The Bulls' Interest In Wade And Rondo Makes No Sense

The Bulls' Interest In Wade And Rondo Makes No Sense
The Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade scores in the lane during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls' Nikola Mitotic on Thursday, April 7, 2016, at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. (CARL JUSTE / TNS)

Day one of free agency is done, and thus far, it's brought upon the exit of Joakim Noah and E'Twaun Moore, further speculation of Pau Gasol's new destination, and bizarre reports suggesting that the Bulls have interests in signing one of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo.

A dominant ball handler, lapsing defensive effort and without a credible jump shot to rely on; That's what was said about Derrick Rose when reconciling his sub-optimal fit with star guard Jimmy Butler. Now apply those critiques to Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade. Still works, doesn't it?

As that's the case, it's beyond baffling that the Bulls would even be remotely interested in signing either Wade or Rondo given the difficultly of integrating both Rose and Butler within an offense.

Although leading the NBA in assists in 2015-16, Rajon Rondo remains as flawed player. Despite his gaudy assist numbers, the Sacramento Kings were no better with Rondo on the floor last season. Per 100 possessions, the Kings would score 103.3 points with Rondo on the floor and 103.2 point whilst he sat. How can it be that the leagues best assist man had no impact on the offense? Defensively, too, the Kings would improve with Rondo perched on the pine, albeit marginally. More importantly, Rondo's ball dominant ways do not fit with Jimmy Butler, another lead guard with a high possession count.

Butler is now free of Derrick Rose to experiment full time as the teams lone star. He should be afforded the ability to handle the ball and to create for others. This won't be possible if Rondo is signed. Despite Rondo's refusal to attempt field goals, this shouldn't be seen as a selfless act. You don't average over 11 assists per game without controlling the ball for larger portions of the shot clock. Unlike Rose, Rondo will not force Jimmy Butler to take less shots, but you can be sure that Butler will not be able to hold the ball as often as he'd like.

At age 30 and with his own knee issues, Rondo's game will not be improving, nor is he younger or more athletic than the outgoing Rose. There's also the fact that he's consistently had run ins with coaches, be it Doc Rivers, Brad Stevens or George Karl. This would surely test an already shaky Fred Hoiberg, who in his second season as head coach, will be on the hot seat if no significant improvements are made.

Similarly, Dwyane Wade has no functional fit within the rotation, either.

Like Rondo, Wade is a poor outside shooter, a waning defender and, at age 34, is in the twilight of his career. If that weren't enough, he, too, brings constant injury issues. Wade's fit with Butler is also questionable.

Both like to operate with ball in hand, either in isolation or pick and roll, using screens to get to the hoop or to catch a defender in the midrange area. Neither Butler or Wade are good outside shooters and both prefer to play in a slow halfcourt setting, which is opposite to the vision Hoiberg had planned to instill in Chicago.

Oh, and there's the fact that Wade, like Butler, is a shooting guard!

It's also difficult to ignore the long history the Bulls and Wade have had throughout his contract negotiations. In 2010, the Bulls would meet with Wade to discuss the possibility of signing him and one of Lebron James or Chris Bosh, though the three would eventually join forces in Miami. Again in 2014, with James gone and Wade looking for bargaining power to force Pat Riley and the Heat to increase their meddling offer, the Bulls would make contact. Of course, the Bulls' foray with Wade would be short lived, as he quickly re-signed with the Heat, thus using the Bulls as leverage to increase the lackluster deal offered by the Heat to their 12-time All-Star.

And here we are again. Another offseason, another ploy by Wade and his camp to use the Bulls as leverage.

Free agency is always an oddity, perhaps more so than ever due to the $24 million increase in the salary cap. Crazy or otherwise, there is no justification that allows the Bulls an excuse to entertain the notion of bringing in players who fit poorly with the supposed goals of free agency.

General Manager Gar Forman has routinely mentioned the need for a 'retooling' of the roster. He's also correctly noted the need to redevelop the roster to fit within the confides of the modern game. "We've got to put this back together now, going younger, more athletic and building it back up moving into the future," Forman said.

This message rings true, even if it meant saying goodbye to big men pairing Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol, as well as ending the Derrick Rose era. Change was needed and would be accepted by all if the front office delivered on this strategy. Thus far, it would appear the Bulls are wavering.

Solid, young talent such as Allen Crabbe, Mo Harkless and Tyler Johnson should be who the Bulls desire if they're truly invested in updating the roster. Instead, delusions have led to a heavy focus on aging guards whose fit make no basketball sense.

Here's to hoping the Bulls come to their senses and avoid both Wade and Rondo, and that we can have a laugh about these rumors in several years time.

 

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  • Well, if they could get either or both for only 1-2 years then it might not be a bad move at all. However, without dumping Taj they wouldn't have the cap space to get both. In addition to dumping Taj, dumping Snell and Dunleavy should be a bigtime priority, creating something close to double max contract cap space.

    I've been a proponent of keeping our powder dry this summer and waiting for next year's much better FA class, unless they thought that Whiteside was worth the $100 million gamble. However, with the money being tossed around this summer, and the cap exploding again next year, maybe the best move is to skip both years and be the team with max max cap space in 2018. Rondo, Wade, Butler, Niko/Portis, Rolo/Felicio wouldn't necessarily suck, which is more than can be said for the current state of the team.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    There are no franchise changing free agents coming to Chicago anyway, so I would second that plan.
    In my opinion, they have to build through the draft, like they basically always have. But I highly doubt that ownership will allow the team to suck bad enough, to receive a high draft pick.
    I disagree on Rondo, Wade, Butler, Niko/Portis, Rolo/Felicio not sucking. That is a team with the only (streaky) shooting coming from the PF position, and probably 60-80 missed games between Rondo, Wade and Butler alone, with no bench.
    Also, any opposing G-PF pick and roll would kill this team on a nightly basis.
    Unless Portis is the second coming of Jimmy Butler of course...

