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December 21, 12:30 PM ET
Bulls with Nick Friedell

Nick Friedell
  (12:33 PM)

Hello from New York City everybody ... let's get this chat rolling.

JD (Dallas)

Merry Christmas, Nick!!!Do you think Teague will start getting more of Hinrich's minutes? What do you see the Bulls doing at point guard once D Rose comes back?

Nick Friedell
  (12:37 PM)

Merry Christmas to you too, JD. It's the big question hanging over the Bulls right now. First, I'd be surprised if the Bulls didn't guarantee the rest of Nate Robinson's deal because of the way he's been playing. I think he stays, Rose returns late February, early March and the Bulls just hope Hinrich plays better. I'm not sure what will happen with Teague right now. He deserves a little more time, but he's still 19 -- so it would be easier for them to make him inactive some nights or send him to the D-League, something Thibs would rather not do.

Mo (Chicago)

Even with Derrick, this team isn't beating the big boys in a 7-game series. Who are potential additions good enough to make a difference this off-season? Hate to waste healthy years of Jo Noah.

Nick Friedell
  (12:38 PM)

The Bulls aren't going to add any major difference makers this summer. They would love to add somebody like Kevin Love, but that probably wouldn't be for at least two years -- when the Bulls would have enough space to bring somebody else in after Deng comes off the books and Boozer is amnestied.

jay (orlando) [via mobile]

Noah is having an all star year. My question is do you think he can keep up this production once Rose returns.

Nick Friedell
  (12:39 PM)

Yes, I do. Noah is in the best shape of his life. As long as he doesn't get hurt I think he will keep producing at the same level.

Micah (Chicago)

How about a Boozer for Humphries and Marshon Brooks swap? The Nets reunite Boozer and D-will, while the Bulls get an expiring contract who could contribute this year, and a possible SG of the future? Any thoughts?

Nick Friedell
  (12:40 PM)

Boozer isn't getting traded. Nobody wants his contract.

Henry (Chicago )

Nick, What's up with this talk that the Bulls could trade off Deng, I mean look at the blockbuster minutes and honestly no one can guard Lebron better than Loul can, but is it truly realistic? I say it could happen but boy would we need a star in return. We can WIN it this year! Hopefully New York is treating you well.

Nick Friedell
  (12:42 PM)

Henry, the reason Luol's name has been floated is because the Bulls know they can't win a title with this current core. I don't think they will deal Deng, but if they think they can get a young building block -- maybe in the draft -- it could happen. Deng has been great but he is scheduled to make 14+ million dollars next season. He's a great player, but he's not worth that kind of money in the new NBA system.

scott (chicago)

When Deng's contract comes up, what will he comand in thee way of salary and years? Is it possible the Bulls let him walk if the market is too high?

Nick Friedell
  (12:43 PM)

Yes, it's possible. The Bulls love Deng, but they aren't going to keep him at a high price. I would guess they'd try to sign him for 9-10 mil, but even then it obviously depends on what other teams get involved.

mitch (mitchtown)

When does mirotic come to Chi?

Nick Friedell
  (12:44 PM)

The Bulls are hoping in a year and a half -- but nobody knows for sure.

Tim B. (Springfield)

Nick, here's a risk that makes us championship-caliber next year. Trade Boozer, Mirotic rights and the Charlotte pick for Eric Gordon. Rose/Gordon/Deng/Taj/Noah can take on Miami.

Nick Friedell
  (12:46 PM)

Let's try to make this clear: Nobody is going to trade for Boozer. The Bulls are the only team that can amensty him. Once he gets traded, the team that gets him would be on the hook for two more years and 30+ million dollars. It's not going to happen.

Pete (Lincoln Square)

What's the deal with he working into playing shape or he just that old? What's their plan going forward, Noah can't keep these minutes up?

Nick Friedell
  (12:47 PM)

Nazr is right next to VladRad as the last guy on the bench. I just don't think Tom has much confidence that Nazr can get the job done anymore.

jason (chicago) [via mobile]

How good you think derrick will be once he gets back? Better then before?

Nick Friedell
  (12:48 PM)

Maybe -- but we won't know for sure for at least another year. Everybody needs to temper their expectations of Derrick this season.

