Bulls still hunting for that elusive “final piece”

The Bulls currently have 11 players on the roster. They’re still searching for player number 12.

Sorry, T-Mac.

According to ESPNChicago’s Nick Friedell: “The Chicago Bulls have expressed an interest in free agent guard Eddie House, according to House’s agent Mark Bartelstein. The Bulls also have talked to representatives of Keith Bogans and Roger Mason, according to a person familiar with the situation. Disgruntled Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Rudy Fernandez could also be in the mix for the Bulls, according to a report in the Oregonian. The Bulls, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics are in the running to acquire the 25-year-old Fernandez, who is unhappy with limited playing time in Portland, according to the report.”

My gut reaction is to scream “Get Rudy! Get Rudy!” That kid is a firecracker and a game-changer.

But…he shot 37 percent from the field last season while compiling a pretty “meh” Player Efficiency Rating of 13.1. His Per 36 Minute numbers (12.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 3.2 APG) aren’t all that exciting either. And he’s already grumbling about his playing time in Portland? I don’t know. As much as I love Rudy’s potential, those are red flags to me.

Still, I can’t deny the allure. I should probably me more worried about the things I just mentioned, but if we could get Fernandez on the cheap or by only giving up, say, James Johnson, I would probably do the dance of joy.

As for Eddie House, I love his shooting ability (almost 40 percent on threes for his career) while hating his size (6’1″ on a really tall day) and lack of handles. Still, he has championship experience and played for Tom Thibodeau.

Roger Mason shot 42 percent on threes in 2008-09 and a shade under 40 the season before that (although, gulp, only 33 percent last season). Plus, he was a Spur, which raises his stock in my book. However, he’s going to be 30 on September 10, so he’s not exactly part of the Bulls’ youth movement.

Keith Bogans? If there are no other choices, I guess.

Not sure why I’m not seeing Shannon Brown’s name in Chicago’s short list. That’s kind of disappointing, actually. I know he’s streaky, but he’s athletic as all get out and has loads of potential. And he always seemed hungry and ready to prove himself with the Lakers last season.

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90 Responses to Bulls still hunting for that elusive “final piece”

  1. airbulls21@gmail.com'
    Matt Steigenga July 30, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    Its Mr. Steigenga again. My friend and I are driving up to Deerfield, IL this saturday. We are thinking of stopping by the Berto Center. Do the Bulls let people visit and tour the practice facility? If anyone has any information please tell me right away so we know. We would like to get a picture taken next to the Championship Trophy.

  2. mrgar87@live.com'
    bill thomas July 30, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    Damn! Eddie House just sign with the Miami Heat for a 2 year deal contract! So that leaves us with: Earl Watson, Jamaal Tinsley or Rafer Alston to backup that 3rd PG spot behind Rose and Watson. The reason why I want these guys is because they are veteran PG players that might come in handy in the playoffs.

    Hopefully the Bulls can pull off that trade move for Rudy Fernandez by giving up J.J and the Bulls future 1st round draft picks from Charlotte.

    Let’s face it people we all know James Johnson is still going to need some time to develop his game and we can’t wait that long for him to get better! Plus Rudy Fernandez is the best SG player the Bulls can get over Keith Bogans, Roger Mason or any other experience Guard.

    Starters:
    PG: D. Rose
    SG: R. Brewer
    SF: L. Deng
    PF: C. Boozer
    C: J. Noah
    Bench:
    PG: C.J. Watson
    SG: R. Fernandez
    SF: K. Korver
    PF: Taj Gibson
    C: O. Asik
    Backup Players:
    G: R. Alston (healthy strong player)
    SG-F: J. Graham (toughness and a high percent shooter)
    PF-C: K. Thomas

    IF we make these moves we will have one of best rosters in the NBA!

    GO BULLS!!!

