Bulls might waive Nate Robinson to save money (and possibly for another reason, one for which I have no evidence)
December 19th, 2012

K.C. Johnson reports that the Bulls, despite being a number four seed without having their MVP on the court, are sorely tempted to waive Nate Robinson. In one of the most unheralded high quality moves of the summer – unheralded because the dominant Bullsean narrative of the summer was rightly one of cost-cutting and player-dumping – the Bulls were able to sign Robinson to not only a minimum salary contract, but a partially guaranteed one at that. Of the $1,146,337 Nate is owed – an amount which, if he’s kept for the full season, the Bulls will owe only $854,389 of – only $400,000 is guaranteed, becoming fully guaranteed if not waived on or before January 1st [not the 10th, as reported elsewhere]. In an industry where the permanent goal is to sign as good as quality of player as is possible for as cheap of a price as is possible, this is an incredibly good contract. The institutional maligning of Nate as a player that dates back years cannot (or should not) ignore the fact that he’s a hugely talented player who can single handedly turn the outcome of NBA games. And the Bulls should know this, because he’s done that more than once for them this season. The move would be, of course, patently ridiculous. Even if the season was a wash, you don’t waive a most vital contributor to save on what, by NBA standards, is a nominal fee, and by no standard is the season proving to be a wash in the first place. Nate is third on the Bulls in PER, the only man who can consistently create a shot off the dribble in Rose’s absence, arguably the team’s best ball handler, its only creative backcourt player, and one of its best shooters. He’s even […]

Posted by at 4:05 PM

Chicago’s Last Resort Offseason Plan That Still Manages To Avoid Signing Joe Johnson
June 14th, 2010

Almost to a man, Bulls fans are shockingly reticent about the great opportunities that might befall them this offseason. They have maximum cap room, they have the man widely regarded as the league’s hottest head coaching prospect, they have the league’s best young point guard, and the league’s second-best young centre.1 They have a sold-out arena, the league’s best profit margins, and a young and athletic defensive-minded rebound-heavy team with scores of potential and a modicum of short-term success, lacking only a superstar and a couple of Anthony Morrow types away from ranking amongst the league’s very best. “Lacking only a superstar” would be a ridiculous statement were they not ideally set up to get one right now. In this precedent-free summer, an unbelievable number of superstars could or will be available via free agency, ranging from the best player in the world (LeBron James) to some of the game’s very best big men (Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire, Primoz Brezec, Carlos Boozer, even Yao Ming), all the way down to the superstar hometown boy (Dwyane Wade). There’s also David Lee, one of the most maligned players in the NBA today, as well as Joe Johnson, who is guaranteed to be the next Jalen Rose for whoever signs him.2 We almost nearly had Kobe and Manu in the mix as well. These are not normal times we live in. Yet perhaps still healing from vicious scars – the Tracy McGrady signing that became the Ron Mercer signing, the Tim Duncan signing that became the Brad Miller signing, the Pau Gasol trade that nearly happened, Jay Williams crashing into a lamp post because he was revving his engine at traffic lights while still in second gear – a large quota of knowledgeable Chicago Bulls fans are sceptic almost to the point of […]

Posted by at 1:41 AM

The Absurdity Of The Bulls/Celtics Series
May 1st, 2009

I feel obligated to write something about the Bulls/Celtics playoff series. It has been untold drama, brilliant excitement, and well worth the fortnight of 7am finishes. It’s been better than Megan Fox’s shadow, worse than De Niro’s moustache in Cop Land, and awesome to a fault. And I feel inclined to write something that describes it all. But the truth is, I don’t want to. I don’t think I can. The series has been so unilaterally brilliant, so unrivalled in its drama and so and flawlessly flawed in its execution, that I’m not capable of writing the words to accurately describe it. I don’t think anyone is. It’s as though someone decided the Coach Carter series of films should rival Police Academy, wrote six of the most implausibly cheesy scripts ever written, and nailed them all on the first take in front of an audience of millions. The drama, for lack of a better word, is perfect. Disregard game three for a minute. (The Bulls forgot to turn up to that one, so it’s best we pretend that it didn’t happen.) Over the other five games, the other 275 minutes, and the 1,000 or so possessions, the difference between the two team’s aggregate score is one freaking point. There have been seven overtimes in four games, and one game that was decided in the final second of regulation. Never before has there even been more than two overtime games in a series. And yet we’re at four already, with one still to play. It is almost unfathomable how close these two teams are. It will never happen again. It doesn’t matter now about the peculiar series of events that made it this way; what we have now, quite possibly, are the two most evenly-matched teams in the sport’s history. All […]

