Last week, Bill Simmons went on air to discuss why he believes the Chicago Bulls should blow this roster up and start acquiring assets for the future during his podcast. As frustrating as this is to hear for many fans, Simmons is not alone here as many members of the media have reflected this sentiment.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor broke down the numbers to explain why it’s a good move logistically speaking, while NBA legend Charles Barkley echoed O’Connor’s opinion for no other reason than they’re “just not good enough”.
It’s obvious to see why so many proponents agree tanking is a good decision this season, even after Barkley was a big proponent of the Bulls just last year. The allure of winning the draft lottery and securing the right to select Victor Wembanyama has reached an all-time high. As we all know by now, the Magic hold the rights to the Bulls’ pick this year, but only if it lands outside the top four.
Even if Chicago misses out on Wembanyama, there’s still a myriad of talent to choose from at picks No. 2, 3, and 4. This list includes G League ignite phenom Scoot Henderson, collegiate standouts Brandon Miller, Nick Smith Jr., and Cam Whitemore, as well as the dynamic duo of Amen and Ausar Thompson in the Atlanta-based pro league, Overtime Elite. If the Bulls want to add any of these talented players, they’re going to need to come around to Simmons’ viewpoint and make the decision to trade their star players sooner rather than later.
If the Chicago Bulls want to draft a top prospect like Victor Wembanyama, they’ll need to commit to a rebuild soon and trade away their star talent.
That being said, it all too often feels like these big trade proposals for the Bulls serve no purpose but to make the other party significantly better at a discounted rate. Simmons’ own trade proposals were for the most part laughably bad. Chicago’s front office has no incentive to sell their assets for pennies on the dollar, so these takes often feel clickbait-y in nature and are often infuriating for Bulls fans to hear.
In the unlikely scenario Chicago does decide to blow it all up and rebuild, they will do so on their own terms and secure the best deal possible. Seeing how the team has refused to jump the gun and been patient with Coby White despite floating him on the trade block for over a year now, we have no reason to believe the front office won’t behave strategically and maintain an even temperament in potential trade negotiations.
If the Bulls are able to swing a big trade for any of the players mentioned below, it stands to reason that it will only be the first of many dominoes to fall. Since the Bulls need to secure a top-four lottery position to retain their pick, any move to get worse this year almost certainly will be followed by more trades to move on from this team’s most desirable assets.
With that in mind, let’s see if we can’t construct a brighter future for these Chicago Bulls than Simmons appears capable of imagining. We’ll start from the top, with the Bulls looking to move on from their best player and arguably most desirable trade asset.