Bulls continue to lose while cracks continue to widen

Bulls continue to lose while cracks continue to widen

Dan Bernstein made waves with his article lambasting Derrick Rose and "Team Rose" while the Bulls dropped another game in a season in which dropping games may not be so bad.

Chicago made a brief run in the third period, they cut the lead down to three while the Rockets offense was stuck in a brief stint where the team looked absolutely hopeless and seemed to turn the ball over every other possession and force awful shots on the others.

The Rockets brief mental collapse didn't last long, and Houston went on a 15-1 run to blow turn the game into a rout. Against real teams, the Bulls aren't likely to make too many games close at the end.

The bigger news of the day was probably Dan Berstein's article Rose no longer humble, hometown kid. Bernstein mostly rehashed the 'whiner' theory about Rose for not wanting to go through a rebuilding process which I get, but somewhat denounce.

As noted, if he's telling friends "I hope the Bulls keep this together", then so what? Should Rose be telling friends "I hope they tear this team apart and we suck for the next two seasons!". It's one of those things where context matters, and we don't have any.

Bernstein notes that the organization is at odds with Reggie Rose, which I'm not sure is due to any personal insight or simply a captain obvious moment, because I agree with Bernstein that Reggie Rose is someone Derrick should cut off financially the second the guy opens his mouth again.

However, Derrick steadfastly defends him whenever Reggie opens his mouth to cause trouble saying he's his own man and what not which gives off an impression that Derrick tacitly agrees with him whether it's true or not.

The news that B.J. Armstrong is bitter towards the Bulls organization isn't really news, but I for one had no idea that B.J. and Paxson are not on speaking terms. Maybe that one slipped by my radar somehow, but it seems pretty crazy that your superstar's agent isn't willing to talk to the Executive VP of basketball operations.

In the end, the article doesn't provide much new, but it's one more example of Rose's teflon wearing off. A large contingent of fans are starting to turn on Derrick. A lot of the garbage that would have been neatly swept away and ignored while he was winning games for Chicago is now front and center.

People are no longer afraid to point it out.

Derrick was billed as the "good kid" and like so many superstars who's faults we ignore while they play well, the media and fans will start to pile on when things go bad. In the end, I don't think Rose is really neither a better or worse guy than the next star athlete, and it's worth remembering that when things start to go bad. He really changed as much as the media is now willing to portray him differently.

Odds of the playoffs? Not pretty

The Bulls currently sit in 9th place, a half game out of the playoffs. However, in the win column? Only six teams in the NBA are worse, two of which have eight wins instead of nine, three of which have seven wins. The Bulls are certainly on the path to fall to one of the worst records in the NBA.

The Bulls decision to go for the quick rebuild or go for the playoffs can drag on until the trade deadline because the East will never be bad enough that the Bulls will fall out of the opportunity to make the playoffs. They're not likely to ever drop 4-5 games out of the race. At six games under .500 right now, they're still a half game out of eighth.

However, Chicago may have some pressure due to the other teams who will want to try to make the playoffs, have assets to burn, and want to make a final push looking to strike more quickly than the deadline.

Cleveland and Phoenix are two potential destinations for Luol Deng. The Suns can move Emeka Okafor to Chicago in a deal that matches salaries nearly identically with Deng. The Bulls could throw in Marquis Teague just to dump his salary, and Phoenix can send two of their four firsts to Chicago.

Given the Suns have four picks and clearly don't want to use them all, a ton of variety in terms of trades could be worked out (the least favorable pick and the 2nd least favorable as an example).

The Bulls will also likely have two picks already if Charlotte can maintain their playoff pace. Like the Suns, the Bulls also likely won't want to add four rookies, so if they get two picks for Deng, they should look to trade up in the draft or possibly trade out to the future. There will likely be teams willing to trade quality picks to get a guy in this deep draft class, and the flexibility would help Chicago tremendously.

The Bulls might save more money by a trade with the Cavs who are tied with the Bulls at a half game out. The Cavs can save the Bulls quite a bit more money and throw the Bulls their pick (either lotto or top eight protected) and possibly Dion Waiters who wants out.

