Wade, The Bulls And Three Concerns

Wade, The Bulls And Three Concerns

The NBA landscape continues its trend of dramatic shifts, and today, the Bulls were right in the center of it.

After agreeing to terms on a two-year, $28 million deal with free agent point guard Rajon Rondo, the Bulls have done the unthinkable. Somehow, general manager Gar Forman concocted a sales pitch that convinced Dwyane Wade, a 12-time All-Star and a sure-fire Hall of Famer, to leave the Miami Heat and join the Bulls on a two-year, $47.5 million deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. 

Signing Wade and adding him on the perimeter with Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo will ensure the Bulls will be one of most intriguing team's in the NBA next season. There's potential for this ride to be a lot fun, but serious issues linger which threaten to derail the circus and hype surrounding this game-changing move.

Here's three serious concerns I have about the arrival of Dwyane Wade.


1. Three-Point Shooting Will Be Non-Existent

It's easy to assume a collective of All-Star caliber perimeter players, no matter their age, background or playing style, can make it work on pedigree and talent alone. It's a nice thought, but hardly true. It takes far more than that to build a successful team, as the Bulls will soon find out.

As the rest of the league pushes the boundaries of spread pick-and-roll and three-point shooting, the Bulls will be bringing back the classics, opting to field a rotation that will be heavily limited on outside shooting. Times are changing. As Stephen Curry smashes previous three-point records -- connecting on 402 three's last season -- the Bulls' newest addition, Dwyane Wade, has never relied on the outside shot, only hitting 386 three-pointers over his entire 13-year career.

Undoubtedly one of the greatest shooting guards to ever play the game, Wade has all but forgotten about the outside shot, only hitting seven three-pointers last season on 15.6 percent shooting. Though damning, on isolation it means little without considering the context of the players surrounding Wade. Unfortunately for the Bulls, they've hardly built a roster capable of supporting Wade's lack of shooting.

Like Wade, Rajon Rondo and Jimmy Butler have rarely threatened a defense from deep. Together, the Bulls' new 'Big 3' combined for 133 made three-pointers last season. In a league where 30 individual players matched or bettered that mark, Chicago's inability to shoot will will invite opposing defenders to sag off all three, which will force difficult midrange jumpers and increased attention on dribble penetration and attacking plays at the rim.

Manufacturing efficient looks from three will be difficult and will only be possible from one or two positions in most rotations, mainly from role players. Nikola Mirotic will need to play heavy minutes in the starting unit if there's to be any chance of fearing a Bulls player from the three-point line.

The shooting of McDermott and Valentine will also be critical, but it's difficult to see how they'll get enough minutes to generate enough efficient offense from the three-point line. There is only 96 minutes available at shooting guard and small forward. You can bank on Wade and Butler combining for a minimum of 70 minutes a game -- if healthy. Unless Hoiberg mixes up the rotation by playing smaller units that pushes players down a position, this only leaves 26 minutes for McDermott and Valentine to play their natural positions. That won't be enough minutes to develop their game whilst offering enough balance to the offense so there's very little chance the Bulls will scare any team with outside shot making.

Prepare yourself for lot's barrelling into the paint seeking out free throws.


2. What Does This Mean For Hoiberg And His Style Of Play?

So much needs to change for the Bulls if the addition of Wade is to be a success. Players will need to sacrifice shots, touches and ego, but no one will be giving up more than coach Fred Hoiberg, who must defer his ideals in favor of finding a solution that best fits his new perimeter trio.

Speaking at his introductory press conference and preaching modern offensive philosophies, it's hard to imagine Hoiberg's principles gaining traction with his new roster.

"I’ve always run an NBA-type system,” Hoiberg said. “We had the second-fastest pace of play in all of college basketball last year. We like to get out and play with pace and spacing. I think we ran more pick-and-roll than anybody in college basketball. We really like to flow into an offense as opposed to coming down and getting set on every possession. It’s something that has always been my philosophy."

Any thoughts of building an offense that was predicated on flow, speed and transition can quickly be parked. It won't be happening so long as Wade, Rondo and Butler are playing significant minutes.

Wade's Heat were consistently one of the slowest team's in the league, ranking 25th in pace last season and 29th the year before. Nursing Wade's aging body was a priority if they were to have any playoff success and, if the Bulls hope to have Wade available for a long playoff run, they too will need to manage his workload throughout an 82-game season by ensuring games are played at a crawling pace.

There will be also be minimal ball movement. Rondo is renowned for being a ball-dominant point guard who endeavors to control the entire offense. As Butler's star has risen through the league, so too has the amount of isolation possessions he consumes. Wade, too, one of the greatest scoring wings ever, has traditionally operated in pick-and-roll and isolation. It must be said that Wade was brilliant off-ball when Lebron James joined the Heat in 2011, but it took time for that chemistry to develop. It was also only two dominant wings players navigating through their partnership and figuring out how it would work. For the Bulls, three perimeter players, all of whom will want their fair share of touches, will need to find a way of sharing the ball.

