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Written by Darin Ford | 12 July 2012

Say Derrick Rose doesn't come back quite the same.

Say Derrick Rose misses all year.

Say Luol Deng's wrist continues to hamper him.

Say Luol is subconsciously disgruntled after being supposedly shopped on the trade market pre-Draft day.

Alright ... say all of these are reality ... what about just one? Two? Three? In any situation, the item to address is Luol Deng.

Fast forward to March next season and Derrick might still be in street clothes on gameday. Something the Bulls won't be hunky-dory with. In that case, Chicago needs a facilitator. Someone that can take the pressure off of D-Rose when needed by handling the rock and making plays for not just himself but others. That guy is Andre "Iggy" Iguodala.

As an all-star and current USA Olympic Team member -- not to mention taking eight seeded Philadelphia to game seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals post knocking out the Bulls in round one -- Iggy has proven he is a beyond good player in the league.

His knack to facilitate soundly and lockdown defensively make him a prime asset for any team. Iguodala's high IQ is accompanied by superb athleticism and explosiveness both on and off the ball.

Deng is also a great defender, but nagging injuries have slowed him up. The Great Britain native is also a much better shooter, but nowhere near as good of passer. Sure, Luol is more of a system guy than Iggy and has been NBA bred by the Bulls but that shouldn't shy the Bulls away from upgrading the position.

Iggy, as noted above, can have the ball in his hands when Derrick Rose can't. We all know what Derrick can do with the ball. (He's really the only playmaker the team has, period.) Andre can be that second playmaker.

I threw this proposed deal into ESPN's NBA Trade Machine and got positive results for both sides. The Bulls were projected to win five more games in a season with Iguodala rather than Deng. Iggy loves guarding LeBron James ... LeBron hates being guarded by Iggy. Therefore, the equation to match up better with the Heat for the Bulls starts with this trade. 

The Sixers gain a more cap-friendly contract and negotiator in Deng. Luol is younger than Iggy and fits alongside iso man Evan Turner and the developing Jrue Holiday slightly better. Deng could really stretch the floor for Turner and Holiday to make plays for others. Philadelphia also receives a higher volume scorer in Luol, something they need.

(To this point I've pretty much shed pros and cons about the trade with their impact levels and how they would change the composition of the team, bare with me.)

In 2010, the free agent market was plentiful. Guys such as LBJ, Chicago-native Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer and Joe Johnson were for the picking.

I came across an article on the web (may have been on ESPN, SI, HoopsHype, HoopsWorld or something else of that nature) stating that looking back, Derrick Rose wouldv'e rather had Joe Johnson than anyone else of the max-contract guys available, reportedly even more than LeBron. The column expressed Rose's feelings about the impact as a facilitator that Joe Johnson would have -- don't forget he drops 18+ in the score books regularly. Obviously, due to a beyond paramout contract, Johnson can't be traded to the Bulls (Brooklyn was the only team that could do it and give no one in return, sorta). I think Iguodala is the next best thing to pair with Rose at this point given the situation. Rose wanted a facilitator who could command the ball and score. Iggy can do that. 

To me, if the Bulls were willing to trade Deng for a lottery pick, why wouldn't they be open to taking on Andre Iguodala? In the deal though that I haven't mentioned yet that a commitment that Iggy would sign an extension -- because he only has one year left on his contract -- is imperative.

On Philly's side, Deng too would have to commit to an extension. And if the Sixers were willing to part ways with Iggy for not-so-much in return, why wouldn't they want to nab Deng?

Both teams need to consider the idea of a swap. It's a rather flexible deal, actually. Both in-part because Iggy and Deng make about the same amount of money and your trading players of the same position.

Look into it, Chicago ... you too, Philly.

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Written by Marco Radenkovich | 11 July 2012

The Bulls have verbally agreed to sign combo guard Kirk Hinrich to a two-year, six million dollar deal.  As the media broke the signing, many assumed that Hinrich would be the perfect fit to step in and handle the point-guard duties while Derrick Rose rehabbed from a season-ending ACL injury.  The truth is, Hinrich can help rookie Marquis Teague develop, but to expect Hinrich to be efficient in the PG spot is foolish.

