Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. After spending the last 3 and a half days grieving over Chicago's loss of Jimmy Butler, I think I've been able to analyze enough of the trade to understand why it took place. Due to those reasons, I'll be breaking down the reasoning for the trade for the Bulls today, Timberwolves tomorrow, and I'll be giving my opinion of the trade Wednesday. Make sure to share this, and follow my Instagram @thetrudareport for updates on when I put up those articles.
The Chicago Bulls received last years 5th overall pick Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine, and this years 7th overall selection which was Lauri Markkanen. The Minnesota Timberwolves received 2 time All Star Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall selection which was Justin Patton.
Breaking Down the Trade:
For a lost Chicago Bulls organization who found themselves stuck in NBA purgatory, drowning in mediocrity season after season, this move finally gave them an identity. Although they had been avoiding a rebuild for years now, the Bulls front office finally realized it was time to lose for a year or two so they could start winning again soon after that. Due to this, gaining 3 young assets with untapped potential makes sense for a team entering a rebuild.
Kris Dunn is going into his second year in the NBA with a lot of pressure on him. He only played around 17 mpg last year, averaging just 3.8 ppg. That is clearly not good enough, but that isn't why the Bulls traded for him. Dunn is a defensive monster, averaging 1 steal and half a block in those same 17 minutes. Once his playing time is close to doubled next year (which should be expected since the Bulls will more than likely tank), Dunn's defensive statistics will be off the charts, and his offensive numbers should improve too.
Zach Lavine, the former Dunk Contest Winner, has proven to be a great offensive weapon. His three point shot has improved (he averaged 2.6 threes per game last season on 38% shooting behind the arc), and we all know he can be explosive when headed to the rim. The problem is, though, Lavine tore his ACL last season, and knee injuries have not been kind to past explosive Bulls players *cough* Derrick Rose *cough*. He is a major risk, but having a good offensive guard to complement Kris Dunn's defensive prowess could be good for the Bulls in the years to come. Also, the three point shooting helps, since the Bulls were towards the bottom of the league in that category last year.
The last part of this trade for the Bulls was drafting Lauri Markkanen with the number 7 pick. Lauri is being called the "Finnish Unicorn" as a joke, but it actually is pretty accurate in terms of his play style. Just like Kristaps Porzingis (the Unicorn) Markkanen is a 7 footer with a quick, high release that can shoot the crap out of a basketball. Lauri has ridiculous range, more so than Kristaps, and he can be deadly in pick and pop situations. He, just like Zach Lavine, will add much needed three point shooting to the Bulls squad.
Overall, this trade gives the Bulls much needed youth, three point shooting, and direction. MAKE SURE TO READ MY PIECE ON MINNESOTA TOMORROW, AND THEN MY OPINION WEDNESDAY.
Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. Today is my birthday, so I'm going to indulge myself by writing about my favorite teams - the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bulls. To request a certain type of article or topic follow my Instagram @thrtrudareport, and then from there you can request it by leaving a comment.
Now that the NFL Draft is over, football is officially dead for the next couple of months. That means I have time to evaluate the teams roster and give a thorough prediction of their record before the season starts. Before I do that, here are my first impressions:
The Fins are that they are a much better team than they were last year. They didn't make any big splashes in free agency, and they didn't draft any definite starters, but that's not what they needed. Only 6 starters played the whole season last year, with everyone else missing significant time due to injury. Their depth was atrocious, so it was incredible that they made the playoffs. This off-season though, they inked Lawrence Timmons (immediate starter and versatile player who can fill in at multiple positions), T.J. McDonald (suspended 8 games but is only 26 and has been great when on the field, also can play both safety positions), traded for William Hayes (great rotational player and run defender), and Julius Thomas (immediate impact as a red zone threat). Through the draft they spent all of their first three picks on defensive players, each with the talent to fight for a starting job, or be a good rotational player. The theme of their off-season is obviously defense, but also depth and versatility. Every player acquired may not be an immediate starter, but when injuries hit, the backups will be able to fill in and provide great production.
Also, a little bit more on the draft, the Dolphins first two picks have been way underrated. Charles Harris (DE Missouri) was widely projected to be a top 15 pick, possible top 10, and the
Dolphins got him at 22. He has the athletic ability to be the next Cameron Wake, and getting to learn from the man himself for 2 years will definitely help him develop into that mold. People keep saying that the Fins didn't need another defensive end, but Wake is 34 years old and won't be playing much longer. I think it was a smart pick.
Raekwon McMillan (LB Ohio State), the Fins second round pick, is in my opinion, either the best or second best run stopping linebackers in this draft. While playing for the Buckeyes he was their defensive leader and play caller, showing great knowledge for the game. His entire career their he locked down the middle of the field. A criticism of him is that he doesn't fit in the Dolphins system, because they already have Lawrence Timmons at middle linebacker. I think that they should test both players at middle and strong side linebacker, and whichever is better in the middle gets the job. He would be a great fit in either spot in my opinion.
Just today a report came out that the Bulls plan on keeping Fred Hoiberg as their head coach, and are likely to pick up Rajon Rondo's option. If they keep Rondo and Hoiberg, I think it would be better if Dwayne Wade left. I love the man and everything he has done but his cap hit is over $20 million. The Bulls need to go get some shooters and give Hoiberg the pieces he needs to run a pace and space offense. If Jimmy Butler stays the centerpiece and we have Rondo running the point, I think getting a good 3 point shooting shooting guard would make the team infinitely better. Then, getting a stretch 4 would be huge for the team as well. I'll write more about this as the draft approaches, but for now, that's my quick opinion on the Bulls.
Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. I'm going to be discussing Bill Belichick and Tom Brady's future, and how it looks like they want their legacy to end.
