Chat with Nick Friedell
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Friday, 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 Friday at 1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET!
Nick Friedell (2:03 PM)
Hello from Philadelphia everybody. Let's get this chat rolling in advance of Game 3 ...
Dave (Roscoe Village)
If Boozer doesn't step up in Rose's absence, do you see the Bulls using the amnesty on him this summer?
Nick Friedell (2:06 PM)
I've gotten this question about 100 times in the last two days. The Bulls are not going to amnesty Carlos Boozer after the season ends. Will they amnesty him in a couple years? Maybe. But they aren't going to do it right now. Forget about it.
Looks like Rose and Deng will be out ( at least the beginning) of next year . Is management going to address this issue ?
Nick Friedell (2:08 PM)
What do you want them to do? They can't tell Deng not to play in the Olympics because of the CBA. Plus, Deng and the organization are still holding onto the hope that Deng won't have to have surgery. Will they look to add pieces in the summer? Sure. But the truth is the Bulls don't really have much wiggle room as far as cap space goes. The core of the team, (Rose, Deng, Noah, Boozer and Deng) is already locked in for big money.
Hey Nick, hope youre feelin better....do you feel there is an added sense of urgency in the Bulls camp to win tonight's game? I'm thinking more along the lines of how detrimental another loss could be to the team's mental state and confidence.
Nick Friedell (2:10 PM)
Yes, I do. I think they want to shake Game 2 out of their system as fast as possible. That's why I think the start of tonight's game is so critical. If they let the Sixers control the tempo early, they are going to be in trouble. They need to get off to a quick start to get themselves back on track. If they get crushed again, Philly will have all the momentum and will gain even more confidence.
With Jrue Holiday lighting Watson and Lucas up, do you think we'll see some Mike James tonight?
Nick Friedell (2:11 PM)
Yes, I do. If Watson and JL3 can't get the D going, James will probably be given a few minutes.
Considering the loss of Deng and Rose for the front portion of next season, do the Bulls have the offensive ability to keep their head above the "playoff" water until the two return or do they need to make a move? Conversely, should the fans be prepared to write off next season?
Nick Friedell (2:12 PM)
As long as Tom Thibodeau is still the coach -- I wouldn't write off next season at all. If Deng and Rose are both out, he will find a way to win and maximize the talent on the roster. He won't let his team use the injuries as an excuse.
Is a Steve Nash signing for next season possible?
Nick Friedell (2:14 PM)
I don't think so. He wants to go to a place he can win a title and play. At some point next year, Derrick will come back and be "the man" again. Plus, the Bulls don't have much money to offer Nash. Let's put this idea to bed.
To your point of the Bulls needing a fast start tonight, how much did Thibs preach/stress D'ing up in practice? Or did the focus seem to be more on scoring?
Nick Friedell (2:15 PM)
Defense and rebounding (Thibs' voice). It's what every player talked about before shootaround this morning.
jamaal (chicago) [via mobile]
holiday kills the bulls every time they play do you think its time to put butler on him or turner to slow them down?
Nick Friedell (2:16 PM)
If the Bulls come out flat again, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Thibs throw Butler in there as a change of pace.
Hey Nick, when should we expect to see D. Rose back on the court and do you think he will still be an elite player when he is fully healed from this injury?
Nick Friedell (2:18 PM)
I think it's going to take at least a solid year for Derrick to regain some of the speed he lost in the injury. But I do believe he will come back and be the player he once was. There will be nobody more determined than him to prove that he is still one of the elite point guards in the game.
Joycelyn A. Mensah (Bolingbrook,IL)
How does CJ gain his confidence back?He's been struggling the last month.
Nick Friedell (2:19 PM)
He's got to start knocking down shots. If he does that, and he stays in front of Holiday more on defense, he will have a nice game tonight.
Do you think Gar, Pax, and Thibs will concede some depth and defense to add one or two scorers within the next two years? I understand (and agree with) the desire to hold on to guys like Taj and Omer, but if offense is continually the Bulls' downfall, can you see them replacing one of their defensive studs with an offensive one?
