MARK SCHANOWSKI: Bulls outlook still positive after offseason moves

Discussion in 'Chicago Bulls' started by truebluefan, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. truebluefan

    truebluefan Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    It seems like just about every Bulls fan I talk to wants to know why the front office wasn't more aggressive in trying to upgrade the roster over the last month. By now, you've probably already heard the explanation from Gar Forman and the team's beat writers. The Bulls want to maintain salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2014 when a big free agent class could provide a second star to go with Derrick Rose. That's also the summer the Bulls figure to use the amnesty provision on the final year of Carlos Boozer’s contract and sign top European prospect Nikola Mirotic.

    So the question is: Are the Bulls in a holding pattern for the next two seasons?

    In terms of adding long term salary commitments, yes. But not in terms of fielding a team that can still compete in the Eastern Conference. Forman and his staff did a good job of rebuilding the Bulls' bench with the addition of solid veterans like Kirk Hinrich, Marco Belinelli and Nazr Mohammed. Hinrich will begin the season as the starting point guard, then move into a reserve role when Rose finishes his rehab from knee surgery.

    Belinelli is something of an unknown commodity since he came over from Italy and played his first five NBA seasons with bad teams. But the 26-year-old shooting guard is a career 39 percent shooter from 3-point range, and he's a more athletic player than the departed Kyle Korver. Belinelli admits he's not a great defensive player, but if anyone can help him, it's Tom Thibodeau.

    Hinrich is definitely an upgrade over C.J. Watson when he moves in to a reserve role, and we hear Captain Kirk is working out like a madman this summer, dropping weight and sharpening his skills for a second tour of duty with the Bulls. Hinrich has never been a high-percentage shooter, but his ability to play both guard spots should give Thibodeau a lot more versatility late in close games. And no one will question Hinrich’s work ethic and intensity on the defensive end.

    Second-year forward Jimmy Butler also looks ready for regular rotation minutes. He has worked extremely hard at the Berto Center throughout the offseason and was very impressive at the Las Vegas Summer League, making the All-Star team, along with free agent forward Malcolm Thomas. Butler looks a lot more aggressive on the offensive end, and should be able to get to the free throw line regularly with his ability to drive to the basket. Butler will eventually be an upgrade over the offensively challenged Ronnie Brewer.

    Read more: http://www.csnchicago.com/07/26/12/...bile_landing.html?blockID=746829&feedID=10332
     
  2. rosenthall

    rosenthall Well-Known Member

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    Well that's nothing we didn't already know.

    Of course, he didn't mention anything about that Turkish guy.....

    The situation with Kirk is interesting. Physically he looks more like his 2004 days than his Atlanta Hawks days.

    Can the cap'n seriously turn back the clock 7 years?

    It appears clear that Hinrich was the centerpiece of the Bulls offseason. That might make them stupid, but it looks like everyone really wanted it to happen that way.
     
  3. Denny Crane

    Denny Crane It's not even loaded! Staff Member Administrator

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    It would be insane to amnesty Boozer with one year left on his contract. Use him in a S&T for the star we want. His expiring deal would be of value to the team we trade him to AND he will likely still be a pretty good player.

    And I find this article to be blowing sunshine up our collective skirts.

    Hinrich is no upgrade over CJ Watson. No way, no how.
     
  4. truebluefan

    truebluefan Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    He isnt, I agree Denny.
     
  5. Good Hope

    Good Hope Active Member

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    Prepare to eat them words, Denny!
     
  6. such sweet thunder

    such sweet thunder Member Staff Member Moderator

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    There is no free agent class of 2014. Absolutely none. Why is this so hard to understand?
     
  7. kukoc4ever

    kukoc4ever Let's win a ring! Staff Member Moderator

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    I know! I remember yelling this from the mountaintops when the Bulls saved Cap Space for the Ben Wallace free agent class and noone listened either. It does not make sense.

    It seems like fans are a lot more disgruntled though right now. I guess it has to do with expectations being raised.
     
  8. Denny Crane

    Denny Crane It's not even loaded! Staff Member Administrator

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    I hope so, but CJ was starting PG for much of the season on a team that won the most games in the NBA. He made a bonehead play at the end of the playoff series, which was such a terrible thing to see for him. He played with a sore foot, too.
     
  9. transplant

    transplant Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator

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    Nothing in Schanowski's article says that the Bulls are "going for it" in 2012-13....because they're not. It's more a "hey, it won't be that bad" kind of thing. Great. I know that they won't completely suck...they've got too many good players and they'll play hard. The Bulls FO can say whatever they want, they won't be a serious contender this season IMO. But they'll have lots of flexibility going forward...Go Flexibility!.
     
  10. Denny Crane

    Denny Crane It's not even loaded! Staff Member Administrator

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    "it" is profit. They're going for it.
     
  11. FatJerry

    FatJerry Member

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    Hinrich is miles better than CJ Watson.

    A country mile.

    A big country mile

    http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw2o_Go4QWI

    Anyhoo...

    I have never seen a worse "point guard' than CJ Watson. The rhythm of our offense was putrid with him in the game. Same with the turd. Both of them were undersized chuckers who could sometimes get hot and pour in a bunch.

    When Hinrich was with us previously I was felt he was very underrated pick and pop guard. Kirk would always generate easy offense by simply directing the pick turning the corner and dumping off a bounce pass to pop men ( firstly ) Antonio Davis and then ( secondly ) PJ Brown . Even Malik Allen used to be able to make the pop . And this basic staple was effective . Not terribly exciting or not with a lot of variety - but effective

    I actually would have liked to have Big Sexy back ahead of Nazr Mohammed , but , Mohammed will see minutes in the rotation

    Boozer is more a pick and pop man instead of a pick and roll man and I expect that Boozer will give an 18 and 9 type of year with the Bulls being around a 6th seed.