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have a great relationship. So great, that many don't pause and think on the idea the pair could retire the same season. With the moves that Belichick has made this offseason, I now don't see anything wrong with that idea either. In fact, I strongly believe that it's true. Bill Belichick has always believed in growing in house talent through the draft. He was never one to trade lots of draft picks for proven players, he liked grooming his own crop of players and having them prove themselves. Suddenly though, all of this has been thrown out the window.
Bill is a smart guy, and he knows that no elite quarterback in history has ever played at a high level past the age of 40. Age 41 is usually when great quarterbacks start to look like scrubs. I believe Brady has the ability to break this mold, to continue playing well until he hits, lets say, 42. He has played in the unbeatable system: throw short high percentage passes to avoid mistakes- get rid of the ball in under 2 seconds to avoid getting sacked- whenever your internal clock hits 3 seconds, look to check the ball down to the running back. This strategy has always worked, and it has helped him preserve his body. Almost all elite quarterbacks of the past have pushed the ball downfield, meaning standing longer in the pocket, thus taking more hits. That's why the cutoff has always been 40, but as I said, Brady has the ability to play longer.
Belichick knows that this means Brady really only has 2 years left of good performance, and the way he is making moves in free agency, he is acting on it. The signing of Stephon Gilmore gives the Patriots the best starting cornerback duo in the NFL. Belichick would have never made that move in the past though, because he had to dole out a lot of cash in the process. The Patriots traded for Kony Ealy, a talented 25 year old defensive end, and in the process gave up their 2nd round pick. Belichick loves his 2nd round picks, and has always gotten good talent out of those selections (Jamie Collins for example). Now, suddenly, he is willing to throw the selection into a trade to get a player that will be impactful now, not one he can develop. The Patriots also made a blockbuster trade with the Saints, acquiring Brandin Cooks and a 4th round pick for their 1st and 3rd selections in this years draft. Many expected Belichick to get Christian Mccaffrey in the 1st round this year, a running back with a skillset Belichick usually drools over. Instead he is breaking his past rules of building through the draft to acquire a proven talent, and impactful weapon for Tom Brady.
All of these moves would never have been made by Belichick in the past, due to them being expensive and using up draft picks. Bill clearly wants to win now, just before Brady's window closes. Belichick has never been about the now, always about the future. From his famous press conferences, always saying his focus is on next weeks game, to his strategy of building through the draft to be good in the future, Belichick has not been about the now. Suddenly though, as Brady nears retirement, Bill Belichick is making moves that make it seem like he too is ready to retire, once he gets what seems like an inevitable 6th Super Bowl Victory. Watch out NFL, the Patriots are coming... again.
Tell me your opinion on the situation with the Patriots by either following my Instagram @thetrudareport or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. Today we have a mix of NFL free agency news and my opinion on Russell Westbrook's MVP chances.
Russell Westbrook dropped a career high, and a team record, 58 points in last nights loss to the Portland Trailblazers. Most people look at a performance with 58 points, 9 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 block as more evidence Westbrook should win MVP this season. I completely disagree. Westbrook took 39 shots; the rest of the team took 46. Westbrook had 30 more shots than anyone else on the team, and that's not MVP play. All great players take over a couple games every year, but the rest of the time they move the ball around at will for the better of the team and development of their teammates. Ball movement wins games. That's a fact. Westbrook hasn't showed much of a willingness to play that way this year though. If you average a triple double it means that every single game you put the team on your back and don't ever stop to consider letting others have more responsibility for the teams wins and losses. Being on a team as lacking in talent as the Thunder could be part of Westbrooks reasoning for this, but lets not pretend that Taj Gibson, Victor Oladipo, and Steven Adams are scrubs. All three of them are experienced players that have preformed well in the past. Obviously averaging 10 assists means that Westbrook can and does find the man with the open shot, but he doesn't do that enough, especially in crunch time. When the game is on the line, it's Russell time. Instead of playing with the style the Championship favored Warriors do, which is the open man takes the shot, Westbrook wants to be the hero. It seems like he plays to fill the box score, and once that's done, he plays to make the game winning shot. We have seen Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka all excel with increased roles on other teams, so we know that Westbrook has had chances to lean on his teammates a little bit more. Now that those three are gone, instead of changing his mindset to attract free agents and develop better on court chemistry with his teammates, Westbrook has taken this selfish style of play to a new level. You can stuff a box score all you want, but when you do it by always taking the most shots (while shooting only 42%) you don't deserve MVP consideration over those who stuff a box score while being more efficient in other more important areas. There is no denying Westbrooks greatness, and when I watch him I always see a ferocious competitor that does whatever it takes to win, except, of course, let his teammates carry some of the load.
To tell me your opinion either shoot me an email (find it in the "Contact" tab) or follow me on Instagram @thetrudareport. Expect more news and opinion later in the week. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by.
Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. Nothing extremely important is happening in sports today, but here are the highlights:
Duke plays North Carolina tonight at 8pm Eastern time and the NFL Scouting Combine takes place for the wide receivers, quarterbacks, and tight ends. This could be a huge day for Patrick Mahomes to boost his draft stock and for Deshaun Watson to show he can be an effective NFL passer. John Ross was the true highlight so far of the combine though, as he broke Chris Johnsons 40 yard dash record set back in 2008. Ross ran a 4.22, beating Johnson's 4.24 record.
I personally think that the 40 yard dash is an overblown event, but breaking the record definitely has Ross shooting up my Big Board as a deep threat receiver able to take the top off the defense. With speed like that, he has the potential to emerge as a Kenny Stills/ Brandin Cooks type player.
Expect more updates later in the week on the combine and on whatever else headlines the news. Open up the "Contact" tab to give me your opinion on how Ross breaking the record will impact his draft stock.
High School Senior from Connecticut obsessed with sports stats, facts, and management.