Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Thursday, Nick Friedell stops by to chat about the NBA season as well as the Chicago Bulls.
Friedell covers the Chicago Bulls for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.
Send your questions now and join the chat Thursday at 11:30 a.m. CT/12:30 p.m. ET!
Nick Friedell (12:28 PM)
Hello from Florida everybody ... let's get this chat rolling.
I know you probably keep hearing this question, but it is the most important question about this season. Thibs has been quiet about it, as expected, but what is your best guess about when Rose will return to the court?
Nick Friedell (12:30 PM)
Ah the Derrick question -- Like I've said all along, some time after the All-Star break, late Feb or early March. He looks and sounds a lot better, though.
Tyson [via mobile]
Who do you think the Bulls have on radar for trade?
Nick Friedell (12:33 PM)
Nobody this season. They are hard capped and they don't have a lot of space -- the only name I keep hearing is that of Rip Hamilton. If they can get something in return like a draft pick or a young player I think they would move him. Having said that, I don't the market for Rip is all that big. He hasn't proven he can stay healthy over the course of an NBA season anymore.
Was there any special reason Rose is with the team right now, or is he just at the point where he can travel with them without interrupting his rehab?
Nick Friedell (12:35 PM)
I think they just want to start getting him around the team more and more. When you look at the schedule this was the only real long trip the Bulls have this month. Most of their games are for one night somewhere and then they come back home.
Big Nick! Happy New Year!! So any type of trade for K Love, will likely take away any decent Bigs the Bulls have. Could you see them going after another big in the draft (Perhaps Mason Plumlee) or a legit 2 guard to develop next to Rose?
Nick Friedell (12:37 PM)
Thanks, Tim. Absolutely they would like to build in both of those areas, the problem is I don't think they want to move any of their assets right now to move up in the draft. Their scouting is going to have to find some gems later in rounds -- but they have done a relatively good job of that in the last couple years.
Tim Davidson (Chicago)
How far along is Derrick Rose in rehab? Is he able to dunk like he use to. Is he able to sprint?
Nick Friedell (12:39 PM)
The media hasn't been able to watch much of Derrick's workouts, but by all accounts is he running, cutting and feeling a lot better about things.
Nick. When does the Front Office start taking blame for this roster. Boozer's contract was horrendous and has crippled the moves this team can make. That along with trying to save every cent we can and then guaranteeing Nate's contract when he has been terrible just doesn't sit with me. I would rather see the Bulls blow it up and rebuild rather than stay dormant.
Nick Friedell (12:43 PM)
Boozer's contract has been bad -- there's no way around that. But at the time, he was the next best available option. Hinrich's contract has been bad up to this point, but most of the other deals have been fine. Deng has played at an All-Star level the past few years, the problem is that his deal was done in the old system. He's just not a player who would command $13-14 million a year these days. What truly crippled the Bulls was Rose's injury -- that's the biggest problem they have and has been a part of every decision they have made.
Nick (Glendale heights)
Alabama or Notre dame nick ? you are in south beach after all
Nick Friedell (12:44 PM)
Alabama. I've picked against Notre Dame all season so I'm not going to stop now.
Blaize(illinois) [via mobile]
What are the chances Jo plays tomorrow? Could be really big considering Miami is rather small
Nick Friedell (12:44 PM)
I know Jo is still sick, but I don't see any way he misses the Miami game. He loves playing against them.
Chris (Glen Ellyn, IL)
Do you think that having Rose more involved at practice negatively affected the Bulls play over the past week? They just haven't seemed focused.
Nick Friedell (12:45 PM)
No, not at all. They love having him around. The Bulls haven't played well because their defense and rebounding hasn't been great.
Ideally, as is suggested 500 times a chat session, we could trade Boozer. But everyone knows that no one would trade for boozer's contract. Any chance the bulls try to move noah in the off season instead? His value will be high coming off a season where he has been forced to put up offensive numbers. Boozer almost always plays well in noah's absence and Taj has shown he can pick up the slack on the boards and even playing some 5. Could trading Jo bring them the scoring 2 guard they covet?
Nick Friedell (12:48 PM)
I don't think it would get them the two guard they need, and even more -- I don't think the Bulls could afford to lose Noah without having Asik behind him. Having said that, as I've said before the only untouchable player on the roster is Derrick Rose. Everybody else could be dealt for the right price.
Hey Nick, how concerned is Thibs with the team being outrebounded 5 games in a row? Their defense has also been starting out very slow, any bright spots on the D that we are missing?
Nick Friedell (12:51 PM)
Nope -- Thibs is very upset about all this, I promise you that. He harps on these guys constantly about being better defensively and rebounding the ball. A big part, at least over the last two games, is that Noah has been sick, but it's a problem that Thibs knows he has to correct.
Do you see Jimmy B becoming a legit starting 2 guard next year for this team?
Nick Friedell (12:54 PM)
Not next season -- I think Thibs still prefers Hinrich because of his ability to help run the offense -- but Jimmy could end up being a starter if he starts knocking down his mid-range jumper consistently.
Lance (Asheville, NC) [via mobile]
Hey Nick do you believe that D-rose will be back to his regular minutes by the playoffs?
