Ask Sam | Sam Smith opens his mailbag | 03.09.12

Watching the Bulls games so far this season especially the 76'ers game, the organization needs to make a slight move to get a shoot creator ball handler because other teams are going to implement that defensive set that Philly did last night especially in the playoff. While i like the thought of what Rip brings to the team and seeing what he's done on a brief basis's they still need that to secure that SG spot. I wouldn't mind losing Taj or Omer and a 1st round pick to gain OJ Mayo or even taking on Beasley for a year and losing and a multiple 2nd round pick. The bench mob has a hard time scoring the ball and either of these 2 guys would complete that void. What trade for another shoot creator do you think this team should make before the trade deadline? Thomas Hibbler

Hold the mayo! Please, no more talks about bringing OJ Mayo to Chicago. It's obvious that he will never be the player that everyone thought he's going to be after his first season. What's happened to him? Defense was never his strength but he was such a gifted scorer. Now he just seems like a little better than average player at best. All these suggestions to swap him for Taj or Asik is just absurd. I wouldn't even give up Jimmy Butler for him. Bambi Choy

With all this talk with the Bulls/Howard situation how he is going to Bulls or he isn't, is the Bulls management actually interested in trading for him? Shaun Chalmer

So are the celtics going to have cap room for 2 max players this summer? Why wouldn't dwight go there? A line up of rondo, allen (he'll resign for cheap). Pierce, bass (or a power forward of dwights choice) and dwight. Boston is a pretty big market and that would be a good signing, especially if they can also sign a jamal crawford type. John Rallis

What are you expecting from the Bulls-heat series. it obvious they're going to meet in the eastern finals. but i have alot of questions about our team. how important is depth in the playoffs? whos gonna step up when they put LeBron on Drose? all my friends seem to be pretty confident about playing them but i think in order to win, everything is going to have go right for us. what are your early thoughts about the matchup? Rogelio Herrera

The Carlos Boozer hate is becoming cliché. Living in Michigan I only get to see the national games, so I am not swayed by being too close to the team. Getting to enjoy the two games on Sunday and Monday, I have a much better appreciation for Boozer. His defense is not awful, could he better yes, but he is at worst an average defender. Monday night the perimeter defense looked poor, with Brewer looking weak. What amazes me is Boozer’s passing ability. It’s nice to see a guy catch and immediately rotate the ball to the open man. Noah, Gibson and Asik (like most big men) fumble the ball before making a move. Boozer’s passing opens up the floor and creates great spacing for the offense. DRose only needs small spaces to work and Boozer helps create those. Booz rebounds, which is more than could be said for Eddy Curry, Marcus Fizer and Tyrus Thomas. So he can’t finish strong around the rim, he knows his abilities and plays to them instead of forcing the issue. For those of you screaming that the Bulls should have signed someone else during that year of free agency, tell me who! Amare cost more ($18 mil this year, $19 next), so who on this team are you going to lose? There is a five million dollar difference. In the order of signings that means you lose Ronnie Brewer (not Korver as he was signed first). Bosh chose to be with the Big 3. Do you really want David Lee? Chris DeMay

How in the world did we get away with having Boozer guard Howard for portions of the second half? Don't get me wrong Boozer had a great game, but on his best day he shouldn't be able to slow Howard down. Is that more of an indictment of Howard or the 3 happy offense of Orlando? Troy Sarni

With the word of Boris Diaw asking for a buyout from the Bobcats, do you think there's a place for him on the Bulls? Could getting him let us swap Asik for Courtney Lee? Carl Groppe

I was just reading a report that the Celtics are entertaining offers for Paul Pierce. To me, this is the guy that the front office needs to be pursuing. He's the second scorer that we desperately need, and he's proven that he can play big against teams like the Heat. And it certainly wouldn't hurt to have a vet like that that can get into LeBron's head a little. We give them Luol Deng, and Ronnie Brewer (I checked and it works contractually). The Celtics do it because Pierce is an older guy and they're not gonna fetch much more for him on the open market. With Deng and Brewer, they're able to get younger, while also staying competitive this year, and possibly still making the playoffs. This might be the best return they ever get for him. Jerry Grillo

