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 (1:01 PM)
Hello from Philadelphia everybody. Hope everyone is doing well. Let's get this chat rolling ...
Chad Ford said yesterday K. Love probably only has 2 years left in Minn (Hollinger today as well). So, if that is the case, will the Bulls be in position to get him, not will they want to be? And if so, would we have to part with Noah, Mitrovic, and Gibson? Any chance it could be Gibson, Char Pick, J Butler, and Teague?
Nick Friedell (1:07 PM)
Kevin Love is most definitely on the Bulls radar. If LeBron doesn't opt of his deal, I think Love may be their number on priority. Will they be in position? Yes, I think they will. The only untouchable on the Bulls' roster is Rose. Gar and Pax know they must get another star in here to play with Rose.
Jim (Mt. Prospect)
What is the likelihood of shutting Rose down for the year?
Nick Friedell (1:08 PM)
Not high. The general feeling I've gotten both from Rose and people within the organization is that they expect him to come back at some point this season.
Nick (Chicago) [via mobile]
With Hinrich always injured and Nate being Nate, is Marquis earning Thibs trust more on the court?
Nick Friedell (1:09 PM)
Absolutely. Teague has really improved since the summer and I think Thibs is going to lean on him even more during the season if Hinrich can't get completely healthy.
Philipchicagosportsfan (Corona, CA)
Deng and Noah are playing 40 plus minutes a game and both looked winded in the Clippers game. How doyou see both players hold up if these heavy minutes continue?
Nick Friedell (1:10 PM)
I don't know if they will be able to do so. Both players are proud and both have prepared themselves physically for the season -- but there is no doubt they look tired. I'll be very surprised if they make it through all 82 games like this.
Lets be realistic here, obviously Noah and Deng can't be the dynamic duo and be the workhorse foe each game. Until Rose comes back does the roster contain enough pieces to get by til then.
Nick Friedell (1:11 PM)
The Bulls have no other choice. This is how they have to play. I still believe the Bulls can win more games than most pundits thought -- but Noah and Deng have to stay healthy. If one goes down, they are in big trouble.
Devin [via mobile]
Nick I know it's a long shot but if the bulls win the division they lock up at least a 4th seed, you think if they play at a high level when Derrick comes back they can make a deep run in the playoffs? I believe it all depends on how Derrick is when he comes back if he comes by all star break by playoffs i think he will be pretty good.
Nick Friedell (1:13 PM)
The Bulls' ceiling this year is the second round of the playoffs. I think they can surprise someone in the first round, but I don't think they can make the conference finals -- no matter when Derrick comes back.
Jeff B. (The UC Rafters)
Nick - Jimmy Buckets is developing more and more confidence in key minutes. Where do you see him fitting into the Bull's long term plan?
Nick Friedell (1:14 PM)
Jimmy has gotten better and better during the season. He is gaining Thibs' confidence by the game. As far as long term plans, I don't think Jimmy is ready to start at this point in his career, but he will be an important spark plug off the bench for the next couple of seasons.
jason (arlington heights)
with marco bellinelli much improved play. do you see him holding the starting job over rick hamilton. once hamilton returns from his injury ?
Nick Friedell (1:15 PM)
No. When Rip returns he will start. Thibs doesn't like putting a proud veteran like Hamilton on the bench.
Nick, do you think the bulls have any chance of landing LeBron?
Nick Friedell (1:16 PM)
A little better than Lloyd Christmas ending up with Mary Swanson -- but not much of one. I just don't think LeBron wants to play in Chicago under Jordan's shadow. If he did he would have already signed with the Bulls.
Would Derrick even like to play with LeBron? I don't think Noah would.
Nick Friedell (1:20 PM)
They both would. Here's why -- he would help them win a title. Noah would have no problem with LeBron, Rose may not like sharing the spotlight at first but he would get over it because the Bulls would be competing for a title.
Nick-With the season that Joakim Noah is putting together so far, how is he comparing to other centers across the league and what is the likelihood that he earns a spot on this year's Eastern-Conference All-Star team?
Nick Friedell (1:20 PM)
The rules regarding All-Star selections have changed a little bit this season, but I think if Noah keeps playing like this and stays healthy he will make it to Houston for the game.
Hidi [via mobile]
Hey nick Why don't the bulls dunk or lob as much as the other teams?