Who Fred Hoiberg was sold to be no longer matters. How he transforms into something he's currently not will be far more important if he's to have a successful coaching career with the Bulls. Should Hoiberg fail to evolve and the Bulls struggle to surpass a .500 record, thus jeopardizing the appeal of the team to future free agents, like his previous basketball philosophies, Hoiberg's exit will come quicker than expected.


3. Have The Bulls Picked The Right Lane?

Prior to the 2016 NBA Draft, it was unclear what the Bulls had planned for the franchise moving forward. The trading of Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks signaled a re-tooling around Jimmy Butler. However, the team would field calls from the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves on draft day for the two-time All-Star, fueling speculation of a complete rebuild.

Butler would remain on the team and now the Bulls' plan is evident for all to see: build a respectable playoff team that -- with the help of master recruiter Dwyane Wade -- will attract the free agents of 2017 to Chicago, all whilst banking playoff revenue and merchandise sales. Though the addition of Wade may have immediate benefits to the on-court production, his signing is as much about wooing the next big free agent as it is winning games.

Sounds great, but there's a potential problem looming: will Dwyane Wade, a soon-to-be 35-year-old who's career is clearly on the decline, along with Jimmy Butler, be enough to attract the biggest names in free agency?

The arrival of Wade and his large contract ensures the Bulls will fall short of offering two maximum contract in 2017. They'll still should find themselves armed with over $50 million in cap space to entice at least one more star, but dreams of multiple All-Star caliber plays on max contracts must be tempered.

The pursuit of free agents in 2017 is a grand idea, but it is still heavily dependent on Wade, Butler and Rondo establishing a rhythm that leads to 45 or more wins and a strong playoff showing in 2016. What if that fails? The fit is questionable and health will certainly be a concern. Both have the potential of derailing any grand plans the Bulls may have of establishing a powerhouse roster in 2017. Are Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook or Chris Paul really going to leave their current team's if the Bulls fail to be contender? What's the backup solution?

Rejecting the "younger and more athletic" plan and opting to bring in a 30-year-old point guard and a 34-year-old shooting guard will have delayed the development of the Bulls' younger players. It would have also required Butler to reduce his output as the primary ball-handler and playmaker on the perimeter, which isn't ideal for a player operating in their prime years. It's easy to gamble on one of Butler's prime years now, but his own decline from stardom will be here before we know it, therefore it's critical that the Bulls waste no time in building a quality team around him.

The signing of Wade may seem like an achievement now, but it has the potential to delay the development of Chicago's youth whilst limiting the ability of building capable roster around Butler through the life of his current contract. Perhaps the signing of Wade leads to future free agents seriously considering the Bulls, but it's far more likely that the combination of Wade and Butler will lead to mediocre basketball, failed attempts at luring other stars and the wasting of Butler's prime years.




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  • The Chicago Bulls, where yesterday's stars go to cash one last big paycheck (see Ben Wallace).

  • In reply to bjb57:

    Don't forget Carlos Boozer. And Eddie Robinson. Jalen Rose. Of course, they're not really "stars." But then, was Wallace?

  • I'm not going to suggest there isn't potential for some bad things to go wrong or that the Bulls might not be better off going in a youthful direction, but let's get real for a second , the Bulls FO actually got some things done this year.

    Although I am not a Rose hater I felt they had no chance with him on the roster. Maybe he revives his career in NY but his style of play got tiresome to watch. Bad shooting, bad passes, bad defense. I think Rondo could be an improvement in all three of those areas. Better shooting by NOT shooting lol. I expect Rondo will stay in line with Wade around and the fact his contract has second year option.

    The fact that GarPax pulled off the Wade signing shocked me based on their history. I really thought they were going to sit back this summer but they have done anything but. Did the Bulls just get cap relief dealing MD and Calderon? Any picks involved? Haven't seen specifics anywhere.

    Now the one thing I'm not overly happy about was the Valentine pick but maybe it will surprise me. Can he play some backup PG or will he have to split room at the 2 and 3 with McD?

    I have noticed your articles have a negative tone. Maybe I will have to look elsewhere for my Bulls information bc I like to see how things go first before completely ripping it apart. BTW of a father of a good 3pt shooter I am reminded of a often used saying , Live by the 3 die by the 3. The league might be going in a different direction based on the unique slkills of GS, not sure everyone else can keep up. First thing I tell my son when his shit isn't falling is to get to the FT line. The Bulls should be in good shape there now.

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    In reply to UnstopaBull:

    I totally agree with you. Its also probably why you almost never see him comment in the many articles he writes. I just chalk his negativity up to being so young. When your young, the first thing that comes to your mind, comes right out of your mouth.

