John Paxson praises Bulls chemistry
Chicago Bulls executive vice president John Paxson isn't discounting the possibility of making a move before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, but he said no deal will be made that could potentially disrupt the chemistry of his surging team.
"What we would be looking for as this trade deadline approaches is a little more scoring if we can find it, but we aren't going to do anything to disrupt the chemistry of this team," Paxson said Friday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "We've made huge strides this year, and we still think our best basketball is yet to come."
Shooting guard is considered to be the Bulls' weak spot, but Paxson doesn't feel a sense of urgency to address that position. A league source said nothing is going on with the Bulls and several names being mentioned, including the Houston Rockets' Courtney Lee, the Cleveland Cavaliers' Anthony Parker or the Denver Nuggets' J.R. Smith.
"If we continue to get a guy like Keith Bogans playing well, knocking down two or three 3-pointers a game, and we bring guys like Ronnie Brewer off the bench and C.J. [Watson], we're real comfortable with that," Paxson said. "The bottom line is [Derrick Rose] is going to have the basketball in his hands the majority of the time.
"We're not going to compromise our chemistry, because it's an underrated thing in this league when you have a group that plays well together and fits together. And we're not going to compromise what we believe we can do in the future to make us a championship team, not just for a year, but for a long period of time with Derrick being just 22 years old. We'll be cautious. We talked to a lot of teams. We listen, and throw ideas out there. And you never know, things can happen before the deadline ... but we feel good where we're at."
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Paxson, who was the point guard on the Bulls' first three championship teams, said it's been a while since Chicago was in this position.
"We're in the best position we've been in as an organization since the late '90s," he said. "We feel we have an opportunity to build this thing and be a contender for years to come. That's a great feeling to have."
And the basis for that feeling is Rose.
"I think Derrick has elevated himself past all the other point guards in the league right now," Paxson said. "I think he's the best one out there.
"And it hasn't been by chance. He's worked very, very hard at it. And we're lucky we have him."
But Paxson won't compare Rose to his former teammate, Michael Jordan.
"First of all, I'll never try to compare anybody to Michael," Paxson said. "Derrick and he are totally different players in how they get things done. ... We're not going to sit here and compare him to Michael.
"This is a whole different era. The game right now is different than it was in the '80s and '90s. The league has changed rules. Had we had some of the rules in place where you can't touch a guy on the perimeter and those types of things, who knows what Michael would have done."