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

Nick Friedell
  (1:01 PM)

What's going on, everybody? It's been a long time since our last chat. Let's get this one rolling ...

LeAnne (Washington)

Nick, when will the season start in your opinion?

Nick Friedell
  (1:04 PM)

Anybody who tells you they know for sure is lying. My guess is that the NBA still pulls out a 50-60 game season which would start right around Christmas or a little after the new year. That's just a guess. I am convinced they will play at some point, though.

Nathan (Phoenix)

Hey Nick, Good to have you back in the chats. I've been reading a lot about a potential amnesty clause if/when the new collective bargaining agreement passes. How do you think the Bulls will use this to their advantage?

Nick Friedell
  (1:05 PM)

I don't think the Bulls will amnesty anybody this year. If the new CBA states that you can save the amnesty clause for a few seasons, then maybe Boozer (or somebody else) will get amnestied a couple years from now. But right now, the Bulls aren't going to amnesty anybody.

Tim (Michigan)

Nick,Although I am an Bulls Fan, and don't know everything about the money aspect of what the players are fighting for, but i have to tell you that I think they make enough money, and the owners, well to me they hold all the cards.....My Question is DO YOU THINK THEY WOULD USE REPLACMENT PLAYERS in the NBA? Thanks Tim

Nick Friedell
  (1:06 PM)

Nope. I don't think the owners would use replacement players.

Tony (Chicago)

Once the lockout is over, what are the chances the bulls add a better shooting guard? and who?

Nick Friedell
  (1:11 PM)

Ah, the two guard question. Oh how I've missed it. Bulls management knows it has to upgrade the two guard position, but the chances of adding an impact piece are still up in the air. Jason Richardson may be the team's best bet if he will take a huge pay cut. Arron Afflalo would be a great addition but he's a restricted free agent and will be asking for a lot of money. Rip Hamilton would be a nice fit but he may not get his wish and be bought out in Detroit. O.J. Mayo would be another solid option but the Bulls don't want to give up (most likely Gibson or Asik) to get him. So the Bulls may very well just pick up Keith Bogans' option and see what happens. Fans will be miserable if that's the case.

Dan (Pittsburgh)

Nick, Do you think it is at all possible for the bulls to pull off the trade with orlando for Dwight Howard?

Nick Friedell
  (1:13 PM)

Is it possible? Sure. Do I think it will happen? No. Otis Smith has said repeatedly he's not trading Howard. Even if he does, why would he send him somewhere in the East? Howard would crush the Magic four times a year. I still think if Howard is dealt somewhere it will be out west ... probably to the Lakers.

patrick (addison)

If the lockout ended today, how long before we see regular season action? It seems to me, watching from the outside, that the players have no real leverage. When will the big gun players step up and say enough is enough accept a deal and get back to playing the game? This whole situation is disgusting.

Nick Friedell
  (1:16 PM)

David Stern has talked about this in the last couple weeks. I think if the lockout ended today we still wouldn't see games for about a month. Teams would need a period to sign free agents, have a shortened training camp, and then a couple preseason games.

Nick (NJ)

Hey Nick, looking back at the 2010 Offseason, do you think the Bulls got a upgrade or a down grade with Boozer over Bosh(who most of us thought would end up a Bull)

Nick Friedell
  (1:18 PM)

If the Bulls had their pick and the entire thing started from scratch, they would take Bosh. There were people within the organization who thought Bosh was coming to Chicago after taking his tour here. Problem for the Bulls is that Bosh was only going where James and/or Wade ended up. Boozer was the next best option.

Brian (Chicago)

The Bulls are still in need of that 2 guard that can defend and shoot the ball, do you think a return of Kirk Hinrich is possible in the future? I think he would fit perfectly in this system.

Nick Friedell
  (1:20 PM)

Hinirich would be a great fit and I think he wants to come back and play in Chicago, but I don't know if the Bulls will get him back this season. Unless they can get him cheaply from Atlanta, they'll wait til he's a free agent next summer and see what happens.

Mo (Chicago)

Would you agree that learning how to play effective, good-position defense for an NBA power forward is a "want" thing as opposed to "skill?"

Nick Friedell
  (1:21 PM)

I asked Horace Grant that same question recently and he said a player can be trained to be a better defender. So yes, I would agree. If a player wants to play defense badly enough, they will find a way to get better ... at least in some areas.

VJ (Champaign)

Nick, what do you think about some injury prone former superstars fit into the bulls lineup? I'm thinking Michael Redd or Brandon Roy (assuming he gets the amnesty boot)

Nick Friedell
  (1:23 PM)

I've always been a big fan of Roy's but I think his knees just can't hold up over the strain of a long NBA season. As for Redd, he's been hurt so much, I don't think it's worth the risk to count on him being healthy for an entire season.

Malcolm (Lakeview)

Nick, I've heard lots about JRich and Afflalo, with good reason. But I think players like Jamal Crawford, J.R. Swish and Nick Young would be an upgrade for us. What are your thoughts on those guys?

Nick Friedell
  (1:23 PM)

All of them would be an upgrade over Bogans.

Jerry (Texas)

Are you serious, Bulls can't go into next season with Bogans as their starting SG again, they will have the same exact problems they had last yr, the city would revolt?

Nick Friedell
  (1:25 PM)

Management knows this ... but if they can't get another guy in here, Bogans may be the only option that's left. Unless Thibs makes the switch and starts Brewer or Korver next year.

Chris (Purdue)

Hey Nick, hypothetically, if the season was completely lost, who do you think it would help/hurt the most? I cant decide if the Bostons/LAs of the world would be done because they will be one year older or if the extra year of rest would help them. And i assume it would hurt teams like the bulls/thunder since they lose a year not being able to improve/gain chemistry as a team. What do you think?

Nick Friedell
  (1:28 PM)

Chris, I think it hurts everybody. To use your example, I think LA and Boston would be hurt because all their guys are now a year older. But I think a lost season would hurt the Bulls and Thunder just as badly because they are just starting to hit their respective strides. I don't think anybody benefits from the lockout.

Jarett (Chicago)

Nick, I know the bulls have zero interest in amnestying Boozer this year, but lets say he struggles again in the 40/50 games we have in 2012, how likely do you think they want to shed his contract after next summer? The summer of 2012 has a nice free agent pool.

Nick Friedell
  (1:30 PM)

Yes, it does. But here's the issue for the Bulls: Nobody knows what the new CBA will look like. They could amnesty Boozer and still may be over the new cap because of the contracts of Rose, Deng and Noah. It all depends on what the new CBA looks like. That's why in the short term Boozer is going nowhere. If the new CBA allows the cap to expand over time and the Bulls need more space for a bigger acquisition, then maybe Boozer could be gone if he continues to underperform.

Adnan (Oak Brook)

How much communication is there between the Bulls players during the offseason? Any group workouts?

Nick Friedell
  (1:32 PM)

C.J. Watson and Kyle Korver have both said they've been trying to organize team workouts on the west coast. If this lockout continues, I think the Bulls will try to get together at some point in the next few weeks.

Tom (Chicago)

Welcome back Nick, does a shortened season actually help the bulls? Especially if they keep Bogans, they have the same Core and the health issues shouldnt be as bad as long as everyone reports in good shape

Nick Friedell
  (1:34 PM)

As far as a shortened season goes, I think the Bulls would have a slight advantage, especially in the beginning given that the team has played together and wouldn't have to learn a new system on the fly. They know what to expect from Thibs. I don't think that advantage would be very big once the season got going though.

jason (east chicago indiana)

With the proposed new penalties to owners going over the luxury tax. Do you feel Jerry Reinsdorff will pay for this tam to win (as he said he would) ?

Nick Friedell
  (1:36 PM)

If the Bulls need an extra boost to get them over the postseason hump, I think Reinsdorf will spend the money to make it happen.

Enrique (Chi)

I MISS THESE CHATS!If/when the lockout ends, can J. Butler be a rotation player this coming season?Thanks!

