2016-2017 NBA Thread

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Avatar image for RicanV
#51 Posted by RicanV (2494 posts) -

I'm not sure how the NBA can fix this but it's apparant that it will be the Warriors and the Cavs in the finals. The dominance is so obvious that it is almost pointless to watch until the Finals.

The Cavs had a 41 point lead at the half on the Celtics home court and in game 2 the Warriors were so dominant most everyone was rested throughout the fourth quarter (did KD even come out past halfway into the third?).

I do think the finals will be a treat though and it will be a battle. Even with the addition of KD I think Cavs still take it.

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#52 Edited by narlymech (1585 posts) -

Playoff games have been barely worth watching, all blowouts. Hopefully the finals has some drama.

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#53 Posted by GameboyTroy (9118 posts) -

The NBA Draft is going on today.

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#54 Posted by PSP107 (17205 posts) -

@GameboyTroy:

lol@ the local Bulls.

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#55 Posted by GameboyTroy (9118 posts) -

@PSP107 said:

@GameboyTroy:

lol@ the local Bulls.

Lol, the Wolves did great. I feel bad for the Bulls.

Avatar image for amillionhp
#56 Edited by amillionhp (632 posts) -

@GameboyTroy:

Uh-huh tell me about it. I was trying to get my son and nephew into the United Center earlier this year to watch a game but it didnt work out. Butler was the only player they recognize.

Watch out for the Timberwolves next season. As i understand it, Butler could potentially solve every issue they have right now.

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#57 Posted by PSP107 (17205 posts) -

@amillionhp: "Butler was the only player they recognize."

How old are they?

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#58 Edited by amillionhp (632 posts) -

@PSP107: 7 and 6.

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#59 Posted by PSP107 (17205 posts) -

@amillionhp: "7 and 6"

Well with those ages that shouldn't be surprising.

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#60 Posted by Sheilaps (3 posts) -

Yes

Avatar image for kod
#61 Posted by KOD (2754 posts) -

@amillionhp said:

@GameboyTroy:

Watch out for the Timberwolves next season. As i understand it, Butler could potentially solve every issue they have right now.

Fools gold.

TWolves IMO have a big problem. They don't have a guy on the floor who brings it all together. Right now it just seems like a bunch of great pieces. Butler as good as he is, is not a floor general or leader. Wiggins and KAT we know are not this. Teague is not this. I don't understand why they didnt shoot for Hill instead of Teague as i think he would have been a better piece to do this.

That said i actually have a prediction for next off season.

Twolves wont make the POs, they will be close, but they wont make it and i kind of think they are going to want to put this on Wiggins because they expect him to be a leader, but hes just not that. Ive watched the guy since high school and he just does not have that in him.

I also think the Rockets are going to be disappointed with this whole CP3+Harden+Dantoni experiment. Its doomed to fail IMO, Dantoni is horrible at running two ball handlers. His system goes from this amazing seven seconds or less super effective offense, to what we saw with the Knicks and the Lakers and this is because of how that system functions and how Dantoni just cannot seem to adjust at all.

So i think we will end up seeing a CP3 for Wiggins trade and both teams solve their problems. Because Wiggins can be a high volume scorer, but hes simply not that number 1 guy or leader. Harden is.

Avatar image for kod
#62 Posted by KOD (2754 posts) -

So... yah.... OKC just added Carmelo Anthony. They are a serious team now, probably the only team that can take out the Warriors.

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#63 Posted by theone86 (22134 posts) -

I don't know Minnesota's situation, but Butler isn't going to solve all their problems. He is stubbornly addicted to iso-ball, and he's not at the same level as Lebron. If you're not Lebron you can't demand the ball on every other possession and expect to win, and that's exactly what Jimmy does. Plus, whenever anything goes wrong he starts calling other people out, not good for team dynamics. That being said, he is an elite defender and a reliable scorer, he could elevate a team with the right coach and surrounding cast. Probably not enough to knock off Lebron, though.

The Bulls are a dumpster fire, the entire front office needs to be sacked. As long as Forman and Paxson are there nothing is going to change.

Good to see Carmello get out of another dumpster fire. Hopefully he can get the title he deserves.

