he disappointed me.   I do hold out hope that he’ll turn it around in the regular season.

Denzel Valentine, Preseason Grade A- * Denzel shot 50% from the field, 48% from 3 in the preseason, stellar shooting numbers for the 2nd year guard.  I know I am alone on Denzel Island.  I feel he has the ability to be a poor man’s Paul Pierce.   He has excellent court vision, passing and playmaking ability, as evidenced here in the last preseason game vs the Raptors:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2IukWI5mXo

For whatever reason, he does not have Fred Hoiberg’s love, and I’m not sure what he needs to do to get it.   Valentine was the primary facilitator during Markannen’s Q3 run against the Cavs, and in the next game, they hardly played together.  If he keeps shooting at these stellar levels, he’ll get the PT.   His ceiling is far higher than what most fans think.  I think he has the ability to win the Most Improved Player award this year w/ 15 PPG, 7 APG, 5 RPG.  But it will take Fred to give him the chance.

Paul Zipser, Preseason Grade: B- * Paul is beloved by the coaching staff and I don’t understand the infatuation.   Paul has always been a bit too slow, a bit too heavy, and bit too inconsistent to me.  He hit the 3 at a barely tolerable 33.3% rate last season and his reputation among the fan base is far better than his actual production.  He did provide an excellent Game 2 against the Celtics in the playoffs, and I would love for him to prove me wrong.   His ceiling is a 7th or 8th man off the bench, but he’ll probably be in the top 3 in total minutes for this team, thus ensuring a high draft pick in 2018.

Coach Fred Hoiberg, Preseason Grade: C- * The ball was moving much better on the offensive end in the preseason.  However, I find his minutes limitations on Valentine maddening.  Fred also needs to stick up for this team when we get the raw end of the whistle.  I noticed one play in particular in the preseason, when a horrendous call on Valentine sent him to the bench.  Not a word of protest was offered by Fred.  Players notice that, and they want to know that their coach is fighting for them.  Fred should lead the league in technicals by a large margin, because his team has no one who get the benefit of the doubt from the officials.  Of course, he’ll probably finish in the bottom 5 for total technicals….just another case of Fred being too nice.

Listen to the Chicago Bullseye Podcast

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Bullseye RTOB (Random Thoughts of Brilliance)

Tankapalooza

http://www.rotoworld.com/teams/depth-charts/nba.aspx

The Bulls tank effort is now set up perfectly.  One of the keys to a competitive team is good interior defense.  You need at least  2 guys to clean up the mess when there are the inevitable perimeter breakdowns.  The Bulls have 1 quality interior defender in Robin Lopez.   Every other big man is average at best (Felicio), or a disaster at worst (Niko, Portis, Markkanen).   Overall, I see only 2 above average defenders on the entire roster (Dunn, Lopez).  This team should allow a ton of points, and position itself for a top 4 pick with relative ease. – See Red Fred @cbefred

People haven’t really talked about how bad Atlanta is going to be. I don’t really see a whole lot of absolutely terrible teams. Probably Atlanta and Brooklyn. Maybe the Knicks and Bulls. Will the Lakers and Phoenix still be bad? – Riv Man @flyriv

Niko’s Market

I consider Ersan Ilyasova (1 yr, 6 mil) and Jonas Jerebko (2 yrs, 8.2 mil) to be similar to Mirotic, and they both signed deals yesterday. This should help to set Niko’s market. Of course, Mirotic has the advantage of being 4 years younger than those two (26 vs. 30). So I think a fair deal would be something similar to what Felico got (4 years, 32 mil). I would not go higher than that.

