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March 4, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Nick Friedell

ESPNChicago.com
  (1:24 PM)

Test.

ESPNChicago.com
  (1:25 PM)

As you can see by our "test" note, we were having issues -- we were chatting and you weren't seeing it. Not an ideal situation, huh? But trust me, Nick's answers so far have been AMAZING!

ESPNChicago.com
  (1:26 PM)

Anyway, sorry about that. And thanks for your patience. Let's try this again. Take it away Nick...

Nick Friedell
  (1:28 PM)

Greetings from the Berto Center, everybody! Sorry for the technical glitches. Let's get this thing started ...

Sean (Champaign)

Any update on whether Rose or Deng will be playing tonight?

Nick Friedell
  (1:32 PM)

Vinny says that both Deng and Rose will play tonight. That is very good news for the Bulls considering how badly the team is going to miss Joakim Noah over the next few weeks.

tim (chicago)

will the bulls be in 6th 7th or 8th place in the eastern conference at the end of the year

Nick Friedell
  (1:34 PM)

Tim. Obviously, no one knows the answer for sure. The guess here is that if Noah comes back in a month and plays all right the Bulls will end up being the seven seed. If he doesn't come back this season then the team could very easily slide out of the playoff picture.

Sean (Skokie)

Nick any chance you can use your power and influence to end the "Deng is soft" myth? He leads the team in FTs despite taking significantly fewer shots than Rose. He also rebounds very well for his position and defends biggers 3s well.

Nick Friedell
  (1:36 PM)

Sean, VDN actually just talked about that a few minutes ago here at the Berto. Saying that anyone who believes Deng is soft "doesn't know what they're talking about," and citing all the points you mentioned. He has missed just one game all year up to this point. My man Jon Greenberg is putting together a column discussing all of this. Look for it on the site.

Isaac (Peoria, Az)

Nick, I'm tired of all the 2010 what if scenarios. Tell us what you think is going to go down. I personally say the Bulls strike out =(

Nick Friedell
  (1:38 PM)

Seriously, we need to just cut and past the same answer every week. I think the Bulls have a realistic shot at getting Joe Johnson and smaller chance at getting Chris Bosh. LeBron and Wade are not coming here. I do not think the Bulls will completely strike out, but nobody knows for sure what is going to happen.

Matthew (Aurora)

Nick i just got done reading hollinger's chat and he said that the bulls- bobcats final game of the season will be determining the 8th seed. If that is true and we lose that game, who can we attract any big time free agents?

Nick Friedell
  (1:39 PM)

Whether the Bulls make the playoffs or not this season will have no bearing on how they do in free agency. In that sense, I wouldn't worry about that game if I were you.

Jack (Pittsburgh)

Who has been the most surprising player for the Bulls this season?

Nick Friedell
  (1:42 PM)

There is no doubt about the answer to this question: Taj Gibson. Nobody knew how solid he would be when he was drafted. He has given become a starter for the team quickly and has continually earned praise from the coaches because of his work ethic.

Adam (Upland, Indiana)

Nick, you've seen these guys with their shirts off...if the entire Bulls team got into a brawl....who would win?

Nick Friedell
  (1:43 PM)

James Johnson, hands down. He has a martial arts background. But don't sleep on Jerome James. That guy would crush people.

Sean (Skokie)

Nick you've mentioned Joe Johnson in a number of chats... I understand the need at SG but why would you hand big money to a guy entering his 30s and is clearly a teir or two below some of the other FAs out there?

Nick Friedell
  (1:46 PM)

Sean, If the Bulls can't land James, Wade or Bosh -- Johnson is the next best option. He would fill a major hole for the Bulls and would give them 20-25 points a night. Granted, he is entering his 30s and may not be as big of a star as the other three. But, if Rashard Lewis can get a max deal then you've got to think that Johnson will get one as well ... whether it's from the Bulls or somebody else.

Christian (Chicago)

We got Richard, but he's more of a PF. Devin Brown isn't a factor now or in our future. Do you think we should waive him and go sign an athletic 7'0 center, or any center?

Nick Friedell
  (1:48 PM)

Who is there left out there to sign? Athletic 7 footers are tough to come by. Would you really want Aaron Gray back? I didn't think so.

