Monday, March 15, 2010
By Mark Schanowski
How about the normally mild-mannered Chris Bosh ripping his teammates for a lack of effort in a road loss to lowly Golden State over the weekend? Much like the Bulls, Toronto has unraveled late in the season, losing 9 of their last 10 games to fall to 8th in the East, just one game ahead of Vinny Del Negro's injury-decimated crew. If Toronto somehow manages to miss the playoffs after spending big money to add free agent forward Hedo Turkoglu last off-season, you can just about guarantee Bosh will be shopping for a new team come July 1st.
So, what are the Bulls' chances of adding arguably the best power forward in the game? Bosh said during All-Star weekend he's not really excited about going somewhere to be a supporting actor. He wondered openly why a team wouldn't want to build around him. So far, that hasn't worked in Toronto, but it could work in Chicago where the Bulls have an unselfish point guard in Derrick Rose, who cares a lot more about winning than how many points he scores. Bosh could go to Miami to join forces with Olympic teammate Dwyane Wade, but does that really fit with his stated goal of being the number one star? And, where will all the shot attempts come with Wade, Bosh and Michael Beasley all on the same team? The biggest concern for the Bulls right now is the possibility that Bosh okays a sign and trade deal to preserve his Larry Bird contract rights and get a 6 year package with the maximum allowable raises his current team (Toronto) is allowed to offer. Bosh is from the Dallas area, and we know Mark Cuban isn't afraid to spend big money. If Bosh wants to go home to continue his career with the Mavs, I'm sure Cuban will find a way to make it happen. Basically, a sign and trade deal would open up the entire NBA for Bosh, instead of the 6 to 8 teams that will have enough cap room to offer a max deal this summer.
I wanted to take a few minutes to respond to some of the e-mails and comments we received after my last post suggesting what the Bulls might do in the draft and free agent markets this summer.
I wonder why there's no talk of trying to go after David Lee. At 20ppg and about 12reb he's a good option I believe if we can't score any of the big names(Lebron, Wade, Bosh). Because of his post moves and shooting ability, and the fact that he is less injury prone, I would take him over even Boozer and Stoudemire. (posted by mdot1986)
There's no question David Lee is one of the NBA's most improved players, but you have to remember, his stats are inflated a bit because he plays in Mike D'Antoni's run-and-gun offense. Lee will get a real nice, multi-year contract from some team, but I doubt it will be the Bulls. He's more of a perimeter player than a low-post scorer, and isn't the kind of offensive threat who will command a double team. I wouldn't rule him out completely, but my guess is he's more likely to re-sign with the Knicks or move across the river to join the Nets.
First and foremost, I kind of want to see what Asik can do before I decide what to do as far as a big goes. However, I'll take your word for it and say he is more of a perimeter big like Okur. I'm really hoping the Bulls go after Bosh this summer. Then Amare goes to Miami with Wade remaining there. LBJ stays in Cleveland. Leaving the Knicks possibly getting both Boozer and Joe Johnson. Highly unlikely I know, but if I'm Gar and Pax I want Bosh. He's a good locker room guy and can work both inside and outside to about 15feet. My Rankings for the low post guys are: Bosh, Boozer, then Amare. The only reason why Boozer is ahead of Amare is because Amare has had more injuries. Secondly, the draft is in June as we all know. In my opinion I haven't seen James Johnson shine like a 16th overall pick yet and the season is coming to an end. Now a lot of it is because Luol has been healthy, but we need a SF to come off the bench and be productive. Unfortunately JJ hasn't done that. That's why I want my first rounder to be either Damion James from TEXAS who is a double double machine or Stanley Robinson from UCONN who is a man beast and has great athleticism. I understand a 2guard is ideal, so with that said if the Bulls decide to go that route in the first round I like: Dominique Jones from South Florida, James Anderson from Oklahoma State and Scotty Hopson from Tennessee only if he decides to declare. Now the second round is semi-deep