Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bulls sign Ronnie Brewer and acquire CJ Watson in S&T

By Sean Mackey

The Chicago Bulls signed slasher Ronnie Brewer this last week to a $12.5 million 3 year deal. Presumably, Brewer will be the Chicago Bulls starting shooting guard after the Orlando Magic matched JJ Redick's $19 million offer sheet. Ronnie Brewer averaged 8.8 ppg, 2.7 ast, 3.2 rb & 2.6 steals last season between his time with the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies.

The Bulls also acquired their backup for Derrick Rose Monday evening when they agreed to a $10.2 million/3 year sign and trade with the Golden State Warriors for point guard CJ Watson. The Bulls will send their 2011 2nd round pick in return. Watson averaged 10.3 ppg, 2.3 ast & 1.6 steals last season for Golden State.

I'm not particularly happy with either of these signings. I know, pickings are slim at this point but signing a shooting guard who can't really shoot and a point guard who doesn't really pass puts us right back where we were late last season. Ronnie Brewer is a dunk specialist. Yeah, those are fun, I was a Tyrus Thomas fan but Chicago could have taken a risk with someone like Tracy McGrady.

JJ Redick would have been perfect for the Bulls. It's a real shame that Orlando matched his deal. Redick was surprised himself. He wanted to be a Bull, he wanted to start. Orlando overpays for their bench and are really deep into the luxury tax now because of this. The Magic knew that Redick would thrive in Chicago and they didn't want him going to a team who might be able to knock them out of the playoffs next season.

The CJ Watson signing completely caught me off guard. I was skimming through YouTube videos just to see who in the f*ck CJ Watson is. He looks like a more athletic version of Flip Murray. I never liked Flip Murray last season and I'm glad we didn't look into re-signing him but now we have this younger, faster incarnation of him backing up our star player. I was really hoping Chicago would lure Jason Williams. Williams is a decent veteran and knows how to run an offense. I know Tom Thibideau likes this Watson guy for his defense but the Bulls are going to be set defensively, they need shooters. Right now, we have one guy who can shoot the ball. I'm sorry but James Johnson isn't going to miraculously develop a 3 point shot this season.

I really hope the Bulls wise up and offer a contract or trade for a decent shooting guard. My gut tells me they're done with moves but I really hope they're not.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bulls ink Kyle Korver and Omer Asik

By Sean Mackey

The Chicago Bulls officially signed three point specialist Kyle Korver and 2008 draft day acquisition, Omer Asik on Tuesday.

Kyle Korver will rake in $15 million over the next 3 seasons. Euro league player, Omer Asik will make $4 million over the next 3 seasons. If Asik turns out to be a good gamble, the 3 year deal will have been a good choice because they will have Bird rights on him.

Neither signings are of huge significance but Korver does bring some great bench scoring to a team who ranked 29th in 3 pointers last season. Ever since, Ben Gordon bailed for Detroit, the Bulls have struggled taking 3 pointers. Luol Deng has started to slowly incorporate the 3 point shot into his game but with the exception of him, the recently traded Kirk Hinrich and the once in a month James Johnson garbage time attempt, the Bulls barely used the 3 pointer as a weapon. With Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose drawling double teams, they should be able to use Korver in kick out situations.
Omer Asik is still a bit of a mystery. With the exception of a few poor youtube clips, I haven't seen much of his game. He seems to be able to rebound and pass but seems to be like most Euro centers, kind of soft. The Bulls gave up 3 future 2nd round picks for him so I'm assuming they saw something they really liked in Asik. It's also a mystery if the Bulls will attempt to bring back Brad Miller next season with the signing of Asik. Are they confident enough that Asik can take on the load that Brad Miller did last season off of the bench? Brad averaged 9 points and 5 boards a game, a fantastic passer and a great locker room guy.

It's going to be really hard for a rookie Euroleaguer to bring everything that Brad did. With that being said, I'd love to see Brad Miller sign a final 2 year contract with Chicago. That gives the Bulls 2 years to mold Asik into a permanent, cheap back-up for Noah.

In other Bulls news, Orlando Magic restricted free agent, JJ Redick was signed to a 3 year $20 million offer sheet by Chicago last Friday night. Orlando's GM Otis Smith has until this Friday (7/16) to match the offer. The Magic would likely go into luxury tax if they matched the deal after giving swingman Quintin Richardson a multi year contract.