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#64 Posted by Pitbulllova (798 posts) -

lets go Lakers!!!

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#65 Posted by KOD (2754 posts) -

@theone86 said:

I don't know Minnesota's situation, but Butler isn't going to solve all their problems. He is stubbornly addicted to iso-ball, and he's not at the same level as Lebron. If you're not Lebron you can't demand the ball on every other possession and expect to win, and that's exactly what Jimmy does. Plus, whenever anything goes wrong he starts calling other people out, not good for team dynamics. That being said, he is an elite defender and a reliable scorer, he could elevate a team with the right coach and surrounding cast. Probably not enough to knock off Lebron, though.

Butler needs a point guard. They might have been better with Rubio than Teague as Teague is not really a floor general or player manager.

And why they didnt go after Rondo is beyond me. There's no one better in the NBA who could manage that trio.

I dont think Minny will be as good as people think, probably a 9 seed. The biggest flaw is that they have no one leading those guys.... all this talent and no one to bring it together.

@theone86 said:

The Bulls are a dumpster fire, the entire front office needs to be sacked. As long as Forman and Paxson are there nothing is going to change.

I actually don't think they will be as bad as people think.

Lavine is only going to be out the first month or so, and that guys a young Crawford. Dunn showed flashes. The OKC guy though.. the PG... hes overlooked. He was so raw with OKC and had so much talent that as long as he stays healthy i cant see him failing. The center they got from OKC is a badass too. Not saying they are PO material, but not top 4 worst in the east... maybe 5th.

Im calling this too, the Nets are probably going to be out of the playoffs, but will be competing in the final days for that last 8th seed. They look good, ive watched both of their preseason games and the LAL kid really seems to be coming alive for them. Him with Crabbe and Carroll as a guard trio will be significant in the east. Lin and Kilpatrick coming off the bench . They have no real big men to speak of unless you count Mozgov.... which... meh.. maybe he can get back to form.

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#66 Posted by theone86 (22134 posts) -

@kod: I was actually pleasantly surprised by Rondo last year, he was the glue of that team. Not too sad to see him walk as he is older and expensive, but he was a good signing. That being said, he did clash with Jimmy and Wade (and I think he was in the right, for what it's worth), so it could be possible Jimmy didn't want to work with him. Plus he is old and expensive and could disappear without much warning. Any one of those could be the reasons Minnesota didn't sign them.

Lavine does look to have a breakout year. Dunn, so far, is being benched in favor of Jerian Grant, who the Trib's Bulls writer called "a shooting guard in a point guard's body." So basically he doesn't know how to run point, but they're playing him there anyway. If by the OKC guy you mean Cameron Payne then:

https://pippenainteasy.com/2017/09/03/chicago-bulls-dont-think-cameron-payne-can-play-nba/

I'm also not too excited about the Markkanen pick, and I'm still waiting for Bobby Portis and Mirotic to put it all together. One thing you have to understand is that Bulls fans have been hearing the word "potential" thrown around since 98 and we're kinda tired of hearing it.

But my biggest issue with the Bulls isn't the talent on the floor, it's how inept the front office seems. There are reports that there was a better trade offer for Butler, but they bungled it (because why wouldn't they?) I'm not saying they should have kept Butler, I'm mad they didn't get more for him. I'm mad they gave up picks to offload players and select Markkanen. They just never seem to know how to get the best return on their deals, and it gets tiring. Not to mention how last year they were all "we're going to have a youth movement" and then signed Rondo and Wade. Throwing away the future in order to sign big stars who can't get the team to the Finals has become a trademark of this team (see: Carlos Boozer). The team itself should probably play above expectations. They finally started signing young players who can actually play Hoiberg's system. Still, they're going to be bad, they're going to get trounced. Maybe not 76ers levels of bad, but still bad. What really bothers me is that I don't think the front office can parlay that badness into success. I see this team as having the same problem as the Knicks: no end in sight.

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#67 Posted by KOD (2754 posts) -

@theone86 said:

@kod: I was actually pleasantly surprised by Rondo last year, he was the glue of that team. Not too sad to see him walk as he is older and expensive, but he was a good signing. That being said, he did clash with Jimmy and Wade (and I think he was in the right, for what it's worth), so it could be possible Jimmy didn't want to work with him. Plus he is old and expensive and could disappear without much warning. Any one of those could be the reasons Minnesota didn't sign them.

I was totally not surprised by Rondo, hes one of the highest IQ players in the NBA. He simply needs to run a specific system and that was actually what any clashes were about. The issue was not really with Wade and Butler, it was with Fred and his insistence on running a system that didnt benefit Rondo. And to this day it amazes me that teams pick up Rondo, and don't recognize the kind of player he is. The Mavs did this as well. But this situation solved itself when Fred said screw it and told Rondo to do what he does, instead of trying to be more formulaic with options. If he is allowed to do what he does, than he by nature, recognizes who should get the ball, when they should get the ball, what sets to run.... in terms of his IQ on the floor and being a coach on the floor, the only player of recent history i can think of that is similar is Billups.

I wish id know why Minny didnt sign him, but i dont have much faith in Minny right now. They don't seem to recognize their weaknesses.

@theone86 said:

@kod: There are reports that there was a better trade offer for Butler, but they bungled it (because why wouldn't they?) I'm not saying they should have kept Butler, I'm mad they didn't get more for him.

Id be super suspicious of that report and the interpretation. There was no better deal on the table for him, you're not going to get better than one of the best upcoming potential superstar 2's, plus a PG who looks very serviceable and like he could be a starter in the league.

@theone86 said:

@kod: Throwing away the future in order to sign big stars who can't get the team to the Finals has become a trademark of this team (see: Carlos Boozer). The team itself should probably play above expectations.

These were not bad signings and they didnt do a bad job of constructing that team, the problem was Rose and their dedication to him. Boozer specifically was probably one of the best signings the team made. Going back to Rondo...heh... i wanted to see that Chicago team try to get Rondo and Bradley from the Celtics for Rose. Chicago fans never wanted to hear it and for some reason never wanted to pay attention to the sports doctors who wrote articles on the type of injury he had and why its something that would persist.

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#68 Posted by theone86 (22134 posts) -

@kod: Rondo's always going to play above expectations, the issue is you have to get him on the right team if you want to win. The Bulls were not that team, though you're right that he would be a fit in Minnesota. Thinking about it, I'm actually surprised Cleveland didn't try to pick him up. I think he'd get you more value than Wade, but I guess they want to get Isiah Thomas on the floor. Still, he's going to do more off the bench than Derrick Rose. Timing maybe.

I'm not going to back off on Boozer. Was he a good player? Yes. Better than the fans at the time thought? Yes. Better than he gets credit for? Yes. My problem, though, is that he's a very expensive multi-year rental. He eats up a big chunk of your salary, and what does it get you? One round deeper into the playoffs? One spot lower on the draft order? It's extremely disappointing when you're getting your fan base hyped up about big offseason signings and all you end up with is Carlos Boozer. Yes, I know, Miami snagged the three top free agents in the league that year, but it's still disappointing. Besides, we have a consistent problem with getting big names to play here, and signing players like Boozer doesn't help that. Better to not sign him, stock up on young talent, and save the salary. That way you might end up with a decent young player from the draft and you'll have salary to sign free agents who would be excited to play with him (see: Kyrie Irving).

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#69 Edited by KOD (2754 posts) -

@theone86 said:

@kod: Rondo's always going to play above expectations, the issue is you have to get him on the right team if you want to win. The Bulls were not that team, though you're right that he would be a fit in Minnesota. Thinking about it, I'm actually surprised Cleveland didn't try to pick him up. I think he'd get you more value than Wade, but I guess they want to get Isiah Thomas on the floor. Still, he's going to do more off the bench than Derrick Rose. Timing maybe.

But apparently they were right?

They did sign him after they decided to go after Wade. Clearly their plans had changed and not changed due to Rondo, he was an afterthought.

