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http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/cs-020624smith.column?coll=cs-home-headlines


Sam Smith


Be afraid, Bulls fans, be very afraid. It's draft time, and Jerry Krause has nothing to do.

Or should have nothing to do.

This should be very easy. On Wednesday, around 6:30 p.m., someone should unlock Krause's basement door. Krause should climb up the stairs, pick up the telephone and say, "Jay Williams."

The lottery couldn't have worked out better for the Bulls, and especially for Krause. Now he doesn't have to take Chinese center Yao Ming or worry about the criticism if he doesn't. Krause has the No. 2 pick, and the Houston Rockets, with Steve Francis as an All-Star point guard and a front line that couldn't rebound against the Rockettes, have the No. 1 pick.

The Rockets haven't offered many clues as to what they will do. They've been very secretive, except for: Their trip to Shanghai, the Houston mayor's trip to Shanghai, their trip to Beijing, the team doctor's trip to Beijing, where he gave Yao a six-hour examination, the team lawyer's second trip to Shanghai, a video (in Mandarin) about Houston and its Chinese community, and a Web site that features a large picture of Yao and daily updates on the progress of negotiations.

They want him. They have been at the bottom of the NBA in attendance for two years, are desperate for some sort of attraction, and they really do need a center. Plus the Chinese government isn't about to pass on the propaganda opportunity of their player being the top pick in the NBA draft.

So Krause should be fishing somewhere.

Instead, he has been dangling the pick for point guards Andre Miller of Cleveland and Baron Davis of New Orleans, which is a huge mistake because they might accept. It makes almost no sense to trade for a player a year away from being eligible for a huge contract, with no guarantee of signing him. Williams, on the other hand, will be a Bull for five years once drafted and can develop along with Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry.

Plus, he's very good.

Word began to surface around the NBA last week that Krause wants to make a move for the top pick and take Yao. Krause believes Yao is the most valuable player in the draft because of trade demand and potential.

Someone tie that man down and gag him.

The Bulls traded Elton Brand to the Clippers last year to get more athletic with Chandler and Curry, and now Krause covets a less athletic big man? This makes even less sense.

Krause probably is a better scout than a general manager. He was delighted to land Trenton Hassell with the first pick of the second round last year, and despite what his critics say, he is a good judge of talent.

And the draft is a scout's time, to find that hidden diamond, to lock onto someone who was skipped over, to find a steal, a bargain. To surprise everyone with your selection. To move down and get the better guy, to use your pick to haul in a bigger prize, shocking everyone.

There will be no surprise this year. Williams is there. He is the obvious choice. But Krause doesn't like doing the obvious. There's no gloating then, no executive of the year award.

Suppose the Rockets, at the last minute, bow out and trade the No. 1 pick to a team that wants Williams. What then? Do the Bulls take Yao? But if the Rockets, with all the work they've put in, were to back off, what chance would there be that Yao would come to the Bulls as the No. 2 pick? Arvydas Sabonis came—nine years after he was drafted by Portland with the 24th overall pick in the 1986 draft.

The Bulls probably would select Duke's Mike Dunleavy and hope the Rockets didn't pull a fast one on them by trading with Golden State and then picking Yao at No. 3. But Houston wants him No. 1, and it's hard to imagine at this late stage it won't happen.

Then there will be no surprises. Not small forward Caron Butler, who some say is more ready than Williams, or power forward Chris Wilcox, who might be the best player in this draft in five years. Better yet, the international steal, like Nikoloz Tskitishvili, a 7-footer who at 19 may be another Chandler, or Nene Hilario, a 6-11 monster rebounder, also only 19. How about one of them with Chandler and Curry? Or Dunleavy, Krause's kind of player—son of a coach, smart, good shooter, will listen politely to Krause's scouting stories.

The scouts would be telling Jerry Krause stories for years, whispering as they did about Tom Greenwade when he found Mickey Mantle and built another Yankees dynasty. Everyone could have had him. But one guy defied the odds and had the vision to see what no one else did.

