Without Derrick Rose, everybody is saying that next season is a wasted year and that the Chicago Bulls have no chance. However, there is a slim possibility if the unexpected happens, they could be in a better position to win come the playoffs next year than they were this season.
That all depends if future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash decides he would rather come to the Bulls, who supposedly plan on making a play for him,. There will be plenty of offers out there, and I doubt the Bulls will win the "Steve Nash Derby," but if they do, next year might not be the wasted season that almost everyone, including this writer, expect.
Nash completely changes the dynamic of the Bulls until Rose returns, and affects it even more when he does. He's a player who might even make Bulls' fans like Carlos Boozer, if that is possible.
Boozer played well with Deron Williams in Utah, and I think Nash can have the same impact with him in Chicago. His style is different than Rose's, and that style is probably more conducive to Boozer's game.
Nash also adds an elite player, who while he can't take the place of Rose, can fit in nicely until he returns.
Nash's numbers belie his value. He only averaged 12.5 points and 10.7 assists a game last season, but he is a very efficient player. He has averaged only 10.7 shots a game in his career, with nine attempts last year.
His career FG percentage is .532, while he has shot .428 from the three-point line, and .904 from the charity stripe.
He won't be the scoring point guard that Rose is, but he will efficiently run the offense, while providing a threat at the same time.
He's actually a 'pure' point guard. That would be a good thing with Rose out, and a huge improvement over either C.J. Watson or John Lucas.
With Nash, the Bulls should be firmly in the playoff picture.
They don't have to be the No. 1 seed, and without Rose and probably Luol Deng—they won't be. But that's okay, because as we have seen, where has that gotten them the last two years?
As to why Nash would come to the Bulls over some other candidates, I don't know or even think he will. But, if he does, Nash and Rose together might be just the combo to make them a force come the playoffs.
The Bulls will only have $2.5 million to offer him after they match an expected offer for center Omer Asik. It's not a lot of money, but he has never won a title, and he might have that chance with the Bulls.
There are only a few other teams out there who need a PG who can offer him that opportunity.
When Rose comes back, it doesn't mean he all of a sudden becomes Rose's backup. Nobody knows how effective Rose will be initially, and he will have to ease back into the lineup.
When he does feel more comfortable out there and play extended minutes, why couldn't Nash and Rose play in the same back-court? Nash can be the quarterback, and Rose can play off of him. That could make him even more dangerous.
Defensively it's not the ideal situation, but as the Bulls have proved, they need to be able to score to win in the playoffs.
Assuming Nash joins the team and everybody is relatively healthy, wouldn't the Bulls be a tougher match for Miami next year than they would have been this year?
Having Nash will make it that much more difficult for them to neutralize Rose, because Nash can burn them in so many ways.
He immediately gives the Bulls at least the possibility of winning instead of a lost season.
Another player who I would like to see in Chicago played for Thibodeau in Boston and is a free-agent. He would have to play for the veteran minimum, but how would Ray Allen look in a Bulls uniform?
At times he looked old this year, but that was because he was dealing with foot problems, and not getting the lift he normally does on his jump shot.
With both Nash and Allen able to shoot the three and open up the court, aren't the Bulls suddenly a very formidable playoff opponent? They are also two players that are difficult to keep up with because they are constantly on the move.
Combining them with Rip Hamilton on the court, Bulls' opponents will have to be ready for a track meet every night.
They can't all play together at the same time on a regular basis, but there are times you can have that lineup on the court with one big man. When you want to go with a small lineup, that's going to be one helluva tough one to guard.
This may be fantasy basketball on my part with no possibility of ever happening.
But if what I put out there comes to fruition, how good would you feel about the Bulls chances next year?
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