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Greetings from Iraq. I think the Bulls need to keep the team together because they may give away too much to get Pau Gasol. I mean he is a good player, but not great. If I were to trade for him, I would trade Kirk Hinrich, Noce and P.J. Brown. I love all of these guys, but I think Chris Duhon can handle the PG duties. Chris does not shoot a lot which is good because the offense will be handled by Gordon, Gasol and Deng. Deng! That's the main reason we don't need Noce. I love the guy, but I will be willing to trade him for a PF. We need P.J to make the contract work, plus he wants out. We could include a first-round pick in there, too. The Grizz would get a good young point, a good SF, a "classy" expiring contract and a first-rounder for a soft, weak defending big man? --Sgt. Roy Williamson, Iraq
Sounds like you're planning to come back to take my job. Or Paxson's. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the discussion going on internally with the Bulls: Make a bold move now and take a shot at the Finals, or be patient with the Heat and Pistons fading, get the Knicks' pick, let the rookies develop and maybe have a great six or seven-year run. Lots of second guessing each way they go, which should make the next month very interesting. I'd probably make the deal, but that's what I do.
Hi, from Spain, where we're following news about Pau Gasol's trade with a lot of expectation. The two teams of preferences here are the Bulls and Celtics. I think Chicago will be the perfect place for Gasol to develop to the next level. Playing with a guy like Ben Wallace could make a big duo in the paint. Do you think is the best "choice" for Gasol or other teams maybe? Saludos Desde Espana! --Pedro Jiminez Ibars, Zaragoza, Spain
If the Bulls do make the deal, there'll be a lot of scrutiny, and anyone who reads these emails knows Bulls fans can be unforgiving. The problem for Pau is he will no longer be under the radar in Chicago. The Memphis thing was always a nice little overachieving story and whatever he did was admired. If he comes to the Bulls, the demands will be there for him to produce and the team to win. The thing we've always heard about him is he's a little mentally weak and doesn't defend with much passion. Is that Spanish passion thing a myth? Sometimes, as the saying goes here, you better watch what you ask for because you might get it. And then what do you do?
I don't think it would be a good idea to get Pau Gasol for a couple of reasons. First, the Bulls would have to give up more than they would get. The Bulls would be better off waiting for a free agent in order to get a power forward. Second, trading for Gasol would be a desperation move, not only because of what the Bulls would have to give up, but also because they'd have to try to fit Gasol into their style of offense and fit their offense to fit him. This would be OK in the off-season, but not now. Finally, Gasol is not much of a defensive player. With Ben Gordon, also a defensive liability, a major part of the offense, the Bulls can't afford another weak defensive player who would also play a large portion of the games. --Jeff Hoffman, San Francisco
That would be plan B. If they get knocked out in the first round, which they could this season with this team, that plan would be condemned. It's nice to be patient and have a long view, but it's tough to live every day with. The Curry/Chandler plan was long term, and those first few seasons were awfully difficult to watch. The Bulls are way past that, but if you are this close can you afford not to take a shot? Look what Detroit did with Rasheed Wallace. The Bulls got Ben Wallace to do something now in a weak Eastern Conference. The defense point with Gasol and Gordon is significant, which is why Garnett might fit better. After 44 the other night, it's hard to believe they'll move him before the summer. Though Gasol is a better inside scorer than Garnett, and the Bulls need that. Why does this have to be so difficult?
I hope Paxson does not forget the position Memphis is in when dealing Gasol. They are dumping a long-term expensive contract used on a guy who only plays half the floor. Gasol as a free agent at his money might be worth it but one would think about it. Giving up the cash and good, young players seems foolish. I know Deng, Gordon and Nocioni are due for big raises. Is there a realistic scenario where the Bulls could afford to keep them all? --Mike, Paris, France
That is one issue, the extensions. There are situations where they can re-sign everyone, but it remains in question and one issue with obtaining a player like Gasol is thinning out the roster of young talent without contracts. The problem Memphis will have is as players come on the market because they want out, the offers decline, like with Iverson and back with Barkley. I believe the Grizzlies promised to deal Gasol, but if everyone low-balls them they'll keep him and deal him in the summer when more teams could be involved. Memphis gets huge salary relief for Eddie Jones' expiring contract, so maybe they won't be desperate. It's the poker game Paxson is now in and Jerry West always has been known as a good bluffer.
