Join Joel Brigham this Thursday at 1:00pm ET to chat about all things NBA, from the impending playoffs to the potential NBA stars of March Madness. Get your questions in early, and be back here Thursday afternoon to take part in all the fun!
Waz up Joel, what kind of salary do big men Pekovic and Jefferson get next year?
Good afternoon, HOOPSWORLD Citizens, and welcome to another edition of my weekly chat! I got home quite late after the Bulls/HEAT game last night, but it was a really fun one to cover and I’ll happily exhaust myself for a great game like that anytime. It was fun to watch Kirk Hinrich actually be healthy and earn his money last night, but Jimmy Butler has really transformed into something special and really could help make Luol Deng expendable in another year when his contract expires. It’s all so very fascinating, and none of that even comes close to answering the question of whether or not Derrick Rose comes back. The Bulls aren’t a real threat for the title this year either way, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t one of the most interesting teams in the league right now anyway. I’m sure we’ll get some questions about that later, though, so I’ll park the rest of my Bulls thoughts and go ahead and get on with the rest of the questions…
This summer’s class of free agent centers aren’t quite the same brand as last year’s, with the really young, really tall ones like Roy Hibbert and Brook Lopez hitting the market. Jefferson is an older guy and, while a fantasy stud, isn’t necessarily entering the height of his career. Considering he made $15 million this season, I’d say it’s safe to say he takes a paycut. Considering Pek made just under $5 million, I’d say he’s due for a raise.
How about we meet in the middle on both and guess around $10 million/per for each? I could see Jefferson taking a little less, but not Pekovic. He’ll be the better paid of the two because of his age. Both should get decent deals this summer, though.
kings or sonics starting guards next season will be……….?
Who knows? It’s not going to be pretty, whomever it is, though. Obviously, Toney Douglas has been a nice surprise, and Isaiah Thomas continues to be much, much better than he was ever supposed to be, but does a Thomas/Douglas backcourt strike fear into the hearts of the competition? Probably not. I’m not a big fan of throwing big money at Tyreke Evans, and Marcus Thornton looks more and more one-dimensional by the day. Jimmer has no future there, either.
My best guess is that they do re-sign Tyreke, then start him alongside Isaiah Thomas. They may do something in free agency or the draft, but we can’t count on that. They’ve already got tons of backcourt depth, but it’s just not particularly good depth. Not gonna be pretty either way.
What is up Brigham. 3 questions for you:
1)My dream scenario of D.Rose coming back tonight and leading Bulls to a gritty, tough win over Heat happened!…just without Rose. Or Noah. Or Marco. Or even Rip.
I think Tom Thibs just got a boost in the COY race.
2) After the clutch score over Lebron,Will the Bulls’ fans lay off Boozer?
3) DOes it bother you win teams refer to guys who aren’t 7 feet tall as 7 feet? I just get really peeved hearing announcers say the Lakers have two 7 footers. Howard’s clearly not 7 feet. He’s much closer to Mitch (6’9) Kupchak’s height than Pau Gasol.
1. It did happen, and it was awesome. Very, very fun to witness live, and absolutely the most enjoyable live hoops experience I’ve been party to this season. Things always get nuttier in the postseason, but it’s rare for regular season games to be that tense and energized. As for Rose, it’s starting to look like he is going to shut it down. He’s just not talking like a guy that’s on his way to hitting the court. It’s a huge bummer, but I just don’t see it happening anymore. He’s got about 12 games left to prove me wrong.
Thibs was a serious candidate for Coach of the Year before this, but I think this will stick out in voter’s minds. Could be his second award in his first three years as a head coach. That’s be crazy, right?
2. Until he does that well consistently, Bulls fans will NOT lay off Boozer. He’s a really good guy, but I just don’t see it.
3. Pass. It’s just semantics. As an English teacher, though, I see your point!
I understand it’s Derrick Rose’s decision of whether/when to come back, but at this point if he’s still unsure don’t the Bulls have the option to just suggest he not come back so the questions can stop and the current team can prep for the playoffs, or is that the wrong thing (it seems, whatever the Bulls’ front office does, it’s viewed as the wrong thing)
With or without distractions, this Bulls team isn’t going to be particularly interesting in the postseason if Rose isn’t part of the team and competing at a high level. Right now, Chicago would match up with Brooklyn or Indiana in the first round, and the Pacers would be a really tough matchup for them. Brooklyn is considerably less imposing, but even they would be tough for Chicago to deal with in a seven-game series.
