Bulls off-season rounding into shape, too bad it's a circle drawn by a three year old

The Bulls opted to cut costs this off-season. The bench mob has turned into the bench mop, a unit more fitted to cleaning up blowouts than creating leads and extending leads. From a business standpoint, I hardly can blame ownership for wanting to save around 20 million dollars by not putting the best team possible on the floor, from a fan perspective it sucks.

If the latest rumors go down, the Bulls will look something like this to start the season:

PG: Rose, Hinrich, Teague, player to be named
SG: Hamilton, Belinelli
SF: Deng, Butler, Radmanovic
PF: Boozer, Gibson
C: Noah, Mohammed

Of course, Belinelli and Mohammed haven't officially agreed to terms yet, so we won't know how that's shaping up just yet. I would have preferred that the Bulls landed Darko, however, he may have been Miami bound regardless of whether the Bulls wanted him or not. If you had a choice between Miami and Chicago for the same money would you even consider Chicago? I wouldn't.

So summing up the replacements, you look something like this:
PG: Stayed about the same
SG: Worse
SF: Worse
PF: Same
C: Worse

The Bulls downgraded at three of the five positions on the court from a team that may or may not have had enough to win last season if healthy. Their primary nemesis, which won the title, comes back with significant improvements.

Part of my fear with the Bulls cost cutting isn't merely the fact that they're not fielding the best team [or even the best team they could]. I generally agree with thoughts that the Bulls aren't set up to win the ring this year, but it's also the message sent to Derrick Rose, to Tom Thibodeau, to every free agent who will consider the team in the future.

"Winning is not our priority. Profit is our priority"

No message could be more clear than this one about this off-season. This is a team that has made gobs of money since Jordan retired. My estimates put it close to 700 million in cash not counting franchise appreciation or united center profits but simply in net operating income [estimate based on Forbes articles over the years].

It's far more than the Lakers [who've won five titles over this stretch and had gobs of extra playoff revenue], far more than the Knicks, far more than any team in the NBA or MLB, and more than all but one team in the NFL despite the NFL averaging more than double the revenue. The Bulls are financial champions with a strong commitment to the bottom line.

Despite making all of that money, the Bulls aren't willing to dip to a 45 million dollar yearly profit. An amount which would likely leave them as the second or third most profitable team in the NBA this year. They won't do that to win. Coming second in profits simply isn't good enough.

The Bulls are likely going to need to sign ring chasers for the next few seasons, but no ring chaser is going to Chicago first. None of them will feel this team is really committed to winning. None of them will feel it's their best opportunity to win. Not unless Miami simply isn't interested.

The Bulls never had a chance to get Miami's starpower. The big three agreed to play together long before free agency hit, we just didn't know it. Maybe they never had a chance to attract the ring chasers either. Maybe they're simply destined to play Patrick Ewing or Reggie Miller to LeBron's Jordan in this generation. I could live with that outcome if I felt the team was doing all they could to fight against it. They're not.

Ownership, not management, but ownership is content to make the ECF, rake in profits, and go home without the ring every year. They're in it for the money, not the love of the game. That's their prerogative. They own the team. It's our fault for loving it.

Filed under: Free Agency

Tags: chicago bulls, free agency, nba

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  • Doug, do you think the SF and SG really get that much worse?

    IMO, it all depends how jimmy butler is going to perform. Belinelli and korver is similar even tough they play different position. Belinelli has a little worse shooting, but he can create a little, use backdoor cut, and more athletic. Not sure how good/bad his defense is, but I assume a wash. So if jimmy butler can outperform brewer on the offensive side, I think our squad is about the same or even better (our defense relies on defensive schemes more so than individual skills). In addition, rip hamilton should be better this year if he is fully health (I've never seen him missed so many open mid range jumpers last year, I think it is due to the injuries)

  • In reply to handushk:

    RIP is like 35 and missing more games each season. I don't think you can count on him for anything at this point. We had Jimmy Butler on our team last year so losing Brewer weakened the G/F bench depth no matter how you look at it.

