Ask Sam Mailbag: 07.06.18

The Bulls weren't lying when they said they would be patient. Every decent player is coming off the board and we haven't secured Lavine or Nwaba? ps: Magic has done a great job with LA securing all these players on 1 year deals , oh , and Lebron

Mike Burling

What an off-season so far! If the Bulls are able to get Jabari Parker, who I don't think they should really chase, who else would they target in free agency? I like McCaw out of Golden State, or perhaps Rodney Hood? Both would fit well with the current roster.

The East is open for business and having some young wing scorers is imperative if you want to challenge Boston and Philadelphia. I don't think the Bulls are going to miss the playoffs one more wing player or not. They have some nice pieces and are legitimately 8 to 9 quality players deep. I'm ready for the season to begin!

Stephen Fulton

The Bulls should have a very good understanding of Blakeney with the 2017 summer league, Windy City/G league leading scorer, with the Bulls and the coming summer league. Carter & Hutchison will be the summer league fan focus but what do you see as the ceiling for Antonio Blakeney? What are the Bulls plans for him? He can create his own shot, is a prolific scorer and now has a solid year of pro experience with the Bull's system. Does he have a real shot in the big leagues behind Levine?

Terrance Crowder

I know, it's the Summer League, not organized basketball, but the Bulls have some interesting names on their roster, in addition to the two new draft picks. Melo Trimble had some buzz among mock-drafters for awhile. I'm surprised he didn't get drafted. And it's good to see the Loyola star, Donte Ingram, get a look. One of the holdovers from last year that I pull for a lot is Ryan Arcidiacono. He looked like a guy who worked hard on defense and played a pass-first point guard role. Other than him being a little reluctant to shoot, what are his prospects for making the roster?

Kirk Landers

The Lakers are doing what the bulls should do. I wanted the bulls to sign free agents to one year deals and not jeopardize their cap space for next year, Lakers are being smart. Wish the bulls could think like that. The Lakers know they ain't going to win this year but signing guys to one year deals to save cap room for next year and use those contracts as trade chips with those young guys,

Sergio Kalet

What are your thoughts on the one year deals the Lakers are giving out? I haven't seen anything discussed about how much of an asset they are accumulating in creating over $28 million with the deals. Seems like they are focusing on using them in a trade this year or for cap relief after the season. The long-term commitment with LeBron almost confirms that for me. Also, do you think this was the plan they pitched to win LeBron over outside of the personal lure of LA?

Matt Koza

Your thoughts on the Cousins move to Golden State -- signing a 1 year /$5 million deal to join a super team of Curry, Thompson, Green, and Durant....he probably could've commanded max money from the Lakers. Is the 18/19 NBA season over yet?

Tom Plonowski

Javale Mcgee was a perfect fit with GS. An athletic big that plays above the rim, blocks shots, mobile on a pick and roll, knew his role and performed it superb. He took advantage of the fact that you can't go under screens when guarding the perimeter against GS and when those guys got double-teamed and you overplay them , they would just throw a lob pass and Mcgee was there to finish. I'm not sure how Boogie fits with this team. He can shoot from the outside yes, but he's not a leaper and is coming back from a serious injury . GS plays fast with lots of movement and cutting (it reminds me of the old Kings offense under Pete Carril and Rick Alderman), where as Boogie is a poor defender that slows the game down and the ball sticks with him. Plus you don't want him taking shots away from Durant, Klay and Curry. The Pelicans offense improved when Boogie went down with an injury and they sped up the tempo and pushed the ball. He also comes with lots of baggage and not sure if he is willing to play a limited role where he's not the first or second option offensively. What am I missing here?

