Chat with Nick Friedell
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Friday, 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 Friday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Nick Friedell (1:11 PM)
What's going on everybody? Hello from Dallas. Let's get this chat rolling ...
Would you prefer the Bulls go all in on Carmelo over the summer or do you think the better approach would be to bring over Mirotic, keep Gibson (who would likely have to go if we signed Carmelo) and also try to sign a player like Stevenson?
Nick Friedell (1:15 PM)
The Bulls know they need a second star. They know they need somebody to pair with Rose. The Bulls wouldn't have cap space to sign both Mirotic and Stepehnson. It's one or the other. That's why I always thought the best play was to go after Melo first.
If Jimmer to the Bulls has legs to it, how do you see him fitting in on the team & in the rotation of players?
Nick Friedell (1:19 PM)
All Thibs just talked about at shootaround was that the Bulls would always take more shooting. He wouldn't mention Jimmer by name but the general feeling around the team is that it's going to happen. I don't think he'll get much time to start -- Thibs has his rotation set -- but if he can shoot it well in limited minutes he will get a chance to contribute.
Kyle (Fort Wayne, IN)
Do you see Jimmer as maybe a smaller version of Kyle Korver for the rest of this year and if it works out 2-3 years after? Personally, I like him playing alongside Rose and really running that 2nd unit. He's a dynamic scorer if you put the ball in his hands, if you saw the game vs. New York a week or so ago I think you would agree.
Nick Friedell (1:22 PM)
Look, the biggest question with Jimmer has always been about his defense. If he can improve in that area then he'll find a way to stay on the floor. Thibs has a track record of getting the most out of poor defenders and making them better.
Josh (Chicago) [via mobile]
Hi Nick. I saw on your last chat that you were not convinced Mirotic would be here next season. If that were the case, do you still see the Bulls using the amnesty on Boozer and going after a SG like Stephenson, Hayward, or Turner?
Nick Friedell (1:25 PM)
If the Bulls can't land Carmelo and Mirotic doesn't come over -- then there's a good chance they still keep Boozer. They're only going to eat his money if they think they can get significantly better.
18 year season ticket holder here. I just want to do something most people won't and throw some support out there for Boozer. People need to stop complaining about his defense, we've had the leagues top three defense the past 4 years with him in the starting lineup so what more do people want. I bet no one could name a starting lineup in the league where all 5 players are all-nba defenders. People need to realize not many PF's in the league can consistently give you 15-10 a night. That's why if we can't sign a player this summer we might as well keep boozer. No sense of paying someone to not play for us when he can stay and contribute.
Nick Friedell (1:26 PM)
Matt, you are definitely in a minority here -- but I know Gar from Deerfield shares your sentiments.
Nick,With all the talk about Carmelo and Kevin Love as the only superstars with the Bulls have a realistic shot at... why isn't anybody mentioning Dwyane Wade as a piece? It's not set in stone that he returns to Miami, and since he's aging, he might not command the MAX deal other elite players want..
Nick Friedell (1:27 PM)
Steven, the reason is because I don't think anyone around the league believes Wade's knees will hold up in the long run.
Why are the Bulls content to be stuck in basketball hell? Without a second star they won't win a Championship. That is just the reality. So does management just care about making money from the dedicated Chicago fan base, or are they just delusional enough to think 1 star and then role players will actually win a title?
Nick Friedell (1:29 PM)
Trent, I think they're trying to get another star to come to Chicago. It's just tough given how few stars are out there. I believe the Bulls will spend the money to bring in another star player -- they just have to convince that star to switch teams.
Nick - In your mind, what do you think Chicago will or plans to do with their multiple first round picks (assuming they get Charlotte's, as well) - use both, trade up for a higher pick, or trade for a proven player/star?
Nick Friedell (1:30 PM)
I seriously doubt the Bulls will use all those picks. My guess is that they'll package one or two in a different deal. If they like someone a lot they'll try to move up -- but I don't think many teams want to trade out of the lottery this year.