Posted by at 8:09 PM

Kirk Hinrich’s Singing Voice
April 14th, 2009

od invented the internet so that we could feel more closely acquainted to professional athletes. It’s the reason they have online chats, it’s the reason they have their own websites, it’s the reason we try and become their Facebook friends, and it’s the reason that their team contractually obligates them to humiliate themselves for the sake of a few YouTube videos. For this, we must give our eternal thanks, because God never fails to satisfy us. And nor does Joakim Noah. During a Bulls game last week, a halftime segment aired that showed Noah, Derrick Rose, Tyrus Thomas and Luol Deng participating in a ‘Name That Tune’ style challenge. The four players paired up, and one player had to sing whatever tune was playing in his headphones, with the other player charged with guessing which song it was that they were butchering. The girl’s job was to guess which team won. The whole debacle was caught on camera. A closer inspection reveals that this isn’t the first Bulls players karaoke segment of the season. Three other officially licensed videos exist, showing the same players (as well as Kirk Hinrich, Aaron Gray, and the now-departed Drew Gooden and Thabo Sefolosha) taking part in a singalong to various TV theme tunes. The tunes range from seminal to forgettable, yet they are, to a man, bludgeoned. If anyone emerges from this with any pride, it might be Drew Gooden. Gooden – whom we already know to be always up for a tinkle – demonstrates, if nothing else, a semblance of a sense of rhythm, humility and personality, although he does appear to struggle with the difference between a saxophone and a piccolo. Hinrich continues his galvanising makeover from the shy and retiring elfin-like creature of his rookie year to the matured and forthcoming […]

Posted by at 10:11 AM

Preview Sort Of Thing: Chicago Bulls
October 23rd, 2008

The Bulls are, quite possibly, the hardest team in the league to gauge right now. Every one of their significant players is a question mark. Other than predicting Larry Hughes will shoot a pull-up 18 footer on 85% of the fast breaks that he’s involved in, there’s nothing that you can say with any conviction about this current Bulls roster. It’s a poser. Theoretically, they could be great. This is still, essentially, the same 49-win second round team of the 2006/07 season, with only a few changes. The corpse of P.J. Brown has been replaced by Joakim Noah. The corpse of Ben Wallace has been replaced by Drew Gooden. And Chris Duhon has been replaced by Derrick Rose, which may or may not be an upgrade. (Sarcasm!) So, with those three upgrades, along with the return of Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni and Kirk Hinrich, plus the overdue-but-genuinely-forthcoming breakout of Tyrus Thomas, the Bulls should easily be able to usurp that 2007 team. Shouldn’t they? Well, no. The other change between then and now is the entire coaching staff. As outlined in the Milwaukee Bucks preview, Scott Skiles’s coaching jobs seem to always have a shelf-life, but until it goes wrong, he can make teams overachieve. The Bulls achieved what they did in 2007 despite having only the NBA’s 20th-best offence, purely because they had the best defence in the league. Skiles was directly responsible for that. However, after he lost the team last year – and after his replacement Jim Boylan proved to be about as much use as a surfboard with handlebars – the Bulls defence regressed to being middle of the road, and the offence was no better. It’s not known what new coach Vinny Del Negro will try to do, and it’s futile to guess. […]

Posted by at 6:29 AM

2008 NBA Offseason Preview: Chicago Bulls
April 17th, 2008

The first in a new series of posts detailing teams financial outlooks for the upcoming free agency period, what cap room they have, what exceptions, what draft slots, etc. Should be fascinatingly fascinating, if you’re easily pleased. No information is 100% guaranteed accurate, but unless you’re privy to hitherto unknown information, or just better at this than I am (highly possible), then it’s probably more accurate than you’ve seen before.. To be completed in an order best described as “Random”.   ¬†¬†Chicago Bulls   Currently Committed Salary, 2008/09: Larry Hughes – $12,827,676* Kirk Hinrich – $10,250,000* Andres Nocioni – $8,000,000 Drew Gooden – $7,151,183 Tyrus Thomas – $3,749,880 Joakim Noah – $2,295,480 Thabo Sefolosha – $1,931,160 Cedric Simmons – $1,742,760 Aaron Gray – $711,517 JamesOn Curry – $711,517 (not fully guaranteed) Total: $49,371,173 (* = has incentives. Hughes’s salary listed WITHOUT incentives, that are dependent on win totals, and thus won’t be considered likely. Hinrich’s salary listed WITH incentives, which probably won’t be considered likely either.)   Unrestricted Free Agents: Shannon Brown (cap hold – $1,116,960) Chris Duhon (cap hold – $6,496,000)   Restricted Free Agents: Ben Gordon (qualifying offer – $6,404,749, cap hold – $14,645,007) Luol Deng (qualifying offer – $4,452,574, cap hold – $9,961,017) Demtris Nichols (qualifying offer – $886,517, cap hold – $512,596)   Draft picks: First round: 9th pick, subject to lottery results. (Cap hold – $1,840,800) Second round: 39th pick (no cap hold)   Cap room/exceptions: Nada room, MLE, BAE, and a $5,205,000 trade exception.   Mario Austin: Is brilliant.   Depth chart if you take all the free agents away: PG – Hinrich, Curry SG – Hughes, Sefolosha SF – Nocioni, Sefolosha PF – Gooden, Thomas, Simmons C – Noah, Gray   Sensible things to do: Let Chris Duhon go. Gas Larry Hughes. Don’t […]

Posted by at 3:30 AM