Mirotic also has the option of signing the 1-year qualifying offer of 7.2 mil and becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer. – Riv Man

Portland’s Bad Tax Situation

Portland has an underrated baaaad salary situation. They’re not an elite team but they’re 2nd in luxury tax:  “Six teams are in the luxury tax including both Golden State and Cleveland. The six teams have combined for an NBA record of $175M in tax penalties. 1. Cleveland ($71.8M) 2. Portland ($48.3M) 3. Golden State ($27.8M) 4. Oklahoma City ($14.1M) 5. Washington ($10.7M) 6. Milwaukee ($2.4M)”

The contracts for Crabbe and Turner are especially onerous. The Meyers Leonard contract isn’t great either. And they’ll need to pay Jusuf Nurkic next year. – Riv Man

Bulls Playoff History

Call me ignorant, but I didn’t realize how rare is was for the Bulls to not make the playoffs. Out of 51 seasons, the Bulls have been in the playoffs 35 times (68.6% of all seasons). The Bulls missed the playoffs in only 16 seasons (31.4% of all seasons). Tim Floyd’s teams account for a full 25% of the seasons when the Bulls didn’t make the playoffs (4, including the partial season when he was fired). But he is a victim of circumstances. Since Jordan, there have been 19 seasons, and the Bulls missed the playoffs in 8 of them (42.1%). It’s been an unusually bad time in franchise history. – Rick Oz

Another fun Bulls history fact: they have the 3rd most championships of all time with 6. Golden State, with 5, could be passing them in a couple of years. – Riv Man @flyriv

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NBA_champions#Results_by_teams

 

 

Chicago Bullseye 344 – Consistently Inconsistent

Basketball Historian Tim Gallagher joins the Bullseye to talk about a variety of topics: The State of the Team * What is Niko Worth on the Open Market? * How is Miami Doing It? * The Cavs & Warriors Problem * Who will grab that last Playoff Spot in the West? * The Legacy of Jerry Krause *

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Email the Show:  chicagobullseye@gmail.com

Chicago Bullseye 343 – The Way Forward

Basketball Historian Tim Gallagher joins the Bullseye to discuss the recent trades, the Bulls, hope for Portis, Injuries around the league, the Playoff Picture, a UCLA update, and the way forward.

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Email the Show: chicagobullseye@gmail.com

 

Chicago Bullseye 341 – To Bull or Not to Bull

Bulls Podcasting Legend Brian Kush joins the Chicago Bullseye to discuss the Taj  Gibson -Doug McDermott Trade.  Kush and Fred also discuss the state of the Org.

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Chicago Bullseye 331 – Hello MCW, Goodbye Snell & The Eastern Conference Preview

Chicago Bullseye 331 – Hello MCW, Goodbye Snell & The Eastern Conference Preview

Basketball Historian Tim Gallagher joins the Bullseye to discuss the Snell-MCW trade & predict the Eastern Conference standings.

Tim’s Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions:

  1. Cavs 58-24
    2. Raptors 54-28
    3. Hawks 48-34
    4. Celtics 45-37
    5. Bulls 45-37
    6. Hornets 45-37
    7. Wizards 43-39
    8. Pistons 41-41

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Chicago Bullseye 330 – Central Division Preview

Chicago Bullseye 330 – Central Division Preview

Basketball Historian Tim Gallagher joins the Bullseye to talk about first 2 preseason games and provide his Central Division Preview.  Podcast recorded on Friday, October 7th, after the Bulls first two Preseason games.

Defending Niko 1:50 / General thoughts on the team so Far 5:10 /  Hot Hand Ignorance is over 7:40 / Bulls young players are  offensively orientated 10:30 / Central Division Preview, The Pacers 13:00 / Milwaukee Bucks 17 / Detroit Pistons 20:30 / Chicago Bulls 25 / Cleveland Cavs / LBJ Longevity 34:30

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Chicago Bullseye 326 – Solid Gold & Tim’s Basketball Book List

Basketball Historian Tim Gallagher joins the Bullseye to discuss US winning the Gold Medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.  Tim also touches on the passing of Michael Brooks.  Finally, Tim provides his Basketball Book Reading List (Part 1)

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Chicago Bullseye 298 Part 1 – Golden State State of Mind

Recorded after the Golden State victory over the Bulls.  Basketball Historian Tim Gallagher joins the Bullseye to discuss the GSW game & appreciating the beauty of Warriors basketball.

