In an interview with Rich King on WGN TV, Jerry Reinsdorf called the present Bulls mediocre. Not much of a controversial statement there given their .500 record in a pathetic Eastern conference.
K.C. Johnson with the quotes:
"Obviously, we're a mediocre team this year, a middle-of-the-pack team," Reinsdorf told King. "Looks like we probably will make the playoffs but we don't know for sure. But we're not that bad. When Derrick (Rose) comes back, that gets us a top-five player and we've got a lot of things going for us.
"We have the rights to (Nikola) Mirotic, who's probably the best player in Europe. He's going to come either this year or the following year at the latest."
Reinsdorf also cited the Bobcats' first-round pick from the Tyrus Thomas trade and a potential first-round pick from the Kings acquired in the Luol Deng trade to the Cavaliers.
"We're not starting from scratch," Reinsdorf said. "We still have Noah and Derrick and (Mike) Dunleavy and Taj Gibson and (Carlos) Boozer. We've got a pretty good base.
"The future looks good, and you have to be proud of the way they've played this year. We've had games where we've had one starter and they never give up. That's a reflection of the coach and also on the general manager. Since he's been here, he's been able to get the kind of player that our coach can coach."
If you want to read lots and lots from this, it's interesting to note the following guys were mentioned as pieces going forward:
Rose, Mirotic, Noah, Taj, Dunleavy, Boozer.
Conspicuously missing was Jimmy Butler from this list, but likely an oversight similar to how Derrick Rose mentioned how he loved the entire starting lineup this summer and went on to compliment everyone except Carlos Boozer. Tony Snell was also left off the list, but given his role so far, that's not so surprising.
The Bulls do potentially have a bright future, there's a small window of which they can do something pretty special. I'll be curious to see if management is as excited about trying to bring in Carmelo Anthony as fans are.
They have plenty of pieces, some flexibility, but the real question underlying their entire future is whether Derrick Rose comes back. I have serious doubts about Rose playing at a time five level again, but there's also no better solution than waiting and hoping for the best.
Rose won't return anything meaningful in trade this year, not with 60 million left on his deal and two consecutive years sitting on the pine. Even if there's only a 10% chance Rose comes back as an elite player, it's greater than the odds of the Bulls getting an elite player in terms of trade.
Bulls leak video and pull it down
A video was released on the Chicago Bulls youtube page congratulating Joakim Noah on his all-star appearance. Reserves will be announced Thursday on TNT, and the Bulls quickly pulled the video down. It's possible they made the video just in case, but it's far more likely they've already been told by the league he's in.
Given that Noah's the type of player coaches love, there really aren't many big men who don't stink, and Noah's been a best lately, it's not too surprising that he would get the all-star nod.
I'll be more curious to see if Luol Deng gets a third appearance or not. It's hard to imagine Deng really deserving a spot, but the East is so weak this year that he might have a chance.