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The Bulls, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, and walking the walk vs. talking the talk

Jun 3, 2012, 5:30 PM EDT

Derrick Rose AP

See, here’s the problem with the superstar team-up era. The Chicago Bulls have put together a team that features a perennial MVP candidate at 23, an All-Star wing defender who can shoot, a hyper-active emotional powderkeg with some offensive skills built in at seven-feet, a deep bench, some microwave scorers… and Carlos Boozer. (No one’s perfect.) And yet when CSN Chicago reports that the Bulls are planning to make a run at either Jason Kidd or Steve Nash, both unrestricted free agents this summer, I have nothing but skepticism because Chicago has not been a franchise that has pursued being “elite” since Jordan walked away. That team they have is good enough, it’s great enough. But I still can’t believe Chicago will really try and make that monster move, because of the money involved and their past history. From CSN Chicago:

While the front office may seek out minimum-salary veterans at several positions, including point guard, a source tells that the Bulls will take a run at future Hall of Famers Steve Nash and Jason Kidd in free agency, trying to convince the former All-Stars that they will have an opportunity to win a championship, of which Kidd has one, from last season with the Mavericks, and Nash has none, in Chicago.

According to the same source, the rest of the team’s “core”–starters Rose, Deng, Hamilton, center Joakim Noah and power forward Carlos Boozer, as well as reserve big men Taj Gibson and Omer Asik, the latter of whom is a restricted free agent this summer, though the Bulls are likely to match any offers for him from opposing teams–is “safe,” though team management will surely at least listen to trade offers.

via Rose making progress, Bulls thinking big?.

Perhaps you’re wondering how on Earth either of those guys will be willing to make a massive paycut to play backup. Well, here’s the thing. They may not have to. We saw this year a lot of teams playing two-point-guard lineups effectively. Honestly, with how fast the league is moving, you almost have the luxury of playing smallball a lot of the time against most teams. Kidd is probably reaching a point where he’s best suited as a role player on the bench anyway, but Nash could excel with Rose next to him. There’s no reason Rose can’t guard some of the bigger 2-guards, and the ones he can’t? Luol Deng can cover. The number of teams with incredible scorers at both the 2 and 3 spots is really in the 3-4 range, with Miami and OKC the obvious inclusions there.

But still, you can’t help but be concerned. Jerry Reinsdorf, the Bulls owner, has made noise about going into the luxury tax this summer which would be a big departure for him. He’s going to have to if he wants to keep that core mentioned above together, considering Asik’s likely offers in restricted free agency and Derrick Rose‘s extension kicking in, and that’s before trying to add a Hall of Fame point guard.

So, no, I don’t think the Bulls will swing for the fences with either player. I think we’ll see the same Bulls team back, but it may not be as good. But then, I don’t know why that’s a problem. When healthy, that’s still more than enough for the Bulls to win the title.

  1. gmen4life33 - Jun 3, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Jason Kidd would be a great fit. He can keep the team in it until D Rose is ready, and when D Rose comes back, just use him as backup/2 guard. Kidd played really good D against 2 guards like Kobe this year, so he wont be a liability on the DEF end. Makes sense all around.

    • savvybynature - Jun 3, 2012 at 10:18 PM

      Kidd got torched by OKCs guards in the postseason, but aside from the “really good D” comment I agree he would be a quality addition for them as a starter then backup when D. Rose comes back.

      • gmen4life33 - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        Anyone can have a tough series, but Kidd is an ebove average defender. He Ds up Kobe every time they play, and is a smart defender.

  2. glink123 - Jun 3, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    you people seem to forget the last three years of Jordan’s tenure with the Bulls, when Reinsdorf paid MJ $30 million, $32 million, and $33 million per year, and the Bulls went *massively* into the team salary stratosphere.

  3. LilTmac2003 - Jun 3, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Honestly, I don’t see why not. I think the Bulls would be down for that too.

    I say get Steve Nash over Kidd for a few reasons…

    1- I really want Nash to get a ring. He’s deserving of one and is a class-A type of player.

    2- Nash + Hill really carried the Suns last season and were a couple games away from making the playoffs. Even without Rose, the Bulls are a much more talented team than that complete Suns team.

    3- Nash is a facilitator and a play maker – something that Chicago needed when Rose went out in the playoffs.

    4- Assuming Rose takes 10 months, he can still come back, have time to get into rhythm and get ready for a playoff run.

    5- Bulls have player options on Watson, Korver, and Brewer. Lucas & Scal are free agents. Keep Korver from the list, match Asik, get Nash and go out and win one! Inshallah!

