The Chicago Bulls currently are faced with some interesting choices after winning their game on Christmas Day.
Among them are questions surrounding this team’s ability to contend for the conference title. The Bulls essentially returned the entire team from the previous five seasons for one last shot at title glory. However, over the course of what seemed like a single summer, the league has undergone a paradigm shift and more teams are utilizing small ball lineups.
That along with the advent of bad teams stacking up on quality draft picks has made the NBA’s Eastern Conference for the first time in years truly competitive.
Teams like Detroit, Boston, Charlotte and the late-blooming Milwaukee have become a tough out.
The Bulls and their rookie coach face problems with chemistry, distrust, personal agendas and what could be an overall lack of athleticism.
What are the options?
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Well… they could hope for the best and attempt to finish out the season with the roster intact; however, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports has reported that the Bulls are looking to deal either Joakim Noah (a free agent after this season), Pau Gasol (who has expressed a desire to opt out of his contract after this season) or Taj Gibson who will be a free agent after next season.
It appears the Bulls are attempting to shore up their perimeter in light of the news also from Wojnarowski that small forward Mike Dunleavy is expected to need four to six weeks of additional rehab before returning for on the court work.
Or, the Bulls could explore the unthinkable and trade Derrick Rose. Could it be done? Of course it can. Derrick has always been deemed unmovable mostly due to his contract and history of injuries. but according to ESPN’s trade machine the Bulls could trade Derrick successfully to the Philadelphia 76ers for a package of Joel Embiid, Carl Landry and PG, Kendall Marshall.
Derrick can also be moved to the New Orleans Pelicans for PG Drew Holiday and PF Ryan Anderson. Both Philly and New Orleans are looking to give their fan base some glimmer of hope and may strongly consider a deal.
As far as Derrick is concerned, any chance of reestablishing some semblance of past glory may have to occur while sporting some other city’s jersey. Also, the prospects of Derrick Rose and Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler mending fences are slim and getting slimmer by the day.
To use an outdated “The Wire” analogy, Jimmy noticed Derrick’s city block was prime for a takeover so he went for it.
Speaking of Jimmy Butler, the Bulls are faced with another big question. In light of recent events, most notably Jimmy Butler’s calling out of his rookie head coach with charges of coaching soft; one must beg the question, can or should the Bulls build around Jimmy Butler going forward?
Is Jimmy made of the stuff of true leadership? If not, will he accept it from elsewhere?
The answer to that question will advise as to where the Bulls now stand. However, Jimmy Butler at this stage of his career would solicit a hefty price on the market.
Who knows? The Bulls could possibly obtain Joel Embiid and that 6’10” point guard from LSU (Ben Simmons) along with others from the Sixers.
I’m just sayin.
One thing is for certain, with the hopes of catching the Cleveland Cavaliers all but erased, the next few weeks will go a long ways in determining just what type of product Bulls management will roll out to Chicago fans for the next five years.