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What exactly is the plan?

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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#241 » by dice » Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:55 am

Wingy wrote:
dice wrote:my plan was/is to trade lavine for as many young assets/picks you can find rather than overpaying him soon


Sounds like you're hoping for the very unlikely outcome of one, or more of those picks becoming as good as Zach Lavine, and Nik Vucevic. Having them turn out better than those guys becomes even more unlikely. Plus they need to stay healthy (hello, Derrick Rose...Grant Hill...Penny Hardaway, etc.)

if i don't land i superstar, then i don't CARE whether they become as good as lavine or vucevic. having them become as good as lavine and vucevic and then having to pay them a lot of money is not an appealing outcome. now, if i end up paying vucevic a bit LESS than he's worth (which is probably the case now), it's fine. but if i have to max out lavine, no thank you

and this is why the standard thought process of "better to overpay a bit than lose for nothing" is nonsense. because you're only losing a guy "for nothing" if losing him doesn't result in cap space

having a rookie, for example, who well outplays his contract but isn't quite as good as nikola vucevic, is a better asset than nikola vucevic!

Then the next idea for this plan becomes flipping these young asset/picks for a superstar, right? Also extremely unlikely because we are not LA, Miami, or even Brooklyn. The superstars dictate where they go. Why are they choosing a much worse version of this team, and franchise?

mostly true, but having good young non-superstars is still a more appealing destination than going to play for a mediocre team featuring 2 borderline all-stars

dice wrote:make quality moves. that's always the plan. trade bad value for good value. if you can't find good value, sign players to short-term "prove it" deals. rinse and repeat until you strike gold, or if you get to the point where the raptors were for several years pre-kawhi, being a fringe contender ain't a bad place to be


Quality moves and all the stuff you said in the first part there. Why can't that be done from the position we're in now? We have a FO with an eye for NBA talent. Continuing to tinker from where we are right now can land us in that Raptors-zone where you're looking for one lucky move, or pick to get you over the hump. Red L pointed out the Jazz as a great example of slowly building up over time from a similar position as us.

both the raptors and jazz put themselves in good position with quality drafting. donovan mitchell is only making a few mil a year. that will change soon. gobert gets a big pay jump next season as well. their moment in the sun is likely to be short-lived

but anyway, AK just dealt away 2 opportunities to make that kind of great value draft pick (donovan mitchell). it's much harder to find late bloomer great value like...

AK appears to have just made the kind of move that hits on both things you're suggesting. Throwing out what has been garbage to us for an upside player in TBJ. Of course there's no guarantees on TBJ, but that's the exact sort of "gold" opportunity we're hoping to strike. While also grabbing Theis who isn't shiny whatsoever, but just plays winning ball. We had no depth, now suddenly we have minutes battles throughout. I'm sure AK will continue to improve the roster up, and down so we get better and better. No more try hard plucky Arcidiaconos. No more Felicios.

that's all well and good

arci is still a good signing by the way given that he makes very little and is at least a competent nba player
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#242 » by Leslie Forman » Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:09 am

Red Larrivee wrote:The Bulls have chosen a direction; whether people agree with it or not doesn't mean there isn't a direction.

That's fair and I don't necessarily disagree. Anyone can find clarity in mud if they look hard enough. I don't think a brand new FO doing things that strongly resemble what an FO who thinks they're about to get fired would do constitute much of a "direction."

Obviously I think this new "direction" kinda sucks and projects to end in flames instead of banners, but the last few years have sucked so hard I don't blame anyone for being desperate for anything that even vaguely resembles a sign of life. If you think it's an awesome direction, hey, enjoy. I get it.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#243 » by Wingy » Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:18 am

dice wrote:
Wingy wrote:
dice wrote:my plan was/is to trade lavine for as many young assets/picks you can find rather than overpaying him soon


Sounds like you're hoping for the very unlikely outcome of one, or more of those picks becoming as good as Zach Lavine, and Nik Vucevic. Having them turn out better than those guys becomes even more unlikely. Plus they need to stay healthy (hello, Derrick Rose...Grant Hill...Penny Hardaway, etc.)

if i don't land i superstar, then i don't CARE whether they become as good as lavine or vucevic. having them become as good as lavine and vucevic and then having to pay them a lot of money is not an appealing outcome. now, if i end up paying vucevic a bit LESS than he's worth (which is probably the case now), it's fine. but if i have to max out lavine, no thank you

and this is why the standard thought process of "better to overpay a bit than lose for nothing" is nonsense. because you're only losing a guy "for nothing" if losing him doesn't result in cap space

having a rookie, for example, who well outplays his contract but isn't quite as good as nikola vucevic, is a better asset than nikola vucevic!