Other topics:

Spurs/Warriors “formula” with the Atlanta Hawks (Coach Bud, Bazemore, Justin Holiday, Splitter)

Remembering Johnny Bach, NBA pioneer Mac Otten, Sonics star John “JJ”Johnson

John “JJ” Johnson

Mac Otten

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_Otten

Johnny Bach

http://www.nba.com/bulls/news/phil-jackson-johnny-bach

Chicago Bullseye 296 – Talking Bulls w/ Big Dave from Bawl!

Interview with Big Dave from Bawl! This interview was recorded just before the game vs. the Celtics on 1.7.2016.  Fred and Dave discuss several current Bulls topics.

Follow Fred: @cbefred

Bawl Twitter: @bawlsports

 

Chicago Bullseye 289 – NBA Historian Tim Gallagher Interview

Fred opens the show with an overview of the win vs. OKC.  NBA Historian Tim Gallagher joins to discuss the passing of Flip Saunders and other NBA legends.  Tim also provides his predictions on the Western Conference, and comments on the Bulls performance in their first 5 games.

Chicago Bullseye 277 – Interview #2 with Basketball Historian Tim Gallagher

Basketball Expert Tim Gallagher joins the Bullseye again to discuss Fred Hoiberg, Steve Kerr, the NBA Finals, & the epic 1975 series between the Bulls & Warriors.

RUNNING WITH THE BULLS, RIGHT INTO THE GROUND

Will Thibs ever learn?

I thought after the well-rested Spurs won the title last season, with no players averaging over 30 minutes per game during the regular season, that Thibs would take another look at his MPG tendencies.   Yeah, well, good luck with that.

“Hey, I’m going to coach, I’m going to coach my way, and whatever happens, happens,’’ Thibodeau said. “You do whatever you have to do to win, and that’s the way I look at it.’’ http://www.suntimes.com/sports/basketball/bulls/30202575-419/thibodeau-criticized-for-running-bulls-into-ground-remains-defiant.html#.VC4A9l10yP8

Statements like this are the height of idiocy.   Some fans feel that Thibs’ 17-23 lifetime playoff record has nothing to do with his “pedal to the metal” attitude toward the regular season.  Of course, they might also argue that 20 years of McDonald’s 5 times a day had nothing to do with the fat guy’s heart attack…it was the clogged arteries that killed the patient.  Both arguments would be wrong. Sane people realize that the clogged arteries were caused by bad eating habits, and the Bulls’ injury histories are due in part to ridiculous, excessive minutes divied out by Thibs to his defensive stars.

PART 1: Luol Deng

During 2011-12, Luol Deng led the league at 39.4 minutes per game after averaging 39.1.  Thibs overplayed Deng despite few days of rest , when 66 games were squeezed into a few months due to the lockout at the beginning of that season.  Thibs still overplayed Luol despite the fact that he had 3 legitimate options behind Deng:

  1. Kyle Korver (Averaged only 20 & 22 MPG’s in his 2 seasons under Thibs)
  2. Ronnie Brewer (Elite defensive player during his tenure with the Bulls who led the team in steals during his 2 seasons here)
  3. Jimmy Butler (averaged only 8 mpg despite playing well defensively when given the rare chance)

Few coaches will have 3 better bench options to rest their starting small forward than Thibs did in 2011-12.  But Deng still led the league in MPGs.  The more minutes you play during the regular season, the greater the chance to get injured.  In January of 2012, Deng played 40 minutes against a 3-13 Bobcats team at home. He tore a wrist tendon in that game.

