Ask Sam Mailbag: 12.16.16

Do you think it would be foolish not to explore trades for players like D-Wade, Rondo, and Gibson if the front office doesn't they will be long term success of this team. I just think if we're just going to barely get by I would rather see Mirotic and McDermott get big minutes to see if they are going to be apart of the future. Gibson and DWade have value and could definitely return a few first round picks. I don't see them improving much. I was nice to think they could mesh, but they have zero consistent three point shooting in the starting lineup. Hoiberg has no consistent rotation. We're 25 games into the season. How about bringing wade off the bench and starting McDermott at the 3 and possibly starting Mirotic at the 4.
Rocky Rosado

Atlanta has shaken up their roster. Jeff Teague has gone to the Pacers. Are the Pacers better? George is healthy and yet the Pacers are at .500. The Hawks now have Howard, but they're a half game back of the Pacers. Korver's numbers are about the same as last year, a significant drop off from previous years. Teague's numbers are about the same. Two questions. Do you think these teams will improve throughout the year? Can Howard make a winner out of anybody?
William Kochneff

I waited until we had a reasonable amount of games played before getting excited by the early shooting success. It appears that the Bulls may be who they have been individually in the past. Shooting has returned to normal, ball movement has decreased, assists are down. I think D Wade is correct in thinking this might be an average team. More fun to watch than last year but average. My question is that it appeared McDermott was waving his arms in the corner frequently. He did not get a shot attempt until late in the forth quarter. It seems that at least looking for him would help. I don’t understand a team shooting poorly not trying to get their best outside shooter going. I don’t think he is a huge difference maker but they need to find out what he can do this year.

Greg Young

Is Portis showing he is a bigger flop than Snell? Snell made progress in his second year where now Portis seems to have hit a huge sophomore slump. Does Butler make enough of impact to be voted in All Star game starter?

Kevin Franzen

Is Jimmy Butler now better on offense than Pippen ever was?
I think the answer is yes. Pippen was probably still better on defense - more flexible perhaps, greater reach. Maybe a little quicker than Jimmy (which is hard to do).
Butler 1) looks like he is stronger than Pippen and can manufacture his own shot off the dribble better than Scottie, 2) is significantly better at free throws. Especially in the clutch - and knowing how to get to the foul line to exploit this skill he has for the betterment of the team.

Long-Giang Le

Any truth to the stories that Wilt and the Bruins would scrimmage with Magic and the Lakers at Pauley pavilion in the early 1980's? I've heard Larry Brown allude to this in an interview, but never Magic- though he has told several Wilt stories in interviews. According to Brown, Wilt would be dominating these games in his late 40's.

Adnaan Hamid

This season has been much more fun to watch than the past two, even though it has been a little up and down. Seems to be a likeable team with likeable guys again. You have sold me on that the 'everybody needs to shoot threes to stretch the floor' is a little bit of contemporary NBA dogma (though spacing is still important). For example, I've noticed that Niko plays more effectively for the Bulls when he uses his length and tries to score inside. He is then also more useful as a rebounder (which is perhaps his single best tool) on the offensive glass than when he spots up for threes. It seems as though one of the differences between the hot start of the Bulls and the inconsistent play for awhile has been Butler's outside shot efficiency - it seems he has been more off balance of late, thinking about his shot more than shooting in rhythm. Perhaps MCW is the only non-Butler player currently on the Bulls' roster who has the potential to be an all-star in the future? His court awareness seems pretty terrific, he is a long defender, and jump shots can develop. What does he have to do other than shoot more consistently to emerge as a star in the league? Is it possible and/or likely?

Rob Lininger

Will Horace Grant ever be in the hall of fame? Judging his career vs others already in there, it's 4 championships, 1 all star game, 4 x 2nd team all defensive team. Not bad. I guess on these types of players you could say 'well what about Robert horry?'. Still scratching my head as to how a mutumbo got in. After looking at wikipedia to find info on Horace I saw that Doc Rivers booted Grant from
Orlando in saying he was cancer for the team. Was Horace a prickly character? I remember MJ writing in one of his books that Horace was blowing up in their 3 peat year that he had to attend all sessions of training camp. Thought he deserved special treatment as MJ and Scottie had. But they were coming off the back of a long season and then the Barcelona Olympics.
I used to love Horace. Going back over the old games, he did so many little things. He always seemed to make huge blocks at critical points of big games.

Andrew Brown