Thursday, August 12, 2004

The Newest Bull

The Bulls have officially announced the signing of swingman Andres Nocioni, of Argentina. This gives the team possibly its first worthwhile European product since Toni Kukoc. Since Toni got traded, "The Sleuth" Jerry Krause had parlayed his mythical scouting experience into busts like Kornel David, Dragan Tarlac, and Dalibor Bagaric. However, from what has been reported, Nocioni looks like he can contribute immediately(unlike his predecessors), and I'm sure he'll get every opportunity to earn the starting SF spot over Luol Deng and Eddie Robinson.

Admittedly, I have never seen him play, but there will be a chance soon since he is on the Argentinean Olympic basketball team, alongside Manu Ginnobili. A month ago when Nocioni was first mentioned by the press, a Bulls Blog reader from Spain had this scouting report:

I've been living in Spain and following Nocioni's evolution for the last 3 years and let me tell you something: this guy is a GREAT player and he'll have an immediate impact on the Bulls.
He's a really athletic guy (like no other white guy in the NBA), extremely strong and aggressive. He started being an excellent defender with limited offensive skills (he'd always drive it to the hole and dunk on someone) but has polished his game and has become a threat from the 3-point line.
If you're afraid you're getting a slow, soft Euro guy forget it...Nocioni will be a fan favorite in no time!!!

If you want to see something with your own eyes before Team Argentina hits the court, check out this footage from the 1999 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. You'll see Nocioni torching a familiar face. Wow, so even *I* have reason to watch the Olympics now.

Now as far as the remaining spot on this team (tall guard who can shoot), candidates Wesley Person(Heat) and Calbert Chaney(Warriors) are now off the market. And while resigning Kendal Gill is a nice idea, I think its Gill who is no longer interested in the Bulls. He had his year with the hometown team, now back off to trying to win a championship. At least I think that's his plan.

 I also forgot to add in my last entry that when going along with the idea that this team needs more shooters, I now have rooting interest in Jannero Pargo winning a roster spot over Chris Duhon. I know, Dickie Vs of the world, Duhon has leadership and court awareness and the ability to crash into cameras. But I prefer more tangible attributes, like, say...putting the ball in the basket.