Chat with Nick Friedell
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 12:30 p.m. CT/1:30 p.m. ET!
Nick Friedell (1:31 PM)
What's going on everybody? Let's get this chat rolling ...
Nick, please tell me Noah and Gibson are not going to be traded. These guys have carried this team on this remarkable run. Are they safe? Can we keep Dunleavy too?
Nick Friedell (1:34 PM)
There is no longer an untouchable on the Bulls' roster. Having said that, I'd be very surprised if Noah or Gibson got dealt right now. Dunleavy has a better chance to be traded -- but the Bulls aren't just going to give him up for nothing. Like everybody else in the league, they want future first round picks in any deal.
Will Joakim make the all star team?
Nick Friedell (1:35 PM)
I think he will. He is playing the best all-around basketball of his career.
Jay (Orlando) [via mobile]
Hey Nick, it seems like the Bulls have found new life since the big trade. Why all of the sudden such a dramatic turn around?
Nick Friedell (1:38 PM)
The answer is Thibs. He got these players to believe that they could still win games and be productive in what many felt was a lost season. While Thibs may be the most important reason, getting Noah to buy in and play the way he has is just as important. Jo hates the fact that fans want the Bulls to give up on the year and he has made it his mission for people to remember this team.
Mike A., Lincolnshire [via mobile]
Are we looking to acquire anyone significant before the trade deadline?
Nick Friedell (1:40 PM)
Man, I never thought I'd be getting these type of questions a couple weeks ago. It's amazing what winning does. The answer is still no -- I think the Bulls are still in selling mode -- but they still have Thibs and Noah so they'll continue to win games.
Hey Nick! Show some love for a huge Cuse fan! Chances of Mirotic playing for the Bulls next year? Percentage wise...
Nick Friedell (1:42 PM)
The Cuse is in ... The Bahamas. As for Mirotic, right now I'd say it's less than 50% chance he comes over this summer. Let's go with 44% to rep the Cuse.
Hey Nick, is winter over yet? Anywho, do you think DJ Agustin stays as our backup PG when Rose returns? How is his play affecting the way the FO will go about Hinrich? Thanks!
Nick Friedell (1:44 PM)
I think there's a very good chance Augustin stays -- but it depends on what kind of money he gets elsewhere. The Bulls aren't going to break the bank for a backup point guard given Thibs' ability to get the most out of guys like C.J. Watson, Nate Robinson and now Augustin. As for Hinrich, there's a chance he could come back for the veteran's minimum, but he continues to have problems staying on the floor.
Tony (Mendota, IL )
Freaky Friedell!! It's been a while my man, but I have a question that I've been arguing with some people about, with no clear cut picture to the offseason, is there a chance Tony Snell could be a "Luol Deng"? I think he has all the parts and a great coach to get him where he needs to be. Thanks and it needs to warm up for real!
Nick Friedell (1:48 PM)
Deng is one of the better small forwards in the game and a two-time All-Star. Snell has a long way to go to get to that level but he does have one of the characteristics that sets Deng apart -- a great work ethic. Tony will continue working on his game and he's going to get much better but it's way too early to know if he's going to get to Deng's level.
Are all of Jimmy Butlers leg injuries affecting his jump shot or is he just a terrible shooter now?
Nick Friedell (1:50 PM)
Butler has spent thousands of hours working on his jump shot -- it's just not going down for him right now. I don't think it's the injuries as much as it's a lack of confidence in the jumper itself. Jimmy is at his best when he is driving to the rim and creating more space for himself. He'll continue putting in work on the jumper but he's got to start hitting more in games and he knows it.
Marko (Dorchester )
Why didn't Marquis Teague pan out?
Nick Friedell (1:51 PM)
Because he lost a lot of confidence in his game. And he didn't want to take jump shots -- that's a problem when you get to the NBA level.
Nick - Based on your previous statements that 1.) there isn't a clear cut premier free agent that will be coming to Chicago after this season and 2.) there isn't a premier player that Bulls can or will be able to trade for, can you clarify what exactly are management's plans for building the Bulls back into a contender? It's a little tough to see through the fog right now if you know what I mean.