Rondo could not exist in Cleveland. Not with Lebron. If you have Lebron than your offense is "give lebron the ball", and Rondo could not function in that system and bringing him in as a backup who couldnt play with Lebron, wouldnt be using him effectively. He would get pissed and throw a fit and demand to be traded. That said, i dont think Rondo would go on a team with Lebron, i dont think he has much respect for him. Thomas is actually a really good fit there, better than Kyrie IMO, but his health is clearly a problem. Kyries biggest problem was that even after experience, if you took Lebron off the floor, he couldnt lead for shit. I used to call Harden Starbury 2.0, but i was wrong, Kyrie is. Which is also why i question the Celtics.

@theone86 said:

@kod: I'm not going to back off on Boozer. Was he a good player? Yes. Better than the fans at the time thought? Yes. Better than he gets credit for? Yes. My problem, though, is that he's a very expensive multi-year rental. He eats up a big chunk of your salary, and what does it get you? One round deeper into the playoffs? One spot lower on the draft order? It's extremely disappointing when you're getting your fan base hyped up about big offseason signings and all you end up with is Carlos Boozer.

Ive never understood this attitude toward Boozer that Chicago fans have had and you guys always seem to find new ways to degrade him.

First off, a four year contract is not a "rental".

Second off, a 20+/10+ power forward, with four years PO experience in the west + WCFs experience going to the easy east in the prime of his career....... what exactly do you think he should make? Because if its not a max or damn near a max, then i have this whole thing mixed up. He made 14M when the cap was roughly 60 and a (averaged out yearly) absolute max was 20 a year. So.... he got 75% of a max contract and you think thats very expensive for a 20+ 10+ power forward in his prime with western conference finals experience (during a time when the west was leaving 50 win teams out of the playoffs)? Are you kidding me?

This one always gets to me. Im not a Jazz fan or Boozer dick rider, but you guys are just absurd and ridiculous when it comes to how you evaluate and treated him. "all we ended up with was a guy more skilled and with more experience than anyone else on our team! oh no!".

Im going to go on a bit of a rant here about Rose and Chicago because this reminds me of his "MVP" year and how disgusted i was with Chicago fans and i was a big fan of the baby bulls.

When he won that award all we heard from Chicago fans as to why he deserved it over LBJ or KD (who was the real MVP. Won four games less, had better numbers and took his team from 25 wins to 51 in the fuckin west, which is unheard of) was that if you took Rose off that team, they would be a lottery team. That's how much the supporting cast around Rose sucked. Which this told me everything i needed to know about the mass of Chicago fans and how much they actually know about basketball or what they put value in. Anyone who knows basketball knows what a bullshit idea that was. How ignorant it was to say that Rose was the sole reason as to why Loul Deng, Noah, Boozer, Taj, Ripp (at the time), were not at home watching the playoffs every year and instead in it. I kept telling every Chicago person i heard this from, theyre full of shit, they dont know anything and chicago needs to trade Rose because all the big sports doctors said he would never be fully healthy again. But no one cared, no one wanted to hear it because in their mind he was a superstar and all these other guys, these super important pieces to a contending team, were nothing. You guys degraded them (to my disgust even Loul Deng, who you guys should have had so much pride in and begged him to retire a Bull) every chance that came about simply because they were not of this superstar status....

....then came two years in a row without Rose. Or without him the majority of the time. And this team that yall shit on over and over and over, that yall degraded for no good reason, not only made the playoffs twice, but made the second round without the only guy they seemed to value. I was kind of hoping at that point yall would have a new appreciation of Deng, Boozer, Noah, Taj, Nate, etc. but apparently not. Every single one of those players was worth their contract and every single one of them was worth having on the team, the only one who was not was Rose, who should have been ditched the second doctors started explaining how bad his tear actually was and when they started mentioning the players with the same specific tear.

This is where Chicago fucked it all up. They decided to do a half rebuild, to target Rose in the draft and allowed Ben Gordon to walk. If you have a team like the Baby Bulls, you add and make them contenders. You don't remove vital pieces.

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#70 Edited by theone86 (22134 posts) -

@kod: Yeah, you're right about Rondo. Skill-wise it seems he's a much better fit than Wade, but of course Lebron gets along with Wade and not Rondo. And I meant Rondo in a bench role, not displacing Thomas. He's definitely an upgrade over Rose.

