Ball Don't Lie - NBA


For all we know, the Chicago Bulls could be biding their time, and acting as one of seemingly thousands of teams that will be in place to offer any number of free agents a great deal of money during the 2010 offseason. Playing it smart, preparing to pounce.

After all, should all the likely parties pick up their options, and if the team declines to offer Tyrus Thomas(notes) a qualifying offer, Chicago could be in line to have as little as $41 million committed to Derrick Rose(notes), Joakim Noah(notes), Kirk Hinrich(notes), Luol Deng(notes), and John Salmons(notes) for 2010-11. They could go above and beyond, pay for a winner, grab some superduperstar, extend the kids, pay the luxury tax, and go against what we expect of a team that has made its hay off of rookie contracts for the last decade.

Or, they could go according to current form. Pay guaranteed money to two rookies from this year's draft, lose a leading scorer every summer, complain about the tax despite huge (for the NBA) revenues, and do things like have "a great meeting" with Jannero Pargo(notes), and his representative.

Dammit. Jannero Pargo?

This is how you lose faith in a team, when it overrates a 6-foot shooting guard who could barely break the rotation for you five years ago. Someone who turns 30 in September. Someone who you're in love with because he was on national TV quite a bit as his Hornets made the second round of the playoffs in 2008.

Unless you're bringing him on for a slim salary that only lasts for one year, Jannero Pargo doesn't help. Jannero Pargo hurts, especially if he's on the books beyond 2009-10.

Why? Because nobody ever remembers the shots that he misses. Nobody likes to think about on-ball defense, when booming three-pointers can be reflected upon. And nobody obsesses over the free throws JP doesn't shoot.

Free throws are important. The great and good players earn them, they pump up their scoring average and help their teams by drawing fouls and getting to the line. It's why we marvel at the nights where Kobe Bryant(notes) or Dwyane Wade(notes) can score 35 points on 17 shots.

Pargo is the master of scoring 10 points on 10 shots. More than I would score on 10 shots, better than Flip Murray(notes) (the master of scoring 10 points on 13 shots), but still inefficient. Toss in the fact that he's not much of a defender, doesn't rebound, can't really run an offense, and isn't a creative passer ... and you have Jannero Pargo. You had him years ago, actually.

And he hasn't changed. Same guy. Possibly worse. Shoots less than 40 percent, shoots above the league average on three-pointers, and (on average) takes two free throws for every 36 minutes he plays. Do you know how awful that is?

Chicago wants to sign this guy, because you've heard of him. Either the team is awful at player evaluation, and doesn't understand advanced (or even obvious) basketball metrics, or the Bulls are evil geniuses, bent on keeping the moderate NBA fans coming back for more, filling up that stadium. "Ooh, they got Pargo back. Who was he with, a few years ago? Dallas? Oh, the Hornets. My bad. He'll be like a mini-Ben Gordon(notes). Cool."

Not cool. Not cool at all, man. Don't you see what they're doing to you? Don't you see the lies? Here, I have some pamphlets you can read. Did I ever tell you about Leon Czolgosz? He was just a pawn, man.

Listen, the reality is that the Chicago Bulls could bring Pargo back for a fair price, deal with his mitigating factors as long as he comes through with that bi-weekly hot fourth quarter, and get some so-so production that they could look to replace again next summer.

Or they could tell you that he's some sort of answer, sign him beyond this season, and continue to pile "assets" without actually trying to build anything more than a second round hopeful. As it's always been ... prove me wrong, Bulls. Please.

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