    Its hard to step back and look at things from other angles and perspectives, but lets not bash him as it will all come to him as he matures and reaches his 30s.

    Personally I am not a fan of these moves as well, but I understand why they did them. Nobody was going to give them what they felt was fair value on Butler so far this summer, so they had to go to this wacky plan B. Maybe Wade can coax Ray Allen to come out of retirement and shoot 3s? Maybe he can convince Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to come to Chicago next summer? I highly doubt it, but stranger things have happened.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Just my $0.02 but I haven't found Mark to be particularly negative. Mark's consistent POV is that from a pure basketball standpoint, these moves don't make a lot of sense. He wrote it before the moves were made and is sticking to it. I don't think that's being negative.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    To be fair I guess I was talking about his negative views on the Bulls free agent moves this summer. I am far from a GarPax fan but I like to see how things play out and I was pleasantly surprised they managed to get anything done at all lol.

    Living outside of Illinois now I always buy NBA ticket to get to see the Bulls play more and this year was going to be the first year I was going to pass. These changes aren't going to make them contenders but I will buy again to see how the Jimmy, DW, Rondo experiment goes. The score first PGs might be the future but I like assist first and I am interested to see how the shooters on this team do with someone that actually looks to set them up.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Thanks. To add to this, If you've guys have listened to my podcast, following me on Twitter or followed my writing here, I've been leaning more towards a rebuilding scenario. That's my belief, so my writing will be shaped in that way.

    I guess it comes off as negative if you interpret it that way, and I certainly can try to be more positive, but it's just an honest account.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    It's possible to have negative reactions to things and for it to not be about youth. I'm not the only one who believes this deal makes no sense. Most pieces of read on this subject don't agree with it.

    Here's one, for example.


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    In reply to Mark Karantzoulis:

    Guess you didn't read what I wrote. I am also not a big fan of these moves, but I also do not know what the future holds for this team.

    We will just have to see how it plays out.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I read what you wrote. We seem to be aligned on our views on the team. I was just responding to the notion that my views are shaped because of my age. Just stating that's incorrect. Also, I'd love nothing more to be wrong. Hopefully Forman proves me wrong.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    As an aside, however, you're right, I don't post comments in my pieces. I probably should. I'm going to try to push more content on this blog this season, particularly as it will be my first full season as co-editor of the blog. I'd like to restore this blog's prominence as it was under the Thonus days -- or to get even half way of that -- and if that means being more active in the comments sections and that's the feedback that the majority agree with, then I'll commit to that going forward if it helps grow this community.

  • In reply to Mark Karantzoulis:

    Yea, an important part of what Doug did was get involved in the comments section. He made it feel like you were having a conversation with him(in addition to the other posters), not just a post and forget deal.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Fair critique. I'll look to increase my involvement if that helps drive the conversation. Thanks

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    I can only write about my perspective on the Bulls. Right now, I don't think this it's a positive situation. Sure, we can let things play out, but this would be a boring blog if I just commented with a neutral position and didn't offer my opinion.

    You're free to disagree with me, as you're free to source your Bulls content elsewhere, but I believe the majority of the work put out about the Bulls and their offseason will be overly negative. I don't believe this is isolated to me.

  • In reply to Mark Karantzoulis:

    In many sports there are trades that work out far better than anticipated and others that turn out far worse. The history of the Bulls since the MJ era has the Bulls losing more than they won. Thus I understand your skepticism.

    However, they do have 3 Allstars on the roster now. In my mind there are also 3 big Qs.
    1. How much do Wade and Rondo have left in their tank?
    2. How many of the Bulls bigs will progress this season?
    3. Can the coaches figure out how best to use these guys?

    IMO, if the 3 Allstars do well AND if 2 of the bigs make a nice jump up in productivity, the Bulls could reach the ECF. That, in turn, could lead to a solid FA signing next summer, which could have them contending.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Rusty, ever the optimist, but I'm inclined to agree with you. If we get any improvement/development from our young frontcourt players, we could challenge for a top 2-3-4 seed.

    the only negative of the Wade signing is that it deprives us of double max cap space next summer, which could be a huge problem, if any of the top guys were actually interested in coming to Chicago but only if they bring a buddy with them. Frankly, I doubt that we were getting Westbrook, Blake or CP3 anyway.

    The good thing is that we should be in great shape for the summer of 2018, when the majority of the league will be committed to a lot of bad 4-5 contracts.

    Rondo and Wade completely change the interesting/fun to watch dynamic for the upcoming season. It was mostly depressing thinking about being a fan for this season until these signings.

    One word of caution though, is that the Wade signing does have a hint of a whiff of the Gulliver signing. Hopefully, I won't have to come up with a nickname of the Krispy Kreme Pansey variety.

  • Will be interesting to watch. I am highly skeptical they can make such a poorly balanced roster do much more than squeak into a late round playoff spot.

