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Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG

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Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#1 » by dougthonus » Tue Jun 8, 2021 11:48 am

I expect the Bulls to operate over the cap this off-season, if so, their roster will likely look like this going into the off-season:

PG/SG: Coby
PG/SG/SF: LaVine / Temple / Sato
SG / SF: Brown
SF / PF: Williams / Aminu
PF / C: Thad
C: Vuc

You have potentially four quality players to play PG/SG, whether you think those are positions of strength or not is debatable, whether we can improve or not is debatable.

You literally do not have a single quality SF on the roster unless you think Williams is a SF instead of a PF, but in that case then you literally only have two big men on the roster at all, and one of them is probably a 25 mpg cap.

Now maybe the Bulls won't operate in this way, maybe they'll go under the cap and the guys returning will look totally different (I think they'll actually be in worse shape if that happens), but if something like this happens, you desperately need a good SF (to push Williams to PF) or PF (if you want Williams at SF primarily) and possibly both as well as a quality backup C.

The Gafford trade has aged really poorly based on the roster construction IMO. This changes quite a bit if we keep Theis, but I don't see us doing that.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#2 » by sco » Tue Jun 8, 2021 12:22 pm

dougthonus wrote:I expect the Bulls to operate over the cap this off-season, if so, their roster will likely look like this going into the off-season:

PG/SG: Coby
PG/SG/SF: LaVine / Temple / Sato
SG / SF: Brown
SF / PF: Williams / Aminu
PF / C: Thad
C: Vuc

You have potentially four quality players to play PG/SG, whether you think those are positions of strength or not is debatable, whether we can improve or not is debatable.

You literally do not have a single quality SF on the roster unless you think Williams is a SF instead of a PF, but in that case then you literally only have two big men on the roster at all, and one of them is probably a 25 mpg cap.

Now maybe the Bulls won't operate in this way, maybe they'll go under the cap and the guys returning will look totally different (I think they'll actually be in worse shape if that happens), but if something like this happens, you desperately need a good SF (to push Williams to PF) or PF (if you want Williams at SF primarily) and possibly both as well as a quality backup C.

The Gafford trade has aged really poorly based on the roster construction IMO. This changes quite a bit if we keep Theis, but I don't see us doing that.

I fully expect the FO to keep Theis. He has huge value for us as rim protector who can both play alongside Vuc and back him up. There aren't many guys in the league who can do that.

To your point, and while it can happen while operating under the cap, I see our best chance to improve as operating over the cap. We would likely be out of the Ball sweepstakes if NY wants him, but honestly, I see Ball as less of a good fit/more replaceable than I do Theis. That decision will come to light when we see what happens in the upcoming guarantee decisions on Thad and Sato.

Regardless of the Theis decision, I want us to go find another rim protector in the draft or FA.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#3 » by coldfish » Tue Jun 8, 2021 12:22 pm

Yup.

The Bulls primary issue is at forward.

Is Temple on the team? I thought he was an unrestricted free agent.

I believe that the roster looks like this for players under contract:
PG Coby / Sato / Arci
SG Lavine / Brown
SF Williams / Aminu
PF
C Vucevic / Thad

The Bulls tried Thad next to Vuc and it really didn't work. Thad is a back up center at this point.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#4 » by WindyCityBorn » Tue Jun 8, 2021 12:23 pm

I still think Williams is a SF all the way. Roster construction be damned. I have seen nothing to suggest he would be better player at PF mainly. Just what we need a 6’7” PF that doesn’t play like a PF at all next to Vuc…
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#5 » by dougthonus » Tue Jun 8, 2021 12:23 pm

coldfish wrote:Yup.

The Bulls primary issue is at forward.

Is Temple on the team? I thought he was an unrestricted free agent.

I believe that the roster looks like this for players under contract:
PG Coby / Sato / Arci
SG Lavine / Brown
SF Williams / Aminu
PF
C Vucevic / Thad

The Bulls tried Thad next to Vuc and it really didn't work. Thad is a back up center at this point.


