Let's see, how long would it actually take me to write Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer 50 million times?
As it stands, Chicago is a team poised to make a significant improvement from last season. Rose, who is just 21 years of age, is entering his third season in the NBA and he is already an all-star caliber player, the likes of which Milwaukee can only wish to have.
While everyone else has had their attention focused on the three top free agents that chose Miami, Rose has been hard at work preparing to take the next leap forward in his career.
Meanwhile, Brandon Jennings still has a lot to prove. Granted, he had a sensational start to his rookie season—but then his game dramatically cooled off. I will give Andrew Bogut an advantage over Joakim Noah. But that is it.
The Bulls are stronger than Milwaukee in every other aspect of the game. The shooting guard spot may also favor the Bucks, but that depends on who the Bulls pursue with their remaining cap space.
I don't think that John Salmons is anything special. I've actually been amazed by some of the success he has had in the NBA. Michael Redd has begun to fade faster than a spray tan. The addition of Corey Maggette is a decent one, but it won't be enough to propel the Bucks past the Bulls.
Chicago has better defense, and better long range shooters thanks to the Kyle Korver signing and a well balanced roster. I don't envision Chicago playing for an NBA title this year but they will be a top four seed in the East come playoff time.
It's a shame for Bulls fans that they couldn't land a big name in free agency, but they did manage to add a big piece in Carlos Boozer. Boozer is arguably every bit as good as Chris Bosh. His addition will be very beneficial to Rose, who now has a competent side kick.
In retrospect I'm sure the Bulls wish they had kept Kirk Hinrich. While not flashy, Hinrich was a reliable player and solid defender. A lineup with him at the point would've allowed Rose to play the two-spot with Deng, Boozer and Noah rounding out a very potent starting five.
However, the Bulls gambled and lost out in the LeBron James/Dwyane Wade sweepstakes. Still, they did manage to sign several players who can be productive in their roles on the team.
The biggest mistake Chicago made was not having an accurate gauge on what was going to transpire with Wade and James. Had they gathered better intel, they could have made a strong push for Joe Johnson along with Boozer. That would have propelled Chicago to the forefront along with the Magic, Celtics and Heat. But c'est la vie.
Looking at the big picture, Chicago will win their division and it won't be that close. Milwaukee is a good team. They have improved and have solid roster depth, but you can only play five at a time. I see the Bucks giving somebody problems in the first round of the playoffs but they're not advancing from there.
On the other hand, Chicago does have the potential to make a run at the Eastern Conference Finals and at that point it's anybody's game. I still expect Miami, Boston and/or Orlando to be stronger than the Bulls.
But as it stands, Chicago is much closer to reaching the top echelon than Milwaukee.
If Chicago is able to lure Tracy McGrady into the fold, then that could change things. If he signs with the Bulls and stays healthy, T-Mac could make a big impact and be enough to propel Chicago to that elite status. I'm not sure why Chicago hasn't made a stronger push to sign him.
I see Derrick Rose using this season as a coming-out party of sorts. If the work he has put in this off season and the experience he has gained over the last two years translates into an improved Rose, then Bulls fans will have a lot to look forward to.