MrSparkle wrote:Biggest problem IMO with this squad is the lack of a speedy guard who can put it on the floor and draw fouls. We went from last place in FTAs to sinking even lower since the trade, as atleast the pace was up and Zach/Coby/Temple/Pat could draw falls on the break. As the pace has slowed, it's become apparent that outside Zach, there's nobody on this team who could actually penetrate and draw contact; and Zach hasn't even shown to be that effect in half-court (much prefers shooting off screen).
I'm not high on him, but Schroder might be the most realistic candidate. Won't cost any S&T assets like Lonzo, and $100/4 is probably going to be his market as we battle Thibs/NYK for a starting PG.
I thought Coby could be that guy. He's quick-footed, has deep shooting skill, theoretically can create enough space and dribble fast enough to drive at will... but he is simply terrible in the paint, let alone his proneness to losing the ball.
Lakers aren't going to want to lose a starter for nothing, and they'll take any rotation players and expirings for trade flexibility, if it comes to that. Perhaps a Sato/Aminu/Arci S&T could work, but more likely LAL would insist on Thad/Sato.
But let's say that happens. I'd follow up with a Lauri S&T offer to TOR for OG. They are going to want to resign Gary Trent, and Siakam isn't going anywhere (unless he is, in which case I get on that case). Plus they have Boucher, so they have a lanky forward glut with no C and mediocre spacing.
OG (Thad or Aminu)
Vucevic Theis (resign)
That would leave you with either Thad or Aminu on the books, and I would still get aggressive with either contract by bundling it with Coby for one more younger rotation player.
Schroeder would be fine - he's a lower-tier starting PG. But I don't know if that's the issue so much.
What I see is two things:
(1) a lack of "downhill" players who have a lot of aggression - Schroeder sort of fits that bill but I'm thinking more of guys like Miles Bridges, Ja Morant, Norman Powell, RJ Barrett, Colin Sexton, Anthony Edwards, DeAndre Hunter, John Collins and Montrez Harrell (though really need it more from the wing), etc.
(2) a lack of a true lead distributor, even if that's not necessary in the offense that Billy wants to run, if only to push the Bulls players to play smarter.
Schroeder would add a bit of both, but he's not really a lead distributor himself. So would Reggie Jackson (also a FA). Justise Winslow is interesting to me because, IF HEALTHY, he'd address item #1 and give you at least another secondary distributor. Demarr Derozan, while old, probably does, too - but that lack of a 3....
The problem is that the Bulls don't actually have cap space next season. Prior to Lauri's cap hold (and any holds for Theis, Temple, Valentine, etc.), the Bulls only have about 13M in cap space (and that's for 9 players, so less with the holds for roster spots). If Archie is released, that open up 3M more (before roster spot hold). I'm assuming, however, that they want to retain Theis (a 9.5M hold)... so absent releasing Sato and Thad (which I think is unlikely)... probably no meaningful cap room.
The more that I think about it, though... if the Bulls really want to "win now" next season, the best add would be Derozan. And that *would* be doable... with a Lauri for Derozan dual sign and trade. The money would work because San Antonio is so far under the cap. Not sure that San Antonio would have an interest in doing that, but they might for "agent favor" purposes.
With Derozan on board, you slide Pat to the 4 and start him there --- or really both are just combo forwards. With an aggressive offensive player like Derozan, Pat's relative passivitiy would be less of an issue.
New depth chart:
pg: Sato, Archi/Coby/Brown
sg: Lavine, Coby/Brown
sf: Derozan, Brown/Aminu
pf: Pat, Aminu/Thad/Theis
cc: Vucevic, Theis/Thad