While I think that Gordon and Deng still have upside while Hinrich has peaked, I don't know who will run the if they traded Hinrich. Duhon isn't durable enough to be a full time starting point, and it's very difficult to obtain quality point guards with a pass-first mentality. If the Bulls do trade for Gasol they'll likely give up draft picks, making getting a new point guard nearly impossible. I'd love to see Gasol in a Bulls uniform but I think the Bulls should wait for the trade deadline when Memphis will feel pressure to trade. I hope the expiring contracts of PJ Brown and Malik Allen, as well as the Knicks' first round pick and Nocioni may do the trick to get Pau. --Bobby, Brooklyn, N.Y.
That is the salient point regarding Kirk that many seem to forget. Overall, no one runs the team better and he was great against the Heat Saturday. It may not be perfect and sometimes he may not make the right decision. And, right, especially if the Bulls include this year's pick it will be difficult to replace Hinrich, perhaps more so than Deng given that the Bulls have Nocioni. They don't have a replacement for Kirk. It's what makes this difficult and I don't see Memphis giving him away for just spare parts and picks. But when you have the league's worst record and second lowest attendance, I'm not sure what they are doing.
As a lifelong Bulls fan living in Memphis, I can tell you that the Bulls should take a pass on Gasol. He's soft. He's a whiner. I can't tell you how many times I've watched the other team score an easy layup while Gasol stands under the opposing basket jawing with a ref about a no-call. Even if it takes the Bulls an extra year to progress in the playoffs, I wouldn't trade any of the three players you mentioned -- Ben Gordon, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich -- in a one-for-one deal for Gasol. Let Boston overpay and send a boatload of talented players and/or picks to the Western Conference. --Eric Page, Memphis, Tenn.
Wow! I'm still on board on the Gasol deal, but I am backing off somewhat on those three. The unknown is how desperate they are to deal Gasol or will become as it gets closer to the deadline. I know there are issues with him, which is what I presume they will discover. The question will come down to whether Memphis wants to go in a different direction with athletic youth and their draft. The Bulls can supply those types of players without hurting their core. Yes, a closer examination of Gasol reveals plenty of blemishes, but he would help the Bulls, at least in my opinion.
Do you think we become a lot better sending Nocioni, Duhon, Thomas and the Knicks' pick to Memphis for Gasol? Yes, our starting five looks improved but we lose depth. I say hold back and don't part with our big three for Gasol. If Memphis get a better offer then so be it, if not they may say yes to that trade. They could end up getting Oden to play with Swift, Nocioni, Miller, Duhon, a solid rookie with the Knicks' pick and Gay/Thomas as their core eight. That could be a pretty short rebuilding process. --Graham Austin, U.K.
Yes, looking at it from Memphis's point of view, they probably are better off taking some building blocks because they might not be that far off with their pick and if they get the Knicks' pick from the Bulls with Bulls protection in case it is No. 1 or 2. This Gasol thing is going to hang over them and the history of such things is you can't start moving forward until you make a move.
I don't get the Chicago fans. They express so much disbelief that the Bulls ought to give up Kirk Hinrich for Pau Gasol. Excuse me, but I would give up Kirk Hinrich to get Eddie Jones, much less an All-Star power forward like Gasol. I can understand the Bulls' reluctance to give up either Gordon or Deng, but after those two top players there is a dramatic drop-off in the level of talent that the Bulls have. I think for the deal to be interesting for the Grizz, we would need at least Hinrich, Nocioni, Thomas, Brown, and your first pick. Even then, I think there are much better deals in the NBA. --Guy, Memphis, Tenn.
