Saturday, July 19, 2003

This article is one of the best I've read in a long long time, and completely different than most 'columnists' that cover the Bulls. I would quote the article, but the whole thing should be read. And besides The Bulls Reporter covered it already. :)

Friday, July 18, 2003

Well the Trib pretty much writes off Ira Newble as gone, but raises another interesting possibility:
"The Bulls already have let Ira Newble walk as they negotiated with Pippen. Newble is mulling multiyear offers from Cleveland and Memphis. Posey is the Bulls' latest target, an athletic and versatile player who split time between Denver and Houston last season. He averaged 10.8 points and 5.1 rebounds and, at 6-feet-8 inches, has the wingspan to be a decent defender. The Bulls conceivably could sign Posey and then take the $1.8 million they are expected to receive for Jay Williams' medical exception and sign Corie Blount. Bartelstein, who also is Blount's agent, confirmed the Bulls have interest. As for the other free agents from last year's team, Paxson recently told guards Rick Brunson and Fred Hoiberg to look elsewhere and he would revisit matters in September if they are unsigned. Hoiberg, the longest-tenured Bull, could land in Minnesota. Brunson is drawing interest from Toronto and Houston. The Bulls even are prepared to be shut out completely on the small forward front in free agency."
If they are shut out, make no mistake this offseason will be a failure. I like Posey as a player, he's better than Newble offensively, I'm not sure he's a good enough defender though. Also Newble was admant in saying he is willing to take a lesser role, whereas I don't know if Posey feels the same way. I would be happy if they offered the exemption to Posey, but keep in mind that the Rockets can always match the offer.
Well Rick Morrissey doesn't want Pippen back, and neither does Mariotti, which is suprising since he pines for every ex-Bull to come back and save this "wretched franchise" as he calls it. If only he watched the Bulls once in a while. And I have to say I agree with them, especially since Ira Newble is slipping away.
Waiting on Scottie Pippen to decide whether he wants to return to the Bulls has cost the team any reasonable chance of signing free-agent forward Ira Newble, agent Steve Kauffman said Thursday. "First, I want to make it clear that the Bulls were Ira's first choice,'' said Kauffman, who told Bulls operations chief John Paxson of his decision Wednesday night. "But we can't afford to wait any longer for them to find out what Scottie's going to do. I expect Ira to agree to terms [today] with either the Memphis Grizzlies or the Cleveland Cavaliers.''
I can't believe I'm upset over the possible loss of Ira Newble, but he is a pretty good fit for this team, and if the Bulls lose out on him just so they can woo Pippen, they're making a big mistake. Pippen is older, more expensive, more brittle and just more of a jerk than Newble would be. And besides its not even close to a guarantee that Pippen will sign here anyway, in fact it looks like he's using the Bulls for leverage.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Oh man, Johnny Bach looks like the cryptkeeper:
Wow, Barry Rozner sure doesn't want Pippen back in town.

I'm reading a lot today about offers coming from the Grizzlies, along with contenders like the Spurs and Mavs, who may be looking now towards backup plans like Pip. So he may just be using the Bulls for leverage. Like I said before, I don't even need Pippen, I'm FINE with Ira Newble, but I just want this thing settled.

Despite a certain somebody telling me otherwise, the Bulls have not gotten their Jay Williams exception yet:
"WAITING: Paxson said he still has not been given the $1.8 million medical exception from the league for having playmaker Jay Williams sidelined for the season with injuries from a motorcycle accident. Paxson said he is not discouraged by the fact the league denied the Orlando Magic a medical exception for veteran star Grant Hill. ''There is a possibility that Grant could come back this year, but Jay is out for the year,'' Paxson said. ''That's a given.''"
I find it funny how the Magic keep saying that Hill's out for the year, but he's the one saying he's healthy. It's pretty obvious that they'd rather have the money than 20 games of gimpy Grant. All you need to know about Williams' injury is that a recent top headline said "Williams moves foot".

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Here is some specifics on the Pippen negotiations:
"Contract-wise, the Bulls are prepared to offer the entire mid-level exception, which was set at $4.917 million late Tuesday when the NBA's league office released its salary-cap information. That exception is slightly higher than expected, and that could aid the Bulls' efforts to sign Pippen if the management position issue doesn't become a sticking point. The Bulls are pushing for Pippen to decide Wednesday so they can pursue other options—Ira Newble and perhaps Corie Blount—if needed. Friday could be the latest that the Bulls wait on Pippen. That may not be enough time for Pippen to hear from Portland. The Trail Blazers are expected to hire John Nash as general manager on Wednesday. But with a payroll well in excess of the $52.9 million luxury tax, it remains unclear whether Portland will make an offer. Pippen still talks positively of general manager John Paxson's pitch to return to Chicago but has maintained that Portland is his first choice. Pippen has ruled out Dallas, so his options are limited."
So it's going to be a pressure-filled week for Paxson. How long can he wait until the new Portland GM makes an offer (if any) to Pippen? And for that matter, how long can Pippen wait before the Bulls offer is off the table? Getting a new GM certainly helps Portland's chances of retaining Pippen, but I wouldn't be suprised if the he is ordered to keep payroll down as first priority.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

This article has a tiny Bulls-blurb about another free agent defensive SF:
"Ten teams, including the Mavericks, Nuggets, Spurs, and Bulls are interested in former Seton Hall star Adrian Griffin, who is a free agent"
Griffin is like Ira Newble I guess, but worse offensively. So maybe he could be the one signed as a compliment to Pippen, I assume he'd come cheaper. He actually started sometimes for the Mavericks last year, where his offensive shortcomings obviously weren't much of a problem.
Summer League News:
"Led by assistant coach Bob Thornton, the Bulls will play six games in nine days in Utah. On Thursday, July 24, the Bulls will take on the Portland Trail Blazers at 6:00 PM (MDT), a game scheduled to be televised by ESPN. "
So mark that on your calendar, for your dose of the Tommy Smith experience. (thanks to Tim for the link)
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.

Monday, July 14, 2003

The Bulls Reporter on Pippen:
"Signing Pippen as a FA has a lot of positives attached - better wing defense, veteran leadership, playoff experience, rebuilding the luster of the dynasty years, etc., but the memories of the 1994-1995 playoff pout and the debacle surrounding the alleged premature 'dismantling' of the dynasty in 1998 give me pause. Remember that Pippen pouted through his last two seasons with the Bulls, threatening to sit out the season at one point, and eventually forced his way out of town via trade. The optimist in me says that Scottie is more mature now, recognizing that his old buddy Jerry Krause gave him an unbelievable payday with a wonderful golden parachute sign-and-trade to the Houston Rockets. But Scottie didn't hesitate to rip Jerry Krause and Jerry Reinsdorf when the Bulls were in their heyday, along with Michael Jordan, Horace Grant, and Phil Jackson, and continued to kick the franchise when it was down in 1999 and 2000. I don't know about you, but if I were Jerry Reinsdorf I'd have trouble bringing any of these guys back into the organization, at least without a public mea culpa first. Speaking of MJ, I'm so glad we don't have to suffer through that pain in the ass in Milwaukee. The thought of Michael operating a team 90 miles north was too much to take….Thank you, Herb Kohl."
I was saying the same thing in my last post regarding Pippen and Reinsdorf. This Pippen thing is looking more and more likely with all the front-office turmoil the Blazers are having. Oh and how could I not post that quote after reading that little Jordan shot at the end.