  • In reply to Chad:

    I guess I am not arguing if we are worse or not, cause we definitely got worse. However, I think we shed about 6 millions in our G/F by cutting/trading korver/brewer. Did our G/F rotation gets 6 millions worse? I am leaning toward "no"

  • In reply to handushk:

    So your argument is the Bulls did 'alright' because Reinsdorf gets to pocket more millions instead of spending it to improve the team...

  • In reply to Chad:

    I think I was one of the first to kill Rip, and that was even before the season started.

    The Bulls needed a '2nd shot creator' and they got a guy who takes jumpers running off screens.

    I know he's getting older and more injured, but I put a huge chunk of the blame on Thibs last year for throwing him out there right after coming back from injury (which resulted in more injures) instead of easing him back (which Thibs finally did after Rip finally came back from injuries).

    So, if Thibs can MANAGE the minutes of a 35yr old, I think Rip can be productive.

  • Contend? I wouldn't be surprised if they miss the playoffs this year.

    As the lineup is likely to look like this for at least most of the first quarter season.

    1. Captain Klank
    2. Belineli
    3. Jimmy Butler
    4. Boozer
    5. Noah (Just pray he stays healthy...)

    That lineup doesn't scare anyone other than their own fan base! You have one shooter and no scorers. It's going to be a long slow start.

    Also with the direction things are going don't expect a Boozer amnesty. No way they are paying someone not to play right now they are barely willing to pay guys to play...

  • In reply to Chad:

    They are 'contending' for a playoff spot 6th-8th seed...but that's it.

    The Bulls without Rose are the PHI Sixers. We saw that last year. PHI played great defense, but like the Bulls...couldn't score. I mean their undersized SG off the bench was the team leader in pointers (reminds of Ben Gordon during Rose's 1st 2 years)?

    Bulls were 8th seeds both those years, and PHI has been the 7th and 8th seed the past 2 years.

    The reason why I have them as high as the 6th seed is because Rose DOES come back eventually, and he should be able to give them a boost in victories.

    They won't win the title though, even if Rose comes back 100%, because the Bulls broke up the bench mob.

  • In reply to Chad:

    "Noah (just pray he stays healthy ...)"
    Chad, You WHORE, always taking a dig at Noah. We here in Noah land, know that you wish he breaks both legs, but it won't happen.
    Reinsdorf got rid of your countryman (Omer Asik) so you will have to go to the blog of his new team to worship him. This is a Bulls blog, take your hate to Asik's new team and crucify his new team when he doesn't get enough playing time and the fans there murder him when he misses free throws, simple put backs and wide open dunks.
    Noah is the Bulls' center for life!
    By the way, I hope that career assistant (Thibs) calling himself a head coach, gets the message and stops messing with the Bulls' big man or he'll be gone.
    You, Edward and that other headcase on the other blog (Juiceboxjerry) were so certain Omer was returning that the topic was trading Noah and keeping your STATUE.
    I guess people close to you, Edward and Juiceboxjerry are on a suicide watch.
    How about jumping off a building in unison?

  • I was thinking the exact same thing. It's not just Bulls fans that think management is cheap. It's all over the media and surely will scare off decent player wanting to come to the Bulls.

  • In reply to Dave:

    The teams' own fans should be the last line of defense.

    If we Bulls fans know Reinsdorf is cheap, then you had better believe the rest of the NBA fans know Reinsdorf is cheap.

    It all comes back to Reinsdorf (I know Krause gets the blame, but he was only doing Reindorf's bidding)...not PAYING Phil Jackson to keep the dynasty going.

