Bulls

Bulls are 'Melo' on idea of acquiring Anthony

Bulls are 'Melo' on idea of acquiring Anthony

Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010
5:26 PM

By Mark Schanowski
CSNChicago.com

Like just about every other NBA team, the Bulls have talked with the Denver Nuggets about the possibility of trading for perennial All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony. But right now, the Nuggets are going all out to keep Anthony in the Mile High City. They recently hired a new General Manager, whose 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th job is to convince Carmelo to sign a 3 year, 65 million dollar contract extension thats been on the table the last 2 months.

The Nuggets dont want to be the next team to be held hostage by a superstar player after watching what happened in Cleveland and Toronto with LeBron James and Chris Bosh, respectively. So, if Anthony ultimately decides to reject the extension, the Nuggets might be forced to seriously consider a trade, rather than watch Anthony walk away as a free agent next summer.

But as I wrote last month, the Bulls dont have a lot of options in trying to put together a trade package for Anthony. Luol Deng would almost have to be included in order to match up the salaries, and Denver is unlikely to take Dengs long-term contract without getting Joakim Noah in the deal as well. The Bulls front office might eventually decide it would be worth including Noah to acquire a top-five talent like Anthony, but were nowhere near that point yet, despite all the reports that are out there talking about the Bulls having an internal debate on the pros and cons of trading Noah.

The other issue is team chemistry. Would putting Anthony with Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer give the Bulls the same lethal mix of offensive talent that Miami currently possesses with LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh? Or, would trading Noah leave the Bulls defenseless inside, while subtracting the teams emotional leader? If Denver ever does get serious about trading Anthony, those will be question for John Paxson and Gar Forman to ponder at some point in the future.

So, hold off on ordering your Anthony 15 Bulls jersey. Any serious trade discussions are likely to be a long ways off. And, its clear going to New York to play for the Knicks is Carmelos and his celebrity wifes first choice. New York could offer a package of Eddy Currys expiring contract, sharp-shooting small forward Danilo Gallinari and 6-11 power forward prospect Anthony Randolph that would easily surpass the Bulls likely offer of Deng, Taj Gibson and draft picks.

ASIK MAKING AN IMPACT ON THE WORLD STAGE

In case you havent been watching the FIBA World Championship in Turkey, youre missing some pretty good basketball. Derrick Rose is the starting point guard for Team USA, and hes done a nice job of directing the offense, pushing the tempo, and playing the attacking defense Mike Krzyzewski wants from his guards. Winning a gold medal would be a great accomplishment for this team, labeled the B team in international circles because it does not include any of the stars from the 08 Olympic champions. Rose and company will have to beat Lithuania in the semis, and most likely, host Turkey in the finals to win the gold, but its definitely out there for the taking. The championship game will be played Sunday in Istanbul.

Speaking of Turkey, Bulls rookie center Omer Asik has looked pretty good during World Championship play. Asik is an athletic 7 footer, whos quick off his feet and agile enough to get around defenders under the basket. You can bet the Bulls will get him in the weight room to work with Erik Helland and his staff, but they might have found a valuable big man for the future.

Asik isnt ready to play major minutes yet against NBA competition, but he has the skill set to be a contributor off the bench. Keep your eye on him during the pre-season games. John Paxson worked a draft night deal to get Asik for three 2nd round draft picks back in 08. It might turn out to be one of those small moves that pays big dividends down the line.

Were always interested in hearing what you think. Please post your comments on the Carmelo situation or your predictions for the Bulls this season in the section below. Training camp begins in less than three weeks, so well be coming at you more regularly with news and analysis here on Beyond the Arc.

Mark Schanowski hosts our Bulls pre- and postgame studio coverage with 15-year NBA veteran Kendall Gill. You can also watch Mark on SportsNite, Sunday through Thursday at 6:30 and 10.

Options if the Bulls trade down: Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura

Options if the Bulls trade down: Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura

On draft night, there is a decent possibility that the Bulls front office looks at their draft board and collectively decide that they can get a player with No. 7 pick value later in the first round. They could be inclined to feel this way more than in most years due to the 2019 draft class being such a toss up after the top three picks. If the Bulls traded down in the draft, I am assuming they would be netting a valuable future first-round pick, likely with some minimal protections. In this series, we will be looking at prospects the Bulls could take should they trade down in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Rui Hachimura per The Stepien:

71 percent at the rim

44.2 percent on short midrange

47.6 percent on long midrange

52.1 percent on NBA 3s (12/23)

Boylen talked a ton this season about “toughness” being a key tenet of the new Bulls culture moving forward. The idea of that “toughness” didn’t translate on the court heavily, though the Bulls did improve slightly in rebound rate under Boylen.

