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jimmy said:
I don't think he meant "building around" Kirk in the sense that Kirk will be our best player and everyone else will be a supporting role player. I can still see Pax pulling a deal for a player who would replace Kirk as our centerpiece for the franchise (Garnett, Pierce, Bosh, etc...)

I take "building with Kirk" as meaning..

1. Kirk was the first player Pax drafted and his attitude and work ethic will set the precedent for the rest of the team (so no Zach Randolph).

2. Kirk is our #1 point guard

3. Kirk won't be traded
I don't think he meant Kirk as our best player either. Because frankly, I like Kirk, but if he's your best player, you are NEVER winning a championship. The last Champion with a best player that Kirk could be reasonably close to would be the 1979 (or 78, always get them mixed up) Supersonics and Dennis Johnson. Kirk actually reminds me a lot of Dennis Johnson, and I think that's the player he could top out as, but DJ did it when the league was perhaps at its weakest. The NBA probably hasn't experienced a 3 year span as weak as 76-79 since before Russell came into the league. So I don't think that's realistic today. I think though that you may not have meant that literally, moreso that Kirk will be the player that holds it all together, which, to me, means that we could have a STAR, a player much more talented than Kirk, a player that Sportscenter THINKS is our leader, when it will still actually be Kirk who is our leader and who does all the dirty work and glues the team together.

BUT I think that while neither of these two players are as talented OFFENSIVELY, I think Noce and Du also share in that role just as much. I mean is Du as good as Kirk at some things? No. But he's decently close in a lot of areas (i.e. what I'm about to say doesn't apply to player with NO talent), so I think that you have to give Du and Noce just as much credit for doing the little things. Outside of a few of Jordan's Bulls (Jordan, Pippen, Grant, Rodman, Harper, Levingston, Paxson, Armstrong), Eddy Curry and Antonio Davis, I've NEVER been more proud to call a guy a Chicago Bull than Kirk Hinrich, Chris Duhon and Andres Nocioni.

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Machinehead said:
The quote is in miz's sig and is taken from a USA Today article from yesterday


Starting 5

Center : Position Vacant
Forward : Position Vacant
Forward : Luol Deng
Guard : Position Vacant
Guard : Kirk Hinrich


Center : Tyson Chandler
Forward : Darius Songaila
Forward : Andres Nocioni
Guard : Ben Gordon
Guard : Chris Duhon

3rd string

Center : Luke Schenscher
Forward : Mike Sweetney
Guard : Jannero Pargo
I like what you've done here. But right off the bat, remember, to fill those three spots, we don't need all world players. You now have set up pretty much the same bench we had last year. Those 5 guys as your bench, are LETHAL. As lethal as anything I've seen since the Knicks could bring players like Anthony Mason, Greg Anthony, Derek Harper and Glen "Doc" Rivers off their bench at various points (I don't think that ALL of these guys were off their bench in any one season). So think about it. Last year, with THAT SAME bench, we won 47 games with the following players filling those vacancies:

Eddy Curry
Antonio Davis
Chris Duhon

None of those three guys is THAT good. I think that let's you know how close we are. And if Tyrus Thomas is one of those guys, then he can lack what AD brought in some areas because he has the same motor and at the same time is so much more athletic and young. Thomas reminds me of AD, and if we couldn't get him, Shelden Williams still could be reasonably close, again, when you factor the youth. Then there's Curry, who I could see your comparison of Nene filling his shoes, O'Bryant, Nazr Mohammed. Basically any guy who is at least 250 where you sacrifice all around game for a big fat scoring punch. Remember, if you're bringing Duhon, Noce AND Chandler off the bench, that's a lineup that will welcome teams to lockdown defensively, so with our starters we need to hit them in the mouth offensively. The real advantage comes with Duhon. Kirk will be a full-time point, so you really just need an athletic long two who wants to play D and can hit a WIDE open jumper. Someone like Iguodala moreso than some all around guy who thinks he's the next Jordan (and therefore daydreams about it during games -- See Kobe and TMac).