Then the next idea for this plan becomes flipping these young asset/picks for a superstar, right? Also extremely unlikely because we are not LA, Miami, or even Brooklyn. The superstars dictate where they go. Why are they choosing a much worse version of this team, and franchise?

mostly true, but having good young non-superstars is still a more appealing destination than going to play for a mediocre team featuring 2 borderline all-stars

dice wrote:make quality moves. that's always the plan. trade bad value for good value. if you can't find good value, sign players to short-term "prove it" deals. rinse and repeat until you strike gold, or if you get to the point where the raptors were for several years pre-kawhi, being a fringe contender ain't a bad place to be


Quality moves and all the stuff you said in the first part there. Why can't that be done from the position we're in now? We have a FO with an eye for NBA talent. Continuing to tinker from where we are right now can land us in that Raptors-zone where you're looking for one lucky move, or pick to get you over the hump. Red L pointed out the Jazz as a great example of slowly building up over time from a similar position as us.

both the raptors and jazz put themselves in good position with quality drafting. donovan mitchell is only making a few mil a year. that will change soon. gobert gets a big pay jump next season as well. their moment in the sun is likely to be short-lived

but anyway, AK just dealt away 2 opportunities to make that kind of great value draft pick (donovan mitchell). it's much harder to find late bloomer great value like...

AK appears to have just made the kind of move that hits on both things you're suggesting. Throwing out what has been garbage to us for an upside player in TBJ. Of course there's no guarantees on TBJ, but that's the exact sort of "gold" opportunity we're hoping to strike. While also grabbing Theis who isn't shiny whatsoever, but just plays winning ball. We had no depth, now suddenly we have minutes battles throughout. I'm sure AK will continue to improve the roster up, and down so we get better and better. No more try hard plucky Arcidiaconos. No more Felicios.

that's all well and good

arci is still a good signing by the way given that he makes very little and is at least a competent nba player


But who signs with said cap space on an even worse team? You know any good to great players worth a damn aren't taking value contracts to come to a terrible team.

It sounds like you just stay bad in perpetuity until you find said superstar in the draft which can take decades.

If you've got a guy a "bit worse" than Vuc (and chances are they'll be a lot worse), and you're young...you get PAID. Look at The Flatliner Lauri Markkanen and the crazy salary he's probably going to get. No, it doesn't have to come from the Bulls, but you're stuck not improving your team...again when you let that type of guy walk. Guys at that level (really good but not all star, but also going for first extension) generally don't come at the kind of value contract you're touting. That's hoping for as much luck as just about every other type of luck there is out there.

I've noted in other threads...he gave away 2 picks...he didn't sell out 3 (like the Bucks)...or 4 and try to land say A. Gordon/Fournier in the same deal. If this experiment goes terribly wrong, we have all of our picks shortly thereafter, and can pursue a draft-lead strategy then. In the meantime, I'm good w/trying our (literal) luck against this aging, and flawed field of current contenders. We just made a splash, and players around the league see it. We're a much more attractive destination than we were a year, or even a few days ago.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#244 » by Wingy » Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:28 am

Leslie Forman wrote:
Red Larrivee wrote:The Bulls have chosen a direction; whether people agree with it or not doesn't mean there isn't a direction.

That's fair and I don't necessarily disagree. Anyone can find clarity in mud if they look hard enough. I don't think a brand new FO doing things that strongly resemble what an FO who thinks they're about to get fired would do constitute much of a "direction."

Obviously I think this new "direction" kinda sucks and projects to end in flames instead of banners, but the last few years have sucked so hard I don't blame anyone for being desperate for anything that even vaguely resembles a sign of life. If you think it's an awesome direction, hey, enjoy. I get it.


What's the A > B > C > D plan that's pretty clearly going to work though? What direction leads to banners besides insane luck getting a superstar in the draft, or being the LA Lakers in Hollywood?

It doesn't exist. They're all deeply flawed, w/countless variables, and a ton of luck required.

If Zach were 30, and Vuc's game in his younger years was more like a prime Amare/Blake...that would be one thing. This blind dart throw is just as good as any.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#245 » by dice » Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:16 am

Wingy wrote:
dice wrote:
Wingy wrote:
Sounds like you're hoping for the very unlikely outcome of one, or more of those picks becoming as good as Zach Lavine, and Nik Vucevic. Having them turn out better than those guys becomes even more unlikely. Plus they need to stay healthy (hello, Derrick Rose...Grant Hill...Penny Hardaway, etc.)

if i don't land i superstar, then i don't CARE whether they become as good as lavine or vucevic. having them become as good as lavine and vucevic and then having to pay them a lot of money is not an appealing outcome. now, if i end up paying vucevic a bit LESS than he's worth (which is probably the case now), it's fine. but if i have to max out lavine, no thank you

and this is why the standard thought process of "better to overpay a bit than lose for nothing" is nonsense. because you're only losing a guy "for nothing" if losing him doesn't result in cap space

having a rookie, for example, who well outplays his contract but isn't quite as good as nikola vucevic, is a better asset than nikola vucevic!

Then the next idea for this plan becomes flipping these young asset/picks for a superstar, right? Also extremely unlikely because we are not LA, Miami, or even Brooklyn. The superstars dictate where they go. Why are they choosing a much worse version of this team, and franchise?

mostly true, but having good young non-superstars is still a more appealing destination than going to play for a mediocre team featuring 2 borderline all-stars


Quality moves and all the stuff you said in the first part there. Why can't that be done from the position we're in now? We have a FO with an eye for NBA talent. Continuing to tinker from where we are right now can land us in that Raptors-zone where you're looking for one lucky move, or pick to get you over the hump. Red L pointed out the Jazz as a great example of slowly building up over time from a similar position as us.

both the raptors and jazz put themselves in good position with quality drafting. donovan mitchell is only making a few mil a year. that will change soon. gobert gets a big pay jump next season as well. their moment in the sun is likely to be short-lived

but anyway, AK just dealt away 2 opportunities to make that kind of great value draft pick (donovan mitchell). it's much harder to find late bloomer great value like...

