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April 1, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Nick Friedell

Nick Friedell
  (2:02 PM)

Greetings from the Berto Center, everybody! Let's get this chat rolling ...

Dave (Glendale Heights)

What's the status on Noah's foot? Is it just a matter of him building up his endurance at this point or are the Bulls still limiting his minutes out of concern that his injury might still flare up and keep him out of more games down the stretch?

Nick Friedell
  (2:05 PM)

Noah's foot is a lot better. It's still probably not 100 percent, but it's as good as it's going to be until he can get some extended rest this summer. The biggest problem now is the conditioning. He admits that his conditioning still isn't great yet, but I'd expect him to start logging more minutes over the next week.

Charles Weller (Champaign, IL)

I have a theory. LeBron James is changing his number to 6 because he plans on playing in Chicago next year, where he can't wear the number 23. Thoughts?

Nick Friedell
  (2:06 PM)

LeBron isn't coming to Chicago.

Dave (Glendale Heights)

Hey Nick...Flip Murray seems to have really stepped it up the past few games and I would not mind seeing him come off the bench next year. Do you think the Bulls will try to find room for him beyond this season and will he be affordable enough?

Nick Friedell
  (2:08 PM)

I'm sure they'll discuss the possibility, but it will all depend on who they sign in free agency. The Bulls are going to have to fill up roster spots after that, most likely with cheap contracts. Flip can still score, so I'm sure there will be a few teams after him.

Chaz (Naperville)

Do you think Jannero Pargo is a Hall of Famer?

Nick Friedell
  (2:09 PM)

Wow.

Rob (Chicago)

With Toronto struggling to hold on to a playoff spot, does it make it much more likely for the bulls to land bosh in FA next summer?

Nick Friedell
  (2:11 PM)

The Raptors' struggles can only help the Bulls and every other team looking to land Bosh. Toronto had played pretty bad this year and with all the bloated contracts they have on the books, the guess here is that Bosh leaves. Where he goes is anyone's guess, but I'm sure they Bulls have a good shot at him.

Nafis (San Francisco)

Hi Nick, how is it looking for Deng to play on Saturday?

Nick Friedell
  (2:12 PM)

Vinny just said that Deng may actually play tomorrow against the Wizards. If he does play though, he won't be starting and his minutes will be very limited.

Matt (schaumburg)

Nick, Kobe made a comment recently that the bull's biggest need is a shooter. My question is don't you still think the biggest need is a scoring big? Do you think Noah and Gibson has enough punch down low if they continue to put on muscle and improve their game if we are able to get a top notch shooting guard?

Nick Friedell
  (2:14 PM)

Matt, First and foremost, I think the Bulls need a shooter. Since Ben Gordon left they haven't had a guy who can consistently make a shot from the perimeter. Noah and Gibson are fine for now and are only going to get better with time. The Bulls first priority (if they can't land Bosh) should be to get a guy who can shoot. Somebody like Joe Johnson.

Mel (Colorado Springs)

Hey Nick, how is Hinrich doing? Will he play on Friday?

Nick Friedell
  (2:16 PM)

Mel, Hinrich is doing a little better and Vinny sounded optimistic that he will be able to play as well tomorrow. Having said that, he is still walking around in a boot and as everyone knows, a sprained ankle is always a painful injury to get over.

Jeff Henderson (Westmont, IL)

Stacy King always cracks me when he does play by play for the Bulls. Who is the player on the team most likely to pull an April Fools joke today?

Nick Friedell
  (2:18 PM)

My guess is Pargo. He is a jokester and he always has his teammates cracking up. I'll bet somebody is pulling off a few April Fool's jokes as we speak ...

Bill (Brookfield)

Is there any chances the Bulls bring back Brad Miller next year as a back center? Do you think he wants to come back?

Nick Friedell
  (2:20 PM)

Bill, Sure, there is a chance. But like everything else, it would have to be for the right price. I do think he wants to come back. He's one of the most popular players on the team and his teammates like playing with him. But we'll have to see how the salary cap situation shakes out.

Tony (Peru, IL )

Derrick Rose, the man just makes you smile; his confidence, demeanor and love for the game. Do you think it was wrong for him to predict the playoffs 2 years into this great life he's about to have?

Nick Friedell
  (2:22 PM)

No, I don't. I think it's a great sign for Bulls fans that he was willing to say that. Rose has always won no matter what team he's been on in his short career, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that he said that. In the long term, it's a better sign for the organization because he is starting to take even more of a vocal leadership role.

Keanu (Honolulu)

Hello Nick, is Noah going to start to play more minutes now?

Nick Friedell
  (2:23 PM)

Yes, he is. Vinny said he might even start tomorrow as well. I would look for him to play at least 30 minutes tomorrow night.

Matt (Chicago)

Nick, do you think the Bulls are better off in the playoffs as an 8 seed or in the lottery? I'm not sure I have a preference.

Nick Friedell
  (2:24 PM)

Playoffs all the way. This team can only benefit from a little more playoff experience.

alex (fontana ca) [via mobile]

Why does it seem nobody thinks gibson can be are low post scorer he has a decent low post game as a rookie why not let him have a chance and get a FA shooter?

Nick Friedell
  (2:27 PM)

I think there are a lot of people who think the way you're thinking, Alex. Taj is only going to get better, especially with his low post game, and there is a very good chance the Bulls go after a shooter this summer, like Johnson.

Matt (Chicago)

Is VDN back next year?

Nick Friedell
  (2:28 PM)

Ah, yes the VDN question of the week: If I had to guess right now, I would say no. But, who knows? If the Bulls somehow make the playoffs it may change some people's minds. I don't think they will -- but still ...

