Almost simultaneously, as Reggie Rose spoke out against the direction of the Chicago Bulls and current roster, the team has been in a lackluster tailspin. The core fundamentals of unselfish play, solid defense, and bounce-backability have been replaced by a team that looks like its packing it in.
And now, the inevitable return of Derrick Rose this season has been replaced with doubt that we'll see #1 suit up this season.
So what does a Bulls fan have to look forward to?
If this team cannot be the one to return the Chicago Bulls to the elite, the more unfortunate reality is that it may be as good as it gets for the next several years thanks to salary cap concern.
With Boozer, Deng, Noah, and Rose making up almost the entire payroll, there is little wiggle room. Carlos Boozer still appears to be an amnesty candidate, but don't expect a big splash to replace him. Taj Gibson's new deal leaves little doubt he'll be the starting power forward next season.
And then there's Luol Deng.
No longer that promising, young player, Luol Deng has hit his ceiling. With only one more year on his deal after this season, the Chicago Bulls will have to look to move Deng to ensure they get a return on their investment. While still a valuable commodity, the future of the NBA regarding the luxury tax means that the Bulls shouldn't expect equal value in return.
And although Reggie Rose's comments were hurtful, there was truth to his statement that outside Deng and Noah, this roster isn't good enough to contend. Noah is probably a lock to stay in Chicago, but everyone else, everything else, seems to be up in the air in Chicago.
The future will have to rely on great advancement from Gibson, Butler, and Teague, and potentially a quality draft pick or the emergence of Mirotic, if and when he comes over to the windy city next year or the following.
The Chicago Bulls have done a great job of hiding their problems up until now, but unfortunately we are seeing the reality of Reggie Rose's comments.