  3. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob July 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    Gibson will be the primary back up at both forward positions. We will still need at least one more forward who can put in substancial time on the court. I believe that James Johnson is still a project and may not be in the Bulls future if he doesn’t show significant improvement this season (based on his summer league performance that is unlikely to happen). With Rose, Brewer, Korver and CJ Watson the Bulls need 5th guard and I do not see Fernandez willing to fill that role. Rudy has a problem with playing time in Portland, He probably will have a problem with playing time in Chicago. That is a cancer waiting to happen. I would really like the Bulls to take a look at James Singleton, Louis Amundson or Josh Boone.

  4. ryanjhiggins@hotmail.com'
    Ryan July 30, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    What about Shaq? I don’t think he has a team yet

  5. steelkl@hotmail.com'
    AirPrentice23 July 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    MARK MY WORDS, if Shannon Brown goes ANYWHERE outside of the Lakers he is going to be an incredible player. His dunking ability, to his detriment is actually overshadowing his other talents… he CAN shoot. Look at his stats compared to everyone else the bulls are considering…

    Shannon Brown – 42% FG … 33% 3PT … 81% FT – 24 years old
    Tracy McGrady - 39% FG … 24% 3PT … 75% FT – 31 years old
    Roger Mason - 39% FG … 33% 3PT … 79% FT – 29 years old
    Keith Bogans - 40% FG … 36% 3PT … 74% FT – 30 years old
    Flip Murray - 40% FG … 30% 3PT … 76% FT – 31 years old
    Rudy Fernandez- 38% FG … 39% 3PT … 87% FT – 25 years old

    The ONLY person that has better offensive percentages is Rudy Fernandez, and that’s not happening. You would see more of Shannon Brown if he diddn’t play behind the best guard in the league (Kobe).

    I’m so disappointed the bulls aren’t going at Shannon Brown hard. The guy is 25 years old, this is a great short term and long term investment. He plays good D right now, but TIB can make him better… and imagine derrick and brown running the fast break in the open court. BEAUTIFUL…

    I mean the bulls are all about shooters right now… but what if rose gets injured, u need a guy that can take it to hole at will. Shannon Brown is that guy, and he has a good jump shot too.

    Lets get it done before he signs w/ the knicks or lakers

  6. TREYDOG July 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    If there are no more significant transactions besides signing a couple of bit players, the following shooting gaurds may become available come the trading deadline.

    Andre Igoudala, Philadelphia
    Richard Hamilton, Detroit
    O.J. Mayo, Memphis
    Jason Richardson, Phoenix

    O.J. Mayo is an interesting scenario, with new additions Xavier Henry and Tony Allen and a team built around Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph, Memphis might not think that Mayo is in their long term future; especially after re-signing Gay for 82 mil over 5 yrs. IMO, Mayo would be the ideal multi-talented shooting gaurd with range that the Bulls are looking for to play alongside D. Rose. Thoughts?

  7. contrerasadvocates@yahoo.com'
    Savage July 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    BoppinBob, I agree with your last sentence all those guys minus Boone could help us. However, Gibson is not a primary back up for the SF position I don’t know where people are getting this idea. He is not and never will be a SF. I do not think Rudy would be a “caner” at all. Portland has Roy and now Mathews he would be the 3rd SG off the bench. I think any decent player would have issue with that. On the Bulls he would get plenty of minutes. Brewer and Rudy would be our 2 SGs and I think he would see plenty of floor time especially since he can hit the 3. Korver would back up Deng. Not sure it would happen but if it did Rudy would be a HUGE help not only with his play making ability but his 3 point shooting would be a breath of fresh air for us.

  8. contrerasadvocates@yahoo.com'
    Savage July 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    Our Primary Line up would be as follows:
    PG: Rose, Watson
    SG: Brewer, Fernandez
    SF: Deng, Korver
    PF: Boozer, Gibson, Thomas
    C: Noah, Thomas, Asik

    Now that is a young team that has some potential to make a lot of noise for years to come!!