But I see what you’re saying. Shut Rose down so he’s not a distraction. Chicago has clinched a playoff spot at this point, so I’m not sure what there is to gain from here on out by announcing he’d be shut down. Keeping some hope he’ll return might actually be better for the morale of the team, actually.
When watching NCAA hoops and projecting players to the NBA, what are the primary things you look for? Position/player specific?
Well, obviously the best players in college basketball, whatever their attributes, are going to garner some attention, but for those that have more potential than actual skill, things like athleticism and offensive ability are really what help guys stand out. Teams also look for niche deep threats and defensive gurus, but those tend not to be lottery picks. Beyond all that, charisma and leadership certainly don’t hurt anything, either.
What do you think about Lebron’s comments?
I remember when Wade threw Hinrich into the stands and pushed Hamilton but they weren’t whining about non-basketball plays.
He’s impossible to stop. LeBron is kind of like Shaq in his prime, where he’s just so much stronger than everybody else that it’s hard to determine how many fouls to call… both against him and for him. But what that means is, over time, he’s grown increasingly frustrated with the physicality on his behalf, and when that leads to his team losing what would’ve been their 28th straight win, especially against a team that always pushes and grabs and harasses LBJ, I understand him losing his cool.
But he’s the greatest player alive playing for the best team in the league. I don’t think there are many of us that feel particularly sorry for him. He’ll be fine, and so will the HEAT.
The bulls had the opportunity to sign birdman before heat he would be the perfect back up to Noah or even Kenyon Martin could back up Noah I hate bulls management.
I’m not a big Birdman fan, though he’d certainly be better than Nazr Muhammad, who is one of the saddest-looking basketball players in the entire NBA. I hope Malcolm Thomas gets a little bit of a shot here, and I hope he gets signed on for the rest of the year. He was so very good in Summer League is one of the nicest kids I’ve ever talked to. He plays a lot like Taj Gibson, so I think he’s a great fit. Birdman isn’t a Bulls kinda guy, TJ, and I think you know that. He would’ve been an odd fit in that locker room.
Hey Joel….Do you see the Cavs making the playoffs next year?….And if the Cavs land the 3rd or 4th pick in this years draft who do they take?….thanks
Kyrie Irving is good enough to make a playoff team out of any group, the same way someone like Chris Paul or Derrick Rose could do. But Irving really doesn’t have a lot of talent around him, so this is going to be incredibly challenging to get done next year. You’d need to see Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters to make major leaps for this to happen, and you’d need the rookie (whomever he is… or “she” if they draft Brittney Griner) to be able to contribute immediately. It’s sort of asking a lot, but it’s do-able, and I absolutely think Cleveland will be in the mix for a low playoff spot next year.
As for who they’ll draft at 3 or 4, I just hope they don’t outsmart themselves like they have the last couple of drafts. Take the best guy, someone who can contribute right away, and stop taking huge risks on fellers with potential. It worked for OKC with Westbrook and Harden, but it doesn’t always happen that way. That said, I could see Cody Zeller or Shabazz Muhammad or Victor Oladipo, though they’d probably prefer Nerlens Noel or Ben McLemore. Any one of the five should help.
Assuming that the Bulls can get the necessary cap space to sign a second “star”, which player(s) do you think they should pursue?
The cap space isn’t going to be there until 2014, but like everyone else they’re hoping for LeBron at that point. There are going to be a ton of big names that summer, but a lot of them are going to be older guys that I don’t think will be a big help. King James or bust, man.
Since the Bulls have clinched a playoff spot, would it be smart to rest Noah the rest of the season, hoping his foot will heal enough to make it through the playoffs? I think health will have more to do with how far the Bulls go than seeding will.
I certainly don’t expect Joakim to play big minutes or even play every day. They won’t want to shut him down and risk rust, but I see no reason for him not to take it easy from here on out. He’s too important to the team’s postseason chances not to have as healthy as possible by mid-April.
