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Sure, hindsight is 20/20 and us Bull fans can lash out against Bull management about trading Ron Artest and Brad Miller in the Jalen Rose deal, but answer this question...

If Ron Artest and Brad Miller were not traded and were still Chicago Bulls, would they have been All-Stars this season?

Taking it a step further, if we had not made the Elton Brand deal, would Brand, Miller and Artest be enough to take us to the Eastern Conference or even NBA Finals with Crawford, Hinrich and whomever we would have selected with #4 in the 2001 draft?

I'd like to see what everyone says... and please, don't just give one word answers. I'd like to see some good, in-depth analysis on these two questions.
 

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Originally posted by <b>RetroDreams</b>!
Sure, hindsight is 20/20 and us Bull fans can lash out against Bull management about trading Ron Artest and Brad Miller in the Jalen Rose deal, but answer this question...

If Ron Artest and Brad Miller were not traded and were still Chicago Bulls, would they have been All-Stars this season?

Taking it a step further, if we had not made the Elton Brand deal, would Brand, Miller and Artest be enough to take us to the Eastern Conference or even NBA Finals with Crawford, Hinrich and whomever we would have selected with #4 in the 2001 draft?

I'd like to see what everyone says... and please, don't just give one word answers. I'd like to see some good, in-depth analysis on these two questions.
a team of Miller, Artest, Brand Jamal and most likely curry coming off the bench would be an eastern conference, possibly a finals team. only cause its the east. They would still need to find a shooter to go with that squad, but the makings were there. Now we are stuck with a bunch of guys who look clueless. Everyone looks clueless
 

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I really dont think that the old version bulls would be a finals team, miller/artest would have never busted out if they were with the bulls. and championship contending teams need a very good experienced coach which bulls dont have one.call me dumb but i for one would much rather have the current version of bulls than the artest/miller version of bulls. the current version of bulls are just much more exciting and have greater potentials IMO, while the old version of bulls might win 40-50 games every year but i doubt they will win anything big. the current team might be on something big if the 3 c's bust out.
 

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Well, I think I gave my best possible answer a couple weeks ago when I listed the players on the Bulls along with those guys:

1- Drew, El-Amin, Guyton, Crawford
2- Mercer, Hoiberg, Benjamin
3- Artest
4- Brand, Fizer, Ruffin
5- Miller, Tarlac, Voskhuhl, Bagaric

Of course, if we'd kept that "team" together, we might have acquired different players in the off-season, but here's who we added in the off-season:

Curry, Hassle (Draft), Ollie, ERob (Free Agency)

What can be said about this?

Well, my impression of what can be said is that we've got a pretty horrendous supporting cast around those guys. Krause clearly put crap in place around them, and I don't see how, even if Brand hadn't been traded, they would have made it through the 01/02 season without imploding and someone forcing a trade.

Also, a couple historical notes: Miller hardly looked like a world-beater, so I think Krause would probably have taken Curry even if he couldn't have traded Brand. Jamal wouldn't have helped because he tore his ACL. Artest missed the 1st two months. Based on those factors, ERob was probably a likely free agency target to Krause. I can't remember what PGs were available, so I'd guess Ollie would have still been the choice. So we'd have gone in with:

1- Ollie, Drew, Guyton, Jamal (IR)
2- Mercer, Hoiberg, Hassle
3- Artest, ERob (mostly on IR)
4- Brand, Fizer, Ruffin
5- Miller, Curry, Bagaric

Given that Jamal and ERob were hurt, the only real additions were Ollie, a rookie Hassle, and Curry- who was pretty much useless his first year. That basically means it's the same team that won less than 20 games the year before.

Accounting for the injuries, this is what we'd have looked like the first couple months

1- Ollie, Drew, Guyton
2- Hoiberg, Hassle (Guyton)
3- Mercer, (Fizer, Hoiberg)
4- Brand, Fizer, Ruffin
5- Miller, (Brand, Ruffin)

In other words, we'd have been completely outmanned, even if some of our players were decent. Implosion imminent.

Point is, there's no way they could have succeeded in the long-run because this is team never had the support it needed. And that's on management.

Now, if they had somehow added a better team around these guys... I think yeah, the sky could be the limit.
 