If we got say...

Nazr Mohammed (or Nene, O'Bryant)
Tyrus Thomas (or Shelden Williams)
Antonio Davis (back on a CHEAP deal to sit at the 5th spot in the post)
Brandon Roy (or Carney, Brewer)

We'll be pretty good off next year.

What I'm wondering is, would Pax consider trading a 2008 first rounder to someone for a first rounder this year. If we could find a way to get O'Bryant, Thomas and Roy, I'd be ecstatic. BUT I'm certainly not expecting anyone to sign onto that opinion. That's just who I'd like to see.

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DaBullz said:
The obvious thing is you'd want to build with/around someone much closer to Jordan than to Gordon or Hinrich. There's all kinds of those guys in the league, certainly rarer than the Gordons and Hinrichs of the league. Pierce and Garnett being prominently mentioned in other threads and all along.

My point is that we shouldn't be satisfied with what we have.
The very rare team can win because they come at you in waves. They have no player like Jordan, but they maybe have 8 or 9 players who would be the 2nd or 3rd best player on their opponents team. This is how we won 47 games last year. Only Eddy Curry was close to being an all-star (at a depleted position), but, like Lebron said "what are you supposed to do, they can bring lotto picks off the bench."

If you do this almost perfectly, you could end up being the 2004 Detroit Pistons or the 1989-90 Detroit Pistons. The problem is, with a wrong turn, even with the "right guys," you could end up being the Cleveland Cavaliers of the late 80s and early-mid 90s.

The wild card is Skiles. Instead of whining like a little bleep like Floyd and Cartwright about what his guys were NOT, he figured out what they WERE, and worked with that, very effectively. Eddy Curry doesn't rebound or play very good D. Fine. Skiles answer was to get Duhon, Noce and Davis out there with him, to cancel out his weaknesses while taking full advantage of his strengths. Ben Gordon finishes games explosively but can't play the whole game. Fine. Skiles answer last year was to get offense out of Curry early, and then when Curry tired down, put Gordon in there with a run the court lineup and let him sprint to the finish. Skiles is VERY good at creating winning systems and therefore making the whole greater than the sum of the parts.

The HUGE thing DaBullz is that if you go for the STAR and get the wrong one, you're gonna end up way worse off than the 1994 Cleveland Cavaliers. The Knicks have become what they are today through trying to continuously win now with the wrong star. They dug deeper and deeper and deeper until there was no more to dig. Leydon (sp?) is more to blame for this than Thomas, because he succumbed to the initial temptation that put them in a ditch.

SO, I believe you try to get the Dwyane Wade's of the world when and IF they become available. But until then I'd rather build a system around guys who will show up and who EACH individually are much more easily moved than a Paul Pierce. You get Pierce (and I'm not saying you want Pierce), and things don't work out? Good luck getting mobility in that situation.

So now, it depends. I BELIEVE, with role players like Du, Noce, Hinrich and even Chandler if he's in the right situation, this team can afford to bring in 2-3 players who are talent first, jib second. Why? Because, just like with Curry, we have the horses who can do all the little things already, which is Kirk's real value. So will Paxson get THESE guys (i.e. adding Billups [who was more talent than jib at THAT point], Rasheed, etc.), or will he go for more all around players that will just beat that "all-around" horse to death with redundant acquisitions.

Pax to me can forego "stars" if he gets the right guys. If he gets the wrong ones, this team is gonna be unwatchable. I swear if he writes Tyrus Thomas off, and we are in position to draft him and don't, and then we end up with a role player while Thomas flourishes, I'm done. That may or may not happen. If that does, then it's on him.

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Rhyder said:
Nice post. While I don't agree with your Tyrus Thomas or bust (and I know you did not mean it that literally), I think everything you said is spot on.

My main concern with Thomas is his size. I don't see the height or wing span that would complement his crazy athleticism. If he comes in and measures up both in height and wingspan, that's when his stock rises in my eyes. Also, I would like him a lot more if he were a good at something offensively. Range out to 18 feet or some low post moves and he be near #1 in my book as well, despite the couple of inches.