  9. jake_vick@hotmail.com'
    Jake in Minnie July 30, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    It might be possible to add Jerry Stackhouse. He is unrestricted, a SG/SF who could definitely provide that veteran leadership.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=802

  10. bobbysimmons July 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    JAMES JOHNSON will be friggin awesome, don’t give up on him yet! He has the body of Marcus Fizer, the range of Ron Mercer, and the work ethic of Eddy Curry. Can’t go wrong!

  11. Rudedollarsnyc@aol.com'
    Beezo July 30, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    What about bringing back andres nocionii in a trade? I’m just saying

  12. Anonymous July 30, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    jdj

  13. felipeagarcia87@hotmail.com'
    Dj July 30, 2010 at 11:54 pm #

    @ Jake in Minnie,

    Jerry Stackhouse said if he ever comes back playing in the NBA he wants to play only for Miami.

    @ Boppinbob,

    Taj Gibson for the last time he is not a SF! He is a PF-C player. He is not that quick enough to play the SF position against Lebron, Carmelo and other fast players in the NBA. So basically we really don’t need to add another big guy period! What the Bulls really need right now is another PG in case Rose or Watson get hurt and we also need a SG-F that can play both positions to finish up our 13 man roster.

    I agree with Bill and Savage, the Bulls need more veteran players on their team. So far if Portland is not will to give up Rudy Fernandez, we mate as well test our luck with T-Mac to a 1 year non guarantee contract and sign Rafer Alston to a 1 year deal as well since he is a true backup PG and he is another effective 3 point shooter.

  14. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob July 31, 2010 at 12:34 am #

    DJ, I guarantee you that you will see a line-up on the floor this coming season that will be Rose/Watson, Korver, Gibson, Boozer and Noah. What position would Gibson be playing then? I do not see JJ or Asik making a major contribution this year unless some miracle happens. I firmly believe that the Bulls need another guard, that can play the 1 and 2, and another big that can play the 4 and 5. Korver was brought in as a SG who could also play some SF. But time will tell.

  15. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob July 31, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    The Bulls have veteran leadershi from winning organizations Boozer (8 yrs), Korver (7 yrs), Thomas (15 yrs with both good and bad organizations). Remember there will be a guard sitting at the end of the bench with Asik and JJ.

  16. pc_eclipse@yahoo.com'
    Savage July 31, 2010 at 3:11 am #

    I’m sorry but we will not see Gibson at SF that is not very likely at all. Some people can switch positions but Gibson is not quick enough and very young. The Bulls want to get him used to PF position. What did you see last year that made you think they would use Gibson as a SF? The only position I saw him play is PF. I guess we will have to agree to disagree until we see at the start of the season. I just don’t see it happening.

  17. airbulls21@gmail.com'
    Matt Steigenga July 31, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    YEs what is this about Taj at SF, LOL. If he is at SF then we are screwed.

  18. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath July 31, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    I am okay with JJ going in a trade, but I agree that he still has a chance to have impact off the bench. We expected more polish from him in the Summer League and he did not deliver. It is a long season, though. I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to say that among the Bulls wins in the first half of the season to come, we can expect some large margin wins. He should get some good rotations, will get to finish some games … and I think he and CJ will get along realllly well. Not to mention, you can pencil him in for some good posterizations. Just a little tweaking on getting to the basket and he could really do damage. Whoever is on the floor with Korver will get an extra half-step and that will mean a lot for JJ. With a little luck, he can step in to the inevitable nickname, “Dynomite!”

  19. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob July 31, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    Savage, what I saw last year was a total lack of options at PF, and the failure of James Johnson to live up to expectations. Now the Bulls have an option at PF and will need the energy that Taj brings to the floor especially when Korver is at SG, Taj presents the option of driving the lane that JJ rarely did. I still hope that Johnson will develop but I think he needs to spend time in the D-league for more playing time. Both Korver and Gibson will spend time at SF depending on the situation and the opposition. With Johnson and Asik being projects tat need a lot of development the Bulls will again be thin on the front line and should add some depth there. I would like to see the Bulls sign T-Mac to a non-guaranteed contract with incentives, making it clear that he will be released if there are any kind of complaints about PT.