Corey (Chicago)

Nick, Hollinger mentioned in his chat a few days ago Joe Johnston is a not max contract player. I agree. He is a great scorer, but his effort on defense is suspect and his shot won't always be on, game in game out. I'll be really upset if the Bulls miss out on Bosh, Amare, Boozer, Wade, etc. and have to give Joe Johnston what he wants, a max contract he doesn't deserve. Do you agree?

Nick Friedell
  (1:50 PM)

Corey, I'd agree with John's assessment there. But as everybody in the NBA knows, just because someone doesn't think you're a "max" player, doesn't mean you can't get a team to overpay and give you a max contract. Like I said, if the Bulls missed out on James, Bosh, Wade, I'm sure they'd be happy with Johnson.

Sam (Northrboo)

Why is pargo getting more playing time than Devin brown who was averaging close to 10 points a game for the hornets ?

Nick Friedell
  (1:53 PM)

The guess here is that when Brown didn't immediately start producing when he first came to town, VDN started looking elsewhere. Pargo may shoot too much and his defense can be spotty but, at the moment, VDN seems to be willing to take the chance that he can get hot and give the team an offensive boost.

Dan (Akron, Ohio)

Why does everyone insist that the Bulls need a low post scorer? The team that won 72 games had Luc Longley and Dennis Rodman in the post. Don't you think they can have just guards and small forwards that can score and still have a chance for a title or has the game changed to where that is not possible?

Nick Friedell
  (1:56 PM)

Dan, As you mentioned that Jordan era Bulls proved that you don't need a low post scorer to win, but that team had Michael Jordan. Pretty much every other team since then has had a solid post presence to go to. That's why I think there is a focus to bring another guy in and help Noah out down low.

Sean (Skokie)

Nick what have you heard about Hunter's new role with team?

Nick Friedell
  (1:57 PM)

Lindsey Hunter will be doing the same thing he's been doing all year. He'll be a mentor for the younger guys and a glorified assistant coach. He was out here this morning helping out a little at practice. He'll still be around the team.

Rosco (Chicago)

Nick--In your opinion, did the two trades we made make this season's Bull's better?

Nick Friedell
  (2:00 PM)

You could argue that the Bulls got better by subtracting Thomas and Salmons out of the locker room, but I think it's still too early to make a final decision on anything just yet. In the short term, I think the Bulls are very happy with what Warrick and Murray have given them.

Phil (George)

Nick, is it safe to say that in 2 or 3 years, D.Rose will be the best PG in the NBA?????

Nick Friedell
  (2:02 PM)

Phil, Nobody can predict the future. But, if Rose keeps working on his jump shot and starts developing a three-point shot to go along with it -- it would be hard to bet against him.

Amber (Chicago)

How will Chris Richard help in Noah's absence

Nick Friedell
  (2:04 PM)

Amber, Richard is going to give the Bulls 12-15 solid minutes a game. He's already proven that he can fit in well with the team and it's clear the coaching staff likes him. Still, the Bulls are just hoping that Noah can come back quickly.

John (Aurora)

Should the Bulls shut down Noah for the season

Nick Friedell
  (2:06 PM)

I get this question on a daily basis. The answer is that there is no good answer to this question. Everyone knows that the only real therapy for plantar fasciitis is rest. The Bulls were smart to give Noah three weeks off. If he comes back and feels no pain, then why not let him play? VDN has had the injury and says that it may take a few weeks or a few months for it to heal. If Noah is still feeling pain in a month though, then they should probably just sit him for the rest of the year.

Mark (Aurora)

Nick- Any idea whether or not the Bulls are thinking about keeping Warrick around?

Nick Friedell
  (2:07 PM)

Mark, I'm sure they are. But it will all come down on who they land in free agency and how much cap space they have left over.

Lila (Orange County, CA)

Will we have a new coach next year?

Nick Friedell
  (2:09 PM)

Nobody knows what the answer to that question is for certain. If the Bulls somehow find a way to make it into the second round of the playoffs then it will be extremely hard for the organization to let go of VDN without a bit of a public backlash. If that doesn't happen, all bets are off.

Nick Friedell
  (2:12 PM)

All right, everybody. I'm out of here. It was great chatting with you guys, as usual. I will talk to you all next week.