He saw the power, the finesse, the athletic ability. And he was not afraid.

We are all afraid. Someone disconnect Krause's phone until it's time to call the commissioner Wednesday and say: Jay Williams.

Copyright © 2002, The Chicago Tribune

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Why?
 

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It was this time last year that Sam told us about the brand trade. So looks like this might have some ring of truth to it. Just as we thought everything was clear, this comes up
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey, Im sorry guys, the link doesn't work. It is a real article though....
 

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Like I say on realgm. If some how and some way we get Yao Ming and keep him I will disappear and never appear again anymore :laugh:
 

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Sam Smith does not have anything to report and therefore makes up some rumors out of his imagination...

If you want an unbiased coverage on Yao Ming and the draft, I suggest you go to clutchcity.net. The Chinese media have reported more than once that Houston has promised to pick Yao Ming no. 1 and Yao Ming loves going there. It is reported he will pay ~$10M to get out of his contract to go to Houston.
 

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KC, for whatever reason, Chicago Tribune links continually change. As jklm said there is nothing to report so Smith is hypothesizing.
Houston needs a center more than anything and no trade of the first pick will yield a compararble one. The trades for Francis and Griffen show Houston looks for quality over quantity. They are keeping their pick.
Other options - Miller or Davis. Not the worst ideas, I like Davis better than Miller and he is 3 years younger. If Krause pulls the trigger on one those two, I wouldn't yelp loudly. but I'd be mildly dissappointed if it was Miller.
Stories from other sources today talking about problems with Williams and Rose coexisting seem silly. Duhon technically was Duke's point guard this year and there was no talk about problems. Rose knows the Bulls will have two starting guards who are not named Rose. Best and Crawford played the point lasr year and Rose did not complain.
Taking Williams is a clear path and easy decision. If Krause feels Dunleavy is the better player and better fit, swaps with GS and gets a little extra I can deal with that.
The way to win a championship is to assemble top players, the best, the finest. Not trade down for quantity.
I am looking for a fairly uneventful draft night for the Bulls. Pick Williams, keep him. Tons of rumors floating all over that I won't be overreacting to when I hear them. I'll pay more attention to the Miller and Davis rumors, but there respective teams have them for at least two years if they choose and next year can match any offers on the table for them and then keep them long term.
For the record, I'd just as soon take Williams and keep him as opposed to any other option. My second choice is Dunleavy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am starting to lean towards Q and #4 if it is indeed on the table.... That would allow Jamal to continue as the starting point and then we could add more depth...

However, like you say, is that trading for quantity instead of just selecting quality? That is where things get tricky becuase I think we could still get a great player at 4, as well as getting Quentin...

I guess we will just buckle our seatbelts and prepare for Wednesday....
 

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sam Smith NEVER reported the Brand trade before it happened. Not one source knew about it or reported it before it happened. They didn't even know on ESPN until it was announced by the commisioner. So do not berlieve anything that SS reports. He is a complete idiot.
 

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Originally posted by bobalooey
sam Smith NEVER reported the Brand trade before it happened. Not one source knew about it or reported it before it happened. They didn't even know on ESPN until it was announced by the commisioner. So do not berlieve anything that SS reports. He is a complete idiot.
Actually, I think Smith nailed it one or two days before the trade. He definitely cautioned that Brand was on the block for the #1 or #2 pick. I dismissed it immediately but remember thinking later about how Smith had it right.
 

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Originally posted by RealFan
Actually, I think Smith nailed it one or two days before the trade. He definitely cautioned that Brand was on the block for the #1 or #2 pick. I dismissed it immediately but remember thinking later about how Smith had it right.
The way I remember it was Smith proposed that trading Brand might be the best approach for the Bulls to get better. That is different than reporting that such a trade is actually going to happen or is actually in the works.
 

