The story of the week or so for the Bulls has been the final roster spot. At the time of the Eddy Curry trade, it was assumed that part of the deal included the departing Antonio Davis being waived by the Knicks and re-signing with the Bulls. But as more and more days have gone on since the trade, the Daily Herald has been looking at other options:
- 10/19 - It's becoming more and more likely that Antonio Davis will stay with the Knicks.
- 10/22 - Profile of 6'7" swingman Kasib Powell, one of the few non-guaranteed players left in camp.
- 10/23 - Profile of 6'9" forward Randy Holcomb, now the most likely to win the final roster spot. (By the way, I love reading stories about those on the fringe of the NBA. While I won't go as far as to say their lives are grueling, they sure aren't glamorous).
- 10/25 - Bulls may make a trade in the future for a Nene or Jamal Magloire.
The trend over these stories suggests an increased concern over the suddenly undersized frontline, as while frontcourt players Tyson Chandler and Othella Harrington remain, the Bulls did give up height by subtracting Curry and Davis while adding Michael Sweetney and Darius Songaila.
But is this really a problem? Curry had the height of a traditional center but hardly utilized it on defense. Sweetney, while smaller, has a strong enough base (nice way of saying he's a fatty) to hold his position, and has a long wingspan to make him 'play tall' as scouts like to say.
Between Davis and Songaila, the difference isn't much in height (Davis is basically a former PF who lost his hops with age) as it is with their defensive ability. Songaila is a hustle player for sure, but isn't the defender Davis (even an aging version) was. Remember also that 6'11" Malik Allen was another offseason addition, who is not known as a defender but can't be worse than Jared Reiner in that area.
The specific measurements of a player have value confined to the announcing of the starting lineups. Being able to say the Bulls had a huge front line of Curry, Chandler, and Deng was a fun fact, but the ability and performance of the players means much more.
While 'undersized' in the media guide, the new Bulls front line should be able to hold their own on the court. I'm not saying that long-term this couldn't be an issue, but the idea of rushing into a trade before the season seems unwarranted. With 2 first-round picks and ample salary cap room this summer, if it really turns out to be a problem the team can better address it either next summer or at the trade deadline. As it stands now I don't see the dropoff due to their summer moves that others do.