Ask Sam Mailbag: 06.08.18

Will the Bulls workout Porter Jr.? If so, were there any concerns about his health? Have you heard anything about his health from other teams he's worked out for? Some mocks have him going as high as the 4th overall pick to slipping to the 8th spot. I hope the Bulls do as much testing as possible in case he's available when they select 7th. If Porter Jr. & Wendell Carter were both available at #7, I still have a better feeling about Carter being a better fit with the Bulls regardless of the results of Porter's physicals. Porter maybe a better scorer but we have LaVine & Markennen as your primary scorers.

Randall Sanders

Your comparison of Wendell Carter Jr.'s measurements to Elton Brand's was especially interesting. Elton Brand was a very good player who wasn't the great player the Bulls needed at the time, but it seems to me, the Bulls circumstances are different now. They don't necessarily need a ball-dominant, primary scorer. They need a rugged rebounder who can move his feet on defense, hit open shots and occupy at least one defender, and keep the ball moving on offense. Reports of Carter's defensive quickness vary, but if he's a capable defender, he might be the best fit of all for the current Bulls roster. The most intriguing guy in this draft has to be Trae Young. If his NBA game is patterned after his idol, Steve Nash, he might end up being the biggest steal of this draft. Which begs the question--how did Nash rate coming out of college in terms of athleticism, and measurements?
Kirk Landers

Nash measured about 6-1 without sneakers, similar to Young, and almost exactly the same weight at 178. Is Young as intelligent and as willing a passer? Young did lead the nation in assists. The Nash comparison seems more realistic than the Curry comparison, though Young also has an uncanny ability to make difficult shots. Young is supposed to work out for the Bulls next week, and presumably he then will meet with reporters since the Bulls have been doing that with just the top picks most likely to be available when they select at No. 7. Yes, another conundrum. Though really more complicated than with Porter because the Bulls have a starting point guard. They have no wing, small forward starting level player on the roster. So if both Young and Porter were available, I think the Bulls would go with Porter and avoid all the questions about Kris Dunn. Young could be a third guard, though you generally hope for a starter with the No. 7 pick. With that shooting and passing ability, Young could be a breakout player in the NBA the way the game is played now. He also could break your heart. When Jimmer Fredette came out, there were comparisons with Nash, also.

Watching Steph Curry makes me have second thoughts on Young. Maybe gamble if he's there at 7? One other thing, I never understood that stupid unwritten rule that you cant score if u have the ball last and up big. You compete till the clock hits 0.00. Did Tristan really think Shaun was stat padding as he suggested after the game? Pathetic.
Bob Ding

Wendell Carter seems to want to be a Bull; says he thinks it's his best fit.  Of course, Bamba said something like that too.  Maybe they all do...
Fran Faschilla coached at St. Johns and knows college hoops (I'll overlook that he works for ESPN), so I found his comments online.  He really does like Carter; has him just behind Jackson Jr. among the big men. Of all the players he mentioned (not including the 'big 3'), he sounded most enthusiastic about Carter. The one thing he said about Bamba that gives me pause is that stuff about his motor.  You can't see that in highlight films. I can tell you that he moves fluidly & is coordinated, has a nice stroke that can probably be extended to 3-pt. range and needs to beef up.  But I can't see how hard he plays or how often he loafs.  Fraschilla gave him a 7 out of 10.
I've heard similar things about Ayton (low motor).  Now, it's common for guys that size to look slower than they really are.  Kareem did, surely Yao and even Wilt looked slower than you know they were.  But... I would expect someone like Fraschilla to take that into account.  If we DO take Carter, it'll be the 2nd year in a row that the Bulls don't fool anybody at #7.  All the polls had Lauri last year, and most have Carter now.  My only concern is that he's a natural #4 (Fraschilla agrees!).  I checked his measurements; just under 6'9” (barefoot) and 251 lbs. w/ 7.85% body-fat.  Standing reach is 9'1” & wingspan 7'4.5”, hands are not very big (8.5” x 9”).  I guess that might be a center in "today's NBA", but still a small one.
Art Alenik

I actually had the Cavs in 7 games in this series. That game 1 breakdown was as much on Ty Lue not calling a time out as it is on JR. if they won that game there is a mental edge for the series. I actually see LeBron staying in Cleveland for the remainder of his career. Losing in the finals as they will then jumping ship again will only hurt his legacy. As such, if they blow up the roster to appease him, I'm hoping the Bulls take a long hard look at Rodney Hood who has been misused this series. He would be a perfect fit in Chicago. I also see Ty Lue gone if LeBron stays.
Mike Burling

So, if Zach Lavine were in the draft this year, where would he go? What do you think about Donte DiVincenzo at #22? I will hang up and listen.
Josh Levin

Why not get Luol for these two players, Ask or Felicio, and maybe a protected second rounder to the Lakers?  I think the rebuilding process could benefit from having someone like him with his work ethic, locker room presence and team first attitude that helps establish a winning attitude. I'm sure he is one of those who always sees himself as a Bull. Maybe it could rub off the young guys?
Orlando Cruz

Bamba apparently has serious deficiencies on offense. Footwork probably non-existant. Probably no feel either. Can the guy catch the ball at all? Asking; haven't seen any tape besides him dunking and blocking shots. Might as well be a tape loop. If that's all there is to his game, he's got a long ways to go. There's a lot to being a good rim protector. Angles, lateral explosion, vision, anticipation maybe most of all. Has he even played enough basketball in his life to see around corners like a really good defender has to do? it's complicated to work around NBA-quality screens. It also helps a lot to have relationships to your perimeter guys, which takes time that you only get with a stable roster. As noted, Bulls right now not especially in any big time hurry, I suppose. All that said, that kind of length is pretty much plug and play. He seems to know what his hands are doing all that ways out there otherwise he wouldn't have put that kind of tape together and he'd be Yinka Dare. He could very easily be there for Bulls @7 and if they grab him, ...? well, as these things go he's as much of a gamble as any of 'em. The kid from Duke sounds pretty safe but he could wind up as Nazr Mohammed which wouldn't be God awful but could end with more criticism about drafting scared.

Pete Zievers

I read somewhere that the Bulls were surprised that Portis was still available as the 22nd overall selection in 2015. Given Portis' continued improved play year in and year out, why don't the Bulls view him as a potential mate for Markkanen at the 5/4 spot? Portis has a much better inside game, and can easily be a 16/11 ball player at over 30 minutes a game. There is no need to draft a big like Carter, in my opinion, unless you can get an All-Star potential in Bamba if the Bulls know they can get that.
Tom Plonowski

Frequently draft time and the trade deadline are the principal trading periods.  Do you expect a fair amount of trade activity leading up to the draft?  Any speculation/rumors?  It will be fun to watch Ainge given his past success.
John Petersen

If this happens per Stephen A Smith: “LeBron James will be having a conversation with the Golden State Warriors this summer.” I'm out.
Mike Sutera