Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Thursday, Nick Friedell stops by to chat about the NBA season as well as the Chicago Bulls.
Friedell covers the Chicago Bulls for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.
Send your questions now and join the chat Thursday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Nick Friedell (2:59 PM)
What's going on everybody? Hello from the Berto Center. Let's get this chat rolling ...
Lee (Chicago, IL)
Hey Nick, how does the extension of Taj Gibson affect the Bulls cap room in the coming years? The amnesty of Boozer almost seems like a certainty, but the Bulls still need to acquire an impact player to compete with the Heat when Rose returns. Thoughts?
Nick Friedell (3:03 PM)
Here's what we can take for the Taj deal. Boozer was going to be amnestied anyway, but Taj's deal makes it even more of a certainty. I think it will happen in two summers which is also when Luol Deng's deal comes off the books. That means the Bulls' new core consists of Rose, Noah, Taj and possibly Mirotic. They will have room to go after another major impact. Who that may be? Nobody knows right now. But my guess is the Bulls will make a push for Kevin Love down the line, either via trade or if he opts out of his deal.
Kenneth hunter (Richards High school Oak Lawn IL)
when do you expect Rose to be back? and Do you think it will be in time enough for this seasons playoffs?
Nick Friedell (3:04 PM)
Nobody knows exactly when Derrick will be back. My guess has always been at some point in March, but nobody knows. I do think he will be back this year though.
Hey Nick do you think the Bulls made any significant attempt at all to land James Harden or any star to go alongside Derrick Rose when he returns? What's your honest opinion?
Nick Friedell (3:05 PM)
With what cap space?
Do you think the Bulls will trade Boozer next season now that they have signed Gibson to an extension?
Nick Friedell (3:06 PM)
Carlos is still a solid offensive player. But nobody is going to trade for him because of his contract.
Paxson and Forman just haven't pushed hard enough in my opinion, enlighten me if I'm incorrect
Nick Friedell (3:08 PM)
I think it's misguided to say they haven't pushed to add other pieces. If you want to get on Gar and Pax about something, get on them for not being able to land LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Even if it was preordained that they were going to Miami, the beginning of the end for the Bulls, as far as winning a title, was the day they lost out on all three of those guys.
Is Nikola Mirotic really the goods as Micheal Wilbon says he is?? He reminds me of Detlef Schremp with a deadly shooting stroke.
Nick Friedell (3:10 PM)
Mirotic has really impressed the Bulls -- but I think he is still a few years away from contributing. Zach Randolph compared him to Dirk and Gallanari last month.
jovan(compton) [via mobile]
Is it crazy for me to think we face the heat in the 1st or 2nd round of the playoffs and knock them out(assuming rose is back)
Nick Friedell (3:11 PM)
Yes it is.
Mike (The loop)
What do you think the biggest strength of this team so far is?
Nick Friedell (3:12 PM)
Tom Thibodeau. No matter what happens he will get his players to buy into his plan.
What is a realistic expectation for Derrick Rose this season? Do the successful returns of NFL RBs like Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles from similar injuries make it more likely he'll be back to his old self sooner rather than later?
Nick Friedell (3:13 PM)
It's an unanswerable question because every person heals differently.
Billy Chang (The U.... ISU)
Hey Nick, looked stellar in your orange last night. But, why do you take Benny The Bull's abuse? Hitting you in the head all the time when he walks by. #norespect
Nick Friedell (3:14 PM)
I am going to get Benny back at some point this year. I've got a few plans up my sleeve.
Hey Nick, how are you? So now that Gibson signed his extention, is this a s!gn of things to come for the Bulls? I know they are going to be over the cap for for the next two seasons ,but I am a patient fan
Nick Friedell (3:15 PM)
I'm doing great, Erica. Thanks for asking. Yes, you have to be patient. The Bulls won't win a title for the next two seasons, but they will be right there in a couple years assuming everyone stays healthy and they add another star.
Allen (West Loop)
With a seeming resurgence of a healthy rip hamilton, the continuing good play of boozer from last season, and a in my opinion better bench from last year, what's stopping us from making the playoffs this year?
Nick Friedell (3:16 PM)
Nothing. The Bulls will absolutely make the playoffs this year.
Matt (Lincoln Park)
What do you think will happen with Luol once his contract is up? Do the Bulls trade him before that happens, try to re-sign him at a lower salary, or just let him walk?
Nick Friedell (3:18 PM)
I don't think they will let him just walk. Thibs loves Lu but I'm not sure what he could get in return from a trade. Thibs' system fits Deng perfectly. My guess is the Bulls will try to re-sign him, but at a reduced rate.
Hey Nick, I know Luol Deng says his wrist is fine or that he can deal with the pain, but it looks as though his minutes, especially with Rose sidelined, are not going to go down anytime soon. Is there concern in him reinjuring his wrist through the grind of a long season?
Nick Friedell (3:19 PM)
I know I'm a lot more worried about it than Lu is. He is very confident he will make it through the season. Only time will tell.
Peter (Downers Grove)
Was Joakim's game last night a sign for things to come? Im sure hoping he can have a 15-10-5 season?
Nick Friedell (3:20 PM)
Ha. He just talked about this a few minutes ago. He said he's not going to score 25 every night -- but I do think without Rose on the floor it's fair to expect Noah to average 12-13 points and 10, 11 rebounds a game.
Sam (Bloomington, IN)
Nick, am I the only one that thinks Boozer should NOT be amnestied? He's answered every task that's been asked of him and I really like the Bulls with him on the floor. What makes him the target of an amnesty?
Nick Friedell (3:21 PM)
Sam, Yep, you are they only one.
