The Chicago Bulls have finally snapped their 10-game losing skid, but do they have enough time to hop back into the playoff chase now? Being two and a half games back with just 12 left to play, the odds are against Vinny Del Negro & Co., but did anyone really think the Bulls would actually win five in a row during their cross-country road trip in January?
So, who knows how this season is going to play out? In the meantime, let's dip back into the mailbag and see what's going on. As usual, judging by the amount of questions I get regarding this summer's free agent class, I'm not sure how many people really care about how this season ends up anyway ...
I don't want to talk about the playoffs. What about next season -- who do they spend the money on? I think LeBron is tired of the Midwest and looking East. Bosh seems like the best fit ...
Gordy B (Evanston )
Like I've been saying all year, I don't think LeBron is leaving Cleveland. It's my own personal belief. I think his situation is too good there and that team is too close to winning a title. Sure, if he came to Chicago the Bulls would be, too, but I still don't think he is going to leave his hometown team. As for the best fit question, I've gone back and forth with this one, but after seeing both Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh play live a few times this year I'd have to say Bosh would be the best fit. He would provide the Bulls with another major presence down low and probably 20 points and 12 rebounds every night.
More than that, though, I've seen Wade coast his way through a few games this season. He doesn't seem to play as hard as he possibly can all the time and with his style of play I don't think his body is going to last through the length of a max deal. I'm not saying Bosh would be the same player six years from now either, but I don't think he would break down as fast. He would give you the same effort every night and would compliment Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah very well.
Who do you think will have a better NBA career, Derrick Rose or John Wall?
Chris (Houston, Texas)
Ah, yes. The John Wall question. Another one I get at least once a week. I actually asked Derrick about this last week and he just laughed. Seriously, who knows how these guys careers' will unfold right now? Rose is still just 21 years old. Wall is just 19. They are both ridiculously talented. Can't we just wait and see? No ... OK, if I had to pick one guy right this second it would be Rose because I think his supporting cast is only going to get better. Noah, Deng, a possible free agent ...
But again, who knows? Wall could go to the Nets and they may somehow be able to lure LeBron away. I doubt it -- but it's an idea that has been floating around out there.
All right everybody, thanks for all the questions. I will talk to you guys next week.
Why does everyone keep talking about free agents and forgetting the Bulls? Rose, Deng, Noah, Gibson and [James Johnson] plus one or two max depending on [Kirk Hinrich] and other contracts. Why would a star not want to play in this city with that core? That's a great core for the next 7-10 years.
Chris, I don't think anybody has forgotten the Bulls. I think most people realize what a great core the team has and most teams around the league are scared that the organization, (and the city), have a chance at attracting one of the top free agents this summer.
With the whole free agency thing coming up,can you really see the Bull's being so unlucky as to not land a superstar (i.e. chris bosh or LeBron James)? Are [the Bulls] more in tune for a Joe Johnson, Carlos Boozer ... instead?
Patrick (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.)
Ah, so I take it you don't think Johnson and Boozer are superstars, Patrick. I'd tend to agree, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't be good fits on this team. Both would fit in well with the Bulls' core at the moment. Having said that, I don't know if I would call it unlucky if the Bulls didn't land James, Wade or Bosh. Again, I don't think James and Wade are leaving their respective cities. Bosh may end up in Chicago, but the Bulls will be fighting the Raptors, the Heat and several other teams for his services.
I think the Bulls will eventually land someone, but the odds of it being one of those top-tier guys aren't as high.
Nick, keep up the good work.What's up with the way the coaching staff has been handling James Johnson lately? It seems that even when he plays well in the first half or has a favorable matchup in which he is having success he is still stuck on the bench in the second half. I'm sure they have some cliche answer about not making mistakes or something like that but bottom line is that he has been playing well.
Joey G. (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Obviously, there are a lot of James Johnson fans out there. I've gotten this question several times over the last week. I think the key is that the coaching staff is finally starting to develop more trust in Johnson. He has dropped about 20 pounds over the last few months and appears to have a renewed focus on basketball. If he works hard in the summer and proves to the organization that he wants to get on the floor more, I think he's got a chance to become a solid rotation contributor.