Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bulls links, and even some rare White Sox links

Don't the Bulls already have a project at the 4? That we've been developing for the last few years and hoping his offensive game comes around?! Well if 1 is good, 2 must be better ...

From TrueHoop -
The Bulls have a project in James Johnson. He's capable of moving the ball, looks like a competent defender, but I don't think he's realized what kind of offensive player he is, wants to be, or the Bulls want him to be. He's 12 for his last 43 shots from the field, though he's managed 24 free throw attempts over that span.

Reinsdorf speaks on BG

From Ben Gordon's exit, to Ben Wallace's short and costly stay, to Pau Gasol's bypass of the Bulls on the way to L.A., Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf weighed in on numerous subjects Monday.

Reinsdorf, also the White Sox owner who allowed he might have bought the Cubs had the timing been different in 1981, sat down with Bulls beat reporters from the Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, and Daily Herald for an hour of free-wheeling conversation at the United Center.

Question: What do you think of Ben Gordon's signing as a free agent with the Detroit Pistons?

Answer: Actually, we made a decision a year ago not to commit long term to Ben. We tried, and he turned it down. Then, near the end, [now GM] Gar Forman and John [Paxson] decided it probably wasn't a good idea to make a long-term decision. We wanted to see what other options might develop. So we withdrew the offer [six years, $54 million] we had on the table. Ben ultimately said he would take it, but it was too late.

Now, fast forward to the end of the year, we have [John] Salmons and we have a hell of a three-guard rotation with [Kirk] Hinrich and Derrick [Rose]. Ben wasn't going to get a whole lot of playing time. [It] was going to be diminished. So Ben really no longer fit. Ben's a terrific player. But Ben needs minutes. He would not have been happy with the minutes he was going to get.

Q: What about letting Gordon go and getting nothing in return given he was the third overall pick in the 2004 draft?

A: You can't just look at a player by himself. You've got to look at what his departure enables you to do in other ways. You do have to have [salary] cap flexibility in this league. It's not like baseball where, if you have the money, you can do whatever you want. The cap really constrains you. So you're constantly looking at your roster to see maybe two or three years out.


Q: Would you ever exceed the luxury-tax threshold?

A: I don't mind [paying] the tax if it's an intelligent expenditure. I don't care what the tax would be; if we had a guy who was going to put us over the top and put us in the Finals, I'd pay the tax. I wouldn't hesitate.

Q: Does it take three All-Stars to contend for a championship? MJ was the last Bulls All-Star in 1998.

A: We have Derrick [Rose]. He clearly shows the potential to be an All-Star. A healthy Luol is going to become an All-Star. Boston showed three stars helps you a great deal. The Bulls championships, we really had two stars. Maybe we had three stars in Michael Jordan himself. But it's still a team game. If you have the right role players and play the game properly, you can win. But with three All-Stars, it makes it a lot easier.

Boozer rumors -
Among the more intriguing rumors that surfaced on Monday was a three-team deal reported by Bulls.com that would send Shane Battier and Carl Landry from the Houston Rockets to Utah, Boozer to Chicago, Jerome James and Tyrus Thomas from the Bulls and Kyrylo Fesenko from the Jazz to the Rockets.

The Bulls have shown interest in acquiring Boozer in recent weeks as a way to clear cap space in order to pursue a big-ticket free agent in 2010.

Previous rumored deals involving Chicago had the team shipping off combo guard Kirk Hinrich to another team. That scenario is something the Bulls have become more reluctant to make a reality. Since the departure of Ben Gordon to Detroit, trading Hinrich as well would leave them with little depth in their backcourt.

Craig Hodges (one of my favorite former-Bulls) thinks he was black-balled -

Craig Hodges is one of two players to have won the NBA's annual three-point shooting contest three times. The other is Larry Bird.

Hodges, a Park Forest native, also has two championship rings courtesy of his 3½-year stint with the Bulls. He has another coming as shooting coach for the champion Los Angeles Lakers, whom he has served since 2005.

Between those highs were some gut-wrenching lows. The 1978 Rich East graduate's career ended at age 32, when he was released by the Bulls and never signed with another team -- despite the fact he connected on 40 percent of his three-point attempts in his 10-year career.

Hodges remains convinced he was blackballed from the NBA after showing up at the Bulls' White House celebration in 1992 wearing a dashiki and handing President George H.W. Bush a letter asking him to address injustices in the black community.

Roberson waived -
The Chicago Bulls have waived guard Anthony Roberson.

Roberson played in just six regular-season games with the Bulls after being acquired in a four-player trade with the New York Knicks on Feb. 19.

The 6-2, 195-pound Roberson played overseas during the 2007-08 season after stints with the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors.

Roberson attended the University of Florida.

Ozzie a racist?

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he received several e-mails Monday accusing him of being a racist after backup outfielder Brian Anderson was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte to make room for Carlos Quentin.

Guillen replied that he wouldn't have stuck with Anderson as long as he had if he didn't like the White Sox's 2006 Opening Day center fielder.

"If I don't like one player, believe me, he'll be out of here in a hurry because I've got the power," Guillen said. "If I told Kenny [Williams], 'This guy's no good for the ballclub,' Kenny would do everything he can to get him out of here.

"If people don't think we like Brian, yes, we do. Brian didn't produce the way we thought he would. For four years in a row, we gave him a shot to be the every-day center fielder, and that didn't work. If Brian showed us he can come out here and do the job, he'd be our center fielder."

Anderson's locker was cleaned out before the clubhouse was open to the media.

Guillen said Dewayne Wise was chosen to stay over Anderson because "we can use Wise a little bit more."

Wise, who is left-handed and out of minor-league options, is batting .196, compared with Anderson's .238 mark in 65 games.

Quentin returns and Sox 1 game out of first -

Carlos Quentin rejoined a White Sox offense that didn't skip a beat Monday night.

Leadoff batter Scott Podsednik reached base safely four times and scored twice, and Paul Konerko hit a three-run home run in the third inning to increase his RBI total to 64, two more than he had in 2008.

But for all the hoopla over Quentin's return after missing 45 games because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot, the Sox showed improvement in two areas to preserve a 4-3 victory over defending American League champion Tampa Bay before a sellout crowd of 39,024 at U.S. Cellular Field.

First, catcher A.J. Pierzynski threw out two potential base stealers, including Jason Bartlett at third base for the second out in the eighth inning.

"We had a party after the game," deadpanned manager Ozzie Guillen, taking note that opponents had stolen 55 bases in 59 attempts with Pierzynski behind the plate before Monday.

Second, the bullpen had allowed 22 earned runs in their last 29 2/3 innings entering Monday night's game.

Matt Thornton, however, struck out Evan Longoria on a slider with the tying and go-ahead runs on base to preserve a one-run lead in the eighth, and closer Bobby Jenks struck out Bartlett on a 3-2 slider with the bases loaded to end the game.

As a result, the Sox moved one game behind AL Central leader Detroit.

Thome wins player of the week -

Chicago White Sox designated hitter Jim Thome was named the American League player of the week for the period ending July 19.

The 38-year-old Thome set a club record with 14 RBIs in a three-game span after the All-Star break against the Baltimore Orioles. He went 5-for-10 with a double, two home runs and had a career-best seven-RBI game Friday night.

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