As currently constructed, they simply might lack enough talent to achieve the goal of taking home the Association’s ultimate prize. Although the likes of Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng all possess more than enough talent to build a winning team, are they the centerpieces one truly settles on to build a title contender?
In recent years, the biggest struggle that has plagued the franchise has been the inability to find consistent scoring options to couple with their elite defensive game plans in order compete with the elite squads in the east. Sadly, as we’ve seen in that time, no matter how good the defense is, at some point you need to stop sacrificing offensive talent for defensive prowess in order to get over the hump.
That’s something that Tom Thibodeau and the team’s management seem not to have gotten the memo on. That said, if we are to assume that these Bulls are not capable of getting through the three rounds of opponents necessary to even taste an ounce of NBA Finals basketball, what can be done to alleviate the problem?
For starters, the time has come to bite the bullet now so they can give themselves the best chance at competing in the future.
As of now, in Boozer and Deng, the Bulls possess two very good players and trade chips that could immensely help any contending team in the league. In Boozer, a team would acquire a player that is a very good low post scorer and one that hits that boards. Ideally, a team with a good defensive center to mask any shortcomings on that end of the floor is destined to be a perfect match for what he brings to the team.
Likewise, Deng is a player that can do a little bit of just about anything on the basketball court. The real question surrounding the pair has to do with the ransom that each would command on the trade market as both possess massive salaries. In the case of Boozer, it’s a commitment that extends beyond this season.
Would the Bulls be able to secure a first-round pick in a trade for either? Truthfully, unless a team like the San Antonio Spurs or Los Angeles Clippers were willing to part with their late-round picks, the prospect is a highly doubtful one.
That said, with the skill that both bring to the table, the team would be sure to at the very least net a few promising but inexperienced pieces, ones that the contending team might be willing to trade off for the chance to compete for glory in the short-term.
As a team that essentially has four untouchables – Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic, Noah and Rose — what more could you ask for than to gain an inexpensive young talent to mold into a prototypical Bull?
Aside from attempting to acquire talent from their established talent, the primary focus going forward needs to be the development of the supporting cast while their star attraction slowly nurses himself back to health. Once healthy, a concerted effort needs to be placed on expanding the offensive role of Butler as he remains one piece that could potentially provide some of that spark on offense.
To develop young talent means to go through growing pains, ones that should result in a very good player entering the mix through the NBA draft. Approaching the remainder of the season in this fashion seems the only way to go, and the only chance left to gain something going forward from an otherwise lost season for the Bulls.