Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What Should The Bulls Do This Offseason?

The Bulls are one of the most fascinating teams going into this offseason. Derrick Rose's health is the biggest question, but all Bulls fans can do about that is hope, pray, and wait to see what happens. Almost as big of a story is whether the Bulls will make a big move to bolster their lineup. There are a lot of options out there, but what is the best option? Let's look at some likely scenarios.

1. Do Nothing
This is the one that scares Bulls fans, and although I don't love it, I'm also not totally against it. Everyone assumes that the Bulls will amnesty Boozer, but the Bulls are notoriously cheap, so throwing away $15 million doesn't seem like it would be at the top of their list of things to do. Still, if Nikola Mirotic finally comes over from Spain, there really isn't a place for the Bulls to play Boozer, as Gibson can play the traditional 4 and Mirotic can be used as a stretch 4. That would mean they have no money, but considering they have two first round picks, they could hopefully find a solid wing and a backup center. That's a team that will probably need some luck, but LeBron's supporting cast is getting older, so are the Spurs, and OKC has Scott Brooks, whose skill with Xs and Os starts and ends with Tic-tac-toe. Still, this plan would drive Bulls fans crazy, and yet wouldn't totally surprise me.

2. Trade for Kevin Love
This seems to be the option that gives Bulls fans wet dreams. Love is definitely the best player that the Bulls could add, but that's pretty easy to say since he is one of the 10 best players in the league. Obviously, he would be a great addition, but I'll admit that it would still be bittersweet. I, like many Bulls fans, love Taj Gibson more and more every year. The reason he is so valuable is that when other teams go small, they can keep Taj at the four, dominate the boards, and still have him hang with a wing on defense. That is a really valuable commodity. Also, I have been dreaming of Mirotic for years, and have already decided that he is a poor man's Dirk, which gives the Bulls all kinds of fun options. But it's still Kevin Love, so even if they traded Gibson, Mirotic, and two first round picks, they would still be putting themselves in a better position to win a championship in the next few years. Also, it would ensure that Boozer would be gone, which Bulls fans seem to need at this point.

3. Get Melo
After thinking about it, I have joined Joakim Noah as saying this is the move I want the most. Carmelo is not perfect, but he is very much needed for the Bulls and fills their biggest need. He can score from the wing, and that is what the Bulls need. He is a force with the ball in his hands, so not all the offense would have to fall on Derrick Rose in crunch time. They'd have to amnesty Boozer and probably get rid of Dunleavy to have enough money to bring over Mirotic, but these are all realistic possibilities. Also, I would expect Carmelo's defense to improve since he will finally be playing for a coach that cares about that side of the ball (I admit this is slightly unfair to Mike Woodson, but he's not on the level of Thibs). In the draft, the Bulls can add depth and be ready to bring the championship back to Chicago.

I am way too optimistic about the Bulls. Even in the first scenario, I could see them competing for a championship. With Love, their odds increase, but I still like Carmelo Anthony the most. A lineup of Noah-Gibson-Melo-Butler-Rose is probably the best starting five in the league. Thibodeau has shown he can turn just about any bench players into solid contributors, so I really don't see how the Bulls would not be the favorite for the title if they can stay healthy. My childhood was filled with six championships, so I will never be too mad at the Bulls. But as a Cubs, Bears, and Bulls fan, it has been 16 years without a professional title (really wish I liked hockey), so I feel like I am due, and the Bulls are my best shot at that. Bring on Melo, and me and Lala can make jokes about Carson Daly. Everybody wins, especially the city of Chicago.

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