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K.C. Johnson on the Bulls

Chicago BullsBasketballEddy CurryColleges and UniversitiesCorie BlountJerome Williams

I know the Bulls don't need any more turmoil, but looking at TysonChandler's build and with Jerome Williams around, is there any way Chandlercould move to small forward? I know this was a failed experiment his rookieyear, but he's got a little more experience now and it really doesn't looklike his body can stand the pounding at the power forward slot. If he cankeep up on defense, it's not like the Bulls would be losing anything onoffense. -- Dennis Novak, Fort Worth, Texas

Did you interview for the Bulls' coaching job? Scott Skiles already has eagerly talked about trying that front line once--and if--Chandler gets healthy. He didn't seem inclined to start that lineup, but he certainly seemed open to trying it in his rotation. I think that front line would be great, not only for its size and rebounding and defensive ability, but for its hustle. Again, I don't think you'd try it for longer than, say, 10-12 minutes a game. But it's a look definitely worth trying.

Was this trade a salary cap move or a way to get rid of Jalen Rose? I don'tsee the salary cap advantages to this deal, but I think that getting rid ofRose will be tremendous for Crawford, Chandler and Curry who have turnedinto quasi Jalens. --Tim Schuessler, Hinsdale, Ill.

Quasi Jalens.....I think that was Pink Floyd's third record......The trade, as I wrote, was very simply predicated on John Paxson's desire to rid himself of Jalen's contract and Jalen. There was a belief among management that, as you so eloquently summarized it, Jalen was affecting young players in a negative way. Jalen already has addressed this issue up in Toronto, saying he was unfairly smeared. But when I reached him on his cell phone the day of the trade, he took the high road. So who knows what he really believes?

Tell me what you know about Chris Jeffries? I liked his aggressive play incollege and was surprised to see him drop so low in the 2002 draft. Are theBulls planning on using him? --Dan, Lake Forest, Ill.

I don't think there's much of a role for him here. Eddie Robinson seems to have been awakened by the arrival of Scott Skiles, and the fact that Linton Johnson got minutes in Skiles' first game shows that he has more of a future here than Jefferies.

So who is going to score for the Bulls now that Rose has been traded(granted he wasn't shooting well at all this year)? Jamal Crawford (evenmore shots to take...), Scottie (when healthy)? Will we even average 80points a game? I will miss Baxter and Marshall; they can both score andrebound. Skiles better stress defense; we certainly have no offense. --PhilTomaskovic, Warrenville, Ill.

Jamal took 23 shots in Skiles' first game, which seemed kind of fitting, given that he will become Jordanesque in his field-goal attempts from now on. It's clear that the trade opened up huge offensive freedom for Crawford. Eddy Curry also will be a focal point.

K.C., I like the fact that the Bulls picked up Davis & Williams, but whathappened to Morris Peterson? It would have been nice to get a guy who cantake people off the dribble. Your thoughts please. --Jeremy Foster, SiouxCity, Iowa

My thoughts are that Paxson wanted him too, tried to get him and couldn't. Simple as that. The Bulls definitely still need some perimeter shooting. The trade deadline is still over two months away.

K.C., do you believe one reason Scott Skiles was hired is because Crawfordneeded a tutor at point guard? The previous staffs never had a point guard to teachhim the game. Let's not forget he only played 17 college games and he isonly a handful of games ahead of the Twin Toddlers. They have Bob Thornton; isn't it right that Crawford have someone to help in his development? --Derrick Walters, Stafford, Virg.

The Bulls hired Scott Skiles to teach--period. Not to teach point guards. Not to teach big men. Just to teach. He's an X an O nut, a complete junkie. Bill Cartwright taught, too. The Bulls just didn't listen. I don't think the point guard angle has anything to do with it, especially since Crawford also will be playing plenty of shooting guard now. Also, Bob Thornton has been re-assigned and isn't teaching the big men anymore.

Is it just me or do the Bulls seem to be missing Fred Hoiberg on the bench?Both he and current Bull Corie Blount did not have any misconceptions as towhat their roles were on the team. The problem I see with the currentversion of the Bulls is that most are too concerned with individual numbers,especially in light of upcoming contracts expiring and/or possible trades.I really long for the days of Cliff Levinston, Craig Hodges, and even DennisRodman. Players today keep saying this is their job, but team success has tobe more important than the paycheck sometimes right? -- Anthony Quinones,Tamuning, Guam

One would think. John Paxson does, and that's another reason for this trade. Antonio Davis and Jerome Williams know their roles. They are veteran players who set screens, grab rebounds and play defense. Paxson is trying to build a team similar to the ones he played on, where there were stars--Jordan and Pippen--and then role players--Paxson and Hodges. On this team, Crawford and Curry have the chance to be stars. They're a long way from being them. But that's how Paxson is trying to construct this team.

Eddy Curry was called for three offensive fouls against the Mavericksbecause Danny Fortson flopped. These bad calls negate Eddy fromestablishing position in the paint. Shouldn't someone in Bulls managementspeak to league officials about giving Eddy a chance to play his game? --C.Diaz, Chicago

Get in line behind Lakers officials.

What role do you think Marcus Fizer will play in Skiles' new rotation?There seems to be a glut at the power forward position, and Fizer appears tobe the odd man out. That's a shame, I think. The Bulls could use his scoringpunch. He's the only big man who's a legitimate threat in the post. --KevinHeller, Los Angeles, Calif.

If we get to a point where all the big guys are healthy and adjusted to theteam, whom do you think will be starting at the power forward and center spots? Would youkeep Curry and Chandler as the starters, or replace one of them with Davis? -- Joe Green, Minneapolis, Minn.

From Los Angeles to Minneapolis, the Bulls fans want to know. Your two questions seemed like I could tie them into one answer, so here you go. I think that once everyone is healthy, the Bulls will still start Curry and Chandler but that Davis and Williams will play almost as many minutes off the bench. Fizer is definitely out of the rotation. The question is: Who will score from that second unit? That's the only way Fizer can work himself back into the rotation, if the second unit fails to score. Skiles will take awhile to set a regular rotation as he is still learning the team's personnel. But I think Chandler will be out for awhile, so look for Davis to start with Curry until then. The Corie Blount situation is merely to let Davis get his bearings.

Thanks for your questions. Talk to you next week, K.C.

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