with talent, these are usually hit or misses. I like Dexter Pittman from Texas big inside presence can post up. I also like Jerome Jordan from Tulsa, who has a nice jump shot and can also post up. Other guys who I think would be good for the Bulls are: Wayne Chism from Tennessee and Matt Bouldin from Gonzaga. I think Willie Warren from OU would be a risk, because of his injury this year, but definitely has ability. I also believe that Greivis Vasquez from Maryland is a solid guy, but lacks strength when attacking the basket. Some prospects I would keep an eye on if they go undrafted would be: Jon Scheyer from Duke and A.J. Slaughter from Western Kentucky. (posted by drose01)
All kinds of great stuff here. Omer Asik is the 7 foot center from Turkey, who is expected to be with the Bulls next season. He's missed a lot of time this year because of injury, but the Bulls liked his potential enough to trade 3 second round draft picks to acquire his rights. As far as the draft, the Bulls already have Luol Deng and James Johnson at the small forward position, so barring a trade, I don't think they'll go after either Damion James or Stanley Robinson. The more I think about it, I wouldn't be surprised if they trade that 1st round pick to free up another couple million dollars of cap room. They could take a look at Jon Scheyer as a free agent since he's not expected to be drafted.
Would have liked to see the Bulls build on last year, but they went the other way. I truly do not want to see the Bulls draft a 2 guard, I think they need someone experienced to go with Rose, but not a max player. I would like to see the Bulls trade Deng over the summer for that slot and move the smaller Taj Gibson into Deng's spot. In my heart of hearts I would like to see the Bulls move Kirk and grab 2 of the 3 low post players that are available in free agency with one of them being Bosh. And if possible at all I would also like to see the Bulls grab a 3pt shooter. I know that's a lot, but hey we are posting dreams right. (posted by kdissaved)
Taj Gibson has done a real nice job as a rookie, but his skills really aren't suited for the small forward position. James Johnson has come on late in the season, and I think the Bulls want to give him a serious look next year for more minutes as a back-up to Deng. And, don't be surprised if the Bulls try to move Deng in sign-and-trade scenarios involving Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudemire. If they're able to get a power forward in a sign-and-trade, they would then have enough cap room to try to sign All-Star shooting guard Joe Johnson in free agency.
I think the Bulls should aim for the top free agents in LeBron and D-Wade, that way if they arent able to get them, their fall back options would be Bosh and Stoudemire, not too shabby. (Reggie - Chicago, IL)
As I mentioned in my last blog entry, the Bulls need to be careful not to spread themselves too thin in free agency. If they flirt with LeBron and D-Wade, and then try to get in late on either Bosh or Stoudemire, they might wind up with no one. I'm guessing they'll go hard after Bosh, with Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer and Joe Johnson as their back-up plans.
To me, I think the Bulls need to get rid of Vinny and hire a coach with more experience. Are there any coaches out there that you think might fit the bill and do you think Vinny will be gone?
(Wayne - St. John, IN)
Vinny won't be back to coach the Bulls next season. Don't be surprised if you hear Doug Collins' name re-surface as a possible replacement. He's good at turning teams around quickly, and the Bulls could have an attractive roster in place by the start of training camp. If Collins decides to stay in broadcasting, I'm sure we'll be hearing the usual names like Avery Johnson, Byron Scott and Jeff Van Gundy, but don't rule out the possibility of Celtics' defensive assistant whiz Tom Thibodeau getting his first chance to run an NBA team.
Thanks for all the great questions and comments. Please keep them coming. We'll try to acknowledge at least a few in our future posts. Don't forget you can watch the next three Bulls games on Comcast SportsNet. Kendall Gill and I will have all the pre and post game coverage.
Mark Schanowski hosts our Bulls pre- and postgame studio coverage with 15-year NBA veteran Kendall Gill. You can also watch Mark on SportsNite, Sunday through Thursday at 6:30 and 10.