Final Call: Beasley or Rose?
This is a special feature from guest blogger John Nguyen.
Since June 26, 2008 can’t come soon enough, it’s time to decide who the best fit is for the Bullies. When the basketball Gods granted us the number one pick, the majority of Chicago and hardcore basketball fans smelled “Roses.” As we’re getting closer to the draft day by day, people are beginning to hop on the Beasley wagon. I can’t blame anyone because both kids look great although I preferred Rose in another article (http://www.hoopsvibe.com/nba-blog/nba-b … orum132172) but now I’m thinking even more in depth before I rush judgment. This is not a no-brainer like I previously thought. There is no Lebron or Oden here.
Hear me out, please.
I’ll examine who best fits Chicago’s long term plans with the roster without listing trades because, well, trades are for fantasy leaguers. There’s no need to list any trade because there’s too many possibilities. I will not address Larry Hughes because we’re probably stuck with his filthy contract. He should be gone of the highest order. I will not address Andres Nocioni because he should be traded, too. He’s a straight ball hogging shot jacker.
I will explain who would needs to leave although I know there will be disagreements on who should go or stay, but in the end, I’m writing this. Not you. As of this writing, Vinny Del Negro is the Bulls head coach. I really do not think he is leaning one way or the other. He prefers size in prospects (Beasley), but he is a disciple of D’Antoni’s offense (Rose). Please note that when I have a top 3 pick of any draft, I definitely take the best possible player overall regardless of position and definitely regardless of who’s on the team. Bobby Knight once said, “Take Michael Jordan and play him at center.”
If Michael Beasley is selected:
This automatically makes Ben Gordon untouchable because we need another proven 21+ per game scorer to compliment Beasley. John Paxson cannot let him sign the qualifying offer, trade him, or let him walk for nothing. He is that important now. Fans have been complaining for a big low post scorer for the past 5 years. Here he is.
Beasley’s offensive IQ is unreal and a great rebounder to boot. He can hit the J from anywhere, post up against anyone, and cross over defenders in isolation; ball handling skills are great for a kid his size. It’s a plus that he can spot the double teams coming and still manage to score. He has the tools to become a solid defender, but will that ever come to fruition? Is he too much of a practical joker to be a leader? Does he have the desire to become the best? Is he a black hole? As we all know those questions are the things that will hold him back from a good player to being a great player. That’s something that Beasley has to fix himself. If he is everything that is advertised, he will open up the perimeter for Gordon to do his damage. That jumper now looks as easy as a layup. Whether he’s in Chicago or where ever, Beasley has the strongest chance to be Rookie of the Year. I can definitely see BG hitting 25+ppg with him; a sick inside-outside duo.
Kirk Hinrich can probably stay as well but the problem here is already confirmed by Ric Bucher of ESPN: the team doesn’t want him to be the point guard. They rather have Chris Duhon. This is major news. We cannot ignore this stuff. Again, let’s not question Bucher’s credibility either. Yes, Kobe didn’t play his last game as a Laker as reported. Yes, Doug Collins didn’t become head coach. But really, everybody jumped the gun on both things anyway. The truth is Bucher’s sources failed him. But for him to slide in that little nugget confirms my suspicions on what I saw in many games; Hinrich not favored by the team speaks volumes especially as the supposed captain.
Kirk’s not a point guard, but he’s a nice role player. He still over dribbles, makes defensive mistakes leading to stupid fouls, whines too much, doesn’t know how to feed the hot hand, can’t penetrate, has turned into a mediocre shooter, and cannot answer to adversity. Furthermore, his calling card was defense. That’s thrown out the window with him playing putrid defense all year. When he’s getting smoked by Cuttino Mobley, Chris Quinn, and Travis Diener, we have major problems. Ben Wallace was the worst player on the roster, but after the trade deadline, Hinrich became the worst player. He had many games where he registered only 2-4 assists. That’s completely unacceptable for a point guard of his caliber; truly unacceptable.
So if fans are willing to overlook that, might as well “think out of the box” as Paxson and Del Negro like to put it in the press conference, and let Ben Gordon be the starting point guard with Beasley in the mix. We can’t do any worse than what Kirk put up all season. C’mon, his assist average has been decreasing each year just like his contract. If he stays under this scenario, there will be more locker room hatred. Paxson is not going to want that happening again. Expect Pax to look to trade him even with Beasley drafted.
Will Hinrich bounce back? I don’t see it happening on this team because the majority of the players do not respect him. In effect, Hinrich will hate the team and not pass the ball around. This information has gotten public so Kirk, in essence, will think “I see how it is. Screw you guys” and look for his shot a lot than ever before. He will still suck balls as usual and be detrimental to the ballclub. The time is to move him now before his value dips even lower than where it is currently. Let’s face it. John Paxson soured on Hinrich a long time ago, guys. That’s been confirmed earlier this season in a radio interview.
Deng, Thabo, and Noah surround Beasley just fine. If Beasley starts to become the Rookie of the Year that he’s being hyped then Tyrus Thomas or Drew Gooden will be gone. There’s a log jam and one guy has to be moved to make room for Beasley to avoid splitting minutes and locker room politics. Here’s another thought: if Beasley excels at the small forward spot since he’s a tweener forward, Deng will have to be traded in the future.
