Tag Archives: Gar Forman

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

thibs and gar

Running a successful sports organization is difficult enough when you just have to worry about a team’s athletic performance.  Do the Bulls really find it important to add further complication to the task? Yesterday, Bulls GM Gar Forman announced that the team would not renew the contract of Assistant Head Coach Ron Adams.  Perplexing to say the least, there are numerous theories reverberating throughout town.

Throughout his successful tenure with the Bulls, it’s no secret that Head Coach Tom Thibodeau and Forman have had their differences.  It’s fair to wonder whether Adams’ departure is just a pawn in the leverage game being played between these two parties. In Forman’s news conference, he acknowledged that the two haven’t necessarily agreed any every issue.  He also affirmed that he makes the final decision regarding the coaching issue.

This is interesting because most NBA franchises allow the head coach the privilege of hiring and maintaining his own staff. This is even more interesting considering the Bulls’ successes and Adams’ strong relationship with Derrick Rose.  Something smells.

In a player-run league, Forman is essentially telling Derrick and Thibs that he’s the boss.  By siding with Derrick the entire season, Thibs clearly didn’t do the Bulls’ GM any public relations favors.  By completing dismissing the Bulls’ rehab program, Rose essentially disgraced and humiliated the guy who handed him a boatload of money.  Thibs, not wanting to alienate the face of the franchise, put up the persona that Rose deserved the right to determine his own recovery schedule.

We’ve got a captain in Forman who wants to portray the image of running a tight ship.  Problem is, key passengers of this ship aren’t currently on board. The fact remains- this is a player-ran league.  For the Bulls to ultimately succeed, the superstar has to be happy and the off-court side-show needs to end.  Forman needs to put his pride behind him and limit any distractions.

At the end of the day, Thibs and Rose are your two most valuable assets.  While they both have made mistakes, it’s important that the Bulls put this whole mess in the rear-view mirror. Otherwise, it will only continue to get worse and surely affect the on-court performance of the team.

Something else of note: Paxson and Del Negro reportedly got into physical altercations during their tumultuous relationship working together for the Bulls.  They must be putting something in the water in the Bulls’ front office. Personally, I believe that either these two cannot co-exist in the long run.  Whether it’s Thibs or Gar, somebody’s gonna go.

Call me a pessimist, but I think this puppy’s just getting started.

Bulls strike quickly: Dunleavy for 3

Jake Weinermdj
Free agency began yesterday and teams began meeting with their targets as soon as they were allowed to. During this always exciting frenzy that included Tyreke Evans receiving a $44 million offer sheet from the Pelicans and the Dwight Circus, the Chicago Bulls snuck in and received a verbal agreement on a two year, $6 million deal from their apparent top target: Mike Dunleavy Jr. I covered Dunleavy in my small forward preview yesterday, describing him as a “sweet shooting forward with size…if any teams need wing shooting, he should be a terrific fit”. Well, it turns out the Bulls need wing shooting. And guess what? He’s a terrific fit!

I’m a huge fan of this move by Gar Forman and co. (not a huge fan of other recent moves, but I’ll let Steve handle that later this afternoon). By the way, Gar is Ray’s neighbor. Keep up the good work, Rezzy. Dunleavy, 32, has averaged at least 9.9 PPG each season in his career with an average of less than 30 minutes per season. He’s an elite shooter, hitting 37% of his career three pointers, and has improved with age as he shot 42.8% on threes last season. He excelled knocking down shots off spot-ups, screens or designed plays. Simply put, Mike Dunleavy Jr. can shoot the ball. A good comparison for casual Bulls fans is Kyle Korver. Korver was well-liked in his short Bulls career for his consistency knocking down shots–especially with Rose slashing into the paint. In fact, Dunleavy, who sources say turned down a bigger offer to play in Chicago, has said that he’d love to play with Rose and factored that into his decision. Dunleavy should be a perfect fit at the 2 or 3 with Rose on the floor. In addition, his presence allows the Bulls flexibility in playing Jimmy Butler at either wing position and also should let Luol Deng get a few minutes more rest per night. Furthermore, the Bulls don’t have to rely on first round pick Tony Snell for key bench minutes and Coach Thibodeau can work his rookies into the rotation at his (snail’s) pace. If Dunleavy can step in and average 10 PPG on 25 minutes or so, this is a phenomenal signing.

The Bulls only had their mini mid-level exception (mini MLE) remaining if they wanted to make a deal larger than the veteran’s minimum (about $1-1.5 million), and most expected the Bulls not to use it. The mini MLE is for teams that are already going to be paying the luxury tax for having too high of a payroll. As such, the Bulls, considered notoriously cheap, were not expected to use their taxpayer exception as it still increases the payroll. Nevertheless, the Bulls struck on Day 1 of free agency (note: Dunleavy and others can’t be officially inked until July 10th per NBA rules) and got their guy. It’s difficult to imagine signing someone who could have more of an impact at $3 million per year. Dunleavy will play the same role as Marco Belinelli–except much better. Bulls fan may not be jumping out of their seats at this news, but they should be excited. The truth is that Chicago has a championship core with Rose healthy and is surrounding him with the right talent to make a run.