As for Pau Gasol, forget it. I remember during his draft year reading his mom is a doctor and doesn't want him playing too hard so he can become one after the NBA. Hence one reason he is weak. I say run out the course with the current team and if you are close to getting Kevin Durant in the draft, package Deng and fill it with a real post playing SF. Tyrus Thomas will breakout next year. --David, Chicago
There has been that mama's boy thing hanging over Gasol, though I can't say I recall that story. My guess is with what he makes in his NBA career, medical school won't be an option. The problem is there just aren't many of these guys available and when one does come up, it's hard to pass by. Perhaps they do wait it out and do something in the summer when more teams are in play in deals.
Actually, with Andres Nocioni out injured and uncertainty about how that might affect a deal, it's likely the teams will go searching for third parties looking to get involved, perhaps like Portland with Zach Randolph and Jamaal Magloire, the Nets with Vince Carter, the Cavs with Larry Hughes and Anderson Varajeo and the Magic with Grant Hill's expiring contract.
Which All Star gives you more chances of being a contender?? I have seen a lot of trades but few really work out. What I mean is what kind of players should we receive in order to let players like Deng or Gordon go away? I think only KG or Paul Pierce can be a good option, never Gasol. What has he accomplished in Memphis? --Alejandro Gorry, Argentina
I still remain a believer in Gasol because he can score in the low post and has the size to support Ben Wallace, which is the gaping hole in the Bulls roster. Eventually, they'll need that kind of player. Boston continues to consider Pierce as untouchable as does Minnesota with Garnett, though the way the teams are going you wonder why.
Your suggestion that the Warriors offer Jason Richardson, Mickael Pietrus, Monta Ellis and rookie Patrick O'Bryant for Jason Kidd ... how do you see this helping the Warriors? Kidd is past his prime. The Warriors are going to give up on a 20-year-old-player, Ellis, who shows potential? They are going to give up Jason Richardson who is at least better than the majority of the two guards in the league. They are going to throw in the towel on Pietrus? Ellis and Biedrins are a good young core that you can build around. Mullin would be better served going after a big like Gasol. --D, San Francisco
The Warriors are a team that interests me because they, like the Bulls, have lots of assets and considerable duplication. I'd say go with Gasol as well, but when you commit to Don Nelson you have to play his way. He likes small guards, wing players in mismatches and outscoring you. They have some size in Biedrins, Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson. But you need a star. Kidd is one and I believe has a few good years left. Leading the league with the most consecutive years missing the playoffs, I don't understand given the trade for veterans they made not trying to upgrade from that. Baron Davis always struck me more the scoring guard like Iverson, who was best playing off the ball with a real point guard who could defend. They got to the Finals that way. Of course, perhaps they're satisfied with a chance to be the eighth seed.
I think it was a great shame that Luol Deng and/or Ben Gordon did not make the All Star team. The Bulls are in position to have the best record in the East and they are not getting any recognition for it. Gordon has been a great professional throughout the year, coming off the bench when he should be a starter, and not complaining at all. He has stepped up during crunch time and has succeeded. Deng has been so consistent (look at his FG%) all year and he got snubbed too. How does Vince Carter end up being an All Star representing a losing team? Do coaches look at who will draw the best TV rating when making their selections? How does a coach evaluate and assess? -- Argie Grigorakos, Toronto
Sometimes coaches do look at such factors. Carter was third in the fan voting, so someone wanted to see him play. Every season there are deserving guys left off and I felt Gordon was deserving. There are just too many teams now. The answer, which should seem obvious to everyone, is to go to a 15-player team. No one has to play 25 minutes in an All Star game. It's more for the event and your next contract negotiation, anyway, which may be why they haven't expanded. Hey, I'm an All Star! It is an entertainment event, Carter is popular, he is the high scorer on his team and the Nets were about a .500 team at the time of the voting. His selection is not ridiculous. Joe Johnson was deserving and was left off, though his team was bad. Likely Ben was close, but he is considered a one dimensional player and Deng is just starting to break through. They'll get there.
The Bulls should hold out for Garnett. He is exactly what we need and Minnesota can't think they are going to go further than the first round if they get in the playoffs at all with that team. --Jason Vasquez, Bronx, N.Y.
I think it's clear there'll be no trading-deadline deal of Garnett. But if they miss the playoffs, as they seem headed, that will be the talk of the summer.
I'm amazed some trade ideas that go around: Hinrich and Noce for Gasol in order to keep Gordon? OK, the guy can shoot but what else does he give you? Are Chicago fans done with this overachieving, gutsy, no-frills team which Skiles has formed and whose standard bearers are Noce and Kirk? -- Fernando Santillan, Buenos Aires, Argentina
I don't know about standard bearers. I don't think the fans are done with it, just growing impatient for more success. The feeling is they've had their growth period, they got Ben Wallace, it's time to show something. I can see major changes after the season if they don't.
The Bulls really are lacking an inside presence, and all this talk about Pau Gasol is not worth giving up Captian Kirk, or our best scorer, Ben G, or Long arm Deng. I think I have the answer for the Bulls. Marcus Fizer! He is an inside offensive threat, lacking in rebounding but we have Big Ben for that and I think he has changed his ways after being MVP in the D-league. Most importantly he is looking for a J O B, meaning that we can get him really cheap and not have to give up any of our core players. --IK, Morton Grove, Ill.
You are joking, right?
Andres Nocioni is an RFA this summer. How likely is it that he will be re-signed and what will he cost? If he demands too much is it possible he will be moved in a sign-and-trade? What would the Bulls get in return? --Mr. Bean, Algona, Iowa
It seems he's out of the Gasol talks for now. The Bulls can match any offer, and my guess is they offer a reasonable deal, maybe averaging $7 to $8 million. It's doubtful teams with cap space would invest most, as you'd have to do, in a role player like Nocioni. He seems to me not driven by money and I'd expect him to accept a fair offer. Though he clearly senses with all the trade talk and duplication at his position with Deng he is vulnerable and could be dealt.
Watching the Clipper game, it struck me how little players seem to care about what's going on on the court. It's happened time and time again this season, and more than just one player. Ben Wallace looks like he couldn't care less watching, Viktor Khryapa's struggling to stay awake, PJ Brown seems to be trying to force himself to be positive, etc. Every now and then the rookies and Adrian Griffin have energy, but that's it. Has their enthusiasm for the game been sucked dry? --John, Chicago