Posts Tagged ‘british national team

03
Sep
08

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.

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19
Jul
07

Thursday Bulls notes

ESPN’s John Hollinger ranked the Bulls as the 12th Most Improved Team this offseason.  His list:

1. – Houston  
2. – Charlotte
3. – Phoenix
4. – New York
5. – Atlanta                        
6. – Boston
7. – Memphis
8. – Washington
9. – New Orleans
10. – Sacramento
11. – Los Angeles
12. – Chicago

(added Joakim Noah and Joe Smith; lost P.J. Brown)
Maybe power forward isn't the weak spot on the roster anymore.
Already possessing a promising stud at the position in Tyrus
Thomas, the Bulls added the energy of Noah and the veteran
smarts of Smith to their roster, shoring up a spot manned by a
fading Brown last season. No, none of these guys can score in
the post, which is where the Bulls really could use help, but
they'll add another jolt of energy to the frontcourt. Plus,
they give Chicago yet more assets to throw into a trade for the
likes of Kevin Garnett or Pau Gasol.

We’d probably place Chicago a few spots higher on the list, but overall it’s an interesting take on team changes so far.  The bright side for Bulls fans is that 9 out of the 11 teams on the list above the Bulls had significantly worse records in ’06-’07 than Chicago did.  Everyone knows the Suns are going to be good.  Yes, the Rockets will probably now legitimately join the upper echelon in the West.  But this list also indicates the Bulls will stay atop the power rankings of Eastern Conference teams.

  • Joe Smith says he has a legit post-up game.  “Posting up is what got me here, from college to my first few years in the league. I started developing the mid-range game when I started playing with Kevin Garnett [in Minnesota] because he was the main post-up guy. I had to spread the defense a bit. But I still feel comfortable with what I can do with my back to the basket.  In Philly last year, they used me a lot on the block, and I was able to get things accomplished whether it was for myself or drawing the double team and finding open guys,” Smith said. “I have a lot of confidence in what I can do on the block as well as what I can do away from the block.”
  • Hinrich will be at the USA Basketball camp in Vegas but he’ll have to compete with Jason Kidd, Chauncey Billups and Deron Williams to keep his spot on the team.  Luol Deng will play on the British national team this summer and in the ’08 olympics.  Thabo Sefolosha, the only player from Switzerland in the NBA, will do the same for the Swiss team.  Nocioni will not participate this summer on the Argentine team because his leg has not gained enough strength yet after his recovery from plantar fasciitis.  Rumors have circulated that Ben Gordon would also play for Britain as he was born in London and spent the first three weeks of his life there.  Nothing official has been reported.



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