This is what the Grizzlies are going to find: There are not many great deals. Look what the 76ers got for Iverson, who has more value than Gasol. Let's be realistic about Gasol. He would help the Bulls because he fills a need, but he couldn't help Memphis win one playoff game in 12 shots. He moans every summer about how bad things are for him back in the Spanish press and returns to say he was misquoted. He is the highest paid player, misses half the season and then asks out because he doesn't like the way things are going. He needs the support of better players and veterans, so not too many teams are going to offer too much for him. The Bulls are in the unique position to surround him with what he needs without giving up too much. Hinrich was on the USA Basketball team last summer, which Gasol might not have made. Beside the fact he is on the Spanish team, of course.
name: Bryce T. Englin city: Cairo, Egypt email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In all these trade scenarios for a top-notch player like KG or Pau, we will have to give up at least one of Kirk, Gordon, and Deng. Why not just go after Emeka Okafor? He is a valuable post player like Horace Grant, with a decent offensive game, and good defensive skills. Charlotte must be looking to dump salaries, and also has a similar player in Sean May. Take your pick from PJ, Duhon, Khryapa for this trade, though PJ's salary will need some creative accounting for. --K.G. Anand, St. Paul, Minn.
The reason there's so much talk about Gasol and Garnett is some level of dissatisfaction from the player, either Gasol's desire to be traded or Garnett having an opt out after next season and probably walking away on them. So you have teams looking to minimize the loss. Okafor has hardly proven himself yet and Charlotte has him two more seasons after this guaranteed and relatively cheap. So there's no reason for them to make a deal.
Do you think that Gasol's stats will decrease if he enters a team like Celtics, Nets or Heats where he wouldn't be de franchise player of the team? Gasol is a young player with a great future but he has always been the main option of his small team. But probably, his appearances in the All-Star game will be sure in an East team. --Julen, Bilbao, Spain
Yes, his All Star chances would definitely improve in the East. He'd still be a 20-point type scorer because any team looking for him would be doing so to use his scoring. But if he goes to Boston he might not like it more than Memphis with the mess they've had there. And compared with the Meadowlands, Memphis looks like Barcelona.
Let me start out by saying that I am anti-headband, wristband, etc. I think they look stupid and their sweat-absorbing capacity is dubious. When I was in high school we wore wristbands to look cool, not to absorb sweat. There, now I feel better. Here is my question: Could you please explain to me what in the world the purpose is of the full-arm-length spandex wrap worn by the likes of Iverson, James and I think Nocioni wears one. Is it a compression thing for an injury or just another cool accessory? PS, don't get me started on tatoos. --John, Zanesville, Ohio
I consulted player fashion specialist and Bulls equipment czar John Ligmanowski and he said Noce wears his for the cushioning, but generally believed these were fashion statemements started by a guy named John from Zanesville some years ago when he was in high school.
Since '07 draft is a deep one and it's never too late to look forward. How many second-round picks will the Bulls have? --Ed Bi, Buffalo Grove, Ill.
Actually, these could be nice pieces in any trade. The Bulls gave up their own from the draft deals last June and a previous deal for Erick Barkley and the Knicks pick from the Curry deal, but have Denver's second and one Denver had from Boston.
Who would you trade along with our first-round pick to get Greg Oden first overall? --Josh Hendon, Normal, Ill.
I'd trade any player on the roster for the rights to Oden. No one will trade you the rights to Oden for anyone short of the top few elite players in the NBA. Potentially great centers rarely come along and while Oden isn't one yet, he could be one and you get a chance for that about once every decade. I've watched Oden some and he looks slow at times and doesn't seem to have the skills of Kevin Durant. But I don't see how you could go wrong with him.
Couldn't help noticing that you have been really bashing Ben Wallace in all your columns/responses to readers. How does that affect your personal rapport with him? Does he even talk to you anymore or grant you interviews? If he is as touchy as you say he is, then I am sure he is pretty angry at you right now. --Jeet, Evanston, Ill.
He could be. I saw his hair standing on edge the other night. Actually, most of these guys are fine with the commentary as long as you don't write about their families or personal stuff. I don't do that and haven't with Ben. This is sports and criticism and analysis about the way they play and their game should be fair game. Trust me, we are way nicer than theater and movie critics who don't have to see whom they write about. We do. Ben also is much fiercer looking than he is. It's an intimidating look even to teammates, but he's more moody than angry Also, I would like to see him play like he cares more because I admired his style in years past and have been disappointed not to see it as much. He did a little bit better last week before he got hurt. Early in the season, I was including Luol Deng in several of my trade scenarios and assistant Pete Myers put Deng up to asking me why I always was trading him. I don't think he ever read the newspapers or knew. So the other day after all the talk about the Gasol trade and everyone being mentioned, Deng-with a big smile-stopped me in the locker room and was saying, "You started all this!" He said now everyone was trading guys. It tells you something about this Bulls group and how you'd hate to see a lot of these guys go. They're professionals they understand the criticism and commentary are part of the job and experience and as long as it's not personal and doesn't attack their family, it's fair play. Actually, if you are good at your job, you should welcome criticism and questions to justify what you are doing and judge yourself.