AK appears to have just made the kind of move that hits on both things you're suggesting. Throwing out what has been garbage to us for an upside player in TBJ. Of course there's no guarantees on TBJ, but that's the exact sort of "gold" opportunity we're hoping to strike. While also grabbing Theis who isn't shiny whatsoever, but just plays winning ball. We had no depth, now suddenly we have minutes battles throughout. I'm sure AK will continue to improve the roster up, and down so we get better and better. No more try hard plucky Arcidiaconos. No more Felicios.

that's all well and good

arci is still a good signing by the way given that he makes very little and is at least a competent nba player


But who signs with said cap space on an even worse team? You know any good to great players worth a damn aren't taking value contracts to come to a terrible team.

as i said, if you can't find value contracts you sign short-term market contracts. you just don't overpay guys unless you're over the cap and pretty much forced to. the goal is to accumulate good contracts. get enough of them and you're a playoff team. then you can be content with that while you shop for a star or hope that one finds your situation appealing enough to sign as a free agent

If you've got a guy a "bit worse" than Vuc (and chances are they'll be a lot worse), and you're young...you get PAID. Look at The Flatliner Lauri Markkanen and the crazy salary he's probably going to get.

then you dump him and accumulate assets/cap space. until then he's on a great value rookie contract :dontknow:

We just made a splash, and players around the league see it. We're a much more attractive destination than we were a year, or even a few days ago.

nah. you've gotta produce on the court. lavine and vucevic by themselves aren't gonna attract anything. just like beal and wall weren't. gotta win. a younger borderline playoff team like brooklyn of a couple years ago can attract attention. lavine/vucevic has gotta do better than that. which will only get harder once lavine gets paid

again, the "we've got 2 all-stars" marketing tool doesn't work for long if you don't win. and if the bulls don't make the playoffs this season/are middling again next season, guess what? it's then unlikely that both players are named all-stars again, so the marketing gimmick is gone. and with vucevic now on the wrong side of 30 and lavine unlikely to match this year's scoring prowess, that's the likely scenario. unless AK does some serious work in the chemistry lab this offseason
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#246 » by Leslie Forman » Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:51 am

Wingy wrote:What's the A > B > C > D plan that's pretty clearly going to work though? What direction leads to banners besides insane luck getting a superstar in the draft, or being the LA Lakers in Hollywood?

Stock up HARD on the most valuable assets in this league except superstars - draft picks and young prospects.

Everybody here complains about becoming a "multi-year" tank like Sacramento/Minnesota when neither of them have ever actually tanked at all for more than maybe one season at most, if at all. Collecting assets was never their primary direction, and their dumb owners would never have supported the idea anyways.

There have really only been two GMs who have done a legit multi-year tank that was centered simply on collecting assets.

Sam Hinkie
Sam Presti

Hinkie F'ed up multiple draft picks and he still ended up with Embiid, Simmons, and the assets that became Butler and Harris. The idiots in charge there obviously screwed up with Jimmy, but for a year there, they had a legit title-worthy team, and now even without Jimmy might be one (I don't think they are, but they're close).

Presti was the opposite, he hit big time on almost all his picks. This resulted in Westbrook/Harden/Durant/Ibaka, which if not for their dumb owner would have been a straight up '90s Bulls-level dynasty. He is starting up the same thing now, and I absolutely 100% think he is going to end up with a title contending team (that eventually breaks up because don't nobody wanna be in damn Oklahoma…).

And then you have the teams that accidentally landed into a ton of assets through incompetency like Cleveland and LAL. We know how vital those picks/prospects ended up being in attracting LeGMBron. Because this ain't LA and no superstars but AD are from Chicago I don't think it's all that relevant, but hey, it happened.

People here who keep insisting tanking is a load of bullsh*t because you probably won't end up drafting Kevin Durant and James Harden are being myopic. It's not about just drafting a stud, it's about adding bullets to shoot your shot with, and having enough of them to outbid other franchises in trades.

Let's say for some crazy reason this summer, IT happens. The mythical superstar trade everyone wants is on the table - Luka Doncic refuses to sign a max and says he's done with Dallas and demands a trade or he's just gonna sign the QO next year. Dallas says "F it, we're rebuilding now." Well, sh*t. What are the Bulls gonna offer that beats out other teams?

Soon to be UFA Zach LaVine
30-year-old Vucevic
2 years away from 2 years away Patrick Williams
Very busty smelling Coby White
draft picks that don't even start until 2025

That is freaking awful. If NBA teams were ranked like baseball teams for their "farm systems," they'd be near (maybe even at) the bottom.

Sure, they could offer every single draft pick from 2025 to 2100. So could almost every single other franchise, except they could add some more young prospects and immediate draft picks, too.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#247 » by Wingy » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:09 am

Leslie Forman wrote:
Wingy wrote:What's the A > B > C > D plan that's pretty clearly going to work though? What direction leads to banners besides insane luck getting a superstar in the draft, or being the LA Lakers in Hollywood?