  • If I were Rose I would be a disgruntled player/employee and would be trying to find a way out of Chicago. The same goes for Thibs, I wouldn't think about signing an extention cause this organization isn't about winning. And fans keep complaining about Thibs playing these "YOUNG" players a lot of minutes.... HELL!!!... when I was in my early to mid twenties when I wasn't working I played ball DAMN near all day. My point is the fans shouldn't complain about Thibs, he's doing his job, he's won coach of the year and almost won it again this past year, he's guided this team to the best record in the league 2 years in a row. The owner of this team is squarely the blame for not giving this team a chance to win by not giving the team the players that ate required to win. I've been saying for 2 years this team offense STINKS and that they needed more perimeter scoring, and now the team has come to where they are now. This is all on Reinsdork!!! He's not in this for the championships but for the profits for his self and his White Sox. Like I have mentioned before, if fans are upset at what's going on with this team, show your disapproval and don't attend Bulls games at the UC and Reinsdork might get the message. But then again... he's raked in so much of the Bulls fans money over the years he wouldn't give a DAMN if the fans come to the Bulls games anyway.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And I will still support the Bulls from a far meaning attending some away games but I definitely won't watch a lot this year not until Rose returns.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    The problem isn't playing these young guys a lot of minutes, the problem is...

    1) It's the regular season (playoffs > regular season)
    2) It was a shortened lock-out season (crammed schedule)
    3) We had arguably the best bench (why didn't he use it more)

    If your argument is still...'but they're young', then why don't we just play them all 48min. Why do they need breaks? Hey, let's take this a step further. Why does every MLB team use 'pitch counts'...let's run our young pitchers out there for 200+ pitches every game. I mean, Cubs fans should know if only Pryor and Wood would have thrown MORE pitches, they could have stayed healthy.

    Oh yeah, and 'but they're young' doesn't work as well when Rose, Rip, and Deng all go down to injury and then Thibs throws them back out of the gate and they reinjure themselves.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Ok so just because you have it in for the coach does not mean that he isnt the right coach for this Bulls team. Thibs played the best talent he had available which was really as you can see next to nothing besides Rose. The Bulls players werent the only players going down with injuries so lets not blame this on Thibs. Guys in the league were not ready for the shortened season PERIOD! So you guys that are trying to put this on the coach and the minutes that he played certain players are just looking for excuses. And yes I will continue to say that most of the Bulls players are still young and the minutes shouldnt have been such a big deal, but again...with a short season and players not knowing if there was going to be a season, some major injuries did occur. Theres not a better coach out there that couldve did what Thibs had to coach with besides Phil Jackson and hes not thinking about coaching anymore.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I could argue there is no difference between Thibs, Skiles, Collins, and Avery Johnson.

    And before you even attempt to laugh at Avery Johnson, he too was 'the fastest coach to win 100 games) before he moved to a team with garbage as it's roster in New Jersey.

  • I won't sit here and say that I'm not disappointed by some of the moves the Bulls have made. I think all diehard fans enter the off season hoping for a big splash. But I don't think this is a full-on punt by mgmt this year...

    Look at the facts:
    Rose: Done for 1/2 the season, no more than 75%-80% by Playoffs
    Deng: Done for a nice portion of the season, full strength (we hope) by playoffs
    Noah: Supposedly full strength by training camp, but he's still in a walking boot and a history of Plantar fasciitis
    Hamilton: This dude is a walking injury and if info came out that he intentionally takes half the season off, I wouldn't be surprised

    Then look at the upgrades:

    Kirk: No, he doesn't have the flash of CJ, but he's definitely a solid PG, a less than desirable but competent backup SG

    Belinelli: Not as accurate as Korver, but as others have said, he can penetrate (Kyle can't) and should be able to defend within the scheme

    Nazr: He's no Turkish Hammer....but he's a competent and inexpensive veteran and you know what you're going to get.

    Radmanovic: Yes he's a bum...but he's a bum that can hit the 3, stretch the defense out a bit on the wings...

    Yes they should have traded Asik and I hate to lose him for nothing, but they were fed a poison pill that would have risked losing Gibson IMHO...and I doubt Gibson is going ANYWHERE

    Add in that Jimmy Butler has been playing like a 3-headed beast dog in Summer League...and I'm not willing to give up on them...yet.

