The HQ looks at Bryan Colangelo's recent acquisition, in addition to the impact of some huge trades that have gone down in the past 48 hours that directly impact the Dinos...
1) RaptorsHQ: James Johnson came out of college with what looked to be some of the best potential in his draft class. Yet after less than two seasons, the Bulls are moving him to the Raptors in exchange for what nearly amounts to a second-round pick. Give us your take on Johnson in terms of where his game currently is, and what his strengths and weaknesses are.
Blog-A-Bull: Part of the issue is that we don't really know where his game is, his playing time in one and a half seasons has been so sparse that it's tough to really say his game has grown at all. His issue is always been that he has no true strengths, but is merely pretty good at a lot of things. He has size, athleticism, can shoot, can create, but does brings all of those things with a lack of excellence, or even control.
2) RHQ: Was Johnson simply not the right fit for Chicago in terms of their future, or are we talking about a player that the Bulls didn't ever see being a legit NBA rotation player?
BAB: I think he could be a rotation player, but wouldn't soon be the type of rotation player the Bulls needed. They are at a point in their roster construction where they need true role players and specialists, and Johnson was a mistake-prone (yet havoc-creating) high-usage performer when given time. He could potentially change a game, but head coach Tom Thibodeau clearly didn't want to risk him bringing his detriments to the court even for that potential, the stakes are too high.
3) RHQ: Johnson didn't get a ton of playing time in his tenure with the Bulls (11 minutes a game through two seasons), although with injuries to Luol Deng, and a shortage of depth at the 2-3 spots in his rookie season, the argument could be made that he had his opportunities. Do you see Johnson being able to flourish in Toronto if given a substantial increase in playing time?
BAB: I'm not sure he will flourish, but I'll say the only way he CAN flourish if he gets a LOT of PT. As said above, he's not a one-dimensional skill type of guy who you can count on one particular thing...he's someone who can do a lot offensively but needs the ball to do so, and a coach will have to live through the growing pains. He also has a lot of potential defensively but is prone to fouling. He'll need that time on the court to better hone what he can and can't do really well, and then focus on those things. I see his ceiling as a high-usage bench scorer, and you'd think Toronto has the environment to accommodate at least giving him a real shot. Whether he earned one or not, he wasn't going to get it in Chicago.