    If this were 2011 would be exciting. But now its just pointless attempt to sneak back into the playoffs and save GarPax's jobs.

  • In reply to Chad:

    I agree with you Chad but Noah , Pau and Rose weren't exactly young healthy players either so this isn't a big step backward unless you wanted them to go full sixes youth and tank movement

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:


  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    I was thinking more of a Timberwolves rebuild. Trade your star player at his peak value for a couple high-end prospects and suck for a couple years waiting for your new core to develop. Sixers are going the long rebuild route but at least they have a future.

    What we are doing is just so pointless... We are a rudderless organization. One minute we are rebuilding and Jimmy is on the block. Next we are saving cap space for 2017. Then we sign olD Wade and F the 2017 "plan". So we are going for it but we have no prayer of being a contender. I thought Rose and Butler were terrible fit. This threesome is soo much worse and much older.

  • In reply to Chad:

    In a nutshell, this sums up my position as well. I'm reading this comment whilst watching Ben Simmons in action, which only makes me feel stronger about that idea.

  • In reply to Mark Karantzoulis:

    Really, summer league play affecting your perceptions/opinions of real life in the NBA, could this be a youthful folly. Plus if you go in full tank mode, you still have to get lucky enough to get the first pick, or second at worst, and then you have to be lucky enough to have that particular draft have true superstar talent at the top. Is anyone sure that Simmons will be that? The Lakers may have gotten the better player in Ingrahm, or at least the superior scorer. I've heard people compare Simmons to Lamar Odom(if true that's nothing special for a #1 pick) and Ingrahm to Durant. From the little that I've seen of him, he does look like he could be a Durant type scoring machine.

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    In reply to BigWay:

    If he's Lamar Odom right now, that's not a bad thing. Odom was a glue player for many championship teams. Is he a superstar, franchise changing player, no but you could do worse. For the sixers, I hope he's Odom plus because when Odom first came into the league, he couldn't shoot but his raw tools were off the chain. Simmons can't shoot rt now either.

    If Brandon Ingram can be a Durant lite, then the Lakers are going to be very very happy. The knock on Ingram is he's going to get beaten up by the mature men on the block and in the paint. Problem I see with that is this is a different NBA. There are no Anthony Mason's or Dennis Rodman's you have to contest with. Plus Ingram is a couple inches shorter so he will be playing SG /SF exclusively while Durant plays a lot of Pf as a stretch 4 which is what makes him so lethal.

    I don't know if the Bulls are going to be good next year, but if healthy they should at least challenge for a top 4 playoff spot which is a lot more then this underachieving squad did this past year.

    Experts say that next year is going to be a super draft like the 2003 draft. Problem is I haven't heard about or do I know any of these future Lebrons, Wade's, Melo's, Bosh's, ect. If there is only 1-2 potential franchise changing players, it's a dangerous game to tank and pray the balls bounce our way again and we land a top 1-2-3 pick.

    A week ago. I was still in the tank tank tank group because I didn't think there was any chance Wade would come here. Now that Rondo and Butler worked their butts off to recruit them, I feel optimistic it might work out between them. These guys are intelligent, veteran ballers and they seem to be on the same page and most importantly WILLING to work together to make this bulls engine run. Rondo even had a conversation / meeting w Hoiberg discussing the offense and how he would run it and that seems like a positive to me as well.

    Now we have to hope that Wade can recruit another player who can really shoot the 3 to take a big pay cut and come here. Maybe coax Ray Allen out of retirement. Add that shooter along w shooting improvements from Niko and McBuckets and we have something

  • In reply to Chad:

    I've also been a proponent of stripping it all down, tanking and rebuilding but the Sixers represent the risks of such a strategy.

    To me, the Sixers represent the worst possible outcome of tanking. They haven't been a bad team so much as they've been a horrific, unwatchable joke that has threatened for the title of worst team of all time, and it's been going on for years. Not only that, but I'm not really seeing the payoff. Do they have a future? Maybe. As NBA champs? Not seeing it. They'd be lucky to be as good as the Bulls were in the Rose-Noah era.

    The T'Wolves were extremely lucky to have a player sought by a very specific player on a very specific team with a very specific purpose. Getting a talent like Wiggins for a player like Love almost never happens. Cleveland was willing to overpay due to their championship aspirations but almost never does a championship contending team have a very young top-of-the-draft pick like Wiggins to deal, and very rare that they would part with such a player. Nobody's dealing a Wiggins or Ben Simmons for Jimmy, let's put it that way.

    Again, I'm with you on going that route but as it is very risky, I can certainly understand NOT wanting to go that route.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Sure they would just need the right timing and leverage. Like the T'Wolves with Love and Cleveland. We don't HAVE to be in a rush to trade Jimmy but wait till someone is desperate enough to be taken advantage of. Just have to be willing when the opportunity exists.