The Celtics were probably looking at Kyrie's performance in the last two Finals and thinking "Oh, hell yes." I don't have cable so I don't watch a lot of non-Bulls games, but I don't know that I've seen Thomas take control of games exactly the way Kyrie has. I remember one game a year or two ago where he was insanely dominant, but Kyrie's made it his calling card. Either way, they both crazy good, I don't think either team will regret the trade unless one of them gets injured. But yeah, it's sink or swim time for Kyrie as far as being the guy.

Here's the problem with Boozer, he is THE guy you signed. In the four years he was on the team we didn't have money to sign a big name free agent, and no one was lining up to play with Boozer the way they would have with Lebron or Bosh. He's not going to lead your team for years, he's going to be a very good player for a few years, that's why I say he was a long term rental. They were never going to come out of that contract saying "oh my god, you turned this team around, you need an extension!"

I'm not saying Boozer was overpaid or that he wasn't good, I'm saying he was a bad fit for the team and a bad signing. And more skilled than anyone else? Come on. Noah in his prime was twice as good as Boozer. I'd take Taj, Deng, or Noah over Boozer any day of the week. Plus Taj was riding the bench, and every time he came off it and Boozer went out our unit numbers went up. Taj was more effective in the same role, he was younger, and he costed less. And like I said, Boozer helped them win more games, but what good does that do? He disappeared in the playoffs, and even if he hadn't would he have gotten them a title? Better to get a higher draft pick and hopefully a better player.

And you're right that they should have added veterans, but they didn't. They signed Boozer, and then every time there was a free agent we might be able to sign they were like "grumble, grumble, luxury tax, grumble grumble." If Boozer's contract was putting them too close to the luxury tax, and it was even hurting us the year after we let him go, then it's a net loss for the team. Adding veterans means more than just one, and they kept telling us that Boozer prevented them from adding more. I know that you can't always control which free agents are interested in Chicago, but we really could have used at least one more big signing, or failing that a better player than Boozer. My beef is that we needed a player or players to put us over the top, and Boozer wasn't that player.

Now in hindsight you can say that Rose's contract was a bigger drag, but they looked at him and saw potential (oooh, that word again, potential). But you also have to consider what it does to their chances of signing a free agent. Was anyone lining up to play with Boozer? No, but there were (reportedly) a lot of players willing to play with Rose. I'll take Rose over Boozer if it gets Carmello to join the team.

And, BTW, there were a lot of Chicago fans who were saying the same things about Rose. But, come on, a hometown boy winning MVP? You can't blame fans for being swept up by him. You can blame execs, not fans.

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#71 Edited by KOD (2754 posts) -

@theone86 said:

@kod: Here's the problem with Boozer, he is THE guy you signed. In the four years he was on the team we didn't have money to sign a big name free agent, and no one was lining up to play with Boozer the way they would have with Lebron or Bosh. He's not going to lead your team for years, he's going to be a very good player for a few years, that's why I say he was a long term rental. They were never going to come out of that contract saying "oh my god, you turned this team around, you need an extension!"

Yes, but that does not say anything about Boozer. All that speaks on is your expectations of who you were going to sign. It does not change Boozers contributions or value to a contending team. You're degrading the value of a extremely good basketball player who you could at a great value, all because he was not Lebron or Bosh? Which btw you cant build a team around Bosh either and i highly doubt Bosh would have been more valuable on that roster than Boozer.

@theone86 said:

@kod: I'm not saying Boozer was overpaid or that he wasn't good, I'm saying he was a bad fit for the team and a bad signing. And more skilled than anyone else? Come on. Noah in his prime was twice as good as Boozer. I'd take Taj, Deng, or Noah over Boozer any day of the week. Plus Taj was riding the bench, and every time he came off it and Boozer went out our unit numbers went up. Taj was more effective in the same role, he was younger, and he costed less. And like I said, Boozer helped them win more games, but what good does that do? He disappeared in the playoffs, and even if he hadn't would he have gotten them a title? Better to get a higher draft pick and hopefully a better player.

It was an absolute perfect fit.

No one else in the east had a trio of big men or could deal with Chicago's. That was actually a great move by management, bringing in Boozer, created a special match up situation for the Bulls. The problems came in when Rose could not stay healthy and they let Ben go. Because as great as those big men are, and as well as Nate and that rockets guy, did for the Bulls, they still needed more from their guards. They needed healthy guards.

