Ask Sam Mailbag: 07.13.18

I'm loving all this hype surrounding Carter's performance in the summer league, but I have to ask: Should we be taking this with a grain of salt? After all, how much stock should we invest when his competition is primarily players who will struggle to land on an NBA roster in the fall?

Mike Burgher

The Bulls have a plethora of centers which present a problem of minutes distribution. Is Omer going to remain on the team or is he destined for trade/buy out? Is Lopez the season starter or is he going to be traded this off season or by the trade deadline? Has Felicio improved over the offseason to live up to the contract the Bulls signed him to or is he destined for a trade as well? How does Carter, the franchise future starting center, find minutes to develop with the log jam of trees the bulls appear to be in?
Will Pennix

If the bulls are truly committed to the development of the young players - why not trade Lopez/Holiday and use cap space to take on salary dump for a pick or two?  Wendell looks like the real deal and Hutchinson seems athletic enough along with Lavine, Dunn and All-Star Markinnen.   Next draft is loaded with high upside wings, so the bulls will need a few picks to maneuver up the draft board and get one of those.  The bulls should be looking forward to start deep playoff runs in 2020.  Let the youngsters play!
Amin Sanaia

Is ego good or bad for basketball players?  Or does it depend?  As a fan, I was excited about Zach Lavine and thought he was fun to watch.  But I was turned off by his tweets and public statements about himself in the contract process.  And that makes me think differently about his play, ball hogging and failing on team defense.  Yet when Jimmy Butler “bet on himself” in contract negotiations, it impressed me and made me think better about his leadership on the court.  Obviously you can’t be in the NBA without an outsized ego.  Jordan, cough.  Is there a line between when it helps and when it hurts?
Luther Snow

Do you like Zach Lavine's mindset and attitude coming for next season?
Giovanni Laboy

Why in all the holy world have the bulls decided to match the offer on first class scrub Zach Lavine?
Yousuf Shamsie

The Bulls are getting killed for matching the Lavine contract but I think they played it smartly for once. The market dictated the contract and gave them an injury escape clause; 19.5M in today’s nba is the going rate for a 17-20ppg scorer. His injury history and poor defense are concerns but at 23, you simply cannot lose him for nothing.  Cap space is great and all but the biggest free agent the Bulls have signed close to their prime the past 20 years is Carlos Boozer.  Chicago isn’t landing a big fish this summer or next summer, not with the reputation the front office has built, in-house development and hoping a 23 year old turns into a generic version of Tracy McGrady is the “realistic” play. Another top 10 pick next year and by 2020, we can hope for some sustained success and one FA move.
Sundeep Shah

Chances the Bulls sign Blakeney to a deal over Nwaba to become their modern-day version of Nate Robinson or Aaron Brooks?

Tom Plonowski

The reports are the Bulls and Kings will battle it out for Rodney Hood. No thx. A guy who sulked a lot this past season as well as a guy who has missed a lot of games the past 2-3 seasons.
Mike Sutera

While fans seem to like the "team-friendly" re-injury protection in Lavine's contract, I'm worried that it could actually be the fatal flaw in the deal. So Lavine is fully guaranteed 4 years as long as he doesn't hurt that knee. Doesn't that incentive our new, shiny super athletic wing to dial it down a few notches so as not to risk his contract? Don't we need Lavine to play with explosion to get the value we need from him?
Phil Bloss

Sign this kid (Donte Ingram) to a 2-way deal. He looked good on the catch and shoot 3's vs Mav's for his 13 points. Reminds me of a mix between Donovon Mitchell and Glenn rice- he's a hidden gem. And he's not a shot hog.  He's going to be a solid 3 point weapon at 40 percent clip and he can defend at 6"6 - he will be great off the bulls bench with a season in the g-league.  He's a home grown Chicago kid. Don't let him go to another NBA team.
Ryan Carpel

I do not understand how Kawhi Leonard can sit out the year and still become an unrestricted free agent next year.  If he sits out he is not fullfilling his end of the contract.  This shouldn't even be an option for any reason.  If you sit because you no longer want to play for a team you should forfeit salary and not be credited a year served on your contract.  This is about as crazy a situation as I have seen in the NBA but I have to take sides with the Spurs.  How can he not play and fulfill his contract?
George Wilson

I'm in love! At least it feels like it. After watching one qtr of a SL game, I was struck by Cupid's arrow. The last time I had this love at 1st sight feeling was back in 84. Wow what a feeling! Gar/Pax has done a gr8 job with the last 2 drafts. Do you see playoffs for the Bulls in 2019?
Michael Cunningham

Will we see Lauri play the 3 this year? Wondering if Robin, Lauri and Carter Jr could be on floor together with Zach and whoever is running team
John Neal

Looking from another point of view, the Jerian trade seems more like a favor to the Grant family rather than a simple salary dump.  Jerian is going to a better situation for him.
William Blanco

The Bulls are blessed with two versatile, high-IQ bigs in Wendell Carter Jr and Lauri Markkanen. It would be a real shame to play ball-dominant guards next to these two. Any chance that we could add a veteran PG who can space the floor , run the offense, and at the same time coach the two young bigs on how to read and react to the defense? I envision Mike Conley, at about half the price tag
Peter Chen

It’s only four summer league games but the Bulls and fans must like Carter Jr. performance.  Smart, with a high shooting percentage, solid rebounding, shot blocks, defense on the perimeter and hits a three when open.  It’s early but he could be a great long term addition to the Bulls and only 19. Blakeney could be a wonderful problem.  Some rough edges for sure but how do you keep him off the team?  He’s learning and growing. Hutchinson has not shot well but appears to be a better than expected rebounder and solid defender who runs the floor.  It promises to be an exciting season of development.  What a difference a year makes.
John Petersen

It has been a long time since I last wrote in, probably 7-8 years.  To be honest, the NBA turned into the WWE for me once the players started creating super teams.  Couple that with the non-stop complaining on the court (I only half blame the players for that with the inconsistent officiating) and I just walked away. But I am back, and believe it or not, it's this new Bulls team that has brought me back.  I know it is very early but I see a young, hardworking, exciting to watch team in it's infancy and I want in from the beginning.  Titles do not matter for the next few years (Golden State will win them anyway) but growth and fun to watch team basketball does, and I feel like that is what we will get in Chicago. I eventually see a group of 5-6 really good to almost superstar players on this team, but probably not a top 10 NBA superstar talent.  In your opinion, do you think a team like that is capable of winning a title in today's NBA?  Only team I can think of to win a title without a top 10 player was the 2014 Pistons.
Kurt Anagnostopoulos

I just got finished watching the Bulls first summer league game against the Cavs and I couldn't help but notice a similarity Hutch to, don't call me crazy, Scottie Pippen. I know it's very early in this young man's career however, all the analysis says he's a two way player, who can push the break as a ball handler, is athletic and long, same build and frame, and they both came from obscure colleges. His body language and mobility on offense and defense eerily reminded me of PIp. If the kid has the work ethic I say stick him in a room and have him breakdown game film of pip until he's mastered it. Lock him in a gym and let him have at it until he's content. I think Pax saw the same thing that's why he was so high on Hutch and considered him a steal at 22.
Amielio Williams