    It is a moot point as we won't be rebuilding but yeah Sixers tanked when the drafts haven't been very strong so its been rough and they did it from a full blown rebuild. Bulls are in a totally different position. They have a top 20ish player in his prime they can use that asset to shave a couple years off a full blown rebuild by using him to acquire young talent in exchange. But yes my plan would require a couple seasons of sucking to really work. But if you have a young future star or two it makes the games watchable IMO even if they are victory challenged :-).

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    In reply to Chad:

    The sixers have been bad for a long time. There last winning season was 5 years ago. They have been in the lottery for 4 straight years and look like they will be in the lottery for at least 2 more years if not longer.

    Granted they haven't been lucky to get the #1 pick every year, and also have had some tough injuries to their young players. We can say they have drafted poorly or have just had bad luck. My only concern if we tank, do we have faith Gar and Pax can be any luckier or better at drafting the right players?

    I am not sure the answer is yes, so I am actually okay w the way they went. Considering the other option was to be the laughing stock of the NBA or perhaps even worse w Gar/Pax making the tough decisions, trades, and draft selections.

    If our owner cleaned house and got us some us some smart people running the organization, I would then have confidence in a couple years of tanking and hope to be ready to compete again in 4 years or so.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Everything you note here is fact. What the Sixers did was an extreme version of tanking, and they weren't fortunate in terms of the picks they got in the years they received them.

    How would we being viewing Hinkie, the Sixers and their methodology if they had landed the 1st pick in 2015 and had drafted Karl Towns? They'd have the next young phenom on their roster and Hinkie would be hailed a genius.

    The Bulls could have actively done what Minnesota did. They didn't tank, they moved pieces to rebuild. Trading Love to a contender would have been very similar for the Bulls if they had moved Butler to Boston (assuming the right assets were offered). They would have received a quality pick/young prospect and would have been bad for the next season, which happens to coincide with a strong draft with lots of star potential at the top of the draft.

    In that scenario, the Bulls could have had 2-3 young guys as building blocks. The risk, of course, is that all 3 never become star players, but every avenue of team building has its risks.

    Personally, I think a rebuild would have had a greater chance of landing a top 5-10 player than playing the free agent game, but I get why the Bulls think otherwise. That said, the fit of Rondo, Wade and Butler still makes no sense to me.

  • I think the Bulls actually had a plan to trade both Rose and Jimmy and start all over. What happened was, there wasn't much market for Jimmy. The best offer was Kris Dunn for Jimmy and they said no thanks, not good enough. So they pivoted and said, let's get as much talent around Jimmy as we can. That stated, I don't think anyone saw D-Wade leaving Miami until maybe the final 48 hours before it happened. So it's not like they had some plan to add Rondo and Wade, I think it just kind of fell into their laps that way.

    I've stated all along, I would have gone full rebuild. I probably would have taken the best offer for Jimmy, bad as it was. Tanking for picks hasn't really looked like a strategy that's paid off for much of any team but I'm sure this strategy won't pay off with a championship either. Sports, and especially the NBA, aren't about championships so much as they are about entertainment and this will be far more entertaining than a rebuild. No question about that.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    As I have thought about it, these two signings are a bold, bold move that I never felt the FO would make. Maybe JR told them, "Do something bold or you are history!"

    Whatever, they did something bold! The shooters, M and M and Valentine and maybe Snell and maybe Portis will have to shoot to get them to the ECF. If that should happen, then they might land another Allstar FA on a max next summer.

    Hey, if a 9-7 NFL wild card team can win the Super Bowl ...

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Football playoffs are a completely different animal. In the NBA its so rare that a top tier talent team doesn't win. 7 games series weeds out the pretenders.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    you had me until you hit the Snell button.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Yeah, that was a moment of hopeful insanity.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Spot on, we're not a championship contender, but we should be much more enjoyable to watch, and we could easily continue to rebuild from here in 2017-18, or do the complete teardown/tank option.

    One way or another this was going to be a wasted season, at least this way it will be entertaining, rather than hopelessly boring.

  • One Kevin Durant would have been both cheaper and better for the team than the dual signings of Wade and Rondo. It is too bad the Bulls are considered such a secondary destination that KD never even wanted to hear the Bulls' pitch.

  • In reply to bjb57:

    You are joking about KD right? Why would he possibly consider Chi at this point? They only reason KD gave up millions in OKC was the chance to play in a system that fits him perfectly and with a team that could dominate for years to come.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    I think that was my point.

  • In reply to bjb57:

    There are 28 other NBA teams who didn't sign Durant either and I think it's safe to say that 27 of them would have wanted him, but since the entire NBA revolves around Chicago, let's call this a Bulls problem.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Well, would you rather be in the shoes of the six teams KD was willing to talk to or the other 24? Again, that is my point. The Bulls are part of the great unwashed now. Any notion that they are an elite NBA franchise should be discounted now. So I have no idea whether that means I have called it a Bulls problem or not.

