Chicago Bulls

Bulls might have to wait for shooting guard upgrade

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Bulls might have to wait for shooting guard upgrade

Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011
10:44 AM

By Mark Schanowski
CSNChicago.com

An increasing number of Bulls fans are growing impatient with the continuing lack of production from starter Keith Bogans at the shooting guard position. And, rest assured, Bulls management shares your concerns. Thats why you keep reading internet reports about the Bulls being one of the most active teams in pursuing possible trades.

The problem is, because Joakim Noah is likely to miss another six weeks or so while rehabbing from thumb ligament surgery, the Bulls dont have enough frontcourt depth to trade away reserve players like Taj Gibson and Omer Asik. And, those are the guys teams are asking for when discussing possible deals.

The other issue is money. Because the Bulls are under the salary cap, they dont have a lot of big dollar contracts theyre willing to move, which makes it tough to match up salaries with other teams. That means if the Bulls were seriously interested in acquiring a veteran who makes 10 to 12 million dollars this season like Jamal Crawford, Richard Hamilton or Jason Richardson, theyd probably need to send four or five players back to make the money work, and thats just not realistic.

Even a guy like Stephen Jackson makes over 8 million dollars, which means the Bulls would probably have to trade Gibson, James Johnson and Ronnie Brewer or Kyle Korver to make the deal work financially, and theyre obviously not going to do that for a soon to be 33-year-old guard with a history of attitude problems.

So, which players might the Bulls have a shot at as we get closer to Noahs return and the February 24th trade deadline? Two guys who have been linked to the Bulls in past rumors who would be financially realistic targets are Portlands Rudy Fernandez and Memphis O.J. Mayo. The problem with Fernandez is hes an inconsistent shooter whos been very open about his desire to return to Europe when his NBA contract expires. Plus, the Blazers might not be willing to trade him now because of Brandon Roys serious knee problems.

As for Mayo, hes not really a pure shooter, either. Mayo is most effective with the ball in his hands, creating shots off the dribble. That style would probably make him a bad match with Derrick Rose in the backcourt. And, even though Mayo is currently coming off the bench in Memphis, the Grizzlies reportedly are asking for a hefty return in exchange for the number 3 pick in the 2008 draft.

Heres some names to watch for as we get closer to the deadline. Rodney Stuckey has seen his playing time drop in Detroit, and his salary of just under 3 million dollars means the Bulls could probably get him for Gibson and a number one draft pick, and use their remaining cap room to make up the difference in salaries. Stuckey is still the Pistons leading scorer at right around 15 points per game, and has good size at 6-5. Hes been playing the point in Detroit, but he has the shooting range to be a good partner with Rose here in Chicago.

The Pistons might not be willing to deal with the Bulls, but how about Toronto? The Raptors are in total rebuild mode now, which makes a good shooting reserve like Leandro Barbosa a luxury they probably cant affort. Barbosa is a 40 percent shooter from 3-point range for his career, and has extensive playoff experience with Phoenix. The biggest issue with Barbosa is his salary of 7 million dollars. The Bulls would probably have to move three of their bench players to make a trade possible under salary cap rules.

As for some other possibilities, San Antonio drafted shooting guard James Anderson last summer, but hes only played six games because of a broken foot, and probably wont get any time when he returns to action next month because of the emergence of free agent find Gary Neal as a long range shooting specialist off the bench. Maybe the Spurs would move him for a 1st round draft pick.

And, there are always journeymen veterans available like Rasual Butler, DeShawn Stevenson and Napervilles Anthony Parker. Bottom line, Gar Forman and John Paxson will continue to work the phones. But until Noah is closer to returning, a trade is probably unlikely.

ROSE NEEDS YOUR HELP

Now that Chicago sports fans have voted Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith into the NHLs All-Star game, its time to get behind Derrick Rose. Amazingly, Rose is only 3rd in the balloting among Eastern Conference guards, some 56 thousand votes behind runner-up Rajon Rondo of Boston. Rose is the only NBA player currently in the top ten in both scoring and assists, and you could make an argument for him being the leagues MVP during the first half of the season. Rondo, meanwhile, missed about two weeks with an ankle injury, and even though he leads the league in assists, his shaky shooting hardly makes him deserving of an All-Star start. Plus, Rondo is playing alongside four possible future Hall of Famers in Boston (Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.)

Dwyane Wade currently leads the voting for Eastern Conference guards, and the Chicago area native deserves to be a starter, but his running mate in L.A. on February 20th in Los Angeles should be D-Rose. And, only you can make that happen with your votes. Go to NBA.com or Bulls.com to make your voice heard. On line balloting will continues for the next two and a half weeks.

As always, Id love to hear what you think. Please post your comments about the Bulls shooting guard situation in the section below. It should be an exciting 2011 for all of us basketball fans here in Chicago.

Mark Schanowski hosts our Bulls pre- and postgame studio coverage with 15-year NBA veteran Kendall Gill. You can also watch Mark on SportsNet Central, Sunday through Thursday at 6:30 and 10 p.m.

What will Bulls do with Dwyane Wade? John Paxson addresses the buyout rumors

What will Bulls do with Dwyane Wade? John Paxson addresses the buyout rumors

While there are many questions surrounding what the Bulls will look like moving forward, one of the main ones surrounds their most recognizable player.

How much longer will Dwyane Wade be a Bull? It's been a question floating around all offseason as numerous rumors have indicated the team could buy Wade out of his contract — and that Wade could even be pushing for that to happen — allowing him to move on to another team that has a better chance of winning a title.

That thinking makes sense considering Wade came to the Bulls to team up with Jimmy Butler and make a run at a championship. But the Bulls finished eighth in the Eastern Conference last season and shipped Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this offseason, pointing the franchise in a drastically different direction.

What does John Paxson have to say about all that talk? The Bulls' president addressed those rumors in an exclusive interview with CSN's Mark Schanowski on Tuesday.

"We can't do anything about it," Paxson said of the rumors. "To be very honest, me and (general manager) Gar (Forman) sat down with Dwyane when the season ended. We were honest with him. We told him, 'We don't know what's going to happen.' At that time we were not shopping Jimmy. But we said all along that if a deal would come along that would allow us to rebuild, we'd have to look at it. We've said that to everybody. With that said, Dwyane's under contract. He has been a professional thorugh and through. We want to talk to him when he comes into town, and we will. Until then, I read the same things you do. But Gar and I will sit down with Dwyane when he comes to town."

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls bring Doug Collins back into the fold

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AP

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls bring Doug Collins back into the fold

Joining Kap on the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast are Seth Gruen (Bleacher Report), Ben Finfer (ESPN Radio) and Mark Carman (WGN Radio).

First the guys are joined by Jim Deshaies who previews the Cubs series in Tampa and possible playoff run. Then the panel goes over the Cubs lineup now that Addison Russell is back in action.

Finally, Kendall Gill and Will Perdue join Kap to talk about the big hire the Bulls made by adding Doug Collins as a Senior Advisor in the front office.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: