Once again, the Chicago Bulls are getting a free pass from the media. For a team that has been looking for a shooting guard since, I don’t know, Michael Jordan, the fact that they didn’t get James Harden is criminal. The guard out of Arizona State would have been a perfect fit for the Bulls. Instead, they fail to get another piece of the puzzle.
Harden was an important part of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s success the past few seasons. As the NBA‘s Sixth Man of the Year recipient last season, Harden averaged 16.9 ppg to go along with almost four assists and four rebounds per contest. The Houston Rockets secured his services for two first-round and one second-round selection. Other minor players were involved in the deal as well.
General Manager Gar Forman and Team President John Paxson are two lucky men. If Derrick Rose didn’t magically come to the Bulls in the lottery, the Bulls would struggle for relevance in the NBA. While there is some talent on the roster, I am not going to give credit to these two considering how often the Bulls have drafted in or near the lottery. When the Bulls failed to sign LeBron James or Dwayne Wade a two years earlier, the answer was Carlos Boozer. How is that working out for the Bulls?
The thing that irritated the most out of me was the blatant smear campaign by the Bulls on James after he joined the Miami Heat. If James had picked the Bulls, there wouldn’t have been all these personal attacks. Let’s face it, James is the best player in the NBA. While I respect and like Rose, he just isn’t as good as James.
I’m not a Bulls fan or really a fan of the NBA. But I am a fan of telling it like I see it. And in this case, the Bulls lost out on a golden opportunity to make themselves relevant when Rose does return from his knee injury. With Rose and Harden, the Bulls would have had one the league’s best and most dynamic backcourts. It would solve many of this team’s issues and take the pressure off of Rose to constantly create scoring opportunities. If you think Rose’s knee was a fluke, recognize how much pressure the 6’2 guard puts on his body. Even if he makes a full recovery from this injury, and there’s no telling if that’s even going to happen, this won’t be the last time he gets hurt. Harden would make things a lot easier and better for Rose and the rest of the team.