Pic from Bulls.com.
And we can all stop holding our breath now. Rip signed a 3 year deal today. 2 years and $10 mill guaranteed and a 3rd year $5 mill option. Gonna be weird seeing him as a Bull, but if he will give D-Wade fits as so many are reporting, then he will end up having been a huge acquisition. Can't say I'm jumping up and down like some other free-agent hungry Bulls fans, but he should help the Bulls pull out close games...and that says a lot for a team that won 62 games last season.
Can't wait to see Rip's face when he's introduced at the first home game. Bulls fans are rabid and appreciate any free agent who comes here and increases our chances of bringing that trophy back home.no comments
Up on the top left. It's funny that: a) it's still a question and b) none of the options that were previously up there will be on the Bulls. However, depending on what happens, it won't be funny at all.no comments
Like everyone else, I am suffering from Post-Lebron Stress Syndrome. Ever since the summer of 2010 debacle, I will not believe that anyone will sign with this team until I actually see them holding up that Bulls uniform at a presser. That hasn't happened yet with Rip. On top of that, this little tweet doesn't help:
This tweet came about 5 hours ago. I dunno. KC seems to think he's just being a comedian. Most likely, considering the Bulls are already talking about him like he's on the team. Even Thibs talked him up today. But good lord, can you imagine if he signs with another team? There will be rabid Bulls fans calling for Gar's resignation, and over what...Rip Hamilton? Yes. Because none of it makes sense. Why are so many agents just refusing to come to Chicago? What don't we know? Why did I read this today?
There has been speculation that the Chicago Bulls might be a possible destination for Howard because the Bulls offer a big-city environment, a superstar in Derrick Rose, and plenty of talent to send back to Orlando. But Howard's refusal to sign there ends that possibility.
I just don't get it. It's beating a dead horse...I know...but what's the downside of playing in Chicago? New Jersey, Dwight? Wait...again...NEW JERSEY? Because, why? Only Dwight knows. But I can tell you this much...there is an explanation that the public isn't aware of, because to turn down the opportunity to play for a storied franchise in a massive market in maybe the best city in the world with the reigning 23 year old MVP and a solid supporting cast is just lunacy. How can anyone take this guy seriously now?
So we're holding our breath for Rip. Yes, for freakin' Rip. We're holding our breath simply because we've been spurned way too many times. We're holding our breath for Rip because if we don't get Rip, we're rolling with Bogans. Yikes.
And oh yeah...the Bulls re-signed Brian Scalabrine as a player/mascot/end-of-game novelty...so there's that.
As soon as Rip signs...let's get into some numbers about how he'll effect this team both positively and negatively.no comments
First off, is it a good thing that our starting SF now looks bigger than our starting PF? Seriously, this is weird. He apparently showed up 20 lbs lighter, but I don't necessarily consider that a good thing for a guy who's supposed to be a banger down low:
-Jason Richardson re-signs with the Orlando Magic for 4 years/$25 mill according to Woj. You can cross him off the list. But seeing as how that's a little more money than the Bulls were willing/able to offer, and they're zeroing in on Rip, it's not really relevant.
-KC is reporting that Dwight Howard prefers not to come to the Bulls, but the Bulls will be attempting to acquire him nonetheless:
So looks like things went from Bulls will try to land him, to Gar and Pax being confused why he really doesn't want to come to the Bulls, to now we're going to go for Joel Pryzbilla because Howard's REALLY doesn't want to come the Bulls. I ranted enough about how ridiculous it is that he doesn't even want to consider playing in Chicago the other day, so I'll leave this one alone. Simply put, there's no way to rationalize it. Bottom line, we should probably all move on from the Dwight Howard pipe dream.
-This Bulls team just got a little less tough and little less deep in the front court, as Kurt Thomas has chosen to take more money and take his talens to Portland. When the injury bug bites at some point this year, and I assure you that it will, that is one body we will miss. Sad to see him go.
-In case you haven't heard, Vince Carter is signing with the Mavs and Grant Hill is signing with the Suns. Basically, Rip is all we got. So we're all holding our breath for this waiver to become official so that we can snag him. But everyone on the Bulls (at least everyone important) seems real positive about adding Rip:
Joakim: "Rip's a helluva player."
Derrick: "Rip is a winner. I can't say anything bad about him. He has a championship. He knows how to win."
-Chauncey Billups was amnestied and may be looking to sign with the Heat. Teams may be considering picking him up off waivers in order to block the Heat from having access to him. Doubt anyone actually has the balls to pull that kind of move though.
-The Lakers pulled out of the re-worked Chris Paul trade, and instead traded Lamar Odom to the Mavs...all most likely in an attempt to make room for Dwight Howard as they probably are one of the frontrunners to land him. Looks they chose big over small. ESPN.COM is reporting Chris Paul's new likely landing spot is the Clippers...very interesting how the tables have turned.