    My anticipation of Boozer's redemeption is built around Kirk Hinrich and the pick and pop offense

    In this driver of our offense you have :

    - Rip Hamilton running off the ball as a 2nd option to Carlos Boozer. Rip's sweet spot is in and around the paint or on the baseline where he's slippery and where he can finish or make the interior pass to the crash big for the assist. This is a very underrated part of Rip's game

    -Lu with secondary motion as a mid range or corner 3 shooter , although he assumes Rip's role in the offense with Rip out of the game and Marco Belinelli takes Lu's role as the 3rd option mid or longer range shooter. Jimmy will replicate the same role as Lu within the offense

    -Joakim and Taj are the crash bigs. Malcolm Thomas too if he makes the squad, albeit in a deep reserve role

    - Mohammed is a back up pop man

    - Radmanovic is a specialist stretch forward that you use as a zone buster

    - E'Twaun Moore , if he makes the squad is a specialist spark plug scorer to use in small bursts in the 2nd unit


    It won't be an exotic offense , but , I don't see too much trouble being able to score in the regular season. It will be a middle of the pack type of offense with Options being :

    1. Boozer
    2. Hamilton
    3. Deng
    4. Belinelli

    The real questions will be how healthy are Lu and Joakim and has Kirk really got his conditioning right . If these 3 can bring it defensively and Taj and Jimmy spear our 2nd unit with the type of defensive energy that we need I think we are capable of being a Top 10 defense ( say 6th to 8th rated )

    If we're in that range defensively and a Top 15 offense - we should hold our ground at around as a 46 to 49 win team ( I will call it at 47 ) and being good enough for a 6th to 7th seed and depending on how the playoff draw goes and Derrick's return , and capabilities when he returns , we're capable of a 2nd round appearance . If we get real lucky - maybe an Eastern Conference Final.

    The 3 wild cards are Lu and Jo ( health and recovery ) and Kirk ( conditioning )

    With Kirk , I think he lost his way a bit - after Rose's drafting he was recently married , had a family , had earned his big payday and some combining all of those things as to what were going in in his private and professional life - I could see how it conspired against his form .

    There have been some suggestions that he hadnt been looking after himself that well conditioning wise that may have led to some niggling injuries the last couple of years

    But, this was a contract year for him , and he has supposedly got himself in top nick.

    If Kirk can get back close to what he gave us in that Boston series from 3 years ago I will be a happy camper- and if he is something roughly approximating that then we really arent in that bad of a shape
     
  12. such sweet thunder

    such sweet thunder Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't agree with your take FJ, but the larger concern about Hinrich are injuries. Every time I've caught him the last two seasons he's seemed to be struggling with his legs -- early onset arthritis or tendonitis or the like. He played 30 minutes a game for about a month last season with the Hawks, so perhaps he has it in him. I think the possibility he makes it through the season playing core minutes are very slim.
     
  13. transplant

    transplant Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator

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    Not necessarily insane or anywhere close. If you want cap space to do something like, say, give Mirotic to a full MLE deal and sign a FA SG, it could be damn smart. It's a wonder how you can have such strong opinions so far ahead of knowing the relevant dynamics of the situation.
     
  14. rosenthall

    rosenthall Well-Known Member

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    I actually agree with most of this.

    The big question mark is injuries and Kirk's level of play (which also has to do with injuries somewhat).

    On offense I think we'll execute and move the ball well, but will always struggle at the end of the shot clock and in tight games until Rose returns.

    Our best players are all competent offensively, but they're system guys.

    Curiously enough, when I think about players that can score outside the system the only name I come up with is Taj Gibson.

    I don't think that's good news for us.

    Given that Kirk signed for 2 years and 8 million, it's clear his acquisition wasn't just a cost-cutting move by management. Kirk's performance will go a long way in determining how successful our offseason is.
     
  15. transplant

    transplant Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator

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    Agree that Hinrich wasn't any kind of cost-cutting move. Bulls' management REALLY likes him. No doubt that this will be an ongoing issue next season.
     
  16. Denny Crane

    Denny Crane It's not even loaded! Staff Member Administrator

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    $15M in cap space gets you a $15M FA. $15M in expiring contract gets you ANY player who is or can be signed to a ~$15M deal.
     
  17. Good Hope

    Good Hope Active Member

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    Just want to reiterate that the management and players wanted him. That's not a small thing. I think they were very sorry to see Kirk go, and that he got traded just to get spurned by LBJ. Both see this as an important signing. Whether it IS important and helpful is another question. I like FJ's take, and would tend to agree. But at the moment I'm merely curious, not convinced.
     
  18. rosenthall

    rosenthall Well-Known Member

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    GH, I think you just summed up the guarded optimism in all of us.

    Bulls management clearly sees Kirk as more than what he was last year in Atlanta. From my vantage point it's hard to tell one way or another, so I can only hope they're right.

    We know GarPax have always loved him. Jo and Derrick wanted him here. I recall Thibs having high praise for Kirk when he was with Boston.

    Uncle Jerry repeatedly said losing Kirk was the only regret he had about 2010 free agency.

    Kirk seems like he's lost his way a little bit since leaving. The organization from top to bottom wanted him back.

    Maybe we have the making of the team's slogan for the upcoming year.

    The 2012-13 Chicago Bulls: Kirk's Redemption.
     
  19. Good Hope

    Good Hope Active Member

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    Good one, Rosenthall.

    Redemption is always costly, however.

    Go Bulls!
     

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