Let me preface this post by making — or, rather, re-making — the following points:
First, the trades that brought these four players to Chicago were not made to improve the team in the long-term. They were made to cut salary for the already legendary Summer of 2010 and the ensuing free agent bonanza.
Second, it’s highly likely that all four of these men will vanish in a puff of smoke the second their contracts expire. So do yourself a favor and don’t get attached to any of them. Nor should you expose them to bright light, get them wet, or ever, for any reason, feed them after midnight. You never know…they could be gremlins.
Warrick has a big wingspan and good speed for a power forward. Unfortunately his body is more Reggie Miller than Karl Malone. Warrick weighs in at a mere 219 pounds. For comparison’s sake, that puts him at one pound less than Devin Brown…who plays guard. And you know what that means: Hakim often gets pushed around in the paint by bigger PFs, which is just about everybody.
Warrick has some decent hops and he’s always a threat to throw down a dunk, but he’s so-so on the boards (7.4 rebounds per 36 minutes) and a poor shot blocker (0.4 per 36 minutes). It might help if he bulked up a little. It’s weird, too, because Warrick is 27 years old, spent a full four years in college, and this is his fifth season in the NBA. Why hasn’t somebody given this guy a map to the weight room?
According to ESPN’s John Hollinger: “Offensively, he loves to set up at the elbows, especially on the right, and either shoot a jumper or make a quick drive and draw a foul. He’ll also post up against smaller players when he gets a switch and can be effective shooting short-range hooks despite a lack of muscle. He can finish under the basket but tends to pick up traveling violations while winding up before he rises for the shot.”
Maybe we should just call him “Expiring Contract #1. Seriously. Alexander is a fantastic athlete who has virtually no chance to make a significant contribution to the Bulls. Or maybe any contribution. Before the Bucks took him with the eighth overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, Alexander was described as the best athlete on paper at the draft.
Joe had the second most number of 185lb bench reps (24), the second highest max touch (12’0.5”) and the second fastest 3/4 sprint time (2.99 seconds). Here’s the “but”: Alexander hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since April 14, 2009. In fact, the Bucks assigned him to the NBDL’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants back on January 20. And he hasn’t exactly been lighting things up in the D-League (10.5 PPG, 40 percent shooting).
I guess we have a new Aaron Gray.
Meet Flip. He’s the man who will probably be stealing some of the minutes Jannero Pargo hasn’t been getting. Or maybe he and Pargo will end up splitting John Salmons’ minutes. It’s hard to say. But…
…here’s what Vinny Del Negro had to say about Pargo after Wednesday night’s win over the Knicks: “J.P.’s kind of been the odd man out all year. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve done a very good job with him. He’s been a total pro. He works in practice. Sometimes matchups have been difficult for him. It’s nice to see him play well.”
Hmm. Sounds like VDN was trying to pump up a player who was recently described as “disgruntled.” Probably because Del Negro already knew about the Salmons trade and therefore also knew he was going to need Pargo now.
As for Murray, well, he’s averaging 9.9 PPG (which is also his career average) while shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from downtown. Oh, and 1.8 APG. Did I mention he’s a guard? Yeah. If the Bulls were building things — large things — out of bricks, they’d have their man. As it is, he’ll be battling Pargo and Brown for PT.
Here are some high and lowlights from Hollinger: “A 6-3 guard with a nose for the basket, Murray sees nothing but the goal when he puts the ball on the floor and sometimes dribbles himself into trouble as a result. However, he usually makes a quick move for a shot, so it’s not as if he’s pounding away the shot clock the way some shoot-first guards do. … Defensively, Murray did a good job against most 2s despite giving up inches, and has the size and quickness to keep a good chunk of the league’s 1s at bay as well. He’s a poor rebounder and fouls a lot but is active in passing lanes and ranked 10th among shooting guards in steals per minute.”
Shall we dub him “Expiring Contract #2”? He’s appeared in only 14 games this season and he’s done it for two different teams (five for the Golden State Warriors and nine for the Charlotte Bobcats). His averages — 3.4 PPG, 25 percent shooting on threes, 0.7 APG in only 7.1 MPG — tell you pretty much everything you need to know.
Huh. Maybe I should call him “Only In A Blowout” instead? If only because I’m pretty sure Darko Milicic owns the rights to Human Victory Cigar. But here’s some random trivia: Law is the great nephew of Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks. And there’s the Windy City connection! Bam!
Anyway, here’s Hollinger’s scouting report: “Law has been more competent on D than on offense. He has good size and moves his feet fairly well. He doesn’t gamble much, he competes and he helps out on the boards, so this part of his game isn’t the problem. … Offensively, he has the size and quickness to get the job done and has been an effective finisher when he can get the step on a defender. Unfortunately, his inability to shoot is submarining his career. Opponents don’t respect his J and lay off him waiting for the drive, and Law often responds by making a hesitant shot fake and then dribbling into traffic hoping for a better outcome.”
I hope his accuracy when handing out Gatorade is better than it is for long-range jumpers.