Temple is a UFA, but his market probably wont' be large given his age, and the Bulls can sign up to 120% of his previous salary without using an exception, which is probably more than he can get elsewhere and also a good deal for us if we want to hoard cap room (as per my suggestion) for the 2022 off-season.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#6 » by dougthonus » Tue Jun 8, 2021 12:26 pm

sco wrote:I fully expect the FO to keep Theis. He has huge value for us as rim protector who can both play alongside Vuc and back him up. There aren't many guys in the league who can do that.

To your point, and while it can happen while operating under the cap, I see our best chance to improve as operating over the cap. We would likely be out of the Ball sweepstakes if NY wants him, but honestly, I see Ball as less of a good fit/more replaceable than I do Theis. That decision will come to light when we see what happens in the upcoming guarantee decisions on Thad and Sato.

Regardless of the Theis decision, I want us to go find another rim protector in the draft or FA.


It would be criminally stupid to not pick up Thad's contract.

You could have moved him for a 20+ 1st rounder and an expiring at the deadline. If you actually eat money this year instead of taking that pick and cap freedom at the deadline it shows an ungodly amount of stupidity and lack of planning. I mean you had to know at that point whether you were planning to operate over/under.

Same is largely true of Sato. If you wanted to operate under, you should have traded him at the deadline for an expiring and a 2nd rounder, likely could have been done and saved you money on the cap this year.

The fact that neither happened signals to me one of two things:
1: We plan to operate over the cap.

2: Our front office is god awful stupid and can't plan even three months into the future effectively.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#7 » by sco » Tue Jun 8, 2021 12:28 pm

WindyCityBorn wrote:I still think Williams is a SF all the way. Roster construction be damned.

Williams' position is another key to this discussion. IMO, the difference between SF and PF has shrunk. I see more PF's taking on playmaking responsibilities and shooting 3's. On the one hand, maybe it's more about finding the best player to put next to Pat, whether he is a SF or PF and it won't impact Pat's role much. On the other hand, I don't think Pat is enough of a paint/rim protector to augment Vuc's deficiencies on defense - hence my prior post about keeping Theis at any cost.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#8 » by xpmar9x » Tue Jun 8, 2021 12:30 pm

I'd imagine Theis returning for full MLE & we bring over last year's 2nd rounder. Between Vuc, Theis, Thad, Simonovic, Williams, & Aminu (emergency minutes) the 4/5 spots should be fine. But yeah, I'm worried about the 3 spot as well, likely we just vet min Temple and let Temple/Brown play the backup wing minutes. Not a ton of options in free agency. Wishing we Top-8 protected our first this year, being able to grab someone like Scottie Barnes or Jalen Johnson would have been big.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#9 » by DuckIII » Tue Jun 8, 2021 1:44 pm

No. But you might find that an actual point guard makes our forwards look a helluva lot better.

Also, role playing small forwards aren’t that hard to find (assuming this is a significant team need, which it is not).

This team’s greatest need is at point guard and AK treating it as such will go a long way towards relieving my growing concern that he might suck at his job.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#10 » by sco » Tue Jun 8, 2021 1:57 pm

xpmar9x wrote:I'd imagine Theis returning for full MLE & we bring over last year's 2nd rounder. Between Vuc, Theis, Thad, Simonovic, Williams, & Aminu (emergency minutes) the 4/5 spots should be fine. But yeah, I'm worried about the 3 spot as well, likely we just vet min Temple and let Temple/Brown play the backup wing minutes. Not a ton of options in free agency. Wishing we Top-8 protected our first this year, being able to grab someone like Scottie Barnes or Jalen Johnson would have been big.

I really liked what I saw from Brown (in limited minutes) last season. He seems to have potential to become a very good rotation player.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#11 » by dougthonus » Tue Jun 8, 2021 2:00 pm

DuckIII wrote:No. But you might find that an actual point guard makes our forwards took a helluva lot better.

Also, role playing small forwards aren’t that hard to find (assuming this is a significant team need, which it is not).

