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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bo Outlaw: 15th man

Anderson works his way back - Orlando Sentinel : Orlando Magic
As guessed at previously, Bo Outlaw will be signed to be designated 15th man, fan-greeter, chemistry professor, or whatever. This will fill the 15 man roster, assuming that he, Diener and Augustine all make the team.
Forward Bo Outlaw, 35, might be slowing down, but he still has value to the Magic -- especially off the court. It's what he brings to the locker room, and to the practice facility, setting an example for many young guys on the roster.

Although Outlaw doesn't figure prominently in any playing rotation -- unless the team is wrecked by injuries -- he will be an inexpensive insurance policy at forward.
The offseason has hardly been momentous:

Out: Stevenson, Augmon, Kasun
In: Redick, Bogans, Augustine

It's hard to see much improvement there, but it does give Otis Smith tremendous flexibility if required to remake the roster on the fly this year. Grant Hill & Pat Garrity represent $20.4 million in expiring contracts and Outlaw, Diener & Augustine fill three roster spots with non-guaranteed contracts. Of those five, only Hill is a likely contributor. In addition they are $6 million under the luxury tax cap which allows them to take a few higher salaries back in trade. Kelvin Cato and Penny Hardaway's expiring contracts turned the Magic around last year. This year Magic fans have legitimate optimism to expect a winning season plus the benefit of holding valuable assets and the flexibility to use them if the opportunity arises.

NBA Trade rules for teams over the salary cap state that salaries must match within 25% plus $100,000. My gut tells me that Grant Hill is not going to be traded and his enormous salary is going to be carved up between Dwight, Darko and Jameer to keep them together for the next six years. Darko's career is on the line this year. He is a restricted free agent next year whose value could soar to over $10 million per season. He will either need to be resigned or replaced with a free agent of similar value next summer. Howard and Nelson are eligible for extensions next summer that would start in the 2008-09 season. If all three stay on track to stardom the Magic will be paying them about $16 to $20 million more per season than they currently make.

Player, 2006 Salary, Trade Range, Comments

Grant Hill, $16,901,500, Trade Range: $13,441,200 to $21,226,875. The highest paid player this year is Kevin Garnett at $21 million. Hill could be traded straight up for any of the top 25 paid players in the NBA this year. That includes players subject to trade rumors like Garnett, Allen Iverson, Chris Webber, Jermain O'Neil, and Ray Allen. Not sure I would want any of them except for Ray Allen and he has four years left on his huge contract. A team looking to flush two or three contracts and start over could also be a possibility and still give the Magic cap flexibility to sign their upcoming free agents. The Diener, Outlaw and Augustine contracts do not become guaranteed until the first week of January 2007 allowing the Magic to take in more players than they trade out without a financial penalty.

Pat Garrity, $3,525,000, Trade Range: $2,740,000 to $4,506,250. This trade range would get you a former first-rounder on a rookie contract or a guy like Keith Bogans who is worth half the annual salary exception. Probably 60% of the league is in this range. Add Diener and Garrity together and the top end of the range grows to $5,336,500. The full 2006-07 Mid-Level Exception is $5,215,000 million which covers 85% of the league. Add Garrity, Diener and Dooling together and the range grows to $9.5 million which buys a big man or a Corey Maggette. If the Magic are contending and need to pick up a solid veteran contributor at the trade deadline this is a pretty good possibility. Not to mention the value of Garrity off the roster.

The Magic entered the summer needing a starting SG, a backup C/F, and more outside shooting. We don't know whether they filled any of those needs with the new guys. They did, however, keep the door open for all types of mid-season trades that could provide another leap forward.

30 Comments:

  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I'm pretty optimistic that J.J. Redick is going to solve the Magic's outside shooting woes, assuming he can stay healthy.

    The only thing the Magic didn't do this off-season that I would have liked to see them do was to trade or release Garrity. Maybe he can contribute an occasional 3 pt FG if he plays around 10 minutes a game... let's hope that BHill doesn't play him any more than that.

    As was pointed out by WeRDevos, the Magic have all kinds of flexibility should they want to make a trade later in the season

    Nice job by the Magic signing Bo for this season... a high-class guy, and a great role model.

