Ask Sam Mailbag: 11.16.18

Assuming no additional serious injuries, the Bulls should be near full strength about December 25th leaving fifty or so games remaining for the season.  There has been some true excellence and leadership from LaVine, very high expectations with the accruing experience of Carter and the positive performance of Hutchison and even Arci.  The welcomed demotion of Payne and Felicio from the rotation is addition by subtraction.  We might even hope for some modest decision improvement from Blakeney and a reduction in isolation play.  This group reportedly is the type of coachable young and talented personnel Fred wants to match his preferred style of play.  That's a lot of assumption and speculation in the preceding statements but yet reasonable projections.  Fred finally has had some talent flexibility and exerted some welcomed direction.  It would seem that the final fifty games would/could/should  be a definitive measurement of Fred's future with the Bulls.

John Petersen

Turns out the soap opera is not ‘As the Butler Turns'.  Draymond Green was benched for a game, allegedly for calling out Kevin Durant repeatedly and, some say, for questioning his commitment to the Warriors. Yelling Heads are screaming that KD is outta there this summer, or that Draymond will be traded… or both. I have a little take on this myself;  In short, it'll all blow over.  KD & DG will be mad at each other for a while and eventually talk it out.  Now, we know that Draymond has lost his cool before.  At OKC, he called Steve Kerr out so loudly that people in the hall outside the lockers heard it, and he wasn't suspended for that.  Why now?  I don't think it's to placate KD so he'll stay.  I don't think GS is choosing sides (with KD).  It's possible that this is simply “one time too many” for Draymond. It has to do with what happened just before all the yelling, and I would have suspended him too, maybe for more than one game.  Final play of the game & GS has  one chance to win it in regulation. Draymond effectively threw the game because he didn't want to give the ball to Durant.  Talk about ‘crossing the line'.  Who cares what he said?
Art Alenik

In a little over a year's time, the Timberwolves essentially traded Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Laurie Markkanen for...Dario Saric and Robert Covington, with a brief and forgettable playoff appearance to boot. At this point, would you even trade LaVine straight up for Jimmy Butler? How 'bout Markkenan? For all the criticism we tend to lay on Bulls' management, it looks like they at least got this one right (plus they also indirectly landed Wendell Carter Jr. in large part due to last year's Butler trade).
Mike Burgher

How do you rank the east after the Jimmy trade?  The East doesn't seem so bad for being called the Leastern Conference.  I would love to see a small market team like the Bucks make it out.  They've put together a great team.  Long armed good athletes and Giannis is a superstar.  Was Charles Barkley considered a good defensive player in his time ?
Tom Plonowski

I'm giving myself permission to think that maybe the Timberwolves are going to come out of the Jimmy episode in good shape. I've always had a lot of respect for Covington's and Saric's games, and watching them against the Pelicans, it seemed to me they fit very nicely with  the Wolves. Covington especially brings toughness and outside shooting to the starting five, without Jimmy's baggage and ball-stopping. Saric gave Randle and Anthony Davis a lot to worry about when he came off the bench, and seems like a good counterpoint to the combination of athleticism and inconsistency of some of their young players. And hopefully Jimmy will find a home in Philly. We'll see about that--it would help a lot if they could also add a three-point shooter, because that's not the strongest part of Jimmy's game and they seem to need that. Still, they could be a nasty defensive unit, and that can still win games in the playoffs.
Kirk Landers

Eddy Curry. Where is he today? He really wasn't ready to play right out of high school. Hope he has gotten a good life for himself.
Michael Mortenson

I liked the story on Archy. I hope he can be a Berea type story, Us little guys (5'7.53221) have got to stick together. He's a player, no matter how tall, has an instinct you love to watch...and hope can rub off on everybody on the team
Tom Offa

Is there any chance we see Tyler Ulis get some playing time with the regular team soon?
Troy Cee

How do you pronounce Arcidiacono?
Steven Price

Do you think Chicago might be a sneaky free agent destination next summer with them possibly opening up a max slot. With the all-star play of Zach and Lauri and with Carter Jr. and Dunn, another star like Durant (I doubt if he would sign but we can dream) could take them to another level.
Johnny Hunter

Who is rookie of the month so far? Trae Young?
LongGiang Le

I'm sure that a lot of fans are currently disappointed with the Bulls' start to the season, but I really believe that the front office has done a remarkable job of rebuilding in a short period of time.  Which of these young trios would you rather have: Tatum, Brown, Rozier...Embiid, Simmons, Fultz... or LaVine, Carter Jr., Markkanen?
Jesse Lurie