    Now after Mrotic comes over, THEN we can talk cheapskates but as it stands?

    I think they played a difficult situation where they knew they weren't contending for a championship as well as they could.

  • Kudos to you Doug for calling out the organization on its priorities. However, IMO truth telling would also call out Bulls upper management for its mediocre record in team-building within the parameters of its tight-fisted owners?

    Major FA signings when they did have money (Wallace, Nocioni, Boozer, etc.) have hurt the team seriously. Also a mixed-bag on the draft. Flipping Aldridge for Tyrus should have led to an indictment of Paxson at the International Criminal Court. However, loyalty to Reinsdorf is the coin of the realm at Berto. Bulls need a top-flight GM like Pritchard at Indy, not an ass-licker.

    I do give the team credit for hiring Thibs.

  • fb_avatar

    Doug,

    I guess in the end its both financial decisions and basketball decisions. Gar Forman never said how his decisions would play out... and it seems as though he is making what we look at as financial decisions now so that the Bulls can make basketball decisions later. I am more confident that these guys can run a basketball team better than I can so I trust that even though its looking bleak for the next season id rather hope its just next season and not more seasons bc we were still cash strapped 2 seasons down the road paying Omer and Noah north of 12 million each

  • Doug, I think Nick Friedel was talking about you last Friday. Honestly, what ring chaser is going to come to Chicago until he knows that Rose can play at a high level again? And where else are they going to go? The only viable alternatives are the Lakers, Thunder (maybe), and Miami. The Knicks just cut ties with two guys they needed because of salary cap concerns. The Nets have yet to win a a game or a playoff series or pass the ball more than twice on a offensive possession. You are blowing this cost cutting thing way out of proportion when in the long run it will probably be proven the right thing to do.

  • There are still alot of unknowns. If this patrick beverley joins the team as the backup pg, this guy is athletic and can attack the basket and has a nice floater. Now will his game translate to the NBA, no one knows. I like Belinelli who averaged nearly 12 pts a game last year, he's not as good a shooter compared to korver but he's a slightly better scorer and is pretty clever using pump fakes and cutting to the basket. He can also handle a bit and be an emergency backup pg. It all comes down to if our starting five can be healthy and if they produce. Will Deng and Boozer step up? Can Kirk find a little more offense, maybe take a few more threes a game. There's alot of questions with this team, they can surprise or they can suck it up. We just don't know what direction their going. The Knicks the last few years have looked good on paper and sucked so just because you get some talent doesn't mean it will translate into team chemistry and winning.

  • Excellent column Doug.

    Money quote: "Ownership, not management, but ownership is content to make the ECF, rake in profits, and go home without the ring every year"

    This truth hurts. If one wants to be delusional, free free to read Nick Freidell's columns.

  • In reply to BullsC4:

    Another Nick Friedell hater I see?

    Funny because the only reason why these 'haters' spawned is because Friedell would constantly say the Bulls aren't better than the Heat.

    Even his latest column (something you are referencing), Friedell spells out how the Bulls have NO chance and have to plan for 2 years.

    I don't know how that's suppose to be 'delusional' unless you are arguing the Bulls ARE title contenders...

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Nick, it that you? If so just know that I don't "hate" you. Just a difference of opinion.

    In case of Bulls being contenders, yes, I do disagree. As Bill Simmons mentioned, "If you're close enough to sniff the trophy, you keep going for it. Period".

  • In reply to BullsC4:

    Oh, so you ARE saying the Bulls are title contenders next year, with a Rose 'probably coming back in March' (as a new report has hinted at), and despite not being back to his form, and dismantling of the bench mob, the Bulls are still title contenders.

    I guess you are disagreeing with EVERYBODY (including Doug) then, not just with Friedell.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Of course not AFTER getting rid of Watson, Korver, Brewer and Asik, but BEFORE. That's my whole point: it is a BIG mistake to get rid of the mob, especially Asik and Korver.

