Ask Sam Mailbag: 03.30.18

Maybe I was wrong to complain about how hard it is to watch Bulls games these days. That part's true, but I have to say, the daily Standings Watch is a lot more interesting at the Bulls' end of the spectrum than up on top. I find myself paying attention to Sacramento, Brooklyn, Dallas and Orlando more than I ever have, because they are the other 22-24 win teams in the league. If they all get "hot" and win two or three of their final 8 games, the Bulls could end up with the #4 or #5 draft choice, just by doing what they're doing. This view of the NBA poses some interesting quandaries. Like, when 22-win Orlando plays 23-win Brooklyn, who should I root for? A Brooklyn win puts the Bulls one loss away from a 3-way tie for the 6th pick, or maybe even the 5th if Dallas wins its second in a row. On the other hand, Orlando has to win at least two more games this year if the Bulls are to have any chance of landing in the fourth slot. These are the kind of choices that age NBA fans prematurely.

Kirk Landers

I am against the tank. When I'm in town and pay money I want my team to win. I was curious about your thought on this ESPN piece I just read on the tank. I know it is a baseball piece but they do go into basketball as well.

Jeremy Saltan

Sean Kilpatrick? Was this a guaranteed three years? Looks like a good bench guy. Janero Pargo 2.0

Ryan Carpel

Kawhi may still be hurt. It says a lot that he and his reps have been seeing outside team doctors. Pop orders his players to do a hit job. Remember J.R. Richard? Who's to say he's ready to play. Stephen Jackson went off on Tony Parker too. Says he was selfish in 2014 and he's a dupe now, with what he's saying about Kawhi.

Matt Adler

Charlotte dangling Kemba during the draft?

Mike Queensworth

I know you don't enjoy the tanking process.  Neither do I.  You often point out how long it takes and how painful it is to watch.  How many times this approach fails.  I agree with all of that.  One notable exception was the Sonics/Thunder.  That's the experience think Bulls fans should be hoping for.  Similar to what the Bulls did with Butler, the Sonics sparked their rebuild with the Ray Allen trade.  Then a couple of bad years led to very good picks with Westbrook and Harden.  Snag Ibaka late in the draft and rebuild is done.  It can work quickly.  It just takes a lot of luck.  The tanking and rebuilding in general is no fun and rarely works.  There are countless examples as you mention of it not working.  My point was that there are a few examples here and there that do work which is what leads everyone to pursue this route even though they ignore that it takes a ton of luck for this plan to work.  I'd much rather they stay a 45-50-win team forever and hope Lebron or whoever is best after him to get hurt.   My idea for star distribution has always been to have hard salary caps and to have no individual player cap.  So basically no team could afford to have more than one star.  But that would probably lead to a lot of teams with overpaid old stars who aren't good anymore.

Cameron Watkins

Two NCAA college conferences are the ones proposing ‘two or none'.  They probably care more about the marketability of college hoops than about then kids.  But I'd still like to see a 2 yr. minimum... and nobody straight out of HS.  Too bad for the very rare LeBron/Garnett types.

Art Alenik

Darius Bazley the Syracuse recruit is going straight to the G-league instead. This makes no sense to me. You cant jump from HS to the NBA but you can bypass college and still go to the G league. I don't think that's fair to other college guys. I think guys benefit from a yr or two playing college basketball. Last guy to bypass college like this was Brandon Jennings and Mudiay who both opted for China.

Bob Ding

Lots of concerns being voiced about Zach's game, but I haven't heard much about his knee.  What is keeping him out all these games? Should bulls fans be concerned or is this just part of this ugly tank job and the bulls' way of avoiding a fine?

Guy Danilowitz

Carmelo. woof. Not even one 30 point game this season. Looks like he's stuck in cement.

Mike Sutera

The article I saw on five thirty eight about shooting aid range for the Pacers this season says a lot about Nate McMillan beating able to coach to his players strengths. Not every team has to play the same to win, just be the best version of yourself.

Wesley Davis

Will the Bulls keep Robin Lopez if nobody else wants him?  Who will be released or traded?  Of the present Bulls, Portis, LaVine, Dunn, and Markkanen seem like locks for the rotation next year.  Who else do you see getting court time?

William Kochneff

Heck of a game Harden must've had last night, if SportsCenter is to be believed.  Indeed..."the greatest one on one player ever," the commentator gushes. "What he can do out of the pick and roll…" Leaving aside the laughable non-sequitor...somewhere, Mike is going "hold my beer."

Chris Granner