I just see two major negatives in Thomas where I see only one in guys like:
Aldridge -- strength
Bargnani -- no evidence of anything in the low post
Noah -- shooting touch
Splitter -- lack of star power (great fit, but his upside is probably only as a role player starter)

At this point, I most likely would take him above Splitter unless we were pretty sure Carney would fall to us with our second pick, which would be our gamble on athleticism.
Ok here's my thing with Thomas. Hear me out. He doesn't have to try to be what Aldridge, Bargnani, Noah or Splitter has to be. My logic works this way. Basically, you can roughly categorize all post players using three organizing factors.

1. Type of player:

Curry (true center, post offense)
Chandler (4-5 hybrid, post defense)
Davis (pure four, doesn't have to pretend to be a five in any way, all around player)
Harrington (4-5 hybrid, post offense)

2. Position on depth chart:

#1 Post offender Curry
#1 Post defender Davis
#2 Post offender Harrington
#2 Post defender Chandler

3. Level of greatness

For example, Shaq would be the same type of player as Curry, but he'd grade out at a 9 greatness wise, whereas Curry might be a 5 or 6. Ditto with Rodman and Davis. Ditto with Nowitzki and Harrington.

This is just kind of a rough way of explaining how I think. This is not a perfect system where everything fits perfectly. AND as with most things, it's much harder to explain it to you than it is to think it in my own head.

So if you look at type of player, I'd categorize Aldridge, Bargnani as being a Harrington-type (i.e. scorer who lacks the size and power to score on athletic true centers, but may also have athleticism issues with some fours). I'd categorize Noah and Splitter as either Harrington types if their offense is good enough (eventually they'd get someone big enough and athletic enough defending them in the post where they could push and the guy wouldn't budge) OR Chandler types.

Whereas Thomas to me fits the Davis physical profile. Less leadership, but FAR more athleticism and youth AND fairly equal defense. AND, next to a player like Nazr, Nene or O'Bryant (i.e. Curry type), what did we really need out of Davis? When Curry got doubled and threw up a hook that was long, Davis would slam it home on the other side. Or when a guy went down to double Curry, Davis would catch at the upper part of the key and drive it home.

Right now, we have Chandler, so someone like Pryzbilla or Noah to me would be redundant. AND Harrington types are just too easy to get (think about it, you can acquire a good one virtually whenever you want). So IMO if a guy fits one of those I (me personally) am apt to write them off.

My thinking with Thomas is that we just need constant energy, attack the basket, try to slam back tip-ins, be able to drive and rise up for a dunk if you catch the ball wide-open 6 feet from the basket, play active defense and start the break. We don't need to have him pretend to be a 4-5 hybrid or a true center. AND with the quality of Du and Hinrich, I think Thomas WOULD get the ball in plenty of good situations.

That said, we'd need Aldridge to try to score in the post, and IMO he's a combo of GOOD athleticism and size, but neither is pronounced enough to give him a decided advantage on most nights. Too many guys will be too athletic to allow him to catch the ball or too big for him to move them. So I kinda want my guys to be like Thomas and Curry in the sense that either bring SO MUCH SIZE (and decent athleticism, which is all Eddy/Nazr/Nene/O'Bryant has) that you can back anyone down or SO MUCH ATHLETICISM and motor that you're just a handful to deal with (a la Rodman/Wallace/Hayes). And then the guys who are a GOOD combo of both, with neither polarized, will be much easier to acquire.

I know this is rather radical, but this is just how I see it. It comes from what I believe is a study in very good faith of what made champions champions.
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VincentVega said:
Select Hinrich stats

39.7% FG
35.5% 3PT
79.2% FT
46.2% eFG
2.8 FTA
15.2 PER

42.4% FG
36.5% 3PT
82.9% FT
48.7% eFG
3.6 FTA
15.6 PER
Career highs in assists (17), rebounds (13), steals (7), FT (12) and FTA (13) this year.

