hey everyone, infrequent reader transitioning to infrequent poster. anyways, I have a lot of armchair GM moments, so I figured I'd finally get a few thoughts on paper, or the internet equivalent. Not sure if any of these things have come up before; if they have, I plead ignorance. Also, maybe someone will be able to shed some light on some of the questions I have about this stuff. A word of warning as well - this is longish and somewhat rambling. it happens.
First, I think the team’s situation is pretty apparent. I’m assuming that Deng is here to stay – either he remembers how to play basketball (looks like he’s starting too) and makes himself worth his contract, or he continues to suck and no one wants him. Rose is a given. Every other guard, with the possible exception of Sefolosha, needs to go. I’m also assuming we’re set at power forward – I’m a big fan of Drew Gooden, and if it were up to me him and his ridiculous goatee will be around for a while. Him and Rose are the only Bulls who have produced consistently this year; he’s a solid player, great to have around in a limited role. As for Tyrus, he still needs time. Maybe he’ll be the future at PF, maybe not, but either way we’ll have Gooden to back him up and / or play center next to him if he has too and / or (pessimistically) be the future instead of him. Which brings us to the most troublesome spot. I’m not sold on Noah at Center. I like him as a backup playing 25 minutes or so a game, but, frankly, we need some scoring from his position and he isn’t going to give it to us unless he smokes some extra-special weed and magically develops an effective offensive game (I envision something like How High happening to him - we all have dreams). Anyways, keeping that in mind, I vote for Mehmet Okur this off-season. Personally, a lot about his game bugs me – he isn’t a post scorer, he’s annoyingly soft, and he’s not a great defender. Still, he’s proven he can score against a strong cast of big men in the West, which is light years more then anyone we have has ever done. He’s also a useful big body, which we don’t really have (I’m not counting Gray) Okur and a hypothetical big three point shooting / defending two guard open up the court for Rose, Deng and Tyrus to slash and attack the rim. Gooden backs up both spots, or starts if Tyrus never develops. Noah fills in wherever he’s needed. And so, the lineup next season looks something like this.
PG – Rose / mystery back up (Sefolosha? We can only hope)
SG – New Shooting Guard / Rookie shooting guard (thoughts on options below)
SF – Deng / Backup (could be Noc, assuming he's not gone)
PF – Tyrus / Gooden (or vice-versa, god-forbid)
C – Okur / Noah / Gooden
Naturally, this assumes that Hughes finally goes away, Hinrich gets traded, Gordon either gets traded or signs elsewhere (there’s always a chance he’ll finally understand his limitations and stay in the team’s future for the MLE, but I’m not betting on it).
And, finally, some baseless trade speculation to obtain said hypothetical shooting guard. In the interests of full disclosure, I didn't run these through the trade machine, but I think the salaries are or can be (with small tweaks here and there) accurate.
First up, we have Hinrich to Sacramento for John Salmons and Donte Greene and / or a first rounder. This could be expanded to Hinrich and Nocioni for Salmons, Greene and Brad Miller, although I’m wary of his contract, age, injuries and general mediocrity (I seem to remember that he expires soonish though, so maybe it wouldn’t be too bad). Anyways, there are plenty of possibilities there. The Kings get the PG they desperately need, Beno returns to the bench where he belongs, they open up more minutes for Francisco Garcia, pick up a replacement backup small forward, and potentially get rid of Brad Miller. We get a solid wing to play next to Rose, a nice project hybrid forward, clarity in our rotations, and maybe a temporary center and a draft pick of some sort. The only question, as far as I’m concerned, is whether Salmons can guard twos effectively. I honestly don’t know – haven’t watched enough of the Kings. If so, I think he’d work for two years or so, until we can replace him with someone better.
Next up, Gordon or Hinrich to Toronto for Anthony Parker, a first, and filler. Much less likely then option one, but the Raptors could definitely use some more perimeter scoring. Nocioni could end up in this deal as well, which would be ideal for Toronto, although the salaries begin to get tricky since the Raptors don’t really have anything else the Bulls would want. Who knows, maybe just Nocioni for Parker, or Gordon and Nocioni for Parker, Nathan Jawai, and a first. These aren’t as plausible, especially since Colangelo probably loves Parker and isn’t likely to be blinded by BG’s gaudy scoring stats. You never know though.
That's pretty much it for now. I'll probably be in and out as the season goes on, if anyone cares.<!--EndFragment-->