     
  • At 11:12 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Nice job on the salary review and trade possibilities. I , however, would not include Dooling in any trade package. As a matter of fact, Dooling will get my vote to start at SG (tough choice between him and Bogans, but based on my simple scorecard, he narrowly edges Bogans out). I agree that Redick could be that outside shooting force that Magic had been waiting for, and that is why he was drafted, provided he stays healthy, as Mike has pointed out. Jameer has improved his 3-point shooting percentage every year, and that may be the case this year again. Bogans is also a better shooter than Deshawn (in his rookie year with the Magic he shot 3s just north of 35%, and last year at 32.5%). Let's not forget that Deshawn was discouraged to shoot 3s in Hill's system, and that's why he did not attempt many compared to the prior year. I truly believe that if there is any focus on practicing 3s, and he is allowed, Bogans could be a decent 3-point shooter.

    While I applaud signing Bo for his everlasting positive influence in the locker room, as I understand, Dooling is the same type of guy, and should not be given away. I am not sure that Garrity would cease to get meaningful minutes. His playing time based on his defensive deficiencies could only be justified if he shoots 3s in the mid to high 40%.

    Finally, I am not so keen on cap limits as a guiding element in making basketball decisions. Successful teams have operated over salary caps for years until the profits relative to team's success kicked in. That is comparable to so many businesses which do not show profit for many years while building equity that adds to the business value, as a whole. Look at Dallas and San Antonio. Detriot's example is just an aberration where luckily many pieces fell in place while existing pieces were retained.

     
  • At 9:33 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    The Magic may have a problem with Dooling next summer. His contract for the following season is a player option. If he follows Stevenson's path the Magic could lose him without compensation. He was also rumored in the alleged trade with Houston this last draft. If the Magic wind up making a major trade for a SG this year I would not be surprised if Dooling were included.

    Bogans, Reddick and Augustine replacing Stevenson, Augmon and Kasun is a wash at best right now.

    I admire Keith Bogans and think he is better than DeShawn but statistically he is a tad behind Stevenson, and we lose an 82 game starter. Reddick's career prospect is a complete wild card. Even if he follows Jameer's path he won't provide much help his rookie year. Augustine is a 2nd rounder and those guys rarely are activated for games.

    Bogans will contribute, hopefully Reddick will surprise. I'm just saying that if we were relying on these guys turning around the Magic fortunes we would be in trouble. Fortunately we are relying on Dwight, Darko, Jameer, Turk and the rest of the crew that was already here.

    BTW, San Antonio's salary situation was middle of the pack when they won their last two titles. It wasn't until the last year that Parker's and Ginobli's extensions kicked in. They have done a super job bringing in young cheap talent to fill out the team. They provide the template for how to manage the cap for a mid-market team like the Magic.

     
  • At 9:43 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Update: San Antonio had a payroll of $44.5 million when they won the championship on 04-05. That was 23rd in the league. Last year they jumped up to $63 million when all the extensions kicked in.
    www.insidehoops.com/nbasalaries.shtml

     
  • At 10:03 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Just a quick note on Dooling; he strikes me as a loyal, team-player type of guy. Should we worry about losing 3-million dollar range players without compensation, if that risk is present?

     
  • At 12:18 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    I like Dooling too. At the end of last year he was effective bringing energy and a change of pace off the bench. But he is what he is, which is a $3.3 million SG whose contract can expire next summer. I'm just making a guess at what Otis would be thinking if given the opportunity to upgrade the roster for a playoff push. If a trade partner is looking to dump salary you have to look at Dooling along with the rest.

    This is all speculation anyway. If the team plays like it did in April and some combination of Dooling, Bogans and Reddick step up to fill the SG role it may all be moot.

     
  • At 1:46 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Here are my thoughts on these guys and the moves the Magic made this summer.

    Bogans and Stevenson could be considered a wash, but I think the wash will work to our advantage. Bogans fills a role, and he fits the Magic’s needs more than Stevenson could. His outside shot alone is worth the trade. Stevenson was a slasher, had a decent mid-range, and was supposedly a good defender, even though stat wise he never averaged even 1 steal or 1 block a game? For that matter, he wasn’t active on the boards, or in the assist categories. No wonder the Magic were -9 while Stevenson was on the floor.

    Kasun had zero impact last year, and has shown that he will be nothing more than a big stiff. At least Augustine has potential. Kasun's "potential" ran out. Still, it’s reaching to actually think either of these guys will ever have any kind of impact on an NBA team. Hopefully Augustine will prove me wrong.