Hinrich doesn't get a free pass, but it sometimes appears as if he does because his all-around game dwarfs that of Gordon. The amount of decent or better games by Hinrich far outnumbers the amount of spectacular games by Gordon; thusly, how and how much they are each used is going to be different. I'm not sure why so many people still confuse this with favoritism.
I don't think anyone gets a free pass, but Gordon is just held to higher scrutiny. This comes from the fans though, not Paxson and Skiles themselves. It gets blurred, but it's fans who call the score or what not that get this started and then writers and radio personalities. For example, if Ben and Kirk both try hard and things just don't happen for them, the radio personalities and fans that call shows will have an attitude toward Kirk like "he gave his best, what do you want from the guy." Whereas the attitude with Ben seems to be "who cares if he gave his best, why doesn't he make his best better."

This to me is the same thing that has happened with a lot of stars. It's not as negative as people make it out to be, and it doesnt' come from the organization so much as the fans, but a different benefit of the doubt is there. IMO some extenuating circumstance will ALWAYS have to be there for a white guy to be held to the same level of scrutiny in this town as a black athlete.

The theory to me can best be said this way. A white guy who tries his hardest and says the right things in the paper will ALWAYS get the benefit of the doubt in this town. It's not about white people disliking the black athlete so much as it is about them AFFIRMATIVELY identifying with the white athlete. This happens with everyone. Its the same thing with Eddy Curry on the south side of Chicago or with Tito Trinidad amongst latinos, or with Rocky Marciano amongst the italians or with Darko Milicic amongst hardcore euro fans. It's just more visible when its a white guy because of how many white people there are and how much control they have over the media. If you flipped it people would be complaining about Gordon getting a free pass over Hinrich.

So to me, IMO, on some level, it is present and real, but its a lot less present and intentional than some think it is. As with most things, the truth is probably far in between conflicting theories.

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Rhyder said:
I agree with what most of what you said. However, some additional comments on how I see guys:

Aldridge has the build to add the size and strength. This is where the potential in him lies and why many see him as the top pick. He currently is a finesse player with good instincts. If he adds the strength and plays above the rim, he could be a Dwight Howard type of player.

Bargnani - a 7 footer who can put the ball on the floor and shoot. He isn't a liability on defense or rebounding either, which is usually the case for a guy with his skillset in the NBA. I see him as a rare talent, which will be hard to pass up... unless Paxson sees more flaws in his all around game.

Noah - I think I see Noah how you see Tyrus. He plays the same sort of game, although Noah has the length to make up for the explosiveness Thomas has. His passing ability is amazing, and I'll take that over a better outside shot that Thomas has. Noah has that fire and intensity, so I think it's a push between them. He has more the NBA frame and will probably be a better post defender than Thomas. He just went through a growth spurt, so if his coordination catches up with his body, I think we'll see a lot more athleticism out of him in the future. If Noah can develop an outside jumper, I think he has a chance at becoming a borderline All-Star. He is a workout warrior from everything I've read, so I like his chances.

I like Tyrus and think he has had a great tournament for himself. Unless something surprises me at the pre-draft workouts, I just don't see myself liking him better than the three aforementioned. I would definately consider him with the #4 pick if these three guys are all gone, so it's not like I don't want to see him in a Bulls uniform.
A couple things. I just think this is an example of how two astute and rational basketball minds can diverge widely.

With Aldridge I'd say that he very much lacks the explosion of a Dwight Howard, and that he's already put on 20 lbs. of muscle just to get to 245. How many more can he put on without losing athleticism? Ten? Maybe? But then, I vehemently disagree with most on Aldridge, so I think we'll just have to see.

Noah to me is pretty good, but I see him as more of a non-issue because I really don't think he's coming out. When you look at his Dad's money, he has no reason to. I do like him, BUT I'd want Chandler gone if we got him. Noah gives additional offense, but overall, their skillsets overlap far too much for my taste. My motto is that if you're not gonna have a great all around post player, you try to have the guys you do have bring drastically different skills so that maybe SOMEBODY will bring a little of everything.