However, after these two options, the well starts to run dry. Both teams may look to make a trade to bring someone in soon, and there aren't many partners at the 'acquiring' talent table who have the proper salaries to send back to Chicago and a meaningful asset to come with it.

Do you feel sorry for TNT/ESPN?

You kind of wonder how many national TV games the Bulls will be scheduled for next year. If Derrick Rose looks healthy, the Bulls could potentially be a really big draw, but after two straight years of getting stuck with them on the national TV plate only to have Derrick Rose in street clothes, the national networks might shy away.

Who could blame them? Last night's match up against Houston and tonight's against Oklahoma City looked like great match ups when the season started. Now? One slaughter down, one to go.

Maybe things will turn when Hinrich comes back, but I hope not. At this point, the Bulls are so far away from contending for anything that some trade and a new influx of talent looks a lot more appealing than a first round sweep at the hands of Indiana or Miami.

If everything goes right, the Bulls might not be far away in a year, but they need to get in this draft and nail it for that to happen and should be looking to make the trades to lock it in.

Filed under: Free Agency

Tags: chicago bulls, derrick rose, nba


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  • The Bernstein article is so unfairly slanted to bulls management it's a joke. Did foreman write it? First I've heard anyone complain about Rose wanting to repair the meniscus. That standard practice, right?

  • In reply to JayJohnstone:

    You can either have the meniscus snipped away for a quicker recovery but worse long term prognosis, or you can have it repaired for longer recovery but better long term prognosis. I don't blame D-Rose for his choice at all, but I wouldn't call it standard practice either.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I don't think I agree with you. The snipping occurs when there is no alternative. That is caused by lack of blood supply to the damaged area. If the damaged area does have a blood supply, then the meniscus can be repaired, and standard practice would be to in fact do so.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I don't think Bernstein was referring to the meniscus. He was obviously referring to last year when Rose didn't come back despite Doctor's saying he was cleared and the next step in recovery was to play games.

  • The Bernstein article is a joke, clearly Bernstein is trying to stir the pot so that you could listen to him or read his articles. It is amazing how he never come down hard on his Duke boys or Hinrich but let another player turn the ball over or take a bad shot, immediately he is calling them dumb. How does he know Derrick Rose or someone from his camp said that, wait a minute I forgot, his reliable source told him. Is this the same source that told him Joe Giradi was a going to be the new Cubs manager and that it was a done deal. Who are you crappin!

  • And wasn't it Bernstein who, back in 07, reported that Kobe to chicago was a done deal?

  • In reply to ds1848:

    It was.

  • First, personality clashes happen all the time -- Like Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan -- so how is that big news in this case?

    Second, false rumors abound, and certain reporters tend to facilitate them. This stuff is not worth our time unless it dramatically impacts the team.

    Most fans prefer to discuss how to get the Bulls to a better future. So, how can that be achieved?

    1) Keep losing to get higher picks -- remember both 1st and 2nd rounds.

    2) Trade Deng for something of value. Do NOT just resign him or let him walk for nada at season's end.

    3) Whoever does the Bulls scouting and talent evaluation, do a great job of it this year! This could be the most important draft for Chicago in a quarter of a century.

  • Bernstein is one of the brightest sports minds in Chicago and calls out front offices all the time. His mention of BJ Armstrong's influence was insightful.

    But I guess if you're bent towards hating Bulls management, it's far easier to dismiss it as a joke than to change your mind.

    Also, let's make sure we blame all of D-Rose's PR issues on Bulls management and not on him. Derrick is just a victim.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Yeah because the Bulls FO has been great right? Look at this team the last two years just great . Let's be real the Bulls FO is trash. The NBA gave the BULLS Rose and without Rose this franchise would have been where the Atlanta Hawks were and still are , good for about 44 wins a year. At least Rose gave Chicago hope. The FO came into this year with no replacement for Rose , Noah and Deng if one were to go down long trem the Bulls were not going to be able to over come it. Hey guess what? One went down , season over! Why are people surprised by this. Dumb Chicago fans.

  • In reply to Chicityarson:

    I dangled it out there, "Rose is a victim" and you bit hard. Since you're calling me and others "dumb Chicago fans" you must obviously be very intelligent. Further evidence of smarts is that you're attacking an argument that I'm not making. That takes another level of brains. It's also smart to blame others for the problems of an individual.

