Posts Tagged ‘spencer hawes

28
Jun
07

Who should your team draft?

In that we’re currently petrified of drafting Spencer Hawes right now we here at NBullsA are going to explain who the Bulls should pick out of the players who realistically could still be there.  Then, we want you to weigh in on who your team, be it the Bulls or another, should pick and why.

With the ninth pick of the 2007 NBA draft the Chicago Bulls should select Joakim Noah . . .

We’re not the biggest Noah fans around here, but based on players that look likely or at least possible to be available he’s the best fit.  Noah is a hard worker who seems to genuinely care about the game of basketball.  He’s not going to be anything close to the low post presence the Bulls need, but as we’ve said before, nobody is at #9.  Chicago absolutely must add another big man to the team and rotation this coming season whether it’s through the draft, free agency or a trade.  PJ Brown will not be a starter anymore (or at least not play more than 15 minutes a game max) if he does re-sign.  Therefore, the Bulls will start Ben Wallace and maybe Tyrus, maybe Nocioni if he re-ups.  They’ll need bench support.  While Noah will never ever be a leading scorer, he’s perfect for energy, defense and rebounding off the bench.  Down the line if Tyrus Thomas’ offense improves enough to have them both on the floor at the same time Noah could take over Ben Wallace starting job. 

 . . .

Joakim will fit in well with the Bulls.  His work ethic and passion for the game will quickly endear him to Paxson and Skiles.  Billy Donovan seemed like a tough coach (in our limited experience watching him) so Noah may be better prepared for a coach like Skiles than some other prospects would be.  Noah’s decreased scoring this past season in comparison to the season before seems to be more of a sign that he’s a willing role player than they are that he regressed in terms of his skill.  As the other now well-publicized Florida stars continued to emerge Noah was willing to do the dirty work.  Again, that makes him a perfect 6th or perhaps 7th man due to his current lack of offense. 

Finally it is entirely realistic that Joakim could be available to the Bulls at #9.  We’re not going to try and compete with all the mock drafts out there, but we’ll quickly outline some believable 1-8 draft picks that could land Noah in the Bulls laps.  Any Wright listed below is Brandan Wright and any Green is Jeff Green.

#1 – Oden          #1 – Oden         #1 – Oden
#2 – Durant       #2 – Durant     #2 – Durant
#3 – Horford      #3 – Yi             #3 – Conley
#4 – Conley        #4 – Brewer    #4 – Horford
#5 – Brewer       #5 – Green      #5 – Yi
#6 – Yi                #6 – Conley      #6 – Green
#7 – Hawes        #7 – Wright      #7 – Brewer
#8 – Wright       #8 – Hawes       #8 – Thornton
#9 – Noah          #9 – Noah         #9 – Noah

Those are three completely plausible scenarios in which Noah is available to the Bulls at #9.  Of course any team above there could grab him, but this shows that him being available at #9 is very possible.

28
Jun
07

The big day is here.


Picture this guy in red because it looks like that’s 
who the Bulls are picking.  He’ll have to get a new
number though because 10 is retired by the Bulls. 

In several hours whatever is going to happen will finally happen.  Oden will go, then Durant will go, then who knows.  

A troubling report came out this morning from ESPN.com’s Andy Katz:

Washington freshman center Spencer Hawes is fairly
confident that he'll end up with Chicago at No. 9 after
working out for the Bulls Tuesday for a second time. Hawes,
who also worked out for Minnesota, Philadelphia and
Sacramento, said he's a perfect fit for the Bulls since he
would be another young piece to help them continue to win.
He said that despite all the rumors, he never received a
guarantee from Minnesota that he would be selected.

Hawes should be confident the Bulls are going to take him if he’s still on the board.  They didn’t bring anybody else in for a second visit and he should take that as a good sign.  However, he is incorrect in thinking that being “another young piece” makes him the perfect fit.  It may mean he’ll have more fun off the court than he would with a team of guys mostly in their 30’s, but it also means he’s the last thing the team needs to help them win. 

At this point all we can do now is hope that Minnesota picks him at #7.  Kevin McHale is picking so he could pass up a better prospect because he’s Kevin McHale.  Also, if they do eventually unload KG they’re going to try and get as young as they can.  In that case Hawes does fit the bill.

One other thing we’d really like to see happen in this draft for the sake of the NBA:

Hawks pick Mike Conley at #3.  Conley probably isn’t the third best player in this draft but it looks like he’ll become a great point guard.  With all of the super athletic guys Atlanta has an exciting true point guard like Conley would make them really fun to watch even if they don’t become contenders.

27
Jun
07

Please trade the #9 pick!

The Bulls brought Spencer Hawes back yesterday in a limo for his “follow up interview”.  We here at NBullsA would like to take this opportunity to implore Bulls GM John Paxson to trade this pick rather than select Spencer Hawes (more on why passing on Hawes is a good idea below).  League sources insist that despite Paxson’s comments yesterday the #9 pick is available for the right veteran.  What Paxson needs to do is lower his opinion of who the right veteran is.  We don’t know what’s being offered to the Bulls but our advice is they should take it.  At #9 it doesn’t look like they’re going to be able to find anybody who can help them significantly in the next couple of years.  They need to trade it now for a veteran big man who can come off the bench. 