Lay off of Ben Wallace! He gets all kinds of deflections, he hustles, he has good hands in the post, and he comes up with a monster game from time to time. Yes, pretty much the same thing he's been doing his whole career! To me, he's like a Dennis Rodman. Yes, like Rodman, he needs guys like MJ and Phil Jackson to keep him in check-- but I think PJ Brown and Skiles are capably filling that role. --Hawk Gates, Grand Rapids, Iowa
I guess perhaps we expected more than "time to time" and deflections. And what's the deal with every time the Bulls say what's wrong with him he adds an injury? We didn't know about this drama queen part. But, overall, I'm just trying to help Ben reach his potential, like Skiles. Of course, it was Skiles against whom Wallace revolted in what a friend of Wallace's later told me was to make sure Skiles understood who Wallace was and he just wasn't some other guy. I will be interested to watch this dynamic in the playoffs.
After watching every Bulls game this year, it is obvious that Big Ben needs help down low. We paid him 60 million to rebound, block shots and play defense. But he cannot help on defense if no one helps him. So, what do you think about making an offer for the Laker's Bynum instead of giving up so much to try and get as far as I can see a very lazy, offensive only minded Gasol. For Garnett, I can understand but what do you think it would take for the Laker's to bite? Plus, this guy is only 19 and can grow with us. --Beau, Jackson, Miss.
It's a nice idea, though the NBA at my last look is not set up to help the Bulls win a championship. The Lakers are so enamored of Bynam there's been talk that they wouldn't put him in a deal if they could get Garnett, and that's where we all believe Garnett really wants to play since he lives there. Media talk about Bynam in L.A. of late has been that they wouldn't need Greg Oden because Bynam will be just as good.
How about David Lee from the Knicks for Khryapa and their pick back? --Steve G., Budapest, Hungary
Intriguing. I'm still thinking. Though in the end I think the Knicks, and especially Isiah Thomas, needs the improvement now. Plus, the Bulls would never let the pick go back without protection so they could get Oden, and probably Durant or Noah.
I've got the perfect trade for the Bulls. Dallas sends them Josh Howard, $3 million in cash, and a second-round draft pick in exchange for your resignation from the Tribune. It would break my heart to see you go, but as you say you got to give something up to get something back. --Sean Vogt, Monrovia, Calif.
This also is intriguing as we at The Tribune, along with many of our colleagues in the industry, expect buyoffs and layoffs at any time given the uncertainty of the media business. So my time at the Tribune may soon be coming to an end, anyway. I'm guessing this is Cuban-inspired since we have been at odds. Though I'm not sure the deal gets done because Mark was quite friendly with me after the Mavs' loss to the Bulls last week. We don't talk much, usually him sending barbs from his blog and me from my column. I figured there was no point starting anything, so I didn't talk to him, but he stopped me in the locker room after the game and asked, "Not even going to say hello, Sam?"
Unlike our government, I feel it's worthwhile to talk to anyone, so I walked over. We shook hands, then both used hand cleanser. Kidding. We then agreed we both were just having fun and it was nothing personal, though I did sense a subtle flex in one of Mark's biceps at the time.
Mark is quite the talker, as you can imagine, and generously offered me his opinion on a number of topics. We all know some of his points make sense; I suggested if he offered them in a more conciliatory way perhaps he'd get farther. He disagreed and said he had to be a bomb thrower to get attention in the stuffy NBA. I can't totally disagree with that notion since the league sometimes is run unlike many democracies. Now, I'm not saying I'm on Mark's side, but this was both an instructive and damaging conversation. It's going to be harder to keep our battle going now that we found each other to be human beings, sort of.