Michael Cocomise (naperville)
When do you think we will see Marquis Teague?
Nick Friedell (3:22 PM)
Playing meaningful minutes? A couple years from now.
Steve (San Jose)
I don't like assuming everyone stays healthy, if organization's plan is to bet on everyone healthy, it is a wrong plan! You have to gamble a little, do some calculated risk to win a title. That is what the Bulls are missing. In this league, no team will be 100% healthy, you have to capture the chance you have. Look at how Dallas beat Miami, that is the formula, don't you think?
Nick Friedell (3:22 PM)
Ok, Steve. What do you think they should do?
Any of the one year contract guys you expect to see around next season?
Nick Friedell (3:23 PM)
Ask me that question again after they've played more than one game.
Nick, so happy to have the season back. How well is Nate Rob meshing in the locker room, I initially thought he was too much of a clown for this team. Any signs of maturity from him?
Nick Friedell (3:23 PM)
I think his teammates really like him so far. He has fit in well.
dan [via mobile]
How many games do u think bulls can win this season nick
Nick Friedell (3:24 PM)
Ray (Tucson, az)
Nick,I thought the bulls offense looked more fluid yesterday with hinrich than watson. It also looked like we have more length than last year with bellinelli and co. Do you think thats an upgrade bench and starter wise?
Nick Friedell (3:25 PM)
Once Rose comes back, I think this bench is going to be much better than people think. No matter what though, I don't think they'll have the same chemistry the old Bench Mob had. They were special in that regard.
Nick, I think Kevin Love would be the perfect compliment to everyone on the Bulls roster. Nobody can rebound and spread the floor simultaneously like him. What do you think the chances of actually landing him are?
Nick Friedell (3:26 PM)
I think they are good as long as the Timberwolves keep playing like the Timberwolves.
Aron (La Grange, Illinois)
I thought the Bulls looked pretty good, but I have a question of the bench. Who is the biggest factor coming off the bench every night?
Nick Friedell (3:27 PM)
It's still Taj Gibson. Thibs will lean on him all year.
Mike (Oak Lawn)
Am I crazy or without Rose is there not a single player on this team that can drive the basket effectively? Seems like most of the points last night were jump shots or second chance points of offensive rebounds.
Nick Friedell (3:28 PM)
You aren't crazy, Mike. The Bulls don't have a lot of guys who go to the rim on this team. Nate does -- but not with a lot of consistent success.
Luol played well last night, and was showing so much hustle. Looks as if he's establishing the leadership role on this team, which is much needed. Not so much a question, but a statement.
Nick Friedell (3:29 PM)
Lu did play hard and he is trying to be more of a leader. At the same time, he was just 3-for-13 from the floor. He can't keep that going all year and he knows it.
Philip (Mount Prospect )
Nick, Booz had a solid game last night. I know it was against the Kings but if Boozer has a great year and puts up fantastic numbers of 20 and 10 do u think the bulls will keep him till the end of his deal?
Nick Friedell (3:30 PM)
Not a chance.
Matt (Lincoln Park)
We all know Thibs does great work with defense. In your opinion, has he done a good job maximizing everyone's talents on offense as well?
Nick Friedell (3:32 PM)
I think he's done about all he can with this group -- on both ends of the floor. It will be interesting to see how this group is going to be able to score night after night without Rose.
Sam (Bloomington, IN)
Nick, one more thing, who (if anybody) has filled the support role played by Scalabrine last year? Didn't see anybody rushing to greet players off the bench last night...
Nick Friedell (3:33 PM)
Nobody is going to fill that role. There is only one Scal.
dan [via mobile]
Do you think the bulls make a trade at the deadline if they in the hunt
Nick Friedell (3:35 PM)
Nope. Even before they hardcapped themselves I didn't think they would.
Ryne (Johnsburg) [via mobile]
What did you think of Asik's first game with the Rockets? Do you feel they can be a threat in the West?
Nick Friedell (3:38 PM)
I'm happy for Omer. I think he is going to continue to get better. I don't think they can push for a title right now in the West though.
how do you feel about drose not even being in the building last night?
Nick Friedell (3:40 PM)
I don't think Thibs wants Derrick to be a distraction in the early going this year. That's why he continues to kind of keep a distance, at least publicly, from his team.
Why target Kevin Love if we have Taj/Mirotic long term??
Nick Friedell (3:43 PM)
Because he's better.
Jake (Downers Grove)
Do you think Drose will be an immediate positive impact even if he isn't completely himself when he returns?
Nick Friedell (3:44 PM)
Absolutely. Derrick will give the Bulls a huge emotional lift when he comes back -- no matter how he plays. His teammates will love having him back on the floor.
Hey Nick, Nick here. Do you think that this years bench mob can actually be better than the previous bench mob? I think they actually have a better all around bench this year, just need a little time to gel.
Nick Friedell (3:45 PM)
Nick, I think they will be better than people think but the old Bench Mob had chemistry that is hard to replace.
Do you think lebron James would consider coming to the bulls in 2 years? If Deng walks and Boozer is ammistied they will have the money?
Nick Friedell (3:46 PM)
I don't think LeBron wants to come to Chicago. He could have owned the city with Derrick if he came here two years ago but he didn't.
Nick, why so few minutes for Nazr last night? I thought he was outstanding in the preseason, but Thibs rode Joakim hard and only gave Nazr three minutes.
Nick Friedell (3:49 PM)
I think that's what to be expected from Nazr. He played great in the preseason, and he can have solid games in the future, but I don't expect him to play more than 8-12 minutes a game.
Nick Friedell (3:50 PM)
I'm out of here everybody. Got to go to Cleveland. I'll talk to you guys next week. Thanks for all the questions.
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