Chicago Bulls GM John Paxson must have been pissed off.
I was strolling around Las Vegas not giving a damn about basketball until I walked through Caesar’s Palace Sports Book place where overweight men sit there drinking and smoking all day watching multiple big screens. I saw The Bulls’ odds of ending with the best record in the NBA.
Other people looked at me and thought I was some young punk kid who was drunk at 3PM in the afternoon. I usually do not get up like that, but I was reading some tickers and saw that general manager John Paxson made moves.
I laughed again.
In my last piece about the Bulls regarding Derrick Rose, I called out John Paxson and owner Jerry Reinsdorf. I specifically trashed Reinsdorf about interfering with basketball decisions. I know it was true, but more on that later.
John Paxson shocked me because he actually did moves. He didn’t do one or two. He did three turning the Bulls probably into the biggest winners of the 2009 trade deadline despite not landing Amar’e. They managed to move Larry Hughes who was dead trash, Nocioni who regressed as a player, Drew Gooden who wasn’t a good power forward, and Thabo Sefolosha who was severely overrated as a Pippen-like defender. Brad Miller is better than Drew Gooden even at this age and John Salmons is the replacement of Ben Gordon, if BG leaves. He turned Thabo into another late first round pick from the Thunder, which is better than being useless. Hughes, on the other hand, had to be moved to get rid of the constant bitching and the useful uselessness he provided. Nice going, Larry.
I’ll give John Paxson a C+ for the trade moves because he took in more salary than what was going out and didn’t land Amar’e. This creates another dilemma. How in the hell are you going to resign Ben Gordon, John Paxson? There’s barely any space. If you let him walk, other players around the league will notice and that will not attract any big name or second tier free agent from 2010 to want to sign with Chicago because you couldn’t take care of your best players. Sorry, but that’s reality. The only way to resign Gordon is to do a salary dump of Hinrich or Deng while fetching a top 5-10 pick coming back. Pax should still look to trade Deng. He’s clearly not worth the money. Yep, not even close. I’ll say it again, the scouting report on Deng is that he’s clearly soft, can’t dribble, and not athletic. Pax, you still have a lot of work to do in the off season. You clearly recognized this, which leads us to the ESPN 1000 talk you had recently.
You were pissed off.
You weren’t mad at the trades. You weren’t mad at the fans. You were mad at bloggers, like me, which lead you to get your shots in by saying that you do not need to explain to anyone what kind of involvement Jerry Reinsdorf has with the transactions.
I agree, Pax. You shouldn’t need to, but it doesn’t mean that JR doesn’t get involved. The truth is he does. How come it was reported a few times during the contract negotiations of Luol Deng? It was reported that you were completely removed from that and Reinsdorf took over. Same goes for the negotiations with Ben Gordon. How about the Mike D’Antoni debacle? What about what happened with Pau Gasol and Kevin Garnett? What about Doug Collins? Reinsdorf personally took over a lot of that stuff and axed it. What about the constant favoring of Kirk Hinrich? I know Pax is not in love with Hinrich to make him untouchable, but Reinsdorf sure loves him, which led to that huge contract he got.
Despite that, I like the new attitude of the general manager. He’s mad. I like that fury. Maybe Pax shouldn’t read the internet so much though. There’s going to be a lot of trash thrown at everyone. Even at me. This is sports after all and everyone have different ideas and opinions on what needs to get done.
Bravo to Pax for finally getting anything done. I hated hearing, “Oh we can’t do anything at this time.” At least you got stuff done. That was the point. You got trades done and you didn’t do trades just for the sake of trading. You were looking like you didn’t do anything to improve the team for a long time. Now this team can finally return to the playoffs.
Yet there are many questions regarding the future.
"We could have made another salary type of trade and would have been in great shape, but it wouldn’t have helped us right now to win."
That is what you said. Who were you planning to dump, Pax? If I was a gambling man, my money is on Hinrich.