Actually, this is what many columnists do to stay angry: They don't talk to the figures they write about so they don't have any personal feelings and can criticize them more easily. I understand because you can be more objective that way and not let personal feelings interfere with an honest appraisal, but I always think personal feelings in some way play a part. No one is truly objective. There is no such thing. You just try to be fair. I believe it's worth knowing the person on some level and letting them know you will be there if you offer criticisms. It's more difficult, I admit, because you always find there is more good in sports figures than you think when you get to know them. But I'm more comfortable then offering criticism since I feel I've taken in a larger look.
I was an investigative reporter for a decade before I got into sports. My first editor and mentor, Ernie Williams, taught me a valuable lesson. He made sure after any story I wrote, I had to be available in front of the subject that day. It's not easy, but it taught me a valuable lesson about responsibility and about being sure about what you write and willing to stand up for it. You should always be able to justify what you write, so I see no problem with being challenged. Of course, one time it did get me punched by a mayoral employee, but it was a glancing blow.
Why has Nocioni dropped off the face of the earth? For a guy who was getting 15 and 8 a game, he sure is persona non grata lately. --Steve Colston, Roanoke, Va.
I'm not fully sure. There are some injury issues and I think the Bulls are trying to dial him down a little since he would say he's fine with a sucking chest wound and limbs hanging off. And the Bulls need to get Tyrus Thomas some playing time because he could be valuable in the playoffs, though Nocioni was good Saturday.
Let's assume the Bulls make no moves and end the season winning a round and have the roster in its current form. Who would be realistically available (affordable) in the free-agent market that would help with the inside, low-post presence? --Rich, Phoenix, Ariz.
Melvin Ely, Dikembe Mutombo, Chris Mihm, Michael Olowokandi, Mikki Moore, Marc Jackson, Kelvin Cato, Dale Davis, Chris Webber, Jamaal Magloire, Vitaly Potopenko, Danny Fortson, Calvin Booth. Hello, Pau?
Your suggestion that the Warriors offer Jason Richardson, Mickael Pietrus, Monta Ellis and rookie Patrick O'Bryant for Jason Kidd ... how do you see this helping the Warriors? They're already set at PG with Baron Davis, and Ellis is an emerging star at the 2. What they really need is another big man. Not to mention, Kidd is bound to see a slide in his abilities any season now. --Roger Grant, Los Angeles
I'm not a big fan of Davis'. OK, I'm not a fan at all. I see him as a Marbury type point guard who looks for his shot first. Kidd is terrific and a player who makes his teams much better by his presence. And he has a few good years left. Where are the Warriors going in the West with what they have? If I were the Warriors, I'd be trying to get rid of my duplication on the wing and get a great player and not settle for probably missing the playoffs again. How many years can they go without making the playoffs? When you have been bad so long, you should be bold. Kidd and Davis would be a great Nellie backcourt, Ellis isn't even a starter and you hear they're down on Pietrus now that they have Jackson and Harrington.
Do you think the Bulls painted themselves in a corner with the Wallace signing? It seems like now they are forced to try and win a title before the guy who used to be Ben Wallace leaves in a few years. This might mean mortgaging the future for a crack at a Finals berth this year. If they didn't sign Wallace, they might be able to bring Thomas along and build a young team that could dominate in a few years. With him it seems the expectations have changed and the philosophy of the team followed suit. --Ryan, Scranton, Penn.
I don't think so. The Bulls saw this coming on some level as they started his contract high and it finishes lower, so he will be easier to deal later in the contract. I agree with the point of trying to go for it now with the East so down because the Cavs still can't figure out how to get the best out of LeBron James. If they ever do, it will be more difficult, so take a shot when you can. Though I'd like to see him be more consistent and motivated, I'd probably do the signing again given the alternatives. The alternatives were Nazr Mohammed and Joel Przybilla, and they have done almost nothing. Everyone is actually hoping more that he's indifferent for now rather than the bad news that he just can't perform at a high level with consistency any more.
Do you think the Bulls would consider sending "The Big Phony" to the NBDL to work on his free throw shooting and his attitude? --JT, Chicago
Ouch! The NBDL is for just first- and second-year players and free-agent types. But the free throw thing does amaze me, even with guys like Tim Duncan, though, he does shoot about 60 percent. How with all that practice you still can't make half your free throws is confounding.
