The Bulls earlier today sent what can only be seen as a patronizing letter to Bulls fans earlier today. General Manager Gar Forman and Vice President of Player Development John Paxson acknowledged it will be an uphill battle for a championship in a letter to season ticket holders. They touch on how they hated to lose a quality player and person like Deng, what a great contributor he has been to the team and community.
They acknowledged that the fanbase is important They also go on to say that the Bulls fans are "among smartest fans in sports" was very patronizing. They also point out the fan base had a lot of questions following the trade. Basically acknowledging the trade would be polarizing.
They go on to discuss the trade and that the window of opportunity on winning a title this year has likely closed.
We are not where we were at the start of the season, and while we still believe this team can be competitive in the Eastern Conference and earn a Playoff berth, we recognize it will be an uphill battle contending for a championship this year.
- Gar Forman and John Paxson in a letter to Bulls Season Ticket Holders.
The letter goes on to discuss how the Bulls have done in past drafts and what their plan is going forward.
Here is the message to their season ticket holders today following the trade.
Dear (Season Ticket Holder)
Last night the Chicago Bulls announced that Luol Deng was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It is always tough to lose someone like Luol. We have great respect for him as a player and a person. He has been an incredible contributor to our team on the court, while also doing great things in the community. On behalf of the entire organization, we want to thank Luol for his years in Chicago and wish him the best going forward.
As a Season Ticket Holder, you are such an important part of the Bulls' family. You are also among the smartest fans in sports and on days like today, we know you have a lot of questions about what these moves mean to the team.
This trade represents a rational evaluation of where we are right now. We are not where we were at the start of the season, and while we still believe this team can be competitive in the Eastern Conference and earn a Playoff berth, we recognize it will be an uphill battle contending for a championship this year.
These moves will put us under the NBA's salary cap after this season and that puts us in a better position to make our roster stronger for the future. We now have more long-term financial flexibility to attract the kinds of trades or free agents we need to quickly deliver another championship contending team.
This transaction also gave us multiple draft picks. Appreciating the value of draft picks necessitates a longer-term view, but we have seen great success in the draft and are excited about the potential it represents. A number of our recent draft picks are having a very positive impact on this team now, and we expect they will for many years to come: Joakim Noah (#9 - 2007), Taj Gibson (#26 - 2009), Jimmy Butler (#30 - 2011), Tony Snell (#20 - 2013), and certainly Derrick Rose (#1 - 2008).
In addition to our own draft picks, we also hold the rights to a Charlotte Bobcats' #1 pick (this year if they make the Playoffs), and the rights to Nikola Mirotic, a star in Europe who is 6-10 and just 22 years old.
It is important for you to know how much we still believe in and support this team. Many of these players have been tested over the last several seasons, and they have performed incredibly under unpredictable and difficult circumstances.
As a Season Ticket Holder, you've seen the character and grit of this team and coaching staff, so you know they will continue to take visiting teams to the limit every night. And you will see the ongoing development of young talent like Taj, Jimmy, Tony, Erik Murphy and Marquis Teague, and witness the passion that our veterans like Joakim, Carlos Boozer, Nazr Mohammed, D. J. Augustin, Mike Dunleavy, and Kirk Hinrich bring to the court every game.
On behalf of the entire organization, we want to say thank you for the support and faith you continue to show the Chicago Bulls. Please be assured that we are totally committed to winning a championship and our future remains extremely bright.
We look forward to seeing you at the United Center tonight or at another home game soon.
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