Bulls

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie has a plan to run the Bulls, is it feasible?

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie has a plan to run the Bulls, is it feasible?

The Bulls’ front office search has reached a boiling point. 

Just on Wednesday, news surfaced of four candidates — Denver Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas, former Atlanta Hawks GMs Danny Ferry and Wes Wilcox, and former executive Bryan Colangelo — interviewing to be the team’s new head of basketball operations after Utah Jazz GM Justin Zanik interviewed Monday. Karnisovas is considered the frontrunner.

But now, it appears another has entered the fray: former Windy City Bulls great, and current Nets guard, Spencer Dinwiddie:

 

This is, of course, a facetious proposition. Only Dinwiddie didn’t stop there. Moments after firing off that initial post, he spouted a lengthy thread detailing his convoluted plan to save the Bulls rebuild, were he to be handed the keys to the franchise.

Because, oh, what else is going on in the world right now, let’s break that plan down — point by point — to determine if any of it is prudent. Or even feasible:

Step 1: Hire Spencer Dinwiddie as head of basketball operations

Simple enough, right? Not exactly. Because Dinwiddie is currently under contract with the Nets, this hypothetical scenario would probably have to involve the Bulls first trading for Dinwiddie, then appointing him to the dual station of player and GM. Dinwiddie saw that roadblock coming:

And, in fact, this swap is legal! Dinwiddie ($10,605,600) and Tomas Satoransky’s ($10,000,000) current salaries are well within the threshold required by the current CBA (175% + $100,000 for non-tax payers). Though if I’m the Nets, I probably ask for a first-round pick.

Step 2: Acquire Anthony Davis

Things are moving quickly here. In Dinwiddie’s first move as general manager of the Bulls, he proposes packaging Thad Young, Cristiano Felicio, Wendell Carter Jr., and a first-round pick in a sign-and-trade to bring Davis back to his hometown team (after, of course, signing with Rich Paul, who represents Davis. Crucial groundwork, he knows the business):

 

Ask TradeNBA’s trade machine, and this is another legal transaction (under Davis’ current salary, at least). Ask the Los Angeles Lakers’ sensibilities… Perhaps not so much.

Plus, if this is a sign and trade, it involves the Bulls swaying Davis to voluntarily leave the city of Angels and the allure of continuing on alongside LeBron James with a Lakers team that was 49-14 when the NBA suspended its season. His next destination would be a team that’s won 44 games in the past two seasons. 

There is also a litany of complicated financial considerations here for Davis, the Lakers, and the Bulls to sift through, but I don’t have close to the energy for them. The point is, all of this is absurd. 

Step 3: Fill out the rotation

But let’s keep going, anyways. Here’s the current state of affairs as we enter phase three:

Dinwiddie is right: This is a solid foundation from which to build. As for the bench…

 

Who’s going to tell him Antonio Blakeney spent this past season absolutely torching the Chinese Basketball Association for the Jiangsu Dragons? (And as an aside: Blakeney was a fan favorite?) Either way, it looks like Shaq Harrison is getting re-signed, Jared Dudley — or someone of his ilk — is getting the minimum, and Chandler Hutchison and Daniel Gafford are staying on board.

 

This is where things start to get a little stickier. Using this year’s salary cap of approximately  $109 million (because who knows where that figure will be when all of this is over) as a baseline, the Bulls could theoretically offer one of Dinwiddie’s target wing candidates $9,246,000 in the form of the non-tax payer mid-level exception. With Davis on board, and the team’s total salary roughly static to this point, it’s safe to assume the Bulls would be right around the cap line right now, and well clear of the tax.

For Harkless, that $9.2 million figure feels well within reason on a flier for a contender. For Marcus Morris? The title contender pitch would have to be awfully compelling. Plus, with LaVine, White, Davis, and Markkanen all already needing the ball, perhaps someone with a bit lower usage at that spot would be best.

I’d call Harkless (a free agent this offseason) the most realistic option of the four, including Terrence Ross and Robert Covington. Ross just signed a four-year, $54 million extension with the Orlando Magic last summer, so bringing him on would require a bit of legwork. Covington, entering the third year of an affordable four-year, $47 million deal with the Houston Rockets, would be difficult to pry away from Daryl Morey, who spent two first-round picks to acquire him at February's deadline.

Step four: Draft a wing

Luckily, Dinwiddie should have a high lottery pick to help fill out that wing rotation. He intends to use it:

 

Isaac Okoro, Deni Avdija, Devin Vassell, Saddiq Bey or even Jalen McDaniels could be reasonable options, wherever the Bulls’ pick lands. (How about trading down to Orlando’s slot in a deal centered around Ross? Vassell, Bey or McDaniels might be reaches in the top 10, but at No. 15? Just spitballing here.)

Step 5: Swap Otto Porter Jr. for Andre Drummond

Whichever way Dinwiddie decides to go in the draft, he has his eye on an Otto Porter Jr. for Andre Drummond swap to cap off his first offseason as Bulls’ head of basketball operations. 

Frankly, I don’t see this one. History says Davis won’t like the idea of playing center over the course of a full season (and Dinwiddie intends to value his input), but bringing Drummond on leaves you with just Harkless, Hutchison and your rookie at the small forward spot. We saw the consequences of not valuing wing depth with this year’s Bulls. Porter’s shooting and perimeter defense simply sound more valuable to this squad given its current construction.