If Thabo comes on with his extended playing time, who becomes more available in a trade package: Kirk or Ben Gordon? I love them both but Thabo and Ben (if Thabo continues to improve) with Chris Duhon coming off the bench is a solid backcourt. If Kirk and some other pieces bring us Gasol, the Bulls might be quite a force. Of course, that's all assuming Ben Wallace decides he wants to play. That's another story but money obviously corrupts anyone if getting the big bucks turns Big Ben into Big Baby. I guess I can't comprehend what it's like to have that kind of $$$ but it seems like he'd want to actually try since the Bulls made him fabulously wealthy. Oh, well. --Curt, Kansas City, Mo.
Of course, we all hope he isn't trying and can raise his game. If he is trying as hard a she can and has these inconsistent results, then there's a real problem. Probably Kirk becomes the more expendable, but is Sefolosha ready to direct a team thinking it has a chance to go to the Finals? I doubt it.
Is there anyone stupid enough to take Ben Wallace from us? Maybe Wallace and Duhon for Zach Randolph and a bad contract they have? The more I watch the Bulls, the more I realize we have committed a lot of money to a soft, offensively challenged, 6-8 center. He clogs our offense and has no quickness or elevation left in his legs. He won with the Pistons because of Hamilton, Billups, and Rasheed. I don't think we have one player the caliber of any of those three. --Mark Fockenk, Champaign, Ill.
Even though I think Ben should have stayed in Detroit, I can understand why he made the decision he did. Yes, it was a $10 million difference, but I think he got too caught up in the disrespecting me thing and wanted to get out. Frankly I'm not sure it would have worked with him in Detroit, anymore, anyway. I think the Bulls are steadily moving past the Pistons, who are really a slow team that finds it almost impossible to get easy baskets. I'm still confident that come playoff time we'll see more of Ben than we have, which was the case with Rodman those first two seasons with the Bulls when he was injured or suspended half the time.
I understand all the anger with Big Ben. I do get mad, too. But it is his first season with the Bulls and then I remember a certain Center who Miami fans thought would let them down last year and he didn't. Who knows? We might get a Shaq fever on him by the playoff. --Otavio Moreira, Brazil
It could happen, though in his first season in Miami, Shaq was runnerup for MVP. Let's not get too carried away with the comparison.
Why is everyone trying to get rid of Kirk? Why dooe management see Gordon as untouchable? I see Gordon can score, but if you're trading for Pau, would you really be concerned about a scoring guard who's not a great defender? That would give the opportunity for guys like Kirk, Deng, and Noce to increase their scoring and we know that any one of them are capable of scoring as much as Gordon. I don't understand the big debate offense over defense? Offense wins games but defense wins championships. Gordon for Gasol. --Nate Castaneda, Belvidere, Ill.
That's why this is going to be so difficult.
Do you think the Wizards should trade maybe Antwan Jamison and Jarvis Hayes, whose contracts are up after the season and a first-round pick for Kevin Garnett? --Dominique Moses, Forestville, Md.
They'd love to. They are one of the Bulls' competitors now, but a team I think has a lower ceiling than the Bulls. I don't see them getting much better than they are without a change, especially toward a defensive mentality. They have a lot of pieces and I'd look to make a deal if I were them--as I do all the time, anyway--but that's not nearly enough to get Garnett if he's available.
Kirk Hinrich should get a DVD with all of Steve Nash's games from this season and sit down and watch. Then he should get a DVD of all the Champions League football (soccer) matches, and sit down and watch. Then he should watch Nash again. Then football again. Then this summer, he should join the same soccer league Nash played in last summer. First, it helps for conditioning. Second, I really think Nash takes a lot from soccer in terms of spacing, ball movement and passing angles. Nash has even talked about this, but since most people in the US care about as much for soccer as they do for the Finnish education system (which happens to be very good), no one pays any attention. We think, "That's just that crazy Canadian side of him, talking about soccer!" In fact, maybe the whole Bulls team should watch. Noce can explain what's happening. --Bradley, Chicago
This is the fallacy of Steve Nash. He makes it look so easy people think anyone can do it. That's an element of greatness. How could Bird rebound so well and not jump, Jordan get to the basket so easily? It's what separates the truly great ones. There's one Steve Nash. You don't get to be like him. There's talent and ability, but innate feel, intelligence, vision and daring. Those things work for Nash and he grew up that way. Send me your list of the other great Canadian point guards. Kirk does try to do some of the things Nash does the way he carries the ball through the defense and comes out the other side still looking for a pass. But you can't teach Nash's feel to know when to make the pass and how hard or soft to throw it, like the great quarterbacks in football. It looks easy when the pass is complete. Kirk is pretty darned good, but he's no Steve Nash. It's hardly an embarrassment.