    Whatever you think of the FO, nobody should be blamed for Rose's bad PR except for Rose. Not the FO, not Adidas, not Rose's entourage. Point the finger at the man himself.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    What exactly should Derrick be pointing to himself about , I'm lost at the moment when it comes to your argument. My point was people like you let the Bulls FO off the hook. What exactly have they done?

  • In reply to Roman F:

    At least Bernstein "THINKS" he is one of the brightest sports minds in Chicago.

  • In reply to Helpitch:

    Fair enough. He has a huge ego. But he's no idiot.

  • Maybe the Bulls should change their name to the Molars because according to Thibodeau in order to win they have to be grinders.

  • Here's an interesting article where Deng briefly discusses possibly being traded. Also, the article alleges Bulls and Deng were $5 to $6 million per year apart on extension negotiations.


  • In reply to Edward:

    Per year? Wow. Good for the Bulls. Sounds like they're valuing Deng correctly while Deng over-values himself the way he always has.

    I was disappointed to hear that Forman is not making calls about Deng, only receiving.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Yea, we need to be all over the Cleveland and Phoenix situations like white on rice, like shit on a shingle, like boozer on a pick and roll, like Teague on a layup, o.k. maybe not those last 2.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Deng got the contract the Bulls agreed to pay him. Do I think he is overpaid? Yes! All that said, I don't think there is any player on the Bulls who gives a better effort game in, game out. Lu has been a credit to the Bulls on & off the floor. When he leaves, he will be missed. Since Thibs has many times referred to him as the glue of the team one would hope that when Lu leaves the gulf between the front office & coach will not widen even further.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I don't find that shocking at all. I am sure that the Deng camp wanted to pick up right where they left off, meaning a max raise(5-7.5%) over his current salary of $14.3 milllion(so somewhere around $15 million), while the Bulls low balled him with a salary that most of us would consider about right for what he will bring to the table over the next 4 years $8-10 million per.

    However, that difference does seem to indicate that there is no hope of resigning him this summer, so we better move him soon.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Was going to note that in tomorrow's blog, but yeah, 5-6 million per year is a pretty wide gap. Sounds like Bulls want to offer 7-9 and Deng wants 13-15 if I were to take a stab at it.

  • Can I ask a serious question? Is it time to trade Derrick? This isn't a knee jerk reaction, but the culmination of 2 years of frustration. He is oft injured, not willing to recruit and allows his entourage to spout off at the mouth to unfairly damage his image. Let me also say that I believe Derrick will actually come back next season healthy and play 75+ games now that he will have injured each leg and now there is no leg to favor, making him a little more symmetrical going through two rehabs. The problem with proposing an idea like this is: Does Derrick have any real value around the league? I mean sure he does, i believe there are only a handful of guys that will not be traded, what i mean is could we get a lottery pick or a couple of blue chippers back for him. Think about it, if Derrick played for the Bucks and wanted out, would we trade our potential 2014 lottery pick to obtain him at this point? The remaining money on his deal and his injury history make him almost untradeable in terms of compensation received. We are pretty much going to have to ride it out with Derrick and hope we can get Parker, Wiggins or Randle.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Could you trade Derrick right now? What do you think you could get for him?

    I would probably take a top 3 pick for Derrick right now if I wasn't sent bad salary back.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I would imagine that once that draft order is set, none of the top 3 teams would trade you the pick for Rose in this years draft. Obviously, injury is the biggest reason, but money/contract is a huge one also. You would almost have to take back another bad contract.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    To get a top three pick in this draft for Rose you'd have to have pictures of the other GM with a live girl and/or a dead boy.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I think I got that the wrong way around ... dead girl or a live boy. The point stands. :)

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    So I'm assuming you don't think DRose can get back to he's MVP form. It's 2013 he tore his meniscus that was repaired. I don't understand why he can't get back to Top 5 form. I understand both knees were worked on but both surgeries were successful.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    If any likely lottery team was willing to give up their unprotected pick for Rose right now I'd do it for sure. You're gambling either way: either on them winning the lottery or Rose's health.

    The difference is a rookie gets paid a lot less than Rose will.