Jim (Chicago)

If we were to land a max player contract, like James, Bosh, or Wade, how would that effect Derrick Rose's next deal (provided he is still playing at the level or better than he is now)?

Nick Friedell
  (2:30 PM)

Rose's next deal isn't going to be affected at all. Rose is going to get a max deal whenever his first contract runs out. But that is still a few years away.

Lisandro (Chicago, Illinois)

Do you think the bulls will make the payoffs?

Nick Friedell
  (2:31 PM)

No, I don't. But as we've seen all year with this Bulls team, anything is possible.

Jason (SOuthern IL workin)

So the more I watch James Johnson the more i like his IMpact on the defensive end. even though He's a bit lost at times. He can only get better. unless he goes tim thomas on us. BUt do you see the potential for a Tyrus/Josh Childress type wing or smaller post and weakside defensive helper there with alot of blocks and jumpin out of the gym.

Nick Friedell
  (2:34 PM)

James has a lot of potential. A lot. But it all depends on how hard he wants to work in the summer to get better. He needs to spend a lot of time in the gym to come into camp in better shape this season and he needs to watch more tape so that he can raise his basketball IQ. If he does those things, I think he can become a productive NBA player.

Rene (Chicago)

I've realized that in the last few games Derrick has been taking more three pointers. What would you rather see him taking the 3 point shoot or going in for the 18-foot jump shot.

Nick Friedell
  (2:35 PM)

I'd rather see him driving to the basket more. But, he has clearly put in the time on his mid range jumper and that work is paying off. He is a lot more confident with that shot and I think it's only a matter of time before he starts making more three pointers as well.

Mike (Northbrook)

Have you ever seen Joe Alexander dunk? Maybe they actually give him a chance?

Nick Friedell
  (2:37 PM)

Yes, I have seen Joe dunk. He has hops. He always spends a lot of extra time on his game with the Bulls assistant coaches. Having said that, I don't think he is going to get a lot of minutes in Chicago.

Rosco (Chicago)

Is Taj Gibson someone you see getting even better next season?

Nick Friedell
  (2:39 PM)

Absolutely. Taj works on his game all the time and I'm sure he is going to spend a lot of time on his post game and mid-range jumper in the off-season. I expect Taj to be a consistent double-double threat for years to come.

Dan (Indianapolis)

What position do you see the bulls in the most need of come draft day?

Nick Friedell
  (2:43 PM)

The guess here is that if there is a pure shooter, slashing 2/3 guard, still on the board they will take him. That's who I would draft if I were the Bulls.

Rosco (Chicago)

When is it time to just call it quits on Deng and look for a starting SF without his health issues?

Nick Friedell
  (2:46 PM)

How are you going to get rid of that contract? The Bulls probably wouldn't get much value in return.

mike (macomb, il)

say we get the shooter that we need in johnson over the summer..how much will that affect kirk hinrich other than playing time? do you think the bulls are committed to keeping him around?

Nick Friedell
  (2:47 PM)

I think the Bulls would like to keep Hinrich around, but if it boils down to Hinrich staying or the team being able to bring in another big name free agent, Hinrich will probably be gone.

amer (addison, il)

why hasn't derrick been more aggressive the past few games?? when i am watching him it seems like he is being more passive and not demanding the ball...i think during this playoff push he needs to dominate the game all 48 minutes

Nick Friedell
  (2:50 PM)

I would disagree. Derrick tried to take over the end of the Phoenix game Tuesday. He was doing a pretty good job, too. He was driving to the rim and scoring, but he took that bad three point shot and that spelled the end for the Bulls. I think Derrick is starting to realize that the best chance the Bulls have is when he is making plays. I would look for him to be even more aggressive over the final two weeks.

Homer (Wlmette)

Whats up Nick? Am I the only one who is absolutely in love with Taj Gibson? Good, Smart, Hardworking, Well-spoken, etc. What's his ceiling?

Nick Friedell
  (2:52 PM)

No you are not, Homer. VDN loves him, too. Like I said, I think Taj can be a double-double guy in this league and may even challenge for an All Star berth or too before all is said and done.

Rene (Chicago)

If the bulls feel that VDN isn't the right coach, who would they like to have and when would they fire VDN.

Nick Friedell
  (2:54 PM)

Nobody knows the answer to the first question right now, Rene. Except maybe GarPax. If the Bulls do decide to make a change I would think that they would do it right after the season ended. I doubt they would want that situation with Vinny dragging out.

Reese (Gary)

Nick, I really do feel that the lakers are going to try and get Bosh for Bynum. So with that being said do you think that the Bulls need to really go after Bosh as soon as free agency starts?

Nick Friedell
  (2:55 PM)

Reese, Bosh is sure to be one of the Bulls main targets. If they feel like they can get him, I have no doubt that they will be quick to act.

Phil (Chicago )

With the way Gibson has progressed, do the Bulls still feel the need to go after a Bosh or Boozer in free agency. Is a shooting guard now a higher priority than a power forward?

Nick Friedell
  (2:58 PM)

Like everybody else, I'm sure the Bulls will look to James and Wade first. If they can't land those two then Bosh and Boozer are certainly in play. Like I said, I think a shooter should be a top priority for the Bulls (if they can't land Bosh). As far as Taj goes, he has played so well, and has such a great attitude, that I think he just wants the team to get the best player it can.

Jeff Henderson (Westmont, IL)

Please tell me the Bulls will beat the lowly Wizards on Friday? If they don't beat them with their remaining schedule I think they are toast.

Nick Friedell
  (3:00 PM)

If we've learned anything about the Bulls this year, it's to expect the unexpected. So, who knows? I agree with you, though. If the Bulls lose to the Wizards their season is over.

Nick Friedell
  (3:00 PM)

All right, everybody. I've got to go catch a flight to DC. I will talk to you guys next week!