Tag:Chicago Bulls
Posted on: July 16, 2010 2:39 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2010 9:23 pm
 

Ronnie Brewer signs with Chicago

Posted by Royce Young

Multiple outlets (Sam Smith , David Aldridge , Marc Spears ) are reporting that guard Ronnie Brewer has signed with the Bulls. The deal is reportedly three years, $12.5 million.

Reportedly, Brewer turned down an offer from Boston to sign with the Bulls.

Besides the fact that the Bulls should now be called the Chicago Jazz, this is a good signing for them. Brewer's an excellent athlete and quality defender that can shoot and get to the rim. He adds immediate depth in the backcourt and can play multiple positions. The Bulls lost out on J.J. Redick when the Magic matched his offer, so Brewer was a pretty nice Plan B.

Everyone is talking about the Heat's big offseason, but quietly, the Bulls have done a ton of work. Just these past few weeks Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer have all been added to the roster. They were able to keep Luol Deng who they thought they'd lose and now with Derrick Rose in his third year and the rise of Joakim Noah, the Bulls are starting to look pretty scary.

Brewer played last season in both Utah and Memphis, but hurt his knee almost immediately upon arriving with the Grizzlies. In 58 games he averaged 8.8 points per game.

Posted on: July 15, 2010 11:02 pm
 

Magic match Bulls to retain Redick

Posted by Matt Moore

True to their word, the Magic won't be letting J.J. Redick head to greener pastures (and a starting gig). NBA FanHouse's Tim Povtak reports that the Orlando Magic will match the 3-year, $19 million offer from the Chicago Bulls for Redick to retain his services.

The move is likely not the best news for Redick, who likely would have been in a position to compete for the starting shooting guard spot with the Bulls, and instead will continue to come off whenever Stan Van Gundy realizes Vince Carter has reached his nightly point-of-no-return. Redick has proven he can play back-up point or drain from the outside, and his defense, particularly on Ray Allen in the playoffs, has been exemplary.

But the Magic have committed to winning a championship, and that means spending. Van Gundy squashed Redick at the beginning of his career on his bench, but instead of bristling, complaining, and demanding a trade, Redick kept working, and became a defense-oriented player, while keeping the shooting stroke he made famous in college.

With the move, the Magic will be even further in the luxury tax, and you have to wonder if Marcin Gortat, or another frontcourt player is on the move for the Magic to take the sting off retaining Redick.



Posted on: July 15, 2010 10:21 am
Edited on: July 15, 2010 10:29 am
 

Clippers thinking McGrady

Posted by Matt Moore

The Clippers are considered one of the most woe-begotten teams in the NBA. So naturally, they're pulled towards one of the most woe-begotten players in the NBA.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Clippers are taking a good long look at Tracy McGrady, the former Rocket All-Star wing who finished play with the Knicks last season. McGrady, 31, is said to have piqued the interest of LA officials who are in need of a scoring swingman with Travis Outlaw departing for New Jersey.

McGrady showed flashes with the Knicks that he had a heartbeat, but also flat-lined after any sort of extended minutes adventure. Physically, there' just not much left there after more surgeries than Robocop. But the Clippers are willing to take a chance on him, because he provides an affordable (read: cheap) alternative that brings name value. It's not a solution to their problems, but really, what is?

McGrady is also interested in signing with the Heat, and the Bulls have considered adding McGrady as well.

Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:09 am
Edited on: July 9, 2010 2:53 am
 

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

Posted by Matt Moore

We told you for days that someone was going to lose the NBA free agency arms race. That several teams were going to lose. And tonight, the final blows were struck. With LeBron James announcing his intention to sign with the Miami Heat, every team but the Heat will fall into the losers category. From here on out it's just a matter of degrees. Here are the losers, in order of degree by which this day sucked:

Level 1- LeBrocalypse Devastation: First four Black Sabbath albums


1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Go ahead. Let it out. You too, Dan. Get it out of your system . In Comic Sans, no less. It's bad. It's really bad. It's not just the emotional stuff. The deep connection people had to the kid from Akron, Ohio's native son, the local boy done good. It's the practical stuff. The city of Cleveland just lost out on what some estimates have put at $250 million in revenue to a South Beach heist. That's jobs. That's vacations. That's benefits. They weren't James' responsibility to watch out for, his obligation is to his family and his company. But it still deepens the wound. And that's not all. What about the practical holes in the roster? Who plays the small forward? They sacrificed so much, committed to bad contracts of veteran players in an attempt to build around James. And now?