Last year, the former Jayhawk averaged a pedestrian 6.6 points per game in 25.8 mpg.  In a season where he dealt with injuries, Hinrich struggled to find his way, especially in the point guard spot.  As the primary ball-handler, Hinrich was highly inefficient.  His eFG% was an awful 43.6% and his PER was just as bad at 8.4.  That’s Keith Bogans bad, for those of you scoring at home.  While on the floor, Hinrich cost his team 7.4 points per 48 minutes.  Defensively, it looks as if point guards have went at Hinrich and his average foot speed.  Hinrich was 3.5 PER worse every 48 minutes.

So, if the Bulls are planning to play Hinrich at point guard, this move is definitely questionable.  However, Hinrich had a lot more success as a shooting guard in the Hawks offense.

The top 5 units for the Hawks last year came when Hinrich was the two-guard.  Compared to his awful 43.6% eFG as the point guard, Hinrich was able to get higher quality shots, at a tune of 53.4%.  His team was +6.9 when he was on the court as a shooting guard.  It is clear that Hinrich will become more valuable as a shooting guard as he ages in the league, while other quicker players handle the PG spot.

As the Bulls go forward in 2012-2013 and even when Rose is completely healthy in 2013-2014, Hinrich should primarily be a shooting guard.  We’ve seen coach Thibs have no issue with playing smaller players as the shooting guard, like CJ Watson last season.  In order to do that, Hinrich will need to shoot well and with consistency.

With the rumors of Kyle Korver going elsewhere next year, it looks as if Hinrich’s main role should be to solidify the shooting guard spot at 15 minutes per game, and handle the backup point guard responsibilities for 10 minutes per game.   If Hinrich is to impact the team like Korver did, the Bulls will need Hinrich to revert back to 2008-2011 shooting levels, where he connected on 39% of his long-range attempts.

Even though he is not as strong as he once was as a point-guard, the Bulls can still lean on him as a veteran influence to the rookie Teague.

At two-years and six million, the deal is a good one for the Bulls.  The value was right, Hinrich goes back to a city that he’s familiar with, and the Bulls have extra insurance for Rose, Teague and Rip Hamilton.

Now, I get to go dust off the #12 jersey hanging in my closet.

Marco Radenkovich is the former Editor-in-Chief and founder of Horns to the Hardwood.   He has also written for Scout.com’s Marquette University Basketball branch, Marquettehoops.com for four years, as well as multiple Chicago Cubs blogs.  As a featured columnist, Marco will add advanced statistics to the team at HttH.  He brings the passion of a 24 year-old Bulls fan in his articles.  Marco resides in the Chicago suburbs. You can follow him at @mradenkovich.

Courtesy to Basketball-Reference and 82games.com for supplying the stats mentioned in the above article. 

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Written by Kyle Samples | 11 July 2012



The Bulls have informed Kyle Korver on Sunday as to whether or not they will pick up his option for the 2012-2013 season. Until then the Bulls are exploring trades that would send the 3-point shooter to Atlanta or Minnesota.

A different source said the Bulls were exploring sign-and-trade possibilities that could send Kyle Korver to the Minnesota Timberwolves or Atlanta Hawks, although his return to the Bulls hasn't been ruled out. Kyle Korver averaged 8 points in 22 minutes a game and shot 43.5% from beyond-the-arc and would be a valuable asset to any team in need of a spot up shooter. Unless the Bulls can pull the trigger on Michael Redd or Gerald Green, my guess is he stays in Chicago.

According to Atlanta Hawks beat writer, Michael Cunningham: "The Hawks had interest in Kyle Korver, but he’s likely headed to Minnesota in a trade." In my opinion I believe we should keep Kyle Korver he is an asset on the arc and is improving immensely on the pick and roll jump shots, with him improving he has the potential to become a great part of the Chicago Bulls.

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Kyle Samples is a 16-year-old assistant editor for HttH. Kyle started his sports media career on his own by starting a Facebook page called Chicago Bulls Fan Talk. Kyle is instrumental in HttH's success and does a good deal of work offline too. Continue to look for his articles and like his Facebook page! 
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Written by Darin Ford | 10 July 2012

According to Rant Sports blogger, Riley Schmitt, the Chicago Bulls will match the offer sheet signed by Omer Asik from the Houston Rockets.

This means that the Bulls will retain Asik, therefore he is going nowhere.

The Bulls will tag-on Asik's new backloaded 3-year $24.3 million dollar contract.

With the removals of C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer (and most likely soon-to-be Kyle Korver) from the roster enough cap space and cap flexibilty was made by the Bulls to be able to take back Asik.

Omer will be expected to return to the back-up center position in the rotation. However, if the Bulls are willing to pay him somewhere in the realm of $14 million dollars in the third and final year of his contract, they obviously are in love with the guy and believe that he will continue to develop and nudge further and further in the depth chart.

This move still keeps the Bulls in good shap regarding the second unit's familiarity. Something that's important.

The 7-foot Turkish native averaged about 3 points and 5 rebounds last season. Asik started two games during the regular season and three in the playoffs.  no comments

Written by Darin Ford | 10 July 2012

Earlier this month I wrote up and reported the first six named to the Bulls' Summer League roster. Now, we'll get you the rest of names.

(Special thanks to Blog-a-Bull for gathering CSNChicago's Aggrey Sam's Tweets that were breaking this story.)

Sam says, "Jimmy Butler, Marquis Teague, Leon Powe, Demetri McCamey, Ramone Moore, Malcolm Thomas, Olek Czyz, Chase Simon, Justin Johnson, Jamie Skeen, Jermaine Taylor, Henry Sims, Edwin Ubiles, according to source. Group will practice at the Berto before departing for Vegas; First game on the 17th. FA PGs Jonny Flynn and Marcus Banks among those (including Charles Abouo, NIU's Jake Anderson, and Kashif Watson, CJ's younger brother) who will practice in Chicago but not play in Las Vegas. Of course, this is summer league, so subject to change."

I'm very excited to see this team in action.

Henry Sims was undrafted but could be a dark horse candidate to replace back-up center Omer Asik. Sims is very skilled and comes from a long line of talented Georgetown U. big men.

This will be a very big and talented summer league squad headed by veteran Leon Powe and newly drafted Marquis Teague alongside current Bull -- the only Bull from last season on the team -- Jimmy Butler.

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Written by Darin Ford | 10 July 2012

In-going four year man, PG Johnny Flynn, will visit the Chicago Bulls on Friday according to Rant Sports' Riley Schmitt.

At first I was puzzled at the thought of taking on Flynn. But after a few hours ... the thought sunk in.

Flynn, despite his so far very disappointing career, Johnny is still a solid NBA point guard and would be an amazing third unit point guard. Yeah, third unit point guard doesn't sound too important or interesting but isn't that what John Lucas III was for us this past season? Ha, yep!

Flynn is younger and has a much, much higher ceiling than Lucas. The Bulls like to have as many ball-handlers as possible on the team. (A trend in the past couple years rosters). With Flynn, Teague and Hinrich will have a beyond formidable safety net. And then when Rose returns? Uh-oh look out.

Looking ahead, Flynn would most liekly be a prospect for good trade bait next off-season. Hopefully -- given Flynn chooses Chicago -- he can raise his trade value on top of saving his career from having a very infamous word written all over it. Bust.

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Written by Darin Ford | 10 July 2012

According to multiple sources the Chicago Bulls have decided to commence a supporting cast makeover on the roster by not guaranteeing the contracts of both C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer. Watson was due $3.2 million next season, whereas Brewer was set to collect $4.37 million for 2012-2013.

The writing has been written on the walls for quite sometime for C.J. Watson. Ever since the injury to Derrick Rose there's been talk about ridding of Watson to make a run for a starting point guard. Well, in June, the Bulls drafted NCAA National Champion Marquis Teague from the University of Kentucky to run the point. Later on (two days ago) Kirk Hinrich decided to throw a Bulls uni on again and sign a two-year $6 million dollar deal. Obviously by that point ... C.J. knew it was happening.

In Brewer's case, it's not too similar to Watson's. To my knowledge, the idea of Ronnie being booted wasn't really prominent until the beginnings of free agency hit. (Things for the Bulls kind of went into surreal mode when Omer Asik got a ridiculous backloaded contract from the Houston Rockets.) When you skim through the Bulls' depth chart there's someone buried at the bottom that will rise in Brewer's absence. That someone is most definitely Jimmy Butler, Chicago's first-round pick in 2011. Butler, a better scorer than Brewer, is of similar size to Ronnie and plays the same position.

