Sam Smith is back from his Hall-of-Fame offseason, and it's with aplomb. And while I have no professional writer-guy training, I'm pretty sure 'with aplomb' means completely insane crap, right?
Sam's tribute to both the prudent vision of Gar Forman and the selflessness of Kirk Hinrich really is something. I mean, on the one hand we should probably exhibit the same vicious mindset as we do towards an awful Bleacher Report post. And maybe even moreseo when a famous sportswriter and team employee writes something just as bad. But I'm not sure Sam's really at any higher standard anymore?
Eh, it's fun for me, which is what truly counts. So let's go:
As you faithful readers of BlogABull have seen all summer, the Bulls have not only failed in 'basketball decisions' but gave themselves so little of their ballyhooed 'flexibility' that they can't even sign Kyrylo Fesenko if they wanted. Of course, the Bulls still have Derrick Rose (sorta) and 'the core' of a very good team (except they're pretty expensive), so it's hard to completely screw up things. And some of the cheaper replacements they signed could be nice saves. But they've done pretty damn poorly, and depressed everyone with rumors of a 'plan' that won't start for another 2 years.
However, what Smith is here to say, in true Eli Cash fashion: maybe it wasn't an unmitigated disaster? I don't have the stomach to do this line-by-line, but here are most of the points Sam (poorly) makes:
- The insinuation that the reputation of the 'bench mob' success was buoyed by their nickname beyond their actual performance.
- "The Bulls feel confident they have replaced, if not improved, that group". Hooray?
- "the new group of reserves, at least on paper, ranks statistically superior to the players they’ll replace". Sam attempts to prove this by showing their last year PPG. And when that's not really different, goes to their career PPG. Radmonovic has a career 8.2 ppg, Asik's is only 2.9. This is, seriously, a major part of the column.
- "No one — myself included — likes to talk about salary cap issues and the collective bargaining agreement." OH BULLSHIT. I, FOR ONE, LOOOVVVVVE IT
- Uses Watson and Brewer's new contracts as a way to assess their diminished value, then spends a while talking about how teams (like the Bulls, naturally) are spending less because of the new CBA.
- Uses the Knicks situation with Jeremy Lin as an analogy to the Bulls not matching Asik, an even easier call for the Bulls because Asik is a mere reserve. Yup, lets all look to the Knicks as a shining example of solid financial decisions.
- This total doozy about the Bulls having to let go of 'big contracts' like Watson and Korver, plus hard-cap themselves, all for the prize of Kirk Hinrich. Because, you see, Hinrich still took less to come back (and we all know Sam has to change pants when hearing an athlete took less money) because he had a "substantial, three year offer from the Bucks" and there was a "bidding contest" for Kirk. Even if this is true, lets chalk it up to Scott Skiles still having a coachy-coachson love affair with the guy and such an offer doesn't necessarily mean there's any sense in competing with it. And, in case I haven't repeated this enough, even if you're indoctrinated in Bullsdom and believe in the regenerative power of Kurt, they still didn't have to hard-cap themselves to get him.
- "The Bulls didn’t want to trade their starting center for a one year look at Dwight Howard, which the Lakers did." I love Joakim Noah, but the Bulls are idiots if that was actually the problem. Though if we can believe this, we'd at least have the solace of shooting down Nick Friedell's post-Howard-non-trade report.
And then it finishes by continuing the lie that this offseason's moves helped the Bulls chances at acquiring another star. As if the Bulls are just itching to acquire extra salary in a sign/trade or larger exceptions but the darned rules won't allow them. Well, they would've allowed such a move this past summer (like how the Lakers acquired Steve Nash) but no longer. And they could've had more expiring contracts and the actual ability to take on salary this year, but you gotta win that Kirk Hinrich bidding war. And they could always amnesty Boozer if getting your below-the-tax exceptions back is truly that important. The 'added flexibility' is basically that in two more seasons they don't have to pay Omer Asik because he isn't on the team, for some likely fruitless pursuit of a Free Agent.
Welcome back Sam Smith, at least I know that a return to reading such drivel means that actual Bulls basketball isn't far behind.