Although, a lot of fans assume that Q-Rich was picked up to replace JJ Redick, he's more likely going to be taking over the position Matt Barnes occupied last season. Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith have both made indications that the Bulls deal will be matched but the choice is ultimately up to the owners and if they want to pay the tax for a back up guy like Redick. A similar situation like this happened last season when the Dallas Mavericks threw out a ridiculous contract to Magic center Marcin Gortat. The Magic surprisingly matched the deal wanting to keep the bench core together after making the NBA Finals that season. ESPN analyst Ric Bucher has indicated that the Magic will most likely match the deal and make Chicago wait until Friday to find out. If the Bulls strike out with Redick, they'll most likely set their sights on signing former Utah Jazz starting SG, Ronnie Brewer.

Personally, I want JJ. We'll see what happens though.

Friday, July 9, 2010

LeBron chooses Miami, ruins NBA.

By Sean Mackey

Well, it's over and I'm glad.

LeBron James made his big decision last night and pissed off a good 90% of fans worldwide. Miami? Did anyone see this coming 2 years ago when everyone started talking about the summer of 2010? I didn't.

The whole buildup with a television special was ridiculous. Yes, I would still think it's ridiculous if he had chose the Bulls. While I've always hated LeBron James, I would have welcomed him to Chicago, just like any Bulls fan would have. You can't argue the guy is a machine but it's REALLY easy to hate him, even more so now. Having something to hate is good in my book. I hate the Miami Heat. I hate Pat Riley and I hate Wade, James & Bosh. I hope they all get injured and LeBron still never wins a title. It would be hilarious but I'm fairly sure 2011-20 will be the decade of the Heat. Did the Heat build a dynasty? No, they gave everyone away their whole team to sign 3 of the greatest players of the the last decade.

Where does this leave the Chicago Bulls? Well, it's safe to say we might be able to win the division for the next 5 seasons but going any further than the conference finals would be a stretch. Yeah, we got Boozer, I'm excited but what about having a shooting guard? Mike Miller announced he's going to the Heat for 5/$30 mill. That leaves us with Ashton Kutcher....I mean Kyle Korver. I like Korver but he's hardly an upgrade from Kirk or Ben Gordon. Do the Bulls submit and trade for Rip Hamilton or Michael Redd and their terrible contracts? One thing's for sure, we need to lock up Brad Miller before the Heat do. The last thing I want to see is B-Mill playing for the dark side.

The Bulls have $19 million to spend. How they will spend it is a complete mystery.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Carlos Boozer signs with the Bulls!

By Sean Mackey

The Chicago Bulls made a huge move in the right direction last night as they signed all-star PF Carlos Boozer to a five year contract. Boozer will receive around $75 mill over the next five seasons. While it's a big contract, it is not a max and it still leaves the door open for LeBron if he chooses to sign a max deal with Chicago. Although Boozer has been injury ridden over the last few seasons, while healthy he's averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds a game over his career. Averaging a double-double over 7 seasons is quite an accomplishment. Boozer also fills a need the Bulls haven't had since Elton Brand left, a good (great) post threat.

The Bulls swooped in and landed Boozer right after Chris Bosh confirmed he was headed to the Miami Heat. The Nets who also have been flirting with Boozer over the last few weeks were stunned by Boozer's signing to Chicago. According to ESPN's Ric Bucher, Chicago was Boozer's top choice long before free agency began last Thursday. Adding Boozer to the mix makes Chicago the best frontcourt in the NBA next to the Lakers' Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

Also, in the LeBron front, it's been reported by several sources that LeBron will be joining the Miami Heat. This now seems like his most likely destination on the day of his big announcement and I'm going to give ESPN the benefit of the doubt that their report is correct. This was first mentioned by Fox Radio host and former ESPN Insider Stephen A. Smith. ESPN's Chad Ford wrote a piece back in November about the possibility of it happening as well.

While Miami can offer a dynasty, it also will give him a tarnished legacy. LeBron James will be forever known as one of the best players to never be able to win a title on his own. He's came close over the last few seasons with the Cavs, why not go back and try again? Miami is Dwayne Wade's town. Wade won a title with a supporting cast, not a superstar entourage. Does LeBron really just want to be a sidekick and make the same money as two players that aren't as good?

LeBron's best possible situation just got better last night with the adding of Boozer. A team with a great young center, a former all-star PF and a budding Derrick Rose would give him a title with Chicago that wouldn't damage his legacy. He'd be top dog in Chicago as well, which he won't be in Miami.
LeBron will be announcing his signing with Miami* at 9:00 p.m. tonight on ESPN. The whole world will be watching.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Report: Bosh & Wade Teaming in Miami....Plan B?