Nick Friedell (1:23 PM)
They don't have as many freakishly athletic guys as most teams do. The Bulls have to play more of a Hoosiers style with Rose out in order to win.
Mr. Palmer (Vermont)
Hi, Nick. How is the looker room cohesion this year? Do they seem to get along? Last year's team seems like they were all pretty close.
Nick Friedell (1:25 PM)
It's definitely different. The Bulls were one large happy family the last couple years. Pretty much everyone got along and went out together after games most nights. It's different now because the Bench Mob is all gone. That's not to say this group doesn't get along, it's just that the locker room dynamic is totally different.
How soon do you think we will see Rose back on the court?
Nick Friedell (1:26 PM)
I've always said the end of February, maybe early March. Nobody knows for sure.
Was at the game last night - ten straight years seeing Bulls vs. Sixers in Philly - and both me and my buddy, a Sixers fan, came away impressed by Teague; he was quick and didn't seem to force much (except for one out of control spin through the lane), and as Thibodeau said after the game, the "D" was solid (meanwhile, Holiday was torching Robinson with ease). Any chance he starts getting 12-15 minutes regularly from here on out? Do you think he is ready to earn his place in this team's future? We're we right to be impressed? Is it possible he progresses the same way Holiday did for Philly? Seems like they share some skills.
Nick Friedell (1:29 PM)
Teague isn't going to turn into Holiday because he isn't that kind of scorer, but he does have a solid upside. Thibs has been happy with his progression and he is gaining more trust from the coaching staff. He still has a lot of different things to work on with his game, but he is getting better. Hinrich and Robinson will continue to get the most minutes, but Thibs won't be scared about using Teague in the future.
Why do you say the Bulls ceiling if Rose comes back is round two. It all depends on matchups and who is healthy during April and beyond. Last year if the Rose stayed healthy they would of played Miami when Bosh was out....that may have made all the difference. No one knows what happens 4 or 5 months from now don't you think?
Nick Friedell (1:31 PM)
Obviously, nobody can predict the future -- that's just my educated guess. I don't think this team has enough offense, or depth, to make much of a push in playoffs this season. I'd love to be proven wrong because I love my job, but I don't think there is any way the Bulls get to the conference finals this year, especially since nobody knows what Derrick will look like when he gets back.
How much would the Bulls have to give up to get Kevin Love?
Nick Friedell (1:34 PM)
Just a guess, but I would think the Timberwolves would ask for Noah, Gibson, Mirotic and a pick. I don't know if the Bulls would want to do that deal.
It seems the Bulls are lacking the sense of a closer. Yeah Griffin just dunked over the Bulls but they were not out of that game. The sense of a closer is needed. The Bulls feed victories off Luol Deng's great shooting. Is Thibs going to count on him for closing a game or do you think someone else needs to step up?
Nick Friedell (1:35 PM)
Without Rose the Bulls don't have a closer. I think everyone gets that. I'd argue that until he got hurt the Bulls' closer was Rip Hamilton.
odds on bulls eventually landing love? over / under 50%
Nick Friedell (1:36 PM)
I'd say a little under 50 -- I know there are a lot of people who believe he will eventually land in LA, since he's from the west coast.
Hey Nick,I've been watching the Bulls and aside from Derrick who obviously isnt playing, I feel like they have no atleticism on their team. Is there anyone they could maybe trade for or anything they can do so that their team just isnt so slow. I do feel like Teague helps with that a little but Thibs still doesnt trust him.
Nick Friedell (1:40 PM)
Well, Matt -- you're right. They don't have a lot of athleticism on their team. Jimmy Butler is the most athletic guy but that's about it. Teague and Robinson are both athletic but neither have an above the rim game. Nate is a great dunker, but he doesn't get a chance to throw down much during games -- just All-Star weekend.
Will the Bulls have any real shot at a championship prior to Miami just getting old? I feel like that is the sentiment by a lot of journalists, myself probably included
Nick Friedell (1:43 PM)
Not really. The Bulls' front office knows it can't win a title unless Rose comes back healthy and they get another star to play with Derrick.
Nick Friedell (1:46 PM)
All right everybody -- I am out of here. Got to catch a flight back to Chicago. If you come any games this week come over and say hello. Talk to you guys next Thursday.