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Official Chicago Bulls Thread: Pick #7 third year in a row


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Cleveland gets Crowder, Thomas, Zizic, and an unprotected Brooklyn first for Irving. I'd call that at least double the return Chicago got for Butler. Worst. Trade. Ever.

In fairness, he’s a really good 3 point shooter who can also attack off the dribble (assuming last year was an aberration because of the injury). Those guys are always useful. And I’ve been saying he’

The team looks cohesive so far. A lot of ball movement which is spacing the floor and giving open looks at the basket. I wonder how much this has to do with the addition of Wade and Rondo who are excellent facilitators or the subtraction of Derrick Rose whose signature play was to stand at the top of the key and pound the ball for twenty seconds before driving to the hole 1-on-5. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

No more "Circus Trip" after this year.

Even during the championship years that trip was always a drag. It was during one of those trips where Michael Jordan broke his foot.  I think they might have crossed seventy wins more than once--maybe even pushed the all-time record into the seventy-five range, if not for that annual albatross of travel.

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10-6 so far with 11 of those road games. Looks like it will be a much better season than many of us thought. I'm not sure how much credit to give to Wade's leadership but it's obviously made some difference. Fun team to watch too although Portis and Mirotic get on my nerves.

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On 1/27/2017 at 0:18 PM, Juxtatarot said:

What a mess!  Team seems divided between Wade/Butler (and supporters) and Rondo (and supporters).  Hoiberg seems largely ignored.  Butler will win out over all this because he's the only player/coach of value on this team.

Looks like I was wrong here.

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On 6/28/2017 at 0:57 PM, Juxtatarot said:

Looks like I was wrong here.

Well, wrong is a funny word. Perhaps you made a bad assumption (one anybody would have made) but I still think you were right and GarPax was wrong. In a related story, the sun is currently setting in the west. 

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I really don't get the point of their apparent interest in re-signing Mirotic.  He doesn't seem to be a long-term piece.  At best, maybe he shoots more consistently and becomes tradeable. But that unlikely scenario might cost them draft position. Regardless, his minutes eat into development time for Marrkanen and Portis.  It also ties up cap space that could be quite valuable next year considering the projected cap flattening and how many teams won't have much room under it.

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39 minutes ago, thecatch said:

Damn, I didn't approve of the trade obviously but I was on Team Markkanen before the draft. 

4-10 from long range last night to bring his 3 game tally to 5-of-33.  Can't generate his own offense whatsoever and does nothing defensively.  He's basically not much more than a spot up long range shooter at this juncture.  If he can't do that either?  Oh boy.

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One last kick in the onions on that draft day trade : Kyrie Irving had the Bulls on his short list of teams to be traded to........ until they traded Butler. I don't know how Chicago comes up with a package that Cleveland would accept for Irving in that reality, but it was rendered moot by that horrible trade. 

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On 11/10/2017 at 10:49 AM, Evilgrin 72 said:

The key seems to be to finish in the bottom 5.  By most accounts (at this point at least,) there are 5 potentially game-changing talents in this draft : Bagley, Porter, Bamba, Ayton, and Doncic.

Top 5 seems very likely.  Their offense has been terrible.  Worst in most of the statistical categories.  Maybe they do a little better when LaVine is healthy but I still think they'll be bad enough.

I like Doncic and Ayton the best right now but there is plenty of time to change my mind.

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On 11/14/2017 at 0:54 PM, Juxtatarot said:

Top 5 seems very likely.  Their offense has been terrible.  Worst in most of the statistical categories.  Maybe they do a little better when LaVine is healthy but I still think they'll be bad enough.

I like Doncic and Ayton the best right now but there is plenty of time to change my mind.

I was just musing about who they'd be most likely to covet in this draft. I think Ayton and Bamba are definitely in play as obviously Lopez isn't the long-term answer at C. Doncic is a distinct possibility as he can play either guard spot and the Bulls still don't really know exactly what they have in Dunn and LaVine. At worst, Doncic would fetch decent minutes off the bench in a platoon with the defensive stopper Dunn. My question with him is whether or not he's athletic enough to create his own shot in the NBA. If he's simply a guy who can catch and shoot off screens and can't create space for himself, I don't know if I'd spend a top 3 pick. 