With the recent moves, Butler will be expected to back-up Rip Hamilton at the 2 next year with Hinrich starting at the 1 -- in Derrick Rose's absence, of course -- or backing Marquis Teague to fulfill a mentoring role and consistency in the fairly new second unit.

The opportunities for Butler, Teague and other players the Bulls could possibly end up targeting in free agency will depend on whether or not they re-sign John Lucas III (unlikely) and if they guarantee Kyle Korver's contract -- and that decision will be made by Sunday. The dismissal of both guys mean more minutes for the new guys. Oh yeah ... it means another thing ... we need more guys!

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Written by T.J. Watson | 09 July 2012


To begin this lengthy debate topic I think we should look at the numbers first...

1) Scoring:

Jordan wins this one. LeBron has only led the league once. Jordan led the NBA for seven straight seasons. That is an NBA record tied with Wilt. He has ten total. Jordan averaged 30.1 ppg in his entire career, that includes his days in a Wizards uniform. James on the other hand has a very good average of 27.6 ppg. He is in his prime currently. That number should drop down to 24 or 25 when he decides to retire. James as an 18 year-old rookie was averaging 20, 5, and 5. Jordan did that at age 40 with bad knees.

2) Rebounding:

James wins this one. Jordan always had a great rebounder on every team he played for in Chicago. His final year he played, he averaged 6.1 rpg as a Wizard. That is remarkable. Though, I must say that he was a smarter rebounder than James. LeBron will have a higher rebounding total than Jordan will, which makes sense. LeBron is bigger and today's game doesn't have dominate big men. I'm not knocking James, it's just the truth.

3) Ballhandling/Passing:

This is just a dead tie. You can give your vote for either one here. Jordan could and should have had more assists in his career, but considering that he played under Phil Jackson and the triangle offense his numbers were lower. The triangle offense is designed to have lower assist totals for a player and team overall. James has played in a "free-for-all" type system in Cleveland and in Miami.

4) Steals:

Jordan wins this one by a long shot. That is being nice about it. Jordan was a straight up thief out on the hardwood. James' season high for steals is 2.2, Jordan's is 3.2. Get the picture? Jordan averaged 1.5 steals per night in his last season. James has averaged 1.6 steals a night for his entire career. That means it will go down! Jordan averaged 2.3 steals per game in his career and led the NBA in steals three separate times in his amazing and great career. While LeBron has yet to do so.

5) Blocks:

Jordan wins this one yet again. Are you seeing the trend here? LeBron is considered one of the greatest athletes of all time in sports history. Jordan is better just because of this stat. Blocking shots requires timing and jumping ability. Jordan had both. James averaged one block a game three times in his career. He hasn't done so for two years now. Which tells me that he won't again. Jordan did it four times. LeBron's seasonal high was 1.1, while Jordan's is 1.6. That is amazing. Jordan was a guard his whole career and was 6'6". James is two inches taller than that.

Ahhhh. Now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about their effect on the game itself...

I was watching a Michael Jordan special once and in that short film, it said that Jordan once produced 10 billion dollars for the NBA and the television markets. That is incredible. Jordan lifted the game to new heights. This coming after the Bird vs. Magic rivalry in the 80's. Jordan raised the game to a whole new level. At that point in time, many would have thought it would be impossible. Now granted, Jordan won six titles in the 90's and internet was becoming available in masses. LeBron lives in a day with many social networking sites and almost every house hold has more than one television in America now. Yet, the NBA is still the same game. Jordan helped Stern and the league become a global icon. Something LeBron has yet to top.

Comparing eras to me is perfectly fine...

You compare the "Jordan era" to the "LeBron era" and it is really different. In the 80's and 90's you earned two points from the line. People like Patrick Ewing or Charles Oakley didn't care who you were, they were going to put you on the floor, hard. You can't do that in today's game. Also they didn't call the touch fouls like they do now. Hand checks were perfectly legal, which I think the league should change the rule, and it was much tougher to score like that.

Guys like Olajuwon, Mutombo, Ewing, Eaton, O'Neal, Robinson, Barkley, Oakley, Abdul-Jabbar, Cooper, Worthy, Thomas, Rodman, Dumars, Laimbeer, Drexler, and many others were in the "Jordan era." Many of the players then could block shots, a lot of them in fact. Many of them are either in the Hall of Fame or have won championships, and are on their way to the Hall of Fame. Jordan had to play those guys every day. It seemed like every team had a dominate player and a great defender. Something today's game doesn't have.