  20. pking1384@yahoo.com'
    Pat July 31, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Please sign T-Mac. #1 Yea he’s not the same player, but he’s not really THAT old. #2 He’s never played with a great PG, and why do people think it’s bad that he is “striding” to start? Has any one of you ever competed in your life? #3 Most importantly, think about the last minute of games. I would love to see Rose, TMac, Korver, Boozer, and Noah on the floor to finish out close games.

  21. turk3665@yahoo.com'
    Jack Dunkulous July 31, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    Taj will not be playing SF…..even when Korver is at SG. JJ will be in the game and his will cover the bigger threat on the floor at the 2 or the 3. If Taj is playing the SF for our second team who will be the PF? Taj never played it last year and he will not be this year. He might play center some if the Bulls go small with Boozer and Deng in the game, but not SF

    The Bulls will pick up at least 2 more players. One of them will be Bogans, Mason, or possibly Rudy. They will probably then sign Lucas since he is a true point in case Rose get injured. Lucas has a great pick/roll game and fit well with Boozer. I think Richard will be back on the bench as well….or mayber Alexander if he can get healthy.

    Outside of Asik…I think every player can play at least 2 positions (Taj is a PF/C) which will enable the Bulls to have a lot of flexibility. Mason & Bogans are SG that can both put in some minutes at SF and PG if necessary. So if not Rudy one of these guys will be signed.

  22. felipeagarcia87@hotmail.com'
    Dj July 31, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    I totally agree with most of you people about Taj Gibson role.

    Sorry Boppinbob like I keep saying thousand times Taj Gibson is not going to play the SF position! He will rotate but, that is about it.

    Remember, the Bulls are not done with their shopping for players yet! and I think they are go to finish up their 13 man roster with a PG and SG-SF.

    Me personally, like I said before we really don’t need to add another big guys since we have: PF-C: Taj Gibson, PF: Carlos Boozer, PF- C: J. Noah PF-C: O. Asik, PF-C: Kurt Thomas, SF-PF: L. Deng and SF-PF: James Johnson. That being said, why should we add another big guys? I don’t see the point!

    Trust me Boppinbob O. Asik will start out slow this season but, during the middle of the season he will help the Bulls out big time with his defense and inside scoring.

    As for James Johnson, he will also improve his game this season, just give him some time. Remember he is now in his 2nd year this season playing in the NBA. So he understand what he need to do to improve his game. The positive thing about J.J this season is that I see him improving a lot more on his defense and scoring.

  23. TREYDOG August 1, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    It seems Taj Gibson for Rudy Fernandez is gaining more steam.

    Trade Update from 7/31/10:

    There are rumors that the Bulls could trade Taj Gibson to the Trail Blazers for Rudy Fernandez.

    “From what I’ve heard it’s in Portland’s hands now for what they want,” writes Sam Smith for Bulls.com. “I’ve heard the Bulls have a pretty good shot, but nothing matters until it’s done.” Rudy would be a nice fit in Chicago’s second unit, where he could get the larger role he has been pining for.

  24. TREYDOG August 1, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    SOME FORWARDS/CENTERS STILL AVAILABLE ON FA MARKET:

    LOUIS AMUNDSON
    KWAME BROWN
    JOSH BOONE
    CHRIS RICHARD
    SHAQ O’NEAL

  25. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob August 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    @ DJ, you mentioned JJ as a SF & PF. Every thing I have heard from Sam Smith and Nick Friedell is that the Bulls are considering converting JJ to a SG. Please do not call Deng a PF, he is strickly a SF, while he has the size of a PF, he does not have the mentality. He is a finesse player not a power player. That is not a put down, it is just a description.

    As far as Asik is concerned, please look at the film on him and then tell me that he will be a significant contributor this season. He does not have the strength or stamina to compete with the big boys in the NBA. He can’t handle the guards in Europe. He needs time with strength and conditioning coaches and practice time competing against Noah, Boozer, Thomas and Gibson. He will be very effective in the future if he works hard.

