Chicago Bulls: 8 Things They Can Do to Take the Next Step
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Coach of the year. Check. MVP-winner. Check. Eastern Conference Finals. Check. NBA Finals? Not so much.
We all know Derrick Rose is one of the best players in the NBA.The star PG has been unbelievable in his early career.
In the collective bargaining agreement, D-Rose was given the highest honor; with the invention of the “Derrick Rose Rule,” the young PG has proven that he is elite.
For those unaware, the rule addresses any future player who comes into the NBA and accomplishes any of the following: two All-Star appearances, two All-NBA selections, or winning the MVP award. This is quite the honor for any player to receive, but it's nothing new to Chicago fans.
We know that D-Rose is great; that has never been questioned.
What Bulls fans are more concerned with is the team around him, particularly at the shooting guard position. What players are needed to take Chicago over the top? Will the management make a trade?
Here are several ways the Bulls could improve a team that won over 60 games a season ago.
Sign a Shooting Guard
Butler was a great pick, but he is not the answer at two guard.
This may be a somewhat obvious idea. However, the management has to add offensive-minded players to the squad if they hope to improve on last season's triumphs.
It is clear that Keith Bogans, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer are not going to cut it if the Windy City wants to dethrone the Miami Heat as Eastern Conference champions.
Drafting Jimmy Butler out of Marquette was a nice pick, but it is unreasonable to think that a second-round-caliber small forward/shooting guard will make a significant impact in their rookie season.
That is no knock on Butler. Living in Big East basketball country, I am very aware of the talent of the Marquette product, and I believe he will be a solid player.
However, if the team wants to take the next step towards elite status, they must add a guard who can score, and more importantly, create their own shot.
Asik or Gibson Have to Be Traded
Asik is a valuable asset for the Bulls, and he is one of the best low post defenders in the game. For the team to make it over the hump they have to trade either Gibson or Asik, and Gibson is clearly the better of the two.
There also has been speculation of a possible trade of either Taj Gibson and/or Omer Asik because these two young players are the favorites of GM's around the league.
For the Bulls to acquire a player such as O.J Mayo or Nick Young, they will have to be willing to offer a hefty trade. Gibson proved his value in the playoffs, and he showed how well he can play when he maximizes his opportunities.
Asik, on the other hand, is a liability on offense (aside from dunks). If the Bulls have to part ways with either of these big men, Asik is a player Chicago would have a much easier time replacing, particularly with rumors of re-signing Kurt Thomas floating around.
Is Vince Carter a Good Fit in Chicago?
From an offensive standpoint, adding a player like Vince Carter makes perfect sense.
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"Vinsanity" may not be the best fit for the Bulls defensively, but offensively, he would present a significant upgrade.
Also, it makes sense for Carter, who has played 13 seasons in the league without an NBA title. Carter, a career 37 percent three-point shooter, would be a great second option for Rose to look to when he faces double teams similar to how the Miami Heat defended him in the playoffs.
One would have to believe free agents are excited with the prospect of playing with a young talent like Derrick Rose. One possible hangup here would be the former North Carolina Tar Heel's salary. If Carter were to become a Bull, he would have to take a significant pay cut.
General Manager Gar Forman will have to be quite the pitch-man this offseason if he wishes to lure in this solid veteran.
Trade for O.J. Mayo Would Be Perfect Fit
Mayo would be an outstanding compliment to Derrick Rose.
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O.J. Mayo would also be a very nice fit in Chicago, although this one is a bit of wishful thinking for Chicago fans.
He is currently with the Memphis Grizzlies, and I fear it will prove to be fairly difficult to pry him away from them. This is where the trade aspect would undoubtedly come into play.
If it were to happen, folks in the Windy City would be buzzing with anticipation for the NBA season. Mayo is young enough (24 years old) to play several productive seasons in the backcourt next to Rose.
Does Brandon Roy Have Any Gas Left in the Tank?
When healthy, Roy can hoop with the best of them.
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Roy has averaged just shy of 20 points per game in his career. However, injuries in recent seasons have derailed what appeared to be a promising NBA career.
In recent weeks, there has been speculation that the Portland Trailblazers were looking to part ways with the five-year veteran. The Bulls should not jump to sign Roy unless they are 100 percent sure he is healthy, but with two bad knees, that seems highly unlikely.
According to ESPN, there have also been rumors that this player is contemplating retirement. If Roy decides to play, he could be an intriguing option for Chicago.
Should the Bulls Bring Back Jamal Crawford?
Crawford is a former Bull, and the team would love to have his shooting back in Chicago.
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In recent weeks, it has been very apparent that Atlanta's Jamal Crawford is a hot commodity, and offensively, he is exactly what the Bulls need.
Defensively, this may be somewhat of an issue. Head coach Tom Thibodeau is known to be a stickler for defense, and that is not exactly Crawford's forte.
Also, there is the issue of how much other teams are willing to offer this talented player as opposed to what the Bulls can offer. My guess is he goes for the dollars and ends up elsewhere.
Will Management Pull the Trigger on Blockbuster Trade for Dwight Howard?
Howard and Rose would form a nasty combination for the Bulls.
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Out of all of these scenarios, this is by far the most unlikely, but any chance is still a chance. If the Bulls were to land Howard, Chicago would have to offer a solid package to the Orlando Magic.
This move would also break up the core of a team that has shown very good chemistry in recent seasons. For the Magic to accept, the Bulls would likely have to package Noah, Boozer and, possibly, Deng or Gibson.
This would leave the Bulls with two sure-fire All-Stars in Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard, but the team's depth would take a very big blow. For Bulls fans, this is a hit-or-miss debate. Some want to add a shooter, as I have mentioned, while others are drooling at this possibility.
Chicago is already a very solid defensive team, and having a shot-blocker like Howard would be huge. Still, this is likely wishful thinking for Bulls fans everywhere, but don't completely rule this possibility out.
Caron Butler Interested in Playing in Chicago?
Butler was injured at the end of last season, however when he is healthy he is very talented. After missing the playoffs due to injury, Butler would love another chance at a ring, and in Chicago he would be a nice fit.
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ESPN.com reported that Caron Butler met today with Chicago Bulls officials. The article also stated that over the offseason, Butler has been working out in Chicago and apparently loves the city.
If the Bulls add Butler, they will add a very solid guard on the roster.