  • In reply to BullsC4:

    Size was their advantage against the Heat and now we have no seven footers on the roster... Nazr pff. I miss Asik already. Although I don't think the Bulls were a big threat to win it all last year. They had a chance but the Heat and Thunder were both superior teams.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    I'm going to go out on a limb and state now that this Bulls team has some surprises for their detractors. With Rose and Noah on this team, don't count them out!
    The Asik lovers have predicted doom and gloom for the Bulls, but they're in for a surprise. Let's just hope and pray Thibs has learnt his lesson

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    The newest report has Rose coming back at earliest in March. Obviously that doesn't mean it will happen, but March would mean 10months since injury.

    Bulls without Rose are the Sixers, bottom line. A defensive team that can't score...sounds eerily like what the Bulls are, without Rose.

    The Sixers have been the 7th and 8th seed the last 2 years.

  • Doug, you failed to mention that the Bulls substantially raised ticket prices in addition to the cost cutting at the expense of quality.

    Shameless.

    I agree that unless Thibs will be advised to not lock himself into this franchise long term unless he is guaranteed at least Scott Brooks' money.

    As Larry Coons stated, the activity this off-season has shown that a team will have to be deep in the tax to win a championship.

  • As a business, the Bulls are doing the right thing...making money. In fact, if we're going under the auspices of how the Bulls should be run as a business...they should be run like Sterling does with the Clippers...making profit every year despite sucking every year (except for this current CP3 era and the rare playoff berth that comes every 2 decades).

    But screw the looking at this at a business perspective....WE'RE FANS. We get to look at it from the way WE WANT...and that's to put the best team available to win.

    I think we can all agree that this upcoming season is a wash, even if Rose comes back, now after the Bulls broke up the 'Bench Mob' to created the 'Bench Mop' like Doug has stated. Fine. And if the plan is to go 'all-in' is to wait 2 years until 2014, when Deng comes off the books and Boozer only has 1 year left which makes Amnestying Boozer more palatable to JR (which I still don't believe he will)...then why are we keeping Boozer and Deng (especially Deng) around in the 1st place?

    I'm still contending the Bulls could have swung Deng for GSW's 7th or TOR's 8th (I never believed SAC's 5th or Tyreke, let alone both, were realistic).

    If 2014 is the goal, wouldn't ....Cap Space + 7th-8th Pick be better than Cap Space + No 7th-8th pick? This 'strategy' makes absolutely no sense to me.

    This is almost as ridiculous (I said almost) as Billy King dumping their 6th pick for a Gerald Wallace rental (in a season where the Nets weren't making the playoffs), which ended up in them paying the most to sign Wallace (which they could have paid the most in FA to get him anyway).

    And if the end goal was Dwight, wouldn't...Lopez+Picks+6th Picks be better than Lopez+Picks+No 6th Pick?

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    If the Bulls are believing the next 2 years are going to be a wash (especially this upcoming year)...why not bring in young CHEAPER players to play and develop, and maybe we can find a diamond, or at least a gem, in the rough?

    Bringing Vlad, Belinelli, and Nazr is the Bulls way of PRETENDING we're still 'contending' because we have vets...but the there's a reason why we got them...the Vet-Min.

    I said it on ESPN and understandably nobody agreed, but I thought the Bulls should give Adam Morrison a shot. Yes, you guys can laugh too, I get it.

    But, this summer league, Morrison has shown he can still stroke it (.600 from 3s, .540 SG%). He's more confident and more aggressive. He's not a defensive beast, but is Vlad or Belinelli? And during his Euro stint last year, he played pretty good. Plus, it would allow 6'7 Butler to play SG and 6'8 Morrison to play SF.

    I can hear the arguments now...'it's the Summer league'...'it's a glorified scrimmage'...except, those are the same fans who are clamoring for double-double Taj-Clone Malcolm Thomas....all from the Summer League.

