Chat with Nick Friedell
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Nick Friedell (1:01 PM)
What's going on, everybody? Let's get this chat started ...
A Penguin (Chicago)
We have seen two bulls teams the last few weeks. Which one is the real one, and what will happen to them when upper management starts trading pieces?
Nick Friedell (1:05 PM)
The real Bulls are somewhere in the middle. As I've said several times this week, I still can't believe they played so well during the end of the road trip. But, I'm even a little surprised that they followed that up by losing to the Clippers (again) and then the Sixers. If we've learned anything about the Bulls this year it's that they are consistently inconsistent. Whenever the team decides to start moving pieces I really don't think it will have a huge impact on this year's team. Whatever they get back in return should still be enough to help them get into the playoffs. If Noah can't get healthy though, all bets are off.
Biggy (Washington, NC)
Do we have any chance if Noah is out for an extended period?
Nick Friedell (1:08 PM)
Speaking of which ... The short answer here is -- not very much of one, at least for this season. Noah's plantar fasciitis is really hurting him. It's clear that he is not the same player he was earlier in the season. He isn't playing with the same energy because he is having a hard time walking around, let alone running up and down the floor. The only thing that is supposed to cure an injury like that is rest, but that is not something he has much of right now. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Bulls shut him down for a few games before the All Star break.
Mike (Lake Bluff)
Are the bulls really considering trading for Amare Stoudemire? The guy is injury prone and doesn't play defense. Also, what are the chances Kirk gets trade before the deadline to free of cap space?
Nick Friedell (1:13 PM)
Mike, I don't really think that Stoudemire is the right guy to go after, either. For all the reasons you mentioned, plus he is looking for a max deal. I don't think he is a max player. I'm sure the Bulls have looked into the possibility of dealing for him, but I'm also sure they've looked into dealing for a lot of people. In my opinion, he wouldn't be the best fit in Chicago. The Bulls need a back to the basket scorer in the post. Amare is that kind of player. As for Hinrich, I'd say it's 50-50 whether he stays or goes. My guess is that if the Bulls get a couple nice pieces in return (and cap space) he is probably out of here.
Danny (Notre Dame)
Nick,This current Bulls team could get a 5th seed in this year's playoffs. However, that would require keeping the entire team intact (not trading Kirk, Luol, Tyrus, etc). Would you be willing to trade some of the hefty contracts for ec's in order to build a "super team" next year. A Rose-Johnson-James-Bosh-Noah lineup sounds infinitely better than the one we have. Thoughts?
Nick Friedell (1:17 PM)
Danny, First of all, I don't see how in the world the Bulls would ever be able to sign Johnson, James and Bosh this summer. But, I would be in favor of the Bulls doing anything they possibly can to clear space out for this summer's free agent class. Even if the team kept everyone intact right now they still wouldn't win a title this year. If they clear out enough cap space and sign a couple big name free agents this summer then suddenly that could become a possibility next season.
What do you think of a Ray Allen and his expiring deal to Chicago for Heinrich and J. James, the bulls will then clear up an extra 9 million for next year to try and go for two max players.
Nick Friedell (1:22 PM)
I've read the rumors like you guys have. I like the idea of bringing Allen to Chicago ... a lot. Although, I don't think the Celtics would do this deal without having the Bulls throw in Tyrus Thomas as well. I still think the Bulls should think long and hard about this move, if it's even a possibility. Allen would give them the outside shooter they've been missing since Ben Gordon left town and they would also clear out even more cap space. Losing Hinrich and Thomas would hurt in the short term, but if the Bulls are serious about trying to sign TWO big time free agents this summer then they should probably go for it. If they can re-sign Allen to a smaller deal after the season ends, even better.
Why doesn't VDN play Tyrus Thomas more ? Especially with all the bigs dealing with some type of injury ? He played well while he was in against the Sixers.
Nick Friedell (1:25 PM)
A good question. And one that we've asked VDN plenty this year. In short, I just don't think he trusts Tyrus that much. Sometimes Tyrus plays great, sometimes he really doesn't do much on the floor at all. I think VDN has gotten sick of trying to figure out which Tyrus he's got on a nightly basis. It doesn't seem like he's ready to give him anymore than 15-20 minutes a night no matter what he does.
Brandon (Lincoln Park)
Nick, no matter what the bulls do for the rest of this year, what do you think the chances are that VDN is the coach of the bulls next year?
