Ask Sam Mailbag: 11.03.17

I read somewhere that the Memphis Grizzlies organization is retiring Tony Allen's number. I thought that Tony Allen was a standout defender, had ability to score the basketball, and was a well-respected team, but never averaged more than 10 points a game in a Grizzlies uniform. How does that justify the Grizzlies to retire this basketball player's number? Speaking of retired jerseys on the Bulls. We've got MJ, Pippen, Love, and Sloan. With teams retiring jerseys what seems like on a consistent basis don't you think the Bulls should think about Dennis Rodman (first and foremost) or Kukoc and Grant? The Bulls wouldn't have won three titles without Rodman. He was the league leading rebounder for seven seasons, and three of them with the Bulls. He won 5 NBA Championships. It doesn't make any sense not to retire his number because he only played three seasons with the team. Michael Jordan never played for the Miami Heat and they retired his number. Do you think Chicago symbolically retires Jordan's 45? I think they should. It symbolizes an end to one era and a start to another, going from one chapter in MJ's career to another. It represents his comeback in which he achieved some success by scoring 55 against the Knicks.

Tom Plonowski

Artis Gilmore sits on stage during the 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on September 8, 2017 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

If Okafor gets a buyout do you think the Bulls go for him; I think he's somebody that we could do with he can add low post scoring for the second unit and it's much rejuvenating playing for his hometown team what do you think?

James Leadbetter

It is now fairly obvious the Finninsher was a great pick and should stay in the starting lineup (and it is interesting how the national media which crucified garpax for the trade does not seem to want acknowledge this). I also agree that they should not mess up this rebuild they have going and trade for bledsoe, okafor or some other malcontent. I say keep Robin Lopez he provides stability for the young guys, a good mentor for Lauri Markkanen, and gives us hope that we can at least compete up front every night.

Guy Danilowitz

Lauri Markkanen #24 of the Chicago Bulls shoots the ball against the Miami Heat on November 1, 2017 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

I'm surprised how good Lauri Markkanen is, too, but I shouldn't be. I've been to Finland. It's the 8th largest country in Europe and has a population similar to Cook County, maybe throwing in one or the other collars for taste. It has more acres of ice than the US has of soybeans, corn and grass. Walking around the harbor area in Helsinki, even in the spring, you feel like you've reached the end of human existence because it's cold and windy and you're the only crazy s-o-b out walking around. And the native language, Finnish, is unrelated to any other language on Earth. A kid from Finland has to have grit, and that's what so many of us doubters doubted. How would a 20-year-old with an outside shot have any other qualities on a basketball court. But lo and behold, the kid moves his feet pretty well on defense and he rebounds with energy and passion. And he can shoot, like they said. I hope he stays healthy and reaches his full potential. His presence makes the Bulls even more interesting to watch, though I confess, I have high hopes for Dunn, Grant, and Lavine, and I love watching Nwaba play defense and rebound, and I've always liked Justin Holiday's game. So I'm entertained and still worried about the team achieving mediocrity too soon (because you can get there in the East without ever beating a good team).

Kirk Landers

Do you think players who don't play there first year because of injury should be considered rookies? I've never thought that players like Embiid, Simmons, or Blake Griffen should of been considered rookies, because they were still getting paid, still under the tutelage of nba coaches learning the system, still training with elite trainers because they could afford them now. They have year to develop their bodies and mind as opposed to rookies coming out of college. They should be in the running for comeback player of the year, but I don't think they should be eligible for rookie of the year.

Rocky Rosado

Coach Fred Hoiberg calling a play against the Oklahoma City Thunder October 28, 2017 at the United Center, Chicago, IL.

Fred was absolutely livid after the OKC game, and had two days of practice to prepare for the Heat. Results? 27-17 first quarter. The Bulls could not run any offense at all. Lopez had to keep reminding Grant that he’s the point guard. At least the Bulls played solid D, as they did vs. Cleveland. That kept them in both games, but so far, the offense is a mess. The good news is the defense, which at time is much better than I expected. Somebody is teaching them how to do it. I also have to commend their energy & effort. They may be confused at times, but they are playing hard.

Art Alenik

Amazing the impact 1 punch can have losing a starter, top reserve, and most pre-season progress.

Of course losing 2 PF means there is no height coming from the bench just a bunch of SG's.

In today's age of cameras and everyone talks the Bulls are pulling off the impossible so far.

No one talks of how intense this 1 punch must have been to witness. And no recording?

Why so little medical information being identified regarding Niko's injuries?

Knee injuries reveal every detail and identify which CL in which condition. How about any indication of how Bobby is doing in practice so far?

Lawrence Joy

Since I killed GarPax for the Bell for cash move I must give them credit for the Lauri pick. Looks like they hit a home run; granted it's just (6) games in. But he looks promising.

I gotta be honest, I kind of don't want Portis and Niko to come back. I really don't want Lauri's minutes to dip and with both of them healthy they most definitely would.

My question is, who do you feel has more trade value right now- Portis or (healthy) Niko? (I understand Niko would have to waive his no trade clause). Niko has a reasonable, short contract while Portis is still on his rookie deal. Portis may have a higher upside but I think Niko is ready to contribute for a contender right now. Do you think a western conference team with eyes on the playoffs would give up a late first round pick for either? If the bulls took back a non-rotation player to make salaries work do you see something like that happening?

Billy Habibi

This will be a weird thing to say, but there is no more 'sexy' posting up in the NBA. It's already sad enough (to me) that the NBA has gone from a post dominant to a three point dominant league. But even the guys who do attempt a post up make it look so unnatural and ugly, it's no wonder why its been abandoned.

Surely there is someone out there (other than Hakeem) who can teach these kids how it's done.

Daniel George