true ios true ios true android false computer $upper($url_encode($(QUERY_STRING{'bypassCountry'}))) NONE $url_encode($(GEO{'country_code'})) $url_encode($(GEO{'country_code'})) $(bpc) true true false Ask Sam | Sam Smith opens his mailbag | 6.24.2016 |

Ask Sam | Sam Smith opens his mailbag | 6.24.2016

Not in your mock draft, but you said early on that you liked Valentine. I like the idea that we got a smart mature player who can also shoot with range. I'd much rather have a guy who knows how to play than some "athlete" who's never been coached because he can just out-run & out-jump everybody.

Valentine got about 8 assists/game last year. Do you think they'll play him at the point w/Jimmy at #2, or maybe at #2 w/ Jimmy moving to #3. I kind of like the idea of a long two-guard front, one a slasher & the other a shooter. Tough to match up.
Art Alenik

Hallaluyah! I had to share my joy with someone. And now you can stop defending him. He was poison.
Abe Rotbart

As I’ve written many times, I might have ridden it out with Rose, but that’s also why no one lets me run a team. General managers always get something. Maybe you didn’t like the James Harden deal, but ownership made them do it and they felt they had to get something. It didn’t look good in the short run, as it may not if Rose has a good season next year, but it worked out on some level for the Thunder with Steven Adams coming in that draft and playing a huge role in the near upset of the Warriors. The Bulls get several moving parts in the deal, especially basically another No. 1 pick in Jerian Grant, who is a lot better than one season in New York, which is brutal for a rookie with the dysfunction and anger in that community and team. With the No. 1 Valentine this year and Portis, they’re forming the core of a younger and athletic group, and it’s probably time after giving the Rose/Noah group chance after chance. And don’t forget an athletic Jimmy Butler. The Knicks probably benefit in the short term, though with the larger risk as Rose is a free agent and perhaps Los Angeles calling after next season, which the Bulls probably understood. But it may well kick start the inevitable process for the Bulls, which had to start sometime after missing the playoffs.

I'm still mourning the loss of D. Rose and wondering about the news coverage the trade has received. Most of the national media treat it as a salary dump for the Bulls, with the main return asset being Lopez, but I would have thought the main asset for the Bulls was Jerian Grant. What's your take?
Kirk Landers

For the Bulls. Love it. Lopez is an upgrade in every way over Noah, and Calderon could be bought out. Love the deal.
Mike Sutera

I'm depressed. Every time I look over at the Rose bobble-head sitting on my desk, I'm actually getting more sad. What is management's plan? Couldn't they just let Rose play out his last year? If he's not at the level they would like, they can decide then, right? Very sad day.
Ateeq Ahmed

All I need is a picture of you right now and photoshopping a jordan crying face over it. Your boy, your other son is outta here! That this is a awful trade. Yes I said it. Rose irritates me the way his passing game is so poor for a point guard but still the guy can play when healthy.
Well the rebuild has begun. Just hope Jimmy doesnt spit the dummy with all the further losing that is to come and demand a trade to join a super team.
Andrew Brown

Enjoy Jimmy wannabe Lebron lite running the asylum. I hope DRose lights us up for 40 and 10 and we get blown out.
Khan Verse

Just curious, on a personal level, is it sad for you to see a guy like Rose go?
He seemed to be such a humble and grounded person. I have no personal ties to the man and really am just a leftover Bulls fan from the MJ days, but it breaks my heart a bit to think about what could've been if it weren't for some bad, bad luck to such a seemingly good kid.
Brad Bowling

It’s weird everyone was asking for a D Rose trade and he hates basketball (wont play even though he is healthy) etc...Now they miss him. Strange how social media makes everyone look bipolar/idiotic.Well it happened, even when everyone said it couldn't because of the contract/injuries etc...I think it was a sad, but necessary move. Rose was not going to stay in Chicago in 2017, it was obvious. They finally did what everyone wants teams to do that know their stars are walking - Get something back. Jerian Grant has potential and really may surprise people. When Rambis gave him time last year at the end he avg 15, 4 & 4. Hopefully that's a more realistic sign of a starting point to improve on. This was probably the best haul they were going to get, and they knew it had to be done. Fans will complain, people will say the front office ruined everything, but at the end of the day it was injuries to the entire team that derailed the Thibs era. It created friction between the FO trying to save their stars future while Thibs wanted to win now. Neither was wrong, but at the end of the day players play. They didn't get it done. People overlook this fact when spewing hate at the FO.
Mario Persico

