Archive for February 7th, 2008

07
Feb
08

Khryapa buyout a clear sign that no trades are coming

The Bulls bought out the expiring contract of Viktor Khryapa yesterday. Khryapa’s expiring $1.9 million dollar deal would have been a valuable chip in any trade negotiations John Paxson intended on having. It could have been used to match up combined contracts between the Bulls and any team they were working with.

Say, and this is purely for argument’s sake, the Bulls were going to trade Ben Gordon to the Clippers for Corey Maggette. Because the Bulls are over the salary cap, any incoming salaries in a trade would have to be within 125% + $100,000 of any outgoing salaries. This condition would not be met in a Gordon for Maggette trade because Maggette makes too much. However, if you included Khryapa in the trade it could work. The Clippers would be no less likely to make the trade if they were forced to include Khryapa because his contract would come off of their books at the end of the year. Therefore, he was a huge assest if the Bulls were hoping to make any trades before the deadline.

We can now be sure that the roster we see today will be the roster at the end of the season. In my jaded opinion, that means the Bulls administration has given up on the season. I’m starting to get scared that they’ve given up on winning as long as they keep selling out the United Center. That would be very bad, but not beyond Jerry Reinsdorf.

07
Feb
08

Sefolosha should continure to start, Gordon should go

Bulls 97 – Blazers 100

Good effort last night by the Bulls.  They were extremely shot-handed, which I’ll get to in a  moment,  but still stuck with a surprisingly solid Blazers team.  The Bulls story of the night in my opinion was Thabo Sefolosha.  Sure it was only one game, but he had 22 pts on 9-17, 6 assts, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 4 boards and only 2 turnovers.  Those are some good, starter-worthy numbers.  Here’s to hoping we see Thabo starting at the 2 guard for the foreseeable future.

One of the main reasons I want to see Thabo starting at the 2 is that I now want Ben Gordon off of this team almost as much as I want Paxson gone.  Of course Gordon isn’t going anywhere until Pax does because we all know John isn’t trading any player he drafted or signed.  I have to admit that my comments these days are the result of my extreme frustration with this season and I probably won’t agree with them all a couple of months from now.  Nevertheless, a lot of Bulls have been missing games with injuries lately and I don’t think most of them would be missing some of these games if the Bulls were in third place in the East.  Chief among these offenders, I believe, is Ben Gordon.

Ben Gordon recently said,

It has been hard watching, especially because we have been having
trouble scoring, but I need the wrist to be 100 percent
so I'm not thinking about it and it doesn't affect my shot.

After making these comments he came back for two games and averaged 26.5 points while shooting 49% from the field including 75% from behind the arc.  It doesn’t look like his shot was affected too much.  However, after pulling out prior to last night’s game he said,

I probably need to stay off it for a little while, especially with it
being my shooting hand. Say we make a playoff run. I
don't want to be worrying about it down the stretch."

When he says, “Say we make a playoff run.  I don’t want to be worrying about it down the stretch”, I take that to mean, “If we were contending I’d play through the pain, but right now I just need to make sure I only play when I’m 100% so my numbers look as good as possible going into contract negotiations this summer.”

That would be an acceptable stance from, say, Vince Carter.  With Carter you know what you’re getting and know what his personality is.  However, these Bulls players were supposed to be different.  They were drafted or signed over more talented players because they are supposed to have more character and desire to win.  I believe Gordon started out this way but has since grown more selfish.  At this point BG7 and his expiring contract should be traded to another team where he can become somebody else’s sixth man prima donna.  The Bulls already have Ben Wallace to fill that role and it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere.

Answer me this Gordon, how exactly is the team going to make a playoff run if you and your 20 ppg (and only 2.9 assisst/game) are sitting out while the team is already missing Luol Deng?




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