Derrick [via mobile]

I know a lot of us fans want the bulls to go out in acquire another star or scorer to go aside Rose, but does Rose want that? I think he really believes that he could carry a team to a championship with a roster similar to what the bulls have had the previous 2 season with a good supporting cast and a deep bench

Nick Friedell
  (12:49 PM)

He still believes he can do it by himself, but in the end he knows he needs more help. The possible addition of another scorer will be more of an organizational decision, not a Derrick one.

nick (aurora)

the bulls are 4th currently and if they keep this up when d rose come back we already see them beat the knicks do u think the bulls have a chance at the championship

Nick Friedell
  (12:49 PM)

Nope. Sorry.

Dave B. (Lakeview)

Hey Nick,With it coming out last week that Kevin Love is less than thrilled with David Kahn's approach to the Wolves, can you see GarPax actually making a run for him at some point?

Nick Friedell
  (12:51 PM)

No doubt. They are watching the Minnesota stuff closely. The Wolves won't move him unless they have to -- but if they do, the Bulls will be calling every single day looking to make that deal.

Matt (Northbrook)

Hey Nick, thanks for being one of the best. Any word on how Mirotic is looking this year? I know he's still two-ish years away from the Bulls, but he is a pretty big source of excitement for the future.

Nick Friedell
  (12:54 PM)

Matt, All the reports out of Europe sound great -- the real question for the Bulls is if and when will he come over? The last thing the Bulls need is another Fran Vasquez situation on their hands.

scott (chicago)

What's the plan? Do the Bulls even have enough talented pieces to land someone like Kevin Love if someone of his caliber came availabe? I don't think that they do.

Nick Friedell
  (12:56 PM)

I think they do. It would probably include Gibson, Noah, Mirotic and a pick, maybe the Charlotte one, but I think the Bulls have the pieces to get a deal done if they so desire. I just don't think Minnesota is going to move him, though.

Spencer (Sandwich) [via mobile]

Hey Nick, I was wondering what is up with Taj? Is the pressure of the new contact getting to him? Or is he just going through a prolonged slump? Da Bulls Thanks

Nick Friedell
  (12:59 PM)

Taj has been struggling off and on all year for two main reasons I think: 1. The pressure of the new contract absolutely got to him, but I also think that he is struggling to find his way without Omer. Taj played great with Asik and now he has to adjust to being with an entirely different group.

Brian (Des Moines, IA)

Man Nick i just want to say you crack me up when your on the waddle and slivy show. So now is their any moves that you think the bulls will make this year be it just to make a move to clear $$ or are they just going to stand pat? thanks

Nick Friedell
  (1:01 PM)

Brian, I think think they're just going to stand pat. If they can get something for Rip Hamilton they would probably make that deal because he isn't going to be part of the team's future, but I don't think they'll be making any major deals at all.

Joel (Chicago)

Mr. Friedell, thank you for taking my question. Happy Holidays as well! I know it is a bit far off but given the Bulls financial restrictions, do you think the Bulls would look to move up in the 1st round 2013 NBA draft? You never know how things can shake out and if there was a player to take a gamble on, do you see management willing/able to move up?

Nick Friedell
  (1:02 PM)

Thanks, Joel. I've always believed this as far at the Bulls' draft strategy goes. If they feel like there's a player out there who makes them significantly better they will go out and make the deal. But I don't think there's been a guy in the last couple years who they have fallen in love with.

BOBA (River Grove)

All of the players except for Hinrich that the Bulls picked up in the offseason were given one year contracts. Does this mean we will see a whole new bench next year?

Nick Friedell
  (1:03 PM)

In all likelihood, yes. The players the Bulls signed this summer are all stopgaps.

Rob (Chicago)

Nick,Why don't Gar and Pax get the same scrutiny from fans and the media that the Bears's GM's get? Why has no one focused on signing Hinrich instead of Mayo to a larger and longer contract when Mayo is a much better fit with Rose? It was a no brainer and they bungled it. Just like losing Asik with nothing in return.

Nick Friedell
  (1:05 PM)

I'd argue that Gar and Pax have gotten crushed pretty good for the Omer decision and the fact they essentially let him walk without getting anything in return. As for Mayo, the Bulls already had a starting two guard with Rip Hamilton, and it sounded like Mayo wanted to end up in Dallas, so the pieces just didn't fall into place there.