    I don't expect the Bulls would even consider it though, because in real life GMs take less risks because they have to worry they'll look stupid and never work again.

  • The Bulls D n R has completely diappeared. What I saw last night, it seems in particular that Boozer and Gibson have been playing with low energy and being turnover prone. I still think Noah and Deng are playing with effort and not going through the motions. DJ Augustin is trying but he's a pass first point guard, probably the purest point guard the Bulls have had in recent memory but he's not a scorer and thats where many fans get down on him. It was good seeing Jimmy Butler with a better game and playing with effort. I still think the Bulls future is bright but the management has to stay away from washed up vets that can't score and place an emphasis on getting multiple scorers and sharp shooters to surround around Rose and Noah. Part of the pieces are looking good, Mirotic as a scoring stretch 4, Augustin as a quality backup point guard, Butler as a glue guy small forward. What's missing is a scoring and ball handling shooting guard and a stud defensive center backup that can patrol the rim and stop easy layups. With the two picks the Bulls will have in the first round, I see them getting one pick and using the other on a euro prospect or possibly moving up. The greatest fear is things really get ugly and thibodeau gets fired while the garpax ben wallace and boozer show continues indefinitely. They have a great chance of getting something of value for Deng, we'll see if they deliver, if they don't........it shows they aren't very good. Keep in mind that the Blazers turned the expiring deal of Gerald Wallace into Damion Lillard. Deng is superior to Walllace and I expect them to get something solid like a Waiters or at the very least a midround 1st pick.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    The FO has "a great chance of getting something of value for Deng, we'll see if they deliver, if they don't........it shows they aren't very good." I totally agree!

    I hope they are waiting to see if Deng's value climbs by the trade deadline, but I feel if they get a good offer for him now, they should strike while the iron is hot. He could get a serious injury next time. Perhaps the talk about Cleveland and Phoenix as trade partners is all smoke and no fire.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I agree too. If they don't deal Deng this year, shame on them.

  • I am glad you raised the question regarding trading Rose. Obviously Rose when healthy is our greatest asset. Conversely, an unhealthy Rose is our worst asset because he is sidelined while consuming a huge amount of salary cap. If you believe, as I do, that Rose will come back but not at the same level, then why not consider trading him? We should look at players as tradeable assets, like stocks of companies. Buy low, sell high. I don't think there is anything amoral about that. Did Rose give us a home-town discount when he signed an extension?

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Did you take a home -town discount at your job?

  • In reply to Chicityarson:

    Few of us would. But our employers would not hesitate to lay us off if that would improve the company!

    The NBA is a business. Even Deng's comment shows he understands that.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Deng's home town is also London, not Chicago. :)

  • In reply to Chicityarson:

    Actually, I did take a lower salary in lieu of stock options in the hope that the rewards down the road would justify this. Similarly, there are examples of players in professional sports in the salary cap era who did not demand the maximum salary in the hopes that cap room could be used to improve the enterprise. For example, initially didn't Lebron take less than the max so that Bosh could get signed? In any event, my point is that the team enterprise is more important than any individual player. If you fall in love with a stock, unnecessarily, you could pay for this. Just like any other asset.

  • In reply to Chicityarson:

    I live in NYC and am trying to move back to Chicago. I would absolutely offer a hometown discount to make it happen.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I lived in Manhattan once a long time ago. I'd take a 50% hometown discount to live in Chicago, and you'd still probably come out ahead after taxes and cost of living, nevermind quality of life. and double nevermind that crap that they and Sam Smith call pizza.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Cost of living is admittedly a huge part of the reason I'd be willing to take a discount. Hard to say about quality of life, as a single guy in his '30s, you really can't beat NYC.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Not really knocking you for it, but even as a single guy in your 30's there has to be a lot more to quality of life than getting laid left and right, even if they are all supermodels, and even then you better be loaded to be a player in NYC. I haven't lived in Chicago since the mid 80's but to me the social life isn't any less desirable than it is in NY, in fact I think it is vastly superior. I always call Chicago the best eat and drink town in the country, especially when you factor in the big city midwest attitude vs east and west coast snobbery. and I still remember the shock of my first NYC paycheck, when they got 52% leaving me with 48%. It has to be worse than that now.

