Bulls Executive John Paxson Discusses Roster

Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson says “athleticism” is the team’s most important roster issue, relays the Chicago Tribune. In a radio interview this morning on WSCR-AM 670, Paxson praised coach Fred Hoiberg and offseason addition Dwyane Wade, while asking for more out of Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic. Here are a few highlights:

On the need for more athletic players to keep up with the rest of the league:

“We’ve got some vets who know how to play and can score. But when you look around the league and the way the game is now, that’s an area we have to address. That is a part of the plan. We’ll try to do that obviously through the draft and free agency if we can. You always have the trade option. Right now, our roster is what it is.”

On Michael Carter-Williams, who has been sidelined by injuries since October 31st:

“You kind of forget that he’s even on the roster because we traded for him so late in camp and then three games in, he took a fall and hurt himself. The coaching staff was just getting acclimated to him and he was doing very well for us. We’re excited to get him back. I think he will help our depth and our rotation as well.”

On Mirotic, who is headed toward free agency but seems to have regressed during his third season, shooting just 38% from the field:

“Niko has a tendency to get down on himself to be honest with you. Sometimes as player, you have to say to yourself, ‘Enough is enough. I’m going to go out and compete and work on my game.’ A lot of this is on the individual. Niko is a great guy. He has the ability to get better.”

On the surprise addition of Wade, who left Miami to sign with the Bulls this summer:

“It’s rare when a guy like that becomes available. Dwyane was one of those players you would think would’ve been with Miami his entire career just the way it had gone. He had been through good times, He had been through rebuilding. He’s professional with his approach and his attitude. He knows how to prepare himself. At this stage of his career, he knows what he can and can’t do. We’re trying to watch him carefully to make sure he doesn’t break down. But he takes very good care of himself. He’s right around that 30-minute mark a game for us, which is what he had intended for him hoping to keep him fresh. I think he has taken some of the pressure off of Jimmy [Butler] just in terms of having to speak all the time and be the voice. They’ve formed a very nice bond together.”

On the roster overhaul that began with the trade of Derrick Rose to the Knicks:

“We rode out Derrick’s injury for a long time. We had our team built at that point. Derrick’s injury obviously was a huge blow to us. He never really got back to where he was for us. We had just paid him. We tried to plug holes. But in the meantime, you’re drafting kind of middle of the pack all the time. You’re good enough to make the playoffs but you’re picking anywhere between 14, 15 and 22. It’s difficult to get impact players unless you’re lucky like we were with Jimmy years ago. There aren’t any excuses from us. We can point back to we thought we had it going but Derrick blows out his knee and all of a sudden, that changed our fortune a little bit. Had he not gotten hurt, who knows what would’ve happened. But that’s not our reality. We have to continue to try to find a way to put better players and a better team out there on the floor. That’s what we’re trying to do. At some point this year, we may have to give our young guys opportunities that they may need to see if they can develop into players.”

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10 thoughts on “Bulls Executive John Paxson Discusses Roster

  1. Luis arroyo123

    John Paxton and entire bulls front office needs to be fired due to the fact that the organization is not producing. Giving 14 million for Rondo is overpriced, D Wade 22.5 million not worth it.

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    • rsesso23@gmail.com

      John Paxton? lol get the dudes name right. sucks as a VP, but he was pivotal in the Bulls first 3 titles.
      smh

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    • ChiSoxCity

      It’s definitely time for change in Chicago. Too bad the owner won’t budge on his front office.

      They need a massive roster overhaul if they ever hope to contend again. That starts with moving Butler for a lottery pick and tanking for a few years. That’s the only option available to them.

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      • Djones246890

        Agree. Butler is no leader or superstar. He’s a very good two way player, but not someone you can build a team around. He’s a great complimentary player, like a Scottie Pippen, but he’s not a #1. And, unfortunately, with his World Trade Tower-sized ego, he’ll never be able to sit back and let someone else take the lead role, via signing or trade. He’ll just whine and pout. In my opinion, he’s a clubhouse cancer. He just did a masterful job marketing himself as a superstar, and the moronic Bulls front office bought it.

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  2. Paxon and Foreman are as clueless on building a team as they are ugly! Paxon is nothing but a diaper changer for Reinsdorf.

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  3. toby312

    This is HIS roster and GAR!! I will send limo when they are fired to get them out of town. Question you’ve had how many years to get more athletic??? WHY HAVENT YOU???? Trading multiple first rounders to trade up for McDermott? WHY???

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    • ChiSoxCity

      Why’d they trade up for McDermott? Here’s a clue: They love his hair.

      Seriously, If Paxson had his way, the entire roster would be “high-character guys” from Duke. Too bad guys like that never amount to anything in the NBA.

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      • Did you really just say that Duke has not put ANY successful, high character guys in the NBA??

        See: Christian Laettner, Grant Hill, JJ Reddick, Kyrie Irving, Luol Deng, Shane Battier, Corey Maggette, Mike Dunleavy, Jabari Parker, Justise Winslow, Elton Brand, and finally ohh yeah that bum Grant Hill…Plus, many, many more guys I’m probably forgetting…

        Also, McDermott never played for Duke…

        Anyways, I think the whole F.O. and the majority of the coaching staff desperately needs a makeover, but I just don’t see it happening…Not to mention, Hoiberg’s ridiculous choice of line-ups, match-ups, and his overall poor judgment in terms of substitution patterns seriously does this team ZERO favors..He is just not a good NBA coach, and even the casual Bulls fan can see that…How Pax is praising him is just mind-boggling, and, unfortunately, it really just shows how out of tune he is…

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        • ChiSoxCity

          I said the Bulls prefer drafting “high character” guys over athleticism. This is in context to Paxson’s statement about not being athletic enough relative to the rest of the league. And no, Luol Deng is not particularly athletic.

          The verdict is still out on Parker, but aside from him, Duke players haven’t amounted to anything in the NBA.

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