Ask Sam Mailbag: 06.30.17

CP3 and Harden? Two dominant ball handlers after Harden had an MVP-like year at point guard, I don't see it working. The NBA is crazy right now - I love it.
Michael Burling

These are two trades I’d like to see:

1. Bulls get Okafor. Sixers get Portis and Valentine.

2. Bulls get Parker. Bucks get top 3 protected 2018 1st round pick.

Any chance they are considering anything like this? Yes, I know they both have bad knees.
Mike Kay

I’m sure you’ve heard that the Knicks fired Phil. Word is he and Dolan had an argument over buying out ‘Melo. But the atmosphere there has been toxic since he came to NY.The fans hated him and everything he did, or wanted to do. He’s better off out of there, whether looks for another job or just retires. It was an impossible situation, with ‘Melo as the poison pill. He couldn’t win. They even boo-ed when he drafted Porzingis. Spike Lee tweeted ‘Hallelujah!’ about Phil’s firing. Well, good luck to him, and the rest of the NY fans. They still have Dolan & ‘Melo & a mess. From what I’ve seen of Dolan, the Knicks won’t recover until he sells.

There’s been a lot of talk about buyouts for high-salary players like Wade and Anthony. Since the full salary still counts against the team’s cap, it seems like a buyout only makes sense for the team if they get a significant discount on the salary. But some of the reports suggest that the Knicks, for example, might only get a small discount for buying out Anthony. Why in the world would a team agree to a buyout if they’re still on the hook for tens of millions in salary, get no reprieve on the cap, don’t get the player’s services, and give a star player to another team for pennies on the dollar?
Christopher Prince

When you look back over the past decade, what are approximate odds of young players (1) coming back fully from ACL and (2) top picks rebounding from very poor rookie years? Obviously individual cases but just trying to gauge rough expectations on these 2.

In the case of Dunn, what do you see? You've had some time to watch him play and know Thibs system.
Jeff Lichtenstein

So the Bulls got the #7 pick, Lavine (18ppg) and last years #5 for Butler. 3 guys 23 and under...and the Clippers got Beverly, Williams, Dekker and a late first round pick for Paul? And the Bulls are blasted all over the sports world? Makes no sense.
Victor Devaldivielso

I've had this suspicion about you for a while, sir. But after this heinous trade, all doubts have vanished, especially reading your responses on the 6/23 Ask You...I have no problem with Jimmy being traded; the Bulls did need that...but for you to even remotely suggest they didn't fleece themselves is ridiculous. Jimmy had 2 years left on a contract that is below his current value. He is, as far as I'm concerned, a top 5 if not top 3 two way player in the league. Given Boston's assets, I refuse to believe a post ACL potential, and a first season bust is the best the could have acquired for Butler. Remember when Gar Forman said in his press conference the team was aiming for a youth movement as a result of the Rose/Noah moves? And what does he do next? Sign a point guard and a shooting guard each older than Noah and Rose, to high guarantee two year deals, which by nature go against the very idea of a NBA rebuilt/youth movement. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid my brother, and bring back your true journalism.
Tudor Stanescu

Would you say Pax, Gar, & Fred seem more relaxed these days? Seems their biggest problem is what to do with DWade. But how much pressure is there when the expectation is to lose?
Abe Rotbart

Since the Bulls presumably are looking to acquire young assets, do you think they would be willing to take on a bad contract in order to do so, similar to the recent Nets D'Angelo Russell trade, in which they had to swallow Timofey Mozgov's albatross contract? If so, what do you think of a trade that would send Dwayne Wade's expiring contract to the Lakers for Luol Deng's long term deal and Julius Randle, which would clear cap room for the Lakers to chase LeBron and give the Bulls another promising young player?
Daniel Brecher

What do you think of The Process? I thought it was one of those interesting thought experiments but it doesn't look like it will ultimately work. Hinkie did what you almost have to do, pick injured and international guys so they won't make your team too good too fast. The solution is the problem; though. You take injured guys and, well, they tend to get injured. Or do you think it was just a bit of bad luck, that they stunk but never got in position to get a #1 until the last two years? Or would getting a #1 have messed with their plan because if he's good he makes your team too good to get high picks and you're on Mediocrity Lane?
Craig Berry

I loathe Lavar Ball! For Lonzo's sake, hope the apple falls and rolls far away from the tree.
Bambi Choy

I can’t imagine the Bulls opening the season without a veteran point guard to step in when the untested Dunn and Payne need some relief. Someone like the retired Captain Kirk. Rondo is overpriced at $12 million to baby sit but he certainly was valuable last season. You suggested a possible Rondo trade but to me that suggests a package with say Niko to get anything of value in return.
John Petersen

I'm on board with the rebuild plan however not thrilled with the execution. Was really hoping they'd take Monk instead of Markkenan. Monk seems like the perfect guard for today's NBA. Can shoot lights out and spread the floor. At worst, a 6th man heat check guy like Jamal Crawford or Lou Wilkins and at best a poor man's Steph Curry. Markkenan seems like a big risk and has bust potential written all over him. Sure he can shoot but will he be able to stay on the floor defensively?
Billy Habibi

I think the Butler trade happened because Bulls FO does not want to give a 29y.o. Jimmy a supermax contract. Everyone is saying the Bulls got fleeced but no one is reading the writing on the wall: There is low demand for players about to enter their supermax contracts, which leads me to ask: do you think supermax contracts is actually a bad idea? I think it is. There are very few players worthy of 35% of your salary cap: Lebron, Kawhi and KD. Plus to think that these players enter the supermax eligibility when they are to hit early 30's and end they are 35-ish. Which means you have to pay these big contracts at guys past their primes.
Melbert B. Tizon

The reports now are the Suns are hot for Blake Griffin.
Mike Sutera

Did you see Jimmy giving out his phone number at the MIN press conference? What was up with that? Is he the goofiest player in the NBA these days?
Tom Plonowski

If the Bulls were going to trade Jimmy, why didn't they inform Wade? If he had known, I doubt he would've opted in and the Bulls would not have to deal with this costly buyout.
Jay Choi

This is my final Ask Sam for this season. I don’t see what else I can say to defend the trade. But I will be at summer league to see just what it was all about.