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Ask Sam | Sam Smith opens his mailbag | 06.27.2014

The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or its Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.

By Sam Smith | 06.27.2014 | 3:45 p.m. CT

Kudos to the Bulls for trading up to draft McDermott. As you've pointed out, it's hard to trade up from the middle to the lottery without giving up a good player. Leading up to draft, the knock on McDermott has been "who's he going to guard" because he's said to unathletic. However, based on the predraft combine, his vertical, sprint and agility results are slightly better than Melo's, and pretty much crush Korver's and Dunleavy's - two Bulls that have played well under Thibs. Where did the too-slow-to-guard-3's come from?
Jim Iob

I think the Bulls should do whatever they can to get Anthony. Yes, you point out that with the Spurs model of having a deep rotation has led to rings so there's no need to necessarily have a super-team to chase a championship. Though I think it's different with the Bulls because without Rose there really is no one to carry the scoring load for periods of time when they go cold. The Spurs, on the other hand, can go to Parker, Ginobli, Duncan and now Leonard in most circumstances to get points when they need them. So it's not really all that fair to say that a team of quality role players can lead to winning of the highest order because while the Spurs do have that and an all-time great coach, they do have something the Bulls don't: offensive firepower from multiple players. As constructed next season, even with Mirotic and McDermott, Rose is still the only player in my opinion who can go out and score when we sorely need it. I would much rather have a second player who can really minimize our scoring droughts against tough defenses, and that player is Anthony. Even if that means gutting a little of our roster to do that.
Vinay Nagaraj

Dear Chicago Bulls, please don't pursue Carmelo Anthony! We now have a perfectly balanced team as we bring over Mirotic, sign a backup PG, and possibly another shooter. Thank you,
Matthew Mikulice

Maybe Embiid and Saric will turn out to be significant NBA players, and maybe those two plus Noel, Carter-Williams, and whoever the 76ers draft at the top of the next draft will turn into a Spurs-like group of unselfish stars. For now, though, they aren't trying. They're using an accounting trick like the one in Mel Brooks's The Producers – if you lose badly enough, it's a kind of winning. The bad faith of it makes me yearn for something like European relegation – if you're going to field a developmental league team, you should have to play in the developmental league, and you shouldn't be able to collect the revenues that come with full-on competing against major league teams. Can you see any way to penalize Philadelphia for what seems like a kind of cheating? They're playing by the rules, but it sure feels as if they're violating the spirit of competition.
Joe Kraus​

After thinking about the horrific draft day trade the Bulls made, the only conclusion I can come to is that the Bulls really like McDermott. The Bulls actually negatively impacted their cap space by taking back Tyrus Thomas (I mean Anthony Randolph). Which means the Bulls are stuck with him unless they pay someone with cap space to take him. And all so they could give the Nuggets a better player at 19 then they got back at 11. I don’t see it but I sure hope that Gar/Pax are right on McBuckets, because it looks like he and Mirotic are going to be your big offseason acquisitions. Which means the Bulls will be one of the least athletic teams in the modern, small-ball, above-the-rim NBA.
Kyle Smith

I thought it was interesting that in the last two drafts the Bulls didn't go after a backup Center for their bench. With the history of injuries on this team as well as the tendency to reach the playoffs and find the tank completely empty for a lot of our players, how hard would it have been to draft a seven footer in the 2nd round who can come in and play up and down the court for Noah? Especially now with the possibility of Anthony coming to the Bulls. If we have scoring it means we can actually blow out teams like the Kings or Magic instead of playing every team to the wire during the regular season. And that means you can let your bench play (like the Spurs do) during the regular season. Why continue to get 40 year old players like Kurt Thomas and Nazr Mohammed, when you can get a young guy in the 2nd round who can be schooled by Noah, a veteran now?
Marcus Nikokiris

There is already speculation that McDermott could be used as an asset in a trade for love or sign and trade for melo. Do you believe he is untouchable, as funny as that sounds, considering how long they coveted him?
Chase Roman

I would think it would be better to get Love and Affalo rather than try for Anthony. He's not coming for less money. I'll buy you dinner in Houston if that happens! What San Antonio showed is that you need numbers and players not necessarily stars that can't defend. Look at what Orlando got, we could have traded Boozer and the two picks for Affalo and then traded Gibson, Dunleavy and future picks plus non guaranteed contracts for Love.
Stephen Fulton

Once the draft wraps up, say the Bulls strike out on Carmelo and Love and LeBron this summer, what’re the chances they consider shipping Boozer’s expiring deal along with perhaps Tony Snell down to the Pelicans in exchange for Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers. New Orleans could be interested to free up cap space to resign Asik next summer and to add Snell, who could potentially plug in as their fifth starter at the 3.
Cole Graskamp

I think Riley’s “challenge” interview is going to come back and haunt him. I believe LeBron’s camp will take it as an insult and take their show to LA where they is a lot more financial potential, James supposedly made $35M on his Beats Stock, to offset FL tax benefits. Plus a team of LeBron, Kobe, Nash and the #7 pick may be more intriguing than a washed up Wade, a terrible fit Bosh, and a bunch of D Leaguer’s. If LeBron bolts, Riley will be putting up the drapes that covered the second tier in Miami once again.
Mike Kegel