The bug question is, of the two premier forward prospects, which would they rather have - Porter or Bagley? With Markkanen seemingly set to be a fixture as a stretch 4, would you rather have another shooter over there in Porter or an athletic specimen who can get to the rack and rebound like Bagley? Bagley doesn't have a jump shot yet, but is the one of the two I can see becoming a perennial All-star if he can develop one. Porter, I want to actually see play at the college level. This mystery leg/hip injury is troubling. He seems to project as more of a perimeter player in the NBA, pairing him with Markkanen would give them two really good options to spread the floor offensively, but would their defense and rebounding be atrocious with essentially two stretch 4s playing the front court together? Can either of them guard the quicker 3s?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Five game win streak and I’m actually excited for the game against the 76ers tomorrow. Nwaba was a fantastic waiver wire pick-up. Gotta give props to the front office for that one. Dunn has been playing well and LaVine should be back in a few weeks.

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They have to stop winning already. At this point, the good that will come out of this is that the asking price for Mirotic is going up, so if he can keep this run of solid play going, they might actually be able to get something for him in January. The bad is that they've already played themselves from having the best chance at the #1 pick to likely somewhere from 4-6. They really need to stay in the top 5 to get one of the prospects with All-star upside in this draft. Trae Young, I believe, has replaced Bamba in the top 5 prospects argument and if he keeps playing like this through March, he could potentially move into the top 3.

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10 hours ago, Evilgrin 72 said:

They have to stop winning already. At this point, the good that will come out of this is that the asking price for Mirotic is going up, so if he can keep this run of solid play going, they might actually be able to get something for him in January. The bad is that they've already played themselves from having the best chance at the #1 pick to likely somewhere from 4-6. They really need to stay in the top 5 to get one of the prospects with All-star upside in this draft. Trae Young, I believe, has replaced Bamba in the top 5 prospects argument and if he keeps playing like this through March, he could potentially move into the top 3.

I think the Bulls are good. If we were to reset the season, they would finish above .500. They are young, talented and their best player hasn’t played a game yet. LaVine, Dunn, and Markkanen for Butler (and Patton) will be viewed in history as a lopsided trade in favor of the Bulls. Draft picks should no longer be considered as a major factor for  improvement. Their  current roster and potential to add to it with their cap space is enough for them to be an Eastern Conference contender for years to come.

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9 hours ago, Juxtatarot said:

I think the Bulls are good. If we were to reset the season, they would finish above .500. They are young, talented and their best player hasn’t played a game yet. LaVine, Dunn, and Markkanen for Butler (and Patton) will be viewed in history as a lopsided trade in favor of the Bulls. Draft picks should no longer be considered as a major factor for  improvement. Their  current roster and potential to add to it with their cap space is enough for them to be an Eastern Conference contender for years to come.

Bold statement, I sure hope you're right, but I am not ready to make such a proclamation yet. I still want to see Dunn take the next step, see what Lavine looks like and how his (likely) high usage rate affects what they have going right now. See if Markkanen continues to improve, if Mirotic can keep his level of play up. 

I'd feel a lot more optimistic about the future with one of the possible franchise-altering talents in this draft on the roster. I'm afraid that what you're thinking is what the front office is going to think, and they'll try to add pieces to make a playoff run this year rather than sticking to the rebuild plan. That could potentially leave the team mired in long term mediocrity. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Who says no?

Jazz trade Derrick Favors, Joe Johnson, and 2018 1st round pick

Bulls trade Nikola Mirotic

 

Jazz get ~10 million in cap space right now rather than at season's end, which brings them under the luxury tax line as well as gets them the player they covet in Mirotic and enables them to take on salary in another trade if they so desire.  Reuniting Mirotic with Rubio and moving out Favors, whom they can't play alongside Gobert, gives them a far more effective frontcourt for a playoff push this season and next.

Bulls pick up a second 1st round pick in the upcoming draft (should be late lottery-mid round) and could conceivably flip Favors to a contender looking for a low post rental for the rest of the season in exchange for a flier on a young player or a second rounder.  Also helps clear up some of the logjam at PF and helps them tank more effectively for the rest of the season.