This team’s greatest need is at point guard and AK treating it as such will go a long way towards relieving my growing concern that he might suck at his job.


If we added a star PG that might be true, but if we're adding a star level player, I'd still take a SF.

We will likely lose two starting caliber front court players in the off-season and keep all of our quality backcourt players. We're going to need to add two quality big men just to break even with last year, we're going to have a massive, massive downgrade in talent in the front court if the off-season plays out how I expect and we don't make a significant addition.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#12 » by DuckIII » Tue Jun 8, 2021 2:04 pm

dougthonus wrote:
DuckIII wrote:No. But you might find that an actual point guard makes our forwards took a helluva lot better.

Also, role playing small forwards aren’t that hard to find (assuming this is a significant team need, which it is not).

This team’s greatest need is at point guard and AK treating it as such will go a long way towards relieving my growing concern that he might suck at his job.


If we added a star PG that might be true, but if we're adding a star level player, I'd still take a SF.

We will likely lose two starting caliber front court players in the off-season and keep all of our quality backcourt players. We're going to need to add two quality big men just to break even with last year, we're going to have a massive, massive downgrade in talent in the front court if the off-season plays out how I expect and we don't make a significant addition.


I don’t know why you are referring to it as “backcourt players.” Zach being on the team doesn’t mend the infected sucking chest wound that is our point guard rotation.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#13 » by Tetlak » Tue Jun 8, 2021 2:05 pm

I agree.

Our need for a PG is somewhat mitigated by our play style. We are a high assist team, and we run a lot of offense through our bigs - we are fortunate to have two bigs that can act as offensive hub.

The NBA is all about versatile forwards and always has been. There's a reason so few PG driven teams have won titles or even made the finals - at the end of the day, bigger more versatile players reign supreme.

So yes, I think we should aim for probably 2 forwards this offseason, especially since the FA crop of PGs is so lackluster.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#14 » by Little Nathan » Tue Jun 8, 2021 2:28 pm

Tetlak wrote:There's a reason so few PG driven teams have won titles or even made the finals - at the end of the day, bigger more versatile players reign supreme.


100% agree.

The biggest reason for the team being as bad as it was wasn't the point guard position. Our wing rotation was essentially Pat, who clearly wasn't ready for his minutes/role and Temple, who is old and injured. Valentine was in and out of the rotation because he sucks. TBJ joined late and got injured quickly. Donovan dusted off Green too late, but he isn't the solution either.

For a core around Zach/Vuc to be successful, the Bulls are going to have to collect wings who give you versatility on both ends in the way the Hawks have been doing it over the last few years. I would agree that the PG position is an issue, but I don't think it justifies paying Lonzo 20+ million per year.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#15 » by ChettheJet » Tue Jun 8, 2021 2:38 pm

In case you weren't paying attention they strung together a number of losing seasons, fired the front office and coaches. A big part of that was they didn't have enough good players. So to look at the roster after less than a year on the job for the new group and think they should have turned everything around in one year, says you aren't very quick on the uptick. The positive they have is that they have a whole lot of open roster spots to fill and what fans should be appreciating is that there are new people making the decisions so hopefully they will be finding higher quality players.

The one thing that GarPax didn't do to their credit was lock a bunch of old players in with long contracts. So the AKME came in knowing they had a number of expiring contracts that they didn't have to have suffer with for long. Porter jr traded, Felicio done. And they had some young players that they could hope other teams still saw potential, Hutchison, Carter jr, Gafford traded.

And now they enter a new FA, draft and trading period with expired contracts Temple, Valentine, Arcidiacono creating room to improve and expiring contracts with possible buyouts or trading pieces Young, Satoransky, Aminu to get players who might be here for the next 2,3,4 years.

They could have more names to fill up a depth chart but that doesn't mean the team would be any better. For the years of complaining about GarPax well the Bulls are in a position to shed most of the players they brought in for all those losing seasons and fill that depth chart with new names brought in by the replacement FO that some fans were clamoring for. You just can't complain about everything and be given any respect or credibility
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#16 » by dougthonus » Tue Jun 8, 2021 2:38 pm

DuckIII wrote:I don’t know why you are referring to it as “backcourt players.” Zach being on the team doesn’t mend the infected sucking chest wound that is our point guard rotation.