Bulls centers and power forwards who are under contract for the ’07-’08 season are . . . Ben Wallace, Tyrus Thomas, and Michael Sweetney.  Tyrus showed a lot of potential last year but under the current situation he’d have to start.  Then Sweetney would come in off the bench to spell both of them???  It’s very possible they Bulls will re-sign Noce but even if they do that leaves Sweetney filling in for Wallace at C.  So what’s the answer to this dilema?  Paxson knows.  He’ll draft 19 year old Spencer Hawes who according to all reports is a few years away.

Trade the pick.  Throw in Duhon if you have to.  Get back someone who can rebound and put up 8 points per game. 

Why is Hawes such a bad idea?  Well, he’s a 7-footer who couldn’t rebound in college.  As previously stated, it’s generally agreed that he’s a few years away from contributing on a regular basis.  The strongest evidence came in ESPN.com’s report from John Hollinger yesterday

Hollinger came up with a new system for rating the liklihood of college players success in the pros.  His system is really quite impressive.  It picked out several players who have turned out to be stars but were originally drafted very low and identified them based on their college stats as future stars.   Most notably it identified Carlos Boozer as the top prospect in the ’02 draft.  He was originally drafted in the second round.

It does have some mistakes.  It listed Sweetney as the second best college prospect in ’03, but no matter how you break down statistics you can’t predict whether or not somebody will gain weight. 

Anyway, Hollinger’s system lists Hawes as the 30th best prospect out of college players in the draft this year.  That outcome only serves to reinforce our opinion that he’s the wrong fit for the Bulls.

From Hollinger:

Acie Law and Spencer Hawes are best to be avoided.
Both are viewed as late-lottery picks, but they look like
solid second-rounders from here. Hawes has an unimpressive
rebound rate, which is a huge red flag considering he was
bigger than everyone he played against. And for all the
talk of his great post skills, he had a run-of-the-mill
55.0 true shooting percentage and didn't even have the best
PER on his mediocre team (that belonged to Jon Brockman).
A lot of folks think he can become a quality pro post
player; based on his numbers, I just don't see it.
26
Jun
07

Same ol’ same ol’


Bulls GM John Paxson always knew when to pull the trigger as a player.  Now he needs to figure it out as a general manager. 

K.C. Johnson shed some light on Paxson’s state of mind in the Chicago Tribune today.  It sounds like Paxson will use the #9 pick instead of packaging it in a trade prior to Thurday’s draft.

Paxson, to steal the stand-up comedian's cliché closer, really will
be at the Berto Center all week. That's where he and his staff are
engaged in delicious debate over the fate of the pick, which at
this point Paxson said he's prepared to use.

That's despite league sources insisting the Bulls would trade the
No. 9 pick to acquire a veteran big man. . Said Paxson: "Any talks
I've had with anyone about the pick haven't gone anywhere and were
on the surface level."

He also sounded like a general manager who'd be perfectly content
drafting the proverbial "best player available" so as to stockpile
another asset, perhaps delaying the Bulls' biggest need of
acquiring a scoring big man either through free agency or a summer
trade.

"There are some really good players at positions that are probably
our strengths," Paxson said. "The thing I have to keep in mind is
if we take the guy we like the best, there may come something after
July 1 that opens up for us, even if we're supposedly stronger at a
certain position. It may allow us to move that piece."

So don’t expect to see KG, Zach Randolph or any other big name player on the Bulls roster prior to the season.  Paxson will draft whoever he views as the best player available, even if it’s Georgetown’s Jeff Green who’d mirror Luol Deng or North Carolina’s Brandan Wright who’d mirror Tyrus Thomas.

It sounds like Paxson’s strategy is to continue to stockpile attractive pieces to trade when the right time comes.  The question is when will that time be?  Over the past few seasons Pax has had great opportunities to pick up Garnett, Gasol and now Randolph but he’s yet to pull the trigger.  It would appear he’s hoping to steal somebody much the way Detroit did with Rasheed Wallace.  The problem is he could wait another few years for an opportunity like that to arise if it ever does.  By that time Ben Wallace’s abilities will have decreased and $60 million will have been wasted.  Or, he might find that opportunity soon by trading someone like say Tyrus Thomas for (in his dreams) an unhappy Elton Brand.  The problem there is that this year’s pick is still wasted because you’d have Brandan Wright still at 19 years old.  If he trades the pick in advance of the draft he could have Tyrus at 20.  Youth is important for providing energy in games and a GM has to think about the future.  However, at what point do you have to finally take a risk to make it to the next level?

So what will Paxson do?  He’ll draft Noah if he possibly can because he’s a hard worker and comes from a winning program.  Hinrich is a hard worker from a winning program.  So are Duhon, Deng, Gordon and Nocioni.  Tyrus was from a winning program last year and there were no signs that he wasn’t a hard worker.  We’ve come to see what Pax looks for in a draft and his below comments would seem to support that he’ll stay true to his past.