Bargnani I just don't want. All his skills are nice. And people get sold on them. BUT IMO unless they are predicated on at least the ABILITY to SOMETIMES back someone down, they're like having dessert with no dinner to me. Try to do it every night and you're gonna get sick.

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Rhyder said:
I definately agree about the explosion comment. Playing above the rim is more what I was looking for. He has the length and wingspan to definately dunk over people. Will he have that attitude and work ethic. That's the question. Maybe Pau Gasol with a bit better timing defensively is a better comparison than Howard.
I think he lacks the strength to get inside enough to dunk on people. If he was playing off of another big with offense enough that he was wide open he maybe could do this. I don't see it in his present state. This may lead to the biggest difference I see in Thomas and Aldridge. What Thomas brings he just brings, regardless of whose out there. I believe Aldridge will be more dependent on his teammates. Also, I think Aldridge would take years to get the fluidity of Gasol, which may be his biggest asset. Gasol strikes me as a player who sees the game faster than perhaps any other big.

If Florida wins it all, I just don't see Noah not declaring. That is unless he wants to finish off his education before he continues on in his dreams. If that is the case, he will have to be supremely confident about his ability, because his stock will most likely never be higher--and in a year where it is a perceived "weak" draft.

I do think Noah has different skills than Chandler. He is a good man to man post defender. He needs to bulk up, sure, but we don't have anyone in this mold on the team this year. This is why we miss A.D. so greatly. Tyson is a decent man defender and a great help defender. He is good at crashing the glass and defensive rebounding. This is a skill that can't be too redundant. His shooting ability is in question, but the guy works his arse off and got his FT shooting above 70% this season. I have more confidence in Noah developing a jumper than I do Chandler, and Noah hasn't even stepped into the NBA. Noah has show some signs of low post moves. He's not a go-to low post scorer, but he could be. He likes to dunk, and I think he'll excel in the pick and roll. His passing ability and basketball IQ are amazing to me.

This all said, Noah isn't "my guy" at all. I think I'm just higher on him than most, so I find myself defneding him more often than not.
I'm not saying I don't want Noah, moreso, if we do get him, I think we can move Chandler.

He's he most surefire offensive minded big we can get. Low post game or not, he's someone we should strongly consider. I don't have a solid opinion on the guy one way or another, so I really can't comment further other than he does have a kind of talent where he could be very successful in the league. He's the only big I can safely say can play above the rim. Aldridge, Noah, and Thomas still all question marks in my mind.
I have a long drawn out argument on power scoring (not that we are arguing, we aren't :biggrin:). Without it I see players like Bargnani as playing too much like a guard for the post position. I want guards that play like guards and post players who play like post players. Jumpshooting finesse-scoring bigs and "big" point guards can go play for someone else is how I see it. But that is just how ... I see it :).

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kukoc4ever said:
LOL. Good luck with that. Kirk is a nice player, but does not really make a meaningful difference in the NBA. He does practice hard and has a decent jib though.

There is hardly anywhere to go but up.

We better pray Paxson hits a home run in the lotto. We're screwed if he doesn't... assuming that fans want to contend for titles and not trumpet ideology, even if its a loser.
Dude are you serious? Ever heard of the Cubs?

I'd add that I don't quite agree with your gloomy assessment. It's not THAT bad, neither is Kirk, and neither is what Paxson is saying. If he was saying "Kirk is going to be our Jordan" or something, I'd be concerned. But I think, or at least I hope, that that's not what he's saying.

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So many years later,


Who will be the superstar to lead a team into the next millenium. lol

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Ron Cey said:
This is my opinion of the situation as well.
I third that. Hinrich, like Brand, has value that can't be seen. We are so lucky to have two PGs who CAN score decently, but who don't have to unless the onus is put on them. Hinrich and Duhon could immediately turn themselves into horsedung if they wanted to show you that they can be a "two guard when I want to fool" and show you that "if you sleep on my PG skills, I'll hurt you with my scoring."

