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December 17, 2:30 PM ET
Chat with Nick Friedell

Nick Friedell
  (2:32 PM)

What's going on everybody? How is it going? Let's get this chat rolling ...

Logan (Maryland)

How will the bulls do without Joakim

Nick Friedell
  (2:34 PM)

Ah, the question of the day ... if the Bulls were going to lose Joakim for an extended amount of time they couldn't have picked a better time to do it. They are on a roll, they've already gotten through a difficult portion of their schedule, and the next two months appear to be easy. Yes, they will miss him badly, but I still think they can win 20 games over the next two months without him.

Sebastian (Chicago)

How long before Rose is completely healthy again?

Nick Friedell
  (2:37 PM)

100 percent? Probably not until the season ends. Derrick has a lot of nagging injuries that simply aren't going away. He plays so hard and draws so much contact that it's hard to see if/when he will feel great again. Having said that, I don't think any of those will slow him down. He will get the treatment he needs and will still put up 20+ a game.

JJ (Chicago)

Is it a realistic possibility that the Bulls seek outside help during the loss of Joakim Noah? I think Rasheed Wallace would be a great veteran presence, and could really play some valuable minutes for us.

Nick Friedell
  (2:39 PM)

It's a guess, but I think the Bulls are going to make a move to fill the hole that Noah's injury created. Is it Rasheed? I'm not sure yet, but I do think somebody will come in at some point in the near future.

Stephen Jackson (Bobcats)

Yo Nick,I'd look pretty good in a Bulls uniform. My 3pt field goal % is among the best, I can play defense, and I'm sure MJ wants his draft pick back. What do you think are my chances of getting traded to Chicago?

Nick Friedell
  (2:40 PM)

I find it hard to believe the Bulls would give the Bobcats that draft pick back. Jackson may fit well in Chicago, but that is too high of a price to pay in my opinion.

Justin (Chicago)

Why does Bogans start in front of Korver???

Nick Friedell
  (2:42 PM)

This was last week's question du jour. Thibs is comfortable with Bogans -- plain and simple. I think he likes the energy Brewer and Korver bring off the bench. I don't think Korver would be the guy to replace Bogans if a change were made, though. It would be Brewer because his defense is better.

Jason (Ryan)

Happy Friday Nick, do you see the Bulls going after J.R. Smith?

Nick Friedell
  (2:43 PM)

He would be a nice fit, but would I trade a first round pick for him? Not a chance.

Chad R. (Westmont, IL)

Do you think Kurt Thomas jumps Asik into the starting C role?

Nick Friedell
  (2:44 PM)

No. Thomas has barely played this year. I find it hard to believe Thibs would start him and play him 30-35 minutes a game.

Tony (Peru, IL )

Any chance we get Gortat Nick? I love this play and I believe he'll be a great sub while Jo get's healthy.

Nick Friedell
  (2:46 PM)

Gortat would be a perfect fit right now for the Bulls, but the Magic aren't going to give him up unless they get a lot for him. I don't think the Bulls have enough that they would be willing to give up to make something happen.

Cameron (Chicago)

Hey Nick, nice job on the beat reporting of the Bulls, I appreciate the hard work you put into updating all of us Bulls fans out here with the latest scoop. What do you think the starting lineup is going to look like with the players on the team now? Would it make any sense to have Boozer and Gibson playing a sort of 4/5 combo?

Nick Friedell
  (2:48 PM)

Cameron, Thanks for the kind words. As for the lineup, I think Asik will start in most games. But I also think that Thibs would consider the Boozer/Gibson combo you mentioned against certain lineups. My guess is that Asik gets the call tomorrow.

Tony (Peru, IL )

An overachieving Gibson with a hint of string bean Asik and a 2nd round pick for Gortat? Seems like a deal to me

Nick Friedell
  (2:49 PM)

It could never happen because of the salary cap numbers.

Julian (Streator IL)

The Bulls seem to have the best chemistry of any team I have watched this year Noah and Rose have become like brothers and the entire team looks like a close knit family do you think a championship is realistic this year once everyone is healthy or should we just hope to win one or two playoff series and then look to reach the top of the mountain next year

Nick Friedell
  (2:51 PM)

Agreed on the chemistry. The Bulls genuinely seem to like each other on and off the floor. I still think the Bulls are a piece or two away from truly contending this year. They need to add another scorer who can take some of the heat off Rose.

Iain (MA)

Do you get the sense that there's a different level of respect for Thibs than Vinny? I don't know how much credit for the improvement should go to Thibs and how much goes to the new roster makeup

Nick Friedell
  (2:54 PM)

The Bulls always played hard for Vinny -- I think it's fair to say they respect Thibodeau more. They trust that he knows exactly what to do to turn them into contenders. I don't think they had that same trust with Vinny.

Jonathan (Florida)

hi nick, I have a question. Why don't the bulls jump in for carmelo? Do they really think they can win a championship without another high profile player? yea I love deng but Id give em up in a heart beat along with taj gibson which I think would be a career off the bench player. just imagine rose,korver,melo,boozer and noah when he gets back!!!

Nick Friedell
  (2:55 PM)

The question du juor from last month. Again, why would the Nuggets take back Deng's contract? There has to be a better deal out there for them.

Matt (Chicago, IL)

What restricts James Johnson from receiving more playing time?

Nick Friedell
  (2:57 PM)

Thibs doesn't trust him on the floor. His mental mistakes outweigh all the athleticism he has shown at certain times.

Tom (Washington D.C.)

Was there a clear strategy in deciding to wait on Noah's surgery until now? I see the bulls only play 8 teams over .500 in the next 10 weeks.