Only thing I would worry about as a Bulls fan is that the Jazz would probably try to stick lottery protections on the pick going to Chicago.  As we learned in the SAC trade years ago, that can often lead to getting next to nothing back, especially when dealing with a Western Conference team.  They could be effectively giving Mirotic away for a future second rounder if they allow protections to be placed on the pick, as they're not getting anything else back that will help them.

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I'd only deal Mirotic if certain he won't return (which I guess seems like given they're even entertaining dealing him). Or rids them of Felicio in the process. :wall:

Too bad they didn't lock Mirotic up long term. 

I get they probably don't have many options or leverage, but that deal above just feels like making a deal for the sake of making a deal.

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12 hours ago, Craig_MiamiFL said:

I'd only deal Mirotic if certain he won't return (which I guess seems like given they're even entertaining dealing him). Or rids them of Felicio in the process. :wall:

Too bad they didn't lock Mirotic up long term. 

I get they probably don't have many options or leverage, but that deal above just feels like making a deal for the sake of making a deal.

I don't see any way they can unload that awful Felicio contract without attaching future draft picks/assets, which defeats the purpose of a rebuild. Maybe in a deal where they take on a huge, bad contract with fewer years on it. 

They have a team option for next year on Mirotic, but he's standing firm on his trade request. He wants out and badly. No chance he signs long term. Add to this that he's probably their second most valuable trade chip at the moment (and is somewhat redundant as their MOST valuable one plays the same role as a stretch 4) and a trade seems inevitable. Mirotic has a no trade clause until they pick up the second year option so if the team trading for him wants to maintain that option as part of a deal, the Bulls can't just trade him anywhere they want as they'd need Mirotic to waive the clause in order to get a trade done. He appears to be enamored of Quin Snyder and all accounts are that he'd waive the clause in order to end up in Utah, so I put together the best deal I could make involving them. None of this, the trade or the destination, was arbitrary. 

I also hear Detroit and Portland are interested but no indication if Mirotic wants to go to either team. 

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1 hour ago, Raging weasel said:

As a Piston fan glad to hear about the no trade clause and really hope he doesn't want to come here. Rumour here is Kennard+ 1st rounder for Mirotic which may get us to playoffs this year but destroy the future.

Well, the no-trade clause is fairly easy to circumvent if both the Bulls and Pistons are hot to make the deal and Detroit wants to have him/doesn't mind having him under contract for the same $12M salary for next season.  All the Bulls have to do is pick up the team option for '18-'19 and it instantly voids the no-trade clause.  The no-trade is an issue if the team trading for Mirotic prefers to have the option to pull that trigger or not themselves. 

 

I don't know that this is an awful trade for Detroit.  I don't follow the Pistons much, has Kennard shown signs of being a rotation guy going forward?  The pick is likely to be in the mid-20s, so it's not a super valuable pick.  I'd much rather have Utah's (probable) 10-15 pick than Detroit's 20-25, and that's the real impetus for Chicago to pull the trigger, the pick.

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Kennard looks to be a 7th/8th man at best so far so Mirotic definitely an upgrade for now. The problem is if he leaves after 2018 4 years of VanGundy drafts will leave us with just Stanley Johnson (who sucks) while passing on difference makers like Booker and Mitchell. 

I'd rather the Pistons be sellers than buyers at this point. They won't win a playoff series vs Bos, Cle, Tor or Wash so what's the point?

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4 hours ago, Raging weasel said:

Kennard looks to be a 7th/8th man at best so far so Mirotic definitely an upgrade for now. The problem is if he leaves after 2018 4 years of VanGundy drafts will leave us with just Stanley Johnson (who sucks) while passing on difference makers like Booker and Mitchell. 

I'd rather the Pistons be sellers than buyers at this point. They won't win a playoff series vs Bos, Cle, Tor or Wash so what's the point?

Yeah, if I'm a Pistons fan, I'm definitely with you on that.  You want to be where the 76ers are, a collection of young talent that should theoretically be peaking when LeBron hangs them up and the Warriors start to really age.  I don't mind that the Bulls took this approach in retrospect, as much as trading Butler stung (and still stings) but kif they keep winning games, they're going to play their way out of a top 5-6 pick without lottery luck.  That's where the potential franchise players reside in this draft (Ayton, Porter, Bagley, Doncic, Young, Bamba.)