Surely, a lot moe will be happening tomorrow and throughout the week. I'll be monitoring the Rip Hamilton situation closely, and of course, the Dwight Howard saga. Stay tuned...
From KC Johnson on Twitter:
After waivers. RT
@ChrisMannixSI: Executive from team inquiring about Rip has been told Rip focused on Chicago. "It's a lock," exec says.
Reports are it's going to be a 2 year $10mill deal according to KC. He flew under the radar thus far as no one really knew that the Pistons planned on buying out his contract. But now that he's been bought out, it actually turns out he may be the right fit.
When I first heard about this, the first thing I thought of was Dennis Rodman. As everyone knows, Dennis played for the Pistons. Probably one of the most hated teams in Chicago sports history were the 88-89 and 89-90 Pistons. Everyone hated Rodman when he was on those teams. But they won titles. 5 years later, Dennis has pretty much a mental breakdown while playing for San Antonio and the Bulls trade Will Purdue to acquire him. The Bulls were trying to fill a void that Horace Grant left ever since defecting to Orlando in 1994. They need a rebounder and a strong defender up front. Sure enough, his career was revived and he goes on to win more championships. He did more than fill that void.
This scenario seems eerily similar. Rip won a title with Detroit. He was a proven star shooting guard who had somewhat of a mental breakdown last year under a poor excuse of a coach. Sure, that's not a reason to lead a mutiny against your head coach, but nonetheless, that's what Rip did. Enter Tom Thibodeau playing the role of Phil Jackson. Under the right system, under a disciplined system, one that Thibs runs, Rip's career very well could be revived. The Bulls have been desperately trying to get a starting 2-guard who could pour in some points when Derrick is being triple team. Bogans isn't that guy. Brewer isn't that guy. Rip has proven that he could be. He's older now, but still, only 33. He has a few years in him and he could be a very important piece that can help put the Bulls over the top.
KC is reporting that it's just a waiting game at this point to formalize as a buyout can take up to 48 hours to become official. Once that 2-yr contract is inked, things could get very interesting for the Bulls this season. Not only that, it's not a long and annoying financial commitment. J-Rich would probably be asking for a 4 year deal and that could turn out significantly worse than a 2-year deal if his body begins to break down. So a 2 year deal is more than acceptable.
I'm going to be tracking this situation closely. Look, people, it's a major upgrade regardless of what happened last season. The guy is a 6'7 wing who can score effectively. Even in his worst year last season, he averaged 14 points a game. Those 14 points take a huge amount of pressure off of Derrick. And keep in mind, he's a tough defender. Something somebody like Vince Carter can't even attempt to claim. In my next post...I'll take a closer look at Rip's stats and exactly what he'll be bringing to the table.
This is good news...not jump and down good news...but good solid news that Bulls fans have been waiting for. Even though Gar and Pax didn't make a splash, looks like they did what needed to be done for this team to attempt to take the next step.no comments
Sure enough, my initial inclinations were right on. Butler chose the Clips. I knew it from the second I heard he had a second meeting with them like 12 hours after the first meeting. Right then, I knew it was over, in spite of what Woj reported just hours ago.
The deal is for 3 years and $24 mill. The most the Bulls would be able to offer is the mid-level exception, which is roughly $5 mill a year. Sure enough, Caron chose money over winning. Sure, playing with Blake Griffin is appealing, but come on. That team is just not a contender. Not even with Caron Butler. If the first priority was winning, he without a doubt would have chosen the Bulls. I don't think anyone can argue with that and I don't know if anyone holds it against him, except for NBA purists.
Is it the end of the world? No. The Bulls may have dodged a bullet. While I would've liked to see what Butler brought to the table, the truth is, I was trying to talk myself into it. We all were. In reality, he's a ball-stopper, a me-first small forward who doesn't pass and no longer has the knees to create. Literally, he has had knee problems since entering the league and may not have an ACL left in either knee. He pretty much never plays more than 60 games a season, if that. He's a good player who can score, but let's not make him out to be Grant Hill or T-Mac in his prime. He's a 32 year old over the hill oft-injured poorly rounded occassionally overweight and poorly rounded scorer. None of that can be refuted. The Bulls may be considering themselves lucky they can spend that MLE elsewhere.
Moving on, the Bulls now are holding their breath as they wait to speak with Jason Richardson. If that falls through, things might get bleak. Looks like we might be ROLLIN' WITH KEITH BABY. Oh good lord.no comments
At least that's what Woj is reporting:
As Caron Butler completes his personal tour of NBA suitors, the Chicago Bulls remain the team to beat for him, league sources said.
Butler left his meeting with the Bulls earlier this week with a deep appreciation for coach Tom Thibodeau, sources said. Butler’s willingness to possibly take less money from a championship contender is made easier with his personal business holdings.
