Bulls trade update: Meet the new guys

A jump shooting power forward? Hes perfect for the Bulls!

A jump shooting power forward? He's perfect for the Bulls!

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.

Hakim Warrick:
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.”

ESPN ProfileBasketball-Reference, Hoopdata, Wikipedia Entry

Joe Alexander:
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.

No, really.

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.

ESPN Profile, Basketball-Reference, Hoopdata, Wikipedia Entry

Ronald Murray:
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.”

Thrilling.

ESPN Profile, Basketball-Reference, Hoopdata, Wikipedia Entry

Acie Law:
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.

ESPN Profile, Basketball-Reference, Hoopdata, Wikipedia Entry

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15 Responses to Bulls trade update: Meet the new guys

  1. detroitmurderdog@gmail.com'
    Detroit Murder Dog February 19, 2010 at 5:24 am #

    I’ve read a few things about Pargo being disgruntled. Who cares?! He sucks! He’s grossly overpaid! Any time he opens his mouth, it should be to thank Jerry for his generous salary. This is a “shooter” who hasn’t shot 40% for his career. Are you kidding me? If he’s upset, he can go back to Europe– good luck getting paid, sucker.

  2. bahrani@uchicago.edu'
    Mahmoud February 19, 2010 at 7:07 am #

    Harsh man…he was a great back up to CP3 in NO. But yeah he definitely hasn’t panned out like we thought he would.

  3. bscholtens@hotmail.com'
    Brad S. February 19, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    I, for one, love the trades. After all the rumors of Kirk being moved or Loul sent elsewhere, …the guys that were problematic are gone and ALL OF THE ONES WHO MATTER ARE STILL HERE! Even my man Brad didn’t get moved.

    I may seem harsh to call John Salmons problematic. I don’t mean to. I genuinely liked the guy, but his underperformance combined with his player option was going to be a problem for next year. For the first time in a long time I can trully say that I LOVE the moves that Gar/Pax did. And the fact that Jalen Rose does not think they were good moves only makes me feel better about it.

  4. bullsbythehorns@gmail.com'
    Matt McHale February 19, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    Brad S. — I have to admit, I’m totally warming up to the moves. Like, especially when I started crunching the salary numbers for next season, I suddenly realized how important it was to ditch Salmons and Thomas.

    The thing is, it wouldn’t have been necessary if they had been playing better. If Salmons had played like he did last season, he wouldn’t have taken his player option and tried to get a long-term deal on the open market. And if Tyrus had been a bigger force, the Bulls either would have wanted him or would have let some other team sign him away.

    As it was, they were going to cost the Bulls more than $10 million in cap space next season. That wasn’t part of the plan.

    And, like you said, the players who matter are still here.

  5. jake_vick@hotmail.com'
    Jake February 19, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    Anyone else think the Bulls should be at Bosh’s door 12:01 am on the first day of free agency? Max Contract in hand. I think Bosh would thrive next to Noah and with Rose as his P.G.. I love that Kirk will still be around to D-up on the 1′s so Rose can take the less challenging D assignment (I don’t mean this to sound as a knock on Rose, just trying to highlight the value of Kirk)…Loul will be around to be a good 3 (possibly James Johnson progressing as a good back-up..bench scorer), Taj as a very competent back-up. All we would need then is someone to back-up the 1,2 and 5…which I could def see the Bulls resigning Brad.

    As for Lebron, lets be serious, he is probably not going to go anywhere.

    Wade, I would love Wade, I just think Bosh would be a better fit and I am worried about Wade’s health…that being said, Wade here with Kirk backing up him and Rose would be very nice (plus the small ball line-up of Rose, Kirk, Wade, Loul and Noah…someone call Chris Mullen)

  6. bullsbythehorns@gmail.com'
    Matt McHale February 19, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    “Anyone else think the Bulls should be at Bosh’s door 12:01 am on the first day of free agency?”

    Yeah, I do.

    I have some concerns about Bosh, like the fact that he’s a non-Alpha Dog who thinks he is an Alpha Dog. Or at least, that’s what some of his recent comments have led me to believe he thinks.

    But he fits the bill of what the Bulls need. A proven frontcourt scorer. He doesn’t love posting up, but he can score in the paint. He’s also a pretty good jump shooter, so he and Rose could pick and roll all night long. He can rebound and, when motivated, play defense. It would be a great situation.

    However, I have heard Carlos Boozer is pretty high on Chicago as a possible destination next summer. But, at best, he should be a Plan B or C.

    I also agree about Kirk. Now, of course I think he’s getting paid too much, but he’s a great utility player. And his utility gives him much greater value than his stats show. I mean, he can play both backcourt positions and SF if needed, can D up on 1s, 2s and 3s. Strokes the J, drives when available, can run the offense (tho’ not spectacularly), doesn’t make many really bad decisions, etc.

  7. brantifvan@gmail.com'
    brandon1 February 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    I know that this is a Bulls blog but.. Holy cow did you guys watch Cleveland vs. Denver last night? Amazing game.