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Originally posted by Kneepad

The way I remember it was Smith proposed that trading Brand might be the best approach for the Bulls to get better. That is different than reporting that such a trade is actually going to happen or is actually in the works.
Again, I don't claim to be a guy who remembers everything and I certainly don't like Sam Smith. But I think he mentioned in print that Brand would likely be traded for one of the top two picks. I don't know that he mentioned Chandler as the pick though.

Maybe a search over at RealGM's archives can dig up the correct thread. I don't want to pay the Tribune to dig through its archives.
 

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I went over to the RealGM site and found this link which supports that not only did Smith leak the trade of Brand, he also nailed the trading partner in the LAClippers. So as I thought, he had the whole thing figured out but for the Bulls picking Chandler with the newly acquired pick.

I wonder how he got that information out of the supposedly airtight Bulls organization?

That's why I tend to believe more of his stuff now, but maybe he just got lucky.


http://www.bulls4ever.com/boards/viewtopic.php?topic=4764&forum=10
 

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Ah, but if you go to page 2 of that thread and look for air_philly_23's post, it claims that this was a trade suggestion by Smith, not reporting discussions of such a nature between the two teams. The fact that it ultimately came to pass nearly exactly as Smith suggested makes it seem more like it was "reported" as opposed to "suggested".

With all Krause's paranoia over secrecy, I simply can't believe that word of such a critical trade leaked out of the Bulls organization beforehand.
 

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Originally posted by Kneepad
Ah, but if you go to page 2 of that thread and look for air_philly_23's post, it claims that this was a trade suggestion by Smith, not reporting discussions of such a nature between the two teams. The fact that it ultimately came to pass nearly exactly as Smith suggested makes it seem more like it was "reported" as opposed to "suggested".

With all Krause's paranoia over secrecy, I simply can't believe that word of such a critical trade leaked out of the Bulls organization beforehand.
I did as you said and you are correct. I wish that someone had simply pasted the article within the thread. But I agree with you that the article was speculation. Though I still wonder if his speculation wasn't "educated" by someone within the Bulls organization. I'm just being paranoid.

I hope the Ming situation resolves itself and that Houston is able to make the pick. But if not, all bets are off (or on)!
 

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It is possible that at the time Sam Smith wrote the column, the deal was completed and someone whispered something to Smith so he would break people into the possibility. More likely word leaked from the Clippers. There was talk about Brand to Washington for the #1, but I don't remember the time frame. I'm just making a semi-educated guess here.
 

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RE: Legitimacy of Sam Smith's sources

Also, people seem to be forgetting that Sam Smith was the first to "suggest" the Bulls should deal for Jalen Rose. I remember being infuriated at the time and thinking that Smith was an idiot.....

....apparently, though, Wynn! was the idiot, and Smith had better sources than most.

I, for one, will give a little more credence to Smith's views, given his record on both the Brand and Rose trades.

BTW -- Anyone who followed that link to RealGMs archives should have seen a great post by HJHJR!. Kudo's to you, HJ!, you were on the money as always!

;)
 

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I think theres a message here. I/We missed it last season and Mr. Smith is kindly enough to telegraph it for us this year again.

Here it is:

Taken as a whole, Krause isn't satisfied with Jay Williams.
 

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That's right GettinBranded. I think Krause will explore every avenue to see what the maximum value of that #2 pick is before he does anything. JWill is not a lock.

And it really shouldn't be a surprise. Krause historically has shied away from smallish guards (i.e., Francis).

I simply cannot wait until Wednesday. I just finished telling my wife that I will be unavailable for father/husband duty for about two hours on Wednesday. She just rolled her eyes.

I did tell her that there's one thing that would take precedent over the draft, but she just rolled her eyes again. :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Originally posted by RealFan
I did tell her that there's one thing that would take precedent over the draft, but she just rolled her eyes again. :laugh:


 

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oh dear

i can see it now, krause screws up, and the bulls are the joke of the league forever. i think i just stumbled onto something. down with krause!!!:laugh:
 
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