Ask Sam | Sam Smith opens his mailbag | 7.18.2016

So younger and more athletic they say? Just trading one purgatory for another . I don't really see any method to the madness. A starting 5 of Rondo/Wade/Butler/Gibson/Lopez would've had a great shot at a title in 2008.
Josh Neukom

We can't wait much longer to hear your analysis of the Rondo signing which came as a bit of a surprise to me.
Guy Danilowitz

I'm guessing the Bulls front office might be as surprised as everybody else about this off-season. Just days ago it seems Gar was stating the plan was to go younger and more athletic. I can only assume that they were not expecting to be serious players for Wade and Rondo at that time, but when the opportunity came along they couldn't resist.
It seems we are in for another season with big question marks around health and how certain players will mesh on the floor. Would you agree that Rondo, Wade, Butler is an odd trio in this era of 3pt shooting? If they start with Taj and Lopez that would have to be the worst 3pt shooting starting 5 in the league. Not much spacing there for Hoiberg's offense, not to mention you have a combo of players that are used to holding the ball as opposed to playing the up-tempo ball movement style that I thought Hoiberg preferred. That said I can't help but be very intrigued by this team, even if I will remain guarded about our chances for success. In that respect I think this offseason was a big success for Paxson and Forman.

With Dunleavy gone it would seem paramount that McDermott and Mirotic play big roles to give us some sort of threat from the perimeter. I look forward to watching those 2 players this year. Without these moves I don't think we were in the conversation in the East, so I suppose the worst thing that can happen is we wait 2 more years for these contracts to run out and then try to reload again.
Dan Michler

Very smart by Riley. He knows they won't compete for a championship in Miami. With Whiteside,Dragic and Bosh... He can go for a star next summer, especially if Bosh can't play anymore. He's rebuilding. He's smart, knows what he's doing. I like this for the Bulls. My Bulls vs Knicks dream for the playoffs could happen. I won't believe it until it's official. I got tired of reading all the negative comments about Bulls management. It's a business first.
Victor Devaldvielso

I guess better late than never. If this guy can get that guy to play team ball, and Jimmy flourishes at the three, we could really be on to something. Looks like I’m buying the NBA Package again, something that yesterday I was certain I would not do.
Jacob Snyder

I'm completely at a loss over the Rondo/Wade signings. Aside from the whole "younger/more athletic" rhetoric, we trade away a guy with bad knees, who doesn't shoot well, that we owed $25mil for just one more season and then bring in one guy who can't shoot and one guy with bad knees (who's not much of a shooter himself) for two years, $75mil. We pretty much split Derrick's good and bad qualities into two players and paid them three times the money for twice as long. I'm usually one to at least wait and see, but how much better could they actually expect this team to be than last year's?
Matthew Hemphill

I'd love to hear your thoughts on KD to GSW, and it's an excuse to give my own. I hate that he went to GSW. He has every right to leave OKC, he has every right to go wherever he wants; I get all that. But to leave to go to a team that you should have beaten and can beat next year, and a team that doesn't really need you? I just don't get that, and I don't get how anybody who watches basketball for competition can enjoy the GSW team. The next step in this process is GSW mauling CLE next year and LeBron then opts out of his contract with CLE and goes to GSW "in order to take the next step in his evolution." Would anybody enjoy that? It may sound silly, but that's basically where we are.
Alejandro Yegros

It seems competition has given way to entitlement and that the best players are taking the easiest and most likely road to the Finals. It is said that only 2 things sell season tickets in the NBA-success and hope. Hope just died-for 28 teams.
Mike Freeman

The media seem to hate the Rondo signing. As you know, I like it. Why does the media always take the easy road out to protect their butts? Surely not everyone thinks Gar screwed this up too, do they?
Abe Rotbart

So....we got less shooting? I'm cautiously excited/curious about their plans. Think we can match or improve on last season's record?
Darren Rowe

Are you stunned?
Ryan Carpel

Please explain the Rondo signing. Coach Fred may face conflicting mandates from two players, one of whom insists that he “coach harder” while the other demands that he stop coaching altogether. It strikes me that asking Fred to coach Rondo is like signing Dennis Rodman to play for Vinnie Del Negro.
David Thompson

I commend Forman and Paxson for their work this summer. Instead of taking on long term contracts with big money, they are taking intelligent & calculated risks with Rondo and Wade. If Rondo doesn't work out, we can let him go after 1 year. 2 years was the only way Wade would sign, so another understandable move there. Plus he can fill the emotional leader void left by Noah's departure. They are also not tying themselves down with unnecessarily long contracts - even Lopez and Butler's contracts are very attractive compared to the rest of the landscape. Question: Will the Bulls trade Taj? I assume Wade wouldn't want Taj traded as it would weaken the team. Yet the fact Plus he only has 1 year left in his contract, and Portis / Mirotic / Felicio developing, we cannot risk losing him for nothing. Which contending team do you think will take the flyer for a 1 year rental on him?
Abram Bachtiar

I remember when the Bulls wanted to draft Wade, but, of course, he went too early. They settled for Hinrich, who was very decent, but not Wade. Now they finally get Wade for more than they paid Rose last year. I can only surmise...no, forget it. I really have no idea why the Bulls want Wade now. Maybe to assist in the development of their younger players? Who would have thought that the Bulls would cough up close to 40 mil for the likes of Rhondo and Wade. Is there any chance these two can gel with the young Bulls and produce a team that can compete with the better teams in the East?
William Kochneff

Kevin Durant going to the Warriors is a disgrace to the competitive nature of sports. We’re talking about a top 3 player in the NBA leaving a great team in his prime to join the warriors, his biggest competition and roadblock to a title. He’s joining the same warriors team that he and Russ had on the ropes before they couldn’t close the deal. Why are athletes in recent years so quick to join forces instead of embracing the challenge that makes sports so great? Who lacks the competitive fire enough to not want revenge on the team that beat you? How can you not crave getting over the hump with the same core that’s been in place for the past 3-5 years instead of caving like KD is doing? I’m sorry, but for the life of me, I’ll never understand this one. This is the biggest cop out I’ve seen in as long as I can remember. At least when Lebron made the decision he did it because of the lack of support around him. The Thunder have the talent on hand to win a championship and KD just admitted to the world that he doesn’t have the confidence in himself to get his team over the hump. Gutless. I personally will root against KD winning a championship this year and that’s something I never thought I’d be able to say. I actually feel bad for him and his lack of belief in himself.
Kevin Loughlin

An exciting and dramatic Bulls era has come to a close with the departures of Deng, Thibs, Hinrich, Rose, and Noah. Among the players from this era, whom do you see as having a possibility of returning in "retirement" to work with the organization in some capacity?
Alex Hartzler

Is this the 1st time in the history of the NBA that one team has 4 out of the top 15 players in the league? Also, all those 4 players are arguably the best at their position, worst case scenario the second best. I don't think that has ever been done, not even in the Bill Russell Celtics.
Jay Ernani

Just watched Chi vs Dallas. Dinwiddie is a keeper, he makes everyone playing with him better. With Dinwiddie on the floor Grant had 8 assists and he had 5 as Grant appeared to be quite comfortable at small forward. Denzel didn't have to work too hard and found his comfort zone in the spacing that they created. Felicio works well and gets better every game, he sort of knows his limitations and is quite coachable and teachable. No one notices but Portis creates his own shots and put himself in position to rebound. This is the best group of baby Bulls we have ever had.
June Penwit