  • In reply to Chicityarson:

    Yes. I have had job offers for jobs in other cities that would be significant pay raises and did not move.

    I have also turned down smaller raises (10%) to stay at a company I like vs a different local company.

  • I was wondering if there was a BJ/Paxson angle to this because BJ felt slighted that Paxson got the GM job over him. Does BJ represent anybody else? He hasn't done anything impressive with Rose, and the way things keep unfolding Rose looks worse and worse. And I don't think Rose is the bad guy, but the people around him make him look bad.

  • As for Rose, who knows what is really going on but I have always essentially agreed with Bernsteins premise Rose is a Momma's boy and about as dumb as any Bulls player ever(Eddy Curry, Dickie Simpkins, Tyrus Thomas). Those 2 things don't make him a bad guy, but no amount of money is ever going to change that. How those things affect his relationship with the Bulls we will simply have wait and see. I certainly wouldn't mind if he switched his representation to someone other than BJ Armstrong, who come to think of it always seemed like a bit of a momma's boy too.

  • I have wondered about the exact same trade with the Suns. Deng would probably resign with them too. Another trade that I was wondering about that I would like someone to give an opinion on (even if it is to call me an idiot) is a trade with the Lakers. Bulls trade Deng and Boozer to the Lakers for Gasol and their draft pick. The Lakers would have someone in Deng that Kobe has wanted in the past and would help them win games now. They could offer him a good contract and still pay good money for another player. Boozer would give them someone that (I think) would fit into Dantonie's offense. The fact that he would come off their books after next season may also help save them money to go after Love, who everyone knows they want. The draft pick may not help them to much because everyone knows that the Lakers are not allowed to rebuild and Kobe wants to win now. Deng and Boozer could help that to happen or at least make them think it could happen. As for the Bulls, obviously they would then have three draft picks (possibly two lottery picks) and a still serviceable Gasol on the last year of his contract. I believe he can play next to Noah or Gibson and be a more impactful scorer then Boozer. He may be able to be resigned next year for a much reduced price as the backup center and, being from Spain (where I believe Miritic is from), could be very helpful in mentoring Miritic if comes over. The free agent money shouldn't be much of a problem next year if they resigned Gasol if they have three first round picks on the roster either. I know that the Lakers said they aren't trading Gasol, but they could change their minds. Just a thought that I think could work for both teams.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    I do not believe the Bulls can do that trade because the salaries are too far apart. LA would have to throw in another $7 million or so to make the salaries match, which I doubt they would do. If the Bulls could do the trade straight up, that would be a great deal.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    I say no shot, the Lakers are not killing their max level cap space this offseason for either Deng or The Freaking BozoHole, nevermind both of them. and they certainly are not giving up a likely lottery pick for the right to waste that cap space on Deng and the Hole.

    Mirotic plays in Spain, he is from the former Yugoslavia, not sure if he is Croatian or Serb, I'm guessing Serb, so your Spanish paison theory makes even less sense than it would if it were true.

    and like I said the other day, these days Gasol looks like Vlade Divac in his last days, and he smoked 3 packs a day. Other than that, I love the trade for everyone involved.

  • This Bernstein guy is funny though. Of course derrick is going to say he doesn't want to rebuild, like Doug said what's he going to say I'm all in for the 2020 plan. He's not a bad guy for saying that. Everyone gives him flak for not recruiting. So what. Did MJ recruit when he was getting bounced year after year against the pistons. NO. Where was his criticism. At the end of the day judge DRose on his effort and his will, not his social skills. He has gone weeks of not being able to bend his leg and walk, imagine not knowing if you'll be the same again, but he still rehabbed like crazy. He's guaranteed over 100 million but he's still working he's ass off trying to be the best. He's playing under Jordan's shadow, under a microscope in his home city and walking around town the last 2 years on crutches trying his best to come back. I don't understand how anyone can say he's selfish.

  • In reply to argie2333:

    We'll said. If it were not for Reggie, Rose would still be loved by all. Derrick is too immature and not ready to tell his older brother to fuck off. Derrick came from nothing and it shows. I do love his work ethic and will to win. He will be back. Maybe not in MVP form, but an all-star perhaps.

    He can resign for less in 3 years if he is not the player he was.

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