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February 11, 2:30 PM ET
Chat with Nick Friedell

Nick Friedell
  (2:33 PM)

What's going on everybody? I'm coming at you live from outside of New Orleans where I just walked out of Bulls practice. Let's get this chat rolling ...

JUSTICE (MILE HIGH CITY)

NICK, WHAT'S THE LATEST ON JOAKIM???????

Nick Friedell
  (2:34 PM)

Joakim got his cast off at halftime of the Jazz game on Wednesday night. He was working out with Brian Scalabrine pretty hard after practice today. I still think he'll be back right after the break.

Dave (Novato)

Hey Nick, who has the higher ceiling: Asik or Taj Gibson?

Nick Friedell
  (2:37 PM)

Very good question. I'd still take Taj right now because I am convinced he can be a double double machine in this league. But ... the Bulls players and coaches are very high on Asik and love the way he works. His defense has only gotten better as the year has worn along and with some more time in the gym his post moves and conditioning will get even better. I'll still take my chances with Taj right now though.

eli (macomb illinois)

Is it worth giving up draft picks for courtney lee or oj mayo?

Nick Friedell
  (2:39 PM)

Yes.

Adam (Chicago)

Would you move Asik for Lee? I would not. You fix one need (sort of) to create another one.

Nick Friedell
  (2:42 PM)

I would because I am convinced Lee can be a two guard on a title contender. I know a lot of people disagree with me because they don't want to give up size, especially a player who still has as much room to develop as Asik. But I've seen Lee play in Orlando and I think he can be even better alongside Rose. Asik is a luxury right now -- kind of like Marcin Gortat was for the Magic before he got dealt.

Logan (Naperville)

can we expect Rose to limit CP3's numbers like he did with Deron on wednesday?

Nick Friedell
  (2:43 PM)

Not as low as Williams, but I think Derrick will have another good game. He takes it as a personal challenge when he faces the best point guards in the league and he wants to show everybody that he is on Williams and Paul's respective level. I think he'll have another big night.

Enrique (Chi)

Is it possible that Asik exceeds his so called "ceiling"? With a teacher like Thibs, a star (Rose) and a natural/emotional leader (Noah) it seems that if he pays attention and absord everything, he may even be a bit better than serviceable...maybe even good. Thoughts?

Nick Friedell
  (2:44 PM)

I agree ... but with Noah in the fold for the next few years, no matter how good Omer gets he probably still won't play 30-35 minutes a night.

Adam (Chicago)

Boozer's D was pretty bad to start that Jazz game. Not getting back on the one Jefferson dunk must have especially frosted Thibs. How close was Boozer to getting benched after that?

Nick Friedell
  (2:45 PM)

It seemed pretty close, especially after Boozer called a time out that Thibs didn't want in the second half, but I don't think there was any way Tom was going to sit Carlos in Salt Lake City.

David (Valparaiso, IN)

Hey Nick, do you think that Luol Deng will stay healthy and continue to be a strong force for the Bulls heading into the playoffs, or will he wear down and disappoint?

Nick Friedell
  (2:47 PM)

By all accounts, Luol is in the best shape of his career. History tells us that he still may break down, but he has shown no signs of it so far. That's why Thibs keeps running him out there.

Floyd (Cubeville)

Rumors are like UFOs, but what can you tell us about the the C. Lee for Asik trade rumors? and do you think that's a good idea?

Nick Friedell
  (2:49 PM)

Do I think the Bulls have discussed acquiring Courtney Lee as the Houston Chronicle reported earlier this week? Absolutely. They've been scouting him for a while and members of the Bulls brain trust were at the Rockets/Lakers game last week to see him in person. Do I think the deal will get done? Not this moment ... because I think Houston is still holding out for something more than just Omer Asik.

Brian (chicago)

Is there mounting tension between Boozer and Thibs? Seems like Carlos is on the bench for long stretches of time during the game and he does things that Thibs gets pretty mad at, forcing him to take timeouts

Nick Friedell
  (2:51 PM)

No. I think Carlos respects Tom because Tom is straight with him and doesn't bash him in the media. In a lot of ways, I think Carlos feels the same way about Tom that he did about Jerry Sloan. He respects him.

Roger (Sioux Falls)

Is it your gut feeling that Chicago will make a move for a SG befor the deadline?

