With the Bulls bounced in the first round after a 48 win and an attractive playoff bracket gave Bulls fans false hope for this post-season. With the Pacers struggling and a first round matchup, it looked like the Bulls might make it all the way to the ECF. However, Chicago was exposed as a regular season team which really wasn't all that surprising.
It's also worth noting that the Wizards were really, really good down the stretch, just like Chicago. They had more athleticism, more size, and once teams could start spending a lot of time matching up against each other individually with extensive adjustments, they proved to be able to solve the Bulls defense.
Chicago now left the post season early, and they looked completely overmatched the whole time. Would they have simply been better off not picking up D.J. Augustin and winning 35 games and picking 11th in the draft?
The answer is it depends on what happens with the Bulls in the off-season. There are two key things which may benefit Chicago considerably more than earning a higher draft choice would have.
Can the Bulls land Melo?
35 wins means that the Knicks are in the eighth spot instead of the Bulls in the playoffs. Think Melo is going to leave New York for Chicago now? Maybe, maybe not.
However, if the Knicks were in the playoffs and the Bulls weren't? The answer is definitely not. He's pissed about the lack of success with the team, and he has a right to be. However, he sure as hell wasn't going to leave the Knicks for a Bulls team that missed the playoffs and had even less wins than his team.
If the Bulls land Melo (I'd say 25% shot) then the end of season run will have been key to making it happen.
Do the Bulls keep D.J. Augustin?
D.J. Augustin gave the Bulls a big left this season. So big a lift that it seemed like he'd definitely be gone next season on to a new team. However, his fade in the playoffs will give both the Bulls and other suitors pause as to how much money to throw his way.
Despite his post-season struggles and limitations, I'd love to see Augustin back on the Bulls. He can still provide shooting, offense, creation, and ball handling. Things the Bulls still lack up and down the roster.
The Bulls pushed him into a role of primary scorer which was likely above his pay grade, but if he plays with Derrick Rose as a secondary option where he can get more single coverages, open looks, and weaker defenders, D.J. could be a big threat.
What's the difference in players the Bulls will get?
This is a deep draft, and the Bulls could have potentially moved up eight selections in the draft. We'll have to see how well they do with their own pick at 19 vs how well they could have potentially done with one at 11.
The Bulls have had some pretty good success with later picks in the draft, but earlier is always better. This type of thing won't be decided for three to four years down the road when we see how successful those different players could have been.
I'll take the winning.
The playoffs were disappointing (if not all that surprising), but the regular season was much more enjoyable to watch down the stretch with a bunch of winning, and the Bulls hopes at a championship are certainly much higher with a 25% shot at Anthony this summer than a 5% shot.
My guess is the odds of getting a star at 11 aren't so high that they'd bridge that gap, and the Bulls are much better off with the season they had.
Filed under: Uncategorized