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With regard to the first question ... it depends but I would say probably not

A fence sitting answer I know but the basis for that answer was that Ron Artest was allegedly a whisker away from a cataclysmic breakdown ..where there were genuine concerns for his safety and others

And Brad Miller as effective as he was for us had to go to a "darling" team to get some love from the refs and some respect generally around the league who perceived him as a whiny hayseed who was fluking his way through an NBA career

The professional maturation as a player is entirely relates to the environment you are in unless you are a type that can pull yourself up by the bootstraps and be a true difference maker .. and there is only 3% of those players you could argue amongst active players in the league that truly fit that billing - that's say a dozen players

As much as I love them and pine for them ... and howl at the harvest moon for them ....Ron Artest and Brad Miller are not such players . Therefore .. players such as this will always be coloured by the quality of the organisation they are in and flowing on from this the quality of the players they are teamed with . That will define their NBA success.

Its the same situation we are in now in this vicious repetitive cycle we are in . Losing is endemic and it whilst it is not intentional or conscious .. it is a disease that still cloaks this place in a failure.. because no one knows what its like to be a winner and what it takes and even when they try ( and you can try too hard and defeat yourself through anxiety and desperation that can go counter to productivity ) they dig themsleves further into the abyss

The basic problem is we don't have any one of the top 3% of players in the NBA that can drag this team up and carry it and force other people to get better through the inspiration that they provide - that's leadership . Leadership through Deeds. To this day I am convinced that Scottie Pippen only became as truly great as to what he was because of Michael Jordan . Scottie would have been a great player regardless and I am not taking anything away from him but if not for Jordan's will which basically shook he and Horace out of their coma's which made them really understand what it was to win and be a pro .. then I honestly dout whether Pip could have been the same player . Having said that there is no way we could have won 6 championships with Scottie Pippen .. but I digress slightly

The point with an analogy like Pippen is that I see we have potentially top 3% talent on this team right now but we don't have a current top 3% player that can inspire these guys to realise their potential and be a top 3% player .. the way that Jordan brought it out in Pippen

Hinrich and Chandler will find their way regardless... but Eddy Curry and Jamal Crawford need help to have it brought from them in what they can be and the longer it lies untapped .. the longer it has the potential to wither ... ( see Larry Hughes , Darius Miles , Jonathan Bender etc )

So no... I think they would have continued to develop some individually ( Miller more so than Artest given Artest's alleged state of mind at the time ) but they would have faced the same situation our young guys face now.. but over a longer period of time

And that is they have never been winners and don't know how to

But put them into a winning environment and a good team where they have clearly defined role that maximises their abilities .. and they are .. well .. they're allstars. Legitimate allstars picked by Coaches and not out of a popularity contest

And to the second part of your question .. I still say no - not even with Elton

I like Elton as a player and I think that with TMac we would have been at the top of the East a year or so ago .. but we missed TMac.. he signed in a situation that was always going to be fundamentally flawed and now the Magic are damned if they do and damned if they don't . They should just deal him already.. there is no fan base and no one goes to the games anyway .. but again I digress

There may have been a slight chance that we were at the top of the East right now with Shane Battier ( instead of Eddy Curry ) and Miller , Brand , Artest .... and Jamal Crawford

Crawford could have really come into his own in this lineup given that superb ballhandling skills and the capacity for the offense to truly work inside / outside .. with Jamal and his outside based jump shooting game / dribble drive and pull up game to come into its own

If we had would have had a mid lottery pick last year ( instead of being in position to draft Jay ) I would have gone for Casey Jacobsen

Still assume the ERob and Marshall free agency signings and perhaps back up guard signings like Anthony Johnson, Kenny Andersen types .. and even allowing for none of our 2nd rounders sticking and the debacle that this has been .. we would have had



Miller
Brand
Battier
Artest
Crawford

bench

Blount
Marshall
Fizer
Robinson
Jacobsen
Mercer
Kenny Andersen

There is a very deep 12 man squad better find a way to win with that before everyone blows a gasket and thinks they deserve more playing time



Now the real trick in terms of whether this team could have been made to tick is in the organisation and management and whether we had the right people here to make sure that the talent that we had was best integrated and playing the type of ball that was best suited to their collective abilities

And this is where the biggest failure has been of the Bulls as an organisation and whether other franchises have left us in the dust .. they just use their players right to their strengths

We have too much mental baggage in who we have been in the past that had had us putting players in straight jackets and consequent sufferanace with our deplorable losing

And why ?

