This season is a lost season for the Bulls, or at least it was supposed to be. With the injury to Derrick Rose, the season was over, the Bulls was not supposed to compete in the east. This was further proven with the Bulls trading Luol Deng in a salary dump plus a first round pick. Yet, the bulls still are winning and are in the fourth seed in the east. How is this possible? The answer is Thibs and Noah are the heart and soul of this team. In fact, I think that the Bulls are Noah's team - not Rose's. This isn't a slight towards Rose, rather it's rewarding Noah for who he is as a player and leader.
Despite the success of this team, this is a classic example of what Theo Epstein would not call sustained success. The Bulls are only in the fourth seed because the east is that bad. This current roster cannot compete on an annual basis and expect to win a championship, even with the return of Rose next year.
What the Bulls need to do is acquire as many assets and build for the future starting now. The Bulls have assets in Dunleavy, Hinrich, and Boozer. It should also be noted that the Bulls could trade Butler, Snell, or Gibson. I don't think that they will, but they cannot make the mistake of making any player untouchable. Who's to say that the Knicks wouldn't come to the Bulls and offer them Carmelo for Gibson (more on Melo later)? Now, that would never happen, but it exemplifies why the Bulls can't make Gibson untouchable.
I've read a lot of rumors lately regarding the Bulls, and some have to get you excited. The potential of trading Hinrich to Golden State for Harrison Barnes or trading Dunleavy to the Rockets for a first rounder or even dumping Boozer on Phoneix for Okafor and a first-rounder. It is possible that all three trades can happen, but they need to happen. At least those names need to be moved. Those players are not going to contribute to the Bulls championship run, but they can help build the Bulls for the run in the coming years.
The Bulls will add to the core this year and become a complete team in the offseason. In addition to Rose, Noah, Snell, Butler, Gibson, the Bulls have two first-rounders in the mid-teens in this years draft. At the very least, that equates to two impact players (I like PJ Hairston and Doug McDermott). You add those two players to the Bulls core, and they are a much better team. That's not even considering the anticipated arrival of Nikola Mirotic who can be the next Dirk. We didn't even take into consideration the returns the Bulls are going to get from their deadline deals.
All of a sudden the Bulls got interesting.
In short, this is my point. The Bulls need to trade whoever they can to obtain assets to build this team back up. They have many pieces in place and they need to add to it. This free agency and draft have so many playmakers available to the Bulls that they can absolutely get better and compete for a championship.
I do not believe that the Bulls should go after Carmelo or LeBron, they aren't going to come to Chicago. The Bulls need to go after Lance Stephenson from the onset of free agency. I think he fits the team better in terms of his position (Shooting Guard), toughness, and defensive skills. He also allow Butler to move to the wing and be in a position that he is more comfortable at. He also won't require the Bulls to dump Gibson. The Bulls with Stephenson and Gibson are better than a team with Carmelo.
As I finish writing this, Gar Forman and John Paxson did not sound optimistic of a trade happening over the next week. Here's to hoping that they make some moves!
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