Nick (Glen Ellyn)

Nick - You're such a Debbie-Downer! You keep saying the ceiling on this Bulls team is the 1st round. I think with or without Rose, they get at least to the 2nd round. With Rose at atleast 80%, they can get to the ECF (depending on who they play in the 2nd).

Nick Friedell
  (1:06 PM)

Not true, Nick. I've said all along I thought this team could get to the second round this season. I don't think there's any way they win a title this year. If that makes me a Debbie Downer -- sorry.

Gus(skokie) [via mobile]

Hey Nick, I think everyone is a little hard on boozer. We all forget that we had to overpay him two Summers ago. Don't you think hes been playing this year?

Nick Friedell
  (1:07 PM)

Boozer has been playing pretty well most of the season. As I've said all along, I don't fault Carlos for taking that deal -- anybody in his position would have. But once he got hurt early on and didn't produce the numbers that people expected, his fate with Chicago fans was sealed.

Kane (Cedar Rapids)

I love Chicago I think its the best sports city in the world. But do you think the reason why quality big name free agents don't want to come to Chicago is because of Jerry Reinsdorf cheap ways and the lack of faith in Bulls Management to build a championship team?

Nick Friedell
  (1:10 PM)

No, I think it's because of Jordan's shadow. I think a lot of players are afraid of that and don't want to play in Chicago because of it.

Bryan (Loop)

Hey Nick, what does the front office think now about that Omer poison pill deal? If they could do it all over again, do you see them still letting him walk and resigning Taj? Lastly, we love the 90s music in the 4th quarter...

Nick Friedell
  (1:12 PM)

Bryan, I don't think they have regrets as far as not paying Omer $15 million in that last season. Do they wish they had dealt him last season knowing what they know now? Probably -- but it is what it is now. As for the music, I think it's been better this year. I do love hearing Whoomp! There it is, still.

Sebatian (Lincolnwood) [via mobile]

Brian Scalabrine noted that with the game on the line he wants derrockr rose with ball more than anyone else in the league. Agree?

Nick Friedell
  (1:12 PM)

I'd probably take Kobe -- but Derrick is a closer. He's proved that the last few years and he takes pride in it.

Eric (Plainfield)

If Joe Johnson, someone who has a worse contract than Boozer and definitely has not lived up to it in one bit can be traded out of Atlanta how can you constantly say that nobody will trade for Booz?

Nick Friedell
  (1:14 PM)

I'll make you a deal, Eric. If the Bulls find a way to unload Boozer in a trade, I'll buy you lunch at any burger joint in the city.

frank (Chicago) [via mobile]

Who has the best fans in the league?

Nick Friedell
  (1:15 PM)

The Golden State Warriors.

John (West Loop)

Nick, How do you think the Bulls feel this far in to the seaon with their moves replacing Korver with Belinelli and Brewer with Butler in the rotation??

Nick Friedell
  (1:18 PM)

They weren't feeling great about them in the beginning, but everybody is feeling better now. Belinelli has found his confidence and Butler is getting better week by week. It doesn't hurt that they were both cheaper options, of course.

Nick (Glen Ellyn)

Why do you always have a negative answer to every question?We have a first place team! Let's enjoy it and hope Rose can come back healthy and strong...and then let's see what happens. We all know we're 2 years out from having cap space. But I can't curl up in a hole until then....Boozer, while he makes a lot of money, is a decent player. We could be a lot worse!!

Nick Friedell
  (1:20 PM)

I don't have a negative answer at all, Nick. The Bulls have played great the last few weeks and are getting better. I think they have a good chance to win the division. But when people ask me whether or not they have a chance to win a title this season the answer is simple: No. I get paid to be a reporter, not to be a fan.

scott (chicago)

Nick, you honestly think that players are scared of Jordan's shadow? He has been retired for years now, and doesn't money talk? I think it's just the fact that when everything is equal, who wants to spend the winter here when LA and Miami are what they are.

Nick Friedell
  (1:22 PM)

I think it still plays a role. Absolutely. Guys want to create their own legacies, not live in someone else's shadow.

Tom (Chicago)

Not that it matters too much, but most real Bulls fans don't think you're so negative with your answers. There's just some sensitive people that don't like to hear the truth. I think you've usually got pretty good reasons/evidence for your answers.

Nick Friedell
  (1:25 PM)

I appreciate that, Tom. I enjoy the back and forth with all the fans. Happy Holidays to everybody and Merry Christmas. I will talk to you guys next week.