I hope the Bulls don't trade Dunleavy. He took a smaller salary to play for the Bulls. Pro sports is different than other industries. When you want to win, and your team has a hard limit on the amount of money it can spend, it makes sense to sacrifice some money so that the guy next to you is a better player. That's fine. Maybe it's unfair, but that's how it is. But if you make a pitch to a player that he should take less money so you can pay his teammates more (so he can have better teammates), you shouldn't trade him after he agrees to it. It's just a lousy thing to do. I like the Bulls because they seem like a good bunch of guys who play hard and care about what they do. I like to cheer for them, because I can enjoy their success. I like when Jo Noah talks about the guys standing out in the streets selling papers on freezing winter nights. I like when Rose talks about his mom when he wins MVP. I want to cheer for these guys. I don't want somebody like Dunleavy to be penalized because he sacrificed for the team.
Brad Hergott

First of all I think all of the talk about getting another "Superstar" is a joke... no one is coming. Either we can't afford them or the Illinois State Tax system will eliminate the possibility. Organic growth is the way to go, but there are some pieces that I would add and that could make us a better team. I would like to add McRoberts who is a versatile/smart player, his stats might not show it, but I think he was a factor in that teams big improvement.
Patrick Eastman

There is an old adage that goes, if you are in a card game and you don't know who the fish is, chances are your the fish. We are being played by Carmelo. In comments made recently he talked about the importance of markets. On the NY side you have money, Phil and the NY stage. Plus, you figure that Carmelo plus those factors will draw other pieces as soon as Phil can figure out how to clean house.
Dan Wagner

I'm sure you have heard that Lebron opted out of his contract and will now become a unrestricted free agent. Of course I, as a Bulls fan, would love for him to come to Chicago. I do think that that happening is even less likely then Carmelo coming here. I am pretty sure he ends up back in Miami. With that being said the Bulls are more than likely going to take a run at him, as they should. Would there be any concern though about the Bulls devoting too much time/attention/etc to James, him going somewhere else and then the Bulls missing out on Carmelo? Would it be a good idea for Bulls to realize the James is a pipe-dream and focus all their attention on Melo and maybe wooo him by making him their first and foremost priority. I know it sounds dumb but we all have egos, athletes more then most, so to have a team go all-in on you instead of the best player should give someone a nice feeling.
Alex Pauley

I believe this Bulls have drafted an excellent player in McDermott. Hopefully he'll provide us with scoring and depth. Does the fact that the Bulls did not draft a PG like Ennis indicate that DJ will resign with us?
Gianluca Naudi

In all seriousness, I'd be wary of the Rockets if I were a free agent. Recently, they've stabbed every FA they signed in the back the very next year. Asik was promised starting minutes and they were trying to trade him the minute they got him. Ditto [with Jeremy] Lin. James Harden gets promised to be a superstar, then has to take a backseat when Dwight Howard comes over. Now they are trying to trade Harden to get Carmelo and LBJ!
Namky Lim

How would Gary Harris and James Young have looked in Bulls uniforms? I know its 20/20 hindsight, but do you think the Bulls would have chased McDermott knowing this?
Thomas Deneen

Could LeBron and Melo's opt-outs be part of a ploy to decimate their competitor's rosters as teams give away assets to try and clear cap room? I am nervous that we'll dump Taj and/or Jimmy and end up overpaying for 2nd tier free agents like last time (apologies to Boozer and Korver).
Jordan Carr

The Pelicans traded what very well could be a top 10 pick, as high as number 5 even, in next year's draft for the right to pay Omer Asik $15 million next year and only have his rights for one season? Are they insane? I like Asik and I think he fits well on the Pelicans. However, he is going to make way too much next year, they will only have him for one season and Houston was trying to dump him for nothing. At the very least make the pick top ten protected instead of top five! If they wanted Asik for that price they could have made that trade any time in the past 12 months.
Cameron Watkins

What did you think of Chris Webber's comments on Thibs (that Melo should avoid him because he's a defense-only coach)? Did Thibs cut Webber once or something? I don't love everything about Thibs, but he actually seems like a pretty good offensive coach. Noah has blossomed offensively under him, and Deng had a much better time under him than standing in the corner like he did with Vinny and Mike Brown.
Alejandro Yegros

Do you think that Wade and Bosh are both going to opt out? If I was Wade I would be very wary of doing that, I can't see giving him half of what his contract is now. Think they would try to low ball him? offer him 5 million or have a good trip in free agency then go after Melo? Or would that be just the worst PR move possible, course I would find a bit of humor in that sense Wade said some bad stuff about Bulls management years ago. People mention Asik too in Houston then want to move him but not sure you are going to get many buyers there since expiring contract are worth what they used to be.
Matt Reev

Let's say Carmelo either stays in New York or goes to Chicago, the two most likely destinations for him anyway. Let's also say Lebron resigns with the Heat, which I believe will happen. Who says no to this trade after both big names are off the market? Asik and Lin to Miami for Chris Bosh. Houston gets their other big name (and possibly the leagues worst defense), while the Heat fill the two most needed positions on their team. Then they can maybe try and sign some veterans to fill up the rest.
Mario Persico

Even if Deng is expensive, why lose him while gambling on Anthony while he plays the field. Even with Carmelo not playing defense half the time having Deng would be encouragement and inspiration for Anthony to defend better without Thibs getting head aches. Sure Deng is expensive but he is insurance similar to the way Boozer and Gipson were used this year. It worked.
Edward Miller

Jabari Parker was interviewed by Spike Lee on his show on NBA Radio Wednesday. Spike asked him if he could choose which hat he'd be putting on when he shook Adam Silver's hand, which hat would it be..."The Bulls," he said. "I'd be going back home. That's where I want to play. Can't see that happening though."
Mike Sutera