Chicago Bulls: 5 Reasons This Team Must Be Broken Up to Win an NBA Championship
The Chicago Bulls seemed to be on the cusp of a championship season before Derrick Rose injured his knee in the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, but the team will need to significantly retool its roster to win an NBA Championship.
Rose will be back and is absolutely capable of being the No. 1 option on a championship-caliber team. However, the Bulls need to bring in at least one more young and dynamic talent to play alongside Rose to add a seventh banner to the United Center rafters. So, the team does not need to be entirely split but at least one important piece will need to be shipped out to create a championship-level roster.
Here are five different reasons the Bulls need to change up their roster to get better and, as luck would have it, five ways they might be able to accomplish that and create a new dynasty.
The Bulls Need to Add a Dynamic Wing Scorer
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Chicago desperately needs scoring off the wing to contend for an NBA title. The team simply does not have anyone, besides Rose, who can create their own offense off the perimeter and score on a consistent basis.
Fortunately, the Bulls have several compelling options. First, Chicago can look at a trade with Sacramento for Tyreke Evans. The Kings' dynamic scorer is clearly stuck in a poor team environment, which is exacerbating his own immaturity. However, the Bulls would provide the winning, leadership-oriented environment he needs to succeed. Evans is a great talent but his recent regression and the Kings' glut of wing scorers could push down his trade price. Chicago might be able to get him for their pick this year, several future picks, and cash, which is quite similar to what Utah paid to get Al Jefferson from the Wolves a couple of years ago.
Chicago could also opt for a larger, more game-changing trade and deal Taj Gibson or Joakim Noah to the Kings. Gibson would be great trade bait because the Kings desperately need a defensive leader in the paint alongside DeMarcus Cousins and Chicago could conveniently give Carlos Boozer more minutes in 2012 and wait for the long-awaited arrival of star prospect power forward Nikola Mirotic in 2013. Dealing Noah would be much harder but if Chicago could get Evans and Sacramento's fifth-overall pick in the draft then it is something worth strongly considering.
Alternatively, Chicago can sign Ray Allen to tide them over for the first half of 2012 and then wait to make a trade offer for Eric Gordon next spring. Gordon will be a restricted free agent but Chicago would be an attractive place for him to play.
Chicago Needs a True Low-Post Scorer
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Carlos Boozer was supposed to be the Bulls's answer to this problem but that has not truly panned out. Fans calling Boozer a bust are unfair; he has consistently averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds or more over two seasons while the Bulls had the best regular season record in the NBA. However, Boozer is aging into a pick and pop mid-range shooting forward, not the dynamic low-post player that the Bulls desperately need to contend.
Chicago needs a player who can "go get it;" a star that Derrick Rose can dump the ball to in the post and will score aggressively. Despite his flaws, Amare Stoudemire may be the best fit for what the Bulls need in the NBA. He knows how to get his own shot, is a beast on offense, and is actually better than Boozer on the defensive end. Chicago could trade Boozer (who is a much better fit for New York's Carmelo Anthony-centered offense than Stoudemire) and a pick for Stoudemire and would be a much more dynamic offensive team.
Alternatively, Chicago could move up in the draft via trade and try to find a long-term solution. However, most of the draft's best power forwards are either raw (Andre Drummond, Perry Jones, and Terrence Jones) or defensive-minded (John Henson). The Bulls need a talented offensive scorer and, since Stoudemire can also play center alongside Nikola Mirotic (arriving in Chicago in 2013) or be amnestied if he deteriorates due to injury, he is the obvious fit to fill this need.
Chicago Needs a Dynamic Young Talent Alongside Rose
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Chicago is a young team that nonetheless does not have a dynamic young talent to play alongside Derrick Rose. Luol Deng and Joakim Noah are both mature players and the Bulls need a great young player to grow with Rose in order to win a championship and create a new dynasty.
Who is that dynamic talent? Chicago actually has a plethora of different options to find them. The Bulls could look at trading Joakim Noah to the Kings for the aforementioned Evans or DeMarcus Cousins and the No. 5 overall pick. While no-one can predict internal discussions, it would be interesting to see what players it would take (perhaps Noah and Gibson) to see the Kings part with Evans, Cousins and the No. 5 overall pick. This may simply be a pipe dream; however both players are special talents who can be all-stars in the right environment. Noah is a great effort player and near all-star but if he can bring back two of those three assets the Bulls should strongly consider a deal.
Chicago could also have trade discussions with the Washington Wizards. The Wizards desperately need "winner" players and defensive stars so both Noah and Gibson would make compelling acquisitions. Chicago can try and sell the Wizards on a winning combination of John Wall, Taj Gibson, Nene Hilario and Jan Vesely in exchange for the No. 3 overall pick. It may be a stretch but if the Bulls throw in additional draft picks then a deal might get done.
The Bulls Must Continue to Mine International Talent
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Chicago does not need to break up the team to mine international talent but it may require moving assets or buying additional draft picks.
The Bulls have had tremendous success with both Omer Asik and soon-to-arrive Nikola Mirotic (who is tearing up Europe) and they should continue along that path. This year, dynamic talents Evan Fournier and Tomas Satoransky may be available in the late first or early second rounds so Chicago should try to acquire an extra pick or two and stash those two talents overseas.
As the Bulls get better and continue to be capped out, having that influx of talent from overseas will really come in handy.
Chicago Needs More Veteran Depth
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At the same time Chicago is adding young talent, the Bulls should keep searching for valuable veteran depth. The Bulls really missed Kurt Thomas in 2011-2012 and Chicago needs to go 12-deep to contend with the Miami Heat for the Eastern Conference crown.
This year, the Bulls will be in play for a number of low-priced, very valuable veterans. Jason Kidd, Chauncey Billups and Andre Miller can all help out at point guard. Each of them may accept the veterans minimum because Chicago will be a contender when Derrick Rose and Luol Deng return for the NBA Playoffs.
The two prizes for Chicago may be Ray Allen and Grant Hill. The Bulls need a great shooter at the 2-guard spot and a good wing to help the team in Deng's absence and back him up when he returns from injury.
If the Bulls can add several of these veterans, the team may have enough juice to make a serious run when Deng and Rose return to health.