“Deng suffered the injury Saturday against Charlotte.” http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-01-26/sports/ct-spt-0127-bits-bulls-chicago–20120127_1_tom-thibodeau-tolerance-pain

No one bothered to find out when the injury occurred.  And yes, it’s true that the injury could have occurred at any time.   Of course, logic would also tell you the odds of getting injured are greater the more minutes you play.  The greater question I have asked myself many times over the years:  Why is Luol Deng, or any important Bulls player, playing 40 minutes or more in a relatively meaningless game in January against a poor opponent, especially with an injury or injury history? With this one issue of MPGs, Thibs continues to take his moronic stance.  He has not yet figured out that sacrificing wins in the regular season is worth it to have a team healthy and ready for the playoffs. Minimizing minutes does not guarantee health come playoff time, but it does increase the odds that your team will be healthy.

It’s no coincidence that Luol shot a career-worst 41.2% from the field during the 2011-12 season, and he missed 12 games, primarily due to the wrist injury suffered in the Charlotte game. Deng had an uneven playoff series against the Sixers, and he couldn’t lead the team to a victory of the Sixers after Rose was injured in Game 1.

“When the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Luol Deng in a January trade with the Bulls, they received a player who had been run “into the ground” by Chicago, according to a leaked scouting report used by the Atlanta Hawks.” http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bulls/post/_/id/20194/scouting-report-bulls-ran-luol-deng-into-the-ground

I wonder if something similar will be said about Jimmy Butler when he’s 28.  We shall see.

COMING SOON

PART 2: NOAH

Bulls Roundtable Week of July 14th, 2014

RIV:   Quick takes:

Gasol Chi: Love it. Sounds like it will be maybe 3 years at around 21. That’s a steal, and if he’s healthy, his game should age well.

Mirotic: 3/17. Good stuff. Could be a redshirt year. I have a feeling the Bulls will sign some shmuck ancient big man, and that guy will get more minutes than mirotic this year.

Hinrich 2/ 5.6: It’s a little high, I don’t have a good feeling about his productivity the second year. Bulls’ priority now should be signing the best 3rd point guard they can for the vet’s minimum.

Augustin 2/6 Det: Good signing, good value.

Deng 2/20 Miami: A steal for Miami. Riley did an unbelievable job post-lebron. I guess I know now why Riley went to visit Deng last weekend. I guarantee Deng got offers that were longer in length and average salary. fyi, i bet it’s 2 years because everyone wants to make sure they have cap room in 2016, the year Durant is a free agent.

Chalmers / Birdman Miami: Good job again by Riley. Good to keep as much of the core after losing Lebron. I think Miami can really contend in the East.

Hayward 5/63 Utah: Extreme overpay. But then again, what else is Utah going to do with their money?

Paul Pierce 2/10 wizards: This seems really weird. Is Brooklyn finally getting some fiscal sanity? I don’t see him fitting in well with the Wiz team, but you never know

Nick Young 4/21.5 lakers / Jordan Hill 2 / 18: Wow. With the Hill contract, they probably had to pay a premium to get him on a 2-year salary, to keep their cap space open in 2016 (see above). Lakers lineup will be something like Lin / Kobe / Young / Randle / Hill. I predict 35 wins and kobe killing someone.

FRED:  I am so pumped on Gasol, especially since he turned down quite a bit to play in Chi. I think he will be good for Mirotic too…show him how to be a pro.

After all I’ve seen of McBuckets so far in the summer league, he’s a clear 3.   It’s up to Thibs to give him the minutes.

RIV:  One more, really interesting what Houston did, signing Ariza for 4/32 and letting Parsons go to Dallas for 3/46. Also, why did Houston trade Lin to LA, having to give the Lakers a first round pick in the process, if it ended up they didn’t need that money anyway (I believe the Asik trade gave them enough money to sign Ariza). Sheer conjecture here, but it makes me wonder if Bosh told Houston he was coming, then Houston made the Lin deal, then Bosh backed out. I can’t think of any other reason Houston would give up a first rounder in that deal when it turns out they didn’t need to make it. Plus now they’re light at point guard. But who knows, maybe they have something else up their sleeve.

