So says the cryptic SportsUnplugged Twitter:
Source: Forman is
exploring all avenues before 2010. He wants to put the right guys
around Derrick Rose; one source says he's cautious.
While I'm not sure I even trust them enough to believe a source saying something obvious, it begs the question, is now the time to be conservative or aggressive? The Bulls won the lottery, literally and figuratively, when acquiring Derrick Rose. Yesterday, I discussed at great length the type of fit each player on the existing roster has next to him. What do the Bulls do to bring in the type of players to compete long term?
The goal is to win a championship, and Bulls fans, I hate to break it to you, but the odds of this happening are very poor indeed. The odds of winning a title in basketball are always terrible unless you get one of the super elite players and have a good cast around him, the teams that manage that can typically rip off two or three titles in a row and dominate the league for awhile.
The Bulls presently have neither of those parts. We have hopes that Rose becomes the star, but it's not nearly as likely as most Bulls fans think it is. We have an owner who's always been reluctant to spend big on the team who'd need to sign off on paying the luxury tax for the cast as well. Even if willing to spend, it will require tremendous luck to be able to find the right deals to bring the players on..
So Gar Forman is presently being conservative. That's a fair plan. Many of our decisions could lock us into one path with Derrick Rose. Once we fill the team with big salaries we won't have flexibility to change things up anymore. Conservative is a good call for this season. There's unlikely to be anyone available long term that makes a difference for us down the road.
The attitude will shift next season with the 2010 free agency class, however, my question is should it? LeBron James is the only free agent available next year that I'm convinced will be worth his max contract with a declining NBA salary cap. I think the Bulls will go hard after other players, and they probably should. When the NBA salary cap falls to 45 million, Chris Bosh is going to look terrible on a 20 millino dollar contract.
At the same time, what are the alternatives? Wait and hope something comes up later? The Bulls could pursue LeBron hard from the open, but they seem like merely a so-so candidate to land him as there are several spots which may prove more desirable. After that, there is enormous risk in adding Bosh, Wade, or Amare at a max deal in a shrinking salary environment.
Better deals may exist in a year or two. Teams that overextended themselves and can't survive the dropping revenues will look to dump salary. Good players will be swapped for expiring contracts at an unprecedented rate, however, there's also a huge risk that the Bulls won't ever land someone as good as they could right now by waiting.
This is a difficult era to play armchair GM in. The solutions that look attractive on paper today have a high probability of completely handicapping the team tomorrow. Yet if the Bulls play too conservative after losing Ben Gordon to save for 2010 then the fan base may revolt after being lied to.
There's probably no tougher time to be GM than right now. The perception of the Bulls position is much stronger than it actually is. The expecations for the future are much higher than what's realistic. The armchair GMs, including myself, will be second guessing every move. Good luck Gar, you're going to need it.