Taj is an energy guy. He's a guy you throw in for 20 minutes and is super effective. Kanter is the same way right? He's a guy you throw in for a short period who can score and defend, but at a certain point you're not getting a return on him, hes not holding that value. Kanter will come in for 12 minutes and put up 16 points and 7 rebounds, but if you keep him in for 30, he might end up with 18 points 8 rebounds. Taj is the same way, and even the same way on defense, he tends to peter out. I was super happy when we got him last year, ive always been a Taj fan and honestly, i wanted him to retire with us sadly he didnt really function too well in Donovan's system. Which is a shame. Anyway, the point was that if you have an energy guy like Taj, youre either going to want two more energy guys or a full time starter. IMO its better to go with a full time starter like Boozer, because its far more reliable.

"He disappeared in the playoffs, and even if he hadn't would he have gotten them a title? Better to get a higher draft pick and hopefully a better player."

And be in this perpetual half rebuild? That's kind of why they continue to get themselves sin these situations.

He didnt disappear in the playoffs, he simply is not the ball handling guy to take over. No PF should be and the one's who are, are complete abnormalities.

Had they traded Rose, and i suspect they very easily could have gotten Rondo and Avery Bradley for him, they could have won a title with that line up. It would have been a short window when they could it, but they could have.

@theone86 said:

@kod: And you're right that they should have added veterans, but they didn't. They signed Boozer, and then every time there was a free agent we might be able to sign they were like "grumble, grumble, luxury tax, grumble grumble." If Boozer's contract was putting them too close to the luxury tax, and it was even hurting us the year after we let him go, then it's a net loss for the team. Adding veterans means more than just one, and they kept telling us that Boozer prevented them from adding more. I know that you can't always control which free agents are interested in Chicago, but we really could have used at least one more big signing, or failing that a better player than Boozer.

I think at this point in NBA history everyone knew that they had to hit the lux and go over if they were going to contend. So at that point, you go for it. Its not like this was the Nets of four years ago or whenever that whole thing happened. This was a Bulls team that without the "MVP" made the second round of the Playoffs two years in a row. This is when you spend that money, its when you make that hard trade of Rose, its when you go in all in.

"My beef is that we needed a player or players to put us over the top, and Boozer wasn't that player."

Which is your problem, not Boozers problem... theres nothing wrong with Boozer in this equation.

But they did have this and they fucked it all up. i don't know how much you remember about Ben Gordon but at the time, something about that Bulls team, made him one of the best SGs in the game. He was right there, nipping at Kobe's heels and the Bulls let him go and if i remember correctly, they didnt even offer him a contract. And they still would have had Rose. So even if injured, they would have had one of the best SGs in the game on the floor.

@theone86 said:

@kod: Now in hindsight you can say that Rose's contract was a bigger drag, but they looked at him and saw potential (oooh, that word again, potential). But you also have to consider what it does to their chances of signing a free agent.

At the time of his first injury, it was before his contract extension and one of my closest friends who i watch NBA with all day long, was living with a guy from Chicago and was a huge Bulls fan. We were all watching it when he got injured and i remember a couple days later i brought in two articles, one of them was in SI and the other i printed from a website. But it was two different sports doctors explaining how bad his knee injury was and how its a specific type of injury that we've only seen with a handful of players and both of these doctors started mentioning the players who had this injury........ Greg Oden..... Antonio McDyess..... Hardaway.... King.... just these long lists of players who had this very specific tear that Rose had, and none of them ever got back to form.

It sucks to throw a guy away like that, but you didnt need hindsight to know to not resign him or that they should have traded him.

@theone86 said:

@kod: Was anyone lining up to play with Boozer? No, but there were (reportedly) a lot of players willing to play with Rose. I'll take Rose over Boozer if it gets Carmello to join the team.

Id be willing to bet my left nut that over half the league would have loved to play with Boozer in his prime. We know for a fact Kobe said he did, DWill in his prime loved playing with him and im betting Stockton would have loved it too.

