Tag:Chicago Bulls
Posted on: July 27, 2010 6:12 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2010 8:30 pm
 

Offseason Reviews: Central Division

Posted by Matt Moore

With only a handful of free agents left on the market and with summer league over, we thought we'd take a look at how teams in the Central Division did over the summer in negotiating their moves.

Chicago Bulls

Added: Carlos Boozer (sign-and-trade), Kyle Korver (free agency), Ronnie Brewer (free agency), Kurt Thomas (free agency), C.J. Watson (trade)
Lost: Kirk Hinrich (trade), Hakim Warrick (sign-and-trade), Brad Miller (free agency)

Philosophy: "Why have excellent when you can have above-average?"

Well, hey, they didn't get LeBron. Or Dwyane Wade. Or Chris Bosh. Or Amar'e Stoudemire. But they got Carlos Boozer!

And sure, they didn't get Anthony Morrow. Or J.J. Redick (though they tried). But they got Kyle Korver!

And that's pretty much the Bulls summer. The Bulls swung out on the big boys and got the next best thing they could rustle up. Boozer's numbers are good, and he certainly solves a lot of their needs. That's really what it comes down to. All of the Bulls' signings were exactly what they needed, they just weren't the best guys they could get. Carlos Boozer gives them a low-post power forward with offensive versatility. He's just not Amar'e Stoudemire or Chris Bosh. Kyle Korver adds three-point shooting,and was a better option than even Anthony Morrow would have been. Ronnie Brewer may have been their best signing. They essentially took Kirk Hinrich, a defensive combo-guard that can't really shoot anymore (I'll never figure out where his shot went), and his considerable salary and moved him for Brewer, a defensive combo-wing that can't shoot.

It's hard to knock the Bulls, since they did at least stay aggressive, and did make moves. And trying to grade them based on expectations in this competitive of a year is tough. But with one of the biggest markets, cap space, and a handful of advantages, you still have to look at their moves and ask "Really?"

Grade: B-

Cleveland Cavaliers

Added: Ramon Sessions (trade), Ryan Hollins (trade), Christian Eyenga (draft)
Lost: LeBron freaking James (sign-and-trade), Delonte West (trade), Sebastian Telfair (trade), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (free agency)

Philosophy: "Not with a bang, but with 'The Decision'"

Yeah, I think this pretty much sums it up .

How do you judge them for this? How do you evaluate them after losing the most important player in franchise history in one of the most embarrassing ways possible? Can you blame them? Can you exonerate them simply because of James' classless behavior? At the end of the day, it's the responsibility of a front-office to make the team the best it can be. And in this case, it didn't. Whether there were forces beyond their control or foresight is irrelevant. We are judged by our performances, and the results sadly speak for themselves.

Sessions is a great pick-up, though, and Hollins has some potential outside of the triangle.

Grade: F+

Detroit Pistons


Added: Greg Monroe (draft), Terrico White (draft), Ben Wallace (re-signed)
Lost: none

Philosophy: "Running in place is good for the soul."

Such a wasted opportunity. Rip Hamilton, out there to move, with teams who missed out on the Big 3 needing impact players. Tayshaun Prince, same deal. Rodney Stuckey, conceivably expendable. Instead, Joe Dumars and company elected to simply do nothing. No additions, no trades, no moves. Just the consistency of mediocrity. Perhaps the idea is that things could not go as badly as they did last season. And it's hard to argue against that, with all the injuries. But the problems remain with an ineffective frontcourt and an inconsistent backcourt. There was still a lot Dumars could have pursued, he's pulled off those moves before. But instead he seems convinced that this roster as constructed can get the job done.

The shining light? Greg Monroe looks good. Really good. The kind of low-post player they've needed for years and have been getting by with Kwame Brown for. The wasted opportunity docks them, but their draft was solid enough to save them to a degree.

Grade: C-

Indiana Pacers


Added: Paul George (draft), Lance Stephenson (draft), Magnum Rolle (draft)

Lost:
none

Philosophy:
"The vague semblance of a plan."

The Pacers did the same amount of stuff that the Pistons did, so they get the same grade right? Sadly, no. Fair is not always equal. The Pacers get a much improved grade from years past thanks to their willingness to go away from what has been their calling card. Instead of opting for big-resume players from major programs in college and veteran marginal free agents, the Pacers went with talent. Best talent available. And now? They have a roster with movable veteran pieces (Ford, Murphy, Foster), with replacements in place for them, and have managed to get involved in multiple talks for Granger without losing leverage.