  8. chicondo@hotmail.com'
    luvabullnj February 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Ho Hum! Ho Hum! Let’s hope the chemistry for this season is not spoiled. I’m not trying to be a party pooper or a “Debbie downer” but here’s how I see the playoff picture.
    With TT and Salmons the Bulls had a good shot at the 6th spot and maybe even give Toronto a run for the 5th spot. After the trades I think they’ll be 7th at best and be eliminated by Cavs or Magic. Toronto is now almost a lock on 5th with good chance of drawing Boston in the first round and getting to the 2nd round. So why would Bosh want to leave? Not to mention the extra $30 Mil he’d get from Toronto.
    FA Scenario:
    LBJ -> Not leaving the Cavs

    D-WADE -> Miami will sign Boozer and has Beasley and O’Neal plus enough money left over to sign good filler pieces so Wade is not leaving.

    BOSH -> The only shot Chicago has, is if Bosh wants to be the Alpha and doesn’t see enough talent on Toronto’s roster to get past ATL, Orlando and the Cavs. Boston is fading, Atlanta and Orlando are missing the Alpha dog, so Toronto can be as good as any in the east except Cleveland. If Bosh chooses to leave wouldn’t the first stop be Miami to play with the sure fire Wade over Chicago? Or how about in a sign and trade with Phoenix to play with Nash? And without a sign and trade, Bosh would have to give up $30mil. Ain’t happening.

    Amar’e -> He’s not opting out of a $17 mil salary so only way he leaves the Suns before the 2011-12 season is by trade and we won’t have anything to trade for him after this season.

    Boozer -> Again Miami has the upper had with money, Wade and Riley waiting in the wings to coach as soon as the team becomes a real contender.

    Johnson -> I don’t think ATL has enough to knock of the Magic or the Cavs but again does JJ the Bulls have better talent then ATL and does he want to give up extra dough?

    So to me it looks like we’re gonna wind up signing David Lee for way more than he’s worth if NYC gets somebody else or nothing at all.

    I let the Cubs fool me all those years when I was a kid. Now I see the Bulls doing the same.

  9. mikemayer3@hotmail.com'
    thirdsaint February 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    I honestly don’t think money is going to be an issue for a lot of these players. They’ll get mega bucks wherever they go. The thing in question is where do they feel they fit in and how close is that team to a championship with the supporting cast? Bosh won’t go to Wade’s city I don’t think and he’ll look at the Knicks or Clippers and see their supporting cast isn’t any better than where he is now.

    With the Bulls he’ll instantly be the focal point of the offense (what he wants) and Rose isn’t a superstar (yet) so he can still be top dog. It’s a much bigger market than Toronto and will give him all the money he wants through endorsements. I think that, hands down, we have the best supporting cast come Day 1 of the Free Agency which can quickly change if Wade resigns with Miami and they get someone like Amare or Boozer.

    And hah at the Jalen Rose comment Brad. That guy doesn’t know a thing about putting together a good basketball team and seems to hate the Bulls on top of that. Anything he doesn’t like I like.

  10. tester123xyz@hotmail.com'
    bobbysimmons February 19, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    Foolish move giving up Tyrus for a mid-first round draft pick. Thomas contract was expiring anyways, so all we gain is that first-round draft pick, c’mon Thomas is worth more than that. I’d have liked for the Bulls to pick up his option and let his play out his contract.

  11. TexasBullsFan February 20, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    Thomas is worth more than a first round pick? He sure wasn’t outplaying *this* year’s first round pick, Mr. Gibson.

    Glad the loser is out of town. Hope he didn’t let the door hit him in the ass.

  12. letsgobulls_24 February 20, 2010 at 5:28 am #

    yeah, tyrus’ under-achievements this year were a shame. i hope we can pick up another TAJ in the draft

  13. Mad Skills February 20, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    We are more solid than we were before the trades. Murray and Pargo pick up Salmons minutes and even some from Rose and Hinrich(both down two minutes last night). Warrick will pick up minutes from Deng and Gibson. I wish we had kept Richard to take some minutes from Brad until Noah gets back. I think he will be on the team next year.

  14. m_nazabal@yahoo.com'
    Max February 22, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    As a Bulls fan it is so shocking to hear the negative and downright stupid comments that come out of here. First D.Rose is going to be a superstar in this league. Better than D. Williams and C.Paul. He has more upside than you people give him credit for. Name one player on those other teams that any of these stars are going to want to play with. The two foundation pieces are in place for the Bulls. A future All-World PG and a rebounding machine at Center in Noah. Great role players Hinrich,Deng, and Taj. If what these superstars say is true and it all comes down to who gives them the best chance to win then they will put the money where there mouth is. If not sign Joe Johnson and wait till Kevin Durant becomes a Free Agent.

  15. trackkingzwest@gmail.com'
    davidtg3 February 23, 2010 at 4:50 am #

    I personally think the trades were medioker! i think in the off season they should go for Chris Bosh and do a package deal with Miami and get Dwayne Wade for Kirk Hinrick and Jerome James! Now ur five starters for the Bulls next yr are: Rose, Wade,Deng, Chris Bosh, and Miller! Have Noah, Warrick, Murray off the bench!

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