Sunday, February 22, 2009

Timmay's Take on Tha Bulls

Since Tim-Tim is too busy having fun to learn how to use blogger and be an actual Nextians contributor, I asked him to comment on the Bulls recent trades and acquisitions via email. Below are his thoughts on how Next he feels the Bulls are after the deals. And in case you didn't know, Timmay lives in Chi-town and has a huge Derrick Rose poster on his bedroom wall (seriously, I've seen it):

Let's take a look at the haul that Chicago took in vs. what they gave up.

Trade #1 - Nocioni, Gooden and Ruffin for Miller and Salmons
I love this trade! Adding Miller and Salmons is nice; but just as importantly they got rid of Nocioni. Noch was a fan favorite for his intensity and his exuberance. With that said, he has gotten worse over the last three years. He once was a spark plug off the bench who played tough defense and hit big shots. Now, he is completely lost on the court, shoots a lot (at a low %), is a sieve on defense and can't dribble. Finally, he really didn't have a position (should be a 3 not a 4). Gooden was the only back to the basket scorer the Bulls had and frankly was having a nice season outside of the injuries. I like his double-double activity and his contract was nice to have as the Bulls look to the future (expires after the year).

In addition to the addition by subtraction noted above, we are getting an offensive big man and and a versatile and big 2. Miller is nice because he plays well with others and doesn't need to score to be effective. Let's be honest, he will be the 4th/5th option in this offense after Gordon, Rose, Deng. He really isn't a back to the basket scorer and his $12MM contract are both negatives, but his contract expires prior to the all important 2010 free agent bonanza. As noted above, Salmons is the real benefit to the deal. He gives them a big 2 who can defend the big guards in the league. From what I recall, he is a good defender and will be an asset on the defensive end. Additionally, he can score coming off of the bench and provide what Gordon used to provide coming off of the bench. Hopefully, he accepts the demotion to the bench - or Gordon is willing to move back to the 6th man role. His contract is also very reasonable.

Trade #2 - Hughes to NY for Thomas, James and Roberson
Again, this is addition by subtraction. Hughes is a cancer and his contract is outrageous. He is a selfish player who can't be good to have around D-Rose (though I don't think Rose would be affected by much because he is a cool customer). He was #5 on the guard depth chart and only the Knicks can pay $11MM/year to a guy who doesn't play. Tim Thomas is a decent player who will fill the bench role voided by Nocioni as a shooter from the 4 spot. As I recall, the guy is pretty clutch (see his days in Phoenix). He is also a veteran that has been around and can hopefully guide some of our young guys a bit as he seems like a good team guy. We all know that James is a waste of space, but can he be any more of a waste of space than Aaron Gray? Doubtful. For that reason, he may be a slight upgrade at that spot.

Trade #3 - Sefolosha to OKC for a #1 pick
I like Sefolosha and he is a good defender who can guard a bunch of positions. He defends, rebounds, plays hard and can excel in an up-tempo environment. I think Sefolosha should be a good addition for OKC. With that said, the addition of Salmons and our depth at guard made him expendable. To get a #1 pick for him - even if it is a late one is decent. At least they didn't just give him away like they did with J.R. Smith.

All-in-all, John Paxson's last trading deadline may be remembered for not getting Amare or Bosh. If I should ever find out that he declined a deal containing Tyrus Thomas, I will march down to the UC and cancel my 11-game package. Paxson has stated his fear to trade Tyrus and his play leading up to the deadline was spectacular. However, Thomas will never be a back to the basket player and will never be the guy who can run the pick and roll with Rose. That said, I don't think that Phoenix or Toronto really wanted to make a deal for Thomas and some of the expiring contracts.

Overall, I have high grades to the deadline deals. We get 3 guys who will be added to the rotation along with a #1 pick and we rid ourselves of our 2 worst contracts in exchange for 3 rotation players. Each of the 3 exchanged rotation pieces are upgrades (significant upgrade on Salmons from Sefolosha and slight upgrades from Miller/Thomas for Gooden/Nocioni). Did I mention, we got rid of $11MM/year invested in Hughes and $10MM over 4 more years with Nocioni! Those were two of the worst contacts in the NBA - ask Bill Ford. Finally, if we chose not to re-sign Gordon this off season, we set ourselves up for an opportunity to go get Amare or Bosh in 2010 to team up with Rose and Deng. I am 100% sure that Bosh will be available and Chicago is a big enough draw to bring in a marquee guy in free agency.


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