When are people going to get over the JR Smith deal? He's a guy who only shoots three's. Of his 367 shots, 213 of them are three-pointers. He goes to the line three times a game. So basically he sits around the line, lets AI or Carmelo draw the double, and hucks up a three. If this sounds familiar, it's the Jamal Crawford bio. He's a guy who needs a top player to make him look good, something the Bulls do not have. In a year or two Thabo will be a much, much better option. --Matt, Glendale Heights, Ill.
A. And I've noticed he's become pretty much a spectator since Iverson arrived and Anthony returned until he came off the bench for a big game Saturday. It will be interesting to see how he deals with being the reserve. The bigger issue with Smith was whether he could have been kept to be part of a trade. But he probably wouldn't have played much so wouldn't have had much value.
What is up with the Bulls and Chris Duhon? At first I thought it could have been matchup issues for not playing him, but then he sat out the entire Atlanta game. Is there something going on under the surface? --Harry Clark, Schaumburg, Ill.
I think it's just the inevitable. He was a second-round pick whom the Bulls tried to get to play in Europe. He refused and proved he is an NBA quality guard. But they have too many small guards and it was just a matter of time before they'd start working Sefolosha in for defensive purposes and to get bigger.
I see a lot of trade talks about Tyrus Thomas but I think there is a little of Curry-Chandler syndrome in this. He had great moments and shows he could turn out to be a little of the showman the Bulls lack. Of course I understand he is another project, but that also means he doesn't have much trade value and we could be crying in the future. Is it worth trading him if we don't get something very special in return? --Neves, Brasilia, Brazil
No. I still like the pick because the guy shows amazing flashes and that's what you look for with inexperience. I'd include him with a Garnett deal, but not for certain for Gasol unless they absolutely insisted and then sent back one of their young forwards.
In the wake of the recent Pau Gasol trade rumors, and Paxson's stated desire for a low-post scorer, would it have made more sense for the Bulls to draft LaMarcus Aldridge instead of Tyrus Thomas? Tyrus' athleticism is amazing, and he definitely has the potential to be a very good NBA player, but it seems to me that he has added only to the growing legion of 6-8 Bulls small forwards masquerading as power forwards. --Justin Braeutigam, Evanston, Ill.
The thinking in drafting Thomas in a subpar draft was to try to find an All Star in the mix. Thomas has that potential, but it is no certainty. I don't see Aldridge because of his lack of strength and body size as a postup inside type of player. I actually think he'd be more short-term project than Thomas now and even less help to the Bulls at this point.
I was wondering how the addition of Jason Kidd and Chauncey Billups being available this summer is going to affect Hinrich's chances of making the USA team? If I remember correctly, it was Hinrich who played a majority of the mintues in the playoff round of the World Championships over Chris Paul. Also he did hit two big threes down the stretch against Greece when everyone else besides Carmelo was scared to touch the ball. Do you think he going to make the team this summer? --Adnan Azamuddin, Elmhurst, Ill.
The conventional wisdom is he gets bumped for the bigger names, but the coaches liked him and I think he has a good chance to return. Though the Bulls are privately hoping he doesn't the way he's seemed to have trouble with energy this season. Same with a lot of teams and their players. Dwyane Wade already has said he may not return. The summer playing is becoming a bigger issue than the NBA would like to admit.
How funny is it that the latest trade talk for the Bulls centers around Pau Gasol, the player taken third between Chandler and Curry? Given Jerry Krause's past love of European players, how did Gasol get past him? --David Yuen, Portland, Ore.
Dragan Tarlac and Dalibor Bagaric supposedly told him the kid couldn't play.