Lance Stephenson, even if Summer League was a complete mirage, has long-term value to be able to invest in at both the point guard and combo-guard position. George has long-term development potential. Roy Hibbert has been given opportunities to develop and showed signs last year, and they didn't do anything in the draft or free agency to interfere with that. Even Magnum Rolle looks like a decent backup prospect.

I don't really know how to live in a world where I'm about to give this grade, but I'm going to.

Grade: B+

Milwaukee Bucks


Added:   John Salmons (re-signed, Drew Gooden (free agency), Corey Maggette (trade), Jon Brockman (trade), Keyon Dooling (free agency), Larry Sanders (draft), Darington Hobson (draft), Tiny Gallon (draft)
Lost:   Luke Ridnour (free agency), Kurt Thomas (free agency), Royal Ivey (free agency), Charlie Bell (trade), Dan Gadzuric (trade), Darnell Jackson (trade)

Philosophy:
"LOCK AND LOAD."

I love what the Bucks did. I hate what the Bucks did. I totally understand what the Bucks did. I'm completely baffled by what the Bucks did.

Okay, here's what we know.

John Hammond believes this roster can contend. Andrew Bogut, when healthy, can be the cornerstone. Brandon Jennings will only get better. They have movable assets of value. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is versatile and talented at multiple positions. They needed scoring. A high-volume, high-usage, efficient shooter that isn't named Michael Redd Who Has No Legs. So they got Corey Maggette. Nice. That works. Sure, Maggette's a defensive question mark, but we've seen terrible defenders become semi-decent in good systems, and the Bucks have one of the best around. They re-signed Salmons, for a lot less than I thought he would garner in this market. They now have offense and defense.

But in addition to that, the Bucks got gluttonous. Drew Gooden, for the amount of money he was signed for is fairly unforgivable. Three days later, Hammond got Salmons back for a quality price. It was like every move they made, they followed with one on the other end of the sense spectrum. One thing is for certain: the Bucks are good at power forward. After watching Larry Sanders look fairly incredible at Summer League, I'm ready to commit to a bet that the Bucks will lead the league in blocks next season. With Bogut, Gooden, Mbah a Moute, Sanders, and whoever else gets in on the act, I think they have a good shot at that.

The question is if the unbalanced nature of their acquisitions (all high-usage players) will maintain a balance with their defense to ensure they reach last year's performance and exceed it. And on that front, it's a mixed grade.

Grade: B-



Posted on: July 27, 2010 11:34 am
Edited on: July 27, 2010 11:36 am
 

What's actually in your food at the arena?

Posted by Royce Young

A report on Outside the Lines Monday looked in detail at stadium food and the vendors that serve it.  The report compiled inspection reports for 107 venues and the results were pretty interesting. Or maybe actually, disturbing.

For instance, remember how Ted Leonsis said he was going to take everything up a notch for the Wizards' home games to make fan experience as good as it can be? Well, maybe instead of urinal cup holders he should start with removing the mice droppings for his concession stands. One hundred percent of the vendors in the Verizon Center were found in criticial violation. Yikes.

Some of the worst scores in the NBA :
  • Utah Jazz: 50 percent found in critical violation (Hot dogs waiting to be served had dropped below safe temperatures at several locations)
  • San Antonio Spurs: 48 percent (Inspectors found 18 pounds of hot dogs that had expired more than 10 days prior.)
  • Dallas Mavericks: 40 percent (Expired milk, brown lettuce and employees caught drinking or eating while they were working in the stand accounted for some of the stadium's critical violations.)
  • Portland Trail Blazers: 53 percent (In a cooler, inspectors found raw meat and seafood stored above ready-to-eat tacos during a prior inspection.)
  • Charlotte Bobcats: 73 percent (At one location, inspectors found debris under a slicer blade and pulled three pans that needed to be cleaned again.)
  • New York Knicks 61 percent (At one stand, inspectors found "53 mouse excreta" including 38 on top of a metal box underneath the cash registers in the front food-prep/service area and 15 on top of a carbonated-beverage dispensing unit.)
  • Orlando Magic: 75 percent (At a location that sells fish, inspectors found potentially hazardous ready-to-eat food not consumed/sold within a week of opening/preparation.)
  • Miami Heat: 93 percent (Critical violations included several safety issues related to electrical wiring and such equipment as gas boilers.)
  • Denver Nuggets: 67 percent (At one bar, inspectors found phorid flies, sometimes called coffin flies, in a bottle of cognac.)
So who can't wait to take their family to a ballgame and have some nachos with a side of phorid flies? Me either!