Sweet. My impression was that for whatever reason, he was more interested in joining the Clippers, only because he met with them twice two days in a row, whereas he left his meeting with the Blls rather quickly. So to me this is kind of surprising, but I welcome it.
Although Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald is reporting that Butler is more of a backup option:
On priorities, I’ve said all along J-Rich is top choice. Butler, Crawford, Vince, J. Howard, Redd, back-from-China JR Smith are backup plan.
To answer a couple questions, why are Bulls interested in SF Caron Butler? It’s all about late-game offense. Think Dallas showed in Finals..a second clutch shooter like Jason Terry can be more help with scoring than he is a liability on defense.
I would probably agree with that sentiment. Although I really don't like Jamal Crawford even though he might fit in right there on that list. But yes, it would be nice to have Caron in there as a late game option. Same goes for J-Rich, although to me, Caron is more of an aggressive guy who still wants the ball in his hands in those type of situations. J-Rich, not sure if he's at that stage of his career anymore. But I like what J-Rich brings to the table overall in terms of what the Bulls are trying to do moreso than what Butler brings to the table.
If either one comes to the Bulls, it's absolutely huge for this team. Especially considering the fact that the Heat just agreed to terms with Shane Battier. Just another lock down defender to throw at D-Rose, so it's now double important for the Bulls to find a complimentary player to take some pressure off him on offense. So I am hopeful that Woj's reporting is accurate, which it usually is. Although I am unsure on how this effects the Bulls' thougth process on holding out for J-Rich.
And oh yeah, Eddy Curry is likely to sign with the Heat as well. Early reports are claiming that it's a 5 year contract and the terms are Curry gets unlimited Big Mac meals for 4 of the years and the 5th year his pay gets downgraded to Happy Meals. And the Heat will now be referred to as the Big 4.5.no comments
Yuck. That picture makes me cringe. This is even before the E-Rob headband rule.
Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld is reporting that this is happening. I really hope not. And I really think Gar and Pax are not that desperate.
And that's how I feel about that. I don't care what Jamal Crawford has accomplished in the past ten years. I will always remember him as the selfish chucker with a low basketball IQ that Tim Floyd probably still has nigthmares about.
Beyond that, I think this would be a terrible trade. TERRIBLE. Jamal Crawford is a ball-stopper and is hardly a legitimate defender. Even if he gives you double digit points off the bench, he still gives you about 5-7 terrible possessions a game because of poor shot selection. Those are 5-7 possessions that Derrick could be taking the ball to the hole and drawing the foul or finding the open big man.
Is it really that big of an upgrade? Is it an upgrade at all? Um, no. It's not. Bogans is a tough defender and never made a poor decision. Brewer, the exact same can be said. Plus, he was an absolute master at sneaking up on you baseline underneath the rim and just getting open. No one in the league works the baseline like Ronnie Brewer. And he doesn't give you bad possessions. He just plays tough D, smart O, and makes no mistake. Crawford plays below average D, bonehead O, and makes tons of mistakes. Sure, less than in 2000. Significantly less, but still more than I can stomach. And probably more than Derrick would be able to stomach as well.
I think this trade would be terrible for chemistry and terrible for the style of play Thibs enforces. We can't have a ball-stopper and be effective with Derrick running the point. This is a trade just for the sake of trading. I sincerely hope Gar and Pax have better judgment than to pull the trigger on this one. Things are really not that desperate at the 2. Come on guys, just hold out for J-Rich and sign him to the MLE. He is a significantly smarter and better player than Jamal Crawford and he will fit into the system. Please.no comments
Gives me a headache just to think about it. But, look, it needs to be addressed. Can the Bulls get him or not? The answer is yes they can. Will they get him or not? The answer is no they won't. And yes, I know...the first instinct is immediately curse out Gar Forman and John Paxson and Jerry Reinsdorf and blast them for not doing whatever it takes to try and land him. It's not that simple.
Two Chicago mainstays have provided perfectly conflicting viewpoints and we can see both sides of the story. Sam Smith says that the Bulls would be able to provide the best offer for Howard by far. Nick Friedell says that Chicago is not the best destination for Howard. Who do I agree with? Both are 100% right.
As both Smith and Friedell point out, the Bulls by far has the most appealing assets of which can be offered to whet Orlando's appetite. It is quite clear that no one wants Boozer's contract. Hell, the Bulls are probably number one on that list. Nonetheless, they are stuck with him, so he is out of the equation. So who does that leave? Well first of all, the cornerstone of any blockbuster involving Howard and the Bulls must be Joakim Noah. He is the closest thing in the league to matching Dwight Howard's defensive skill-set and rebounding prowess. Yes, Brooke Lopez brings some points to the table, but I'm pretty sure Derrick Rose gets more rebounds a game than Brooke Lopez. Orlando needs an anchor. That's what they would get in Noah.
