Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Frontcourt press

Rumors have been swirling around the Bulls and their search for another frontcourt player to go along with the recently resigned Othella Harrington, Antonio Davis, and the assumed-to-be-back Curry and Chandler. Earlier today ESPN.com's Ric Bucher revealed in his latest chat that the Bulls are likely to land Sacramento Kings Forward (and restricted FA) Darius Songaila. (And while writing this I hear rumblings that the Bulls have signed Malik Allen)

Here are some numbers for the 26 year old Songaila, who played in 81 games and averaged just over 20 mpg for the Kings last season:

p/40 r/40 eFG% FT% PSA REB-r USG-r PER
Songaila 14.6 9.2 0.527 0.847 1.13 11.5 15.1 14.9
Compara-Bull Nocioni (14.3) Harrington(9.2) Curry(.538) Gordon(.863) Chandler(1.13) Nocioni(11.4) Piatkowski(15.7) Gordon(14.9)
Highest Bull Gordon (24.7) Chandler(14.2) Piatkowski(.573) Gordon(.863) Curry(1.17) Chandler(16.4) Gordon(27.8) Chandler(16.4)

Songaila is a very capable offensive player, with a definite knack for efficient scoring (and look at that FT%, mmmmm) and an adequate rebounder. One deficiency that stands out is that his usage rate is like that of a statue (or basketball terms Eric Piatkowski).

That low usage rate and efficient output could be a result of the Kings offense. In a more...deliberate (to use a nice term) offense like the Bulls, Songaila may have to create more and will receive fewer open shots.

It's hard to determine how much his offensive numbers are inflated because of the system he played in, but it is important to also know that the Kings benefited from having Songaila on the court, scoring +3.8 points per 100 possessions better (nearly all of their statistically best lineups included Songaila). His defense was nothing spectacular, but adequate with a 16.3 oPER at the PF spot (to compare, AD allowed a 14.6 oPER at that position while Chandler allowed a 16.7 oPER). While his offense may have been helped by the Kings' style, it's also possible that, in a defense-first atmosphere like Chicago, Songaila can improve in that aspect of his game.

I haven't watched him play much in his 2-year career, but if you combine the numbers with the fact that he was a rotation player on a western conference playoff team, if Paxson can get him with their remaining MLE it could be a bargain.

UPDATE: The Bulls have signed Allen, and maintain interest in Songaila. Terms are undisclosed, but it's possible Allen has signed for the bi-annual exception, leaving the non-Duhon portion of the MLE (a little over $2m) for Songaila. I'm sure hoping they sign him now that I spent this time researching :-)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Comin at you like a bullet(point)

Some Bulls things:

  • via TrueHoop, here's nice puffy article on Luol Deng. We already know about his newfound ambidextrous-ity, but there's also stuff about his work promoting basketball in Britain.
  • Found this at Hoopshype monday morning (actual source link doesn't work), a blurb mentioning a familiar face:

    the Jerusalem roster is a step closer to completion. Coach Erez Edelstein will likely attempt to bring in two forwards in the next two weeks. The latest rumors have former Miami Heat draft pick Jerome Beasley and Mississippi State star Mario Austin as front-runners."

    Austin, as you probably remember, was a Bulls 2nd round draft pick in 2003, and has had a pretty crazy basketball life since then, highlighted by a nightmarish situation in Russia.  He did average 7.6pts and 3.2rebs in just under 20mpg with this year's summer league team, but his performance was overshadowed by Eddie Badsen (who has since been signed) and Drago Pasalic. I'm not sure if Austin will get a camp invite, but even if he does the roster will be crowded and he most likely will spend another season as a basketball nomad.

  • Speaking of Hoopshype, they have recently added a listing of NBA blogs which is very comprehensive, and pretty cool of them I think.
  • 82games.com is hiring gamecharters for the coming season. So if you got a league pass and a TiVo and feel your inner stats-geek trying to burst to the forefront of your consciousness....hey, they'll even pay ya a bit.

    Needless to say 82games.com is a fantastic statistical resource, but beyond that they also provide some great columns, like this one from Supersonics.com writer Kevin Pelton. And I'm not mentioning it just because he mentioned Bulls Blog. Twice.