But screw it. If he can find a way to make it work, cap-wise — given that both Porter and Drummond are due hefty player options after this season — who am I to stand in the way?

Step 6: Admire the finished product

Here’s what the Bulls are looking at entering next season if Dinwiddie has his way:

PG — Dinwiddie / Coby White** / Ryan Arcidiacono* 

SG — Zach LaVine / Shaq Harrison 

SF — Harkless / Hutchison / LOTTO PICK (I’d probably go Okoro, given Dinwiddie's valuing of defense)

PF — Davis / Markkanen / Dudley

C — Drummond / Gafford / Luke Kornet*

*Dinwiddie alluded to shedding Arcidiacono and Kornet, but I’m keeping them on. The two combined don’t match up in trades for Covington or Ross, who Dinwiddie expressed interest in.

**#StartCoby forever. But this is Dinwiddie's world, not mine.

Toss in a few more minimum or two-way guys (Adam Mokoka?), and that’s not half bad — albeit impossible for every reason enumerated above.

But what's important is he's bringing fresh ideas to the table. Hopefully, the Bulls’ new hire to head basketball operations will do the same.

SUBSCRIBE: Apple/iPhone | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Art 19

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.

Bulls ‘disappointed’ to not participate in NBA return, but respect compromise

Bulls ‘disappointed’ to not participate in NBA return, but respect compromise

As of a ratification by the Board of Governors Thursday and a pending vote by the NBPA Friday, the NBA’s resumption plan is virtually set in stone.

In it, 22 teams will make the trip to Orlando, Fla. to complete a truncated 2019-20 regular season, possible play-in round for each conference’s eighth seed and a 16-team playoff. The Bulls, at 22-43 and paused eight games back of the Orlando Magic for the East’s eighth spot, did not receive an invite.

In statements, Bulls president and COO Michael Reinsdorf and executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas expressed disappointment for not being able to return to action, but understanding of commissioner Adam Silver’s verdict.

“It is disappointing that we will not return to play for the 2019-20 season, but ultimately this decision is about more than just one team. We are supportive of Commissioner Adam Silver and the outcome of the vote by the NBA Board of Governors,” Reinsdorf said in the release. “We thank Adam and his team for their thoughtful work in exploring all available options to come up with a solution that allows the NBA as a league to resume. They spent countless hours having open dialogue with leaders and experts across various industries, as well as team executives, listening and educating themselves to ensure the NBA made the best, safest decision for the league and our players during these unprecedented times.

“We will now shift our focus to continue to build our team under the new leadership of Arturas Karnisovas and our Basketball Operations Department with a focus on the Draft, free agency and offseason development. To our fans and the great city of Chicago: We thank you for your continued support. Keep moving forward with us as we prepare to return to the court for the 2020-21 season.”

Indeed, the focus now shifts to an elongated and unprecedented offseason for the Bulls. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that the NBA Lottery and Draft will be rescheduled for Aug. 25 and Oct. 15, respectively. Shams Charania of The Athletic pinpointed Oct. 18 as a potential start date for free agency. Those dates are reportedly fluid, but they’ll be ones to monitor for Bulls fans.

Also worth keeping an ear to the ground on will be the new regime’s decision on the future of head coach Jim Boylen with the franchise, as well as restricted free agents Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine, and various others along the basketball operations department and roster.

Karnisovas evidently saw some benefit to the Bulls returning to action from an evaluation perspective, but conveyed understanding for the difficult situation the league currently finds itself in.

“To be included in the plan to restart the 2019-20 season would have been a positive for our players and their development, but we understand the need to compromise and we support the decision made today by the NBA Board of Governors,” Karnisovas said in his statement.  “We are disappointed that our season is over and there won’t be opportunities to see our team or players in game action, but we will be creative in discovering new opportunities to support their growth as we prepare for the next season. Commissioner Adam Silver had the difficult responsibility to develop the best option for the league, and I commend him for the job he has done, particularly given the extraordinary circumstances.”

Karnisovas and new general manager Marc Eversley will reportedly soon head to Chicago. Much of the team is out of market, and there are no games left to be played, but getting under one roof — even for a spell — should only benefit the organization in their quest to “build” under new leadership.

The Bulls' final game of the 2019-20 campaign was a 108-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 10. The NBA suspended its season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic March 11.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Art19

NBA 22-team format: When the 2020-21 NBA season begin

NBA 22-team format: When the 2020-21 NBA season begin

The NBA's Board of Governors approved a competitive format to restart 2019-20 season with 22 teams returning to play. The 22 teams returning to play will tentatively start on Friday, July 31.

But what does that mean for the 2020-21 season?

With the NBA Finals slated to end no later than October 12, the season will have to be delayed. Last season began on October 22, 2019.

This year, the NBA Draft is scheduled to take place on Oct. 15.

It's a fluid situation, but the NBA says "the 2020-21 NBA regular season would likely begin on Dec. 1, 2020."

There is still a lot of unknown about the 2020-21 season. Will the NBA try to condense the schedule to get back to a normal timeline for 2021-22? Will the NBA schedule forever be permanently altered?

Another note to keep in mind, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo was postponed to 2021, beginning on July 23, 2021. That could put the NBA Finals just a couple of weeks before the Sumer Games begin.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.