Stock up HARD on the most valuable assets in this league except superstars - draft picks and young prospects.

Everybody here complains about becoming a "multi-year" tank like Sacramento/Minnesota when neither of them have ever actually tanked at all for more than maybe one season at most, if at all. Collecting assets was never their primary direction, and their dumb owners would never have supported the idea anyways.

There have really only been two GMs who have done a legit multi-year tank that was centered simply on collecting assets.

Sam Hinkie
Sam Presti

Hinkie F'ed up multiple draft picks and he still ended up with Embiid, Simmons, and the assets that became Butler and Harris. The idiots in charge there obviously screwed up with Jimmy, but for a year there, they had a legit title-worthy team, and now even without Jimmy might be one (I don't think they are, but they're close).

Presti was the opposite, he hit big time on almost all his picks. This resulted in Westbrook/Harden/Durant/Ibaka, which if not for their dumb owner would have been a straight up '90s Bulls-level dynasty. He is starting up the same thing now, and I absolutely 100% think he is going to end up with a title contending team (that eventually breaks up because don't nobody wanna be in damn Oklahoma…).

And then you have the teams that accidentally landed into a ton of assets through incompetency like Cleveland and LAL. We know how vital those picks/prospects ended up being in attracting LeGMBron. Because this ain't LA and no superstars but AD are from Chicago I don't think it's all that relevant, but hey, it happened.

People here who keep insisting tanking is a load of bullsh*t because you probably won't end up drafting Kevin Durant and James Harden are being myopic. It's not about just drafting a stud, it's about adding bullets to shoot your shot with, and having enough of them to outbid other franchises in trades.

Let's say for some crazy reason this summer, IT happens. The mythical superstar trade everyone wants is on the table - Luka Doncic refuses to sign a max and says he's done with Dallas and demands a trade or he's just gonna sign the QO next year. Dallas says "F it, we're rebuilding now." Well, sh*t. What are the Bulls gonna offer that beats out other teams?

Soon to be UFA Zach LaVine
30-year-old Vucevic
2 years away from 2 years away Patrick Williams
Very busty smelling Coby White
draft picks that don't even start until 2025

That is freaking awful. If NBA teams were ranked like baseball teams for their "farm systems," they'd be near (maybe even at) the bottom.

Sure, they could offer every single draft pick from 2025 to 2100. So could almost every single other franchise, except they could add some more young prospects and immediate draft picks, too.


That's an odd response considering what I wrote. You ignored the entire part that said I'd understand (but not love) this sort of plan. How do you reconcile this strategy against the reality of the business side, and our ownership relatively speaking being the bunch of money-grubbing cheapskates that only spent on a real FO once they started seeing the numbers go in the red?

I'd love a new ownership group, but in the absence of that, I think AK's taking the best path possible.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#248 » by Leslie Forman » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:23 am

Wingy wrote:That's an odd response considering what I wrote. You ignored the entire part that said I'd understand (but not love) this sort of plan.

I don't see that in the post. You just asked what is the plan that "clearly" would work, well I think that is the highest percentage plan when it comes to eventually getting true title-worthy talent.

Wingy wrote:How do you reconcile this strategy against the reality of the business side, and our ownership relatively speaking being the bunch of money-grubbing cheapskates that only spent on a real FO once they started seeing the numbers go in the red?

I'd love a new ownership group, but in the absence of that, I think AK's taking the best path possible.

If it's ownership pushing the FO to make moves like this, well none of it matters. They're screwed no matter what and this is just the Kings/Hornets/Pacers in a bigger city.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#249 » by Wingy » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:04 am

dice wrote:as i said, if you can't find value contracts you sign short-term market contracts. you just don't overpay guys unless you're over the cap and pretty much forced to. the goal is to accumulate good contracts. get enough of them and you're a playoff team. then you can be content with that while you shop for a star or hope that one finds your situation appealing enough to sign as a free agent


Can you point out a team that has done that w/o nailing basically all of their draft picks? It's crazy hard to get value contracts for established players, much less a team primarily comprised of them, and especially when they don't come from within.

How are you going to pay short term market contracts when there's always some buffoon with the Sacramentos, and NYKs of the world giving multiple more years of security, trying to make the playoffs? You can, you just have a perpetually low talent, bad team that doesn't attract any stars.

If we had infinite time, this strategy might work. But this is more "RealGM," and not actually what any GM is going to be able to do in reality when there's a team owner, and the non-maniacal part of the fanbase that wants to see success.

then you dump him and accumulate assets/cap space. until then he's on a great value rookie contract :dontknow:


So were you dumping a player like Lauri a year ago...two years ago? How do you know with these young players? How much value do you think was out there this trade deadline for a guy like Lauri? What happens when they're not even a value contract on their rookie deal - a WCJ?

nah. you've gotta produce on the court. lavine and vucevic by themselves aren't gonna attract anything. just like beal and wall weren't. gotta win. a younger borderline playoff team like brooklyn of a couple years ago can attract attention. lavine/vucevic has gotta do better than that. which will only get harder once lavine gets paid

again, the "we've got 2 all-stars" marketing tool doesn't work for long if you don't win. and if the bulls don't make the playoffs this season/are middling again next season, guess what? it's then unlikely that both players are named all-stars again, so the marketing gimmick is gone. and with vucevic now on the wrong side of 30 and lavine unlikely to match this year's scoring prowess, that's the likely scenario. unless AK does some serious work in the chemistry lab this offseason


I think that's somewhat fair, and most despite excitement will acknowledge this isn't likely to yield a title...heck, even a Finals berth. Yet there's not a whole lot of realistic alternatives when you factor in the reality that ownership, and the fanbase aren't going to allow consecutive tear-down and tanks (not that GarPax even tanked properly). They just aren't going to have the patience to assemble the impeccably managed cap that you're proposing either. Heck even if they did buy into that, you still need to land a superstar, and you can easily fail there time and again as we've demonstrated. How long is any ownership group really going to sustain this model that likely produces bad teams since they are always going to be compromised on talent, and limited due to playing moneyball?