  • In reply to bjb57:

    My point is, you're taking an overall NBA problem -- all the stars going to 1-2 teams -- and saying it's a reflection on the Bulls' lack of relevance. That's an incredibly Chicago-centric POV. If they courted him and failed, you would be making the exact same argument you're making now. If it were up to me, I'd rather not be one of six teams that wasted my time on him. I don't remember any "hey at least we tried" arguments about LeBron or Melo from you or anyone else.

    I'm not sure what this "elite NBA franchise" idea is or what you're expecting. Golden State and Cleveland are the only "elite" franchises right now, but a few years ago it was Miami. A few years before that it was the Lakers and Boston. None of those places look "elite" to me these days. "Elite NBA franchise" isn't a permanent thing anymore, if it ever even was. The league is in the worst competitive shape it's ever been in, in my lifetime, but hey let's say it's GarPax's fault. There's plenty of real stuff to blame on them (Tony Snell, Doug McDermott) but not getting Durant isn't one of them.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Please point to where I blamed GarPax for not getting Durant. If you can do so, I will happily eat my words. I am sorry to have to repeat myself but you are agreeing with my point. The Bulls did not mess up in not getting Durant. They didn't get the chance to even compete for his services.

    I said it was too bad that he didn't even want to listen to any pitch the Bulls might have. In my original point I should have used the phrasing "it is a shame that the Bulls are considered such a secondary destination that KD never even wanted to hear the Bulls' pitch". That might have made my point a bit more directly. As you say, the Bulls are currently no more relevant than the vast majority of NBA teams. As a Bulls fan, I lament the fact that it got to this point, but I don't assign blame.

  • Wow, the FO is not dead! They continue to find ways to survive justifying the billion dollar value of the Chicago Bulls. They now have the scoring Hoiberg wanted and someone to constructively coach the youth element who has won championships. The whole team will benefit from having the experience of Wade around and we fans will enjoy watching them develop before our very own eyes. The first few months may be a living nightmare for us while team chemistry is developing.
    All they need now is a young rebounder and rim protector--we used to call this guy a starting center. Until I see Lopez in action I will continue to believe he is just an important quality backup center.
    The biggest problem our team will have besides hitting the 3 is positioning and learning to play without the ball.
    The guard's strength is ball handling and play making. This will be a very interesting team to watch in half court play. Hoiberg must not be given a quick exit. I repeat this as a mantra because the Bulls can now take advantage of the talents of Mirotic, McDermott, and even a revived and more confident Tony (don't count him out) Sneel. Snell always seems to survive each time when we have pronounced him as dead.
    A consistent Hoiberg can learn to coach this kind of multi talented team. Firing Hoiberg halfway into the season can sit this team back. This kind of team can teach Hoiberg to coach.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    Yes, you're right about Snell. He always "seems to survive each time when we have pronounced him as dead." There is a basketball term for that- "Zombie."

    Gar needs to drive a silver stake through his heart (when he is sleeping in his native soil) and trade him to the semi-pro team in Transylvania.

  • Part of what will make this year enjoyable is reading Sam Smith being protective of Wade and Rondo after having written many snarky comments about them over the years.

  • Seems like they overpaid for Wade, but in today's NBA, hard to be sure. At least JR is willing to spend money on the team!

    The key is simple - the three Allstars do their thing and the bigs get more looks and improve. Can they?

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    In reply to rustyw:

    Denver actually offered Wade more, and the Heats final offer of 40 million ends up very similar to the Bulls offer ( after you take the taxes into consideration w no state tax in FL )

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Way better than Conley for $150 million for 5 years!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Last year I would agree that Wade is overpaid, but if Noah is getting $72 for 4 years then Wade isn't overpaid.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    If the Bulls go far in the playoffs this year, many will vote for Gar as executive of the year for bringing in Wade and Rondo. I would argue he should win executive of the year for trading Rose and not re-signing Noah.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Totally agree

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    All four of the above, plus not chasing Pau.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    They did chase Pau...

  • Bulls trade for Blake Griffin......Gibson, Snell & McDermott will do......

    Bulls sign Ray Allen.

  • C'mon all you bulls fans let's give the new look of the Bulls a chance. In order to try to duplicate a "Warriors" type team, where are you going to get two players like the splash brothers, arguably two of the best shooters in NBA history. You can't find them!!! Now, lest we forget, the Cavs won the championship and they played more of a standardized NBA game, albeit with one of the greatest players of all time plus a very good secondary player.
    So let's give the FO some credit for what they have accomplished. If next year is a failure, then everything will take care of itself. Until then let's hope the changes the FO made will work. I have been a Bulls fan since the start of the franchise so I have been through thick and thin years. I will die a Bulls fan, so there you have it. Go Bulls!!!