From the time for Boylen took over, the Bulls ranked 14th in defensive rebound rate and 25th in total rebound rate, up from 16th and 28th respectively under Hoiberg. Those numbers are a bit of smoke-and-mirrors with all the factors at play this past (weird) Bulls season.

But Boylen did have a much heavier focus on generating points inside first, with the team ranking third in the league in points in the paint per game during his tenure. Rui Hachimura fits in extremely well with the idea of the Bulls punishing teams inside with low-post scoring depth, resulting in open looks on the perimeter.

Hachimura stands 6-feet-8-inches tall, 230 lbs., with a 7-foot-2-inch wingspan. He is a very physical player and utilizes his wingspan incredibly well in traffic. Hachimura posted a 17.4 percent defensive rebound rate over his three-years at Gonzaga. I mentioned above how Hachimura embraces contact and his career average of 7.5 free throw attempts per 40 minutes helps showcase his ability to be a wrecking ball in the paint.

He has the potential to excel as a small-ball center with the right personnel surrounding him. The fact that he can grab a defensive board and initiate the fastbreak makes him an even more valuable prospect. But when you consider that lineups with he and Markkanen as the two bigs on the floor would have five capable ball-handlers, the idea of Rui in Chicago becomes even more enticing.

Overall, Hachimura is a great prospect with a solid skill set that should allow him to be a decent scorer from day one, it all just depends on how much of an opportunity he gets.

The Bulls--as John Paxson has reiterated many, many times now--feel comfortable with the starters they have at the two, three, four and five positions, with point guard being their main area of weakness. While the Bulls don’t necessarily need another big, they do need to add productive players who are young. With Boylen’s emphasis on having multiple ball-handlers, driving the ball and points in the paint, Hachimura would be a logical selection, though No. 7 overall could be a bit of a reach for the 21-year old big.

His defense definitely has a long way to go--as with most NBA draft prospects--but Hachimura’s situation is unique since he literally had a language barrier to overcome when he first got to Gonzaga in 2017. The belief right now is that Hachimura is in a comfortable spot right now in terms of both speaking and understanding English, as reporting from Sam Vecine of the The Athletic (LINK is behind a paywall) and others has backed up.

With that being said, the Japanese forward still makes too many mistakes on the defensive end of the floor to be a surefire top 10 pick.

He is at his core an offensive-minded player, and as a result has not exactly developed much in the way of defensive intensity over the years. Hachimura averaged 0.6 steals per game and 0.5 blocks per game for his NCAA career.

For comparison’s sake, his steal and block rates are almost identical to Marvin Bagley III during his time at Duke. Bagley had a highly productive rookie season with the Kings--landing a spot on the NBA All-Rookie First-Team--but the Kings defense was still four points worse when he was on the floor per cleaningtheglass.com ($).

Despite having similar measurements to Bagley, I don’t believe that Hachimura posses quite the level of athleticism that Bagley does, making his path to becoming an above average defender that much harder.

Ultimately, if Hachimura’s awesome shooting numbers from NBA 3-point range (41.7 percent) on a small sample size (36 attempts) aren’t smoke-and-mirrors, he will greatly outplay his draft position. Hachimura shot 52.1 percent on his NBA range 3-pointers and also has a career 74.6 percent free throw percentage. Whether he was diving to the rim on pick-and-rolls with Lauri spacing the floor, or playing in a high/low offense with another big on the bench unit, there is a clear path to Hachimura being effective in Chicago. It would just take a ton of patience from the Bulls new-look coaching staff.

Sports Talk Live Podcast: The Bulls need a point guard. The Bears Top 100 list continues

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: The Bulls need a point guard. The Bears Top 100 list continues

0:00- Will Perdue drops by to talk hoops. What will the Bulls do this summer to address their point guard need?

7:00- The Bulls need a point guard. Derrick Rose is a free agent. Should they bring him back home?

11:30- Carman says the Bulls should consider trading for Lonzo Ball. Kap yells at him.

16:30- Will talks about this year's playoffs and if anybody will be the Warriors?

20:00- The Bears Top 100 list continues to dominate discussion. Chris makes the case for Jay Cutler to be higher. He gets yelled at.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: