In Defense of John Paxson
Bill Simmons is outraged at many teams, but especially the Bulls:
When the media guide for the No Balls Association is released, I demand that John Paxson appears on the cover. At some point, you have to roll the dice, right? Not landing Gasol was inexcusable; the Bulls could have made the Finals with him (and if it meant sacrificing Luol Deng, Ty Thomas and the Knicks' pick, so be it).
I don't think this makes any sense at all. Simmons is asking Chicago to make a big sacrifice of its future -- the very good and very young Deng, a young project in Thomas, a high draft pick, and they'd need to throw in PJ Brown's expiring contract -- in order to improve rather marginally this season. What's more, they'd be eliminating their shot at landing Kevin Garnett if the Timberwolves decide they want to blow things up in the offseason. Swapping Gasol for Deng would improve Chicago somewhat, but it's not as if swapping Deng's 18.8 ppg for Gasol's 20.3 ppg suddenly transforms the Bulls into an offensive powerhouse. Yes, Chicago could use low post scoring, but it's not as if points scored from the post count double or something (and, no, Gasol's not a wildly more efficient scorer either).