Chicago Bulls: Is It Time to Break Up the Bench Mob?
Back in the summer of 2010, the Chicago Bulls had enough cap space to sign two max level players. After striking out on the "Big 3" of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, they signed Carlos Boozer.
To fill out the rest of the cap space they signed several role players.
With the addition of Boozer, Taj Gibson went from being a starter to being on the bench. Omer Asik, who was drafted in 2008, came over from Turkey to join the team as well.
With the cap space remaining they signed C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver to three-year deals. With that the Bench Mob was born and now two years later it might be coming to an end.
Asik is a restricted free agent this summer and the expiring contracts of Watson, Brewer and Korver could all be pieces used in a trade.
Brewer and Korver both saw their minutes get cut down the stretch because of a healthy Richard Hamilton. Next season they will also receive competition from Jimmy Butler.
Butler struggled to receive regular playing time this past season, but when called upon he usually produced. While no one will confuse him with Korver, his athletic ability, energy and defense make him a perfect replacement for Brewer.
Over the last two seasons Watson has proven to be a pretty good backup. However when called upon to be a starter it is a bit up and down. This is important since Derrick Rose may miss all of next season, it would fall on Watson to start all 82 games.
I don't know about you but that doesn't make me feel real good. Looking at his performance in the playoffs makes me almost sick to my stomach. In each month of the season his field goal percentage dropped, finally hitting rock bottom at 24 percent in the postseason.
Heading into next season I'd rather see the Bulls land Andre Miller or even Jason Kidd to replace Rose, rather than call upon Watson to start. Also, it's time for John Lucas III to go.
I know everyone loves the little guy but the only thing worse than making Watson the starter is having Lucas be the backup. Both of them seem much more interested in getting their own shot then running the offense.
In my mind the only person who should and needs to stay is Gibson. I also think he needs to stay right where he is on the bench. His energy and defense are a perfect complement to Boozer.
Being the deepest team in the league is great, but having only three of four guys coming off the bench is ok too. Wouldn't you like to have a James Harden or Jason Terry coming off the bench for the Bulls?
Remember how great Ben Gordon and Toni Kukoc were when they won Sixth Man of the Year?
Maybe the Bulls need to rethink the makeup of their roster. Saying goodbye to Asik and using Noah, Gibson and Boozer as the main bigs wouldn't be too bad.
How about packaging Watson and Brewer to Portland for Jamal Crawford?
He would provide some punch off the bench and could even start as well.
The Bench Mob has been fun but all good things must come to an end. With Rose out and Luol Deng possibly missing time as well, it is time to start reshaping this roster and it should start with the bench.
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