Ask Sam Mailbag: 01.13.17

I have enjoyed watching the Bulls this year, after struggling whether or not to keep my TV screen intact during last year's campaign. Something I'm seeing with this Bulls team is that everyone seems to love Jimmy Butler. His value is at an all time high, yet he is not the kind of player that will take a team to a championship. I don't see the Bulls ever winning or even being serious contenders with Butler at the helm. To me, he is more of a second or third option on a championship team. I know that this won't happen, but I wish the Bulls would take a shot at acquiring some high draft picks and young talent in return for Butler. There's no place worse than sports purgatory: a borderline contender that can never amass transcending talent. It's where the Bears have been since 85 and Cubs until Theo. Bulls are right there now. Even though it's no slam dunk, but it's generally true that top five picks are what change the direction of franchises.
Yuriy Fomin

Bulls seem to be shopping Butler... not sure why... every team would like to draft well and mature a player into a star - that's what they've done with him and on a large but reasonable contract given his performance. The big ego type stuff seems to have disappeared due to Wade's influence and he's not unhappy with the Bulls. I'm not sure how they could get equal or greater value in a trade unless they get Westbrook or LeBron or someone from Golden State (no chance on any I assume). If they get draft picks then they're just resetting the process of doing what they did in maturing butler. He's their one reliable two way player and might be in the top 10 players in the league. I don't get it. He was supposed to be the core of the team, with Wade and Rondo (regardless of whether he remains) as near term fills ins without giving up too much cap flexibility for next year or beyond. Sure there's no harm in listening to offers, but if the above is true, then why introduce additional drama?
Ross Goodman

I wanted to get your opinion on this recent surge of articles of Derrick Rose during this "saga".

While there is merit to the argument that he should have informed Knicks on his situation (and was appropriately fined), I was appalled by reaction of the media and public. That instead of wishing/hoping that nothing serious ever happened to him and his family (they could just always wait for the news from Rose's camp instead of demanding that they should know it asap from the team), they instead concentrated on his lack of "professionalism" and that this should be the end of DRose in NY.

In my point of view, this is all just media trying to speculate on what really happened just to milk the story as much as they can, which is sad especially with all these headlines on "contemplating" that he wanted to get away from basketball just now, having a "report" that he wants to get a max. If there really was more to this story, then Rose would have gotten a lot more punishment right away.
Dodds Siton

Can/Will Derrick ever average 20ppg again in his career?
Matthew Mikulice

I just heard that Valentine a no-go for (Thursday), feeling ill.

Too bad, but don’t sleep on this kid. I think he’s going to be the real deal. Just needs to get some PT & get used to the NBA 3-pointer.

I worry a bit that maybe McD will never calm down, or maybe Portis isn’t (who we think he is). But I see good things for Valentine.

His 3-pt. shooting improved every yr. in college, and may not have peaked yet.
Art Alenik

I normally don't bash teams like most fans in sports who think they can do the job better, but with this Rondo they need to come out and tell the press and the team why Rondo was benched right away, not let it linger and hang out there for everyone to pick apart and speculate. Do they not realize this is how problems arise? They are letting everyone else create the story instead of telling us what it is.
Mario Persico

Can the Bulls sign Dunleavy once the Hawks buyout is successfully completed?
Abram Bachtiar

I'm really glad Portis and Valentine got playing time (Tuesday) night - that kind of game could lead to a lot of growth for Chicago's young players throughout the season. What a blessing for guys like Wade and Butler to sit out for a night.
LongGiang Le

Through all the ups and downs of this season through Rondo's benching and Butler's greatness this seems to be the key to the Bull's success:
"The bench was huge; knocking down big shot after big shot," noted Butler. "When you miss your shot you have to take that same shot again; we are preaching that to them and they did that tonight and they are a big part of this win."
Can it be that simple? Sure looks like it from here, keep shooting those good but not perfect shots that Butler and Wade will get you all year!
Guy Danilowitz

Is Wade strong GM material when his career is over. Love to see the Bulls keep him in some capacity with a percentage. What a brilliant job he did in recruiting Lebron and seems like lots of positive energy and smarts.
Jeff Lichenstein

Wouldn't lance Stephenson be a great mid season free agent pick-up after injury?
Ryan Carpel