Players Bulls Should Target: 2018 NBA Draft 7th Pick


Congrats to the Phoenix Suns for getting the first overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. This is a first for their franchise to own the premier pick. If they don’t end up trading the top pick for Karl Anthony-Towns or something catastrophic, the Suns will end up taking either the hometown kid DeAndre Ayton, from Arizona, or European sensation Luka Doncic. Either way, both players will be going to Phoenix or Sacramento (Kings), pending a blockbuster trade. Marvin Bagley III out of Duke seems destined to be drafted by the Atlanta Hawks at this point.

Phoenix, Sacramento, Atlanta, Memphis, Dallas, and Orlando pick in front of Chicago (in that order). Even if the Bulls don’t make a move to get one of the players mentioned above, the following prospects can make an immediate impact to this young Bulls roster.

Michael Porter Jr. was projected to be the number one overall pick in this year’s draft before suffering the back injury during his freshman year at Missouri that sidelined him for majority of his college career. The 6’10” swingman can fill a major need in the Bulls rotation. There are no major weaknesses in his game and he has NBA size, shooting and athleticism to be productive out the gate. Memphis would be the one team that could take him before falling to Chicago at 7. Porter was coached under former NBA all-star Brandon Roy at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle.

Mohamed Bamba already has potential to be an All NBA defender, but his 7’10” wingspan that was recorded at the NBA combine solidified that notion. He is still raw on offense but fills a need at center for the Bulls. The star out of Texas can be a long term defensive anchor for this team, something the Bulls hasn’t had since a healthy Joakim Noah. I mentioned the other day on Twitter that you will always be relevant with a 7’10” wingspan. Dallas and Orlando both need centers so it may be a long shot to have Mo Bamba available when it’s time for the Bulls to make their selection.

Mikal Bridges was a critical piece for the Villanova Wildcats, who won the NCAA National Championship 2 out the last 3 years. Who wouldn’t want a 2 time national championship on your team? The last time the Bulls had a player of those credentials was Joakim Noah. His offense, specifically his catch and shooting from behind the arc is his greatest strength, and probably the Bulls biggest need. His defense isn’t bad either. Bridges has the potential to be a great two-way player in the NBA one day. He can’t create his own shot and will need to add some weight but would be an immediate impact in an offensive-minded Fred Hoiberg offense. Memphis may take him at 4 or Orlando at 6.

Jaren Jackson Jr. is special. He has the highest celling for bigs in the draft and is already the best two-way. He can shoot and defend the 3, protect the rim, and his size and frame fits today’s game (6’11”, 242 pounds). Personally, would be very surprised if he falls to Chicago. Every team could use Jackson without hesitation. The sky is truly the limit for him.

See Red Into A New Era: Chicago Bulls


A new beginning is upon us in the Windy City. The Bulls organization has made some significant changes over the summer that have transformed the shape of the team. The Bulls officially traded away their franchise (and my favorite) player, Derrick Rose, to the New York Knicks for Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon (thankfully we cut him), and Jerian Grant (Former Chicago Bull Horace Grant’s nephew). In free agency, we elected not to bring back Pau Gasol (signed with San Antonio) or fan favorite Joakim Noah (signed with New York to play with D.Rose).

The Bulls front office, at the time, said they wanted to get “younger and more athletic”. We eventually drafted Denzel Valentine out of Michigan State. However, things got interesting when the Bulls decided to sign free agent point guard Rajon Rondo. The biggest and most unexpected news was the signing of free agent shooting guard, and Chicago native Dywane Wade. The Bulls pursued Wade in the summer of 2010. There were actual signs that Dywane Wade was going to sign with Chicago, but that changed at the 11th hour when Lebron James decided to take his talents to South Beach.

With that being said, the initial plan of rebuilding has turned into a retooling phase. Recently, the Bulls traded Tony Snell to the Milwaukee Bucks, for former rookie of the year winner Michael Carter-Williams. With all the changes, Chicago has one of the more interesting teams in the league. They lack 3 point shooting, but have better defense and can attack the basket. We did get somewhat younger but added veteran leaders and championship experience. We’re not quite a championship contender and not good enough to beat Cleveland. However, if we make the playoffs, we won’t be an easy out either.