Of course, to fill the void that would be left on offense after Howard's departure, Orlando would definitely ask for Deng in return. Plus it makes sense in terms of salary. That's fine. Then just to be sure they are shoring up their defense and rebounding up front, we can throw in Gibson or Asik. Don't really care which as both have their own upsides and downsides, which pretty much cancel each other out. We also have a couple first round draft picks to play with, one of which we acquired from Charlotte in the Tyrus Thomas trade. Idiots. So we're looking at Noah, Deng, Gibson/Asik, and a first round draft pick for Howard. Apparently Hedo Turkoglu being thrown in is a foregone conclusion due to salary implications. Fine.
Would I do that trade? In a heartbeat. Howard is 26 and the best defender in the league and an absolute force in the post. Team him up with the league MVP, you're looking at 60 wins a year for at least 6 years straight. Howard does several things that Noah, Deng, and Gibson/Asik combined can't do. For one, Noah has proven that he has trouble staying healthy. Howard, on the other hand, injures other players, but not himself. At least he doesn't injure himself often. He is a beast and a better rebounder than Noah. Not only that, but he plays shut-down defense. Noah, on the other hand is an over-rated and over-stated defender. He's slightly slow, gets tired, and is somewhat of a mental midget occassionally. He also provides no offense. Deng does. But Howard in the post provides more offense than Deng (especially with D-Rose) and more rebounding and defense than Noah. He's unguardable on offense and there isn't a center in the league that can overpower him on the offensive end. Noah, on the other hand, you can leave fairly often on offense as there aren't really plays run for him on offense. He cleans up the rim all game, but other than that, nothing. That's nothing that Howard won't be able to take care of. Friedell whines about the fact that the Magic would rather not take on Noah's or Deng's contracts because they might get hurt again. He thinks the Magic prefer Bynum because he only has one year left on his contract after this year. Really? If they trade for Bynum, don't you think they will try to extend him as soon as possible? They're not trying to go one and done with the center they traded for to replace the best center in the league that they traded away. And really? Deng played 40 minutes every game last year. And between Noah and Bynum, both find themselves injured at least twice a season every season. Doesn't matter, either way, whatever center you acquire, you are acquiring him for the long-haul and signing a large extension if he isn't already extended. Might as well get the best one coming from a team that is offering significant value on top. I don't buy the money argument.
As for Gibson/Asik, at least one is expendable. I don't think you need both, as both are stellar defenders and solid rebounders. Trade one away and we won't be any worse for the wear. Plus, with Howard, there will be less minutes to spare for big men off the bench.
If this trade is an option, it is an absolute must for the Bulls. And as Sam Smith points out, not one team can offer anything comparable to the Magic. Not the Lakers with an erratic and oft-injured Bynum and rapidly aging Pau Gasol, and not the Knicks with, well, nothing.
But alas, Friedell is right as well. Chicago is just not realistic for Howard. Why? He ain't interested. Why? For probably the dumbest reason of all. Weather. Forget the fact that Chicago is a world-class, if not, simply put the best city in the world. Forget the fact that the fans are most likely the most passionate and loyal fans in the NBA. And forget the fact that we lead the league in attendance every year and have some of the richest history in the entire league. Forget the fact that the reigning league MVP, who happens to be 23 years old, and will probably be the best point guard of all time when it's all said and done, is not even in his prime yet. Apparently, the weather is significantly more important than any of that. Apparently, the weather is more important than winning. I'd love to hear MJ or Scottie's perspective on that perspective. Picture the NBA greats of old being concerned with the weather rather than a chance at winning titles for years to come. If this is really the reason why Howard does not want to come to Chicago, which by all accounts it is, that is pathetic any which way you look at it. And he can go rot on some other franchise destined for mediocrity the way he has thus far in his career.
So yes, I do think Sam Smith is right, in that the Bulls can provide the most value for Howard. And yes, I do think Friedell is right, unfortunately, in that Howard doesn't want to come to Chicago because of the WEATHER. Good lord.
But most importantly, I am absolutely positive the Magic don't want to trade away Howard within the conference. That would be incredibly problematic as the Bulls would be an impediment to them ever getting out of the Eastern Conference Finals for many years to come. The fact that they have to deal with the Heat is probably good enough for them. And that, my friends, is why the Bulls won't get Dwight Howard. That and the weather. Not because the Bulls can't or aren't willing, but because the Magic fear them, and because Dwight fears the weather.
So let's embrace a Dwight Howard-less reality and embrace the core that won us 62 games last season. Just pray Joakim, Boozer, and Deng can all remain healthy, and most of all, Derrick too.
And apparently, although Bieber is a Howard fan, Benny is not.no comments