I know that I am higher on Luol Deng than most people on this board. I think that he's going to have a great 2009-2010 season, especially in the second half leading into the playoffs. But, I think that the Gar Forman era is off to a horrendous start. First, in regards to Deng, he was in charge of negotiating the contracts of Deng and Gordon. He got what most people would consider the wrong one under contract.
Now, the 2009 NBA Draft. I have been an absolute broken record about the Bulls tendency to draft Final Four players. I actually believe that the Final Four thing is just coincidence, but I think that the theory is that the Bulls wanted to take NBA ready, successful college players who played with great coaches at successful programs. Now, either the theory was:
1) Until a superstar was in the fold, taking GOOD but not GREAT players was the plan. Now that Derrick Rose is in the fold, the Bulls are taking players who fit into Rose's "offensive style". Or,
2) Gar Forman has a much different philosophy than John Paxson and Gar was given complete and final say over who the Bulls were going to take.
Firstly, James Johnson is a pretty good player. I don't really have any complaints with the Bulls selecting him at #16. He was projected to go in that general part of the draft and I like the versatility, toughness, and potential that he brings to the table. My only problem is that the Bulls have about 3 players ahead of him on the roster already and I don't see anything that he brings to the team that the Bulls don't already have. He isn't more athletic than Tyrus, he isn't as skilled as Deng, and he isn't as tall as Noah. If the Bulls keep their roster relatively similar to what it is now, I don't see him getting significant minutes and helping the team dramatically in the near future.
I DO HAVE A PROBLEM HOWEVER WITH TAJ GIBSON. Take all of the things I said above and take away talent. The guy is 210 pounds. I am 6'2'' and 205. I don't think that my weight would be able to do much at the SG position in the NBA, let alone the PF spot. He hasn't done much in college, he is one of the oldest players taken in the entire draft, there isn't a spot on the roster for him, and he doesn't bring anything to the Bulls that they don't already have. This was a terrible draft pick and I would have taken about 6 guys who slipped into the 2nd round over him. I would rather have had the guy taken 60 (Robert Dozier) than him. They have similar physical numbers and Dozier at least played some quality post-season minutes and has experience with Derrick Rose.
Here is a long list of guys who the Bulls would have been better served drafting. Besides the just mentioned Dozier, I would rather have had (and the Bulls would have been able to use these guys more)
AJ Price or
Let's talk about Blair for a minute. I don't know why he slipped, but I think that everyone would assume it is because of what Jay Bilas said. He "doesn't have any ACL's left". But you know what? He would at least bring a unique skill to the Bulls that they are surely lacking. He would bring rebounding (Bulls were 20th in the NBA) and more importantly offensive rebounding. Plus, I have bought into the idea of taking players who have proven they can produce on the college level. Anyone who watched Blair play, they would know that he just has enough basketball ability to be an asset on the basketball floor. I don't know if Taj Gibson is going to even make the roster and now the Bulls are going to have to give him a 3 year contract to be behind Noah, Thomas, Miller, Gray, Deng, and Johnson. Plus, he doesn't score in a way that is better or unique in regards to what the Bulls already have. The Bulls are desperately looking to add a post presence and this poor shlub is going to sit there high fiving Jerome James on the end of the bench. I mean, if not Blair than why not Wayne Ellington? He is one of the best shooters in the draft, was Final Four MVP, has as good of physical numbers (at the combine anyway) as his more highly regarded High School teammate (Gerald Henderson) and fits the Bulls previous criteria of playing in a Final Four. If Gordon doesn't resign, that would give the Bulls a back up shooting guard to Salmons who can bring in some scoring off the bench while Hinrich (if he remains a Bull) would be a backup PG. Although Hinrich was overheard telling friends and family that he is most likely going to be a Portland Trailblazer (although Patrick Mills was a great late draft pickup).
I don't understand this at all and I cannot believe that I wasted so much time and energy studying possible draft choices and trades to end up with 2 average, undersized PF's. Well, I guess that's not fair, James Johnson is a tweener but is most likely going to find his niche as an undersized PF.
Anyone else just flabbergasted at what took place by the Bulls today?
ya, i dont know why they didn't take blair at 26. he had 2 acl surgeries in high school. but he played every game for 2 years at pitt and dominated. taj gibson is like an older less athletic tyrus thomas. johnson was a solid pick but chicago could have done much better.
I honestly hope they get FIRED. They clearly have no idea how to evaluate talent. If you don't believe me just go back to '03, '04, '06, and I'm sure '09 and look who they passed over.