Nick Friedell (1:55 PM)
I have one name for you: Nikola Mirotic. The Bulls believe that he is the real deal. They just don't know whether or not he will come over this summer. But that is the key -- they are convinced that with a healthy Rose, Noah, Mirotic, Butler and Gibson combined with Thibs they can make a run at a title. I still don't think that team has enough, but only time will tell. The key for the Bulls continues to be Mirotic though.
Forget injuries, Jimmy Butler has to be the most disappointing player on the Bulls this season, right? Now that Deng and Rose are gone, Butler should be at least the #2 option, but he has not stepped up at all.
Nick Friedell (1:59 PM)
The difference with Butler this year are the expectations. In many ways, he's the same player he was last season. He struggled with his shot at times last year as well. But everybody saw how he performed in the playoffs last year and figured he would take the next step. Now, he must prove that his offensive game is up to the task. He still has a lot of time to get better.
Frank Opalinski (San Antonio Texas)
Hi Nick, like listening to you on the Waddle and Silvy show when I am at work. My question is two fold do you see any possible way Derrick comes back for the playoffs and how good would a lineup of Rose, Anthony, Butler, Taj and Noah be next year with Mirotic, Augustine, Snell, and our 1st rounder next year look and is it possible.
Nick Friedell (2:01 PM)
Frank, I don't think Derrick is going to play this season, but I've learned never to say never as far as his status is concerned. As for next season, if Rose can stay healthy I think the Bulls can be very good -- I just don't see them winning a title until they get another scorer to play alongside Rose.
Hey Nick, With the cavs coaching being so terrible and deng wanting a chance at winning something, do you think it's possible Deng comes around on that 3 year 30 mill? Or is he more concerned with the money than it might appear? Thanks!
Nick Friedell (2:04 PM)
I don't think Deng is coming back to the Bulls for that deal. I think he wants 4 years and more money than the Bulls offered him.
Dave (Menomonee Falls, WI)
If Mirotic doesn't come over this summer, when does he come over?
Nick Friedell (2:05 PM)
It's 'year to year' -- I think that could become a new Thibs cliche.
Johnny Blaze (Morgan Park)
Nick... You are always saying the bulls won't get over the hump without another scorer to pair with Derrick. But you also say Carmelo would't be a good fit. Isn't that precisely what Carmelo is? Wouldn't he be a perfect defacto scorer in the 4th quarter if Rose isn't feeling it or getting double teamed? If not him, then who? or are we doomed?
Nick Friedell (2:08 PM)
I've actually said that while Carmelo may not be the best fit around Rose, he is the best possible fit right now because he's the only star out there that the Bulls have some chance, however small it may be, of landing. The problem with a Melo deal is that the Knicks would certainly ask for Noah, Gibson and a pick or two in return. Would Bulls fans want to do that deal? Then the core is Rose/Melo/Butler/Snell -- maybe Mirotic. That's not enough either.
Hey Nick, in his limited time in the starting line up this year, Taj is really stepping up his game. I would think the Bulls would be crazy to keep Boozer on this roster for next year. It's clear to anyone watching that Taj can actually protect the rim (instead of Boozer yelling 'Get outta there') also I think the ball movement is actually better with Taj on the floor instead of Boozer, thoughts? If we do amnesty Boozer, do you think we can add a quality FA, if so what position, or are we just banking on Mirotic this summer?
Nick Friedell (2:11 PM)
Rob, I agree on Taj. I think he's elevated his game to a point where he could start for this team. The problem for the Bulls is that even if they amnesty Boozer's final year, they still don't have enough to add a max free agent. If they use $8-9 million on Mirotic, they don't have much money to get other big pieces. Either way, Gibson is ready to play bigger minutes.
Wouldn't this be the best time to trade Boozer? Trade him to a willing team and include the Kings protected 1st round pick we just got. Someone will bite, and we can get back a back-up PF or play Toko
Nick Friedell (2:14 PM)
It's time for the weekly reminder that no team wants to take Boozer back in a deal because no team wants to pay him almost $17 million next season. The Bulls are the only team that can amnesty the final year of his deal.
Nick Friedell (2:18 PM)
All right everybody -- thanks for the questions. I will talk to you guys next week from New Orleans. If you're at a game this week come over and say hello.