Ask Sam Mailbag: 02.24.17

Does GarPax own stock in the Thunder? Seriously though, why does it seem that so often in the NBA that mediocre teams give good players to better teams in exchange for nothing? I thought that Taj was supposed to be one of our most valuable trading assets, and we had to add McDermott and a 2nd rounder - granted, almost no value there - in order to get Payne, Morrow, and Lauvergne? I would've thought that McDermott, Taj, and a 2nd rounder would've brought back at least 1 player who'd be a lock to contribute to the team for multiple years. Am I missing something here?
David Beer

Couldn't the Bulls trade Rondo (expiring contract ) and a 2nd rounder for Brandon Knight?
Good shooter and would fit right in with Butler/Wade. Bulls need guards that can shoot.
Mark Bakr

Hate seeing Taj go, however I don't mind this trade. We pick up 3 adequate shooters.
Once the dust settles we will see if Portis was worth the look and if Payne was really just lost behind Westbrook and Morrow adds depth and shooting off the bench. C+
Mike Burling

So who starts at 4 now? Is this some kind of salary dump here?
Lawrence Joy

Well, you've already expressed your opinion about this when addressing Taj trade rumors in the past couple weeks so without commenting on whether this is or will be a bad or good trade I would just like to second what I believe is your opinion that Mr. Gibson was one of the hardest working, fullest effort giving all the time, toughest, do whatever it takes, do all the things that don't show up in the box score, and underrated Bulls players of all time and he will be missed no matter what...good luck Mr. Gibson, I am now rooting for OKC in the West!

Will be interesting to see how the new-look Bulls do the rest of the way... Man we're going to miss that guy...
Guy Danilowitz

So, Magic (not Phil) will be the new boss in LA. Should be interesting. I think he’s almost sure to de better than Jimmy Buss. And while I liked Mitch K. as a player,he was never much of a GM. I guess we’ll see if Magic can make the Lakers relevant again.
Art Alenik

Lakers deal for a slowing Brewer in exchange for Lou Williams? What do you think? And have you ever seen a bigger fall from all-star to journeyman than Roy Hibbert? Jamal Magloire maybe? The game has changed and these type of bigs are no longer useful and that's why I am happy we didnt trade for Okafor.
Mike Sutera

Call Alfonzo McKinnie up after the D-league All-Star Game. Can he play in the NBA? Who’s his game similar to?
Ryan Carpel

What are your thoughts on how the All Star Weekend has devolved - not in terms of investments, being a league wide sponsor focused event and overall visibility - in terms of quality of product presented?

The ASG to me is the greatest example. It seems that after 2003 (the last good game I can remember) it has gotten worse by the year. Do you think a big money prize for the winning team or even the more radical baseball rule (winner with home court advantage in the Finals) would enhance the quality of game?

I know everybody is worried about injuries these days, but it was very pleasant as a fan to be able to watch the best really compete against each other (if not in game 7 level, at least care at all). Is there anyway in your opinion we can ever get something like Blackman's 87 finish? Or even the thrill of MJ's 03 well defensed fadeaway shot?

I used to be critical of the MLB Finals home-court advantage rule, but I guess with today's players, it could be the only way to get them to carE and take it seriously.

I can't imagine Lebron, Irving, DeRozan, Lowry, Thomas in the East and KD, Green, Curry, Klay, Kawhi and maybe Harden on the West wouldn't want to win the ASG if that meant home-court advantage in the Finals. Then everyone else on the 2 teams would just follow and we would have a ballgame.
Jay Ernani

That All-Star Game was a complete embarrassment! Save some money next time and leave the officials and coaches home! Sad that Wilt’s record had to go down by a bunch of uncontested, set up dunk plays for the local boy!

Did you notice the players walking off the court even before Davis finished his acceptance speech? They even felt the mood. From a quote from the Little Rascals movie, “Makes me vomit”!
Rex Doty

I look forward to hearing what you have to say in the AskSam mailbag and about the Bulls. With that said, I have to say that I couldn't disagree more with your take on Butler at the All-Star Game. I shadowed Jimmy Butler in the game because being a Bulls fan, he was representing us. To see him just casually walking up and down the court was a disgrace to the fans who voted to see him play. Every time up and down that court you could see LeBron, DeRozan, George and Kyrie running down the court alternating in alley-oops having fun and Jimmy? Nowhere to be seen.

Noah wasn't a flashy player and cared about wins more than the game, but he even rebounded and played D when he made played the All-Star Game. If it was that much of a disgrace to play in a game without D, Butler could have done so and set the tone early on. He looked disinterested and didn't respect the fact that he was representing all his fans. Is he still hurt? I would have rather him sit out than watch him walk up and down the court.
Adam Garcia

Why did Jim Buss get fired? I know he said the thing about leaving if he didn't build a winner in three years, but the fact of the matter is that they made a decision to go down with Kobe's ship when they gave him that last contract and they knew that meant they would be bad for a couple of years. Kobe finally retires and the rebuilding starts in earnest and then Buss and Kupchak get fired? Was it for giving Kobe that contract? Because assuming it wasn't, what did Jeanie Buss expect? When your main players are 23 and under, you're not going to be good. And this was just the beginning of the process. Perhaps L.A. has no time for rebuilding and wants to have star players in their primes immediately. Join the club. Magic Johnson has been successful in virtually everything he's attempted, so he may be good at this job. That said, he has no experience so it's not like it's a given he'll be good at it. I don't follow the Lakers all that closely but it just feels like I'm missing something. The timing was strange.
Cameron Watkins

Ilyasova; Poor guy dealt again. Headed to Hawks for Splitter and a 2nd rounder. Dont get it for either team.
Bob Ding

Thoughts on the Boogie Cousins deal to New Orleans? I agree on Cousins' deal. Pelicans may have to commit over $300+ mil now to 2 players in Boogie and Davis.
Chris Verzevoulias

Could there be an 8 over 1 upset in the making brewing. I'm sure eyes just got wider considering they could pontentially be facing a Pelicans team with both Demarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. Jrue Holiday is a player to snooze on either when so much attention will be given to the front court now. This could be a game changing trade in the west.
Rocky Rosado

It seems like NO is going against the grain by stacking together (in my opinion) the two best big men in the game today, in a league devoid of dominant big men. Do you think this formula will work against the run and gun styles and small lineups of the NBA? Or will these 2 not be able to coexist, or simply not have enough fire power on the perimeter to overcome this guard dominated league?
Bill Marzano