I'm extremely frustrated with their management. In fact, I think I have lost all faith in their decision making skills.
John Paxson and Gar Forman,
I'm not a happy Bulls fan today. I can't believe you would pass on DeJuan Blair (twice). I like Johnson and Gibson as players, but missing out on Blair was a MAJOR MISTAKE. In theory your draft looks good, but in reality you drafted LESS POINTS, LESS REBOUNDS, LESS STEALS, and MORE TURNOVERS (check their stats). MORE TURNOVERS and BLOCK SHOTS isn't exactly what this team needs.
Your philosophy of drafting the BEST AVAILABLE PLAYER is the wrong way to go. It doesn't win championships. Drafting NEEDED PARTS, like DeJuan Blair does. I guarantee you he helps San Antonio win another title or two just like Big Baby Davis did for Boston.
So, on behalf of all DISAPPOINTED BULLS FANS, thanks a lot for keeping this team MEDIOCRE. Year and year you guys have missed on the RIGHT TALENT. It's getting old and frustrating. I'm holding out hope you guys can pull off a trade for Bosh and then go after DWADE via free-agency, but I'm sure that isn't in your plans either.
Afterall, why would you want All-Stars on the roster? It isn't like PRO SPORTS is about winning championships, right? At least, not in your world!!!
Have a wonderful day and thanks again for the BLOCK SHOTS and TURNOVERS.
I am with Scott as far as the list goes. Any of those players that were mentioned would have been a good addition to the Bulls. More than anything we needed quality depth. I'm not going to crucify the Bulls for taking James Johnson, but I really wasn't too thrilled with the pick. I am just thinking, is this something that happens before Tyrus is shipped out. There is no way you pick Taj Gibson. He is absolutely useless to the Bulls. He's going to be way behind on the depth chart. I would have rather seen them give this pick away or slide into the 2nd round.
As for Blair, let's pretend that he is only going to be able to play for 3-4 years. Basically his rookie contract. I'll take that chance, especially at 26. We should be competing for a title at some point in that span. The guy is relentless. I actually believe that he is a better scoring version of Paul Milsap and we all saw what he did this year. His knees better be shattered for so many teams to pass on him. He seemed to do fine on those knees the past two years. My only question would be how well does he hold up for 82 games, but he's worst the risk. If you won't take that risk how about Budinger? I'm not worried about him being a star. That's not going to happen, but I think he would be a great addition to the Bulls and Derrick Rose with his shooting, passing and athleticism. He brings good depth no matter who the Bulls decide to keep or trade away.
James Johnson was a descent pick but, I don't know to much about Taj Gibson. If they didn't feel they saw more value at this pick they should have tried to trade it off to another team for multiple 2nd round picks. They would have got a better player in the middle of the second round just as the Spurs and Pistons did.
The Bulls must have a trade in place in the near future. I say this because drafting Taj Gibson makes no sense. I have seen Gibson play a lot and he is a good player but.....He is a "POOR MANS TYRUS THOMAS". Most Bulls fans don't like Tyrus so how can the Bulls expect fans to accept Taj.
Maybe Tyrus is on the way out. That is the only explanation. Passing on Blair was a mistake. I thought Calathes would've been a great pick also. Gibson does absolutely nothing to help the Bulls now. Blair would've immediately offered rebounding and toughness.
Picking James Johnson was a smart move. I know most of you are somewhat upset about this pick. I think Johnson can help out the Bulls immediately. He might not play major minutes but he is a very solid backup for Deng &or Tyrus. Johnson is an extremely good ball handler for his size and is actually pretty quick on his feet. He is great on fast breaks and can spread the floor well in a half court setting. Not to mention for a big man he shoots pretty good. I think Johnson has a high celing too..he will continue to get better. Plus he is a black belt so that probably means he brings some toughness to the Bulls ha which many say Chicago needed. Overall I think Johnson was the best player on the board at the time so the Bulls couldn't pass on him.
PITTBulls...I know you are pissed. Both your guys dropped to the 2nd round. Chicago could've had both Blair & Young if they wanted. Not trying to rub it in your face. LIke I said above they should've picked Blair at 26 no doubt.
