For all the talk about ownership, management and poor roster construction, the Bulls are doing what we all are hoping for. They're trying to clear enough room under the salary cap to significally improve the team this summer. For a long time, the Bulls believed a core of Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng and Ben Gordon was good enough to win a title. Understandable given that the Bulls had some strong seasons with them, and swept the defending champions back in 2007.
But the team structured was not a team that could ever win a title. It was built to fit around a star, but with none available. With Derrick Rose the order is now reverse. But the team is still not satisfied.
The majority of championship teams over the years had more than one All-Star player. Chicago understands this, and are going all in this summer to acquire the services of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, or if all fails, Joe Johnson, Carlos Boozer or David Lee. Wheter the Bulls sign James or Lee, the team will improve. Obviously there are certain preferences and the Bulls fan base won't be positive about using all the cap space on a player who won't flip the page for the team.
That's why Chicago is looking to shred more salary. Should they strike out on the big three (James, Wade and Bosh) they will have financial flexibility and could improve through trades.
Should Chris Bosh come to Chicago, he'll instantly fit alongside both players nicely, and the Bulls would further improve their rebounding which is already good. Roles will be established immediately as everyone will ahve specific jobs to do on a nightly basis. The same goes for Dwyane Wade, though his fit with Rose has been questioned since 2010 became a reality. The obvious prize, LeBron James, can be thrown in everywhere and the team will be a Finals contender right off the bat.
The Bulls are not looking to pull another Ben Wallace, where they use
all their money on a player who declines immediately. Nor are they
looking at Ron Mercer signings where they settle for a 4th tier guard
as opposed to a big name. No, the Bulls have something to offer this
time. They've made the playoffs in four out of their last five seasons,
they have an All-Star in Derrick Rose, a near All-Star center in Joakim
Noah and general youth on the squad.
These are the situations where teams improve the most. Back in 2004, Phoenix Suns had Shawn Marion, Amar'e Stoudemire and Joe Johnson. That was enough to convince Steve Nash to come over, and they became a Western Conference Finals team. The Bulls are in the same situation this year, and have done a good job of acquiring expiring contracts for this summer. They still need to move John Salmons and/or Kirk Hinrich, but this should be possible at the trade deadline. There's already been a lot of Bulls-related rumors during February, which means the Bulls are active and ready to deal.
Chicago is ready to pull the plug on the present, by preparing for the future. They're working, they're calling, they're going to be dealing, and they're going to build around a star instead of a supporting cast.
These are the marks of a team wanting to get better. This is truly a case of flipping the page, turning over a new leaf or whatever metaphor that fits you. The Bulls are starting over yet again, but this time they're doing it right.