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January 3, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Nick Friedell

Nick Friedell
  (3:05 PM)

What's going on everybody? Hello from the Berto Center. Practice just got wrapped up. Let's get the chat rolling ...

Sean Toledo [via mobile]

Is Deng getting traded?

Nick Friedell
  (3:11 PM)

The most popular question these days surrounding the Bulls. The odds are still more likely that he doesn't get dealt but if the Bulls get the right pieces back in a deal then they will do it. What are the right pieces? A draft pick or a cheap contract plus expiring deals. It doesn't seem like any team wants to give that up right now knowing that Deng becomes a free agent in a few months.

James (Chicago)

Hey Nick, am I crazy to wonder why D-Rose never sits on the bench during games? Even last year during his injury (until late in the year) he was nowhere to be seen. Seemingly every other injured player in the NBA dons a suit and joins their teammates. What gives?

Nick Friedell
  (3:13 PM)

Thibs said last week that he doesn't want Derrick out there yet because he is still on crutches. If he isn't out on the bench by next month I'll be surprised.

Nick Friedell
  (3:13 PM)

Thibs said last week that he doesn't want Derrick out there yet because he is still on crutches. If he isn't out on the bench by next month I'll be surprised.

Jay (Deerfield)

Nick - I think you need to continue to remind the fans about the Bulls' salary structure. I think most fans are under the impression that if the Bulls amnesty Boozer, they will be able to sign a max player through free agency. The truth is that even if they let Hinrich and Deng walk and waive goodbye to Carlos, their payroll is still ~$47-48M, which only puts them $10-13M under the cap. The only way the Bulls could sign LeBron or Carmelo would be to free up more cap space by trading Taj Gibson or Joakim Noah, or executing some sort of sign and trade.

Nick Friedell
  (3:14 PM)

Everybody who thinks the Bulls are going after Melo -- read this for a reality check. They don't have enough cap space to go after a free agent this summer. If they can bring Mirotic over here it will be a success.

jose (chicago)

when can the few teague supporters left expect to see him back in a bulls uniform?

Nick Friedell
  (3:16 PM)

Thibs actually made it seem today that the Bulls have already decided when they would bring Teague back. It sounds like he'll be back with the Bulls in the next couple of weeks as long as he stays healthy.

Barney Ross (New Orleans)

Who would win an all Bulls current healthy roster dunk contest? Do you think they would let Boozer lower the rim?

Nick Friedell
  (3:17 PM)

1. Taj Gibson2. Jimmy Butler

Colin (Chicago)

Impressions of Jimmy Butler this year? Has he been a let down after seeing what he was capable of in the post season, or have you been happy with his progression?

Nick Friedell
  (3:19 PM)

As Thibs would say, "Some good, some bad." Jimmy just needs to be more consistent. He's at his best when he's driving to the rim and getting free throws as he did in Memphis the other night. The real problem is that Jimmy has struggled with injuries for the first time in his career. He will get better this year but I still think he is better off as a 3, not as a 2.

George batra (United Arab Emirates)

Hi Nick!, well it's for sure that the 14-15 season will have a completely different bulls team. Do you think that the 14-15 bulls team will be a rebuilding team fighting for a high draft pick or still a championship contending team but with just a lot of new players and additions and replacements to guys like deng or boozer? What do you think the 2014-15 Chicago Bulls team will be like?

Nick Friedell
  (3:22 PM)

This is the problem for the Bulls. They are still going to be a very good team -- as long as Rose can stay relatively healthy -- but I don't think they will be a championship contender. Rose, Noah, Butler, Gibson is a nice core -- and will be nicer if Deng and Mirotic stay -- but they are still missing another star and have been for three years now.

Steve (Normal, IL)

So once again, the Bulls are cash-strapped and will basically do nothing (aside for HOPEFULLY bringing over Mirotic) to improve the team. Got it.

Nick Friedell
  (3:25 PM)

Here is my question for everybody: Given their salary cap situation -- what do you want them to do? I've said it before and I'll say again I think the Bulls should deal Deng now so that they can get something in return in case he walks. But they are still hoping to bring him back at a reduced rate. But what else would you do? They are built around a star player who has had two major knee surgeries and he still has three years left on a max deal.

Nick Pullano (Mundelein)

What do you think of Tony Snell's development so far as compared to when Jimmy was a rookie?

Nick Friedell
  (3:27 PM)

Snell is definitely playing more than Butler did so he has that going for him. Tony's issue right now is that he isn't playing within the offense as much as Thibs would like. It looks like he's forcing shots sometimes. He just needs to relax on the floor and get into a better rhythm.

Mike (Chicago) [via mobile]

What happened to the idea of bringing in Kevin Love from the timberwolves?