This is why I liked Curry too. In an age when centers have to pretend to be shooting guards and show you that they can hit the three, Curry's game is to back people down and put it in the hole, even if he's not a very good overall all-around player. AND similarly, in an age when PGs can't wait to show you that they are really shooting guards who happen to play the point, Hinrich is content to be a point guard.

I have this wild theory that the more a center plays like a center and the more a PG plays like a point, the easier, given the same talents, it is for the team to function as a unit.

Kirk's value, basically, is that he can be a leader, and be a point guard, and still leave you with plenty of basketballs to go around when you get that "Star." Which is exactly what Brand's value was. Which is why it's not about the numbers at all. You could put Kobe on a team with Brand and his numbers would go down, but he'd actually be a better player, because he's the rare talented player who can be better as his shots go down. Put Kobe out there with Webber and it's a disaster.

The more players like Hinrich you can get, the better, because they make it easier for you to put talented guys on the floor around them and still have enough shots to go around. THIS is why numbers to me don't matter as much as what you actually SEE transpiring on the basketball court.

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transplant said:
Yikes! I innocently stop by the board today to find that I've become K4E's ally. Go figure.

I stand by my comments, but will try to expand.

Hinrich is very clearly an above average NBA guard. I LIKE HIM and am glad he's on the Bulls. He plays hard and effectively on both ends. He's a gamer. He's also an extraordinarily good fit on a Skiles-coached team. He may well be worth more to the Bulls than he would be to any other team. Because of this, he'd be unlikely trade bait. He may not be untouchable in trade, but he's the least likely Bull to be traded.

Is he a "difference maker?" Depends on your definition. He's the best and most valuable player on a below average team. The Bulls would be downright bad if they lost him for an extended period. However, the Bulls have played a lot of games this season they had an opportunity to win late. Unlike the great ones, Hinrich was not able to successfully "take over" very many of those games.

At this point, Hinrich has not shown himself to be a great player. That's not meant as a criticism. There are only a handful (OK, maybe a couple handfuls) of great players in the game right now.

Do you build AROUND Hinrich? This is semantics to some extent. What a player with Hinrich's considerable abilities needs is a 35mpg stud big man who makes the opposition worry about the Bulls playing "inside-out" on offense and is enough of a defensive presence that the Bulls' guards can play aggressively on the ball. So if getting this kind of player is "building around Kirk," yeah, you build around Kirk.

In my heart, I believe that the Bulls need a "Batman." Kirk could be a great "Robin."

Oh yeah, and I want to see Hinrich play point guard...on both ends. Get me a starting SG with a little size.
Ahh yes, but just as you build a house, the foundation may be your star, but the electrical is very important too, or something.

The point is... in today's NBA... Great "Robin"s are hard to find. Very hard! Elton Brand is a great robin, Emeka Okafor will be one as well. Ginobili. Pippen was perhaps the greatest robin of all time. People underestimate this by leaps and bounds. These are the players that are good, and you can put them out there with other good players who have to be the lead guy, and they both can play their game. Put two lead guys out there and one of them has to leave some of their game on the sideline or it won't work. Kareem decided to do this, so it worked in LA. Kobe decided not to IN THE END. It's why the olympic team lost. A bunch of batmans and nobody wanted to play robin.[/b]

Noce is a robin type of player. Deng has shades of both. Gordon is batman. Another Gordon on this team (assuming you kept Gordon) and we'd be in trouble, UNLESS that Gordon is a center (polarization). But even with Gordon and Curry, it ONLY WORKED because we have so many more guys who can play and who also can be robin than any other team. The reason Eddy Curry was part of a winning concept last year is cause there were 10 robins on the team. And we had more good ones than anyone else in the league. The 2003 team had more talent than last years team, but, on that team who would step up and play robin? Donyell and Corie? (Vulgar hand gesture)

So I think it is semantics. You can build around Kirk, but you need other pieces as well. Think of Kirk as a well built house with a great foundation and now we need that all-star real estate agent to bring home the capital gains lol.

I know that nothing I said disagrees with what you said, I just wanted to elaborate a little and see what you think.
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