Because we haven't had a Management / Coaching strong enough and courageous enough to make the right choices with what we got

We've been hamstrung to a philosophy .. to some crazed ideal .. and not to what the actuality of what we got

That .. and trying to win with 3 greenhorns in your starting 5 that know dick about jack because they haven't been round the block and whose confidence and game you systematically ruin by giving in to the dark side in how you are trying to sell yourself as a basketball team .. so therefore its a self perpetuating lose lose for everybody .. the players, the organisation and the fans when they struggle mightily being a top 3 % player from Day 1 and invariably find out they are not

There is only one Lebron, one KG and one Kobe .. Jermaine , TMac , Amare.. they've all had sheltered upbringings

These 3 are the only 3 that have truly been in the spotlight from Day one that have managed to pull it off and even with Kobe you argue that the francise was not " on him" from Day One anyway

I trust this answers your questions Retro ( at least from my perspective )
 

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Now imagine in the inevitable game of what if if we had of

1. Dealt the #4 and #7 for Jermaine O'Neal in 2000
2. Signed TMac in 2000
3. Dealt Brand for Bibby when it was loosely on the cards of Feb 2001 trade deadline
4. And still sign Blount, Marshall and Robinson when we did and Casey Jacobsen at the mid to late 1st round instead of Jay Will and a Richard Jefferson instead of Eddy Curry in 2001

Here is how we look :



Miller
O'Neal
Artest
McGrady
Bibby

bench

Blount
Marshall
Jefferson
Mercer
Ollie

Jake Voshkul
Jacobsen



That's the Chicago Bulls that slipped through our fingers

We acquire O'Neal when he was there to be had , hopefully the extra inside help persuading TMac to jump on board... we deal Brand for Bibby when it was there to be done ( apparently ) and the rest of the guys we already had , signed in free agency anyway or would have been there in draft position to take them


THE INCHES THAT WE NEED ARE EVERYWHERE AROUND US
BECAUSE THAT"S WHAT LIVING IS !
THE SIX INCHES IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE !!

That's a team over time that could have rivalled a 6 ring push and it was within grasp
 

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I'm going to fantasize rather than analyze. sorry.

first I would like to say what a wasteland the 2000 rookie class was.

to answer the first question I would say all 3 would be all stars. they showed signs plus. Miller was about the same in chicago as in Indiana. Indiana just realized how valuable he was, especially when allowing Jermaine to play his natural position and be more aggressive. plus he played in the crappy east. Brand, well everyone knew he was good and it was a matter of time before he became an all-star. Artest is a maybe but I think he gets his head straight after he gets fined a billion times and they get a team psychiatrist to evaluate him. the psychiatrist recommends he puts his anger on sheets of paper and make rap albums.

(2000)

Elton Brand was good from the get-go
Artest was showing signs of some offense and tough nosed defense and was 2nd behind Iverson in steals per 48 minutes.
Miller was a good center for us and one of the best in the East. He showed toughness when he went after Shaq.

Mercer, Hoiberg were the starters. We did not have a good PG. we end up 15-67 for the season. We get the 4th pick in the draft.

(2001)

We do not draft a center because we commit to Brad Miller. so we draft Jason Richardson. Battier would have been considered but we have high hopes for Marcus Fizer. (correct me if I'm wrong fellas but didn't Krause like Battier?)

I predict with a core of Brad Miller, Ron Artest, Elton Brand, Jason Richardson, and Fizer. (hoiberg run point?) lets assume that Jamal gets injured and is out for the year. we go 40-42 and miss the playoffs. We end up with 12-14 pick and we trade down because we need a PG to backup Jamal or start over Jamal.

(2002)

1. Yao - Houston
2. J Will - Golden State
3. Gooden - Memphis
4. Denver - Dunleavy Jr.

Jiri Welsch is still available but we do not scout Europeans that well and Dalibor had left a sour taste in our mouth. Bulls trade down to Detroit's pick and select Frank Williams (best PG still available). We give them our pick and they give us money. Jason Richardson showed promise with a solid rookie campaign.

By now Artest, Miller, and Brand are putting up great numbers. Curry and Chandler are wasting away in Memphis and Clipland respectively. Curry will start dominating when West takes over duties. Brad Miller's contract is up and we are kicking ourselves for not selecting Curry to backup Brad Miller. (MAN, even in my fantasies, Curry still gives me headaches) Krause signs him to a multi year deal. Brand signs as well. We have an awesome season (50-32)and win a series in the playoffs. Fizer remains a backup, gets arrested for possesion of an illegal firearm. Floyd is still coaching the Bulls and the future looks bright.

(2003) Somehow Floyd gets in contact with Jan van Breda Kolff, who'd been an assistant under Princeton coach Pete Carril, and dumps the triangle and adopts the princeton offense. We select Travis Outlaw because Krause has this thing with High school prospects. We are no. 3 behind Detroit and Indiana and we compete. no sign of Skiles and Crawford is battling for minutes with Frank Williams. Ron Artest blows up a couple times but we are in bliss at no. 3 in the standings.
 
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