The bulls were lucky to get james johnson. Ben Gordon must be a good leader and role model. He is a good player, but you have John Salmons that gives you more versatility and Luol Deng who also gives you more versatility, and Kirk Hienrick, and Derek Rose. What he does on the court does not really make him worth resigning. The second pick could have been used to get a good shooting guard or traded for a first round pick next year. Chase Buddinger might have a good fit with all those ball handlers just a good shooter might have been a good pick. All in all though, the bulls did great because of james johnson. He is for sure, in my book, going to be an allstar. At least 10 out of the 15 picks ahead of him are not going to be as good as he is. He was the surest thing outside of blake griffin. Earl Clark, Blake Griffin, and a couple point guards might be as good as James Johnson. What a backup Johnson would be to Deng.
@theking...I have heard a few people who are very high on Johnson. I am actually happy about it, especially after I have had a little time to sleep on it. The only problem I have is Taj Gibson. When you look at the 2 picks together it doesn't make sense to have 2 more forwards.
Now, I agree with Gatorheels. I think that Taj is Tyrus Thomas trade insurance, although the reason that Tyrus is worth something is he's good. He's one of the best shot blockers in the league already and if he turns the corner offensively he could become an absolute stud. I wish that Vinny Del Negro would go to Tyrus's house, remove all of his cable boxes and put a DVD player on every television with game film of Shawn Kemp glued into it. Of course, he would have to start eating everything in sight and would run the risk of becoming a fat piece of crap like Kemp (eventually, like in Kemp's Cleveland days).
Of course, I don't think that Tyrus will ever reach his potential. There is just something about him that screams "content with being average". I hope that I am wrong, or at least that someone else (another NBA GM) is willing to gamble he's not in a trade. I kind of feel bad for Gibson (not really) because he will not touch the court unless there is a trade or Tyrus gets in Vinny's doghouse. I don't know what it takes to get in Vinny's doghouse, so unless Tyrus pulls a Larry Hughes, I don't see Taj getting on the floor unless there's a trade.
Even then, if we get rid of Tyrus and Deng it would most likely bring back a PF or C who would play 35+ minutes (minimum) a game anyway. Still puts Noah, Miller, Gray, Johnson, and that Amare/Bosh type player ahead oh him. Worthless pick. I hope Toronto was high on him.
Even if Chase Budinger becomes Jud Buechler the second he would have had a bigger role on the team. I just don't understand where Taj Gibson is going to play. Of course, Noah and Thomas will probably be injured and he'll play 25 minutes a game and be All-NBA Rookie 2nd Team or something. You watch.
Budinger couldn't carry Buechler's jock strap...Johnson will be starting by the end of the season probably after the trade deadline and Tyrus is shipped out. He and Rose on the fastbreak will be a thing of beauty. Yeah the Taj pick was a little strange. I guess if they would have grabbed a guard with the first pick then it would make "some" sense, though Blair at 26 would have been fantastic. But yeah I think Calathes would have been a perfect pick there after getting Johnson because we could stash him a year or two and have more money for free agency. I'll give the Bulls staff the benefit of the doubt though, they usually pick pretty good players and honestly you rarely get anyone worthwhile in the 26th pick range.
lol @ not carrying Jud's jock strap...ha! By the way, my only child so far is a daughter, if I have a son next "Jud" will be in the running for his name. Just kidding, kinda.
See, you seem to agree with what I am saying about Taj being a strange pick based solely on the fact he was the SECOND PF type we took in the same round. The more I read about the guy, the more I like him. He really does seem to be worthwhile if Tyrus is shipped out of town AND having USC's all-time leader in blocks on the team can't be a terrible thing. Plus, he could help out right away (hopefully) since he is a bit older and thus more "ready to contribute". You are right, #26 isn't usually a place you expect a very good player in the NBA Draft.
The only problem is, I think that there were a few contributors left on the board. Dejuan Blair WOULD have been fantastic. What stings even more is that San Antonio grabbed him. Whoever San Antonio drafts now I think will be good. They have an amazing system, the Spurs, where I personally believe that when they take a guy they are getting a "steal".
I don't mind James Johnson at #16 because he should push Deng (out of town, hopefully). And yes, I am a little pissed they passed on both my guys, but that's the Bulls for you. Here's my concern though. If BG7 walks for nothing, where's their depth at guard? They would be left with two PG's and a free agent SG. I can see passing on Blair, but why pass on Young? That makes no sense what-so-ever. He would be perfect for Derrick Rose's game. Plus, he grew up a Bulls fan.
I don't see the need to keep drafting tall skinny shot-blockers. They now have three on their team (Thomas, Noah, and Gibson) and one on the way (Asik). Gar "the GAR-bage Man" Forman can talk versatility all he wants, but they aren't more versatile. He drafted a bigger version of Luol Deng (James Johnson) and a taller version of Ty Thomas (Taj Gibson). I liked Blair because he would have been a shorter and heftier change of pace to their tall skinny shot-blockers. I liked young because he would have given them rebounding, athleticism and size at the guard spot. What do I know? I'm just a fan.
