Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Bulls hire former assistant Johnny Bach to replace Bill Berry:
Bach, a defensive specialist, spent eight seasons with the Bulls as an assistant to Collins and Phil Jackson and formed strong relationships with Paxson, coach Bill Cartwright and special assistant B.J. Armstrong. He was fired in 1994, a move that drew criticism from players. Whether Bach's hiring has any effect on Pippen's decision remains to be seen. But Paxson knows it can't hurt in his entreaties to Pippen and possibly Horace Grant, one of Bach's favorite players. Free agents can sign contracts beginning Wednesday. The Bulls have made it clear to Pippen that their entire midlevel salary-cap exception of about $4.6 million is his if he spurns interest from Dallas and other teams.
There is still 1 assistant coaching spot possibly available, because Pete Myers is going back to scouting. Even though it's mentioned, I doubt that Doug Collins would be the man coming in.

So starting Wednesday the Bulls need to decide how long to wait to hear from Pippen before turning to Ira Newble instead. I think a scenario of getting both players is unlikely, because Newble will command more than the veteran and Williams injury exemption. The team would benefit more using that money to get a shooter and a backup center. Just a reminder, your backup center currently is Dali.