Nick Friedell
  (2:52 PM)

They want to. But only if it doesn't crush their salary cap space going forward. They have a lot of expiring deals next season and they are in good shape no matter what happens with the CBA right now.

Kevin (Boise)

Sounds like the Bulls like Asik's potential and don't want to give him up for Lee. Do you agree or disagree with this assessment?

Nick Friedell
  (2:53 PM)

The Bulls like Asik a lot, but I think they would give him up in the right deal. I think the Rockets want more for Lee right now though.

Chris (Chicago)

Hey Nick, I NEED YOUR HELP! Need a debate settled with my friends. Rose is undeniably the better talent at this point but is Chris Paul not a better pure point guard? Thanks for the help!

Nick Friedell
  (2:55 PM)

Paul is still probably an all-around better player, but if you ask me that question in a year the answer will probably be different. Rose gets better and better each day because he is gaining even more confidence on both ends of the floor.

eli (macomb illinois)

Since we saw boozer get burned all night in Portland, should we expect that all year when he defends a dominant big man?

Nick Friedell
  (2:57 PM)

Probably. At least on one-on-one situations. Boozer needs Noah in there to help guard against some of his defensive weaknesses. The Bulls knew he wasn't a strong defender when they signed him and that has proven to be the case.

James (Chicago)

At the start of the year the Bulls seemed like they had something to prove. In recent weeks they look like they have become complacent. Do you get that feeling?

Nick Friedell
  (2:59 PM)

Against the weaker teams in December, a little bit. Deng admitted as much a few weeks ago. But I think the Bulls realize now that a lot of people out there are doubting how good they can be and they want to prove to everyone that they can beat the top teams in the league. I think the complacency is long gone now.

mike (dixon)

if carmelo anthony makes it to free agency do u think the bulls will make a push to sign him?

Nick Friedell
  (3:00 PM)

Nothing that has happened over the last year has swayed me from what I think about Carmelo ... He wants to be a Knick -- and he will find a way to make it happen one way or another.

jay (philly)

Quick! Who would you pick as Team USA PGs right now? (only two)

Nick Friedell
  (3:00 PM)

Chris Paul and Derrick Rose.

Mo (Chicago)

Do you think the snubbing by Wade and LBJ to Chicago gave Rose an extra chip on his shoulder? He plays like a guy that got surpassed by the team with the #1 pick.

Nick Friedell
  (3:02 PM)

Absolutely it did. Rose couldn't believe nobody wanted to play in Chicago with him, but he didn't lose much sleep over it, either. He wants to be the guy who takes the Bulls back. He enjoys the fact that this is his team and he is the face of the franchise.

D.J. (Santa Clara)

Not that Derrick ever would, but do you think if he complained enough he could get Thibodeau fired, like Dwill did to Jerry Sloan?

Nick Friedell
  (3:03 PM)

Derrick would never do that, you're right. Hypothetically, I think the Bulls would bend over backwards to make Derrick happy. If he had that much of a problem with a coach or a player, I think they would find a way to get him out of town.

Lei (Gurnee)

Is Thibodeau in the running for coach of the year?

Nick Friedell
  (3:04 PM)

Absolutely. But I think Popovich has that award almost sewn up already.

Mac (Philadelphia)

Is James Johnson receiving any notice from teams around the league as possible trade material with his recent success in the D-League?

Nick Friedell
  (3:05 PM)

Johnson has pretty much zero trade value at the moment.

Nino (Chicago)

Which current Bulls player can you most see becoming a coach after he retires?

Enrique (Chi)

Do you see DRose leaving for greener pastures if the Bullies don't compete for a title in the next three years? It seems losing gets tough on even the most loyal and humble players.

Nick Friedell
  (3:07 PM)

Scal will be a head coach in this league if he wants to be. He has said repeatedly that he doesn't want to be, though.

Nick Friedell
  (3:08 PM)

As for Derrick, I truly believe him when he says he never wants to leave Chicago. He loves being a Bull and he loves playing in front of his family every night. Obviously, things can change, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if he stayed in Chicago his entire career.

sean (chicago)

was luol hurt after not making the all star team kinda like in the 06-07 season

Nick Friedell
  (3:09 PM)

Yeah, I think he was a little upset. I think he'll use that as motivation for the rest of the year, though.