Nick Friedell (2:21 PM)
We've had this debate all year. If you're the Bulls, who do you bring in that will bring you over the top? Aside from the obvious impact on Derrick, one of the biggest issues with his injury is that it robbed the Bulls from figuring out if this present team was good enough to win -- as currently constructed. I don't think there's a guy out there who could put them in front of Miami right now.
James (California) [via mobile]
Do you think Rip will be the starting SG next season?
Nick Friedell (2:22 PM)
Yep, he's got another guaranteed year on his deal.
Will/should the bulls attempt to make a big move over the summer to sign/trade for another MVP caliber player to help Rose?
Nick Friedell (2:24 PM)
Yeah, sure. But tell me who you're giving up and who you're getting back?
How do you get Deng involved since Iggy has the athleticism to stay in front of him when he's handling the ball?
Nick Friedell (2:26 PM)
You try to roll him off more screens. But nobody is hurt more without Rose on the floor than Deng. Derrick opened up some space for Luol -- with Derrick gone, teams don't have to worry as much because Luol has never been a guy who has been able to get his own shot.
Hi Nick. How embarrassing was that lost the other night against the 76ers? And can they recover from this?
Nick Friedell (2:28 PM)
The players were very embarrassed after Game 2. I think they knew they rolled over in the second half. They absolutely can recover but they know they have to do a better job playing with more fire -- something they didn't do on Tuesday.
Do the Bulls regret not taking Marshon Brooks? He was awesome this year, and he would have been way better than Jimmy Butler. (I know they took Mirotic instead of Brooks, though)
Nick Friedell (2:29 PM)
The Bulls really like Butler. They think he's going to be a rotational player for years to come.
Do you feel like Deng is being selfish not getting surgery? We gave him a HUGE contract and he has definitely not lived up to it. We are already missing Rose for some time. I feel like it's a little selfish he's not putting the Bulls first after all of the money we gave him.
Nick Friedell (2:34 PM)
Luol has every right to play in the Olympics and it definitely means a little more to him given they will take place in London. Having said that, given the circumstances around Derrick's injury -- he's going to face some criticism about his decision if he does indeed have to get the surgery. He will probably miss the first two months of next year. But personally, if he wants to play in the Olympics, I don't have much of a problem with it. Of course, the organization will feel differently, especially there were some that wanted Luol to have the surgery as soon as the injury happened.
With Rose and Deng likely out to begin next season, do you think the Bulls would look to sign Kirk Hinrich? He was our captain, played great defense, and is a proven leader. I'd rather see him than Watson or Lucas starting.
Nick Friedell (2:36 PM)
I've always thought the Bulls would look to add Hinrich -- and that was before Derrick's injury. We'll see.
alan (highland park)
the bulls dont have the money to make a major move next year and cutting boozer doesnt help anything. is there any way that one of the top aging PGs (nash, kidd) would sign a one year deal with the bulls at a cheap price? they can take on a major role and be on a title contender
Nick Friedell (2:45 PM)
The best bet is probably Hinrich ... assuming the Bulls can work out a deal.
Hi, Nick. Love your work. Cuse! Wescott! Do you think this Bulls team has a fragile psyche? Some of the loses this year-- and the most recent one -- seem to the the result of the Bulls beating themselves. I'm thinking of the last year's ECF, too.
Nick Friedell (2:46 PM)
Like any team, I think the Bulls get down on themselves after a loss. Are the fragile? I don't think so. But I do think Derrick's injury has had a much bigger impact on them than they are leading on.
jamaal (chicago) [via mobile]
How soon can the overseas player they sign can come to the nba I heard he's good?
Nick Friedell (2:47 PM)
Mirotic probably won't be here for at least another three years.
Yopper (Iowa City)
Assuming the Bulls get past this round What do you think the chances are they win round 2 and advance to the conference finals?
Nick Friedell (2:48 PM)
Tough. I think they can get there, but if they have to face Boston they could be in trouble.
Nick Friedell (2:49 PM)
All right everybody, I am out of here. If you are at a game this week come over and say hello. I'll talk to you next week from the Berto.