RICK:  I don’t understand the exuberance for Gasol. It’s a fine pick up, but he’s 34. His game has already aged. We also really need experienced perimeter players who can drive. Like a real shooting guard. If Rose comes back as a fraction of the player he was when healthy, the Bulls might barely make it out of first round and have no chance of winning the conference. I think Gasol is a better pick up if we expect Rose to continue where he left off before the ACL injury. I’m not optimistic and will be happy to be wrong. Maybe that’s the chance you take, and maybe I’m ultimately convincing myself about Gasol. There’s no real downside because there are no alternatives.

RIV:  True, I think the basic point is there were no good alternatives at shooting guard right now, so get the best player available. The other option probably would have been to use their money to sign lance stephenson instead of Gasol and Mirotic, and I wouldn’t do that.

On the bright side, the bulls actually got a big name free agent to sign with them for once, and he actually took less money to come to the bulls.   And Rick, How can you not like a guy who tweets this!

Gasol's Recent Tweet

Gasol’s Recent Tweet

FRED:    I’ve watched about 24 straight hours of ESPN here at the hospital after tonsil removal surgery this week.  A ton of NBA stuff. Only Isola & Brossard have the Bulls as the Number 1 team in the East.

Assuming Rose is healthy, which you must considering he’s playing for Team USA, who exactly is going to beat the Bulls? Every team in the East is worse outside of Clev, unless you think Washington upgraded w/ a Geriatric Pierce over Ariza (I don’t)

RIV:  The Bulls would be my favorite, but I would not be shocked if Miami wins the east. That would require wade being healthy. Nobody talks about Brooklyn either. They made what I believe to be a major upgrade at coach, Brook Lopez will be back, and I don’t think they’ll miss Paul Pierce – they still have Kirilenko and Alan Anderson at small forward. And I don’t know what to think of Toronto, was last year a fluke or are they for real?  Mia, chi, Ind, bkn, was, cle, or tor could win the east.

Let’s talk about Cleveland. I think their biggest problem is that Irving and Varejao are injury prone. I think Varrjao has missed more games than he’s played the last 5 years. And Andrew Wiggins will probably not contribute much this year. They need to find a few veterans at the min who can contribute.

Everybody thinks the Knicks will be much better. Why, because Melo signed a new contract? He’s still the same player. Who’s their second best player? Calderon? I like him, but not as my second best player. And they’re very thin at center. The 7 teams mentioned above as well as Char and Atl should be better than NYK.

RICK:  When I think about it, the Bulls are very likely the best team in the East. The team has definitely gotten better. But something nags at the back of my brain and tells me not to keep my hopes up.

FRED:  I didn’t realize McRoberts was such a good passer. The more I hear about him, the more I realize that Riv may be right on w/ the Miami prediction. If Wade loses 20 pounds, and Bosh flourishes in the new role, and Napier is the ROY, they could be something. Losing McRoberts is a huge loss for CHA, and Marvin Williams shouldn’t be in the NBA.

All this talk about the Bulls not being able to attract FA’s is ridiculous. They were able to sign Boozer & now Gasol. Who have the Lakers signed w/ max space to do it?

RIV:  I’m surprised Chalmers got so much money, 2 years, 8.3 mil.  Miami has 3 point guards now.

I agree with you about wade being overweight. I thought he looked a little thick last year. And there were so many times he was lazy on defense, maybe it was from bring out of shape.

Cleve signed Mike Miller and James Jones. Lebron is getting the band back together! I always liked James Jones, wondered why he didn’t get more PT in Miami.

FRED:   I totally disagree w/ Doug here. I am curious whose side you fall on?

ChicagoNow : http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-bulls-confidential/2014/07/lance-stephenson-goes-cheap-rodney-stuckey-replaces-him-i-understand-but-mourn-the-loss-of-both/

On a totally unrelated note, Ernie Ells, Hole 1 at the British Open, 3-putts from 1 foot.  Whoa:    http://m.golf.com/1005552/watch-ernie-els-three-putts-from-one-foot/

RIV:  Some of his math is fuzzy.  If we signed Lance, how were we going to also sign Mirotic? Lance cost more than Gasol.

Also, I don’t care about the summer of 16. Everyone’s getting cap space for the summer of 16. The time to win is now; there should be no sacrifices made now in exchange for cap room in the summer of 16. Damn you summer of 16!

The real question is probably would you rather have Gasol than Deng. If they had simply kept Deng, they could have re-signed him, then used the mid-level to sign Mirotic, and they could have simply re-signed Hinrich without using an exception.

I’d rather have Gasol than Deng.

 

 

 

 

Bullseye Roundtable: Fred, Riv, & Oz discuss Jimmy Butler / Jerry Krause

RIV: Avery Bradley got 4 yrs, 32 mil with the Celtics. Makes me wonder what Jimmy will get some day? Probably more than I would want to give him.

FRED: Amen. I completely agree. I love Jimmy at his salary in 2014-15 (2.1 million). I don’t love Jimmy at 9 or 10 million per year.

On a different topic, here’s reason 1,354 why Krause was a disaster as a GM. I remembered reading this story in ESPN the Mag back in the day, and I finally found it online. Basically, Krause managed to change Yao’s desire to be drafted by Chicago.

FROM ESPN the MAGAZINE, July 10th, 2012

YAO MING – I was very nervous when I first went onto the court, but the basketball helped me relax. Once I touched the ball, shot it, dribbled it, I forgot there was anybody there. It was nice to learn I could do that in such a strange, big-pressure situation. I’d played in big games before, of course, but never anything where everyone was watching just me. That night I had dinner with Jerry Krause, the Bulls’ general manager. He was staying in the same hotel in a suite on the top floor. He has a house in Chicago, so I’m not sure why he was staying in the hotel. People say Krause likes to be very secretive. He had Chinese takeout food in the little white boxes delivered to the room. Before I knew Houston had the first pick, Chicago was where I wanted to go, mainly because Erik lives there and I thought that would make life easier for me. But after I talked to Krause, I got scared. He said that if I was tired after the NBA season, he would talk to the Chinese Basketball Association and get them to let me rest. That’s what scared me. I wanted to play for the national team, and I didn’t want the CBA to have problems because of me. I didn’t want to go to Chicago after that. I went back to my room and watched the Spurs play the Sonics in the first round of the playoffs.

https://m.espn.go.com/wireless/story?storyId=8151001&wjb=&pg=1

FRED CONTINUED:   Again, the point is, Yao wanted to come to the Bulls until he met Krause. Instead of taking him to a nice Chinese restaurant in Chicago, he sequesters him in a hotel and orders take out. After meeting with Krause, he no longer wanted to come to Chicago. The guy was a disaster with interpersonal skils.  I remember reading it then, and thinking, why isn’t this bigger news? No one talked about it on sports radio.

RIV: Sounds like not a big deal. I think Yao was only concerned because Krause didn’t want him to play for the Chinese national team. That would have all been sorted out.

It’s funny when Yao said that he didn’t know why Krause had a room in Yao’s hotel because Krause had a home in Chicago. It was because Krause was trying to be secretive about the meeting. Krause was a truly weird guy

FRED: You can’t be in that position and have the personality of a dirty diaper. I wish some video existed of him playing basketball. Can you imagine that? Hey Jerry, if you can dribble from one end of the court, shoot a jumper, and dibble to the other end, McGrady will sign. I can just see Kruase using 2 hands to dribble and shooting underhand.

OZ: Phil Jackson speaks fondly of him: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-18/sports/chi-jerry-krause-phil-jackson-20140318_1_phil-jackson-new-york-knicks-chicago-bulls

FRED: As John Lennon once famously quipped, “Time wounds all heels”, and Jerry Krause is certainly a heel.

Jerry Krause somehow turned off Yao Ming.

Jerry Krause somehow turned off Yao Ming.