Jac (Chicago)

When do the Bulls need to get a deal out to D Rose? What do you think it's going to look like? I've never heard one thing about a long term D Rose deal.

Nick Friedell
  (3:10 PM)

Rose will get a max deal whenever the new CBA is figured out. Bulls fans shouldn't worry about it because the Bulls aren't worried about it. Rest assured, he's going to get paid.

Brendan (Pittsfield, MA)

Nick - there are bulls fans outside of the chicago region. answer some of our questions too.

Nick Friedell
  (3:11 PM)

What is your question, Brendan? What's going on in Pittsfield?

Steve (Chicago)

Will Scalabrine ever get more playing time? He played a lot in the pre-season and even in the beginning of the season, he works hard and theres nothing better than hearing the fans cheer every time he touches the ball

Nick Friedell
  (3:13 PM)

No. Scal is parked on the end of the bench. But if Thibs calls his number he'll be ready. He won't be calling that number anytime soon, though.

Ty (San Francisco)

Nick pleeeasssseee!!!! Why are we still starting Bogans and please do not tell me its because Thibs trusts him - get him off my team!!!

Nick Friedell
  (3:14 PM)

I could lie to you and tell you something different, but yeah Ty, it's because Thibs trusts him.

Mike C (Oak Lawn, IL)

With Noah due back in the lineup sometime around the break do we see Kurt Thomas go back to his seat at the end of the bench or has he earned the right to minutes every night

Nick Friedell
  (3:16 PM)

Kurt will stay in the rotation for now. He has been too good not to play again.

Adam (Chicago)

For those of us actually watching the games, Bogans is coming around lately. Will he ever live this rep down, or will Bulls fans always brand him as a bum?

Nick Friedell
  (3:16 PM)

Given that I've just had 20 comments pop up saying how much people can't stand Bogans, I think you know the answer to that one, Adam.

Matt (Chicago)

I know you are a big proponent of upgrading our SG position, but don't you think Bogan's worth (experience and defense) will be more apparent come playoff time? I still am not sold on Courtney Lee or even OJ Mayo (especially with his off-the-court troubles) helping us that much. Thoughts?

Nick Friedell
  (3:19 PM)

No, I don't. I think the Bulls need a guy who can score 15-20 at any given time at the 2. Even in the playoffs, Bogans minutes aren't going to change much. His presence on the floor won't make that much of a difference. He still won't be able to score 20 at any time.

Brendan (Pittsfield, MA)

Haha - well nothing goes on in Pittsfield. I submitted a question regarding James Johnson's d-leage play but you answered somebody else's questions about him. just felt a bit slighted =\ keep up the good work and thanks for getting me involved in the chat!

Nick Friedell
  (3:21 PM)

No problem. I was born in Worcester. I have a soft spot in my heart for MA people. Good luck in Pittsfield. As for James, I think he is gaining more confidence down there, but he still won't crack the rotation this year.

eli (macomb illinois)

Do you think the bulls could beat the heat in a play off series this year?

Nick Friedell
  (3:22 PM)

No.

EJ (Chicago)

Nick,Even if the Bulls acquire a SG (say courtney lee), why assume he will get enough shots to score 15-20 points. There isn't a whole lot of shots to go around with Rose, Boozer, Deng in your starting line up. I like Bogans in the starting line up. He brings toughness and defense. Most important he knows his role isn't relied on for scoring and doesn't complain.

Nick Friedell
  (3:24 PM)

If you like having Bogans in your starting lineup, then you also like watching the NBA Finals on your couch. Granted, it's not all Bogans' fault if the Bulls don't make it to the Finals, but there is no way in the world they will win a title with Bogans starting at the 2.

Mike (Chicago)

Nick, you say the bulls need a 2 guard to be able to get them 15-20 points a game. If you put Kyle Korver in the starting line up and give him the minutes couldn't he be that guy?

Nick Friedell
  (3:24 PM)

He could, but he would probably give up 30 ... which is a problem.

Nick Friedell
  (3:26 PM)

All right, everybody. I will talk to you guys next week. Great chat as usual. If you have any good recommendations for New Orleans send them my way ... Talk to you guys at the game.