Monday, October 8, 2007
Little Ben Wants Big $$
Yahoo is reporting today that Bulls shooting guard Ben Gordon is apparently asking for a $70 million contract extension. I'm really hoping this is not true because if it is, the Bulls are going to have a hard time keeping Gordon happy and prodcutive if he's upset about not making what he thinks he deserves.
Everyone knows by now that Luol Deng is worth far more to the Bulls than Gordon, who really is only effective on one side of the court. Gordon is a good player but shooting guards are a dime a dozen in the NBA. The Bulls have always been about the team before the individual and have also been able to maintain a reasonably unselfish team attitude.
Obviously the best-case scenario would be to re-sign both Deng and Gordon to long-term deals. The Bulls are in pretty good shape financially and should be able to accomplish both signings as long as talks don't totally go to the shitter with Gordon. It's in Gordon's best interest to remain with the team who drafted and molded him into the player he is today. He has always been a clutch shooter with limited defensive capactiy but he is able to get by because the Bulls play such good team defense.
If he were to get lost to a team who doesn't play such great defense his lack of defensive skill would be exploited and Gordon's time could suffer. So he might want to watch out before making such huge demands because he could stand to lose money in the long-run by going to antother team. If the Bulls do re-sign Gordon, you can finally put to rest the rumors of a trade for Laker superstar and royal pain in the ass Kobe Bryant.
Joakim Noah has been practicing with the first team in training camp thus far this season. He has been working with Assistant Coach Ron Adams on his shot and actually has had a specially-designed pad for his hand in order to improve his unorthodox shooting technique. The pad is a makeshift ping-pong ball raquet that goes on the top of his left hand. Noah is competing with Tyrus Thomas and Joe Smith for the starting power forward spot. Andres Nocioni - the Argentinian Assassin - will be an energizing bench plaer who can start but will mostly be a substitue is part of the Bulls' depth at power forward.
"I wouldn't read a lot into who's declared the starter," Skiles said. "Much like P.J., Joe has a nice veteran way about him. We need that while Tyrus is still coming on, but Tyrus is, without question, better than he was. Joakim has unique things he can do. It's a matter of how quickly he'll pick things up. So far, so good. But each guy does something a little different."
Noah is actually older than Bulls' second-year player Tyrus Thomas and has played in more big games according to the Tribune's Sam Smith. I believe that there is no substitute for NBA playoff experience and Thomas has that edge on Noah. Head Coach Scott Skiles apparently isn't impressed with Thomas' offseason workout plan in which Thomas boasted he took between 700-800 shots a day.
''You mean the supposed 700 to 800 shots he was taking a day?'' Skiles said of Thomas, whose conditioning remains an issue. ''It would be nice if he can make perimeter shots, but he's got to be able to sustain effort first through a quarter, a game or even a practice, for that matter.
''He's in better shape than he was in camp at this point last year. He had a better summer than he had leading up to his rookie year, but not at the level of the other guys. He's still learning what it takes to be a great player.''
The Bulls will take the court in the Preseason opener against the Milwaukee Bucks tomorrow night in Lacrosse, WI at 7:30pm. For those of you Bulls fans in Chicago, the game will be on Comcast.