Nick Friedell
  (1:37 PM)

Thibs and Gar are high on Butler, but I think it's going to take a while for him to get solid minutes in the rotation. He's got to show them he has the ability to knock down open shots. If he does that, he's got a chance.

Dee (Atlanta)

Living in Atlanta i hear so much negativity about my man Joe Johnson. I think he would be perfect for the Bulls system. What's tha chances we land him?

Nick Friedell
  (1:38 PM)

He would be a great fit in the Bulls system and he's a guy that Derrick Rose really wanted. But, there is no way the Bulls land him unless he gets amnestied by the Hawks ... and that's not happening. At least not this year.

wooblyball (Grayslake)

Do you feel carlos boozer played up to expectations? Does tibs hate him for being such a poor defender?

Nick Friedell
  (1:41 PM)

Boozer definitely didn't play up to the expectations the team had for him. As for Thibs hating him -- I don't think he hates Carlos as a person. But yes, I do think he hates the way Boozer plays defense. I think Thibs will be much quicker with the hook next season if Boozer continues to struggle in picking up the defensive schemes.

Dave (NC)

Is there absolutely no chance of Rose ever moving to the #2 spot? I could live with a glorified role player starting at PG as long as his primary duty is to pass it to Rose when he crosses halfcourt.

Nick Friedell
  (1:44 PM)

I think there is a chance Rose plays a little more of the 2 spot down the line. If Thibs gets more comfortable with C.J. Watson at the point, it's a possibility. Remember, the Bulls kicked around the idea of drafting Jonny Flynn a couple years ago so they could use a lineup with Flynn at the 1 and Rose at the 2. If the Bulls find the right complimentary player, I think they would consider using Rose at the 2.

Mark (Pasadena, CA)

Hey Nick! Great game by the Bulls last night. They really took it to the Mavs. Can they keep it up? Wait, what?

Nick Friedell
  (1:45 PM)

I'm as frustrated about the lockout as anybody. Just get it over with already. The sad part is that this is about 20th message I've gotten like this in 45 minutes.

Matt (Florida)

How many Rings could the Bulls win with a good SG filling that spot?

Nick Friedell
  (1:50 PM)

Here's a question I want to throw out there to you guys. Everyone wants to know who will play the 2 for the Bulls next year and beyond. Tell me who you think the Bulls could conceivably add next year that could win them a title.

Nick Friedell
  (1:51 PM)

The point being as much as I like Jason Richardson or Afflalo, etc. I'm still not convinced one of those guys automatically pushes the Bulls past the Heat. If it were Carmelo Anthony? Sure. But it's not. The Heat still have LeBron and DWade. The Bulls have Rose and a bunch of complimentary pieces. Would the two teams be more evenly matched if the Bulls added a better two guard? Of course. But I still want to see who the Heat add before making a final decision.

Kevin (Rolling Meadows, IL)

im completely sold on bring jr smith to chicago. that being said didn't he sign overseas with no opt out clause? Curious to see if you think he would be a realistic fit this year or next

Nick Friedell
  (1:52 PM)

I think the Bulls like Smith, but they also love the chemistry that last year's team had. My guess is that they'll look at adding a few other guys before they talk to Smith.

Mike (My Cube)

Nick!! Great to have you back !! With the recent Friedell sightings on ESPNChi is this good news that D Rose and the Bulls have a chance of playing games in 2011??

Nick Friedell
  (1:54 PM)

Mike, thanks man. The Bulls will play at some point this season, I'm just not sure when. In the meantime, I'll be covering a few Hawks practices for Jesse.

Frank (Chicago)

With the chance for a shortened schedule (hopefully) how do you think this will benefit DROSE. With a fresher, less beaten up DROSE, I have to assume he could have an even more stellar post season. Your thoughts?

Nick Friedell
  (1:56 PM)

He could, but the Bulls will need to make sure he doesn't wear himself out during a shortened season. It will be up to Thibs to make sure he doesn't extend Rose and co. during the potential back-to-back-to back trips.

Nick Friedell
  (1:58 PM)

All right guys, I am out of here. Great talking to everybody as usual. Hopefully, I will talk to everybody again soon.