    I know it's only one example, but you know another guy who was considered a 'lottery bust' and then spent the next few years in the D-League (and possibly overseas) did? He matured, increased his basketball IQ, got some confidence, and then when called up from the D-League last year...showed he can play now...so much so that even us Bulls fans wanted to pick him up. His name is Gerald Green.

    Let's be real, a lot of the time, the reason why 'lottery picks' don't make it is because of the organizations those players are drafted to. There's a reason those bad teams are in the positions to draft those players to begin with...THEY'RE BAD. Giving guys a fresh start in an organization with structure might turn those guys around.

    Another example...Danny Green. I don't think he was a lottery pick, but a 1st Rounder. In CLE, he was Lebron's dancing buddy-clown. In SAS, he's their starting SG.

    I guess all of this is moot since the Bulls are about to sign Belinelli, but my overall point is, why not take some chances in a 'wash' season.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    I agree, I don't get the Bulls obsession with washed up vets over young talent/prospects that most nba teams stash at the of their benches. Someone like E'Twaun Moore, who torched us in summerleague is exactly what the Bulls need........SCORING COMBO GUARD(6'4"). What was the strategy of teams the last few years was to double and triple team Rose because no one else had handles. I also don't get why they only go with the minimum of 13 man rosters. Wouldn't it make sense to stash Malcolm Thomas, E'twaun Moore at the end of the bench so you have more freedom to make trades if someone good comes up at the trade deadline?

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I want Moore too, but HOU still hasn't waived him.

    And when he does, he has to pass through waivers (which any team can pick him up for the $800k or whatever amount he is making).

    Like Jon Leuer, I don't think he gets it all the way to the Bulls.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    I agree what they are doing is just stupid posturing. You know your going to suck so get some young guys you never know maybe you find one you really like. Why bring in a bunch of old scrubs? Paxson long has loved guys that are old and can't play.

  • I'm still willing (although admittedly somewhat due to my unconditional love) to give them until next summer to go all out on the ownership is cheap bandwagon assuming Rose shows signs that he'll be at least close to normal by '13-14. If Rose is back to himself, then we're back in business and thus there's no reason to think we didn't/don't have a chance, whether next season or the season after, to compete for a ring. But I'm sure his injury put some doubt in ownership's mind.

    If Rose didn't get injured and they still pulled the moves that they did this summer, then there would be no doubt in my mind about their cheapness.

    What I hate is that if they already chose to "break up the band" to save on money, they should have invested in younger talent via draft picks in what looks to be one of the deepest drafts. That's my biggest axe to grind. It would have accomplished both the saving of money as well as keeping them competitive once that talent matures after a year or so while Rose gets healthier.

  • In reply to HINrichPolice:

    Next year, the Bulls are still over the cap with Boozer, Rose, Noah, Deng at around $65mil. If they resign Taj to a deal like $8-10mil, that puts us over the luxury tax.

    Now they could always let Taj walk like they did with Asik, and sign FAs for the Vet-Min, which would put us back where we are now...MINUS Taj.

    That's also why Nick Friedell has been preaching the Bulls are planning to wait until 2014 (2 years) when Deng's contract expires and Boozer has 1 year left (more palatable for JR to Amnesty...I still don't believe he will). But those 2 things need to happen if the Bulls legitimately want to be FA players in 2014.

    Which is why I hark back to...why didn't they trade Deng for GSW's 7th or TOR's 8th if they're planning to let Deng leave to start with?

  • Players Switch Teams, So Do Fans
    Doug, great blog post.
    Players switch teams easily now following the money.
    Perhaps fans will switch teams following a franchise that tries to win.
    I respect Reinsdorf managing his teams for profits. I don't like it but I respect it.
    I'm liking the Pacers. I always liked Scott Skiles but don't know if I'm a Milwaukee fan. Being a Chicago Bulls fan is starting to feel like being a Budweiser fan or a BP fan. I'll buy their products but don't have any allegiance to what they're doing, its just a company.
    That's how I'm feeling. The Bulls are an entertainment package kind of like watching Pawn Stars on cable or Turner Classics on channel 254. MJ and Scottie left years ago, the Bulls are just a profit center for Jerry Reinsdorf.
    I think I'll just change the channel next time.