It’s definitely a different vibe with the team because this is a new era with the Bulls. Last season was the beginning of the transition when they fired Tom Thibodeau and hired Fred Hoiberg. This year, we enter a grey area in which we don’t really know the outcome. We can finish as low as probably the 11th or 12th best in the Eastern Conference, or we have the ability to challenge for a home court advantage in the first round. One thing is for sure, I’m going to be here for the ride. I’ll have my Dywane Wade shirt ready for when we start our season against Boston. Let’s see what happens!

JGOOD

NBA Free Agency: Biggest Winners And Losers


What a free agency that we are experiencing!! I’ve already mentioned the insane contracts that are being handed out. Now the only question left is who is actually benefiting from this event. Here’s the biggest winners and losers of this summer:

WINNERS

Golden State

Last year the Spurs locked down Lamarcus Aldridge on Independence Day. This year Kevin Durant declared his independence and joined the 2-time reigning Western Conference champs. This is the first time ever that former MVPs are on the same team in their respective primes. The Warriors were on the verge of a repeat without KD. With Durant, this team has dynasty potential (similar to when LeBron joined the Miami Heat).

San Antonio

Even though they missed out on Kevin Durant, they was able to sign Pau Gasol, who they have coveted for years. Having him and Lamarcus Aldridge makes their offensive difficult to stop. They are interchangeable between the low and high post and Gasol is a skillful passer. If Duncan decides to return, they will make a formidable front court. Oh, and not to mention Kawhi Leonard and others.

Indiana

The Pacers was relevant in the Eastern Conference 3 years ago but fell off due to a leg injury by Paul George and roster changes. They had already traded for Thaddeus Young and Jeff Teague before free agency started. Them signing Al Jefferson, along with already having Monte Ellis and their superstar Paul George, has made them a dark horse to get back to competitive status. I’ve heard they may bring back Lance Stephenson as well.

New York

A month ago, the Knicks didn’t look like they would improve too much this summer but that all changed after trading for Derrick Rose. Phil Jackson added Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Jennings for much needed depth. New York should be a contender in the East. Just when you thought Phil didn’t care about the Knicks organization, he pulls off some impressive transactions.

Chicago

When Derrick Rose was traded, management said that they wanted to get younger and more athletic, but also didn’t want to completely rebuild. They turned around and signed Rajon Rondo and Dywane Wade. That’s definitely goes against what was said  in he first part, but nonetheless the additions with Jimmy Butler makes the Bulls lineup intriguing. The team has the potential to do great things.

LOSERS

Oklahoma City

Losin Kevin Durant makes them the biggest loser of the summer by default. They went from a title contender to a team that will struggle to make the playoffs. What’s even worse, unless Russell Westbrook decides to sign a contract extension, the Thunder would be wise to trade him now so this situation doesn’t happen again a year from now.

LA Clippers

The Clippers missed out on Kevin Durant and resigned Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford. The bad part about this is that the teams that they have to beat to get to the NBA Finals (Spurs and Warriors) have gotten significantly better while they have stayed the same or gotten slightly worse. Unless DeAndre Jordan learns how to make free throws, the Clippers will always be inferior.

Houston

Look, 2 years ago the Rockets overachieved by going to the Western Conference Finals. Last season they barely sneaked into the playoffs like an 18 year old getting into a club with a fake ID. I don’t care how Dwight Howard was playing or his attitude, losing him and replacing him with Nene is not acceptable. Maybe this team will actually play better if James Harden starts playing defense or limit the isolation plays. Until then, this team is mediocre at best (Good luck making the playoffs next season).

Miami

Pat Riley and the Miami Heat are known to be aggressive when going after superstar free agents. However, striking out with Kevin Durant and then being stubborn and”playing chicken” with Dywane Wade has left Miami without their franchise player. Sure, they have plenty if cap space now and will be big players next summer but for time being, it’s not longer “Wade County” in Miami. Oh and not to mention, there’s still uncertainty on Chris Bosh’s future.

