The Chicago Bulls made their intentions for the 2013-14 NBA season quite apparent earlier this week when they agreed to trade Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for draft picks and Andrew Bynum. The Bulls then waived Bynum the day after the trade was completed, which was the most telling move of all.
As the Bulls traded away Deng, a free-agent in the summer of 2014 and a player that Chicago once had intentions of re-signing, they showed that they are looking to rebuild for the future, in a relative sense. Deng not coming back while Derrick Rose is injured essentially means that this team is taking a few steps back this season to take a few steps forward.
However, the Bulls have been hot since Deng left the team. In the three games since, the Bulls are now 3-0 after they knocked off the Charlotte Bobcats by a score of 103-97 on Saturday night. Head coach Tom Thibodeau, ever the persistent human being and coach, has not let his team give up and actually has them playing even harder since the trade went down.
It seems like everyone from the remaining stars to the role players has been stepping up over this short little stretch. Joakim Noah has continued to be a contributor in almost every aspect of the game while Mike Dunleavy and Carlos Boozer have been helping offensively. Moreover, guys like D.J. Augustin and the recently signed Cartier Martin have also been doing their part.
It’s hard to believe that the Bulls, even with Thibodeau at the helm, will be able to keep up this level of success. However, there are solid players still left on this team and the coach is going to keep them playing hard. This team is built for the future, but it will be interesting to see where they end up for now.