BTW, he was old enough then to where that stuff would not have come up. That was really the beginning of the social media "lets all play together" thing and Boozer was already a grown man simply doing the best at his job.

@theone86 said:

@kod: And, BTW, there were a lot of Chicago fans who were saying the same things about Rose. But, come on, a hometown boy winning MVP? You can't blame fans for being swept up by him. You can blame execs, not fans.

If someone is degrading other players and pretending to evaluate a team, yes, ill blame them as well.

And of all the people i knew from Chicago or where Chicago fans, only one agree'd that this narrative, that even ESPN was running wild with, was nonsense.

OKC trio makes their debut.

What im more impressed with is Felton looks like 2010 Felton.

Loading Video...

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#72 Posted by theone86 (22134 posts) -

@kod: I think you think I'm a lot more down on Boozer than I actually am. I'm not diminishing him as a player, I said he was a great player. I never said he was overpaid, I never said he sucked. I said he was a bad fit for that team for multiple reasons, primarily his contract. You just don't get enough out of him to justify eating up that much salary. Does that mean he isn't worth that much? No, on another team he definitely would have been. On a team with more pieces, or that had a bigger star, sure, but he just wasn't a game-changer on the Bulls AND, at least according to the front office, he prevented us from getting a game-changer.

Now, the luxury tax thing, sure, it's at least possible that the front office was blowing smoke up our butts to distract us from the fact that they couldn't get a big name free agent to come here other than Boozer (although the owner is pretty famous for not wanting to go over the tax). Still, I think I started out mostly criticizing the front office (not Boozer) specifically for not getting anyone other than Boozer, so that just adds to my list of evidence in the column of "these guys don't know how to put a winner together and they still have their jobs despite the roster turning over and coaches getting fired multiple times in their tenure."

Chicago mostly had two big men on their roster, Boozer and Noah, unless you count Taj, who was almost never on the floor at the same time as Boozer. Gibson left the season before Boozer signed, and he turned down Chicago's first extension offer because he thought he could get more money. No one gave him that money, he signed a one year deal, and then he left the next year in free agency. And he was never as good as Kobe, not by a longshot. He had like one 42 point game in the playoffs. If he were that good he wouldn't have bounced around as much as he did. He's a really good three point shooter who had a damn good average in his prime. Plus we had Luol Deng, so I don't know how much better we would have been if we had kept Gordon. And, again, the excuse the front office kept giving for why we let Ben go was "we need the cap room to sign Boozer," so if we accept their logic, Boozer is the reason we didn't have another scoring threat.

They did not go as deep in the playoffs as they did because of Boozer, they went as deep as they did because Noah, Deng, and Gibson played their asses off. Noah would literally take over games, he was a center playing point guard. Deng was a three point sharpshooter, and he would guard players like Lebron. And Gibson was more than an energy guy, he was an effective mid-range shooter who defended at an elite level and raised the play of everyone around him. Like I said, our unit numbers went up when he was on the floor, they plummeted when Boozer was. Part of that is because Boozer couldn't guard for crap, and part of that is because Taj actually knew how to dish the ball. Boozer absolutely did disappear in the playoffs, and when he did it was usually something that happened because he kept taking hard shots rather than passing. He can have all the nice stats he pleases, I'd still take Taj over him because we were a better team when Taj was playing.

I'm really not saying they absolutely should have kept Rose. I specifically said that execs shouldn't get swept up by hometown hype. Still, if it would've gotten us a big star like Carmello, I'd take Rose over Boozer any day of the week. Fact is Boozer was not in his prime when he was on the Bulls and no one was lining up to play with him. That's not really a knock against Boozer. Like I said, part of the reason Chicago fans hate him is because we keep getting sold these past their prime players as being the piece that is going to put us over the edge, and then getting told they couldn't get the piece that was actually going to put us over the edge because they signed that past their prime player. Ben Wallace, Rip Hamilton, Dwayne Wade, Boozer, at this point it's like an annual tradition for the Bulls to sign someone they missed out on the first time around. Wade is a perfect example. He was an amazing player in his prime, he was not a fit for the Bulls when we signed him. Does that mean he's a bad player? No, it means the Bulls need to stop handing out contracts to older players who aren't going to put them over the top.