Nick Friedell (1:29 PM)
Brandon, In my mind, the chances are not very good. The organization has had plenty of opportunities to give Vinny a public vote of confidence this season and has not done it. At this point, I'd be more surprised if the team didn't make a change. As I've said before, I think VDN deserves a lot of credit for keeping the team together when all the controversy surrounding his job was going around. But, in the end, I don't think it will matter. I think the Bulls will have a new coach at the beginning of next season.
What's the Bulls game plan if the big 4(Bosh, Wade, Johnson, LBJ) all sign somewhere else next summer? Do they panic and overpay for Boozer or Amare? Or do they go the trade route and sign lesser FA's to plug holes?
Nick Friedell (1:32 PM)
Another solid question. But I don't think they Bulls have even considered that scenario right now. I think they are going to go hard at all four of the players you mentioned and then see what happens from there. I would be surprised if they don't at least land Johnson. I've been saying it for a couple months -- I think he is probably the most likely free agent that will come here. Rose likes his game and wants to play with him and he would give the team a 20-25 ppg scorer.
Kirk (Columbus, OH)
Who do you think the Bulls should trade for?
Nick Friedell (1:35 PM)
Kirk, If I were the Bulls, the only thing I would be concerned about right now is trading for cap space. That's why the Allen deal makes sense to me. Unless you can trade for Bosh right now (which just isn't going to happen) why trade for anyone that you would have to worry about long term. Clear all the cap space you can and attack the free agent market this summer.
I think Johnson is the ideal fit as well and very signable, but with Atlanta playing so well, would he truly leave to sign a smaller deal with Chicago?
Nick Friedell (1:39 PM)
Doug, I think he would. Yes, the deal will be a little smaller, but by playing with Rose he will actually have a chance to win a title down the line. The Hawks are playing well, but I don't think anybody believes they are going to win a title anytime soon. Also, it can't be too much fun playing in front of a few thousand fans in Atlanta every night. If he came to Chicago he would play in front of a packed house every night and he would get a lot more exposure playing in this market. I'm not sure how much all of that is worth to him, but I do know that it is something he will have to consider.
When are we gonna get rid of Salmons? He has contributed nothing so far this season. Finally someone from the Bulls is going to the All-Star game(Rose). Will Derrick attract a big name in 2010 summer of FA to come play for the Bulls?
Nick Friedell (1:43 PM)
Joel, To answer your first question, I think the Bulls are going to have a tough time getting Salmons' contract off the books. As everyone knows by now, he has a player option worth well over six million and it's hard to believe he would opt out of that. To your second question, I do think Rose will be able to attract a big time free agent. He has the ability to open up the floor for the rest of his teammates. Almost all players would love to play with a guard like that.
Chances that James comes to Chi town?
Nick Friedell (1:45 PM)
Not good. I'm sure the Bulls will try to convince him to play here, but count me in the group that believes he's not leaving Cleveland.
Nick, do you honestly think Joe Johnson is a Max player at his age? I just think it would be a huge mistake maxing him out. Dont get me wrong he would be an ideal fit next to Rose but not at Max price.
Nick Friedell (1:47 PM)
Mike, Did you think Rashard Lewis was a max player? Didn't think so. Sometimes in this league you have to overpay to get what you want. Johnson may not be a max player, but he's not that far off either. There aren't many guys who can score 20-25 a night. And, like you said, he would fit nicely alongside Rose.
Chad W. (High Point)
Nick, Do you think that fans in Chicago expect to much from their NBA franchise? I think VDN has done a terrific job considering all the turmoil he has dealt with.
Nick Friedell (1:53 PM)
Chad, Fair question. No matter who the coach was this season, the Bulls weren't going to win a title. Like I said before, I think VDN has done a real nice job dealing with all the turmoil. But, I just don't think the organization believes that he is the right man for the job long term. The team was too inconsistent in the beginning of the year and hasn't gotten that much better since, despite their recent solid play on the road trip. Regardless of what the fans think, I think the organization has already made up its mind regarding Vinny.
Do you think DWade will leave sunny Miami for the harsh winters of Chicago?
Nick Friedell (1:53 PM)
No. He'll think about it, but I think he stays in Miami.
With Devin Brown now on the roster do you think the Bulls finally send James Johnson to the D-League? The guy needs to get some run and you can tell he's lost all confidence.
Nick Friedell (1:56 PM)
I don't think Johnson is headed to the D-League, but it wouldn't be a bad idea. He has struggled all year to crack the rotation and looks lost out on the court sometimes. He needs to have a solid summer and prove to the team that he can become the type of player that the organization thought it was getting.
Nick Friedell (1:59 PM)
All right, everybody. It was a great chat as usual. Thanks for all the questions. I will talk to you guys next week. Do you think the Bulls will have made a deal by then?