Chicago Bulls Off-Season Update: Look Forward To The Future, Not The Present
Omer Asik offically signed his three-year $25.1 million offer sheet Friday, offered by the Houston Rockets. Do the math, and that’s roughly $57,000 for each and every point Omer has scored in his young career. Now, I know that’s not the reason he’s getting such a big contract, but I actually can’t blame the Chicago Bulls front office for this one. Obviously, Omer’s defense is what landed him his payday, and that’s really not what the Bulls need to improve on.
A perfect example of this, is the Bulls signing veteran forward Vladimir Radmanovic a few days ago. It’s not the defense they need to improve on, that aspect of this system is strong and still intact. It’s the offense, which Omer obviously lacked, averaging 3.1 for his career and only 434 career points, that the Bulls need to improve on. Radmanovic brings an outside game with him, and a chance for the Bulls to “stretch” the court a little more with their big men.
Although the Bulls have said they have not received the offer sheet from the Rockets, they will have 72 hours to match it. With the current situation, and the moves (or lack therof) the front office has made. I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that Omer Asik will be wearing a Rockets jersey this upcoming season.
The Chicago Bulls have already subtracted Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson, and fan favorite Brian Scalabrine. They have added Kirk Hinrich, Marquis Teague, and Radmanovic. They are also looking to add 6’5″ shooting guard Marco Belenelli, who is in continued talks with several teams. Other players reportedly being pursued by the Bulls are, E’Twaun Moore, who is expected to be waived by the Rockets. Delonte West, and Marshall product, Patrick Beverly who has been working out with the Bulls this summer. The Bulls are also about to lose John Lucas III to the Toronto Raptors, who are near a deal reportedly. This is like the dismantling of a championship team because of money issues…..without winning the championsip.
In what was supposed to be a magical year last season, all of it went poof in the Chicago air on April 28th. The date that Derrick Rose would tear his ACL against the Philadelphia 76ers. To dig the knife a little deeper, the Bulls would also lose Joakim Noah to a brutal ankle sprain a few days later. There was no hope, and the Bulls would go on to lose the series to the eighth seeded Sixers. What started as a little snowball, has actually rolled itself up into a giant avalance, and it’s landed on top of the United Center.
I’m no weatherman, but look for it to be a long winter on the West Side of Chicago this year. With no Derrick Rose until at least March, and a looming wrist surgery for Luol Deng, the Chicago Bulls will be hard pressed to be competitive next season. And the front office knows it. The championship window has closed. For now. I understand the fan’s view, and how discouraging and disappointed they may feel. But basketball is no longer just a sport that people like to watch and play, it’s a business. And business means spending money, which makes zero business sense to do in this case, when the team is not built to go far.
This is the reality when you put all your eggs in one basket. Derrick Rose can’t be the only go-to-guy if Chicago wants to put up another banner. In today’s NBA world, teams are trying to build dynasties around 2 and three stars, not just one. Bulls have tried to keep what they think is the winning core intact, giving contracts to Rose, Noah, and working on a current long-term deal with Taj Gibson, while waiting for young international star, Nikola Mirotic to join the team once his Real Madrid contract is up.
So you can’t point the finger and put all the blame on GarPax, they are working with the scraps they have been given. Carlos Boozer and his $75 million will be amnestied next year. Rip Hamilton and his $5 million are on the trading block, although I sense we will be stuck with the aging guard for one more miserable season. Luol Deng and his $70 million will be traded or expired by 2014. That paves the way for a core of Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Marquis Teague, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, and Nikola Mirotic. Not to mention what we add in the draft with any draft picks we acquire, the Charlotte Bobcats protected draft pick, and all this money that will be available to GarPax to test the free agent market. The upcoming season is a wash, if you don’t see that by now than you aren’t accepting reality. But hang in there Chicago, it’s not as bad as it looks, the future is bright.
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