In addition, the premise that young, good players are more attractive than established guys like Zach/Vuc, or prime Wall/Beal is just wrong. Anyone that wants to win a title is going w/vets. The only outliers are when a team has basically aced the draft (e.g. - Phoenix) for several years. You're not saying it, but that's what your plan boils down to in a nutshell, because otherwise you're just not assembling that many value contracts. Acing the draft for years is probably about as difficult as AK pulling off the mad scientist experiment he's going to attempt within this, and next offseason.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#250 » by Wingy » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:08 am

Leslie Forman wrote:
Wingy wrote:That's an odd response considering what I wrote. You ignored the entire part that said I'd understand (but not love) this sort of plan.

I don't see that in the post. You just asked what is the plan that "clearly" would work, well I think that is the highest percentage plan when it comes to eventually getting true title-worthy talent.

Wingy wrote:How do you reconcile this strategy against the reality of the business side, and our ownership relatively speaking being the bunch of money-grubbing cheapskates that only spent on a real FO once they started seeing the numbers go in the red?

I'd love a new ownership group, but in the absence of that, I think AK's taking the best path possible.

If it's ownership pushing the FO to make moves like this, well none of it matters. They're screwed no matter what and this is just the Kings/Hornets/Pacers in a bigger city.


My bad, I'm confusing it w/another post I wrote tonight. But, I did state that recently - that I'd dislike, but understand a tear down path with a real FO building back our talent base.
(EDIT: See my response to you in the "Who is the next target?" thread)

You know our ownership though. This describes them exactly. There's no way in hell they're allowing the sell off of Zach after seeing what happened with Jimmy. And acting like a small market team in a bigger city? C'mon. That's this ownership group to a tee.

That reality in place, how badly can you honestly criticize what AK is trying?
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#251 » by Leslie Forman » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:25 am

Wingy wrote:My bad, I'm confusing it w/another post I wrote tonight. But, I did state that recently - that I'd dislike, but understand a tear down path with a real FO building back our talent base.

Yeah I see it now. Well at least you see where I'm coming from.

Wingy wrote:That reality in place, how badly can you honestly criticize what AK is trying?

Plenty. We've seen how much in this current version of the league (and really, every single previous one, too) that playing a center who can't defend kills you in the playoffs. And yet he just traded for a flat out defensive liability of a center.

I am a strong proponent of the one and only consistently proven way to vastly overachieve your talent level if you don't have any superstars - become just a straight up grimy ass defense-first team. Grit & Grind your way up. If you are gonna say "screw draft picks," well I better see a move towards this direction in terms of playing style.

Going all-in on a Zach/Vuc combo is…well that ain't it. It's like he's actively trying to build a team that gets absolutely murdered in the playoffs.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#252 » by Wingy » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:36 am

Leslie Forman wrote:
Wingy wrote:My bad, I'm confusing it w/another post I wrote tonight. But, I did state that recently - that I'd dislike, but understand a tear down path with a real FO building back our talent base.

Yeah I see it now. Well at least you see where I'm coming from.

Wingy wrote:That reality in place, how badly can you honestly criticize what AK is trying?

Plenty. We've seen how much in this current version of the league (and really, every single previous one, too) that playing a center who can't defend kills you in the playoffs. And yet he just traded for a flat out defensive liability of a center.

I am a strong proponent of the one and only consistently proven way to vastly overachieve your talent level if you don't have any superstars - become just a straight up grimy ass defense-first team. Grit & Grind your way up. If you are gonna say "screw draft picks," well I better see a move towards this direction in terms of playing style.

Going all-in on a Zach/Vuc combo is…well that ain't it. It's like he's actively trying to build a team that gets absolutely murdered in the playoffs.


Zach/Vuc's defense is a definite concern. My guess is that AK is going to try to mitigate that by putting those exact type of gritty players all around them...except hopefully using better talent evaluation than GarPax to get some actual 2-way role players/3&D guys. He already grabbed several guys in Aminu (not very good, but known more for D than offense), Theis, and TBJ who are stronger on the defensive end of the floor. PG, and tough defensive-minded players who aren't big offensive liabilities - I think that will be the focus of this offseason.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#253 » by Leslie Forman » Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:00 am

Wingy wrote:Zach/Vuc's defense is a definite concern. My guess is that AK is going to try to mitigate that by putting those exact type of gritty players all around them...except hopefully using better talent evaluation than GarPax to get some actual 2-way role players/3&D guys. He already grabbed several guys in Aminu (not very good, but known more for D than offense), Theis, and TBJ who are stronger on the defensive end of the floor. PG, and tough defensive-minded players who aren't big offensive liabilities - I think that will be the focus of this offseason.

Yes, I think that's what he'll try to do…but that is a recipe for disappointment.

In the playoffs, rotations tighten and your main scorers need to be able to consistently play 40MPG, score loads of points, and still be at least solid on defense. Historically, on title winners many of them are actually just plain good or great defenders. You might have gotten away with it in the past, when teams were basically nerfing their own offenses with their playing styles, but the league is way too skilled and data-driven as a whole now to get away with that.

Zach/Vuc is such a defensively awful combo to have as your two main, high minute guys that I don't think you can mask that with anything short of surrounding them with guys who regularly get DPOY votes. And I don't know how you do that when you have such a lackluster warchest of assets to work with and those guys get locked up so quickly by whatever teams they're already on.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#254 » by Red Larrivee » Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:25 pm

Leslie Forman wrote:Stock up HARD on the most valuable assets in this league except superstars - draft picks and young prospects.

Everybody here complains about becoming a "multi-year" tank like Sacramento/Minnesota when neither of them have ever actually tanked at all for more than maybe one season at most, if at all. Collecting assets was never their primary direction, and their dumb owners would never have supported the idea anyways.

There have really only been two GMs who have done a legit multi-year tank that was centered simply on collecting assets.

Sam Hinkie
Sam Presti

Hinkie F'ed up multiple draft picks and he still ended up with Embiid, Simmons, and the assets that became Butler and Harris. The idiots in charge there obviously screwed up with Jimmy, but for a year there, they had a legit title-worthy team, and now even without Jimmy might be one (I don't think they are, but they're close).

Presti was the opposite, he hit big time on almost all his picks. This resulted in Westbrook/Harden/Durant/Ibaka, which if not for their dumb owner would have been a straight up '90s Bulls-level dynasty. He is starting up the same thing now, and I absolutely 100% think he is going to end up with a title contending team (that eventually breaks up because don't nobody wanna be in damn Oklahoma…).

And then you have the teams that accidentally landed into a ton of assets through incompetency like Cleveland and LAL. We know how vital those picks/prospects ended up being in attracting LeGMBron. Because this ain't LA and no superstars but AD are from Chicago I don't think it's all that relevant, but hey, it happened.

People here who keep insisting tanking is a load of bullsh*t because you probably won't end up drafting Kevin Durant and James Harden are being myopic. It's not about just drafting a stud, it's about adding bullets to shoot your shot with, and having enough of them to outbid other franchises in trades.

Let's say for some crazy reason this summer, IT happens. The mythical superstar trade everyone wants is on the table - Luka Doncic refuses to sign a max and says he's done with Dallas and demands a trade or he's just gonna sign the QO next year. Dallas says "F it, we're rebuilding now." Well, sh*t. What are the Bulls gonna offer that beats out other teams?

Soon to be UFA Zach LaVine
30-year-old Vucevic
2 years away from 2 years away Patrick Williams
Very busty smelling Coby White
draft picks that don't even start until 2025

That is freaking awful. If NBA teams were ranked like baseball teams for their "farm systems," they'd be near (maybe even at) the bottom.

Sure, they could offer every single draft pick from 2025 to 2100. So could almost every single other franchise, except they could add some more young prospects and immediate draft picks, too.


Better question: Let's say for some crazy reason Luka Doncic becomes available. Why would he want to go to a stripped down, losing Bulls team that's building for the future? Why would any all-star want to go there? I'm not saying LaVine and Vucevic are some recruiting juggernaut, but I sure as hell would be more interested in playing there especially if I'm seeing the front office isn't scared to make moves to compete.

Rookie contracts are valuable, but they're more valuable when they are contributing to a competitive team. Brooklyn had Russell, LeVert, and Allen all playing well and pushing the team into the playoffs before Irving and Durant. That allowed them to move those players in deals for superstars. When the Bulls had Hinrich, Gordon, Deng and others on rookie deals and they were winning games, they were in trade talks for each disgruntled star.

Tanking is a viable strategy to building a team; however, the issue is that now more than ever so much that's out of your control has to go right for it to even get running. There's a 60% chance that the worst team in the league doesn't pick in the Top 3. There's almost a 50% chance the second and third worst team in the league doesn't pick in the Top 4.

It's by far the most hands-off route possible. You need to win the lottery just to get to the point where you enter the low odds of winning a championship with a #1 overall pick. Again, only three of the last 30 #1 overall picks have won a title with their original team. So, unless you get one of the 10 greatest players ever, you are virtually SOL.

There really is no perfect plan for building a team. Tanking by far has the most downside, but has the upside of getting a future HOF'er on a rookie contract for four years. I don't think the Bulls are illogical for trying to see if they can build a competitive team around two all-stars. It's really better than anything else they realistically could've done.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#255 » by dougthonus » Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:35 pm

dice wrote:if i don't land i superstar, then i don't CARE whether they become as good as lavine or vucevic. having them become as good as lavine and vucevic and then having to pay them a lot of money is not an appealing outcome. now, if i end up paying vucevic a bit LESS than he's worth (which is probably the case now), it's fine. but if i have to max out lavine, no thank you

and this is why the standard thought process of "better to overpay a bit than lose for nothing" is nonsense. because you're only losing a guy "for nothing" if losing him doesn't result in cap space

having a rookie, for example, who well outplays his contract but isn't quite as good as nikola vucevic, is a better asset than nikola vucevic!


In an efficient market this is true, but I think you overrate how efficient the market is and underrate how quickly contracts turnover now. If you were given 80M in cap space this off-season, you likely could not turn that into guys you feel are on fair market value deals for 80M and put together a meaningful team.

The scarcity of fair market deals in the marketplace means that while you do want to always build around guys that are worth more than their deals, they aren't replaceable with guys who are worth their deals unless by "worth their deal" you think a guy like Vuc or LaVine is worth 38M per year, because if you ever go to the market to replace them, that will be the cost.

If you look at teams that win, they also aren't really set up with tons of cheap deals that are better than market value except for superstars, but the key is not that the superstars are paid less, the key is that their total talent is high.

I think in the hard capped NFL, where the talent of a few individuals means a lot less (with the exception of QB), this market value construct means a lot more.

mostly true, but having good young non-superstars is still a more appealing destination than going to play for a mediocre team featuring 2 borderline all-stars


For NBA players, I don't think this is true. For fans, I think this might be true, because fans look at potential not at what is. I think NBA players look at what is. They aren't GMs, they don't spend their time analyzing future outcomes, they look at what is there now. You've seen this over and over and over again. Winning team also typically feature veterans not young players. I don't think this mindset accurately portrays the typical NBA player at all.

but anyway, AK just dealt away 2 opportunities to make that kind of great value draft pick (donovan mitchell). it's much harder to find late bloomer great value like...


I can't imagine what a disaster this will be if we don't win a bunch of games to close out this season and we give up pick #9 to Orlando in this draft which looks very strong.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#256 » by dougthonus » Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:52 pm

Wingy wrote:But who signs with said cap space on an even worse team? You know any good to great players worth a damn aren't taking value contracts to come to a terrible team.


Recently Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard all signed with cap space on teams _considerably_ worse than the ones they were on the previous year with the hope that after their signing and other moves were made that they would be better.

It sounds like you just stay bad in perpetuity until you find said superstar in the draft which can take decades.


I would love to sign a superstar or trade for a superstar. Trading multiple 1sts for a non top 20 fringe all-star that I think has no more than 2.5 high level years left is what is problematic. If Vuc was this good and 27, then it'd be a different ball game, but he's not.

We'll see what happens, but I think the most likely scenario is the Bulls never get out of the 1st round.

Given their pricetags, the Nuggets paid a heck of a lot less for Aaron Gordon. I would have been happier acquiring him.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#257 » by GetBuLLish » Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:36 pm

I'm about 40/60 against the deal. I see one of three outcomes playing out.

1) Vuc (and our other new acquisitions) really gel with the team, we get on a nice roll of wins, make the playoffs, and lose in the first round but put up a really admirable effort. Using this momentum, the Bulls acquire a serious top tier player and become a team with genuine aspirations to move past the 2nd round of the playoffs.

2) Vuc (and our other new acquisitions) really gel with the team, we get on a nice roll of wins, make the playoffs, and lose in the first round but put up a really admirable effort. Despite the positive momentum, the Bulls fail to acquire a top tier player and end up signing a mid-level player(s) that does little to raise the ceiling of the team (or, heaven forbid, we resign Lauri). The Bulls for the foreseeable future are a fringe playoff team with little real hope of advancing past the first round.

3) Our team really sputters with the new acquisitions, we fail to make the playoffs, and Orlando gets a good lottery pick from us (and perhaps two). This would be a disaster and place us firmly in NBA hell.

I put the odds of the above three outcomes as 10%/45%/45%. In light of this, I don't see the trade for Vuc being worth it. But I hope I'm wrong.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#258 » by Brothaman33 » Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:15 pm

dougthonus wrote:
dice wrote:if i don't land i superstar, then i don't CARE whether they become as good as lavine or vucevic. having them become as good as lavine and vucevic and then having to pay them a lot of money is not an appealing outcome. now, if i end up paying vucevic a bit LESS than he's worth (which is probably the case now), it's fine. but if i have to max out lavine, no thank you

and this is why the standard thought process of "better to overpay a bit than lose for nothing" is nonsense. because you're only losing a guy "for nothing" if losing him doesn't result in cap space

having a rookie, for example, who well outplays his contract but isn't quite as good as nikola vucevic, is a better asset than nikola vucevic!


In an efficient market this is true, but I think you overrate how efficient the market is and underrate how quickly contracts turnover now. If you were given 80M in cap space this off-season, you likely could not turn that into guys you feel are on fair market value deals for 80M and put together a meaningful team.

The scarcity of fair market deals in the marketplace means that while you do want to always build around guys that are worth more than their deals, they aren't replaceable with guys who are worth their deals unless by "worth their deal" you think a guy like Vuc or LaVine is worth 38M per year, because if you ever go to the market to replace them, that will be the cost.

If you look at teams that win, they also aren't really set up with tons of cheap deals that are better than market value except for superstars, but the key is not that the superstars are paid less, the key is that their total talent is high.

