The Chicago Bulls 2011-2013 season was decent until Derrick Rose — their star player — had a terrible ACL injury and is slated to make a March return. They disassembled their “bench mob” in the off-season and financial experts have given rave reviews to the Bulls’ for their off-season moves. Yes, that’s mind-boggling, but their thought is that Rose is essentially a wash for the season, so why not save money for 2014. Although I disagree with this thought, mainly because that’s a poor way to deal with a roster when your star player is rehabbing, let’s review the Bulls less than desirable off-season.
New Additions: Kirk Hinrich, Marco Belinelli, Nate Robinson, Nazr Mohammed; they let go Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson, and Omer Asik. They drafted Marquis Teague as their 29th pick.
The Chicago Bulls pulled a page out of the Dallas Mavericks playbook with Derrick Rose sidelined for most of the NBA season, what’s the point of keeping one-year contracts on the books if there’s not a shot at contention, right? You may recall last season Dallas Mavericks dismantled their championship team to free up cap room for this off-season; they let Tyson drift off to the east coast, J.J. Barea headed north and after an abysmal season Jason Terry and Jason Kidd left for greener pastures. The former was done so that they would sign either Dwight Howard or Deron Williams and we all know how that turned out.
Would it not be wise to assume Chicago could be headed down the same path with the way they managed their off-season? They do have a huge advantage, they have a young, talented Rose, but will he be the same Rose? Another question fans may have is if Rose does return back to Chicago will he be satisfied with the new Chicago Bulls especially if there cap-saving antics this season prove to be for nothing? Our answer will come in due time, but it’s time for their grade.
They do get immense points for not matching the ludicrous Omer Asik contract that Houston presented him with and their best off-season pickup — without a doubt — was Chicago’s best move. Obviously, he will start at the point position until Rose returns to play and when Rose does return he would either become a backup point or play along with Rose at the two. Belinelli will help with the shooting assignment that Korver had, as well as Nate Robinson coming off the bench to spark the team and will have defensive assignments.
The Bulls will still make the playoffs, but it would be a safe assumption to consider them a one-and-done team this season. There’s still the pending issue of Deng’s wrist and it’s been reported that if the pain persists, he may need surgery. The replacements brought in aren’t equal to what the Bulls lost and it’s understandable they wanted to avoid luxury tax, but in the end it may just bite them in the behind.
Overall Grade: C-