Ask Sam Mailbag: 01.19.18

I can't believe this is happening to us again. Once again, the Bulls are too good, too soon -- and this year (just like 2009) will guarantee this team never wins a title. In 2008 we got extremely lucky and got to draft D-Rose #1. The next year, we went 41-41 and were eliminated by Boston in the 1st round. We would then draft Taj in 2009, a nice pick - sure. But if we had been a lottery team with top-5 pick potential for just one more season, we would have had a chance at Steph, James Harden, Blake Griffin, DeMar DeRozen. All franchise altering players at the SG and PF positions, which were our biggest holes when we consistently lost against Miami. Everyone knew we were one player away. But we never got there. Because we got good -- one year too soon. It's now happening again. We found a franchise piece in Lauri. We have all-star talent in LaVine, perhaps even Dunn. But this year, we'll likely pick somewhere in the 8-12 range and miss out on Ayton/Doncic/Porter -- our last franchise piece, who gets us over the top. In 5 years when we look back and wonder why we never made it over the ECF hump and beat Boston in a series (who by the way, will have a top 5 pick in this year's draft). We'll look back at these franchise-crippling wins delivered to us by Robin Lopez, Justin Holliday and Niko and we'll know why. The curse of "Too Good, Too Soon" lives on. Yoni Solomon

Nikola Mirotic #44 of the Chicago Bulls moves against Shaun Livingston #34 of the Golden State Warriors at the United Center on January 17, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised by this Bulls Team. Could they really make the playoffs? Some would say they should tank but if you look at this team they may be rebuilt already? Maybe the trade with Minnesota wasn't as one sided as it seems? We need a small forward but other than that I think you let these guys grow together. Mirotic is iffy, kind of thinking the Bulls keep him and ride out the year see where it goes. They can always trade him or Portis at draft time if they really see someone in the draft they really like. Playoffs? Are we talking Playoffs??? Maybe Stephen Fulton

I know all trade ideas get shot down but what about this... The Cavs are desperate and Lebron wants a ring now! The Cavs know they need to get it for him or he is gone at seasons end.Cavs get - Lopez, Mirotic Bulls get - their first rounder, Fryre, Korver Portis becomes our 5.Fryre off our books next year, another high first rounder and all we suck up is a low 8 mil a year in Korver for 2 yrs.As has been well written, Lebron doesn't want to build for the future so he wants the Cavs to use that first rounder chip, not hold it. They get too players who can score, get a starting center and Mirotic can rebound.Andrew Brown

In your opinion, Why are the Bulls not trying to get Lauri more into the offence. Run some plays for Him? He is clearly the best player on the team and should at least get 20-25 Shots a game. Randall Sanders

Is there something to that Bucks and DeAndre Jordan rumor?Mike Sutera

I'm sure that you are getting a lot of these proposed Mirotic trades since it is no secret that the Bulls are shopping him for a number one pick. It seems that teams tend to value the unknown of a pick more than the known of an existing player. At best, the Bulls would likely get a mid to late first rounder for Mirotic, even though his impact on the game, salary and age would indicate that his value should be much higher. I'll skip the demand for a first round pick and throw one more trade option out to you that I think should be of value to both teams: The Bulls trade Mirotic and Felicio (and possibly a second rounder) to Milwaukee for Parker and Teletovic. Milwaukee slightly reduces its roster cost and gets Mirotic as a power forward now (rather than waiting a year for Parker to recover) along with Felicio as a rotational center. I think that Mirotic with his size and stretch forward abilities would fit Milwaukee as a power forward better than Parker. Parker presents both risk and potential, compared to the known and significant potential in Mirotic.Stuart Hersh

With Blakeneys two way contract, is it a two year deal? Also will he become a restricted free agent at the end of his contract?Shaun Chalmer

Justin Holiday. This guy is a keeper. I knew when Lavine would come back this guy would not feel like he had to do everything on offense. Now hes letting it come to him. I would keep him past next season as he can start or come off the bench as he has no ego and seems like a loyal guy.Bob Ding

Is it possible that the Bulls are 1 off-season away from competing for the top spot in the East? I hate to give GarPax credit but going in to the off-season this group will have 2 elite players in LaVine and Markkanen, a potential all-defensive team PG in Dunn and depth at every position. Are they really this close already? If so, why trade Niko? Michael McCreary

Mirotic is proving to be valuable off the bench. I don't think we should trade him unless we can land a small forward to add to the lineup. The only trade that somewhat makes sense is with Utah for Favors and a #1. But, Favors isn't of much use to us since Portis does what he can do and shoot 3's. What are the chances of us going and trading for Paul George or signing him as a free agent?Ryan Carpel

Let me get a disclaimer out of the way here first: I am not in favor of full on tanking as the 76ers have done. I don't think that's the direction the Bulls should have gone in or should go in.
You wrote that the Bulls will be farther under the cap than most teams, have an intriguing young core and thus free agents will pick them. I remain skeptical about the free agents, though agree the Bulls will be set up well to make that pitch. We simply haven't seen it happen with this team for whatever reason. Just sticking to this Bulls regime, ignoring the infamous 2000 rejections, the only really big free agents to come were Carlos Boozer and Ben Wallace. Boozer was basically out of suitors and he and the Bulls were each others' only choice. Ben Wallace, I assume, realized before most of us that the downside of his impressive career was upon him and jumped at his last chance for a big payday. And then there was the Wade thing last year, but that was desperation on both sides. I'm not trying to argue over why James or Wade (the first time) didn't pick the Bulls, I'm just saying we can't assume any big names, to the extent they are out there, will pick the Bulls based on recent history. I pay as much attention to this stuff as I possibly can from my perspective as a fan and I honestly believe weather is an unbelievable big deal to these guys. I can't say I understand it, but it seems to be the case. If it's not warm, they ain't coming. Maybe that's the real reason why they drafted the guy from Finland.Cameron Watkins