It's a team poorly constructed. With little hope to remain in contention. Their best players are now Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams. There's no bright side to this. They can't bring in another player to put their hopes in. There's nothing but the sting of watching the media coverage for the Heat ramp up to levels the Cavs never saw. There's just nothing left. In a television interview, Brian Windhorst described the scene in Cleveland as if an atomic bomb went off. Kaboom.

Level 2- "Boom Goes the Dynamite"


2. Chicago Bulls:
Here's a bad sign for when your organization has probably thought too much of itself. New York looked humble and realistic next to the Bulls in this whole thing. When the most self-important set of zip codes in the modern world is showing you how to keep things in perspective, you may have overestimated your position. The Bulls played their cards strong to the point of bullying, challenging and charging at LeBron at every turn. In the end, it was the quiet, subtle Pat Riley who made the most effective pitch and converted the deal, while the Bulls come off as brash and overly confident.

The Bulls honestly expected that the attitude "You should want to sign here" would work. And by all accounts, they were close. But as usual, the Bulls organization fumbled an opportunity and now face a reality where their big "get" was Carlos Boozer. Hey, at least you're not paying him $20 million plus when he's 35. Wait.

Level 3 - "A Series of Unfortunate Events "


3. New Jersey Nets:
The Nets knew they were sunk before ESPN's camera's showed up at the Greenwich depot for coffee (they may not have a depot in Greenwich). They signed Travis Outlaw to a deal which slammed the door shut. The Nets are committed to a long-term approach using youth and growth. That's the new plan. Landing one of the top guys would have helped. But they fell out of favor almost as soon as they made their pitch. It's more that the Nets are looking at a longer rebuilding process than the other teams that lands them here. They have no Derrick Rose to comfort them, nor an Amar'e Stoudemire signing to take the sting off. But really, their fate was sealed when the lottery balls didn't go their way.  That's the way the cookie crumbles. Anybody know the Russian word for "Plan B?"

4. New York Knicks: Well, they did get Amar'e. And now have Anthony Randolph and some solid roleplayers. The Knicks wanted to become a legitimate force in the NBA championship picture. Well, that didn't happen. And so they wind up on this failures list, but in the end, the pain isn't as great as it could be. They did get a top flight free agent. And from there, D'Antoni has started to assemble a roster that may not be a championship contender, but is similar to some sort of mid-70's ABA underground club, playing in the back-arenas of New York. A running, striding, power team with point-forward capabilities and shooters that can get out and run with the best of them.

It's not the worst of fates for the Knicks, and unlike the Bulls they don't look desperate or misguided and unlike the Cavaliers, the franchise still stands with hope for the future. It wasn't a win, but it wasn't the end of the world.

5. Los Angeles Clippers: “Self-pity  is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” - Helen Keller

Funny story, Helen actually had a better overall vision for a basketball organization than the Clippers do.
Posted on: July 7, 2010 5:13 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2010 5:17 pm
 

Bulls agree to terms with Carlos Boozer

The Bulls aren't walking away empty-handed from this free agency period.

Sources tell CBSSports.com's Ken Berger that the Bulls have reached an agreement with Carlos Boozer. The news was first reported by ESPN and the Chicago Tribune 's KC Johnson.

Boozer fits a need for the Bulls, providing low-post scoring and rebounding to go alongside Joakim Noah, and provides a veteran on a relatively young crew. He's not the most sterling of free agents, but he does bring some high efficiency. Boozer averaged 19.5 points and 11.5 rebounds last season (contract year!) for the Jazz, with 21.3 PER. It doesn't put him in any elite levels, but if he can provide scoring for the Bulls offense as a post-presenct, that's what they need.

KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune also makes note that the deal leaves space for a max contract if the Bulls can sign one. The only target remaining of course, is LeBron James. And trying to figure out where he's going is like trying to answer the Sphinx's question underwater.

If the Bulls don't land James, they'll still have an improved team next year with Boozer, but will be paying a pretty penny for him at 34 years of age when this deal expires. The Bulls will have to hope Derrick Rose becomes the superstar and that Boozer's scoring and Noah's defense is enough, along with whatever else the Bulls can acquire, to contend for a championship.

-Matt Moore
Posted on: July 7, 2010 2:01 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2010 2:11 pm
 

Bulls have moved on from the Big 3

Looks like Chicago, along with New Jersey and the Clippers, will be the big losers from this monstrous free agency period.

With Chris Bosh headed to Miami to join Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James apparently having narrowed his choices down between Cleveland and the Heat, the Bulls no longer look to be in contention to sign a free-agent. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports via Twitter that the Bulls have moved on from the Big 3 and will "turn their attention" towards other lesser free agents like Carlos Boozer and David Lee among others, as well as pursue trades.

