Poor (for now) Ben

Interesting post by Kelley Dwyer about Ben Gordon’s situation. I agree with most of it, especially the hypothetical situation where Gordon could go to Europe for one year, make more than he would here, and then come back as a free agent to a Bulls team that has cleared out space for him via a Hinrich or Hughes trade. Found, as usual, via TrueHoop. I really have to start visiting Ball Don’t Lie more on my own.

Again, via TrueHoop, here is a nice breakdown of Luol Deng’s first performance for the British team this year. He finished with 30 but fouled out in the closing moments of regulation in a game that went to overtime.

What to do about Ben?

The situation between the Bulls and Ben Gordon has really gotten sad and the worst part is that there’s no good solution.

If I ran the Bulls I’d offer him a contract averaging $10.1 million a season which would allow him to save face by not losing annual money over last year’s offer. This deal however would still allow the franchise to “win” the negotiations as it would neglect to make Gordon the teams highest paid player as his agent has demanded he become. This deal would of course require the Bulls to go over the luxury tax threshold, but only temporarily. It would be vital for them to figure out some salary-dumping move later in the season in order to get back under.

The Bulls would not make such an offer because they don’t want to risk ever having to pay the luxury tax. It’s probably good business not to back themselves into a corner the way this proposition would. However, it’s not going to be enough for the fans. The team is going to make money either way, it’s just a question of how much. The Bulls are and have for years been one of the leagues most profitable teams.

Another reason they won’t go for an offer like this is, as far as I can tell, they really don’t believe they need Ben Gordon very much and are using the luxury tax thing as an excuse for why they can’t offer him more money. This line of thinking is, in my opinion, dead wrong. In that he’s a better shooter, Gordon is a better complement to Derrick Rose than Hinrich, both today and in the future. I’m not bashing Hinrich here.  I’d just love to see Gordon getting open threes after the lighting-quick Rose hits him on the arc while getting doubled penetrating the lane. Rose should turn out to have the ability to guard the opponent’s bigger guard while Gordon can continue to take the smaller guy. However, Hinrich is not a consistent enough scorer to make up for the lack of production that would result from losing Gordon. The Bulls would have a mighty weak offense next season unless Tyrus takes a big step or Larry Hughes magically remembers how to play team ball and shoot again. The Tyrus possibility is better than the Hughes, but not a sure thing by any means.

I sort of like the scenario described at the top of this page where Gordon would leave for a year, get the money he desires, and come back to money and a bigger role here. It’s not that the Bulls don’t want him on the team at all this coming season, but neither the team nor Gordon are in a position to make much happen on the trade market. Assuming they did sign him, there’s not enough playing time for all the guards. This Russia scenario would give the Bulls wiggle room to provide him with the money and tic he wants while letting young Derrick acclimate to the league in a rebuilding year of sorts. Only one problem. No way in hell Ben would come back to the Bulls after they let/forced him to go play in Europe.

Unfortunately, as of now there just is no good answer, either real or hypothetical. It’s just sad.

9 Responses to “Poor (for now) Ben”

  1. 1 Travis Outlaw
    September 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    I hope Ben Gordon goes to Russia.

  2. 2 312chill
    September 3, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Why? Bulls fan? Ben hater? CSKA fan?

  3. 3 Travis Outlaw
    September 3, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    No diehard Joakim Noah fan here.

  4. 4 JoeJoe
    September 3, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    haha Russia? Russia? Once you leave there’s no coming back you do realize that Ben? Mhhmnnnnnnnnn No!

  5. 5 312chill
    September 4, 2008 at 7:37 am

    I’m basing this all on the Ball Don’t Lie post, but he’d reportedly get $9 million after taxes. That’s a hell of a lot more than he’ll get here this season. I think I’d risk a year in Russia for that. However, for that much money he may be forced to do some national service and help his country take over Georgia. I’m not sure I’d be down for that part.

  6. September 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Hmmm… what about a sign and trade for Rip? Pistons would get some new life and a much needed 3 ball specialist to compliment Stuckey… Bulls would get a veteran presence and perhaps a steadying influence for Big Ben. I would do it.

  7. 7 312chill
    September 22, 2008 at 8:04 am

    I would do a sign and trade for Rip if it could be done. They’d still have too many guards, but at least it’d be something. Also, I bet the Bulls administration would be more willing to keep Hughes on the bench in favor of Rip than they would in favor of Ben Gordon. Somehow I don’t see Dumars going for it though.

  8. 8 Travis Outlaw
    September 22, 2008 at 4:09 pm


    Trading Ben Gordon for Rip Hamilton? Is like Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol. The Bulls would do that trade in a second. Joe Dumars want to make the Pistons a championship team not destroy it.

    Bulls would get a veteran presence and perhaps a steadying influence for Big Ben. I would do it.
    Big Ben? Is that Ben Wallace your talking about? He’s a Cav.

  9. September 22, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    It’s true that Ben Wallace is a member of the Cavs. I didn’t include that in my response because, as you said Travis Outlaw, the Bulls would take this trade with or without Ben Wallace.

    How about Travis Outlaw for Ben Gordon? I’m only kidding. My question with the Blazers is, what the hell do they do with all that young talent? They’ve done a ridiculous job stockpiling young talent, both foreign and domestic. Only problem is they can never keep it all with the salary cap, luxury tax and a relatively small market. What do they do? It would be a good post unto itself. If you ever want to write it I’d be happy to guest author you here or to link to your post on another website.

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September 2008
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