Ask Sam Mailbag: 10.19.18

Happy new Bulls year! Last nights game started so promising. A few things I saw in just one game. Ryan Arcidiacono deserves a longer look. He's a good defender from the position and a more natural point guard than both Kris Dunn and Cam Payne. Portis and Lavine are going to have big years. Bulls should give Carter as many minutes as possible and live with the results. I prefer to give the developmental minutes to the young big rather than play Lopez. Same goes with Holiday. When Valentine is healthy I would much prefer to see him at small forward or Hutchinson. Valentine is a much better shooter and ball handler than Holiday. Plus I believe in giving minutes to players who have the potential of being in our long term plans. I would also like to see Hutchinson get some minutes as well. I'd like to see the bulls move Lopez and Holiday in a trade or just releasing them to free up minutes for these young folks.

Rocky Rosado

Speaking of Portis, do they see him as a Center? What happened to that? I ask because, having seen his preseason play, I'm starting to agree.  Portis has been just OK shooting 3's, but very efficient near the hoop. Not a great leaper, but unlike Carter, he has the size to offer some resistance to Joel Embiid. I'll bet Carter has a better stroke from outside. I still see him as a Stretch 4, but the Bulls insist that he play as an undersized Center. Square peg /round hole? We'll see…What makes sense to me (for what THAT'S worth) is Portis at C with Lauri or Carter at PF. Carter can play C off the bench w/ Jabari at the 4 for some ‘small ball'. And of Course you can mix-and-match. Still wouldn't shock me if Lauri ends up at Center, but not if he's shooting around 40% from the arc (which he says he can & should do).

Art Alenik

I would never second guess Portis' contract decision; it's his life. I understand the why yes and why wait arguments. My question is can Bobby Portis take out any kind of insurance on an injury occurrence? Don't know, figure it would be expensive but he is waiting on $30-50 million. Your example of someone making more than you in your workplace is on the money. I've seen many people change jobs because they were not getting what someone else was. Hey, everyone has an ego.

Greg Young

I wanted to get your thoughts on the G league announcing that they'll offer contracts of up to $125k to 18 year old unable to enter the NBA draft, who don't want to go to college for a one and done. Good or bad for the NBA? How do you think it'll effect the NCAA?

Trevor Bode

It seems that the Bulls identified the backup point guard as an issue early in the summer bringing others like Watson to training camp and signing Arci and now Ulis for a look. Fred said Payne has not shot well but it seems there may be more to his fall from grace.


John Petersen 

Rawle Alkins looks like Gerald Wilkins clone. Rawle might be a difference maker for the Bulls. He put up 25 points in a summer league game. And, he was the glue guy at University of Arizona. Is he going to crack the roster with Lauri out for 6-8 weeks with the elbow injury?

Ryan Carpel

With all the activities in All Star weekend, Skills Competition, Rising Stars etc, why not bring back the 'Legends Game?' The interest this time around would be players from the 90's. ...and that, of course, would include you know who! I remember watching in the 90's when the game included players like Jamal Wilkes, George Gervin, etc. But now, it'll include the likes of Barkley, Pippen, Olajuwon, Shaq and again, you know who! So what say you? I think the ratings would be crazy, and that they should bring it back. If not for just once.

Marcus Anderson

No way in hell can they start Fultz and Simmons together. You need a shooter alongside Simmons in the backcourt. I don't think Simmons will ever learn to shoot. Shot is so ugly. Gordon Hayward looked slow and looks like he has no lift. I fear he is the next Grant Hill. Gonna be a fun back court together with Russ and Shroder. Both explosive scorers.

Mike Sutera

I am really excited for this season! I'm one of those crazy fans that is predicting 35-42 wins. I'm usually optimistic in the beginning but my optimism wanes as I am exposed to more and more bad basketball. Jabari Parker is a signing that I was excited about. He showed explosiveness even after his second ACL tear and I though he could thrive with a bigger role. After watching him this preseason (I know it's a small sample size), he looks like what Loul Deng would have been in Charles Barkley's body. Long 2's, slow feet, lagging in transition, and definitely not explosive. I personally think he is carrying too much weight and appears out of shape. That's how you lose a starting job when it was all but guaranteed to you.

Yuriy Fomin

Looking at the Preseason, Robin Lopez does not fit with any unit, especially trying to extend his range to the 3 point line. I have always been a Felicio fan and I saw the same player this Preseason as the 2016 year with defensive energy, athleticism, shot blocking, and setting hard screens. I feel that if Hoiberg does decide to have a center coming off the bench, it should be Felicio.

Adam Richard

I get why GM's and coaches state the importance of using summer time to get stronger and better.  This specially applies to young players. But to me, this should be the entire year. You should be able to get better during regular season. Work your game and pump some iron before team's practice or free time. Which brings me to the question: The Jordan's Breakfast Club was the entire year or just during summer?

William Blanco

I have the best trade scenario for our Bulls! Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter JR. and a 2020 first round pick for Anthony Davis and their 2019 first round pick. We are stacked in the front court and it's time to use our assets for a top tier player. I believe Bobby Portis would compliment Anthony Davis and by doing a mid season trade, we will have a great opportunity to sign another big free agent this off season. We can't be waiting for free agents to keep burning us.

Mohmoud Bondugjie

You wrote in the mailbag, "I don't get much into the medical jabberwocky. I write about them when they can play again." But you have done so before. So your deciding to be so public about not commenting on the Markkanen injury here makes me fear it's worse than what we've been told. Please tell me I'm wrong. And when LaVine really missed practices with a bruised thigh . . . even though he seemed to be hit on the knee? Say Lavine had hurt his knee again right after signing for four years. That would really cripple the Bulls ability to build a successful team. I've always thought that the salary cap should work like a hybrid of the NFL and NBA systems. The players more or less get guaranteed contracts as they do now, but if you cut them their salary doesn't count against the cap anymore. I guess that would lead to rich teams having a huge advantage over the less rich teams. But it's just no fun when a bad contract weighs a team down and has to be traded for other bad contracts for years on end. By no means to I want the players to lack security or get less money, I just want teams to be able to avoid being hamstrung. 

Cameron Watkins