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On 1/11/2018 at 10:56 AM, Raging weasel said:

As a Piston fan glad to hear about the no trade clause and really hope he doesn't want to come here. Rumour here is Kennard+ 1st rounder for Mirotic which may get us to playoffs this year but destroy the future.

That deal would be lunacy for Detroit. 

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Mirotic always has these stretches where he teases us. My guess is he regresses to his mean. If they get a first rounder, it will be a protected one that converts into seconds. 

Looking forward to the return of LaVine tonight! I’ll forgive some rustiness.

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Woj reporting the Pelicans offering Asik's dog #### contract and a future 1st rounder for Mirotic, but the deal can't be completed at present because the Pelicans don't want the team option for next year at $12.5M picked up.  Without doing that, Mirotic has to approve the trade to satisfy that clause, but if he does so, he loses his Bird rights.  You need a ####ing PhD to figure out how the hell this stuff works.  I don't know if Mirotic has refused to waive the NMC or not.

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19 hours ago, Evilgrin 72 said:

Woj reporting the Pelicans offering Asik's dog #### contract and a future 1st rounder for Mirotic, but the deal can't be completed at present because the Pelicans don't want the team option for next year at $12.5M picked up.  Without doing that, Mirotic has to approve the trade to satisfy that clause, but if he does so, he loses his Bird rights.  You need a ####ing PhD to figure out how the hell this stuff works.  I don't know if Mirotic has refused to waive the NMC or not.

Apparently, this IS the holdup.  If Mirotic approves the trade without the second year option being picked up (as the Pelicans are demanding) then he would either have to be signed using an exception (likely for a good deal less than $12.5M) by New Orleans or he'd become a free agent again.  He is hesitating to do that, so I guess this would be called the opposite of what is commonly described as "betting on yourself."

Most media outlets are saying that the Pelicans would likely need to trade a 1st rounder to anyone agreeing to take on $14.3M in liability on Asik as a straight salary dump, so they'd in essence be getting the rest of this season of Mirotic for nothing.  They don't want to commit to Niko for 2018-19 because they're still trying to sign Cousins to a mega-deal to keep him there long term and they don't want $12.5M committed to Mirotic for next year that could mean the difference in Boogie signing or not.

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The next interesting situation is Zach LaVine.  He's going to want a (roughly), 4 year $100M contract this summer.  He's young and talented, but I don't know if his athleticism will ever be the same after ACL surgery, he plays no defense, and his shooting is streaky as hell.  I don't think he's worth that kind of deal.  However, if they let him walk, they essentially traded one of the ten best assets in the NBA for Kris Dunn and a 9 spot move in round 1.  Will they throw good money after bad just to avoid the optics of how that deal would ultimately be viewed?  Do they resist the urge to dive in after a sunk cost?  Do they really believe LaVine is the cornerstone player to build the team around?  Is Dunn/Markkanen/LaVine the foundation upon which to build championship aspirations?  Who can they bring to Chicago if they let LaVine walk with the enormous cap space they'll have?  It's going to be a very interesting offseason.

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And the deal is done.  Second year guaranteed and Mirotic is off to New Orleans along with the second round pick acquired from NO in the Pondexter trade.  Coming back.. Asik, Tony Allen, Jameer Nelson, and a protected 1st rounder.  Bulls expected to waive Pondexter, Allen, and almost certainly Nelson as well.  Asik will be on the roster the rest of this season and all of next before being bought out in 2019 for $3M.

Essentially, the Bulls are eating roughly $14M in future money and tying up $11M in cap space for next year to get a pick swap from a 2nd rounder to 1st rounder.  On its face, I don't love it, but they had to deal him (unfortunately) and I want to see what the protections on that pick are before "grading" the deal.

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54 minutes ago, Evilgrin 72 said:

Essentially, the Bulls are eating roughly $14M in future money and tying up $11M in cap space for next year to get a pick swap from a 2nd rounder to 1st rounder.  On its face, I don't love it, but they had to deal him (unfortunately) and I want to see what the protections on that pick are before "grading" the deal.