    We will have to agree to disagree about how much time Gibson spends on the floor with both Noah and Boozer. I believe you will see a lot of that lineup, depending on the opponent (Rose/Watson, Boozer, Noah, Gibson and Korver). I believe you may be underestimating his athletic ability. Besides 90% of defense is positioning, and the Bulls have one of the better defensive coaches in the league now. He could also spend some time at center, especially if we do not add another “big”. Can’t wait for the season to begin.

  26. felipeagarcia87@hotmail.com'
    Dj August 1, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    @ Boppinbob,

    Last time I heard from the Bulls organization is that they are still not sure what position they want to give James Johnson, just like last year!

    That is why they are willing to trading him even more then Taj Gibson right now since they don’t know what to do with him.

    At least for sure they are planning to use Taj Gibson as a backup role player behind Boozer in case he gets hurt again like very year. (if they don’t trade him away of course!) And trust me, they will use a line up of: PG: Rose, SG: Watson, SF: Korver, PF: Boozer and C: Gibson for quickness and strength.

    As for Deng, I am fully aware that he is a SF but, it is not the 1st time the Bulls use him as a PF before, did you not see some of the game last year were he played the power forward position? I guess not. So did James Johnson but, he mostly played the SF position.

    And I did looking at Asik videos before and I am still not that worry about him. We will be just fine with him being a 2nd or 3rd Center player behind Noah and Thomas. Remember, he is a very quick learner and their is a reason why the Bulls decided to bring him this summer. They feel he will become very productive player once the season gets started away. Just have some faith in him, just like I did with Taj Gibson, when mostly everybody thought he was going to become a project player and I thought he was going to become a very good productive player and I guess what I was right about him but, I was wrong about J.J. lol

  27. felipeagarcia87@hotmail.com'
    Dj August 1, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    every year*

  28. anonymous August 1, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine Lol, this made me laugh. Can’t hurt to dream can it?

  29. anonymous1 August 1, 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    Why aren’t they going full force to try getting Carmelo Anthony? Trade Deng, Gibson, JJ, and picks and he’d fit perfectly.

  30. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob August 1, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    @ DJ, I am not worried about Asik learning, he has shown substantial skills already. I am worried about his strength and endurance. I believe the Bulls are looking at the future with Asik, and brought him in this year to begin building his strength and stamina. I will be surprized if he plays more than 5-8 mpg this coming season.

    Gibson will play all three front line positions, I believe he may be the Bulls sixth man. Johnson has always been considered the player with the bigger upside, and was always considered a project by most analysts. Gibson was thought to be more NBA ready but a reach for the first round.

  31. gorditadog@aol.com'
    Gorditadog August 2, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    TREYDOG-

    While it would be nice to bring in a high-priced SG- Iggy would be great on the Bulls!- we do not have the ability to add salary because of the salary cap. We can only take on 125% of the salary we give up in trade. The only way to bring in a high-priced player is to trade Luol for him, and I don’t see that happening.

  32. sportytomboy1212@aim.com'
    max power August 2, 2010 at 12:39 am #

    @ Boppinbob

    We will just have to wait and see who is right about O. Asik when the season starts again. I think he will play 10-15 minutes and become a productive player. As for Taj Gibson I see him playing only the PF and C spot behind Noah and Boozer.

    As for J.J, hopefully the Bulls can trade him away with our 1st round draft pick for Rudy Fernandez. Then we should sign a guy with versatility playing the Guard and Forward position like: Joey Graham with another backup PG like: Rafer Alston or John Lucas III to finish up our 13 man roster.

    And if by any chance we are still weak at the PF and C position we should just sign Chris Richard again to a 1 year deal. (their happy? lol)

  33. sportytomboy1212@aim.com'
    max power August 2, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    I am sorry Boppinbob not to be picking on you but, I also believe O. Asik as potential to become a good player like DJ and people mention already.