  • In reply to Jim Bob:

    I'm with you on this. It would have been nice had they added at least one shooting star instead of two ball-handling non-shooter stars, but otherwise I agree: It will be entertaining so why not watch? I don't think it's going to work but until we see them play, I'm not ready to rule it out. If it ends up being a train wreck, that too would be entertaining.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Well, the FO finally made a series of bold moves!

    It might not work, but if it does, if M and M and Valentine and Portis and maybe even Felicio progress, they could reach the ECF.

    If they reach the ECF, they could land a 4th Allstar FA next summer on a max deal. Then they challenge.

    Hey, if a 9-7 NFL wild card team can win the Super Bowl ...

  • In reply to rustyw:

    It seems like the FO got exactly what they wanted...
    Create false hope in order to create revenue.

    Wade is a 55 game, 30 min/game player now.
    Rondo couldn't do anything in Dallas, where he had one of the best shooters in NBA history and probably the easiest to deal with superstar ever next to him, as well as a hall of fame coach.
    Rondo is also injury prone and has lost a lot of his athleticism.
    On paper, the Bulls were a superior team last season.
    Look what injuries did to that team.
    Other than with a tremendous development from either Mirotic, McDermott or Portis, this Bulls team will get nowhere. If they are lucky, they make it into the playoffs and then probably get eaten alive by the Cavs, or even better: by Rose and Noah.
    But hey, at least they will sell season tickets and jerseys, right? Even get in a few nationally televised games.

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    The Bulls season ticket base is so strong that they basically sell out win or lose. They were still filling the place during the Pink Floyd era. So the only revenue enhancing move is making the playoffs.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    In 2002, the Bulls ranked 9th in attendance, according to ESPN.
    So even Bulls fans will not accept anything without question.
    But you are right, season tickets wouldn't have been their biggest concern as long as Butler stayed on the team.
    I still suppose merchandise sales and TV money are huge factors though.

    I still think this team sucks and the Wade and Rondo signings are just desperate moves to please the ownership group and the general fan base.
    If Wade convinces Lebron to come to Chicago in 2017 (in a sign-and-trade with Butler, so Lebron can say that he didn't leave for nothing), to win one in Michael Jordan's house, I'll eat my words and take everything back. Not holding my breath though...

    My money is on Hoiberg being fired by the end of the year.

  • Listen, Mark Karantzoulis. Would you rather be on the lottery bracket for the next 4/5 years, like the 76ers and not attracting any decent free agent for a while or give yourself a chance to see what we can get out of Rondo/Wade/Buttler? I personally think the FO was brilliant by taking a chance. And I was surprised they did, given their history of not doing anything. I hated the earlier 2000's where the Bulls were irrelevant for a while until we got Rose. This old core has a chance to provide leadership and teach McD, Mitotic and Portis. If you tank, and don't have a true leader to look up for. See what's happening with the 76ers. It doesn't matter to have a kid with very high celling if you don't have a mentor behind you. Wade is a perfect mentor and the Bulls will have back an identity now. So worst case the Bulls don't make the playoff and go to the lottery again next year, which, by the way, it is loaded with potential future stars. Best case, they click and become the second best team of the east and attract a max player next year.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    You're probably not going to get a good response if you start a conversation with, "Listen, Mark Karantzoulis."

  • In reply to Mark Karantzoulis:


  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    As you can see many folks do not feel that 'worst' case is going to the lottery. They indeed wanted to go to the "loaded" lottery with a high pick. To many, worst case is middling team with a middling pick. But I agree with those as well that high picks carry plenty of risk and roads to nowhere fast as well. Just sucks that out of Dinwidde, Butler, Wade, Rondo, Grant.. not one a good shooter. Ironically trading away two good shooters in Calderon and Dunleavy. My guess is Wade sticks around a second year at least.. and hopefully Rondo can be replaced with a gem. I would start to get excited.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    You don't need a has-been superstar on his last legs as a mentor or leader. Not that I ever thought of Wade as that kind of player anyway.
    The Hinrich-Gordon-Deng Bulls did well with Antonio Davis and Adrian Griffin as their veteran presences and with a good, respected and demanding coach in Skiles.
    The 76ers have been one of the most clueless organizations in pro sports in the last years. You really think that having Wade and Rondo on their team would have changed anything?

    As long as your organisation provides a young player with a professional, classy, winning-attitude environment, you will be fine.
    You don't need a Dwayne Wade for that.

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    And that's my point. Taking is not the way to go. But keeping a winning-attitude is what is needed. I don't know how the Bulls will fair next year, but I like the chances to make the playoffs and perhaps even go to the ECF. Of course, this is a pipe dream, but better than knowing they will ensure be a taking/ lottery team next year.