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  • Pax and Heard have no plans, Bulls now a farm team. Not even free agents for millions of dollars. Bull now have Cubs curse.

  • Pursing Wade and Rondo makes sense given this is GarPax we are talking about. They seem to have no clue when it comes to players and roster fit. Plus the whole we need to get younger and more athletic thing is purely crap espoused to appease the fans.

    I highly doubt they actually have a plan for the future the way they waffled on whether or not to trade Jimmy during the draft and with their speculated interest almost exclusively in old players in free agency. The whole thing reeks of indecision. A Paxson trademark.

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    Wade is just try to get more money out of miami, he ain't coming. Rondo may come because the bulls need him badly. It's over folks, the bulls are the new sixers. Time to build through the draft since the bulls will be a lottery team for years to come. No good free agents will come to this train wreck of a franchise lead by imbeciles in the front office.

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    In reply to Mjscottie:

    Care to recant on Wade not coming? What a disaster...

  • I have oftentimes mentioned on this board that the problem with Paxson is that he makes the same mistakes over and over again. Aside from his combustible nature, that is his overriding flaw which makes him a mediocre executive.

    With that said, the chances of the Bulls signing Wade are very good. This will be Ben Wallace redux. The Bulls offense will be like it was last year. Two guys dominating the ball who are not particularly good shooters.

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    Rondo? Absolutely not.

    Wade, yes, with certain assumptions.

    If you could get him for 2 years at 20 million and he actually preferred coming home to Chicago to other offers, he COULD be not only more productive than Rose but a better mentor for Grant, Valentine and, if they keep him, Dinwiddie.

    Last year, he played more games than Rose scored 2.4 more points on the same amount of shots, got to the line 5.5 times to 2.7 for Rose and is still a better defender than Rose. Butler and Wade were 3rd and 5th among SGs in APG with a combined total of 9.4APG and Butler was 1st among the top 14 SGs in ATO. Lopez is a decent, if not great passer and MIrotic is very good.

    The starting 5 of Wade, Butler, Lopez, Mirotic and whomever at the other guard spot would be at least as good as last year and, if he could help Grant and Valentine rapidly improve their games, would be more than worth the money.

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    Agreed...Wade could be a good mentor for this young Bulls team. Wade could also be a mentor to the young Bucks team, and win more games with them.

    Wade's not coming to Chicago. This is 2010 all over again.

  • Bulls plan is very simple. Tank in 2016/17 to get a franchise player on the next draft. I heard that 2017 has one of the best prospects of the decade, so let's tank, have the newbies learn the NBA and prepare for a big one next year. Keeping Buttler is a good way to attempt to attract a couple max players next year as well. So let the tanking season start!!!

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    In reply to BullsDynasty:

    whose the super prospect?

    i like the idea of having like 4-5 picks in the next draft so we could package them to move up to get the ideal player we want

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    They've lost credibility to believe they actually have a plan in place but if that's really it, I'm all for it. Don't be a first-round exit, a mediocre team. Either contend for a championship or be bad. The former ain't happening right now, and free agency is a shit show, might as well go for the lottery. Could you imagine the fallout if the Bulls had signed Noah at $72MM for 4 years? Lol.

  • All of your comments involve a thought process beyond the capability of the Chi Bulls FO. Wake up, smell the coffee, there is no plan in place.

  • We will suck in 2016/17.....we will suck in 2017/18.........we are in the Lottery Pool for the next five seasons.

    2020 is our goal......Pax wants to draft LeBron's kid.

  • How many more re-build chances does For/Pax have ?

  • Has anyone checked out the lead amounts at the drinking fountains at the Bulls FO ?

  • Signing Rondo or Wade is an insult to Chicago Bulls fans all over America. Wade is almost at the end of his career and Rondo is a poor model for rookies to follow. Wade and most NBA players avoid playing for the Bulls resenting the attitude of negativity and unfair treatment that is a way of life on the team and in the city.
    Wade could be an effective and positive influence on rookies but that is not why Chicago's FO wants him. Having Wade around legitimizes getting rid of Rose, Noah, and Gibson and Dunleavy with media mesmerizing us with Wade's on the court efforts.
    Now Chicago's FO just wants us to be distracted from massive losing season ahead.

  • Say it ain't so, Mark...

  • Rondo, a Bull? I guess the FO
    will bring back Gasol and give him a max contract. This has got to be a desperate FO move to save face for not having a plan in place. Why not add JR Smith to this flash of brilliant planning?

  • I sure don't love the direction that the Bulls have gone but I do agree it was time to trade Rose. I am also not a huge Rondo fan but I do think he could bring more to this group than Rose did. Rondo IMO plays better defense than Rose, much better passer/ distributed than Rose and doesn't think he's a great shooter when he isn't. I haven't watched Rondo much since he was a Celtic so it is possible my memory of his game is much different than current reality but I have watch Rose lately and although he can look great at times he more often looks very average.

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    Well whaddya know. Bulls just signed Rondo.

    The franchise is run by morons.

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    Why go after one...when you can sign both!

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