I know a lot of readers are saying that you can't compare two different eras. Well you can. Jordan once said that if he played in his prime today he could drop 50 points a game, with ease. I believe him. He has something very few have, no fear of critics or anybody. He was a cold-blooded shooter that would end a team's hopes of winning a game, series, or an NBA Finals win. LeBron showed some of that this year though. It makes me somewhat happy.

Should we compare awards now?

Jordan:

14x All-Star, 6x NBA Champion 6x NBA Finals MVP, 5x MVP, 10x Scoring Champion, 3x Steals Champion, NBA Defensive Player of the Year, 10x All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Second Team, 9x NBA All-Defensive First Team, NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA All-Rookie First Team, 3x All-Star Game MVP, 2x Slam Dunk Champion, Hall of Fame, 2x Olympic Gold Medal winner, NBA's 50 Greatest Players of All-Time. That is from the professional level.

James:

NBA Champion, NBA Finals MVP, 3x NBA MVP, 8x NBA All-Star, NBA Scoring Champion, 6x All-NBA First Team, 2x All-NBA Team Second Team, 4x NBA All-Defensive First Team, NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA All-Rookie First Team, 2x NBA All-Star Game MVP, Bronze Medal winner in 2004 Olympic Team, Gold Medal winner in 2008 Olympic Team. Those are the awards James has won in nine professional seasons.

Now many people tend to forget the fact that Jordan entered the NBA at the age of 21. James did so at 18. Jordan averaged 20 ppg as a 40 year-old, James did that as an 18 year-old. That is remarkable. Many say, "oh, well James was 27 when he first won his ring." Funny part about that is the fact that Jordan was 28. Another interesting thing is that James has won one ring in nine seasons. Jordan won three rings in his first nine.

I think you should also ask yourself these questions...

Who do you want on your team? Jordan.

Who do you want to take the last shot? Jordan.

Who would you take in a draft knowing what you'll get from the start? Jordan.

Who is the better offensive player? Jordan.

Who is the better defensive player? Jordan.

You can compare the two guys all you want. It'll end with "Jordan is better."

On a side note, Jordan wouldn't have called up Bird or Magic and said lets team up.

Maybe this will knock some sense into the people that say "LeBron > Jordan."

*Buzzer sounds* Jordan wins this one.

 

 

T.J. Watson is a 16-year-old sports writer from Illinois. Watson, a huge Bulls fan,  is an aspiring NBA coach or GM. T.J. is very well versed in the game of hoops and has sound information. no comments

Written by Darin Ford | 09 July 2012

The Bulls sign Hinrich - Tell C.J. Watson his contract isn't guaranteed for next year - JL3 gets targeted by Miami. Intersting day.

According to friend Brian Windhorst of ESPN:



Lucas would presumably fill a shooters role in the second unit alongside James Jones and Norris Cole. Lucas isn't expected to return to the Bulls regardless of who else the Bulls sign. Chicago is looking to slowly shape-shift the supporting cast around Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

A more detailed post with other news will be published later today.

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Written by Darin Ford | 08 July 2012



According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, former Bull, Kirk Hinrich, has agreed in principle to a contract with the Bulls:

I don't have much to really analyze here. It's an iffy move for us. Hinrich averaged double figures in points overall in the seven years he spent here before being traded to the Wizards. Kirk, 31, averaged under 7 points a game last year for the Atlanta Hawks. 

Kirk chose the Bulls over the Bucks who reportedly were close to nailing the veteran guard.

Hinrich can really guard and shoot. He's also a leader who will provide consistency in the Bulls backcourt without D-Rose. Essentially, Kirk was traded from the Bulls to rebuild the team and get new blood on the roster after the early season struggles during the '09-'10 session. Hinrich hasn't played for coach Thibodeau yet, but is expected to fit well due to Thibs' defensive principles. As indicated a big reason that Kirk will be brought to the squad revolves around the mentoring of Marquis Teague. 

The move by the Bulls clearly hints towards the dismissal of C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer could follow suit.

Now the Bulls will most likely turn to the remaining big-men in F/A and pick-up a replacement for Omer Asik.

To see a stupid and distasteful photo, click here.

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