Ask Sam Mailbag: 05.18.18

Mikal Bridges is a top 5 pick in this draft. Reminds me a little of Luol Deng. There is no way the Bulls should pass up on him if he is available at 7. Bridges over Porter any day!

Bilal Junaid

Michael Porter Jr.

I pray MPJ (Michael Porter Jr.) is gone by 7. MPJ is a big risk. I say Carter at 7.
Mike Sutera

7 isn't bad in this draft!  I'm sure some fans are mad they didn't do an all out tank and some are probably still crying about Jordan Bell.  I think there are 7 solid picks in early lottery:  Ayton, Doncic, Bagley, Bamba, Jackson Jr, Young and Porter Jr.  Bulls have enough 4 and 5's so hopefully Porter Jr falls to them or Doncic? Ha ha. Porter Jr is not bad at 7. If he's healthy.  I remember the Bulls passed on Brandon Roy because they knew it was just a matter of time before he was bone on bone in his knee.  If they see the same with Porter Jr and his back, they'll probably pass.  Either way, they'll get a good player at 7 and at 22. Maybe a JR/SR at 22...Hutchinson, Milton or even Trent Jr would be nice.  They really don't need to get any younger though. Bulls will probably draft Mikal Bridges.  Not bad but if they do so while passing on Porter Jr, leaving him for the Cavs, that'll upset me.
Victor Devaldivielso

Zach LaVine

Ignoring whether it would be a good trade or not, under the trade rules, would it be feasible to sign LaVine to a reasonable contract and then trade LaVine and the 7th pick to Sacramento or Atlanta for 2nd or 3rd pick to get Bagley or Doncic? Just curious.
Kevin Gacek

I'd rather be the Kings than the the Suns. Hear me out. It's well known that Vlade loves Luka. Suns have a tough decision. Take the college hometown star Ayton or take the new coaches main guy in Luka. Vlade wants Luka but will gladly take Ayton.  Meanwhile, Cousins unfollowed the Pelicans on social media. Could mean something, could mean nothing. If i am Pels i let him walk. Coming off a bad injury not to mention hes a ball stopper and a team morale killer. 
Bob Ding

Mitchell Robinson

At No. 22, there are a lot of guards available, but aside from the lottery only one big man Mitchell Robinson is available and he will likely slide 16-19. The rest are guards such as Zhaire Smith, Lonnie Walker, Gary Trent Jr., Anfernee Simons, Troy Brown, etc. There is one small forward out of Bosnia, Dzanan Musa whom is getting some applause. I'm not sure that's what the Bulls need, nor do I think the Bulls will benefit from a two guard such as one of the names above when you already have a clutter of young guards who are expected to get minutes. 
Tom Plonowski

The Cavs have gotten nada from their four new guys this post season. Damn what the hell happened to George Hill? Still gonna win the series you know
Mike Queens

Brad Stevens

Apparently, Brad Stevens does not allow rookie hazing in his team. The rationale behind that is he wants his rookies to be as empowered as everyone else. With the success of Tatum this year and the rise of Brown towards the end of the year last year, do you think other coaches will give this approach a look? 
Melbert Tizon

There's a lot of disappointment among Bulls fans in the team's landing the #7 pick in the upcoming draft, myself included (albeit the Bulls had less than a 20% chance at improving to the Top 3, so it should serve as no surprise).  These Bulls need a franchise player that statistically, they're far less likely to find at #7.  That said, unless the Bulls make a huge splash in free agency this summer, we can reasonably expect a 30-40 win season next year, placing them among the better teams to miss the playoffs.  Normally this would result in extremely low odds to win the draft lottery and a likely 10th or 11th pick. However, under the new lottery rules, these less probable franchises will see improved odds.  So I suppose there's some cause for optimism in that respect, right? Who would you like to see the Bulls draft at 7th?
Mike Burgher

It seems to me that shoot-first, undersized points usually end up coming off the bench for 20 minutes a game, and the Bulls might want to shoot for more potential with #7. On the other hand, if Young has the quickness and acumen to develop into a distributor like Nash, he could be a difference maker for someone. I expect Gar and Pax will make a good pick at #7. They've been very solid for a number of years at getting value wherever they draft. If they have a choice between Porter and Wendell Carter, I wouldn't be surprised if work ethic was the deciding factor.
Kirk Landers

Krause it? It appears the Bulls will have a potentially 45-50 win team for years to come. I assume they will get a nice pick here and a decent free agent in 2019. Kind of like 2008 Bulls if they hadn't won the lottery. Not saying they should because pick 7 could turn out to be great, but if the Bulls wanted to “Krause It”, and go for broke, what options do they have (if any) with a risky trade for a (Lauri + 7) superstar and what draft picks at 7 are high risk high reward. Sometimes superstars are available like James Harden was. Sometimes you could take a player along with the seventh pick and trade them for something
Sometimes risky trades work out and sometimes they don't. I never faulted Krause for trying
Jeff Lichtenstein

Boston Celtics

So... how about them Celtics?   The best adjective I've heard is ‘relentless'.  They're still not out of the woods.  No one is safe while LeBron walks the earth.  But I sure haven't seen his maximum effort, while the Celtics are playing like their hair is on fire.  (Come to think of it, isn't that how Danny Ainge always played?)  After Game 1, I thought that LeBron & the Cavs just didn't show up, as if they thought they could give Boston a game.  It still looked that way in the 1st qtr, when LeBron was himself again and the Celtics kept missing shots.  But after that burst of excellence, the Celtics shut him down (somewhat) and ground out another win.  Very impressive.  I'm starting to believe...

Right now, I'd say Celtics in 6... maybe 7

Well, we'll see what happens Wednesday.  If D'antoni is half the coach you think he is, there should be some adjustments & surprises.  But that's not what he and his players are saying. “We are what we are.  We won 65 games playing iso, why should we change?”  I think they mean it, and I think (once again, sorry) that D'antoni cannot win a championship, no matter how much talent he has.  You need more balance, and you need defense.   I'm thinking Warriors in 5.
Art Alenik

Boston has been showing you can succeed with a lot of talent; not necessarily superstar talent. Houston did get that second game as I got your email before it. I don't agree with that that narrative about D'Antoni cannot win a title. His players haven't been able to, though I always believed with Nash and Stoudemire they'd have won if the league hadn't suspended all their guys after Robert Horry's attack on Nash. This Houston team is not the way D'Antoni plays. He's not inflexible. He's just had to play this way because it's who he has. That's what good coaching is about. He's a moving/isolation guy, if I can say that. Steve Nash wasn't standing around. But they stuck him with Harden and Paul, who both dominate and hold onto the ball. His Phoenix teams didn't play this way. But he's adjusted to what his players do best. Plus, he has plenty of defensive guys and uses them. Check the matchups in this series. Your prediction is reasonable because Golden State is better at every position. Curry is better than Paul, Durant is better than Harden, and then Thompson and Green are better than any two other Rockets players. So Golden State has at least four of the best starters and I'd probably take Iguodala, also. Sure, the Rockets won a lot of games. I won't say it's coaching because they have very good players; just not so many in a match up against the Warriors.