The Chicago Bulls fell short this season. They were outplayed by the Miami Heat who proved that the Bulls were not the best team in the league. As of Sunday night, the offseason has officially begun, and it is time for the Bulls to think about what offseason moves will make them the NBA’s top team.
So-called “moves” will not be necessary this offseason.
The Bulls surprised all critics with the way they greatly overachieved relative to their preseason expectations. Why is that? It was no secret that the Bulls signed Carlos Boozer, Keith Bogans, Kyle Korver, etc. Experts were completely aware of Bulls’ roster when they predicted them to finish below Miami, Boston, Orlando, Atlanta and sometimes even more teams. So what, then, was the reason they were ranked so low but finished so high?
Kevin Love won the NBA’s most improved player award, but that’s only because the NBA’s actual most improved player won the MVP.
Nobody predicted Rose’s leap of improvement this year, or at least nobody predicted the extent of it. He addressed his weaknesses and corrected them, turning into one of the most difficult players to stop defensively. Although the experts knew Derrick Rose was on the Bulls’ roster, they didn’t know that the Bulls would be led by an MVP-caliber player as floor general.
When you think about improved players, guys like Taj Gibson and Omer Asik come to mind. These young big men started to gain national interest as defensive forces off the bench during the playoffs.
Remember, the Bulls are still a very young team and there is no reason to think their improvement won’t continue. Miami, on the other hand, is not a young team. The big three have been in the league for eight years now. This doesn’t mean they will start breaking down like old players, but it means that their room for improvement is limited.
Experience is not as valuable to them anymore since they already have a lot of it. They have most likely reached their potentials, while 22-year-old Rose is still headed upward along with the rest of his already-improving, young team.
The current Bulls team is an NBA championship team in the future. Since nobody but Kurt Thomas is over the hill, let these guys get closer to their potentials. There is no reason to disrupt team chemistry by making some offseason moves, when the Bulls already have all the pieces they need.
The Bulls have their core signed long-term. The only expiring contracts this year are Kurt Thomas, Rasual Butler and Brian Scalabrine. I say, re-sign them if they are willing to take really low-paying contracts. If not, let them go. It’s no big deal. The Bulls have the 28th and 29th picks in this year’s NBA draft. If we need to replace third-string forwards or centers, it’s not hard to find sufficient replacements with those picks.
Otherwise, the Bulls have little use for those picks. Perhaps they can use extra depth in the post since Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, and Omer Asik each dealt with injuries. Maybe we can trade up a few slots and draft a defensive small forward who can spell Luol Deng for a few minutes, although he didn’t seem to need it.
Rookies are rookies and do not change the culture and chemistry of the team, but rather, are expected to fit into it, unlike players acquired via trade or free agency.
The Bulls are in such a great position with great players, great coaches, and added experience. This should be a very unstressful offseason for Gar Foreman and John Paxson. The stress should come from the floor of the Berto Center, where the players need to work on continuing their improvement.