Ask Sam Mailbag: 12.1.17

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on what this off season may look like for the Bulls. Currently we are an 18-22 win team post Lavine and Mirotic returning. However with Lavine, Mirotic and Lauri next season we are really a point guard away from being a 30 win team if the bench can strengthen. I don’t see Dunn as a starting point guard.
Do you see next season as standing firm with the current core and adding a nice draft piece or is there an opportunity to speed up the process if a free agent is available? However we haven’t “hit” on a PG in a very long time.
As much as Payne gets a bad wrap I am interested to see him upon his return. Love a lefty who can get to the paint
Rondo would have been terrific with this team. Serving as a mentor for Dunn. I’m certain that he got Felicio that huge contract due to his ability to make players look better than they are.

Mike Burling

And on Dunn... I know you wrote this before Thursday’s game in Denver in which Dunn was terrific, making shots, getting to the basket and then even setting up for the final play and making it against one of the best athletic defensive big guys in the league. First impressions, or just impressions, are hard to shake. Like a kid who acts out badly the first day in school takes a long time to change that. So Dunn can’t shoot, we hear. Then that becomes the message, just like a player cannot defend. Most players don’t defend well, but the label only gets stuck on a few. Like Kukoc with the second three peat Bulls. He was an adequate defender, but it became his reputation, so fans and media blamed him when things broke down. Phil Jackson always understood Kukoc could take the label and criticism while others could not. Dunn has started just seven games for the Bulls, now just six straight. He’s shooting 43 percent on threes, averaging 12 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and two steals. This for a guy who was injured and missed most of the preseason and then the start of the season and then came off the bench. It’s really impressive he’s come this quickly. Maybe he’s not a top 10 point guard in the kind we see of Harden, Westbrook, Curry. But he’s a far better defender already than any of them, a player who will get up and pressure, which produces offense you don’t get credit for. Sure, he makes some turnovers. But as long as they are through aggression, it’s not a big deal. He’s cleaning up the lazy ones since he’s constantly reminded of it by media and, of course, coaches. I know the concept of veteran mentors is nice, and Rondo would be excellent in that role. But Rondo wants to play and start. The Bulls need to play these kids and take the losses if they come. Dunn will have his unpleasant moments in basically what is his rookie season; but he looks like a big time keeper.

Kris Dunn of the Chicago Bulls dribbles the ball

I can't remember a player like Dunn. He's explosive, big and physical, but does not draw fouls at all. How is that possible? He makes the most casual turnovers I've ever seen of a starting guard. When he plays well he can fill out the box score like a mini-Westbrook. A guy who can have a 22-4-8-4-2 stat line is pretty rare, as is a guy with his atrocious turnover rate.

Alejandro Yegros

Ben Gordon of the Chicago Bulls shoots the Ball over Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics

I know organization often helps former players, sometimes more publicly than others. Wonder if the Bulls will try to help Ben Gordon.

Lee DiBiasio

Lauri Markkanen goes for layup over Brook Lopez

Markkanen needs to get easy buckets. Like Robin López gets all the time. Why it is not happening? Why he is always so far from the basket. I mean, eleven 3's? I don't believe Curry takes that many 3's. There is something wrong with this hoiball offense and after 19 games it hasn't been fixed. The kid is good, but needs some help from is coach. His "open shots" are 28 feet away.

William Blanco

LBJ to Philly? And Do you you think the 76ers messed up drafting Fultz?
Plus Kanter is playing great for the Knicks. He and Oladipo seem happy to be away from Russ.

Mike Sutera

The Wiz are at 11-10....where is M.J. when you need him? Well, they've got arguably the youngest talented back court in the East if not in the entire league. Porter-Beal-Wall. Their power forward I like too, at 28, Morris is averaging 16/6. Very solid numbers. The Polish hammer, Gortat, is aging and his double-double stats are declining fast. How long until they begin to dismantle. Gortat being the first to go. Why the slow start after a promising last season? What direction is that organization heading?

Tom Plonowski

Jahlil Okafor of the 76ers vs the Bulls

I see the demand for Okafor has dropped from 2 first round picks to a second rounder, we have a second round pick from the pondexter trade, why aren’t we making an offer for him?? We need another big man considering Felicio isn’t playing like himself. I know it means we have to cut a player but I consider it a low risk with a potential high reward outcome.
Also one more question, any idea on what happens with Blakney after his 45 day contract is up?

Shaun Chalmer

Zach Lavine during a workout with the Windy City Bulls

Will Niko & Lavine actually play games for Windy City??

Art Alenik

Derrick Rose Chicago Bulls Jersey

I have an idea for Derrick Rose. What about this? He retires and Adidas gives the money he would have been owed to a charity created to provide folks on the west side of Chicago with resources that allow children to learn and grow, families to support the growth of their children and themselves, and young adults to seek purpose, passion, and training? Derek Rose becomes the CEO and dedicates the next chapter of his life to giving back to his community. When he won the MVP it seemed like he was going to become a transcendent figure in Chicago’s history. That could still happen.

Jacob Snyder