    We can't even compare Augmon and Reddick. Augmon is a washed up role model kind of VET who has no offensive game what so ever. He could still hold his on defensively at times. Reddick will have immediate impact just for the fact that he can drop a 3 bomb with his eyes closed. He'll demand the respect of defenders from game one, and if he doesn't receive that respect, he'll be 15+ a game all season. I expect really good things from Reddick. It’s hard for me to imagine a guy with his offensive skills, game intelligence, and cocky confidence to not shine on a team with Dwight, Jameer, Darko, and Turk.

    I understand that only the season will prove these "what ifs", but I do see a positive in every move we made this off season.

     
  • At 3:02 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    I would be more excited about Reddick's prospects for his rookie year had this summer entailed more than resting his back and attending court hearings.

    I am still excited about his prospect for the next four years but do not anticipate a whole lot from him in year 1. Nelson played in 79 games, started 21 and averaged 8.7 points, 3 assists in 20.4 minutes his rookie year. Similar numbers from Riddick would be a great achievement for a rookie. Mike Miller played 82, started 62 and averaged 11.9 points in 29 minutes his rookie year.

    The guys who will propel the Magic forward are the third year players. Howard, Nelson & Ariza. And Darko is entering his first camp where he is expected to be a key contributor so call him an honorary 3rd year player.

     
  • At 3:29 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    JJ Reddick interview here:
    http://www.gamespot.com/features/6155542/index.html?tag=features%3btitle%3b0

     
  • At 9:19 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    You have to remember, Jameer Nelson's rookie year was also the same season Steve Francis arrived as our new "all-star" starting PG. Had there been no Francis, Nelson's rookie numbers would have looked a hell of a lot different. Reddick has the 2 spot for the taking right now. Plus, Brian Hill usually loves a nice pure shooting fundamentally sound white boy out there. Hopefully Reddick will take those minutes, and Garrity will be benched until he retires.

    I do however feel Mike Miller numbers would be a pretty fair comparison.

     
  • At 9:29 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    The other Dookie on the squad had a rookie year like this: 70 games, 69 starts 19.9 ppg, 6.4rpg, 5.0apg, 1.77spg and 0.89bpg in 38.3 mpg.

    I'm pretty sure Reddick isn't that good but I'll be happy with half as good.

     
  • At 2:18 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I tend to agree that Redick (I think the proper spell is with one d) is not that good to compete for the starting job at 2 position. With Jameer's defensive deficiencies, we need a good defender at 2. The comparison with Mike Miller, in my view, is not warranted neither, since Miller is a bigger and stronger player, and typically it is easier to get a long-range shot off at 3 position than at 2. However, I hope Redick would be a pleasant surprise.

     
  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I agree with Matt when he says that Redick (yes, there is only 1 d in his name) won't compete for the starting shooting guard position because we need a better defender to start along with Jameer because of his defensive deficiencies. Maybe later on in the season, if Redick can grasp the defense well enough and can prove he won't be a liability from the defensive standpoint, can start, but I think Redick's specialty will be coming off the bench and igniting the team with his torrid 3 pt shooting.

    Since BHill is known for being such a defensive-minded coach, hopefully he can work with Redick to improve his defensive skills, and also work with the team on setting screens for Redick so he can have an easier time getting off his 3's.

    Because Redick will command much attention from opposing defenders, this will really open up the Magic's inside game, which Dwight and Darko should be able to really take advantage of.

    I would be happy if Redick averaged around 10-12 pts. a game, but even if he doesn't, just having him on the floor spreading the other team's defense will be a big asset.

    My pick for the starting shooting guard (at least to open the season): Keyon Dooling a narrow edge over Bogans... but no matter who starts, it's nice to know the Magic have so much depth on the bench.

    Even though Jameer might have a tough time defensively because of his height, his tenacity and hustle on the defensive end will still give other teams trouble.

     
  • At 9:14 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Jameer is not a bad defender. The only "deficiencies" Jameer has is his height, if you want to call it that. But obviously that wasn't a big enough deficiency to keep him out of the starting lineup, even though everyone said he'd never start in this league because of that very reason.

    Heart, desire, and hustle can make up for pretty much anything. And the Jameer Nelson's and D Armstrong's out there have proven it.

