If you've read my posts before you know I like to I like to step into Gar Paxsdorf's shoes a lot. Once again I invite you along for the ride. Some of you guys have some nice ideas (others are, let's say less than intelligent), so I'd like to see where you guys stand. So after going through the first full month of the season, and looking at these Bulls,what do you see? What do you do with these guys?
I know there are different posts that hit one or two of the subjects I'm about to bring up, but I thought I'd try to consolidate and add on. So here are my questions: (feel free to add to the list)
-- Do we need to upgrade any position, and if so, what are they?
-- Who do you target to upgrade these positions?
-- Who are the players who are expendable?
-- What other assets would you use?
-- If you are going to make a move, do you wait until the trade deadline?
My answers follow...
First of all, I'm loving what I see out of Thibs and this team, but we definitely have room to improve. The fact that every night this team has gone out playing hard, AND now has the talent to be more than scrappy, when doing so is huge. Our defense definitely needs to be more consistent, I think we have Championship caliber D, if we can just play it for the entire game. The offense really needs another scoring option. This may be alleviated once Boozer gets back in action, but I still feel we need another perimeter scorer. Letting Deng settle in to that 3rd scorer, might make this a moot point, but I'd rather not have to settle for hoping he balls every game out. Even with the inconsistent scoring, I still think the defense and rebounding he provides makes up for that enough to hold on to him. Give me someone else who can get consistent double digits, and I mean at least 13-15 pts/game in the starting lineup, and that should be a SG. I definitely think we need a PG, we need a guy to come off the bench and run the offense. I would feel more comfortable having a guy on the bench that could come in and distribute a bit better than Watson. And depending on how things go after Boozer comes back, I think we need more insurance down low than Kurt Thomas can provide.
With that being said, you would think that I would have CJ Watson and Ronnie Brewer on my "Expendable" list. I don't. I don't think Watson can be this team's backup PG, because he doesn't know how to run a team yet, but he can score in bunches and plays pretty good D. He can be used as a spark off the bench and in combination with D.Rose, and that makes him valuable enough to stay. Brewer is like the exact opposite of Watson, his offense is terrible, but his defense and energy off the bench are his valuable assets. He reminds me of a new age Cliff Levingston. This "Circus Trip" showed me that both are worth keeping. My "Expendable" list consists of JJ, Bogans, Kurt Thomas and Scalabrine. You combine that with our's and Charlotte's pick and you get the assets I'm willing to give up, it also helps that we have a little cap space to work with. So, we really wouldn't be looking for big money targets. And we'll probably have to get a 3rd team involved if that's the case.
1st priority, would be SG. I still say it's easier to get a complete guard who can score AND defend, or at least have the potential to rather than go for the big fish and open up holes elsewhere, while leaving the SG spot vacant. A low risk, high reward move is what we should be looking for. My top 3 targets would be OJ Mayo, Courtney Lee, and sleeper, Terrance Williams. Everyone knows about Mayo and my infatuation with picking him up, but I'm really thinking that the better option might Williams. He won't cost much, NJ has to be at it's wit's end with him, to keep him on the inactive and send him down to the D-League. Could we get away with sending Bogans, a future 1st(2012), and 2nd(2011) for him? I think being in a winning atmoshpere, with young leaders could really set him straight. If that's too much of a risk then go with the safer bet in Mayo. Lee would be my last option, all it would take is a pick to get him, but is he that much better than what we have now, I'm not sure.
2nd priority, would be backup PG. We need to bring a guy in here who can be a solid defender and be the QB of the team when D.Rose is on the bench. Watson isn't that guy, you can see how uncomfortable he is when having to run the show. His game is scoring, and when put in the situation where that was needed from him, you him flourish. But as the season moves on, we'll need someone capable of running the squad in the half court. We all know to perform well in the playoffs you need efficient half court offense. That person is not currently on the team. I don't think we need to trade, truthfully, I don't think one of those guys will be available. Even though, who knows who will hit the block around deadline time. The guy I keep thinking about is Anthony Johnson. He seems like a nice veteran pickup, who would feel that need perfectly.
3rd priority, would be 5th big man. I know a lot of people see this as luxury area, and question where minutes would come from. To me, if you are really trying to make a run at a title this year, and we should be thinking that way, then you have to have an insurance policy better than Thomas. I can't help, but think that Sacremento put Thompson in the starting lineup as bait. And if we can get him, I would be all for it.
If we are trading for a SG, I'd try to get it done in December or January, the others can wait until the deadline. If they're going to trade Deng, they need to do it right away. The longer they wait, the more it messes up this chemistry we have going.