It's going to be a disappointing year for Bulls fans who will wonder what could have been. Dwyane Wade said in an interview on ESPN's SportCenter that he thought heavily about Chicago and that it was a "very difficult " decision. But now the Bulls are moving on with the prospect of only adding a second-tier player to their roster. Granted, the Bulls are a team on the rise having made the playoffs the past two years with a new coach in Tom Thibodeau. But they could have been a favorite to win the title. They moved salary, cleared space specifically to land both James and another max free agent and they will miss on all of them. That's a pretty crushing blow to a franchise that legitimately seemed in the front of the pack going into last weekend.

There were signs, of course. Rumors that the Bulls had moved up their Saturday meeting with James to try and get him to commit to a deal before the end of the day. A risky proposition, and if the rumors were true, one that may have cost them. Bulls management has long thought to be too brusque, too bullish, and may not have put their best foot forward, even with a great market, the lure of playing in Jordan's town, and the best assembled roster of any of the suitors for the Big 3's services.

Losing Wade doubly hurts as his divorce settlement gave even more reason for him to sign with the hometown Bulls. But this is where they are, and they have to go forward.

Boozer and Lee are both good options, though Lee is likely a better value and does more of what they need without Boozer's considerable baggage. They're not elite, but they could help the Bulls to be a better team. At this point, the future of the Bulls will rest squarely on Derrick Rose's shoulders. The team can add other free agents to help out (a significant offer for sharpshooter Anthony Morrow would be a great start), but at the end of the day, Rose will have to ascend to superstardom in order for the Bulls to contend. This is especially taxing considering how the East is now shaping up, with the Celtics making at least one more run, Orlando with a strong core, the Cavaliers possibly returning most of their 60+ win team, and Miami coming on as a contender for the title.

The Bulls may have been the frontrunners at one point, and had a legit shot at returning to the top of the NBA empire. Now they're just another franchise trying to add pieces, fighting for their stake of the middle ground behind the elite, populated by the players they just missed out on.

-Matt Moore


Posted on: July 7, 2010 10:35 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 11:02 am
 

If Bosh goes Heat, what does LeBron do?

If the numerous reports out there are accurat e, and they've been confirmed by just about every major outlet on the planet, then Chris Bosh is joining Dwyane Wade on South Beach for one heck of a party. But as the tango starts up in Miami (it takes two, you see), we're going to have to turn our attention almost immediately back to where our eyes have been glued all along.

What does LeBron James do now?

With both of the significant power forward options off the market assuming Bosh is a done deal, James' decision becomes somehow simpler and more complicated. Our own Ken Berger reports that he's a near-lock to announce he's returning to Cleveland tomorrow during his one-hour ego boost. But James has to be taking a good long look at his options before committing to anything.

LeBron was expected to be the catalyst, but instead Joe Johnson recommitted to the Hawks first, then Amar'e Stoudemire didn't wait for James to decide where he was headed before jumping into the center of MSG. Now Bosh is teamed with Wade. James may want to return to Cleveland, to stay home, to be the hero, but he's got to look at a roster that won 120 games plus over the past two years and still didn't make the Finals and get a little nauseous thinking of having to compete with Orlando, Boston, and now Miami and whatever the Knicks pull off (if anything). Which means James' camp has to be exploring his options, which right now are thus:

Take less money to join Wade and Bosh in Miami. Wade and Bosh are almost definitely assured the max deals (Wade from Miami, Bosh in a sign-and-trade). So it's natural for them to take those deals which means James capitalizes on his enormous celebrity and forms a super-team the likes of which hasn't been seen in decades in the NBA thanks to the salary cap. He guarantees himself multiple rings but also sacrifices home court advantage in terms of market and under the circumstances, looks like the third wheel. James is no third wheel. As important as winning is to James, not giving up his leverage in his attempt to become a global icon is more important, and going to Miami would mean sacrificing stock in that. Still, the allure of a super team has to weigh heavily, especially when combined with the beach and tax situation in Miami.

Head to New York to join Amar'e.
James comes into the world's biggest market as the difference maker alongside Amar'e Stoudemire. All of a sudden New York is the free-agent destination and the team can fill out the roster with quality players while working towards the future. Still, the core roster behind Stoudemire is as shaky as it is in Miami, only without the All-Star duo and only Amar'e instead. The money would be amazing, but the basketball might suffer. It would be an incredible risk, but one with a huge payout.

Head to Chicago with Rose and Noah.
The Bulls have the most ready team to compete over the next decade and with James they would elevate to a whole other level. Noah provides strength low and Rose is one of the most up and coming point guards in the league. He would have his name next to Michael Jordan, for better or worse, and operate in a major market. The team would be ready to contend and could likely snag Carlos Boozer or David Lee to help with low-position scoring. For whatever reason, the Bulls have slipped out of most talks.

