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As was done once on another thread on another board on a galaxy far away, this discussion is simply instigated for ideas. All ideas are welcome, but ABSOLUTELY NO CRITICISM should be made of anyone else's suggestions. With this caveat, though, please provide the rational for moves, and please refrain from wild pie in ski deals like those proposed by Sam Smith and Peter Vecsey.

So with that preface, please write what you would do
if you were the Bulls' GM......

Start simple, do not pick up Bagaric's option. Risking that Bagaric won't have a break out season and increase his value, is a pretty safe risk. Keep him around for this season, as a third big man off of the bench, plus give him a chance to develop. Sign him to a non-guaranteed contract next year, or a guaranteed one for a year that's less than the slotted amount he'd make if his option were picked up. Let him compete to make the team with either a draft pick or $1.4 mil exception player.

Marshall, and Baxter are really making manifest Fizer's short comings. Fizer has nice scoring skills. He's a very good post up player and gets to the rim. If he were 6'7, 220 with his repertoire, and played the 2, he'd work well within the triangle on clear outs. But as a 4, I'd rather see him get more of his points on put backs. Meaning he'd have to get more boards as well. His moves take time, and he's something of a black hole. Once the ball goes into him, it doesn't come back out. He pounds the ball in the paint, backs down, and holds onto the ball 4 or 5 seconds. Whereas Baxter moves in the post are much more fluid. Baxter gets to the basket quicker, and has better rebounding skills. Marshall's presence made a world of a difference on the glass as well. Marshall on the Bulls' may average over 10 boards a game.

With your center and guards (Rose at the 2) being your primary scorers, the PF on the Bulls really needs to be a junk man, getting what is given. He doesn't have to be another primary scorer. The Bulls could start Chandler at the 4, and Marshall at the 3. Take out Chandler, slide Marshall to the 4, and insert Erob at the 3. Chandler than would sub for Marshall. This would be a nice rotation at the 3/4, with Baxter getting about 10 minutes. This rotation wouldn't leave enough minutes for Fizer. Fizer wants minutes; he specifically told me that. His exact words were "I just want to get minutes".

I think Fizer will be a good player, but I just don't think he'll get the opportunity on the Bulls within an offense not very well suited for his skills. He will get more minutes on another team.

Trading him before his option is due to the Knicks for a protected first round pick, would clear roster space and it never hurts to defer talent. Realistically, the pick would be a top 7 protected 2003, top 3 protected 2004, unprotected 2005. This allows the Bulls to defer this pick for a while, and still have a high pick in the future with a rookie contract When the Bulls are getting older and good, it may be nice to have the 23rd best record and the 2nd pick in the draft.

Bottomline here is Baxter's play, give Bulls depth at the 4, and makes Marcus expendable. NY may panic and make a move, getting a future number 1 for Marcus, may be a better move than committing any salary to him. Baxter, like Marcus, is heightwise undersized to ideally play the four. Though, like Marcus, Baxter is a natural wide body. But unlike Marcus, more like Fortson (another undersized 4), Baxter is a natural rebounder.

Depth at the PG, or lack of depth at the PG, is why I'd pick up Crawford's option. Dealing Crawford right now as part of a package for a 2, 3 or 4 would leave the Bulls very shallow at the 1. Even getting a vet PG in return as part of a package, would provide a back-up unfamiliar with the triangle offense. having either Brunson or Overton as the first option off of the bench isn't appealing. Rose playing PG matches up horribly against other team's PG's. If Williams gets injured, then the Bulls are really screwed.

I was concerned about Rose and Williams compatibility, but I saw some plays on the last televised game which assuaged those concerns. Bulls could do a lot more effective cutting with multiple players breaking to the basket when both are on the floor.

I'm not yet convinced of Williams future greatness, but there are some aspects of his game I like. When JWill pushes the ball down the floor, and penetrates he's very effective at breaking down the opposing teams defense. When he kicks the ball out, its usually for an open look. However, if JWill doesn't finish more effectively, though his penetration won't get as much respect from opponents and won't be as effective. Right now IMO JWill is finishing just a bit better than Kevin Ollie. JWill's shot selection and shooting also has to improve.

Jamal on the other hand, is a much better shooter. However, he seldom continues his dribble into the paint and tries to set everything up from the perimeter. Maybe this has something to do with trying to play within the offense. Crawford's height allows him clearer looks into the paint from the outside.

Trying to make Craw into a pure position 2 because of shooting ability, just is a pipe dream. A pure position 2, also has to go strong to the basket, and have shut down defensive skills. Bulls could play Craw and Williams on the court against some teams in limited situations. But this would be the exception rather than the rule.

Now the wild card in this situation, is someone who doesn't get mentioned much: Roger Mason. Mason has size, PG skills, and unlike Williams and Craw, supposedly very good defensive skills.

Mason's shoulder injury caused him to slip in the draft. His shoulder finally went out at Hoops. If he didn't have a bad shoulder, Mason may have gone to Indiana instead of Fred Jones. So this may seem a reach, but mason may end up being the Bulls "point guard of the future".

As Mason heals, and hopefully JWill finds his touch, Craw can get a lot of minutes. Mason hopefully will be back a month before the trading deadline, so his game can be assessed. If mason provides some of Craw's skills plus adds defense, Craw then may be moved and get greater value.

Mason also comes off IR familiar with the offense. By mid-season, injuries will occur. Teams may be more willing to make deals mid-season because of injury, that they'd otherwise not be willing to make.

So the bottomline with Craw, is pick up his option, and wait to see how JWill's game, Craw's game and Mason's game develop.
Mason, like Baxter with Fizer, may make Craw more expendable.

Then again Craw could have a break-out season, and JWill may be used as bait to move up in the draft. If the Bulls end up with the #3 pick, would JWiIl and the 3, be enough for the team with the top pick to let go of Lebron James?
 

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Rollin Wit Da Homies
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Good post. Accurate across the board.

Remembering Roger Mason is important. He may turn out to be quite a player, a more than capable backup that will get his minutes behind Jay's strong play, and get even more minutes if Jay gets a little too crazy.

I agree with picking up Craw's option. But I would stake that it's for the primary purpose of his trade value. It's true that if we focus the lens of analysis on his value as a player, he is an extremely good point guard to have on a team, and we could use the depth. But as far as team politics and his occasional personality problems, the competition at PG might go from healthy to annoying.

It would be awesome if NY bit on Marcus Fizer, but he'd be the short term solution, of course. McDyess is not out for life; he'll come back and if he comes back as strong as he did from his last surgery, he'll still be quite the player.
 
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