    For that matter, if you want to talk size, Dooling could never play 2 for the fact that he's 6-3. And to contradict exactly what I just stated above, I believe that's one reason Dooling will never start for the Magic. For his size, he doesn't offer enough. It'd be one thing if he was a "stopper", but he's not. Maybe if he was a strong scorer, but he's not... Dooling is a spark, and by starting him, you just might waste his energy. For that reason, I think Bogans will be starting, because he's bigger and stronger than Dooling, or Redick (with 1 D). Bogans can hit an open jumper, and he's a solid defender. One thing with Bogans, I think everyone will realize once they see him on the floor, that he's a better defender than everyone thinks, and definitely a better defender than Stevenson ever was. The only one I see beating him for the spot is Redick, because he has the ability to score from anywhere on the floor if given an inch of space, which of course will spread the floor and make everything that much easier for the team.

    Regardless, it's not a bad problem to have. We have a very well rounded team. What skill one player lacks, another one excels in. It reminds me of what good basketball teams are all about. Hell, even the Magic of the early mid 90's was like that.

     
  • At 9:54 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Just to clarify some points, I have to add that Jameer proved me wrong. It is not that he is a bad defender, but what I am trying to get across is that we could not have two average defenders at 1 and 2 spots. There is no doubt in my mind that Dooling is an excellent defender, regardless of his height, and without taking anything away from Bogans' defense. I don't see a whole lot of difference on who starts between the two. It gets real intriguing when we hear talks of Grant playing some at 2 position. We had some exchange with Big Figure on that possibility, and without recalling the details, I remember that we both liked the idea to be at least tested. As Introvert316 pointed out, it is nice to have a hell of a lot of options, for a change.

     
  • At 12:08 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    I'm still pretty sure that I called Stevenson "Dwight" quite a few times last year, so at least I'm only off one D with Redick.

    I wasn't trying to compare Redick to Miller, only pointing out that rookies rarely make a huge impact their first year. Maybe one or two rookies max really break out in an average year. Miller won ROY for scoring less than 12 points a game.

    If Redick is good for 10 points a game and 82 games this year it will probably be off of around 150 or so 3's. DS and KD totalled 15 3's last year. Bogans hit 65-200 last year. Stevenson / Dooling hit 15 3's between them and 20.4ppg total. Bogans / Redick could match that 20ppg this year and the Magic could be improved because defenses now have to guard the perimeter and quit packing the lane.

    Also there is this. Going back to my June 29 rant about Whit Watson there is this:

    the last ten Wooden Award winners:

    * 2006 - J.J. Redick, Duke
    * 2005 - Andrew Bogut, Utah
    * 2004 - Jameer Nelson, Saint Joseph's
    * 2003 - T. J. Ford, Texas
    * 2002 - Jay Williams, Duke
    * 2001 - Shane Battier, Duke
    * 2000 - Kenyon Martin, Cincinnati
    * 1999 - Elton Brand, Duke
    * 1998 - Antawn Jamison, North Carolina
    * 1997 - Tim Duncan, Wake Forest
    * 1996 - Marcus Camby, UMass

    That's a hell of a list, and a pretty good track record for picking NBA starters. There are plenty of awards, all-star game, playoff and national team appearances on that list. I don't believe it's a stretch to say that Nelson & Redick should be the starting backcourt no later than two years from now.

    With regards to Nelson. He is not small, only short of stature. He is probably as strong as any guard on the court. He does a great job fighting through defenses. And on defense he doesn't get posted up that much because he is strong and doesn't lose ground getting pushed towards the hoop.

    It doesn't hurt that Darko can stand below the foul line and still block 3 point shots.

     
  • At 9:31 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I was disconnected from sports news for a while. Could somebody tell me how Ben Wallace ended up in Chicago? How could Detroit let this happen?

     
  • At 4:23 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Hey Matt,

    The Pistons came out and offered Wallace a four-year, $48 million deal, but they told Wallace that it was their final offer. Personally, I think that was generous for a player who has no offensive game, and will be 32 before the season starts.

    The Bulls offered four-years and $60 million, with a starting salary of nearly $14 million a year. Wow...

    I don't think anyone imagined that a team would offer Wallace 60 million. It'll definitely bring some excitement to Chicago, but I don't see them winning any championships in the next 4 years. I could see them making the Finals, but I couldn't see them beating a legit team like the Spurs or Mavs in a 7 game series. The problem the Bulls already had was interior scoring, and this move solved that problem how?

    It sucks for the Pistons because they are pretty much nothing much than a playoff team now. They could get lucky and get out of the 1st round, but their title runs are over unless they pull off a miracle move.

    So I guess the answer to you question is MONEY.

     
  • At 6:59 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Regarding the Ben Wallace signing by the Bulls... Bulls GM John Paxson definitely overpaid to get Wallace, but he knows that Wallace is the legit center the Bulls need to possibly put them over the top with all the outstanding young talent they already have. The Bulls are NOT looking for Wallace to provide much offense, but his world-class defense is exactly what a defensive-minded team like the Bulls were looking for. The championship window is definitely there for the Bulls in the next few years before Wallace gets past his prime. Don't forget, during the Bulls championship run in the 90's, their centers were Bill Cartright and Luke Longley, and how many pts a game did they average? Not a heck of a lot, but they fit in just fine with Michael Jordan and the rest of the team to bring them all those championships. Ben Wallace is way better than any of those centers; can he blend in with all that young talent to bring the Bulls over the top?

    It's really amazing how similar the Bulls and the Magic are in terms of having an outstanding collection of young talent. However, I think the difference is that the Magic have a superstar in the making in Dwight Howard, while no one knows for sure if any of the Bulls talented young players will ever become a superstar.

    Bulls GM John Paxson deserves a great amount of credit fixing the Bulls after he inherited the train wreck of a team from Jerry Krause back in April of 2003. No players are left on the Bulls from that team, and Krause's 2001 draft of Tyson Chandler at No. 2 and Eddy Curry at No. 4 was nothing short of a disaster.

    Otis Smith deserves similar credit for fixing the Magic after he inherited the train wreck from John Weisbrod; but at least Weisbrod had the sense to draft Dwight instead of Emeka Okafor.

    Nov. 1st... Bulls at Magic... what a game to open the season!

     
  • At 7:19 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Introvert316, your 9:14 PM post was very well-written and brought out a number of good points.

    Also, as Matt brought up, it is really intriguing to think about a healthy Grant Hill possibly being in the mix for the starting 2 guard spot. I know it's hard to fathom Grant being healthy for the whole season, but if he is, that would add further depth to an already deep team, and make the Magic that much better.

    Even though Grant's expiring salary brings a myriad of trade possibilities for the Magic, I think the Magic should keep him if he can stay healthy because a healthy Grant Hill could be just the thing that could take the Magic farther in the playoffs than what most people expect this season.

     
  • At 8:42 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Matt, remember when you were upset thinking Joe D. ripped off the Magic over the Cato trade. Here we are six months later and Detroit has done the following:

    Traded Darko & Arroyo for Cato and a protected pick to make room to resign Ben Wallace.

    Traded Maurice Evans to Lakers for a 2nd round pick to make room to resign Ben Wallace.

    Lost Ben Wallace to Chicago for no compensation.

    Signed Nazr Mohammed to replace Wallace.

    To top it off, Dale Davis was in Miami and got himself tasered during a late night "incedent" with the local PD.

    And the coach has been running around telling everyone it wasn't his fault. Lots of people have pointed to Wallace's meltdown in Orlando last March as the end.

    Detroit is going to be hard pressed to match 64 wins next season.

     
  • At 2:55 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I don't know that it's fair to mention the Chicago's team of old when they had the "three headed monster" as they liked to call them. Ben Wallace is better than all 3 of those centers combined, but the only reason that worked, as was pointed out, was Jordan. He covered a multitude of sins for those Chicago teams.

    The Darko/Arroyo trade for Cato and a protected pick is an embarrassment for Detroit. I thought it was when it happened, of course because I was praying for the trade to go through, and especially now that they didn't resign Wallace. They suffered with the lack of a backup point guard without Arroyo at the end of last season and throughout the playoffs. And to boot, I bet they'd like 1 last chance for Darko to get some playing time now that Wallace went to Chi-Town. Like I said before, their championship runs are over unless a miracle is pulled off.

    Speaking of miracles, I really hope Grant Hill can pull off one and stay healthy. And if he does, I hope he'll sign for chump money next season, because he owes it to Orlando. Well, not really, but it'd be nice if he could stay healthy and resign for the vet-minimum. I picture Grant playing a role like Jerry Stackhouse for the Mavs. I don't want to ever consider him a starter again, but he could be GREAT off the bench. Although, if he is healthy this year, I wouldn't be surprised seeing him in the starting 5, which could look really scary on paper.

