Ask Sam Mailbag: 05.5.17

Do you think the Bulls would have won that series with Rondo?
Alejandro Yegros

I read your Chicago Bulls season grades and I disagree on you giving Fred Hoiberg grade as “B”? If it were up to me I wouldn’t give him no better than a D- for one main reason: lacking common sense.

This roster with or without the trade of Taj Gibson was still very talented and had we had a coach like a Tom Thibodeau could’ve won up to 50 games. What I mean by common sense is why not go with your strengths instead of trying to play something you’re not as Bulls are not: a 3 pt shooting team. Hoiberg should’ve have had his team pound the ball inside with Lopez, Butler and even Wade at all times which not only would’ve have drawn fouls but better chances to score. Hoiberg by far is the worse coach in the history of the Bulls. You would think Tim Floyd was bad but not this bad. Can’t believe Gar Forman was stupid enough to believe Hoiberg could make this team better.
Tom Choi

The top five draft picks in this year's draft are either point guards (Ball, Fultz, Fox) or small forwards (Tatum, Jackson). I can't see Boston (if they get No. 1) pairing a point guard like Fultz with Thomas. Both are scorers I think and would not be a good fit unless you bring one off the bench. I also think it would create some defunct on how effective their game right now is. What would they do with Avery Bradley? Avery Bradley, the starting point guard, pulls down 7rpg and averages only a couple of assists. And he's only a few inches taller than Thomas. You put a tall point guard who scores such as Ball or Fultz, and you immediately can expect a shift in chemistry. Or do the Celtics gamble with a Jonathan Issac or Lauri Markkanen? Possibly trade down to get them.

If I'm the Celtics, I think Ball or Fultz are franchise type players. If Thomas doesn't get you to the NBA Finals, why not look to trade Thomas? An excellent scorer, however at 29 years of age you have to wonder he probably has three years of high-level scoring left at his height, and you'd figure by then the Celtics would look to the future. If I'm Ainge, I too keep the pick and get one of those point guards (or possibly Josh Jackson) and look to deal Thomas if I'm taking Ball or Fultz.
Tom Plonowski

No one gives away all stars so I don't know where the Bulls can get one without giving up good players. Realistically, the Bulls aren't going to get anyone in free agency. I look forward to watching Mirotic have a career year and mostly thanks to Rondo. Rondo gets him the ball. The Bulls need good health and for Mirotic and Portis to have career years. Valentine needs more minutes. Jerian Grant and MCW need to go. They don't fit. Teams have to develop their draft picks so they need to improve from within. I hope they trade up for Monk though. Not sure how they could pull that off but if he drops to 8-10...I hope they can somehow get him.
Victor Devaldivielso

Lonzo Ball reportedly to skip NBA Draft Combine, giving scouts one less chance to find warts. And the family just get worse by the day. My Lord. 500 dollars for his sneakers?
Mike Sutera

It was worth the shot and too bad Rondo went down. But time to rip this team apart. Butler needs to be traded. He would be too old by the time the Bulls got better and Wade is starting the steep decline. Hopefully Wade won't come back but impossible to turn down that type of money. Won't make a difference, just kind of a sad George Gervin 1984 season for him coming back.

So rooting for bad teams and lots of lottery picks I guess. Time to pull out those lucky charms and hope the lottery balls don't give us the next Marcus Fizer. Free up the cap space. Been there before. Maybe better this time.
Jeff Lichtenstein

This past season was certainly more enjoyable than 2015/16 when at times the team appeared to be without an offense. It was an amazing transformation of a roster. The play the kids period was useful but what is the conclusion? It appears there are only four that may have potential to be decent players, not stars. Zipser, Valentine, Portis and Cam Payne (only because of uncertainty with such limited experience). How would he not be “in shape”? What is more important in his life? Do we have another Tyrus Thomas with all kinds of physical skill and a space cadet above the shoulders? Grant, MCW, Niko, Lauvergne and probably Felicio are limited to a use of completing a roster and should be available without hesitation to fill out any trade.
John Petersen

Not with a million guesses could I have predicted this season for the Bulls. And yet, the final record was right where just about everyone thought it would be.

Shades of 2012? Pretty much, except this time it was the Bulls failing to beat the number one seed instead of caving to the number eight seed. But, nonetheless, it was a repeat of the Bulls losing the guy they depended on to put them into position to win with an injury in the second game of the series. Next years' starting lineup. Any ideas? I'll go with Rondo, Wade, Butler, Portis, and Lopez, with Mirotic getting traded in the off season.
William Kochneff

Last week's Bears Draft Day trade reminded me of a similar deal the Bulls once made back in the 2006 NBA Draft, in which the Bulls traded down from the #2 overall pick (LaMarcus Aldridge) to the #4 pick (Tyrus Thomas). The only incentive for the Bulls in that deal was the inclusion of Viktor Khryapa (a below-replacement level guy who averaged 3PPG for Chicago over two years). Setting aside the fact that Tyrus Thomas became a bust in the NBA while Aldridge has enjoyed an All-Star career, what was the Bulls' true incentive in making that deal and why couldn't they have extracted more from the Blazers, in the same fashion the 49'ers manipulated the Bears? I recall Chad Ford had Tyrus ranked #1 overall among prospects pre-draft. Why not just draft Tyrus at #2 in the first place? Was it really worth all the trouble for Khryapa? Do you recall what your opinion was at the time of this trade?
Mike Burgher