Stay home.
The option most are predicting, and have from the start. Our own Ken Berger reports that's the most likely scenario . But James is looking at Antawn Jamison, who did not deliver last season in any way, shape, or form, and Mo Williams as his running partners while the rest of the league gets younger, the Heat become a powerhouse, Boston maintains, Orlando maintains, and the Lakers still rule the roost. But Cleveland is home, and James may feel that his presence will always generate the ability for teams to improve. Maybe the Cavs can pull a rabbit out of a hat. What's strange is the most likely scenario also seems like the most risky. The Cavs are a lock to not be terrible in the future. But they're also a heavy favorite to be not be considered a true contender unless significant changes happen.

Wade and Bosh may force James to reconsider his decision, either way. The options are largely the same as they've ever been, but the pieces have now moved into place. In a little over 24 hours, James will have to publicly declare what's most important to him , with the whole world watching.

-Matt Moore

(Graphic: Roland Liwag)
Posted on: July 7, 2010 2:58 am
 

LeBron James follows the trend of control

Mr. Young brought you the news that LeBron James is hosting a little dog and pony show to announce his decision on Thursday. James, Bosh, and Wade will share a conference call Wednesday to discuss their plans and possibly coordinate the checkmate moves. The storm clouds are gathering, as one might say.

But let's take a moment and recognize the apex of a movement in cultural interactions between celebrities and their fans. As is often the case, trends in sports and sports personalities reflect the ongoing evolution of our cultural landscape, and King James, he is reflectin'.

Over the weekend, Joe Johnson's agent, Arn Tellem announced without announcing on the Huffington Post that Joe Johnson would be accepting the max offer from the Hawks to return to Atlanta. Tellem was able to give what the Johnson camp wants to expound as his motivations and intentions regarding the decision to re-sign with the Hawks. He painted the picture that Johnson wants painted, and that's the lead story. By controlling the story, shaping it and putting it in a public forum, Tellem took the power away from the small army of reporters that broke news of the extension offer throughout the week prior.

This follows a year where we saw the best and worst of social media interactions with athletes. Some NBA players stuck their foot in their mouth, Michael Beasley famously posted images of himself with marijuana on a nearby table (later confirmed to not be his house). But on the flip side, the Oklahoma City Thunder embraced Twitter and saw their public image soar, particularly Kevin Durant. Dwyane Wade reached out and communicated, as did Chris Paul. By reaching out and communicating up front with their fans, these players made themselves even bigger and did so on their own terms without the risks involved in third party conversations and interviews.

Which brings us to LeBron James' actions throughout the week. First his website appeared revamped, with talk of "finding out first." Rumors of James intending to announce his free agency decision via the website were later debunked . Then the Twitter account opened. Don't think there's been a radical shift in policy with James? Consider that the reporter who's followed him his entire career is completely baffled by the opening of James' Twitter account. That, along with the announcement of the live announcement represent a drastic change in the perception of James by those that have been with him the longest. The stakes have changed. And the playing field has changed alongside with it.

The key to this is the ability to control the message. Instead of having every angle, feeling, and angle about his business decisions laid out by reporters around the media sphere and the world wide web (it's an information superhighway, you know), James has the opportunity to lay out his decision in the most dramatic way possible, while raising money for charity. He raises his profile, puts himself on the map in a way never before seen. He'll never be Jordan, but he can market himself bigger. What's striking is that by doing so, he's somehow moved the importance of this operation from what his decision is to the announcement itself.

It doesn't matter where James goes. It's how he announces it. The man is having an hour on the most powerful sports television entity in the world, selling his own advertising, and donating it to charity, only furthering his image. There will be backlash, because that's what happens when you market yourself. It's self-aggrandizement, but you should also recognize that it's proof of the power of controlling your own message, of honing and delivering it on your own terms. More so than going to New York or Chicago or staying home and being the hero, it's the process of his declaration that gives this moment its weight. It's false dramatics, but then, this is sport. We turn athletes into Warriors and games into legends. We're not above this behavior, James is simply harnessing its full power.

LeBron James is on the verge of a decision which will impact the next half-decade in the NBA. He could win multiple titles or walk away empty handed. He could destroy Cleveland or save it. He could resurrect New York, rise in Jordan's shadow, claim Brooklyn as his kingdom, or bring the party to South Beach. But in reality, regardless of his decision, he's making history. He's bringing the power of individual control to a new level, and capitalizing on the full weight of his business potential. For years, he's discussed wanting to be a global icon. It turns out that where he plays may not be the key to accomplishing that. Instead, his method for revealing his decision could be the launching pad towards finally reaching that particular atmosphere.

-Matt Moore
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com