Protection is top 5.  The bottom half of the West isn't very good so the Pelicans will probably make the playoffs even without Cousins.  I feel the same way about the trade.  But the Bulls weren't expected to be players in the free agent market yet so the Asik contract probably won't matter much.

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48 minutes ago, Juxtatarot said:

Protection is top 5.  The bottom half of the West isn't very good so the Pelicans will probably make the playoffs even without Cousins.  I feel the same way about the trade.  But the Bulls weren't expected to be players in the free agent market yet so the Asik contract probably won't matter much.

Just saw that.  Top 5 protected this year, which means it will almost certainly convey in this draft.  At least it's not the ill-fated Sacramento pick, but probably will end up late teens to early 20s.  Not a ton of guys I really like in that range, but maybe someone will fall or we can strike gold again with a late first rounder like Butler.  And then trade him away for lesser players down the road.

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Zach Lowe had a nice little bit on Asik in his column today:

 

Quote

10. Cheering Omer Asik

This was the only happy subplot to DeMarcus Cousins' devastating injury -- a seismic event that could alter Cousins' career and tilt the axis of the league.

The Pelicans suddenly needed Asik again after he missed time due to Crohn's disease, and when he took the floor, New Orleans fans showered him with what seemed like genuine encouragement. They cheered every little thing -- every basket, every rebound, every free throw -- and groaned with the sorrow of nervous Little League parents when he missed chippies. They knew what he had gone through, how low he sunk, and wanted him to rise out of it. (I checked with several folks who attended recent games, and they agree the cheers were sincere -- and not sarcastic.)

It's easy to forget now, but Asik was once a good player -- so good, the Rockets started the bidding for him at three first-round picks. (Spoiler: They did not get three first-round picks.) He set cement-wall screens, rolled to the hoop, and dished canny interior passes. He barricaded the rim, and rebounded everything.

Then he got paid, and became both a punchline and the target of ire from fans who (understandably) grew frustrated with an unproductive oaf clogging their favorite team's cap sheet. Before September, no one really knew what was going on with Asik -- only that he was ill, and not playing.

When he first came back in December, Asik looked alarmingly unready -- almost wobbly on his feet. He was no longer an NBA player.

He has shown glimpses in the past week of the player he used to be. It would be a wonderful story if he got there.

  

I don't know much about Crohn's disease but I liked Asik (warts and all) when he was with the Bulls last time.  It would be wonderful if he could be a decent player again.  Probably won't happen though.

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On 2/2/2018 at 0:07 PM, Juxtatarot said:

Zach Lowe had a nice little bit on Asik in his column today:

 

  

I don't know much about Crohn's disease but I liked Asik (warts and all) when he was with the Bulls last time.  It would be wonderful if he could be a decent player again.  Probably won't happen though.

No way on Earth they're trading that contract without attaching a 1st rounder, so that means they won't trade it period.  I'm sure he'll be bought out after next season, but he's going to have a year and a half in uniform at the very least to contribute.

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1 hour ago, Evilgrin 72 said:

No way on Earth they're trading that contract without attaching a 1st rounder, so that means they won't trade it period.  I'm sure he'll be bought out after next season, but he's going to have a year and a half in uniform at the very least to contribute.

If the Bulls don't want to be players in '19 free agency, I could see them flipping the Asik contract next year as an expiring for an even worse contract (think Noah, Deng, Mahinmi) and an asset.  With the impending cap crunch that they've talked about, expirings might be more valuable then they've been in recent years.

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  • 2 months later...

Well, barring a tragic win in the last game of the season or some ping-pong ball luck, looks like the 7 pick.  Assuming the mocks are right and Ayton, Porter, Bagley, Doncic, Jaren Jackson, and Bamba go 1-6, that leaves us looking squarely at Trae Young sitting there at #7.  Would you draft him?  Is he the next Curry or a guy that got really hot for a short time?  Would he make for a platoon at the PG spot with Dunn in an offense/defense type of thing, and how would Dunn react to that?  Can you have two no-defense chuckers on the court at the same time in Young and Lavine, and would drafting Young mean they bite the bullet and let Lavine walk (highly doubt it.)

I'd vastly prefer to have a pivot like Bamba or Ayton or a scoring wing that can stroke it like Doncic or Porter, but all those guys will be gone by #7.

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