Bobby Grbevski

Should the Bulls consider walking away from Zach LaVine? I know he was a big player in the Butler trade, but with players like Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, and Klay Thompson becoming free agents next season shouldn't they consider staying the course financially. Statistically Lavine is a major defensive liability. In looking at player development the guy I would like to see get major minutes next season is Denzel Valentine. He improved from a -2.3 defensive player to a near even defensive player at -.8 from year 1 to 2. He has a high IQ and there's no reason his defense won't continue to improve. Also his offensive game took a major step forward. He averaged 5ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.1apg on 35FG% and 35% 3pt shooting in 17 mpg. With increased minutes to 27mpg he improved to 10ppg, 5.1rpg, 3.2apg on 42FG% and 39% 3pt shooting. After the all star break he shot 43% from 3pt range and nearly 44% from the field averaging 11ppg in decreased minutes at 25mpg. I think the bulls and Hoiberg should consider giving him big minutes. Its time to see what we truly have in Denzel Valentine. I'm actually pretty confident that if he got between 32-35mpg he could average between 16-20ppg and stuff the stat sheet with between 7-9rpg, 7-10apg. I believe he's developing into one of the better shooters in the league. I could see his averages 45FG% and 40+ 3pt %. Holiday could play the 2 and Chandler Hutchinson and Blakeney could provide depth off the bench. Bulls should stay the course and not pay max type money for a player who they are not completely sure about. I'd even consider low balling him to the point where he signs his one year deal and prove his worth versus getting stuck with a bad contract.

Rocky Rosado

The Kawhi Leonard story is compelling because we can guess, but we do not know with any certainty why he wants to leave. Does he have a serious medical issue that the Spurs Medical staff did not appreciate or is this a reaction to hurt feelings from the Tony Parker criticism or does he miss home? What is clear is that we really do not know with any degree of certainty why he wants to leave. To turn down a supermax contract with one of the best franchises in sports and not know with some certainty the reason is amazing to me. We do not know if it is physical or mental. Obviously it can be something in between physical and mental but there is clearly a lack of clarity with why he wants to leave so bad. What in god's name is wrong? I find this one of the most interesting, painful, compelling quagmire in sports right now.

Bruce Roberts

Wonder if players like Irving, Bosh, Lowe and J.R. Smith were laughing Sunday when George signed a max deal to stay with OKC. James goes back to talk with Cleveland and they basically told him "Thanks for the championship, We are moving on without you...best of luck!! Philly basically said "We would like to have you but we are not tampering with the youth we have on our team & we are not changing our direction to accommodate you... Don't remember any of that with MJ. Outside of Grant not wanting to play with Jordan when you want to make comparisons.

Randall Sanders

Due to the disparity of talent in the league, a number of NBA fans already crowned the Golden State Warriors for three-peat, before the season even started. What is your opinion about making GLeague more marketable, just so fans of non-competing teams(a.k.a tanking teams) could find other source of basketball entertainment? I was thinking that if, the minor league could get more funding and market, they could afford better players. This make the games more competitive and marketable. Gleague could be an option for NBA players taking minimum salary, to be featured in a team and earn bigger money, rather than buried at the end of the bench. Right now, I have the impression that NBA players view GLeague as basketball purgatory. Where if you played there, your one step away from ending your career, rather than saving it. But if NBA make the minor league more appealing, players might be more than willing to resurrect their careers there, than bounce around as a NBA journey man.

Peter John Jimenez

As I watch Brazil's soccer team close in a quarterfinal berth, I think about how appropriate is Cristiano Felicio's name. As in, "Christ am I happy to have secured a 4-year $32 million contract!" Yes, I read about his Horatio Alger upbringing and weird prep experience in the Bay Area. But, no way he deserved that contract last year (or this year). Would you have any insight into what the Bulls brass was thinking? I know there are crazy things that happen w NBA contracts (33yr old, never an NBA champion Chris Paul will earn $40 million per year for the next four!). Pray tell, is his contact somehow wrapped up in the Car Wash scandal that rocked Brazil?

David Gould

LBJ gonna have to bust for 82 games for the Lakers to make it. This isn't the east. PG- Lonzo Ball SG- KCP SF- Brandon Ingram PF- LeBron James C- Javale Megee PG- Rajon Rondo SG- Josh Hart SF- Lance Stephenson PF- Kyle kuzma C- Mo Wagner. I see the Jazz and Wolves fighting for the last spot.

Mike Sutera

Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against the Houston Rockets in Game Four of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2018 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

There are rumors that Jimmy Butler's unhappy with his teammates' work ethic and unwilling to resign with the Wolves. There's also this thing about Kyrie and JB wanting to play together. Since both will be free agents in 2019, could the Bulls sign them both?

Paul Contreras