Ask Sam Mailbag: 06.02.17

Kevin Durant going to the Warriors ruined the season. The Warriors would be tough to handle even for Team USA.
Alex Gray

Klay Thompson MIA? What’s up?
Mike Metz

Is this true? Larry Bird has better stats than Lebron? Maybe just for one season? I'd have to watch Larry's games again to know who was better.I think Bird today would still stand out as an MVP candidate: I have Bird in my top 5 all time. Lebron probably is top 5: Between Jordan, Magic, Bird, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Lebron... I'm not sure who I'd leave out of the top 5. Does Oscar Robertson belong up there?
LongGiang Le

I don’t want to get into the whole Michael vs. LeBron thing in terms of basketball - - for the record, I’m a Michael person - - but I wonder if you could comment on the two from a citizenship perspective. I have admired LeBron’s willingness to speak out on social and political issues and his community commitments as exemplified by his financing of a new school in Akron and his contribution to the African-American History museum in DC. I am sure that Michael has done some of these things privately, but the public impression, exemplified by his famous “Republicans also buy sneakers” comment, is that he has little to any concern with these issues. Is that accurate, and, in your view, is it fair to have such expectations of professional athletes?
Michael Mezey

NBA Draft scuttle: Media reports are Detroit is open to discussing trades for its No. 12 overall pick in hopes of acquiring more of a win-now veteran.
Mike Sutera

I was at the Bulls playoffs game and saw Ben Gordon there not once but twice. Does he still live in Chicago? How is it that he still has not hook up with any NBA teams? Even though he's older he can still shoot the lights out especially on the 3s. Would the Bulls be interested in bringing him back or has that bridge has been burned beyond point of no return?
David Kim

Boston was a #1 seed heading into the playoffs, while Chicago just about got in with a 41-41 record. This means each/every one of those players, should've been ready to step up to the plate so to speak, the moment Isaiah got injured and yet they only managed to do that once. Bulls never capitalized once Rondo got injured, and it cost us the rest of the series.
Kieron Smith

The Celtics are taking Fultz, with Ball going to L.A. Philadelphia will take either Fox or Jackson. If they take Fox, then Phoenix will certainly look to select and keep Jackson. If Philadelphia takes Jackson, that's when Phoenix may look to trade the draft pick. Sacramento acquired a very promising shooting guard and they'll look to build around Hield with those two lottery picks. I doubt they trade them unless they are trying to move up in the draft by dealing those two draft picks. As much as I would like for Chicago to consider Orlando because of Elfrid Payton who I think is a quality point guard, I think they paid a lot of money to guys like Biyombo, Fournier who are all 23-24 and will look to build around that group along with Gordon, Henizoja, the pick, and Payton. I think the T-Wolves are in a similar position as Towns, LaVine, Wiggins, and Dunn are all under 23 years of age. They just extended Dieng to a major contract to be their starting power forward. In theory, they could look to improve by dealing for Butler and keeping LaVine and Rubio. The Mavericks are looking to rebuild, while the Hornets will likely not deal with the Bulls. Detroit has never been a trading partner for Chicago and doesn't have many pieces neither does Denver and Miami. Another team that is out there is Portland which features three first round picks, however with established young players in Lillard and McCollum they will likely want to add to that.
Tom Plonowski

I am looking forward to the draft but am not at all sure what the Bulls should do. I like keeping Butler, Rondo, and Lopez (who is a steal) and seeing what else they can add. They do need to fix the 2 guard but have no one on the roster that appears to be starter material. I would take a flyer on a 2 guard and see what happens.
Greg Young

I like the roster okay, little short of tall guys with talent, though. No offense, Lopez. Hope Rondo is the guy we saw this year. Really great to see him working out the youngsters before games. In game love the push. So easy way to trash Butler; I like/appreciate him. I just don't confuse him with someone he's not. He's a really nice finisher you want running the lanes. He also creates turnovers and a lot of bad shots (might as well be turnovers). You don't find guys like that easy.

With this mix what do you draft? I always like long-limbed guys that have decent feet and can catch a less than perfect pass (in traffic?). I have to tell you, the second unit far more intriguing than the starters (despite Rondo moving to the first unit), particularly if Payne contributes. He's a low-to-the-ground slithery/slinky type. If he can deliver off the bounce that's a nice way to initiate with these other fellows. If second unit gets an active big they have some really interesting defensive possibilities. Not expecting anyone to understand s/r defense; just looking for a guy that's got decent body control, good hand/eye, some timing, and runs with his hands/eyes up. I hate to say this (yes, I do) but honestly I don't want Wade on the second unit. There'd be more ups and downs, but he monkey-wrenches their various games/potentially seriously cramps the second unit's style. Plus I don't know if he'd practice enough with the second unit. These guys are still pretty young and aren't exactly plug'n'play at this stage. They need to practice together.
Pete Zievers

Will be the 20th anniversary of the last dance next season. How time flies. I am hoping the Bulls do something special like they did in 2011 for the 91 team. Would be cool to get the gang all back.
Bob Ding