I saw Stephen Jackson openly said he would love to play for the Bulls. Not a huge surprise there. Jackson is obviously earning too much money so the Bulls wouldn't probably touch that salary as is but would they look at him if he was bought out? Ivan Krpan

Tom Thibodeau said this: “It comes down to, I think, in the end, the teams that are playing the best and are the healthiest. Whatever the circumstances are, you can always fit somebody in. They may not have a full understanding of everything, but you can design specific packages for those guys, when they’re in the game, and that’s not uncommon. You deal with that throughout the course of the season, whether you bring in a guy for a 10-day [contract] or there’s a trade made." So, TT basically believes you need to stay healty in order to win but admits adding someone would not necessarily ruin the chemistry. How much hope do the Bulls FO put into Hamilton's health and health in general in your opinion? With Deng, Rose and Rip already being banged up, Boozer being injury prone his entire career and Noah, Taj, Asik all having some injury troubles in the past don't you think the Bulls can not afford to believe everyone is going to be healthy in the post season? It's just not very likely, the odds are not in the Bulls favor. It's a major concern if you ask me and that alone should be a good enough reason to pursue a trade before the deadline. You aren't getting a huge upgrade but I believe there are some players on the market that could help the Bulls in the playoffs and the Bulls have the assets to get them. Ivo Robi

Just a question about last night's game with the Bucks. When the game was close at the end of the 4th quarter, Derrick Rose seemed to turnover the ball when he tried to split between Jennings and Gooden. The refs called for a replay, and found it went off of Rose's hand...but only because Jennings had (rather obviously) grabbed Rose's arm from behind. As expected, the call ended up going in Milwaukee's favor after the review. Do you ever see the league doing anything about this, namely these instances where a replay review clearly shows a foul, but they can't call it in retrospect, even if it led to the decision they have to make (Bucks ball)? Why not just call the foul instead? Patrick Pressl

I was thinking Nick Young would be a good fit until I saw him throw a layup over the backboard. If the Bulls could some how pry Young away from the Wizards, do you think that this coaching staff could prevent him from making those bonehead type of plays? If they could then he would be a big help, or is it too big a miracle to expect someone from the Wizards roster ditching their egghead tendencies? (I miss Bogans, whenever he got 6 pts we were unstoppable) Sami Tippu

Whats the possibility that the Bulls try and trade for Monta Ellis at the trade deadline. With Rip suffering from injuries. I know it doesn't give the Bulls the defensive height, but Ellis has definitely been on a role recently. Kevin Miretzky

I heard speculation about Ray Allen being available. What would it take for the Bulls to get him? Gibson + Draft picks? LongGiang Le

I have a concern about coach Thibs. With all of the time that Rip Hamilton has missed this year, shouldn't Thibs play Butler more? I mean everyone is talking about trading for someone, but I do not see it happening for a variety of reasons. So we drafted Butler and do not really play him much. Right now we are ok because of Brewer and Korver, but if one of those guys gets hurt who do we go to then? When we have everybody I understand not playing Butler. Alvin Coleman

If the Bulls are not making any trade, do you think that they could get someone from the D-League? I ask because this season we've seeing some good players coming from there. Their contracts are not very expensive, and most important the team remains intact. Ivan Morgan

I was watching a recent game in which Brian Scalabrine entered the game. My wife—who kindly humors me by watching the games—pointed out that Scalabrine is not quite as chiseled as many of the players on the court. I explained the role that he plays in supplementing the coaching staff while providing a steady player off the bench. Her response was an inquiry as to why the Bulls would choose a relatively low-impact player to fill the end of the bench as opposed to a young athlete who might become a high-impact player. I was wondering if you would flush out the merits of both options, particularly whether even non-contending teams prefer to have someone like Scalabrine at the end of the bench. Nathan Eberline