Ask Sam Mailbag: 03.17.17

The Bulls have not had anyone “Untouchable” other than Jordan. This is where I like Gar & Pax’s term, "re-tooling". You're basically rebuilding without blowing the whole thing Up. Outside of Butler, I think players like Portis, Valentine, and Mirotic will develop into valuable role players. You have Butler (All-Star), Lopez (serviceable veteran). Get lucky in the draft and land another future All-Star with a top 10 pick. Add a free agent or two. You're basically stuck with Wade another year (which is not the death penalty outside of his salary which will come off the books in 2018). You are back competing in the weak Eastern Conference for a top 5 spot.
Randy Saunders

Looking at the remaining schedule and how the Bulls are playing I believe the Bulls could be in for a free fall into the lottery? I just don't see how Butler isolation offense is going to win games. I know he is our "Superstar", but every possession seems like a struggle with limited ball movement. Should fans be preparing for the lottery?
Rocky Rosado

I am not a fan of tanking but I wonder should Butler sit. His performance seems off and I am concerned his heel maybe more an issue than we are hearing. Now with Wade out the rest of the season his overall health is most important for if the team limps into last spot of the playoffs we need him healthy.
Kevin Franzen

I can’t say as I completely agree with your previous opinions regarding Hoiberg and his communication with the players. I do understand the “If you produce, you play; if you don’t, you sit” approach. And I certainly don’t think these guys (some men, some boys) need to be coddled or pampered. However, I believe the bottom-line question is: How can the coach get the team to play its best? And I don’t think the apparent total lack of communication is the way to do that.

I work at a job that I’ve been at for decades, and I still appreciate feedback from my supervisor – good or bad. And if he/she came around and pulled a project from me and summarily gave it to the next person without any explanation, I’m not sure that I’d be operating at my best when I was given my next project. Sure, I might try harder than ever to perform well, but operating out of paranoia may not be quite the best way to bring out the best in me – certainly not in the long run. More than anything, it indicates to me a lack of ability on my manager’s part to manage, mentor, instruct, or in any real way improve my skills. Any schmuck can say “Gimme this, I’m giving it to the next guy on the bench.” However, I do realize that this kind of thing gets magnified when a team is losing. If guys were putting the ball in the basket and they were winning, Hoiberg would look like a genius. But right now, I don’t know that he is performing any better than anyone else on that team.
Stuart Gilbert

What’s going on with the Bulls? We go from one game out of the 6th seed in the East to tied for the 8th Spot only a half game away from the ping-pong lottery? Bulls positioning themselves to draft Monk with a lottery pick? Now it has been announced that Wade is out for the remainder of the season. Time to pack it all in now (tank) because without Wade, the best case would most likely be the 8th seed? And get swept by the Cav’s or Celtics. Also, how does the Wades injury bode for next season. I have a feeling he would not opt out of his contract now coming off an injury. I think he would be stupid to think another team would pay him the same money or more than the Bulls are on the hook for next year?
Randall Sanders

Why does Da Bulls management and Hoiberg keeps giving Mirotic chances to play? He’s so inconsistent and practically useless when he can’t score. This reminds me how Da Bears stuck with Jay Cutler for 8 years trying to accommodate him but at the end didn’t work out thus releasing him.
Tom Choi

Here come the Heat!

They haven't had much press and have quietly put together a good record over the last 25 games. Were we all wrong about Dion Waiters?

I expect them to jump ahead of Chicago as the Bulls have a much tougher schedule over the next 5 games. Much like last season, it's a race to the 8th seed. I hope for Fred they make it.

I think the sooner we can get to the off season and retool the better. It's been such a mixed season and with some money available I'm looking forward to seeing what management do with no pressure on them as far as their jobs next season.
Mike Burling

What a disaster the signing of Chandler Parsons (four years, $98 million). Worst signing of 2016. Right behind him, Solomon Hill (four years, $50 million).
Mike Sutera

Players taking days off... it just doesn't float. Some of us out here
in the seats wait more than a year and drive hundreds of miles after
taking days off we can't really afford just so our kid can see his
favorite player....who, y'know, decides it's time to take a PTO.
Everybody needs a day off work here or there, but most of us aren't the
product. It's like flipping on your phone and having Verizon tell you
"Sorry, we're tired. Make it tomorrow".

So, where is it on the published schedule that this player is taking
off? In my office, we have to post on a calendar. Various NBA teams
don't give refunds or exchanges either. Top 5 players show
up. For that matter top 10 players showed up. Jordan felt like garbage
a lot, but he played in pre-season games. I for sure respect LBJ's
talent and he's produced some nice results but sorry, can't respect him
as a player as much as Jordan, Kareem, Wilt, Russell, Bird, Earvin
Johnson. I like Duncan and he was a hell of a player, but the "taking days off" thing does kinda screw with the "best power forward of all time" thing. Kevin McHale didn't take days off. I don't think Elvin Hayes skipped many games just 'cause either. I do
realize that management is complicit, but though players today seem
awful concerned about their own "brand", shouldn't they be even more
conscious than players used to be about perception of them as players?
Yeah, one doesn't like to be the guy that's growling "...in the old
days, ...", but is this really about the old days? Or is it about living
up to the bargain?

One of the rationalizations for these guys making the absurd money is that their careers are short. It's why Noah had such a bond with the fans here. He understood banged up,
used up....he showed up and gave it what he had inside that shirt, even
on those days when he suffered from Jim Beam flu. I can tell you this:
he very seldom let my two boys down that they could tell. And when he
got after LBJ...? We cheered him like nuts. Not hard to figure out why,
is it? Then I turn on the GS/SA and everyone's decided ... y'know..... Why? So we get to watch a bunch of guys named Patty Mills and Matt Barnes. Okay, Leonard got belted and Aldridge may have something serious there. So, where is Curry? Maybe he might think,
"y'know, the fans paid a big wad to see a show..."? Instead it looks like he's thinking "..hey. Not MY problem."

Curry has a well-cultivated image but did he show up? Klay Thompson?
It looked pretty often like a D-league game but I bet the fans didn't
pay D-league prices.
Pete Zievers