Nick, recently the NFL salary has been reported to be flying through the roof... do you see a potential salary cap spike in the near future for the NBA? That would certainly help the Bulls in my opinion be able to attain another top-level player.
Nick Friedell (1:32 PM)
I'm sure the cap number will go up a few million in the next couple years. In my mind, the NBA has become the second most popular professional sport in this country behind the NFL.
Is it me or have the Bulls gotten better since the Deng trade?
Nick Friedell (1:34 PM)
The scary part is that they have. Guys know their roles and they are comfortable with that they are asked to do each night. Obviously, the Bulls still miss Deng and would love to have him -- but they are playing better as a group than at any other point this season.
Do you think Hinrich and Jimmer would play a lot together?
Nick Friedell (1:38 PM)
Sure. If Augustin and Hinrich can play together then surely Jimmer and Hinrich can play together.
As a supplement to Josh's question, would the Bulls still consider bringing Deng back, given the team's current success without him, and the development of Snell?
Nick Friedell (1:40 PM)
A lot of people have asked this question. The answer is simple -- I've learned with the Bulls to never say never, but I would be shocked if Deng came back to this organization this summer.
Wouldn't it be wise for the Bulls to consider trading Mirotic and their 2 first round picks for a star like Kevin Love (assuming Minnesota realizes he's leaving after next year) or any other star? Mirotic and those picks should have very good value.
Nick Friedell (1:42 PM)
Here's the problem: There's no guarantee that Mirotic is coming over to the NBA. A team isn't going to trade for him unless they know for sure he will come over to their team and play -- the Bulls don't even know that right now. So as far as trade value goes, Mirotic's isn't nearly as high as it could be at the moment.
People talk about adding a "second star". Nick, be honest, who is the Bulls "first star"? Rose, a man who hasn't played basketball in over two years and what little we have seen from him does not come close to a "star", in my opinion. I used to worship this guy, but I've lost all respect for him - especially his game. "Star"? Seriously???
Nick Friedell (1:44 PM)
Chris, Rose is still a former MVP of the league. I believe he will come back and be the same player -- but I realize the fans base has lost a lot of faith given what's happened the last few years. The issue is: Can he stay healthy? It's a question that nobody has an answer to right now.
Ian (Long Grove)
Do you agree that Jimmy Butler has received a lot of unfair criticism this year? I feel that even with his offensive struggles (likely due to injury, confidence issues, role changes,etc), he contributes so much to this team he is invaluable.
Nick Friedell (1:49 PM)
Ian, I've never gotten the sense that the criticism towards Jimmy was unfair -- it was just that people had to readjust the expectations surrounding him. He played so well in the playoffs last year and then got hurt early this season. The biggest thing that has changed for Butler is that he is dealing with injuries for the first time in his career. If he starts knocking down a few more shots he'll be fine.
Nick, please explain why the Bulls could not have kept CJ Watson, Kyle Korver and Marco Belinelli?
Nick Friedell (1:52 PM)
Well, they thought Hinrich was an upgrade over Watson. They thought Dunleavy was an upgrade over Belinelli and they didn't want to pay that much (with the luxury tax ramifications) to keep Korver.
What do you make of DJ's little slump? Just a temporary glitch or is he coming back to earth after playing over his head for a while?
Nick Friedell (1:55 PM)
Good question. I think he's been too good with the Bulls to keep playing this poorly -- but this is the type of play people in Indiana and Toronto saw over the last couple years. I think he'll snap out of it soon -- but it will be interesting to see.
Walter (Aurora) [via mobile]
Nick, I've been very surprised how the Bulls been playing as of late. Do you see any surprises come playoff time?
Nick Friedell (1:57 PM)
Walter, the Bulls feel as if they can make a push in the playoffs and surprise some people. I still don't see any way they beat Miami or Indiana -- but they are convinced they can make some noise.
Nick Friedell (1:58 PM)
I'm out of here everybody. I'll talk to you guys next week from Chicago. If you're at a game this week come over and say hello.