I have been thinking about this all year. Which free agent should the Bulls make a hard push for and then who will coach this team to greatness?
I have gone back and forth with this. Should they go big or small? Bosh, Boozer or Amare? Wade or Joe Johnson? Could Lebron want to play in the building Jordan built?
There has been constant rumors and numerous articles written about this and everyone has a theory. This is one I haven't heard.
Bulls make a hard push for Joe Johnson.
Forget Wade, Johnson is a better fit for this team. Joe is a career 37% shooter from 3 point land compared to Wade's 30%. Johnson is 6'7 compared to Wade's 6'4, isn't it time we had a big shooting guard. Johnson's scoring average is lower but he has much better talent around him then Wade who has to do much more on his own. That is the real reason I think Johnson is a better fit because I think Wade is going to start to break down as he enters his 30's. Age is a non factor for the two as Johnson will turn 29 in July and Wade in January.
There rebounds numbers are about the same while Wade has better assist number since he at times run the point. Johnson however also can handle the ball but since Mike Bibby's arrival in Atlanta that has lessened. Wade might be a better defensive player since he averages almost 2 steals and 1 block for his career while Johnson averages a steal and really doesn't block. The explanation for that might bethat Wade at times guards smaller point guards while Joe guards guys his own size. But when the game is on the line Johnson can shut people down.
A couple times this season when the Bulls and Hawks faced off Johnson would guard Derrick Rose and basically brought the offense to a stop so those numbers showing Wade as superior are a little misleading.
Joe Johnson is what most fans always wanted Ben Gordon to be. And for those still pining for Gordon look at how he is doing in Detroit, Paxson made the right choice not overpaying him.
So picking up Johnson is the first move putting him alongside Rose, Noah, Deng and then a supporting cast of Kirk Hinrich, Taj Gibson and James Johnsonn which some cash still to spend or maybe bring back some pieces from this year's team for cheap. Brad Miller could continue to help this team as could Pargo as the guy who comes in when the game gets out of hand and just shoots. Also would it be so bad to bring back Joe Alexander and Acie Law who might get a better look from the new coaching staff.
Seems like a good team probably puts them into the top 4 competing with Celtics and Hawks making a good second tier in the East behind Cavs and Magic. This is assuming Lebron stays cause if he bolts they become a lottery team.
But who is going to lead this team?
For the retreads of Van Gundy, Frank, Scott, etc... They can't go with another former player coach with no experience, Marc Jackson I'm looking at you. And I don't need a hot assistant who has a system that worked else where. You put a system in place that works with the players who have.
So who is left? First let me admit if Coach K or Tom Izzo are bored with making it to the Final Four and winning championships and finally want to try the pros out they are more then welcome. But the guy I think that would be a good fit is.....
You may ask yourself who the hell is that?
Woodson is the current coach of Johnson's Atlanta Hawks. The interesting thing is Woodson will also be a free agent this summer as the Hawks have yet to offer him a contract extension.
Woodson who has been the coach of the Hawks for the past 6 seasons and under his leadership has increased their win total every season. He has built up a team that won 13 games in his first season to a 50 plus win season this year. He has lead them to 3 straight playoff appearances so why would he leave?
Simple, the Hawks are a mess. The ownership situation still isn't settled and if Johnson leaves things may start to head south. But why Chicago?
Again a very simple answer. Chicago is very close to his hometown of Indianapolis. Mike played under Bob Knight at Indiana where his oldest daughter plays volleyball and it is expected she will be joined by her sister next year since she is finishing up her senior year of high school.
Another plus for Woodson is besides playing for Knight he also was an assitant under Larry Brown for both the 76ers as well as the Pistons. Mike was credited with the fantastic defense of the '04 NBA championship Pistons that limited their opponts to under 42% shooting. You can see what he has done with Josh Smith just imagine what he could do with Joakim Noah. Maybe he could get Rose to actually play defense.
Also Woodson isn't just a hard nose coach, his players actually like him. Mike Bibby put him right up their with Rick Adelman who is the current coach of the Rockets but coached Bibby during his time with the Kings. At one point this season Woodson shaved off his eyebrows and it was rumored he lost a bet to a player on the team but no one is talking.
Mike has made the best out of a very bad situation in Atlanta and Chicago just might be a perfect situation for him. Look at what he did with a 13 win team imagine what he could do with a team that is struggling to win 40 games and young talent like Rose and Noah.
So that was the first two parts of my master plan but there is a part 3 which is sit back and wait and see who wants to come join the fun in Chicago. With Rose, Johnson and Noah in place and Woodson coaching it might be a very appealing situation for a free agent to isn't another teams first choice or strikes out or maybe his team strikes out on brining him help and wants to leave.
The Bulls would be ideally placed to make do a sign and trade using the contract of the very soft Luol Deng. With Johnson size he could play either at the 2 or 3 so they could go out and get someone like Wade, Lebron or maybe even Rudy Gay or a big like Bosh, Amare or Boozer.
If they sign Johnson it might seem like they have swung and missed but it might allow them to then swing for the fences. Remember Garnett rejected a trade to Boston at first but then agreed once they brought Ray Allen on board to team with Paul Pierce. A situation like that might happen again.