    Howard
    Darko
    Hedo
    Hill
    Nelson

    Did anyone catch the USA/Korea game? Even though Dwight was only one the floor for 9 minutes(9pts/5rbs/2blks), he was all over the place in the 3rd quarter! For a nice 5 minute stretch, he was involved in pretty much every play in one way or another. Blocking shots, rebounding, changing shots, running the floor, using muscle down low, it was beautiful. Bill Walton was salivating as he was talking about Dwight being the lone future of big men, especially with question marks being around Amare. Wade said, during the regular season he plays with Shaq, but right now he's playing with the Shaq of the future.

     
  • At 2:58 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I guess Bulls were a jump shooting team and remain to be a jump shooting team if they do not upgrade their 4 spot. I, personally think Bulls with Skiles at the helm have overachieved last season, and there are limits to how far jump shooting teams can go. As for DET, I think they are the main losers since they were setting Wallace's value to the team equal to his market value, and that is way too shortsighted.

     
  • At 3:02 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I guess I wasn't the only one who noticed.

    After the last exhibition victory against South Korea, USA Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski was raving about Howard's play.

    "Dwight gives us something nobody else can give us [inside],'' Krzyzewski said. "I thought for a five-minute stretch [against South Korea], he played as well as a center could play.''

    It was fun to watch. They loop the games on NBA TV if anyone wants to take a look.

     
  • At 3:06 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Well said Matt. That was their strength, and weakness. They have no inside presence on the offensive end. And in no way did they solve this. I even question the Chandler trade for PJ Brown/JR Smith trade. PJ is old, so I guess they see something in Smith. But as Matt stated, there are limits to how far a jump shooting team can go.

     
  • At 3:09 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I agree that the comparison with Bulls' of Jordan era is misplaced. Even that team with Sweetney or Chandler at 4 could not have gone as far as they did. In most parts they had Horace Grant who could defend, and had a sweet jump shot.

     
  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I was trying to make the point that it's not imperative for a team to have a center who averages 20 pts a game in order to win a championship. When DET won in 2004, Wallace averaged just 9.5 ppg, but his 12 rebounds and 3 blocks were obviously huge.

    Last season, the Bulls led the NBA in giving up the lowest opponent's FG shooting %. Now, with a defensive monster like Wallace in the middle, their already good defense will be that much better. And Skiles has always been a defensive-minded coach.

    Once they acquired Wallace, Tyson Chandler had to go, as his playing time would have been cut dramatically. PJ Brown is a solid veteran who averaged 9 pts and 7 rebounds a game last season; and his veteran leadership will be beneficial to the team. JR Smith has already been let go by the Bulls and is now in Denver.

    Yes, the Bulls did overachieve the last two seasons with Skiles at the helm, but now that their talented young players have a couple of years under them, and with a great defensive center in Wallace, the Bulls pose a serious threat to the Magic and the rest of the East this season.

    True, the Bulls don't have anyone like Dwight Howard; and the Magic also have outstanding young talent like the Bulls, and probably have more depth than the Bulls. But Ben Wallace is the x-factor here... if he can be the defensive stud like he was with DET, it's going to be tough for the Magic to have a better record than the Bulls this season... and I think the Magic will be a top 4 team in the East this season.

     
  • At 7:39 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Also, the Bulls had a tremendous draft, getting Tyrus Thomas from LSU. He is raw, but very talented and athletic much like Dwight was his rookie year. Can Thomas develop like the Bulls expect him to... another thing to watch this season.

     
  • At 3:09 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    So in other words, the Bulls gave up on Chandler and gave him away. It was basically a salary dump for next off season since they already let Smith go and PJ is a free agent next summer. Why would they let the 20 year old Smith go for nothing?

     
  • At 8:08 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Yeah, Intro, Chandler's big salary was a reason for trading him also. There's no way he would have been given enough playing time to justify it with Wallace the center now.

    I always liked Chandler for the energy he brought into a game, especially at the defensive end, but his inconsistency and health issues have always been a problem.

    As for JR Smith, there were questions about his attitude, that he may have selfish tendencies, and that would not have fit in with the Bulls' team concept.

     

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