Lebron was complaining about physical contact after last nights loss. Shocking isnt it? smh. Didnt hear a peep outta him in the past 27 games but they finally lose and hes complaining about KIRK HINRICH?? Lebron is 6’8 200 something pounds of pure muscle, he plays physical and throws his body into smaller defenders ALL THE TIME yet when an opposing team gets a little physical with him, he cries wolf? cant stand crybaby superstars.
Hinrich football tackled LeBron in the first half. I’d probably be a little upset, too. And if you go out camping all night and end up with a ton of mosquito bites, you don’t NOT complain about mosquitoes just because they’re small, right? They’re annoying no matter the size.
Better offseason plan for the Cavs:
1) Draft Noel/Len, pick up a servicable SF via FA/trade?
2) Draft Porter/Muhammad, try sign after a legit C FA like Jefferson/Pek/Bynum?
I like #2, except for the part where you said “Bynum.” That’s be a huge mistake. But in general, there are more big guys available in this free agent class than swing guys, so I’d rather Cleveland take Otto Porter or Shabazz and chase Pekovic. All of a sudden, Kyrie would have some real weapons around him. With that starting lineup, I’d definitely peg them for the first post-LeBron postseason appearance.
Where do you see Jonas Valanciunas in the next 3 years. I think he is a lock to be an all star and can save the game in terms of great big men. He can be that next Hakeemm, Robinson, Ewing,Mourning, and of course Shaq in terms of dominating the game as a true big man
Those are pretty lofty expectations, Phil. J-Val is going to be good, but not Shaq/Hakeem/D-Rob good. He’s got a ways to go towards living up to his potential, but we saw some positive things this year when he was healthy. I’ll be interested to see how he handles a full season, but I’m optimistic. Just not quite as optimistic as you.
If you were Charlotte GM what moves would you try to make this offseason? Would you bring back Hendo? Do you draft Mclemore, Noel, or try to trade the pick? Would you consider someone like Tyreke Evans? Could him and Kemba play together?
My mantra continues to be “Tyreke is not the answer.” If the Bobcats are ever going to get good, it’s going to have to be through the draft because major free agents are not coming to North Carolina. Ben McLemore is the best-looking NBA prospect in this draft as far as I’m concerned, but he’s not different enough from Kemba Walker to be the wisest choice. Since Kemba is the Bobcats’ best player, I don’t see much of a reason to go redundant there. You may be waiting on Nerlens Noel, but he’d be the better selection for the organization’s long-term. Either way, the ‘Cats still will have a long way to go.
Cavs fan here and dreaming once again about next year. It seemed like a veteran SF like Granger could work well, plus he is a FA in 2014, which could give them a run at LBJ if the Cavs really thought it would happen. So I was wonderin, how much would it take to Granger away from Indiana? Would our 2 first rounders this year be too little, too much or just right?
Too much, at least in terms of draft picks, though Granger would be an interesting piece out there and would certainly help get Cleveland back into the postseason next year. Not sure the Cavs have the right package to make Indy bite, though. They want to preserve their cap space, too, and they love Danny. Getting them to trade him will take a lot, and I just don’t think the Cavs have it.
JB – If you could go back in time before the phenomenon that is FGCU, what city / town / metropolitan area would you re-name Dunk City if you had the choice? Obviously mine is Clifton.
The only real Dunk City is Clifton, Illinois. CBS coverage of the games outside the Hemenover Construction garage would’ve been all-time highs. Those were good, good days, Bub. I miss you guys!
Folks, enjoy March Madness this weekend (my final four is still intact: Ohio St, Michigan St, Indiana, Kansas), and also enjoy the last few weeks of the NBA season as we gear up for the playoffs. Lots of great stuff yet to happen, folks, and I’ll meet you back here in a week to talk about all of it. Thanks for the great questions, and go Bulls!
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It seems like NBA teams hate drafting four-year seniors, but Detroit's Kyle Singler is proving the value of young players with experience.
10:30am - Steve Kyler
3:00pm - Yannis Koutroupis
8:00pm - Jessica Camerato
11:00am - Nate Duncan
8:00pm - Bill Ingram
12:00pm - Travis Heath***
8:00pm - Lang Greene
1:00pm - Joel Brigham
3:00pm - Jabari Davis
1:00pm - Moke Hamilton
3:00pm - Larry Coon
8:00pm - Alex Kennedy
11:00am - Susan Bible ***
*** denotes chats that are held bi-weekly