I wrote it in the PG thread but here it is:
Lauri is looking like a potentially pretty decent 2-way player. I'm not sure if he's taking pointers from Theis or whatnot, but his defense the last dozen games has been nothing short of good, both helping, but especially man-to-man.
Given that we have zero, nada, zilch, good two way players on the roster currently (Thad has been the closest thing to one, but his D has been progressively falling off a cliff as the season has ground on), I'm getting a little frustrated the way things have turned out, with the Bulls likely losing him for nothing come summer-time.
F-up his rotation role, only for him to, out of nowhere, turn into a good defensive big/wing hybrid. Took away his time and touches, but he still scores at a 60%+ TS, despite him barely touching the ball once a minute past-demotion.
I thought early season Lauri was worth $20M, even with his barely passable defense because of his 19 ppg on 60% + TS. I also thought the FO and Donovan torpedoed his value with the demotion to probably mid-teens, but I'm coming around to coldfish's prediction that somebody will probably lob a $20M offer at him anyway.
Some of these teams with cap space are probably looking at his recent play, especially on D, and must be thinking--"here the Bulls go again being idiots like they've been the last 5+ years. New faces, same old dumbwits. They have a guy that produces when given the chance to, who finally plays above-average D both in space and man-to-man... and they demoted him, despite playing well and destroyed their relationship with him over what? Over 30-year old role player Daniel Theis who may not even be there next year? Over rookie Pat Williams who they all the time in the world to develop? Old man Thad? If we get that 24-year at old $20M per, followed by us giving him 15 shots a game, he may end up giving us 20 per game AND good D. And if we actually develop him some, he may even produce better than that. Given the crap that's this year's FA market... Sure, kid, here's 20 per. Take it to AK."
I'm also frustrated with Lauri because if he had played D all season the way he has recently, he probably doesn't get demoted to begin with, unless the FO and Donovan are just prejudiced, stubborn a-holes. It's all between the ears with him it seems like--when he feels like it, he can board and he can get down and make live miserable for everybody from wings to bullies like AD and Randle. He had shown flashes here and there before--being able to stay in front of Trae, Dame and Morant, being able to play great D on AD and Randle in the mid-post, but he had never before been able to string a full game of good D, let alone a dozen. Which tells me he wasn't trying that hard... in a contract season. I don't believe he just miraculously got it, 20 games before the end of his 4th season. Maybe he did.
What a crapfest that org has been the last 5 years.