  4. 00maltliquor - Jun 3, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    That would definatly be a smart move on Chicago’s behalf, considering D. Rose is going to be out for half the season, and of course a few games here and there before the playoffs that you know always “magically” come up. They most def’ got a team as currently constructed to take it all the way to compete for the Larry O’ but they are going to need some help while he’s away.

    Makes sense for both Nash (he needs a ring before he gracefully bows out) and Kidd (at this point he can accept coming off the bench) too.

  5. BigBeachBall - Jun 3, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    nash to ny for jeremy lin and two draft picks

    • 24thesho - Jun 4, 2012 at 8:32 AM

      Ain’t gonna happen…., Knicks contending for a ship or Steve Nash.

  6. blueintown - Jun 3, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    @Matt Moore – Why is it that every single writer on this site seems to feel obligated to post at least one article trying to cast Reinsdorf as a cheapskate despite there being no evidence whatsoever of that being the case? Are you contractualy obligated to do so?

    • snoopy2014 - Jun 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      The perception mostly comes from the books detailing the Bulls dynasty behind the scenes. Blood on the Horns is one, and I think The Jordan Rules might have had some stuff in there too. I recommend you read both if you haven’t, they’re great Bulls reads.

      But there is some evidence to suggest Reinsdorf likes to get as much value as possible (whether that’s being a cheapskate or a good businessman depends on your perspective). There were contentious negotiations with Scottie Pippen and another player I’m blanking on right now (Paxson, I believe). Reinsdorf told Michael Jordan “I’m going to live to regret this” after signing him to a $30 million dollar contract. Now obviously he did pay the money, but considering Jordan was underpaid for much of his career and just how unique a figure Michael was, a lot of people use that Reinsdorf quote as a reflection on him being a cheapskate.

      I think it depends on your perspective. But he definitely is not a typical spend-into-the-tax owner.

      • snoopy2014 - Jun 3, 2012 at 8:55 PM

        It doesn’t help that Michael is arguably the most beloved basketball player of all time, by fans and the media especially. When Reinsdorf made that comment (and Michael was deeply offended, complaining to the entire locker room about it), many in the media turned against Reinsdorf. Krause was the poster boy for putting his foot in his mouth, but Reinsdorf had his moments too.

      • blueintown - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:10 AM

        The problem is that the perception doesn’t match up with the empirical evidence. Reinsdorf quipping that he would “live to regret this” after giving MJ over thirty-large may be a sign of prudence, but this is not the act of a cheapskate. It’s a bit like calling Bill Gates cheap because he only owns one lamborghini when it is clear he can afford at least three. Regardless, Jordan was so offended that he accepted a deal of greater value from Reinsdorf the very next season (97-98).

        The player you are thinking of is indeed Paxon, although the animosity came to fruition after he had signed his deal. But Paxon has been a part of the Bulls organization since he left the game, being promoted to GM from TV analyst. There are plenty of other examples: Reinsdorf’s offer to pay Eddy Curry despite the knowledge he may not even be playing basketball in the future, honoring Jay Williams’ deal (despite not being contractually obligated to) after the motorcycle accident, paying for a former players medical bills (the name escapes me. Bob Love, perhaps?), upon learning Randy Brown (Randy Brown!?!) was so broke he was selling his championship rings, the organization hired him to just basically be there.

        There is a difference between being cheap and being prudent. Jerry Reinsdorf is the latter.

  7. xli2006 - Jun 3, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    It all hinges on what kind of player Rose is post-ACL. When you play the way he does, a major knee surgery is not something to overlook. A long list of players were never the same.

    Rose has plenty of years left, but 2012-13 might be a stretch to see the type of player Rose was this past year.

    • windycitymonstersofthemidway - Jun 4, 2012 at 7:36 AM


      And while I hope I’m wrong, but my biggest fear is that post-ACL, Rose becomes merely mortal player, no longer a superstar basketball god. A really good NBA player, yes, but that lightning bolt blur driving to the rim? Maybe no more. What made Rose unguardable was his sudden explosion in the paint, and post ACL, that may never be the same. The difference between “pretty good” and “incredible” in the NBA is measured in the blink of an eye . . .

  8. thetooloftools - Jun 3, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Nash and Kidd need to know when it’s over.

  9. asublimeday - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    It’s tough to believe a true Bulls fan hasn’t read both of those books.

  10. passerby23 - Jun 4, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    Nash has 2-3 good years left. Rose is likely done for all of next season. There’s also the possibility they play on the court together well. I see it as a good move.

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