I think in the hard capped NFL, where the talent of a few individuals means a lot less (with the exception of QB), this market value construct means a lot more.

mostly true, but having good young non-superstars is still a more appealing destination than going to play for a mediocre team featuring 2 borderline all-stars


For NBA players, I don't think this is true. For fans, I think this might be true, because fans look at potential not at what is. I think NBA players look at what is. They aren't GMs, they don't spend their time analyzing future outcomes, they look at what is there now. You've seen this over and over and over again. Winning team also typically feature veterans not young players. I don't think this mindset accurately portrays the typical NBA player at all.

but anyway, AK just dealt away 2 opportunities to make that kind of great value draft pick (donovan mitchell). it's much harder to find late bloomer great value like...


I can't imagine what a disaster this will be if we don't win a bunch of games to close out this season and we give up pick #9 to Orlando in this draft which looks very strong.


Yes, but pick #9 generally isn't going to be very good. Over the last 5 years the bust rate of the top 10 picks is like 80%.

This idea that it's "dangerous" to give up pick #9 in ANY draft is just not true.

Frank Kaminsky
Jakob Poltl
Dennis Smith Jr.
Kevin Knox
Rui Hachimura
Deni Avdija

The last six #9 picks.

Now what people mostly do is say, "Well you just have to be better the everyone and get your Donovon Mitchell"

There isn't enough TALENT at picks 5 -30 to make a difference anyways, no matter who your picking. And even then you have to be lucky enough to get one of those guys, you need multiple years to pair them up, all while at the sametime still losing, even though you hope those guys are developing enough to get some wins.

I agree with you. The Bulls probably screwed themselves in 3 or 4 years. It doesn't matter. They won't be winning a championship with this move, and they won't be winning a championship tanking and they won't be winning a championship trying to get lucky in the draft. Because you are not beating LeBron and Davis and you are not beating KD, Harden and Kyrie.

I would rather watch them try to be good, then be awful for 30 years trying to get lucky getting a generational talent. Thats just the way the NBA works
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#259 » by DuckIII » Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:17 pm

Leslie Forman wrote:
Wingy wrote:That's an odd response considering what I wrote. You ignored the entire part that said I'd understand (but not love) this sort of plan.

I don't see that in the post. You just asked what is the plan that "clearly" would work, well I think that is the highest percentage plan when it comes to eventually getting true title-worthy talent.

Wingy wrote:How do you reconcile this strategy against the reality of the business side, and our ownership relatively speaking being the bunch of money-grubbing cheapskates that only spent on a real FO once they started seeing the numbers go in the red?

I'd love a new ownership group, but in the absence of that, I think AK's taking the best path possible.

If it's ownership pushing the FO to make moves like this, well none of it matters. They're screwed no matter what and this is just the Kings/Hornets/Pacers in a bigger city.


I’d hazard a guess at this point that not only is ownership “pushing” this, but it’s in fact exactly what the FO told AK was expected before they even hired him. And in turn that’s what AK sold BD on to get that follow up hire.
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Re: What exactly is the plan? 

Post#260 » by Leslie Forman » Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:18 pm

Red Larrivee wrote:Better question: Let's say for some crazy reason Luka Doncic becomes available. Why would he want to go to a stripped down, losing Bulls team that's building for the future? Why would any all-star want to go there? I'm not saying LaVine and Vucevic are some recruiting juggernaut, but I sure as hell would be more interested in playing there especially if I'm seeing the front office isn't scared to make moves to compete.

This is like asking where you're going to store your future collection of Lamborghinis when you have 50 bucks in your bank account.

Red Larrivee wrote:Rookie contracts are valuable, but they're more valuable when they are contributing to a competitive team. Brooklyn had Russell, LeVert, and Allen all playing well and pushing the team into the playoffs before Irving and Durant. That allowed them to move those players in deals for superstars. When the Bulls had Hinrich, Gordon, Deng and others on rookie deals and they were winning games, they were in trade talks for each disgruntled star.

All that winning Jeff Green, Al Jefferson, Andrew Wiggins, etc., etc. did sure was vital to their trade value.

Red Larrivee wrote:Tanking is a viable strategy to building a team; however, the issue is that now more than ever so much that's out of your control has to go right for it to even get running. There's a 60% chance that the worst team in the league doesn't pick in the Top 3. There's almost a 50% chance the second and third worst team in the league doesn't pick in the Top 4.

It's by far the most hands-off route possible. You need to win the lottery just to get to the point where you enter the low odds of winning a championship with a #1 overall pick. Again, only three of the last 30 #1 overall picks have won a title with their original team. So, unless you get one of the 10 greatest players ever, you are virtually SOL.

You are still completely ignoring the entire point I was trying to make.

It's not about drafting a superstar. If you do end up drafting a superstar? Well that's a just a real nice little surprise.

It's about quantitatively maximizing your asset portfolio, which then gives you a qualitatively better warchest to work with. Lauri and Wendell after their first couple years were putting up completely empty numbers on an awful team and yet they were seen as incredibly valuable trade assets. Picks and young prospects that are showing any sort of a pulse (they don't even actually have to be good) are what really matter as assets.

This is exactly what Hinkie and Presti have done/are doing and it's pretty much what every single baseball team that isn't dumb as rocks tries to do nowadays.

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