  • First, let me say I am still in shock over BOTH Signings.

    Second, I do think that so much will depend on the attitude and chemistry of the 3 Alpha's. What are they committed to accomplish?

    Third, I do strongly believe that opposing coaches will have a problem beating us with the score tied and just a few minutes left. Why, because Butler and Wade can get to the FTL with the best of them. That counts in close games.

    Seem I am somewhat optimistic!!


  • Wade signing I can see. Hometown guy, nice guy, plays hard,will sell tickets.

    But the Rondo thing? WTF. He is hated in Chicago, dirty player, hard to get along with, can't shoot. Can't even shoot FTs. How is this supposed to help draw FAs next year?

    Both Wade and Rondo are destined to spend as much time on the trainers table as on the court, leaving Jimmy, as the only decent perimeter defender (Come back E'twan) playing way too many minutes as always.

    My guess is that unless Valentine has a ROY type season, we don't make the play-offs and we have to blow the whole thing up again next year.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Replying to the comment that Rondo is hated, dirty, non-shooter, and hard to get along with. All the same things were probably said about Rodman. He became loved. All Rondo has to do is perform and all will be forgiven.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan
    Fred Hoiberg and Jimmy Butler

    notice any difference there?

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    The first two are retired?

  • In reply to Oneear:

    I'm pretty sure that he's not as hated as Rodman was, and the city embraced him almost immediately once he became a Bull. If Rondo busts his butt and we win games, all will be forgiven very quickly. I actually like what he had to say yesterday, especially the part about how much film he watches and how seriously he takes his craft. Those are the kind of guys we need around here after the nonchalant, too cool for school, mope a dopes we've had to stomach for the past 2 years.

  • Something someone said a few comments back about the fact that the Cavs won the championship made me think. The Bulls shouldn't be building a team to compete with the Warriors right now, they need to beat the Cavs first. The lack of outside shooting could be a problem, but I see them as being better suited to play against the size and strength of Cleveland. The Warriors had all the shooting possible and couldn't hit a shot in those final games. I think Rondo and Wade can be good defenders again if motivated, and I think they will be. Mirotic should probably start, in my opinion, and will get more open looks with this lineup. I'm hoping they can bring in another shooter to come off the bench at the wing position. Someone like Ian Clark is still out there, maybe a Randy Foye, Vander Blue does well in Summer League. We all know Hinrich is the man though!!!

  • Great article and posts - very stimulating! Expected posts from Don Ellis tho.

    Of course we don not all agree on everything. Who would even come to the blog if we all agreed? But we were mostly respectful of contrary opinions.

    Mark, I hope you can throw up an article [*] after each game this year. Last season we were forced to post about last night's game under a week-old article.

    *It does not even have to be an article. How about, What are your thoughts on last night's game? That will enough some times. At least that would keep the currect posts all together.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Good to hear. I haven't decided yet how we will handle post game threads. Personally, I try to put in as much time into my writing of a piece as possible, which has stopped me from writing post game threads. Perhaps I need to be less stringent and more open to one or two paragraphs to allow discussion.

    If enough people support this idea, I'll heavily consider it.

    You know what I'll do, I'll open up another board topic to take any feedback, criticism or improvement opportunities from the readers to gauge everyone's thoughts about what they'd like to see from Bulls Confidential moving forward.

    How's that sound?

  • In reply to Mark Karantzoulis:

    Either a pre game or post game for every game would be appreciated , even if just quick and dirty. Doesn't need to be long.

  • Well Mark K. I guess your next theme should be about how the FO can maximize this new Bulls team into a real contender now. I'm sure your audience here has many opinions on what the FO should go ahead and do.
    Perhaps the FO could offer Sacramento Lopez, Zipser, and two first round draft picks for Cousins. Once Gay leaves they have absolutely no chance of winning and using the exceptional talents of Cousins. Chicago just needs a rebounder to really compete. And they can compete and have champion aspirations.

  • I feel like a lot of these off season moves were made out of desperation. GarPax knows they are on their last strike and can't afford a rebuild now that they're on the hot seat. All the organization cares about is selling tickets. A rebuild wont sell tickets but Dwayne Wade and a trip to the post season will. I think too much attention has been placed on GarPax and people tend to forget the kind of guy Jerry Reinsdorf is. He's a businessman and he doesnt care about stats or win/loss records, he's only interested in ticket sales and seat numbers that's it. He's not even really a basketball fan as he's more bias for the WhiteSox than the Bulls.

  • The fit is not the greatest. But tell me one thing, is it easier to find playmaker or is it easier to find a 3 point shooter? We needed multiple playmakers for so long and we finally have it now.

    I don't mind the moves even though I agree the fit might not be the greatest. But if Mcdermott, valentine, mirotic can provide the shooting, we will be all right. I also like that the deal is only 2 years so if it doesn't work, we can blow this thing up

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