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Sam Smith hosts live chat (May 20, 2009)

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May 20

I hope you all have been keeping up with my NBA column on Mondays and my mailbags on Fridays. I can’t believe we’re only halfway through the NBA playoffs, I’m still exhausted from the first round. OK, time to chat!

3:00 pm
Sam, what are the chances of moving Miller and the #16 for Kaman, letting Gordon walk and keeping Hinrich?

Matt, Charlotte, NC, via web

The big problem with a guy like Kaman is you are pretty much locking yourself up with him. He has a long contract and you are almost surely taking yourself out of 2010. If I believed Kaman was the answer to the teams issues at Center I would do it, but I don’t believe he is.

3:06 pm
Why hasn’t Michael Jordan been offered the GM position, and why was John Paxson picked over him?
@IamEM8CHE, via twitter

Well Jordan has a GM position now, the big issue was the Bulls wanted a full time, working GM. Michael has made it clear (aside from his many personnel evaluations) that he doesn’t believe being a GM is a full time working position. He doesn’t scout and he’s not around the team often. Paxson is around the team, travels with the team and is around the office and practice facility. Micahel does not do these things.

3:08 pm
What are the Bulls going to do in this draft? I am very curious.

via text message

I’m curious myself. I’m fairly certain they don’t know at this point. First, they are going to see what presents itself in trades, in other words if they get a chance for an attractive player speculative example… say the Hornets want to trade David West, the Bulls could put together a package of LA native Tyrus Thomas, and expiring contract and their two first round picks. So they’ll look at those first. If nothing presents itself they’ll likely look for a PG to back up Rose and give them the flexibility to make a move with Hinrich or some protection if they lose Gordon. They’ll likely also look for a physical front court player. But it’s pretty wide open.

3:10 pm
If the Bulls were to get another 1st-round pick and then trade up into the draft’s top 10, what player would they try to get?
@nomaan, via twitter

Assuming Blake Griffin isn’t available. The issue with this draft is it’s not deep. In the 2000 draft the Bulls used all 6 picks and got not a lot out of it. There is not a whole lot of appealing talent in the top 10. The 2nd and 3rd picks don’t even make sense for the Bulls. Rubio will never be what Rose is and Thabeet is awful on offense. Some people see offensive potential in DeRozen but he’s not anywhere close to contributing. I think with this Bulls team, after the 1st round playoff run is thinking more about the next step and advancing than developing more young projects.

3:15 pm
Sam, I’m guessing you’ve seen the photos of Joakim Noah on vacation, frolicking with busty babes in the ocean? Seems like his plan to get fit and work hard on his game over the off season may be a bit delayed – either that or he’s using experimental training techniques. Your thoughts?
William, Brisbane, Austrailia, via web

My thoughts are, often I wish I were Joakim Noah. If anybody thinks that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and Magic Johnson, these guys have won titles become monks and starting working out immediately you aren’t paying attention. The issue with Noah is always going to be this on some level. He likes to have fun and takes basketball somewhat seriously, but not completely. The Bulls and everyone knew that. He’s serious about winning when he’s in the game, he competes hard, but I don’t think you’ll ever change his nature completely. If you remember when he got picked up by the police for an open alcohol container and I believe marijuana, his father complained he didn’t understand what the issue was. Noah comes from an obviously different background than most of us. If he can gain some weight and become a little stronger he can get better but his lifestyle won’t change a tremendous amount.

What do you think? Leave a comment below: