Crisis In Chicago: The State of The Bulls

Jeffrey EngmannCorrespondent IJuly 27, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 11:  (L-R) Chicago Bulls' Ben Gordon, Barneys Creative Director Simon Doonan and GQ Creative Director Jim Moore attend a celebration for Jim Moore receiving a CFDA award at Barneys New York on June 11, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Don't make the mistake of downgrading the Chicago Bulls decision to draft Derrick Rose. Don't think of him as a future all star, or an Olympic prospect.  Don't let his blinding speed and athleticism, distort your vision. He is a franchise reviver,for lack of a better term, a GM's cue card to start over.

In hindsight, it is easy to say with confidence that the higher heads in Chicago  made the obvious selection on draft night last season, but even in the waning moments before David Stern officially called the former Simeon High School product to the stage, there  were quite a few Bulls fan that needed to be warmed up to the idea of bringing their prodigal son home. 

The decision to choose the most talented player rather than the play who would best  fit has had some serious implications on the direction of a franchise, which just a couple seasons ago appeared to be methodically heading to the promise land.

On draft day 2008 ,there were far more glaring needs on the Bullsa than the one at point guard. No one in history has ever been intimidated by a Joakim Noah, and Tyrus Thomas center power forward duo, at least not past the college ranks, and Aaron Gray was receiving meaningful minutes.

Gray makes Luc Longley look agile.

Nevertheless, the Bulls chose Rose, instead of Kansas State product in Michael Beasley, thereby leaving a gaping whole at power forward that still appears as wide as Derrick Rose's potential. So what happens next?

Carlos Boozer's name has been floated around a lot recently, but one has to wonder if he fits with the team's current roster. Boozer is a great talent, but probably would have been a better piece to the puzzle two seasons ago. Coached by Scott Skiles, the Bulls were a balanced defensive team, whose perimeter oriented game was the reason for their downfall. One can't help but ponder if they were a power forward like Boozer away from being an elite team. Now however, with Rose at the helm, the team may want to become more uptempo, thereby having a power forward who can run and finish strong at the rim. But even in condoning their reluctance to put a good deal out there for Boozer, the Windy City's most successful franchise blew the opportunity to resign one of their key pieces to the puzzle already this off season.

The Bulls this week stated that their interest in resigning Gordon was not very strong, thus allowing him to become a Detroit Pistons. His departure has now placed pressure on the two remaining pieces from the 06-07 run. Hinrich, a former Olympic prospect will desperately need to find his mojo from a couple years back. He will undoubtedly provide his hallmark of defense and hustle, but his inability to create his own shot, and shoot like Gordon may leave a lot to be desired.

Presumably Rose will be starting in the back court with an aging John Salmons, a player who does not posess the ability to take the ball handling pressure off of Rose. Which leads me to my next point.

Many people expect Rose to make a monumental jump in his sophomore season. Regardless, the success of the Bulls this upcoming season will rest upon the shoulders of small forward Luol Deng. Deng, struggled early last season, sometimes searching  exasperatedly for his opportunities in Vinny Del Negro's offense. If Del Negro does not find a way to integrate him better within the offense, the Bull's will perhaps have to  rely too heavily on their star point guard for scoring.

In conclusion the 09-10 Bulls, must ask themself basic but crucial questions in order to make progress. What type of team does Derrick Rose need around him to be successful? Should they try to trade for an upgrade at the four position or  is Tyrus Thomas worthy of the starting 4 spot, because he can run with Rose? Does the roster need more athleticism? These questions will have to be answered soon, if the baby Bulls ever want to decide to grow.