Nick Friedell (12:55 PM)
Maybe no 40+ a night, but I think he will be pretty close at that point.
Miguel (Los Angeles)
It seems that Taj always seems to do a a lot better in a starting role rather than coming off the bench. I understand Boozer has the big contract, but would it be impossible for Taj to move up to a starting role and Boozer come off the bench so the Bulls will have scoring with the 2nd team?
Nick Friedell (12:56 PM)
As long as Boozer is on the Bulls he will start. Thibs knows he has a fragile psyche and would lose him completely if he brought him off the bench.
How big do you think the loss of Asik is being felt? Nazr seems immobile and done in most games... can barely get down the floor sometimes and no lift
Nick Friedell (12:58 PM)
The loss of Asik was gigantic. The Bulls knew it was going to be -- that's why they tried so hard to re-sign him. Nazr is a nice guy but he is at the end of his career.
Robert (Puerto Rico) [via mobile]
When will mirotic start playing with the bulls?
Nick Friedell (12:59 PM)
They hope in a year and a half, but because of his contract situation with Real Madrid, nobody knows for sure.
When Derrick gets back, how do you think Thibs will have the rotation at point guard? Do you think Marquis Teague will ever get any burn, or will he be in the position like Jimmy was last year and be designated to the bench? Seems like Thibs gained some confidence in him in the minutes he has played...
Nick Friedell (1:01 PM)
When Derrick gets back, I don't think Marquis will get much time at all unless one of the guards gets hurt.
Nick,Tell me why I dont here the bulls in the running for cousins.If we could get rodman Y not cousins.\And would a straight up trade for noah be possible contract wise.
Nick Friedell (1:04 PM)
Here's why: Because there is no way Tom Thibodeau would let a guy like Cousins in his locker room. Cousins is very talented, but the negatives outweigh the positives. Thibs believes in having a strong locker room and the guess is that Cousins' behavior would help tear it apart.
Darnell (Chicago, illinois)
It's gonna be a tough night for the bulls at the sg position, but considering rip is just coming off a nagging injury does Marco pose a better matchup against wade.
Nick Friedell (1:06 PM)
This is the type of game/challenge that Rip will get up for. He's seen a lot of Wade in the postseason. I'm curious to see how he plays against him.
Nick, why is it every time Boozer shoots a jumper or especially a free throw, he yells "Ahh Get that Jo". I have kept count, he averages about 2.5 a game. What is wrong with the guy?
Nick Friedell (1:06 PM)
He loves talking on the floor. I just think it helps fire him up.
mo (glendale hts.)
Hey Nick, do you still believe the bulls will win 50 plus this season?
Nick Friedell (1:07 PM)
Yes, I still think the Bulls can win 50 games if they stay healthy from this point forward and get Derrick back. That's what I said before the season and I'm sticking to it.
I know thibs is very cautious with playing rookies, but dont you think teague brings more to the table than nate does,
Nick Friedell (1:08 PM)
Long term? Absolutely. Short-term? No. Nate has more confidence and although his offense is inconsistent, it's still more consistent than Teague's.
Mike (My Cube)
Nick, A stop on my bachelor party takes me to the UC on March 2 against the nets... Odds that we will get to welcome D Rose back??
Nick Friedell (1:12 PM)
Better than 50/50. You guys taking a trolley to the game? Good luck with the wedding.
Stuart (Saint John, IN)
Hey Nick even with good/great play from Boozer and Taj last night, how do you expect this team to finish out the year .500 or +/-? Thanks
Nick Friedell (1:13 PM)
Because there are a lot of bad teams in the NBA. Teams that don't play nearly as hard as the Bulls on a nightly basis.
You always tell us to come by and say hi if we're at the games. So I gotta ask, WHERE THE HECK CAN WE FIND YOU???
Nick Friedell (1:14 PM)
I'm right behind the visitor's basket on most nights.
You think Chicago is K-Love's most likely destination if he opts out in 2 years??
Nick Friedell (1:15 PM)
His most likely destination is probably somewhere in LA -- but the Bulls would have a decent chance.
Mr. Friedell, assuming Rose gets back this season, do you think there is going to be a long adjustment period since so many of these players have never played with Rose?
Nick Friedell (1:17 PM)
Yes, I think think there will be an adjustment period. This isn't the same team as it was before as everyone knows. I think it's going to take Derrick a little time to get into a rhythm will all the new guys.
Hey Nick, You think Durant would ever leave OKC if he doesn't have a ring by the time his contract expires?
Nick Friedell (1:18 PM)
I don't -- but you never know. The pull of a big market can be overwhelming for some guys.
Noah and boozer will never work. It has not and last night proved it again.Nick if not cousins for noah then who? Nick did we not see all of last yr and the yr before taj and Asik in the 4th quarter. and thats what counts who closes out games.because of noah and boozer not working out. Why would you get rid of 30pts and 11 brds a night? Why boozer struggles with joe baffles me. I will wait for your response thanks
Nick Friedell (1:21 PM)
I think the reason why Boozer struggles sometimes is because he wants to get the ball early and often. Understandably he wants to be the first option. With Jo and others on the floor, that's not always the case ...
Nick Friedell (1:21 PM)
Time for Waddle and Silvy everybody. I will talk to you guys next week.