If Derrick Rose is selected:
This is the end for Hinrich. Derrick Rose is alpha male at point guard. Many fans have completely written off a Rose/Gordon backcourt, which is understandable because of the height and Gordon’s problem of guarding the two. But again, try thinking outside the box and experiment with that starting guard tandem before completely abandoning it. That’s why they the play games, right? At least give them a season before deciding to trade Gordon and putting in Thabo as the starting guard. He’s earned that right to prove himself with the organization and the fans. What do we have to lose, guys? Honestly, we have nothing to lose. We’re a bottom feeding team at 33 wins, 49 loses. Remember that.
What’s that I hear? Hinrich can play the two spot? Oh hell no. That’s already been proven under Skiles. He still deferred back to Gordon. That’s not a possibility. And it shouldn’t be.
Here’s a worst case scenario: the entire current backcourt has to be traded away to rebuild around Rose because of Pax’s mistake of drafting too many combo guards. The only player staying is Thabo yet even he isn’t the ideal SG. I just don’t see him as a long term starting big guard. He’s only a temporary fix because he cannot produce much offense. His dribbling is suspect and jumpshot is awful. He cannot take anyone off the dribble in isolation and that’s crucial at that position. If he was like a young Michael Finley, then hell yes, I start him. Yet then again, he’s currently playing like today’s Michael Finley.
If we suck again next season, hopefully we can land Deromar DeRozen from USC. Trade away Gordon to get a good big man in return and have a Rose/DeRozen backcourt with Thabo backing up at both 2 and 3 spots. I’m pretty sure we’re not going to suck again next season for this to happen, but this depends on Deng’s and Gordon’s contract situations.
Tyrus Thomas should not be traded unless Miami wants Hinrich and Tyrus for Beasley. Then by all means, do the trade. I’ll commit that. But anyway, he should stay for one more season and hopefully he becomes Shawn Marion-like. He’ll be catching lobs having easy scoring opportunities all game. Under Rose, this thinking can be applied to all of our bigs.
So finally, Beasley or Rose? Here’s a great link to check out, credits to YaoPau. http://www.blogabull.com/2008/6/4/54570 … against-nb.
Both kids are great at their respective positions. They’ll be just fine in the league. I’m going to take it one step further to see who can be the greater player in the long run. Derrick Rose’s 6 game NCAA tourney averages: 35.5 mpg, 20.8 ppg, 6.5 rebs, 6.0 assists, 1.3 stls while maintaining 52% from the field and 77% at the stripe.
Beasley’s 2 game NCAA tourney averages: 33 mpg, 23 ppg, 12 rebs, 1 stl while maintaining 48% from the field and 88% at the stripe.
Beasley will be a fine player right from the start no doubt, but I think Rose will be the greater player in the long run because Rose is the better all around talent. Don’t get me wrong. Either kid makes the Bulls somewhat of a lock for the playoffs. The team still needs to do a trade or two by acquiring either kid. Another interesting thing to note: ever since 1990, no point guard selected within the top 5 has become a bust. The only thing closest was Jay Williams but we didn’t see enough to make that certain. In Beasley’s case, a lot of players roughly the same size, height and position have become busts in top 5 picks. History is hands down on Derrick Rose’s side. His selection serves another distinction: the last point guard to be taken number one overall was Magic Johnson in 1979. We’ll see what the Bulls do at the podium when they announce their selection.
On Ben Gordon’s contract disputes and 2010 plan:
Ben Gordon is the center of controversy on this ballclub because despite being the best player, he’s seeking too much money and fans nitpick on the usual cliché lack of height and defense. That’s too bad because I couldn’t care less about either one. BG has gotten better at challenging shots, but no one wants to see or admit it. We just love to stick with stereotypes because we’re mentally lazy.
He’s proven that he can get the job done even in the heat of criticism. Jerry Reinsdorf should be ready to overpay just a little bit for Gordon, preferably around Kevin Martin’s value at $55 million. If he’s signed to a similar offer of 5/$50 million then YOU START HIM NO MATTER WHAT regardless of Thabo’s length and defense. Sefolosha is not an established player even with the 15 games he flourished in last season. BG is a proven commodity, which makes him the starting SG.
This negotiation will be a long painful process. If Gordon still doesn’t like the offer then it’s time to trade him. Word on the street is that Reinsdorf does not even want to offer any type of extension but the QO is something both parties want to avoid and the salary dump is silly because we will not get back anything close to Gordon’s value. If Reinsdorf dumps Gordon or lets him walk into unrestricted territory, we’re back to a shitty franchise. We have passed being the Cavaliers of the 80s/90s. We became the Clippers of the East.
I see, as some do, that a core of Deng, Gordon, Beasley or Rose, Tyrus, and Noah with $20-$30 million in cap space has a great chance of attracting Lebron, Wade, or Chris Bosh in the 2010 free agent class. I’m sure that Pax is thinking the same. Will Reinsdorf make that happen? Is he even willing to? Does he share the same vision?