Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE
Have the Bulls decided to tank it this season? If not, why did they not do more to improve this team?
Teams with goals of competing for NBA championships do more than just sign serviceable players. Teams seeking the title go for the gusto. Those teams bring in the best available player that fills the holes of their rosters.
That is not to say that the Bulls signing Hinrich, Robinson and Belinelli were bad moves. They were solid signings given their financial circumstances—the Bulls are at the hard cap limit. One of their signings, Nazr Mohammed, may end up the most underrated moves in free agency.
Each move was solid, though not earth-shattering.
The Los Angeles Lakers, on the other hand, completed two major deals. The first one was a sign-and-trade (via ESPN.com) for future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash.
That deal placed the Lakers in the discussion as one of the favorites to compete for a championship.
The Lakers outdid their first act by completing a four-team trade to acquire (via Yahoo Sports) Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic. The trade not only solidified the Lakers' position as a top-two team in the Western Conference, but it solidified their future.
Howard is a player that you can build your team around and the Lakers have him on their team.
The Lakers identified two needs and solved them in one offseason. After both moves, the Lakers are (according to ESPN’s Trade Machine) $42.6 million over the salary cap. They found ways to make their blockbuster deals happen despite having less cap flexibility than the Bulls.
After bringing Nash and Howard, the Lakers found a way to keep Jordan Hill and sign Antawn Jamison Jodie Meeks.
Other championship contenders made difference-making moves as well.
The Miami Heat added Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to help space the Heat with shooting and floor spacing.
The Boston Celtics signed Courtney Lee and Jason Terry for perimeter defense and shot-making.
Just recently, the Thunder traded James Harden (via ESPN.com) to the Houston Rockets for Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb. The deal will give the Thunder a veteran shooter (Martin) and a young guard (Lamb) to groom.
Each team improved because of their moves, while the Bulls are stuck in neutral with the hope that they can tread water until Rose comes back.
Once Rose does return, he will play for a team that will get an A for their effort and a first- or second-round exit in the NBA Playoffs.
Rose deserves to return to a team assembled better than the Bulls currently are.
Why did the Bulls management not do more to improve this team?