Doug Thonus' latest Bulls Beat podcast is delightfully lockout-minimal, and instead looks at two of the top free agent shooting guards this (coming?) offseason: J.R. Smith and Jason Richardson.
As with anything in these lockout times, it involves some assumptions, such as cap exceptions still existing. This is different than the KC Johnson expectation (nay, DREAM) that the Bulls will instead have to rely on minimum-contract-only options. But like Doug, I'd rather not think of options like Anthony Parker. And he brings up some interesting points in these two options as well as SG search as a whole:
- The qualifications needed: Shot creation, jumpshooting, ballhandling, defense? There are no perfect options (else they likely wouldn't be 'mid-level' free agents) so you have to make concessions somewhere. I'm still on Team-Mayo due to the ballhandling, by the way.
- How based on Richardson's criteria, the Bulls do seem to be a good fit.
- What makes a 'bad guy' vs. a 'bad teammate'. J.R. Smith has had his brushes with the law (and that's putting it lightly depending on your view), but unlike some other troublesome NBA players (Doug brings up Rasheed Wallace) he's also been consistently considered bad teammate and hard to coach. The latter trait is the more alarming than what's off-the-court, as is 'selfishness' in terms of actual on-court action. As much as I mock the Bulls zeal in searching for 'character', (for instance: that Anthony Parker link above...he's from Chicago! his sister may be better than him! Hold on I have to clean up puke from my keyboard!) you don't want someone disrupting the flow of a possession consistently like J.R. Smith can do, nor being an outright ass to coach Thibs. I don't think that absence of 'character' is evidence of poor character, but Smith seems to be especially risky in that department.
- On a similar note, the need to either find a true starting ('lead'? Bogans perhaps ruined the word 'starting') SG going into next season. Simply adding more options instead of consolidating for a better one could actually hurt the team considering that Brewer, Korver, and Watson are already going for minutes at that position. And this also seems counter to my feelings on chemistry, but I do believe that poor chemistry can hurt, just moreso that 'great' chemistry isn't that useful compared to talent.
So go check that 'cast out for Doug's opinions on those matters, it's good stuff.