5 Changes the Chicago Bulls Must Make This Offseason
5 Changes the Chicago Bulls Must Make This Offseason
The Chicago Bulls made an improbable and exciting run in the 2012-2013 season without the help of their superstar point guard Derrick Rose. With him back, what is in store for the upcoming year?
Before we go that far into the future, there are a few issues that are still left lingering during the offseason. There has been a ton of speculation regarding forward Luol Deng, and the surprising thing has been due to the wide variety of talk around him. Trade him? Re-Sign him? There have been a multitude of rumors.
The Bulls also have lost out on one of their main rotation guys from last year in Marco Belinelli, leaving a spot to fill on the bench. Another free agent yet to be re-signed or inked anywhere else is Nate Robinson. It is still unclear what the future holds for Robinson at this point.
What about all of the drama between head coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Gar Forman? Will they be able to work that out and finally maintain a healthy working relationship?
Amongst one of the largest rumors this offseason, LaMarcus Aldridge has been in the trade talk between his Portland Trail Blazers and the Bulls. How would that happen? Are the Blazers asking for too much in return? Should the Bulls even pursue such a deal?
Speaking of the front court, how will that look this year from a reserve standpoint? Is Nazr Mohammad enough to satisfy coach Thibs? Taj Gibson has his role solidified, so that's not a question. But at times, Mohammad was a bit slow and late on plays both offensively and defensively.
With so many questions yet, the Bulls need to focus in on getting a few changes made this summer before they can contend for a title in 2013-2014. Here are the top five things the Bulls need to make happen this offseason.
5. Shop Luol Deng
Let me first say that I absolutely love Luol Deng and what he has meant to the Bulls franchise over the years. He brings it every night no matter how many minutes he has to play. He is a great defender and the 'glue' that holds the team together. But, with all of his injury concerns over the years especially in regards to his wrist and how he still won't get surgery on it, it's time to start shopping him. His contract expires after this season and if the Bulls can get a legitimate scorer in exchange, they have to pull the trigger. At least see what they can get; that's all I'm saying. It's definitely worth a look.
4. Dump Kirk Hinrich, Re-Sign Nate Robinson
Nate Robinson has never meant more to a team like he did the Bulls last year. That's not even an argument. Not only was he a fan favorite, he just flat out produced offensively. Outside of Derrick Rose, he may be their best creator on offense if he is brought back, and that says a lot. The types of things he did last year in clutch situations was untouchable by anyone else on that roster.
To be able to bring him back, Chicago would have to look at moving Kirk Hinrich, who also has an expiring contract going into next year. There are absolutely teams out there who would listen to that type of deal, and the Bulls should make it happen. Robinson's offense is much more valuable than Hinrich's defense. He has also expressed interest in coming back. If you haven't seen Robinson's Instagram photo of him and Derrick Rose yet, I encourage you to look it up. He wants to be back in Chicago, and the Bulls need to do what they can to make that work.
3. Sign Another Shooter or Big Man
UPDATED: Wayne Ellington has signed with the Dallas Mavericks. Other free agent guards include: Roger Mason Jr., Nate Robinson, Marquis Daniels, Mickael Pietrus and Ronnie Brewer.
If the Bulls fail to make any trades happen, they still could use either another scorer or big man on the roster. It's unclear whether second round pick Erik Murphy will make the final roster or have any real effect in the rotation, so for the Bulls to grab another veteran shooter like Wayne Ellington would be wise. There are others out there that could be brought in as well, on top of some very formidable and cheap big men like Elton Brand or Kenyon Martin. Nazr Mohammad will not get it done in my opinion and is too slow and too old to make a huge impact off the bench.
2. Fire Gar Forman
When asked why he laid off Tom Thibodeau's top assistant Ron Adams, general manager Gar Forman said:
"The decision was made by me because I felt it was the best decision for the Bulls going forward."
He was asked why the decision was made, but failed to truly answer the question and would not get into it. This move clearly upset Thibodeau and their relationship has been continually strained since. Forman is known for making explanations like this. He is vague, bland and somewhat arrogant in his responses to why he does the things he does. Thibodeau is one of the top coaches in the NBA and he deserves a general manager who supports him, not some moron like Forman.
1. Bring LaMarcus Aldridge to Chicago
Allow me to reiterate what many of you have seen me say via Twitter: If this deal has anything at all to do with Joakim Noah or Jimmy Butler, count me out. Of course Derrick Rose is off limits as well. But, anybody else involved and I am all in.
The Portland Trail Blazers know their star forward isn't coming back when his contract is up. Why would they prolong the inevitable without getting anything in return? The Bulls have to continue these talks and make a push to land Aldridge. There have been tons of talks over the last few months between the two teams and so far Portland wants Noah and Butler.
The Bulls have obviously declined, but as the offseason goes on you wonder if the Blazers will budge. If Chicago keeps pushing to get a deal done with guys like Deng, Gibson or Carlos Boozer you never know what they might give into. Chicago needs to make this trade happen, and then, they will have a team that has the ability to knock off the Miami Heat.