  • Are there any economists on this board that could do a quick rundown on what going cheap actually costs the Bulls long-term with respect to patronage & brand loyalty?

    What I mean to say is that in a single-year budgetary perspective, the Bulls operations make a lot of sense. However, long-term, what is possibly lost? No title contention = less network television opportunities = less people exposed to product = less likelihood of people patronizing your "brand" (tickets, jerseys, hats, etc).

    I have to wonder if the way the Bulls run will eventually have the opposite impact fiscally; or does the new labor agreement virtually guarantee a profit as long as Reinsdorf trots out 5 guys in shorts?

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    I'll give you a back of the envelope analysis....

    Season ticket holders can't get what they paid for the unused games they try to sell. When that happens eventually the bubble bursts.

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    See the Cubs.

    It only took 100+ years of not being a Champion before the Cubs fans finally stopped selling out Wrigley Field (last year).

    Even if the diehards 'boycott' or simply don't follow/patron the Bulls, there will be plenty of casual fans that take their place.

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    Why are you blaming bulls not to spend this summer ? Did they ever have a true champion caliber player worth spending big money on ? They just broke up the bench mob who were not good enough to bring us the champion. You don't get it. What the bulls need is the retool of the current roster. The core players surrounding Rose are not champion contenders. They (Noah, Deng and Boozer) are good players and deserve the money they are paid, even though boozer is overpaid. However, we can't afford paying these mediocre athletes so much if we want a champion. Bulls need to get rid of them in return for one true champion caliber player pairing with Rose.

  • In reply to NeilClark:

    Who is that champion caliber player and how do you get him to the Bulls?

    Free Agency? The best free agents GarPax have signed were Carlos Boozer and Ben Wallace. Neither of them would probably fit the description of championship caliber. Historically, the Bulls have done poorly in this area, to the point where it can be argued that Keith Bogans was one of your 10 best FA signings of the modern era.
    (Steve Kerr, Bill Wennington, Bison Dele, Boozer, Wallace, Mercer, Korver, Brewer....?????)

    Trade? Not when people openly say they don't want to come play for the Bulls (like Howard). Sign-and-trades of expirings could help, but when you have a history of allowing expirings to walk for nothing (Brewer, Watson, PJ Brown), people become skeptical of the ability to pull this off. Adding to that doozies like Aldridge-Thomas and Chandler-Nothing (what Bulls had to show less then 2 years for that trade) doesn't help the skepticism.

    Draft? When you're stuck in Basketball Purgatory (back end of playoffs/lottery) like the Bulls look to be for the next few seasons, the odds of getting a surefire player (Griffin, Durant, Rose, LeBron) drop precipitously. You simply can't have any misses (James Johnson, Ty Thomas) when you are building this way.

    Long-story short, I think we've come to the point as a fanbase where we've gotten confirmation of our worst fears (Reinsdorf could give a flying fig and that GarPax are truly neutered and/or inept), and are trying to work through that realization.

    The Bulls literally went from the Chicago team closest to winning a title to somewhere between the Cubs and White Sox in the span of 3 months. That is a bitter pill to swallow.

  • Oh it's not done yet, the off-season wont be done until the deadline, when they find a way to move Rip's contract (with less to pay on it, so easier to find a taker) to avoid (or at least minimise) the tax.

    Why do you think they wanted Hinrich to replace Watson, even though on the face of it he costs more? Because as we keep getting told Hinrich can play both guard positions. I'll bet after they tried and failed to dump Rip in the off season the plan quickly became that around the deadline Rose will be coming back, Hinrich will move to SG and Rip will be dumped to save cash.

  • KC Johnson is saying Kirk Hinrich may be the Bulls starting shooting guard in 2013-2014.

    God help us all.

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