I'm not sure if you disagree with what moves I think the base roster will be at prior to looking at FAs, but if you agree with them, then the Bulls will have about 20mpg at SF/PF/C that will be filled with FAs. If you don't spend some of your resources there and plug in only vet min players then you will have be in big trouble if you have any injury.

At the backcourt, you have four capable players, one star, one guy whom might improve considerably, and two solid vets to fill in minutes. That is enough for redundancy even if you have an injury before you get to vet min like talent.

Our two best players are both decent passers whom will hold the ball a lot too which limits the importance of PG in both facilitating offense and in total dribbles/passes/shots made. Upgrading from say low end caliber starter there to higher caliber starter when the role isn't that big makes little sense compared to trying to elevate the other positions where you are at replacement player level and have no depth.

Granted, if we shockingly kept both Theis and Lauri, this would no longer be true. The thing is we're losing two starting caliber big men and we're not losing anything in the backcourt in my prediction.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#17 » by sco » Tue Jun 8, 2021 3:14 pm

dougthonus wrote:
DuckIII wrote:No. But you might find that an actual point guard makes our forwards took a helluva lot better.

Also, role playing small forwards aren’t that hard to find (assuming this is a significant team need, which it is not).

This team’s greatest need is at point guard and AK treating it as such will go a long way towards relieving my growing concern that he might suck at his job.


If we added a star PG that might be true, but if we're adding a star level player, I'd still take a SF.

We will likely lose two starting caliber front court players in the off-season and keep all of our quality backcourt players. We're going to need to add two quality big men just to break even with last year, we're going to have a massive, massive downgrade in talent in the front court if the off-season plays out how I expect and we don't make a significant addition.

We have Lauri under team control and can go over the cap to keep Theis. If we lose both, there are a fair number of PF/C FA's like Collins, Noel, Whiteside, Howard, Holmes, Harrell, Olynyk out there to supplement our needs.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#18 » by drosestruts » Tue Jun 8, 2021 3:21 pm

I think Doug's breakdown in this thread really highlights how well an addition someone like DeRozan would be. We keep thinking playmaker = point guard, I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but DeRozan's 7 assists per game and 7 free-throw attempts per game would be HUGE additions to this team and bring better balance to our roster.

White/Sato/Archi
LaVine/Temple
DeRozan/Brown
Williams/Aminu
Vucevic/Young
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#19 » by Chicago-Bull-E » Tue Jun 8, 2021 3:24 pm

I guess I don't agree with the premise of the thread. I think PG is pretty far and away the most important need.

You mention the Gafford trade looks poorly. Gafford didn't change as a player in 3 months time. He got more opportunity and can successfully run pick and rolls with a point guard that can get him the ball where he can succeed.

A great passing point guard is a little like a great QB. They're going to elevate everyone around them. Getting a great power forward and watching Coby White attempt to throw him the ball in the post or watch a pick and roll go nowhere isn't a successful approach IMO. Coby and Zach don't have the vision or ballhandling ability to do this. The Bulls were one of the worst teams in turnovers in the league. They desperately need someone that can manage the offense, and get the ball to guys in spots where they can do damage.
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Re: Bulls may have much bigger needs than PG 

Post#20 » by xpmar9x » Tue Jun 8, 2021 3:37 pm

Tetlak wrote:I agree.

Our need for a PG is somewhat mitigated by our play style. We are a high assist team, and we run a lot of offense through our bigs - we are fortunate to have two bigs that can act as offensive hub.

The NBA is all about versatile forwards and always has been. There's a reason so few PG driven teams have won titles or even made the finals - at the end of the day, bigger more versatile players reign supreme.

So yes, I think we should aim for probably 2 forwards this offseason, especially since the FA crop of PGs is so lackluster.


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