Nick Friedell
  (2:59 PM)

That was part of it -- the schedule breaks nicely for them. Noah wanted to play and the Bulls knew he couldn't do anymore damage to his thumb. Also, there was only a window of 3-4 weeks where the tissue in the thumb was still good enough to feel confident in the surgery. After that, it could become a lot more complicated according to the Bulls medical team.

Alex (ft. bliss)

Why Don't the Bulls just trade JJ if they don't use him

Nick Friedell
  (3:00 PM)

Teams aren't exactly lining up to pick up James Johnson at the moment.

Cameron (Chicago)

8-10 weeks for Noah seems to have him returning right before the month stretch that features Miami twice, Atlanta three times and Orlando, along with a few other quality teams. What is it going to take for the Bulls with a possibly rusty Noah to beat championship caliber teams, and specifically teams like Orlando and Atlanta with quality big men? I see Orlando as the Bulls biggest threat over Boston, the jury still being out on Miami until the teams meet.

Nick Friedell
  (3:04 PM)

I don't think the Bulls were going to do well on that trip with or without him. They always struggle against Orlando and I didn't think they would beat Atlanta or Miami on the road. As I've said over and over, I don't think the Bulls can beat Orlando, Boston or Miami in a seven game series this year.

PDZ (Naperville, IL)

Nick, do you see the bucks or pacers posing any threat for the central? I doubt it but i have the feeling the Bucks will start to get better. Salmons will probably get his patented mid january burst when the deadline rolls around...

Nick Friedell
  (3:05 PM)

When it's all said and done, I think the Bulls will cruise to the Central division crowd.

RB (AA)

What type of practicing/working out can Noah do after this surgery? Can he work on his lefty hook? Can he run sprints?

Nick Friedell
  (3:08 PM)

Fred Tedeschi, the Bulls athletic trainer, said that Noah has a follow up appointment on Monday. After that he should be able to start doing some cardio and stay in shape.

Rogelio (chicago)

would you say Jo is injury-prone?

Nick Friedell
  (3:11 PM)

Injury prone? Not yet. Unlucky? Yes. If he continues to be hurt over the next few years that may change ... but right now he's just a player who plays hard who has gotten some bad breaks.

Valente (Fox Lake)

Any chance we can get Rip Hamilton, S Jackson (both guys i know are pricey) Eric Gordon, Barbosa, A Parker, Jason Terry, OJ Mayo, Rudy or Corey Brewer before Feb?

Nick Friedell
  (3:14 PM)

The Bulls could definitely get Rip Hamilton, but I don't think they are willing to take on his contract at the moment. That could change, but I don't see it happening right now.

OJ Mayo (Memphis, TN)

I'm not getting the playing time I need. I know I could help you guys out. I've been a great shooter and committed teammate. Get me out of here so we can go to the ship.

Nick Friedell
  (3:17 PM)

It all depends on what Memphis is asking. At the moment, I think they're still waiting to see if Mayo breaks out of his funk before putting him on the trading block.

Jeff (NY)

Nick - so bulls win the division and get the 4 seed? Who do we want to play in Round 1? You don't think a Round 2 matchup against Boston (assuming they are #1) is anyone's series with everyone healthy? I think so...

Nick Friedell
  (3:20 PM)

All things being equal, and everyone stays healthy, I don't think the Bulls can beat Boston. Also, the Bulls would be wise to avoid the Knicks in the first round. As New York has already proven, they can give the Bulls fits.

Kush (Chicago)

Any concern about Luol Deng's large minutes this year? He's played really well for us this year but I'm concerned he'll fizzle out if he continues to play 40 mpg.

Nick Friedell
  (3:22 PM)

It's definitely a concern. Deng hasn't proven he can stay healthy for an entire season in about three years. As the games roll on, I think the Bulls are going to have to watch him closely to make sure his body doesn't start breaking down.

Derek (country club hills)

Hey nick, big time fan, i was wondering if you talked to joakim since the surgery? hows he feel?

Nick Friedell
  (3:25 PM)

I have not talked to him yet, but I know he was looking forward to getting it over with. He knew it had to be done and didn't want to wait anymore. He is convinced that there won't be much of a transition period once he comes back in a couple months.

Jake (Wisconsin)

How would you compare the loss of Noah to the loss of Boozer earlier in the season?

Nick Friedell
  (3:28 PM)

Totally different. The Bulls had never really played with Boozer so they didn't know any better. Noah is the anchor of their defense and the heart and soul of the team. His loss will be a lot harder for the team to bear.

Dave (Glendale Heights)

Hey Nick...do you think, with the injury to Noah, that the Bulls still have the pieces to make a trade for a shooting guard?

Nick Friedell
  (3:31 PM)

I don't think the Bulls can make a move for another shooting guard at the moment, because they can't afford to lose Taj Gibson. He would have most likely been included in almost any deal because other teams value him. It will be tough for the Bulls to make a deal for a two guard while Noah is out.

Tony (Chicago)

Nick, do you think that Gar/Pax will look to pick up Kirk Hinrich again after his current contract is up?

Nick Friedell
  (3:32 PM)

Yep. I think Hinrich will play here again in the future.

Dizzil04 (Chicago)

Heard you on espnradio1000 today, very surprised at how well rounded you are, what's your favorite sport to watch other than bball?

Nick Friedell
  (3:33 PM)

Appreciate it. I've always loved baseball. I used to play football as well. Aside from basketball, those are my two favorites.

joesh (chicago )

Hey nick! do you think noah can return any earlier from is injury? and what about the bulls getting Thabeet from the grizzles?

Nick Friedell
  (3:34 PM)

I think the 8-10 week range is pretty concrete. As for Thabeet, I don't think the Bulls will go after him. He just isn't very good right now.

Nick Friedell
  (3:35 PM)

All right, everyone ... I am out of here. A great chat as usual. I will talk to you guys next week.