Nick Friedell
  (3:28 PM)

The Bulls would do that deal in a heartbeat -- problem for them is that Flip Saunders doesn't want to move Love. It takes two to tango.

Tommy M. (Los Angeles, CA)

How does the team feel about Erik Murphy? Is he growing enough in practice to warrant a place on the team next year?

Nick Friedell
  (3:29 PM)

Thibs just talked about this at practice. They like Murphy's work ethic but he may be headed to the D-League in the next few weeks to get some playing time. As for now, Thibs says they need Murphy at practice.

roger (chicago)

do you see rose ever playing for another team?

Nick Friedell
  (3:29 PM)

As I've said before -- the only place I think Derrick would leave Chicago for is Los Angeles.

Jose [via mobile]

I don't understand how the bulls could let marco bellinelli walk. He took a reduced salary and is now starting for the spurs. He's shooting a cater high in three point percentage. Had he stayed, he could have started and butler could have added more to the team by coming off the bench. It's obvious the bulls need another shooter, scorer, and ball handler. Marco was all of this. Do you think the bulls regret their decision?

Nick Friedell
  (3:31 PM)

No, I really don't. They knew Belinelli was a good player -- they just thought Dunleavy was an upgrade. Specifically, they thought Dunleavy was a better fit alongside Derrick Rose. If they had known Rose was going to get hurt obviously they would have kept Belinelli and Nate Robinson.

Saheed (Chicago, IL)

Hey Nick, if you were the GM of the Bulls, what would your plan be to make the team better? They have many option but all of them surround whether Rose is healthy. I would like your input.

Nick Friedell
  (3:34 PM)

This is the part I don't think some Bulls fans understand. The Bulls can make some moves -- but everything revolves around Rose. With that max contract on the books, they need to just hope he gets healthy -- and stays healthy. Any move they make is secondary to Rose being able to stay on the floor.

Ryan (Chicago)

Cleveland would give up Waiters & Bynum for Deng.....Bulls get a young asset on a cheap contract while saving around $12-14 million including luxury tax dollars. Why arent the Bulls all over this deal? This helps the tank,and the Bulls are already 3-1/2 games away from having the 2nd to worst record in the league which gives them a great shot at Jabari who is right now better than Deng.

Nick Friedell
  (3:36 PM)

Ryan, I think you're wrong about Cleveland. I think they just want a Bynum for Deng deal straight up. If the Cavs were willing to throw in Waiters or a first round pick I think this deal would get done.

Anwar (Chicago) [via mobile]

Based on what we've already seen this year (the Bulls' play coupled with the play of the other Eastern conf. teams) where do you project the Bulls will end up finishing this year?

Nick Friedell
  (3:38 PM)

I think the Bulls have a chance to do exactly what they did last season. Get into the playoffs and try to upset a team in the first round. If they face anyone other than Miami or Indiana I think they have a chance -- if this core stays healthy and they don't make any deals.

Michael (Chicago)

The Bulls offense stinks. Convince me why making the playoffs this year would be better than being in the lottery and getting a top 10 pick because I can't come up with a reason.

Nick Friedell
  (3:40 PM)

For the Bulls' long term future I think they would be better served to be in the lottery. But as my good friend Larry Coon told me recently, it's not up to a coach to tank a season, it's up to the GM and the front office. If the Bulls want to slide into the lottery it will be up to Gar and Pax to make some moves.

Frank (Chicago)

I haven't been to a game this season since Derrick went down. How has attendance been at the MadHouse? Can we even still call it that? Curious how deflated the fan base has been by Derrick's injury.

Nick Friedell
  (3:42 PM)

The fans still fill up the United Center. But the atmosphere is less exciting than usual. Fans are understandably deflated given what happened to Rose.

Nicole (Youngstown, OH)

What's the case for keepingDeng this season? I mean, why would he not want to resign with the Bulls for next season if he's moved this season?

Nick Friedell
  (3:45 PM)

The Bulls are still hoping Deng will take less money to stay in Chicago. If they deal him, there's no chance that will happen. The Bulls are banking on the fact that a team won't offer Deng what he wants -- which is max money or close to it.

JB (Chicago)

Perhaps you can clear this up. If the Bulls traded Deng, there is nothing in the CBA that would keep the Bulls from resigning him in the offseason right? Why would Deng refuse to negotiate with the Bulls if he was traded?

Nick Friedell
  (3:48 PM)

I don't think his representatives would refuse to negotiate at all -- I just think Deng wants to stay here. If he is dealt, he will view it that he isn't in the Bulls' long term plans.

Nick Friedell
  (3:49 PM)

I am out of here, guys. Thanks for sending in all the questions. I'll talk to you next week from Milwaukee. If you're at a game come over and say hello.