Chicago needs McCants.......good SG for a descent price
don't see the need to keep drafting tall skinny shot-blockers
I wish they would have drafted someone who could play shooting guard with No 26. Tony Douglass, Budinger, Sam Young were all available. James Johnson is okay, but not thrilled at all with this draft
dont sleep on the bulls draft, everyone says what the heck did they do but you'll see. James johnson is gonna be the next josh howard but better, he can play all over and can do everything, and taj is just gonna be cleaning everything off the rim and he's also a very hard worker, yea that matters alot, so before you guys go into saying the bulls had a bad draft, why dont you first do some reasearch because they got a great pick with johnson, and gibson will be a great nba leader and role player for a long time.
At 204 pounds on a 6 foot nine inch body, I hope Gibson cleans his plate. He has to gain 15 pounds of muscle before he will succeed. If you did your homework, you would know he's 24 years old and didn't average a ton of boards at USC, so how will he rebound in the NBA?
hey im not big on 24 super senoir college players going into the nba but i believe that at that pick they did a descent job, maybe in a couple years some second round player will be the next gilbert or boozer (didn't pay much attention to college basketball this year) i just think gibson is gonna bring energy and a good work ethic, one good thing about his age is he will be mature and also his role won't be anything big play about 8-10 min and hustle, all im saying is hes not gonna be a scrub. look at aaron gray he's huge but he's pure trash.
The Bulls have too many players in the front court,I was extremely high on Deng,but keeps getting injured,in that series a few years back Deng did work against the Heat,but since then he hasn't got back to that level,so I think Johnson was a good pick at #16,and watching the Bulls in the playoffs it looks like good ol Tyrus may have finally turned the corner and started tapping in on that potential has as well as Noah. The thing about Gibson 24 years old narrow shoulders,they say guys with narrow shoulders is that they aren't able to keep their explosion once they have more weight on their frames,but we'll see
I think Ellington could be more than a 10 minute/night player in their rotation. Bulls are thin in backcourt and lack both inside and outside scoring. That's not a good combo. I know you aren't high on Budinger, but he can shoot and is athletic. He could have helped in needed area. Blair is the X-factor. I wasn't high on him, but he was too much to pass on at 26. His upside and buttside are both larger than Gibson's. : )
we should've gone with Josh Heytvelt. Gives us alot of the same things Brad Miller does now (or at least what he's SUPPOSED to do.... knock down open jump shots and make good passes off the screen and roll).
Don't know too much about him, but I think they should have drafted a player that doesn' play power forward, our deepest position on the team. I only mention Blair because he has a chance to be very good, and he isn't the 26th pick is no great loss. I don't understand drafting someon at your deepest position in hopes that he will one day be mediocre.
The thing about Gibson is that he would be a great pickup in the 30-35 range, he was not a good pick at the Bulls at 26 there were much better players on the board at that point and they didn't even draft for team needs with that pick. Douglas, Budinger, and Ellington would have been better than Gibson ( a poor man's Tyrus Thomas only older and with less upside )
THEY HAVE ENUFF SPARE PARTS TO MAKE A TRADE FOR BOSH OR BOOZER...WITHOUT MIESSING UP THEIR NUCLEUS...AND I THINK JOHNSON WILL SURPRISE ALOT OF FOLKS................
who would chicago trade to utah for boozer. That utah would accept. Deng and tyrus. for boozer? sounds resonable.
but not spare parts. Please dont tell me brad miller.
taj gibson is going to be a really good role playing pf. i liked the pick before it happened and now it has worked out better than imagined. unathletic tyrus thomas please. He has a jumper and tyrus thomas jumper is the worst in basketball
... but I was wrong about Taj Gibson. He made me eat my words about HIM, but that draft still makes me:
MAD AS HELL!!!
Hopefully Gibson will be trade bait. Because, when (not if) the Bulls go out and get a low post scorer there will be very little room for him on the roster. I still would have rather had Blair. I said it now and I'll say it again.
But, and this is the highest compliment I can pay to an NBA role player, Taj Gibson definitely EARNED HIS PAYCHECK!
All of you morons were completely wrong.
I'm mad as hell, and I'M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!
I honestly hope they get FIRED
they should be just gotten rid of.
Let's talk about Blair for a minute. I don't know why he slipped, but I think that everyone would assume it is because of what Jay Bilas said.