Some of the best were the Bulls and Raptors who had a stellar zero percent found in critical violation, the Thunder, the Lakers and Clippers, the Cavs, the Rockets, the Grizzlies and the 76ers. All of those scored under 20 percent.

Nobody goes to a game thinking they're getting a five star meal. And every food establishment battles these issues. But regardless, it's eye-opening. Knowing that mice poo could be near your hot dog in Madison Square Garden or raw meat next to some tacos in Portland is a little disturbing. Well, scratch that. A lot disturbing.
Posted on: July 27, 2010 8:51 am
 

McGrady doubtful for Bulls

Posted by Matt Moore

It seemed like such a fine idea. The Bulls need veteran scorers. Tracy McGrady is a veteran scorer that needs a team. The Bulls almost added him in the draft, and then again almost added him in free agency. Here's a chance for him to finish his career on the team. They need depth at wing. McGrady's willing to come off the bench. It seemed like such a fine idea.

Except for that pesky thing called reality.

Sam Smith of Bulls.com reports on McGrady's workout with the Chicago Bulls yesterday, and it did not go well. It should come as no surprise that McGrady has lost his explosiveness, but hearing the words "ordinary player" used to describe him has to damage the ego. What's worse, from Smith's report, it would seem that the biggest problem with McGrady was not his play, but the circus he brought with him.

McGrady followed the workout by talking at length about what he can bring to the team, how he can help the Bulls contend for a title. That assessment belies a continuing denial on the part of McGrady regarding his own impact on the floor. What's worse, McGrady told reporters that along with Carlos Boozer, he could help the Bulls win percentage improve by 30 points to .800. So, you know, just about 25 wins.

McGrady can contribute, but he's got to be honest about who he is and what he brings. He should talk about bringing leadership and consistency (without specifically referencing his own playoff resume which lacks both of those attributes). He should not set expectations or maek projections. But with the Bulls, according to Smith, it may already be too late. Smith says it's "doubtful" the Bulls sign McGrady.

The circus rolls on to the next town.
Posted on: July 26, 2010 8:38 am
Edited on: July 26, 2010 2:36 pm
 

Shootaround: 7.26.10

Posted by Royce Young
  • Stan Van Gundy isn't a true believer in this CP3 to Orlando stuff : "Much ado about nothing,'' Magic coach Stan Van Gundy Saturday told the Orlando Sentinel when asked about reports linking his team to Paul. "We are only involved in this story because someone said he wants to be traded and someone said he wants to come to Orlando,'' Van Gundy told FanHouse Sunday. "It's a New Orleans and Chris Paul story.''
  • Hornets' fans are disappointed with Chris Paul. And how could you blame them? Any time a player wants out of a contract or asks for a trade, it's seen only as betrayal. And for a guy like Paul who seemed so happy in New Orleans just a few years ago, asking out now just looks like a copout.
  • KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune on Tracy McGrady's situation: "The Bulls have made no definitive decisions on the future of Tracy McGrady, who will work out for management on Monday. McGrady, a seven-time All-Star, is trying to find a home after playing just 30 games last season because of microfracture surgery on his left knee in February 2009. McGrady has been effusively public in his desire to play for the Bulls, whom he toyed with in 2000 free agency."
  • More advice from LeBron to CP3, as Frank Isola of the NY Daily News shares : "It is being reported that LeBron James is advising Chris Paul that he should remain in the Western Conference thus forming a potential rivalry with the Miami Heat should Paul's new team and Miami both reach the Finals. Can you imagine getting career advice from this guy? I'm really hoping that Paul hung up the phone when James offered that suggestion. If LeCon cares so much about rivalries, why did leave Cleveland to play second banana to Dwyane Wade?"

Posted on: July 25, 2010 3:31 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2010 3:32 pm
 

Bulls ready to sign McGrady

Posted by Royce Young

The Bulls are prepared to sign Tracy McGrady if he proves to be healthy enough for their liking in a workout Monday and can convince the team he is willing to accept a bench role, Marc Stein of ESPN reports .

McGrady is a player willing to take a paycut as Stein mentions, mainly because he made $23 million from New York and Houston last season. And if Chicago is to sign him, he'll surely take a significant dip in pay.

