Ask Sam Mailbag: 12.8.17

May be time to sit Lauri. He looks tired and has no legs.

Mike Sutera

It must be very hard for you to be a Bulls beat writer these days.

J.R. Neumiller

Because of the Bulls' announced rebuild and record there is high interest in the 2018 draft.  In most disciplines there are weak performers, those average and some that are more talented and lucky.  Those more successful than average probably have a organizational evaluation system or a top talent evaluator like a Jerry West or a Jerry Krause.  An argument can be made that one of the current top evaluators or systems is that of Boston with  Danny Ainge.   Which teams would you rank as above average in talent analysis and longer term drafting success?

John Petersen

Luol Deng is owed $32 million from the Lakers and he's been exiled to the bench. His team is working on a buy-out. Why not bring him in as a small forward for this 3-20 team? If Lakers will pay 90 percent of what he's owed its a no brainier in my opinion- we are lacking a veteran voice in locker room.  Seriously, unless we are looking to go 10-72  why not. This would make a decent team.

Victor Devaldivielso

It now seems pretty clear that the Bulls are tanking, and everyone is in on it.  Last night, they totally dominated the Pacers until it was time to lose the game.  Same thing in the Kings game.  (Maybe Denver too, but the altitude is always a factor there.)  And strangely, Hoiberg always runs out of TO's in those close endings.  Hard to prove, but it does look a little suspicious. If they are doing this, it's actually OK with me, as long as they're playing as hard & as well as they can until they are in danger of winning at the end. Nwaba is one I really like.  He's less talented than Dunn, but has that same “NBA player look”.  Love his energy, and how he plays bigger than he is at both ends.  I'll always find room on the bench for a guy like him, and every team can use one. Blakeney disappointed me.  He had flashes of that great scoring ability, but mostly seemed overwhelmed by the NBA.  Hoping he'll come back and have a better run, since we can sure use that instant offense.

Art Alenik

I find myself thoroughly enjoying Kris Dunn's personality on the court. He plays with a looseness that I admire - like a Joakim Noah without the primal screams. I often see him interacting with fans courtside, and even with the opposing team's bench. Not in a disrespectful, showboating, or antagonizing manner. More like he'll be joking around with them, asking them questions and stuff. A few games ago, he was called for a foul in front of Miami's bench. He didn't complain to the ref or anything. Instead he walked by the Miami Heat bench and literally asked them if they though it was a foul or not. Waiters and a couple other players actually had a little friendly-back-n-forth with him. It was pretty cool to see. His attitude is refreshing. Last night he got blocked and fouled by Oladipo and fell pretty hard. Instead of mean-mugging Oladipo, he looked up at him and smiled, to which Oladipo smiled back. I'm predicting Dunn, Lavine, and Lauri are going to be big-time fan favorites here in Chicago. The new Noahs.

Paulie Giuntoli

I found the silver-lining with this Bulls team and specifically tonight‘s game! My 14 year old daughter, Jade, is playing basketball for the first time with a local prep team. So we sat down and watched the fourth quarter of the Indiana game so she could learn some pointers. She learned how not to get trapped with the ball in the corner, how you should be attacking the basket, how you should play in control, how you should try to rebound, why you don't chuck the ball up from long-distances, how not to waste your time outs, etc.  So many good lessons. I do like the talent of Dunn and love Markkanen. Excited to add Zach and see if Portis or Valentine emerges. Add 2018 pick and Bulls might have a quicker turnaround than most think. That Butler trade was absolutely the correct move.

Jeff Lichtenstein

It is heart breaking to see Derrick this way. I think he should be back home, he doesn't deserve to become a journeyman. He still can help the team and he wouldn't cause any problems at this point in his career since the days of him being in the spotlight are gone and he could just be a normal veteran. It's a win-win, he gets to play in his hometown and the bulls get him on a cheap contract. He still means a lot to the city and it seems the city and the Bulls still mean a lot to him. Could it happen?

Cosimo Sarti

Have you caught any Knicks games? What a rag tag bunch of guys on their last chance with a few core guys. I'm enjoying watching them play. I can't help feel bad for Phil Jackson- I'm assuming this was his vision if he was to get rid of Melo. Love seeing Doug prosper too

Mike Burling

Okay, it's officially hard to watch our young Bulls, especially when they play a veteran team because that's when their mistakes are most visible, not to mention painful. Really painful. But when I watch some of the other teams around the league, I can't help thinking, it could be worse. For the sake of the Oklahoma City faithful, I hope the Thunder's investment in three Alphas pays off as the season goes on, but right now, that franchise has a fortune invested in mediocrity. And if the team doesn't gel, they're going to have a hard time getting good value for divesting any or all of those stars. Paul George can leave on his own; Anthony would have to come with a sizeable dowry if the OKC experiment fails (like the NYC experiment failed); and even Westbrook, brilliant athlete and entertainer that he is, would have limited appeal to franchises that want to compete for championships. I think there are several other middle-of-the-pack franchises that are in similar shape--stuck in mediocrity and needing a huge stroke of luck to land a game-changing talent in the middle of the draft. So, if we Bulls fans can survive the bleeding side of the learning curve, we at least have prospects of picking in the top four or five in the spring draft. Of course, as I say that, I realize that our pick will almost certainly be a teenager, and really, what parent-aged adult in their right mind ever thought something good would come of adding another teen to the household?

Kirk Landers