Survey says ... Brandon Roy. The results of my unscientific survey show that Bulls fans prefer the team draft the U. of Washington guard over big men LaMarcus Aldridge and Tyrus Thomas.
An unscientific survey, by the way, is usually where we make up the results. That differs from a scientific survey in which professional pollsters make up the results. Really, who are all these people answering these stupid questions? And who really believes them? I take my survey answering rules from former Tribune columnist Mike Royko, who had the best idea: Lie to the pollsters. Then we wouldn't have to see these stupid polls anymore.
I have long been leaning toward one of the big guys given that the Bulls are so small on the front line. But watching the playoffs and the way the rules changes with no contact above the free throw line has changed the game and opened it up for smaller players, I'm getting on board. I always saw the need for someone like Roy, though I didn't see enough of him to know if he could be a big-time shooting guard. All the pro scouts I talk to assure me he can be. And I'm not a big fan of continuing to add rookies to a team with so many young players.
Anyone who reads here knows that even though I really do like Ben Gordon and appreciate his skill, I've tried to move him for some time because he is not the ideal shooting guard, especially one who can defend and allow Kirk Hinrich to concentrate on shooting guard.
I'd still prefer a trade for a veteran, but that remains a long shot. So I'll throw in for Roy for the three-guard rotation and count on the Knicks being lousy again, get a high pick and get a big guy next year, maybe even Greg Oden or even my U. of Florida guy Joakim Noah.
Or Zydrunas Ilgauskas. It's not often teams trade in the division, and my guess would be the Bulls would be leery of the risk of his age and former health issues. The Cavs never figured out how to use him with LeBron James and an unimaginative offense. The talk is they'd like a center like Jamaal Magloire, but the Bucks might not want to trade in the division, either. The Bulls could probably get Ilgauskas for the No. 2 draft pick, though I doubt they'd do that.
Sam, I must say your trade scenarios for the Bulls are a joke. Heat, Pistons will be tough for three years. Bulls won't stand a chance until 2009. Pick Thomas, JJ Red, sign Joe Pryzb., and two guard. 2007 NY pick. You and I could coach that team to east finals. Give Deng, Gordon 2-3 more years here come the bulls! FORGET Ben is too short. That's bull. If Pax wants to do something good deal TC. He's not a game changer. --Tom Petros, Sycamore, Ill.
I think I get all the abbreviations, though I thought out there in Sycamore you guys had more time to sit down and write out a complete sentence. First of all, you never know what will happen in three years. Guys could leave in free agency, be injured. And I think the East is wide open. I think the Pistons appear to have lost their edge and will make changes in the offseason. If the Heat is in the Finals, it will give Shaquille O'Neal the excuse to take half of next season off, making it difficult to get 50 wins. If they win a title, I can see Pat Riley walking away. LeBron's running mates aren't very good. The Bulls' core now has enough experience if you add a player or two; I can see them making a serious run next season. You never want to sit and wait, and this NBA in the coming years looks like it will be as wide open as ever.
FINALLY! A trade that makes sense for the Bulls. After your goofy ideas to ship off Ben Gordon for stiffs and question marks, your idea to swap for Ray Allen is the ticket. Both first-rounders and a mid-range guy for salary reasons (i.e. Sweetney) would be a sweet deal. Then the Bulls could grab a guy like Przybilla or Nazr to shore up the middle and they'd be in good shape. --Sean, Rock Island, Ill.
The truth is I really do this because of all the kindness of strangers that I get. I really believe it would be a good deal for the 'Sonics, too, given their financial uncertainty and ability to re-sign their free agents, like Chris Wilcox, and get building with an interesting young core. Bringing back Allen, they're still nowhere near the Spurs, Dallas and the Suns, especially if Amare Stoudemire is healthy. So get something developing for when Tim Duncan and Steve Nash begin to slow in a few years. The problem I see is I'm not sure the Bulls are interested. I'm getting the feeling they'd rather keep building with what they have and add the veterans through free agency.
What are the chances the bulls get Pat O'Bryant of Bradley and Tyrus Thomas of LSU? --Dan, Normal, Ill.
I've been thinking much of the season that if they got the chance they'd go with Thomas because of his great athletic ability and possibilities in today's game to guard all three front court positions -- a bigger version of Ben Wallace. Wouldn't that be nice to have? We're still a month away and anything is possible in this draft. Because you have five or six players I've had GMs tell me they'd pick No. 1, I think there's going to be more misinformation spread this year than perhaps any other draft and the mock drafts are going to be a mess. There's been a lot of talk these days about NBA parity making it like the NFL where more teams have a chance to win. I'm getting the feeling this is going to take on that militaristic, secret-code nature of the NFL draft. As for O'Bryant, everything I'm hearing now is he'll be gone before the Bulls' pick at No. 16, but he sure looks like a long-term project to me.
Sam, I think you've got the Bulls' second pick wrong. Brandon Roy is probably the most NBA ready of the prospects in this draft and offers the complete package. He's quick, has size, plays defense and his shooting improved markedly while at UW. If he continues to improve his outside shooting, I don't see a hole in his game. He may not help the Bulls in the post but he still fills a big need for them. Drafting him would take pressure off Hinrich, allowing him to guard guys his own size. He would receive significant playing time in a three-guard rotation of Gordon, Hinrich and Roy. Could Thomas and Aldridge be the Hakeem and Sam Bowie of 2006? And if not quite on MJ's level, how high do you see Roy's ceiling and why? --Mike, Evanston, Ill.
Yes, I've long argued to get Hinrich some defensive help and get him a shooting guard, though I'd prefer a veteran. If they can't get a veteran or two, I know Roy would help. But rookies take time and I see an opening to make a jump in the East now. I'm not sure on Roy; the college game is way down from where it was. I can't say I know that much as someone who really watched Pac 10 basketball. Though everything I hear is positive and I agree he's most ready. If one of those guys is Hakeem, though, grab him. Look, Bowie had a decent career even with the injuries and was mocked more because he went before Jordan. Thomas and Aldridge both appear to be players who will make significant NBA contributions, though not right away.
Hey, Sam, what are the odds that the Bulls end up coming to their senses and realize that Aldridge and Thomas aren't going to contribute until a few years down the road and go for Roy or Gay instead? We have enough money to get a better big man via free agency rather than someone with no experience. --Neeraj Chhabra, Indiana
I think they may be getting there. Have you been sitting in on the scouting and personnel meetings?
So far you have thrown a lot of ideas out there about what the Bulls should do with their draft picks. At first, I wanted the kid from LSU, believing in his upside. But they did that already with Curry and Chandler and look how that has turned out. I think Roy would be a great pick for this team, because he gives them size at guard, more maturity and readiness, and depth or trade options with Gordon. Plus, do you really think that, even though it is probably their biggest need, that the bigs are worth the No. 2 pick? --Steven Schnakenberg, Carbondale, Penn.
Stop, enough already. But you guys better be right on Roy.
Ask Sam Smith, Part I
The Tribune pro basketball reporter answers readers' questions about the Bulls, the draft and the NBA
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