The Bulls did what all organizations/corporations always have done and feel they have to do, as you say, don’t lose assets for nothing. Even if I always hated considering players as “assets.” But it is a business, as the players always remind us. It’s all healthy debate, which is fine. Disagreement isn’t accusation; it’s a fortunate American tradition. Then you make your decision and you will be judged on results no matter what you do. So you better do what you want to do because that’s what you have to live with. Heck, I think there were a half dozen bumper sticker and t-shirt worthy statements in there.

Its just sad to see Rose go. I've followed his career since his first game against the bucks... he created excitement for the bulls fans.... he gave the bulls a true superstar since MJ but its the reality that we cant go more further w/him being the focal point of the team. Too many frictions from his Family/Management plus the day to day health issues. We just cant get hostage from that situation again and again. Its time to move on... Same with Noah. We cant hold on to the past. I believed we had young guys that can strive big given the right playing time. Portis, Niko, Doug, Felicio... we just needed the change. Give the leadership to Butler and move forward.
Rollen Decazur

With Rose gone and Pau most likely too, who do the Bulls look to for scoring? I could easily see this team back in the lottery next year, especially given the lackluster FA class available.
Wesley Davis

Was it smart to get rid of Rose? Yeah I think Jerian Grant looks pretty solid. I was actually hoping they’d get him in the draft a few years ago. Since he was related to Horace Grant. He looks like a hybrid guard a little pg/sg. Lopez spells the exit for noah now it would seem. Maybe not. Yikes would be crazy if all ex-bulls ended up knicks: gasol, noah, rose. .. Might happen.
Ryan Carpel

All things considered, I give the Bulls a B grade on that trade I think the Key was getting Grant. I thought the Bulls had their Eye on him last year until the Knicks drafted him. He was playing in a black hole with Carmelo hogging the Ball. I think he will be a big surprise to Bulls fans.
Randall Sanders

Biggest trade since Oakley for Cartwright, which I hated but turned out great? Artest for Jalen Rose which I loved but turned out bad? My gut is that I like this one but that scares me cause I'm wrong so much.
Guy Danilowitz

I can't say I am shocked, but I surely am sad. The kid was great, as a player and as a human being. I'll miss him in a Bulls uniform. That being said, if the trade makes sense for the Bulls, I don't fully understand it. Do the Bulls had indications that they would have lost Derrick in 2017 for nothing? Were they tired of his injuries? Do the relationships became so bad that they couldn't last one more year? Are the Bulls trying to lure Durant (good luck with that)?

For whatever reasons, egos seem to have taken the best of the team. I can't help but resent (a little) Joakim. When he was starting over Taj, he used to say that sacrifices had to made. I guess he found it harder to do it this year when he had to make them. Sure that it did not help neither. No to speak about Jimmy foolish behaviour with this leader stuff at times. That to say that if management's decisions have to be criticised, players should also take a look at themselves. I will definitely miss these years but I also want to thank the coaches, players and organisation, for the way they played the game.
Hamza Cherief

It feels a bit like a death in the family today! All in all, probably the right move by the Bulls to get some value from him before his free agency came. Just curious, what is the mood of the fans in your mailbag? They seemed to have a love/hate relationship with Derrick, particularly since his ACL injury - but now the deed is done I wonder if the vitriol is still as strong?
Andrew Robson

My only comment about the trade is to say Thank You to Derrick Rose. Great talent, never embarrassed the Bulls, fought though injuries, tried to do what he could. Wasn’t always eloquent, kept family/friends to close, looked to the future. Huh, grew up here and adopted the Daley traits.

Sad end but probably needed. I hope he has success in NYC. I believe he will have a good year. Next man up!! Jimmy. it’s your turn.
Greg Young

How impressive was LeBron this postseason? Like Curry he didn't shoot well in Game 7, but unlike Curry he was able to dominate in other ways. That block gave me goosebumps. This one feels more important for his legacy than the 2 in Miami. I do half-expect the Cavs to have a bit of a hangover next season. 7 straight trips to the Finals for LeBron has to take a toll. I think he'll need more help from his teammates.
Dan Michler

LeBron doesn’t finish at the basket as strongly anymore. Yes, with power but not with explosiveness like he once did. You could see it all season, though the view often was he’s cruising to the playoffs. So LeBron went more toward his “play the right way” game of drawing attention and passing. It may be the right way for normal basketball players, but not LeBron. Stars have to exert themselves offensively in the Finals, and LeBron wasn’t. He’d get to the paint and pass to J.R. Smith or Richard Jefferson for a three. C’mon. He wasn’t making himself enough of a threat. He finally realized the losing nature of that strategy in Game 5 and he and Irving each scored 41 points as he looked to the basket instead of other human objects. He kept it up in Game 6 as Irving faded some, but Irving’s presence was vital. He became the teammate to save LeBron as Dwyane Wade was at times. Irving, after all, made the big three at the end of Game 7. Heck, LeBron barely rattled in that second free throw to make the difference at the end.

Maybe the rush to get to 73 finally took its toll on the Warriors. After all, the Warriors’ star, Stephen Curry, is slightly built and did have knee issues that kept him out earlier in the playoffs. He isn’t the dominant physical figure like Michael Jordan. Maybe the longer playoffs and having to come back the way they did against Oklahoma City sapped them. Remember, it was Klay Thompson with that amazing Game 6 back in Oklahoma City who saved them. As the playoffs progressed, it was Thompson who was the splashier brother. They got the worst performance of the year from Harrison Barnes the last three games, Bogut was gone and Curry perhaps was feeling the pressure to save them. But America has a standard: Winning and losing. LeBron’s the winner again and this one is being celebrated nationally for maybe the first time. Good for him.

Just finished watching The Finals - 95-96 Jordan Bulls are still the record/best one year champion team ever!
Matt Adler

While watching the game on wed, the sentiment among some was a warriors finals loss is a (jordan era) bulls win. But then, a lebron loss also proves jordan is better. Now, i get it, in the fantasy world of sport fandom, its fun to root for some and against others, pretend heroes and villains (well, lambere was pretty real) - after all, for most people, nothing really changes about their lives if the team from their city wins. It doesnt actually makes us better then cleveland if jordan is better the lebron. I used to tell kids when i was sports camp counselor that a soccer game loss doesnt make you a bad person, just as a win doesnt make you any better. Its just pretend.
John Leichenko

The center position seems to be in transition for the Bulls. If Gasol and Noah decide to move on, can the Bulls get by with Gibson as their starting center? A lot of teams are fielding small ball lineups these days, but the Bulls could be awfully thin up front with a big man rotation of Gibson, Niko, Portis and Felicio. Is that group strong enough even if they added a mid-tier FA?
Kyle Smith

Do you see Jimmy Butler playing power forward next season? Imagine having Doug, Holiday, Rose, Taj and Jimmy closing out games. That's one heck of a small ball line-up. Actually, Doug and Jimmy can both play four even for at least 5 minutes a game: enough to swing games in their favor.
Melbert Tizon

Congrats to the Cavs and the City of Cleveland for winning a Championship !! It’s been a long dry spell. I think with the Cavs winning it all this year will make the 2017 NBA free agent market even better. My reason is because obviously, Lebron will return to Cleveland to defend the title next season. But, If the Cavs are unable to defend the Title, it will open Lebron up to leaving Cleveland again. This time he’s free to leave without owing the fans anything by making good on his promise this year. That move will stir up the free agent pot in 2017 the more.
Randall Sanders

One obvious question is what will happen with Kevin Love. He had a decent Game 7 finish, but it doesn’t make sense to keep a max player who is asked to do so little and obviously isn’t a great fit. Even if they say for now they will. I hate to even mention this because I don’t see anything that makes sense with the Cavs, but I have heard Love listed to Chicago among teams he’d like to play for if he were to be traded. Everyone will deny there is such a list, but I have heard it from a few people who speak with Love. The Bulls aren’t trading Jimmy Butler, and I wouldn’t trade Butler for Love, anyway. I’ve always had Love way overrated given you don’t have to double him and he doesn’t beat you off the dribble and is a poor defender and not athletic. Plus, power forward is loaded. That sounds worse than he is. He rebounds well, is a terrific shooter and passer. I see him eventually in Boston; maybe the Lakers, as I’ve heard that one for a few seasons. The Cavs could use some size and perhaps some shooting. The Bulls have some shooting, but not enough to warrant for Love and no real size. I guess given they won you can bring them all back, but you figure now Irving has earned his place and a little shakeup is always good for a champion going forward.

LeBron’s retiring in Cleveland. He’s more popular now than ever and it seems to me he’s not about to risk that, especially at an age when he won’t be able to dominate like before. Plus, no one runs a franchise like he does with the Cavs after what he did for them in the wake of their horrible behavior when he left. I’m sure he’s never let anyone forget, and you can only imagine how they’ll spend the rest of their lives making it up to him, and even more so now as he did deliver the grail.

How will our bulls ever compete at that level? We need more talent.
Ryan Carpel

LeBron James is finally 'King' of his hometown. Cleveland needed to lift off their shoulders, the burden of never seeing a championship. You have the Cleveland Browns, and other sports teams in Cleveland that have never seen a championship, and yet you see Golden State win 73 games, and literally gloat about the fact it's a record better than the Bulls, then have the nerve to compare themselves to the '95 Bulls, which included none other than Steve Kerr himself. No, I'm glad Golden State lost in that respect.
Kieron Smith

The players despite how they played last season came out of the 2015 playoffs practically begging for something else that wasn’t such a slow offensive game with a limited rotation. And then they played like they wanted it to be that way. The Bulls had their best shot since Rose’s 2012 injury in Thibs’ last season. They probably were at their best in 2011 but still lost in five. Then in 2015 the Cavs were without Kevin Love and Rose was controlling Kyrie Irving. But the Bulls fell victim to some of the same issues with the lack of depth being used, the lack of changes as the same players kept going extended minutes. Even Ty Lue in these Finals benched regulars he’d been using, like Channing Frye and Love quite a bit. Steve Kerr always does that. It was a Bulls team in position in 2015, ahead 2-1 and it seemed to basically collapse. That group with that coach had its chance; so changes began, first the coach and soon the players. That’s what happens when you go for it over a six or seven-year stretch and don’t make it.

But you don’t keep the same group and leader. It takes longer to change the roster, but it becomes a process. What’s that Einstein definition of insanity about trying the same thing again and expecting different results? That’s what the process of change has been about. It’s inevitable when you don’t ultimately succeed and it has to start with someone. Going back to what almost worked and felt better is not the answer, even if it’s difficult for all of us on various levels to accept change and loss. You have to endure some tough times when you move forward like that. Last season was one part and we’ll see where it goes from here. But trying the same way to beat LeBron wasn’t working.

The written reports and limited viewing seemed to place Bairstow as a good practice player and teammate but with little upside. His back issues late last year were described as serious and possibly career ending. Apparently Dinwiddie is an OK sub. Salaries were similar. What was Detroit’s motivation?
John Petersen

I found myself in the awkward position of rooting for the Cavs these past couple weeks, and I felt a jolt of elation when they pulled off the miracle upset last night with a third straight win. This morning, the vast army of self-appointed basketball cognoscenti who have been assuring us that the Western Conference is vastly superior to the Eastern Conference, have busied themselves with statistical analysis of the Warriors' collapse in the final four minutes of the third game in a row they got beat. I don't imagine any of them will look up from their digital tedium to confess that they pretty much had their heads up their butts all, I'll say it for them. The conferences are pretty equal, and they usually are. That petty nonsense aside, it was a great, great series and kudos to LeBron and the the Cavs.
Kirk Landers

While I like Curry, I feel some vindication for LeBron, who is a much more complete player (and probably should have been MVP this year). The big question in my mind is whether LeBron learned what it takes from this experience. His game definitely changed for the better when his back was up against the wall. Will he come away from this understanding what happened? Will he play with more effort and 'heart' on any given night? Or at least when his team needs him to? We can only wait and see.
Art Alenik