McGrady is still just 31, but has battled numerous injuries over the past few season. Regardless, he'd be a welcome addition to the young Bulls that are definitely looking for some scoring punch to go with Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer. Last season in New York he averaged just 9.4 points per game in 24 starts, but that was coming back from serious microfracture surgery on his left knee. At times, most notably his first game with the Knicks, McGrady showed flashes of what could be if he can get back in shape and regain just a little bit of his form.

T-Mac worked out for the Clippers last week as well, but that appears to been more of a show in order to persuade Chicago to pull the trigger in offering up a deal. McGrady has long wanted to play in Chicago as he nearly signed with the Bulls in 2000 and drew serious interest before the draft in 1997.

McGrady would be Chicago's sixth acquisition this offseason, joining Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson and Kurt Thomas. The Heat made the big splash this offseason, bu quietly, the Bulls are building a pretty scary roster. If McGrady is added and can somehow summon some of his talents back, the East will be very interesting this year.

Posted on: July 22, 2010 12:40 pm
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Posted on: July 22, 2010 10:04 am
Edited on: July 22, 2010 10:06 am
 

Bulls are looking closely at T-Mac

Posted by Royce Young

Yesterday, Tracy McGrady tweeted , "Clippers, Bulls, Lakers, Heat.... but that could change by the morning... lol.. this is the NBA."

He's already worked out for the Clippers and according to reports, the Bulls are taking a closer look too. David Aldridge of NBA.com reports McGrady will work out for Chicago on Monday.
The Bulls have already had a very busy summer, signing power forward Carlos Boozerl, shooting guards Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver and completing a sign-and-trade earlier this week for backup point guard C.J. Watson from the Warriors. McGrady could provide veteran insurance at small forward for Chicago behind Luol Deng, who has battled injury in the past few seasons.

But hold that thought one second. Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago writes it's "unlikely" the Bulls move on McGrady. His reasoning: "Sure, there is a chance that he could fit into the laid-back atmosphere of the Bulls' locker room, but the risk of him becoming a disturbance to the young core the organization already has in place may be outweigh any positives that McGrady's presence in a Chicago uniform could bring."

But all of that is just opinion on the part of Friedell. While it's sound thought, the fact that McGrady probably wants to be in Chicago on a rising, contending team and the fact the Bulls would love a little veteran presence and sem-reliable scorer makes it a nice fit.

Posted on: July 20, 2010 8:13 am
Edited on: July 20, 2010 9:59 am
 

Shootaround: 7.20.10

Posted by Royce Young
  • For whatever reason, Matt Barnes has become one of the most talked about free agents on the market this offseason. And yesterday, he appeared headed to Toronto in a sign-and-trade . However, because of some miscalculating, Marc Stein reports the deal is possibly dead : "Since Toronto recently spent the bulk of its $5.8 million mid-level exception to sign Linas Kleiza , it doesn't have the available funds to sign Barnes outright to a deal that starts in the neighborhood of $4 million. The Magic, though, are prevented by salary-cap rules from starting a sign-and-trade deal for Barnes at higher than $2 million, because Orlando doesn't have Barnes' full Bird rights after employing him for only one season. A sign-and-trade deal would also have to span at least three years, although only the first year is required to be guaranteed."
  • Henry Abbott with nine things to know about Cho : "Given the soap opera in Portland's front office over the last few months, Cho's law school focus on "dispute resolution" could prove to be the most valuable element in his time in Portland."
  • There's been some concern that Amare Stoudemire won't be able to produce quite the same numbers without primo setup man Steve Nash orchestrating the offense. But Knicks assistant Phil Weber told the New York Post that Amare will be fine : "Everybody's going to look very good playing with [Nash]. But Amar'e in his own right, he's got the versatility, quickness and shooting ability, he's going to wreck havoc on the defense.''
  • Shoals writing on Free Darko about DeMarcus Cousins and how he relates to other players with character issues : "Cousins might seem to call into question whatever it is that Arenas and Beasley represented. On the contrary, in his contradictions, he make more urgent than ever the need to develop a more psychologically sophisticated approach to assessing prospects. Arenas asserted the right to be kooky, unpredictable, and obsessive; Beasley , incoherent, compelling and loud. That was a fair description of each at their best, and if their stories ended today, each would serve as a cautionary tale against this kind of player. Cousins , though, makes the case for the development of something new, something that might actually better equip a team for an Arenas or Beasley —that is, anyone other than an outright bust."
 
 
 
 
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