On Joakim Noah winning two NCAA titles at Florida: "This guy is a
winner who plays with heart and passion. There's something to be
said for winning. You have to accept a role and play to that role.
There's a lot to be said for that from our end."

It’s possible Noah won’t be there by #9.  In that case look for Paxson to feel like he’s taking a risk with Hawes because Hawes didn’t come from a team that went too deep in March.  They’re bringing him in for a follow up interview which appears to be a good sign for the former Husky.  If Paxson gets nervous at the last minute about taking this “risk” he’ll pick the best available talent that remains.  He’d love Conley, Green orJulian Wright.  Chances are he’ll be scared of Yi or Brandan Wright.  

He’ll enter free agency looking to pick up somebody like Jamaal Magloire with the midlevel exception and feel confident he’s improved the team.  He’ll then wait for that difference maker to become available from another team during the season for cents on the dollar.  That player either will never become available or he’ll have a “questionable character” which would probably be why he’s available in the first place and Pax will again freeze up and pass on the opportunity.   

On free agency, which begins Sunday, and beyond: "We are in very
good shape to go out and spend [the midlevel exception] in free
agency if that's what it takes. You can look at the list and make
some calls there. I think we'd be able to plug some pieces into
our roster too. At some point, we're going to have to make a deal.
I have to be patient. If we can acquire a player this draft at nine
that is a valuable piece, it may open more things up for us in
terms of trading. There's one more piece that you have that someone
somewhere down the line may like and you can put together a package
that makes sense to get that player without gutting your team."

The players currently on the Bulls roster are very likable and hard working.  It would be sad to see any of them go.  However, Paxon has to move beyond viewing trading any of them as gutting his team.  He said he has to be patient but at wjat point does patience turn into stuborness?

19
Jun
07

9 days left

There’s only nine days left and the anticipation about what the Bulls will do with the #9 pick in the draft is growing. Assuming they don’t trade the pick away completely (which they should) it looks like they’re going to try to find a PF/C to help them right away. While that probably won’t be possible, odds are they’re still drafting BIG.

Who they’re NOT picking
al horford
The only player who could help the Bulls down low this season would be Al Horford. Unfortunately he’ll be long gone by #9.

noah . . .???
Joakim Noah could still be on the board but the Bulls likely still have too much of the taste of Tyson Chandler left in their mouths to go for him. Noah is a great prospect but the Bulls need reliable scoring in the post and he’s not going to give them that.

duhon
A guard. Paxon has claimed that he won’t necessarily go big with this pick, but that will ONLY be true if they trade it. If they do trade the pick the trade will almost certainly include Chris Duhon. Chris picked up a taste for the Chicago clubs this past season (he’s known to be partial to Spoon) and his “late” nights proved to cost him the next day. Word is he struggled significantly more than usual in practice after his nights out and Skiles and Paxon aren’t the types to tolerate that.


So if they trade Duhon they’d need another PG to add to the rotation. While they did recently work out Mike Conley Jr., that was probably more because Chicago native and fan Mike Conley Sr. asked them to than it was because they’re going to try to draft him.

From what I’m seeing they’re not going with B. or J. Wright either.

That leaves . . .


Scenario #1 – Yi Jianlian
Height: 7’0″   Age: 19? 22? Varies based on source and date

Chad Ford is saying Paxon will go with Yi if he’s still there at #9. Pax normally goes for safer picks than Yi will be. Yi remains a bit of a mystery in that little game footage of him is available and his agent has him refusing to workout against other prospects. He did grant the Bulls a solo workout in L.A., but that condition raises the question of whether he’s just a workout wonder with no real game. Unfortunately there won’t be many other attractive options for big men. Yi probably won’t make a big difference right away, but neither will anybody else available at #9. Trading up for him as some rumors have the Bulls doing would be a mistake but if he’s there they should take him at 9. Best case scenario he’s a more athletic version of Dirk Nowitzki. Worst case scenario he’s 7-footer with a mid-range jump shot.


Scenario #2 – Spencer Hawes
Height: 7’0″   Age: 19
The draft watchers are saying Hawes has the most polished post game of anyone in the draft – and the Bulls certainly need that – but they’re also saying he’s not very athletic and at 19 is a couple of years from contributing consistently. With the current roster Paxon should continue to look for athletic, defensive-oriented players who can play an up-tempo game. They shouldn’t try to be the Suns or the Warriors, but they’re not a half-court kind of team either. Hawes would be a safe pick if they can find a decent post player with the mid-level exception. The problem is there are no clear candidates for that role in free agency this summer.


Scenario #3 – Jason Smith
Height: 7’0″   Age: 21
The Bulls really liked him when they worked him out at the Berto Center. However, they’re probably not going with him unless they trade down. If both of the above guys are gone by #9 then somebody else too good to pass up will be there. They may find a team lower in draft really tring to get their hands on Yi or Noah (Warriors? Sixers? Suns?) and would give them something in return for swapping picks. If that happens I think Smith will be their guy. He doesn’t come from a big name winning program like Paxon usually likes, but he’s rising on teams draft boards quickly.

Of course all of this is assuming they keep a first round pick, and whether or not that happens depends on many factors (including one #24, do you think Tyrus would give it up?) and is a whole different post all together.




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