  34. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob August 2, 2010 at 5:10 am #

    Max power, no need to be sorry, opinions are like a grain of sand there are billions of them. Having different opinions is what makes the world go round. By watching the film anyone can see that Asik has talent. He will help the Bulls, I am just not sure when. He needs to add strength and stamina to cut it in the NBA, that will take time. Hopefully the Bulls will bring in Bill Cartwright to work with him.

  35. wannafanta365@aim.com'
    Bam! August 2, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    For those of you unsure what positions certain Bulls players will be next season, check this link out. It’s ESPN’s depth chart for Chicago.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/teams/depth?team=chi

    According to this, Korver will be a starting SG with Brewer backing him up. Kurt Thomas will backup Noah at C and Asik will backup Noah.Taj will play backup PF behind Boozer. Watson will play backup PG and James Johnson will play SF behind Deng (unless he gets traded).

  36. gorditadog@aol.com'
    Gorditadog August 2, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Bam!-

    I am not sure who puts those depth charts together at ESPN, but I can’t see Korver starting at SG for Thibodeau. Neither Korver or Deng can guard at the two position, and Thibodeau is known as a defense-first coach. The depth chart does show that we are very thin at the guard position- we need to add another SG for sure, and probably another PG too.

    I think we end up signing Byars or Lucas, or both, from the Summer League, depending if we work out a deal for Fernandez, Brown or McGrady.

  37. David August 4, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Why not sign Jamaal Tatum? Jamaal Tatum is a shooter, and is quick. He plays great defense. Check out his game on you tube. He was drafted a pick ahead of C.J. Watson in the NBA D-League Draft. He had some double-double and high scoring games in the D-League. Played in Europe for while. He is a great player.

  38. rossana-AHA@hotmail.com'
    andres Lopez August 4, 2010 at 6:27 am #

    @ Gorditadog

    Brown is not on the Bulls list for potential SG, he is to small and he was once a Bulls member here in Chicago and it did not work out for some reason. As for Rudy Fernandez I hope we can get him over T-Mac. If not o0o well we should just get T-Mac and give him his 1 year contract already. lol and finish off with getting John Lucas III as a 3rd PG behind Rose and Watson.

  39. vitucceri@yahoo.com'
    Vinny August 5, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    The Bulls need another 2. My preference would be someone like Rashad McCants or Gerald Green as free agents. They are athletic and can score, and both have had rough careers so far, so they shouldn’t complain about minutes (key word: shouldn’t). They also need a backup center. Asik is not ready to be getting a lot of minutes, and Taj and Thomas are both under sized to play center for too long. If you can’t get a big man center, what about a power forward like Sean Williams (I know he has character issues but he’s a better backup that Asik) or a rebounding center like Etan Thomas (he’s pure defense)? I think a few small pieces is all we need. We can throw Asik into the D-League and let him get banged around a bit, but until he’s ready, let’s not settle with 6’9″ (they wish) power forwards. Also, I wouldn’t mind trading away James Johnson. He’s not ready for the NBA and the Bulls need to give those minutes to someone who is. If we can’t land another SG/SF in free agency or a trade, we can use him. He has the potential but he just isn’t showing the improvement. I would rather have a more defensive minded backup 3. Korver will come in and shoot lights out but we need someone who can deal with LeBron, Carmelo, Durant, Pierce, Granger, etc. when Deng gets injured again.

  40. Treydog August 5, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Rumor has it Blazers having difficulty moving Rudy Fernandez. Blazers are overvaluing Rudy’s worth. IMO, Taj Gibson for Rudy Fernandez is a lopsided trade in favor of Blazers. You know what your going to get from Taj for years to come where with Rudy although there is alot of potential Rudy might not be interested in playing in the NBA long term and maybe dissatisfied with his role in NBA. Taj will work hard and do what a NBA team wants him to do with no questions asked. I think a first round pick with or without James Johnson is what Rudy is worth.

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