Should (Hopefully) free up playing time for Bobby Portis.
As a Thunder fan, I am pumped about this move. I think Sabonis will wind up being good, but he’s struggling big time offensively right now, so Taj is a huge upgrade at the 4 and gives them the flexibility to choose between him and Kanter this summer. I love Anthony Morrow, but McDermott has been markedly better this year and is under contract through 2018 before he’s an RFA. I’m also a big Cam Payne fan, but he’s been pretty bad since coming back from injury and it isn’t a given he’ll be able to play alongside Russ long-term.
Most importantly, shows Russ that the organization is working to put better pieces around him. Hopefully they can move up the standings from 7. They’ve got the easiest remaining schedule in the league, Kanter may be back tomorrow and these moves should help big time.
I’ll be interested to see how Bobby’s PT is affected by this. You’d think he gets more of a look. Obviously they added Joffrey Lauvergne to the frontcourt rotation. He’s a similar player, to me. Both are good shooting bigs who’ve never seen a shot they didn’t love and aren’t great on the defensive end of the court. Bobby probably has a better face-up game and Joffrey is better with his back to the basket.
I guess the Bulls feel like Payne can be an upgrade at PG. Right now he’s on the same level as MCW and Grant. They’re right there for the playoffs, but this moves makes them worse the rest of this year. Not a big GarPax fan.
Hoiberg seems to hate BP, regardless of who he has on the roster. He just doesn’t trust BP. I wish BP would be traded to a team with a real NBA coach instead of a big 12 over his head no control over the locker room coach.
Bobby started, played 16 minutes and finished with 9 points (4-9 FG, 1-1 3PT), 7 rebounds and an assist last night against Phoenix. Was a team-worst -16. Mirotic came off the bench and scored 20 in 37 minutes. Lauvergne and the rest of the OKC guys didn’t play because of the trade.
Was listening to Zach Lowe’s post-trade deadline podcast and he and his guests all figured Portis would be the starter at PF the rest of the year so the Bulls could evaluate him. They were apparently ready to move on from Mirotic too if they’d gotten a decent offer. Zach wasn’t very high on Bobby’s play to this point. The rest of the season will be big for him, his development and his Bulls tenure, assuming he does in fact start and play steady minutes.
Interesting. Does this mean they are mailing it in for the season, since the staff had been much higher on Mirotic and Felicio before? I just don’t get the decision if they do start BP for evaluation purposes. Seems like they have passed up plenty of opportunities to evaluate him in mop up minutes this season.
They went into the year thinking they had a good roster with the “3 Alphas” Wade, Butler and Rondo. Hopefully they now realize it’s actually a very flawed roster and are trying to figure out who will be part of their future plans.
Mirotic has regressed significantly and will be an RFA. Felicio is more of a backup 5.