Washington

Last offseason, when the Wizards couldn’t keep Paul Pierce, the wheels started to fall apart (and other parts were dismantled as well in summer). First, Kevin Durant, who is from the D.C. area, doesn’t even request an interview with Washington. Next, the Wizards couldn’t land Dwight Howard or Al Horford. Lastly, they signed Ian Mahinmi (29 years old). He was a backup center for the Pacers making 4 million. The Wizards gave him 64 million over 4 years (16 million per season if the contract paid out equally). I know the contracts this offseason have been outrageous but to over pay an unproven player sounds desperate to me.

Post March Madness


Congratulations to Marcello for winning
the JGoodWithSports March Madness contest. His prizes are on his way.

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That game was one of the best that you will ever see in any sport so don’t take it for granted. I have the same emptiness when the Superbowl ended and football season was over (luckily we’re getting closer to the NFL draft).

In other sports:

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NBA – My Bulls are about to be officially eliminated from playoff contention. This has been one of the most disappointing seasons that I can remember. It’s basically the same team as last year (adding Bobby Portis). The only thing changed is the coach and culture. We lost our defensive, gritty, and resilient identity. I’m not sure what will happen in the offseason but I wish we’ll get our defensive, gritty, resilient identity back.

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NFL – The season is still some months from here but the NFL Draft is only a couple a weeks away. “Draft Town” will be in Chicago for a second consecutive year (a 3 day event for fans to meet former players, participate in activities, food, prizes, and have a chance to win tickets to the actual draft blocks away) and guess who’s going?? (Wait for it… You guess it.. It’s me!) I’m very excited. I wanted to go last year but didn’t have the courage to skip work for it. I will let you know how it goes.

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MLB – My Chicago White Sox has started the season off on a positive note by winning 3 of 4 in Oakland against the A’s. Even though the Chicago Cubs are the talk if the town as the World Series favorite, we’re are projected to make a run for the AL Central. We added some much need bullpen help in the winter. Hopefully that’s enough to get some extra wins.

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NHL – The Blackhawks are set to defend the Stanley Cup. The Dallas Stars and the St Louis Blues have been consistent all year. The Washington Capitals are looking like the favorites to meet of those 3 teams in the Stanley Cup. Personally, I want to see Patrick Kane and Johnathan Toews against Alex Ovechkin.

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The Masters are underway this weekend. Honestly I’m not sure who will come out on top. I just hope it’s a close finish on Sunday (preferably down to the last hole).

JGOOD

Chicago Bulls: Sink Or Swim


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My beloved Chicago Bulls has had an interesting season thus far. Many would say it’s disappointing so far. I’ll admit their record and positioning within the Eastern Conference is lower than I expected, but what did you really expect when Harvey Dent (Fred Hoiberg) is implementing a new system (he looks like Harvey Dent from “The Dark Knight” to me).

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I expected the new changes to take time and I’m fine with that. What I didn’t expect was for my Bulls to have a lack of effort for long stretches, especially on the defensive end. The gritty, pressuring, “tough-as-nails” defensive identity is gone. It may come back but not anytime soon. The injuries during the year doesn’t help, especially when one of your all-star players is out for over a month.

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On the flip side, the most positive thing that I have noticed is the REAL return of Derrick Rose. He struggled out the gate and people were seriously questioning if he would ever be a shell of himself. Now, his numbers are almost identical to his prime years and his incomparable explosiveness, agility, and speed looks back to his younger days.

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The 7 games that Rose has played in since the All-star break, he’s averaged 21.4 ppg while shooting over 50% from the field. The chemistry him and Jimmy Butler has hit a new plateau. The role players like E’Twuan Moore, Doug McDermott, Mike Dunleavey, and Taj Gibson has played a lot since the beginning of the year. Things are finally start to click.

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The Bulls are sitting at the 8th seed with 20 games to go. Jimmy Buckets will back soon, Derrick Rose has looked great, and the team itself is playing better. The future is unknown after this season with players like Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah hitting the free agency. It’s sink or swim for my Bulls. Hopefully they have life jackets at the very least.

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