We're continuing our series of Wish Lists. Earlier, I outlined five holiday wishes for the Chicago Bears.
Now, let's take on the nearly impossible task of the Chicago Bulls.
This list will have fewer points. Two, specifically.
1. Burn it down.
I know there was a lot of excitement about bringing Dwyane Wade "home" but this team has fatal flaws all over the place. The Rondo Experiment isn't working, Dougy McBuckets hasn't consistently found a niche, and Nikola Mirotic is still a depth player.
But there are solid, serviceable players all over the roster who could bring back a significant return that could accelerate a rebuild process.
The Bulls have their own draft picks this year and in the future. They also own Sacramento's protected first round pick in 2017 (if the pick is in the top 10 overall, it becomes a second round pick this year). Right now, the Kings would pick 11th so their performance the rest of the year is worth watching for Bulls fans. Two picks in the teens could add good depth in what is expected to be a very good draft class.
Chicago also owns the Knicks' second round pick this summer. Two picks in the second round aren't as sexy in the NBA as they are in the NFL or NHL, but teams are willing to take them in salary dump trades (see Rose, Derrick).
With four picks in the upcoming draft and players who have value, it's time for the Bulls to go about the work of tearing it down and starting fresh. Sam Hinkie told 76ers fans to "trust the process" but didn't hang onto his job long enough to see Joel Embiid start performing.
I would trade the following players during the 2016-17 season:
- Taj Gibson
- Doug McDermott
- Nikola Mirotic
- Rajon Rondo
- Isaiah Canaan
2. Play Denzel Valentine.
It's time for Valentine to get more of a role. Right now, Valentine is getting 11 minutes a night (with 20 games played).
Valentine and Jerian Grant showed me enough at the college ranks that getting them some run in the NBA can accomplish one of two things: show that they're good enough to have as impact players in the rotation moving forward, or identify needs to address.
Getting rid of Canaan and Rondo - even if you can't get more than scraps for them - opens up minutes for Valentine and Grant to get on the floor. At least attempt to establish chemistry with Jimmy Butler.