For some time now, Bulls' fans have been hearing the phrase "young and athletic" tossed around quite a bit. The mantra that's sweeping Chicagoland has become the butt of many jokes surrounding management and the front office of the franchise. It all sounds well and good, but the reality of the situation is that at this point it's not possible. The fans know it, the league knows it, and for some reason the guys in charge don't.
So much has been said about John Paxson and Gar Forman, the stubbornness, the inability to realize the current state of the team, and the failure to evaluate talent have all been harped on already. The areas in which this dynamic duo is lacking is many, and their strengths have all but been forgotten. Recently, fans have been calling for the ax. Then K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported that both Forman and Paxson are expected to keep their jobs, even if the Bulls miss the playoffs. Take a look at this snippet from Johnson's report.
See that? That's the incompetence of the organization showing. The franchises that separate themselves from the rest are those that are able to look in the mirror. To be a able to evaluate the wellbeing of their team, top to bottom, and make the necessary moves. Not coast, not turn a blind eye, and sure as hell not be content with being average. It's becoming more and more evident that the Reinsdorf family values loyalty over long term success, and that every year that they are satisfied with being average is another year of waiting to be great.
This blueprint to be competitive while acquiring young talent is easier said than done, and frankly, it's not realistic. With the inability to grab marquee free agents summer after summer, and to continuously have middle of the pack draft picks, the chances to cash in are slim. Even with a superstar player like Jimmy Butler in the mix, the window is closing. Chicago's lone all-star isn't getting any younger, and the lack of this "young talent" that Forman eludes to isn't currently present.
Young guns such as Michael Carter-Williams, Doug McDermott, Jerian Grant, Bobby Portis, and Nikola Mirotic haven't taken the necessary steps in order for this course of action to come to fruition. In order to get value, you need to have value, and none of those guys listed above with garner any type of return in a deal to put Chicago over the top. Not this year, not next year, and not the year after that either. This is harsh, but it's practical. It's the reality. Someone has to be able to hold Forman accountable, and evaluate his recent history.
The front office's continual signings of aging stars contradicts their master plan, and stunts the growth of their younger players. Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo for instance are prime examples of this. Wade, a future first ballot Hall of Famer, and possibly the third best shooting guard of all time fell into Chicago's lap this offseason. This move, while a great marketing plan waiting to happen, was the wrong one.
This drum is nearly broken, my hands hurt, and this plan is apparently in motion. For now, with Butler not available for trade, the Bulls currently sitting in the seventh spot in the East, and no considerable value to move--the plan that's currently happening is very much stagnant.
It's always about loyalty over on Madison Street, but that only gets you so far. When the pieces don't fit, and accountability is at a premium, winning doesn't happen. In Bullsland ignorance is bliss.