It's starting to appear as if the Bulls are looking to rebuild, not retool. Chicago finished last season with the league's best record and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs for a second straight season, but were bounced prematurely in the first round by the Philadelphia 76'ers much aligned to both Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah going down with injuries. No doubt a consideration of failure, and with questions raised about Luol Deng's impending wrist surgery and participation in the London Games, the lack of team scoring - pointed out by the Sixers' series - and questions about star quality on a team predicated in chemistry, the Bulls needed to do something in this offseason to shore things up.
And thus far, they have not.
However, in the case of that fact, it appears as if the Bulls have conceded in the offseason race to contend with the reigning NBA Champion Miami Heat (who've made numerous adjustments and transactions, signing Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis) while they are only getting stronger. Not to say that Kentucky National Champion and Bulls first round pick Marquise Teague will not turn out to be a great NBA player, but that is the only move the Bulls have made that isn't by subtraction. Kyle Korver was traded to Atlanta to save roughly $500,000 and obtain either a second round pick or player exception - or even better - a small contract player from Minnesota (Ricky Rubio made 3mil last year, comparable to the vet minimum). Nonetheless, either scenario won't be nearly as satisfactory to the offensive production decline the Bulls suffer just from letting Korver go. C.J. Watson was let go to sign a deal with Brooklyn Nets, and most recent reports have to Bulls shopping Rip Hamilton and his $1mil contract to whomever will take him.
Hindsight 20/20 right?
Now we sit at the middle of July. And the Bulls have yet to pull a trigger on a deal or even be speculated as suitors in any three team trade that involves the ever-waffling Dwight Howard, which could possibly send a role playing, expiring contract to Chicago and give the team trade flexibility before the deadline to make adjustments.
Although is shouldn't need repeating, Derrick Rose will more than likely not be available for the first half of the season. I repeat WILL NOT be available for the first half of the season. Why the Bulls decided to rest it's laurels on a rookie PG (Teague) and not pursue any other assets in the back-court is cause for speculation. Is that head front office duo Gar Forman and Jon Paxson are conceding to next season, in preparation for a full return from Rose and the summer free agency thereafter - with Deng and Carlos Boozer off the books.
^The star has fallen^
Whatever the case, as presently constituted and as stated before and I REPEAT, Derrick Rose will not be available for most - if not all - of the regular season, the Bulls must make improvements not adjustments in order to maintain the level of success they have grown accustomed to if they expect to compete next season. Coach Tom Thibideau running them into the ground another season just isn't going to cut it.
In other news, reports are that Derrick Rose is working ahead of schedule in his recovery from the ACL tear that ripped him from the playoffs and Olympics. However, do you really want him working ahead of schedule dealing with an injury that could jeopardize his career? I REPEAT, half of next season, or the Bulls may regret it.
Until then, someone please make a move!