By Sean Mackey

According to ESPN's Chris Broussard Chris Bosh will be joining Dwayne Wade in Miami. This ends a year and a half of speculation that Bosh would be leaving Toronto for the Miami Heat or Chicago Bulls. Bosh will most likely be dealt to Miami for Mario Chalmers, 2 or 3 future first round draft picks and a trade exception. It's also likely that Michael Beasley is included and Jose Calderon is also sent to the Heat.

6 days into free agency and we're only down to 3 big name free agents. LeBron James, Carlos Boozer & David Lee. LeBron James is reportedly going to announce his decision tomorrow night live on ESPN in an hour long press conference. The Cavs, Bulls & Nets are still his most likely suitors. Over the last few days, Cleveland has gained the most steam in their quest to re-sign James. The Cavs recently hired former LA Lakers player and NJ/New Orleans coach, Byron Scott. Although it is widely speculated that LeBron will return to Cleveland, insiders in the LeBron camp were caught off guard by the announcement of the press conference. Those close to LeBron aren't even sure what he's going to do.

With World Wide Wes being kicked out of LeBron's inner circle, whispers of LeBron to Chicago have quieted. The Bulls have almost completely fallen out of the picture in their quest to sign a top notch, max contract free agent. With LeBron, Bosh & Wade out of the picture, it's most likely the Bulls will go after Carlos Boozer and possibly JJ Redick or Ray Allen to fill out their roster. Boozer and Noah would most likely be the top rated defensive front court in the NBA. Will Boozer be enough to get the Bulls past Cleveland, Boston, Orlando or Miami? Will David Lee be the Bulls top free agent aquisation of the offseason? David Lee is decent also but I see him joining another squad. Perhaps a trade to Cleveland is in order?

The next 48 hours should be interesting.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

After 2 years of anticipation, July 1, 2010 is finally here

By Sean Mackey

Here we are....July 1st 2010. Hopefully by this time next week, all the free agent deals will be worked out and these ridiculous rumors can finally end.

LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Amar'e Stoudemire, Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer remain the most coveted free agents this offseason and from what everyone is saying....most of them will probably remain with their current teams.

Every one of these free agents can sign a 6 year max deal with their current team and rack up an additional $30 million they wouldn't be able to obtain if they signed elsewhere. Most athletes are going to take $30 million over a championship ring any day and wouldn't anybody? 30 million is a lot of money. However, when 50% or more of your income is from endorsements like LeBron's is, a better chance at a title might be more of an incentive than the extra $30 mill.

According to ESPN analyst Ric Bucher, Cleveland is now the favorite to land LeBron & Atlanta is the favorite to land Joe Johnson. Next to Dwayne Wade, Joe Johnson is the best shooter in this free agency and while I don't think he's worth the max, he's going to get it. He'd also be stupid to pass it up because this will be his last big money deal in his career.

If LeBron James stays in Cleveland, this whole fiasco was a waste of time. Granted, it would make him look like a good guy if he came back to his home town, but the Larry King interview, the WWW rumors, the condo hunting in NY...free agency will have been a complete sham and will make LeBron look like the biggest attention whore in all of sports.

Last night the Bulls were at Chris Bosh's doorstep at 12:01 a.m. While it's widely believed that a deal is already in place to send CB4 to Miami, the Bulls still might have a chance.

We need two free agents that are going to at least help the team get to the conference finals. Who they will be is a complete toss up. The Bulls need LeBron. They are also the only other team that I think has a real shot at landing him. Let's break down the teams vying for James services and their current assets.

Chicago: Rose, Noah, Gibson, Deng, J. Johnson (cap space to almost sign 2 max free agents)

Miami: Wade (he'll re-sign no doubt), Beasley, Chalmers, Joel Anthony (cap space to sign almost 3 free agents if players take a pay cut and Beasley, Chalmers & Anthony are traded)

New York: Wilson Chandler & Danilo Gallinari (cap space to sign 2 max free agents)

New Jersey: Brook Lopez, Devon Harris, Derrick Favors (space to almost sign 2 max free agents)

L.A. Clippers: Chris Kaman, Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin (cap space to sign one max free agent)

Cleveland: Varejao, Mo Williams, Jamison (Cap space to sign one max free agent)

New York has nothing. LeBron won't go to the Clippers because they're the Clippers. He's not going to go to Miami because he wants to be top dog. This leaves Cleveland, Chicago & New Jersey as his top suitors.

Where will LeBron go? Check our twitter feed for updates throughout today. This things gonna get crazy.