Friday, August 31, 2007

The Army You Have?

In lieu of some of the discussions going on surrounding re-signing Ben and Luol, I found this post from Ira Winderman pretty interesting. He notes that if you look at the teams that really scored big in the uber-loaded 2003 Draft--Cleveland (James), Denver (Melo), Toronto (Bosh) and Miami (Wade)--their ability to sign free agents this summer has really been circumscribed by the cap space that was taken up by extending the contracts of those studs. It's not really a bad problem to have--those guys are all superstars--but, initially at least, it made me think about what the Bulls are committing to when they re-sign Deng and, even more so, Gordon.

By doing so, they are essentially committing to the belief that this core (Gordon, Deng, Hinrich and, to some extent, Nocioni) is good enough to contend for an NBA Championship, low post scorer be damned. Whatever parts they add in the future can only really be complimentary players like Joe Smith, who just take up the MLE. Personally, I'm okay with this: While a consistent low post scoring presence is obviously nice, I don't think it's absolutely vital to win a championship. (Obviously the Bulls teams of the 90s proved this, and the Jordan outlier aside, I think the more recent Piston teams have also demonstrated this. While Sheed is a nice low post presence, he does as much, if not more, damage from the three point line.)

In any event, I was initially going to end this post by posing a question to readers whether they agreed with the commitment that this core (and this core alone) can compete for the championship--hence, my Rumsfeldian title--but this astute, forward-looking post from Only the Bulls illustrates that my sense of utter finality should be tempered somewhat. As MrBerg notes:

Paxson hedged his faith by setting up a failsafe during the 2009 offseason. If it becomes clear that the team simply isn't cutting it, Paxson has the massive expiring contract of Big Ben and still some pieces with potential/value.

It's a very shrewd point in a very shrewd post, and I suggest you read the whole thing.


Blogger Big Sweet said...

I think the Noce signing locked us in, as I was always under the impression that Lu and BG were in for the long haul. And why not give it a whirl in the East? I'll gladly toe the rope with these guys, and if we find it ain't working in a year or two, try unloading Wallace's contract and see what other pieces we can bring in.

11:04 PM  

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