Watching the Bulls Nets game and while it's not that surprising, it's very likely that the Bulls could be going to the 2nd round without their star player.
People could use this as a way to say Derrick Rose shouldn't whine about the personnel on his team because the Bulls have a dearth of very good players. But I just can't get over the feeling that you NEED a 2nd star to compliment your franchise player.
Don't get me wrong. Deng, Noah, and Boozer are great players but I think they would be classified as third tier players. I'd say Hinrich and Gibson are 4th tier players. In my incredibly arbitrary and pointless ranking system I would say the Heat have two first tier players and one 2nd tier. OKC has two first tier players, and the Clippers have one 1st tier, 1 2nd tier, and 2 3rd tier players.
So this offseason what should the Bulls management do? The ultimate goal is to win a championship team around Derrick Rose, but you can't tell me they can win one with the way this team is currently constructed.
Boozer has surprised me this season. I was calling for his head at the end of the playoffs last year, but he has really tried to put the team on his back this year. He's healed his rep with most Chicago fans as well. BUT his contract is still too much imo for a 3rd tier player and really limits Chicago's options financially. They HAVE to amnesty him. I don't know where he could go but I guess Dallas, NY?, and Brooklyn? could be possible destinations.
He's done well this season, but his potential is relatively low and with his age he will never get back to kind of being a 2nd tier player with D-Will in Utah. In my opinion, Taj Gibson has the ability to move up a tier to 3rd tier if he's given the minutes, and he gets 6 mil less per year.
Then there's Luol Deng who may have been an All-Star this year, but I think his production could still be replaced by a host of players that get paid much less than him. Namely Jimmy Butler and Kirk Hinrich. I would get rid of Deng and Boozer but keep Hinrich and Noah because those two imo are just perfect pieces for a championship winning team.
With those two off the books, that paves the way for the Bulls to sign a second star. Aaaaaaand that's probably the hardest part because who could they possibly sign or trade for? Maybe you guys could help me with this because I can't think up of that many options for the Bulls. Eric Gordon? Constantly hurt and hasn't proven he can become a 2nd tier player yet. Hell Demarcus Cousins? Just threw his name out there but even he is just a ball of potential and still has issues he needs to work out. Dwight? lol
Anybody else? Maybe Chicago gets lucky in the 2016 draft with that Bobcats pick, but I don't think Chicago fans and Derrick Rose want to wait that long...
As a Bulls fan, I can't really tell where this team is going. Are we just going to settle for Eastern Conference runners up year after year? Something has to be done. Every team and fanbase should expect their team to be striving to move up on the next rung of their league. And Chicago's next rung is the Finals and an eventual championship.
They don't need a second star now, but they will once Rose hits his prime. Rose will be 25 for next season, and it may take him awhile to get back in a rhythm. So say he returns to pre-ACL injury Rose in his 26-29 year old seasons and maybe longer. But let's just say they have those four years as a time frame to win a championship. Who is his sidekick or go-to-guy for those years?
Boozer will be 33 in 2014-15 and likely won't be brought back once his contract runs out unless he's willing to take a big pay cut. Gibson will be 29 in 2014-15 and isn't a talented enough player to be that second guy. Deng will be 30 and he's a great player, but he isn't a star player they need. Noah will also be 30, and still should be good, but he also isn't that star player they need. Marquis Teague will be Rose's backup so he's not really in position to be that star player. Can Butler develop into that guy? I think he may develop in the same situation as Deng is now. A good player you want on your team, but not a star.
So where does that leave the Bulls? They either need to make a free agent splash when Boozer's contract comes off the books, make couple good draft picks coming up, or trade Deng and/or Noah. It will be interesting to see what they do in order to give Rose some help in his prime years, and they have plenty of directions to go, but which direction is best is yet to be seen.
On a side note, if the rumors of a Deng for #7 pick in last year's draft were true, I think the Bulls should have taken that deal, but it's easier to say that looking back.
What player do you think would be a good fit next to Derrick Rose as a 2nd star? Forget feasibility just in an imaginary world if everything worked out who would be the player you would choose?
There are tons of players who I could say. LeBron James or Kevin Durant would be ideal obviously, but they wouldn't technically be 2nd stars in Chicago. I could say Dwight Howard, in a longshot move where Boozer was amnestied and Howard somehow found his way to Chicago, but that's not likely.
So realistically there aren't many options. I think a younger SG would be nice to pair alongside Rose so I could say Beal, Gordon, or McLemore, but the only semi-realistic option there is Gordon, and he has injury issues of his own. O.J. Mayo is a more realistic option, but I don't know if he'd be considered a 2nd star. Or maybe Chicago could somehow get Jeremy Lamb. This is a longshot, but you're asking for longshots, so how about Jeremy Lamb, OKC lotto pick from Toronto, and OKC second rounder from Charlotte for Joakim Noah or Luol Deng? Not going to happen but I'm just throwing it out there.
If Chicago doesn't roll the dice on Adams, Gobert, Nogueira, or any of those raw bigs in this draft, I think they should maybe look at Ricky Ledo. He should easily be there when there on the clock, and he has a lot of upside, especially when compared to all the other prospects. He obviously has a lot of downside too, but the rewards would outweigh the risks in this scenario I think.
Noah and Deng were both all stars, I would call them second tier players.
Again like I said my ranking system is incredibly arbitrary and doesn't make much sense. And you can make a case for a bunch of people being in various tiers. I myself after posting the thread second guessed some of my tier rankings.
But you understand my overall premise that those two can't be relied upon to truly be the 2nd star pairing with Rose. And like Toung-Out said, maybe they don't need a 2nd star and just need a couple more players in that third tier role.
I think they're good enough as is but they can always improve.
This league is made by stars. Hell, in the last 15 years, only two teams without much "star-power" have won titles. (Detroit and Dallas) Stars like Duncan, Robinson, Kobe, Shaq, Parker, Ginobili, Wade, Garnett, Pierce, Allen, Bynum, Gasol, James, and Bosh have all won titles together.
This roster already has two All-Stars in Deng and Noah (Boozer isn't exactly an All-Star anymore) so they don't need star power. The Heat struggle against this team without Rose, now imagine how much they'd have trouble with him.
There is always room for improvement though and if they can add a guys like Paul Millsap or JJ Redick without losing Noah or Deng, it would put them over the top.
if all they had to beat for a title was brooklyn nets then they dont need another star. but to beat the heat, thunder, and other contenders if there are any, they need another star. no matter how good drose is, drose cant beat lebron+wade+bosh by himself. yea they have boozer, deng and noah but you don't really think they are gonna be the difference makers do you?
Deng, Noah, and Boozer AREN'T great players. Like if you're NOT the only one who gets annoyed that the word great is thrown around too loosely.
If you compare them to my basketball skills, their great. If you compare them to LeBron or KD then they aren't great. But in comparison with the rest of the league, their definitely above average since they are all stars.
There's no doubt that the Bulls need another player who can create his own offense off of the dribble and help in the scoring department.
IF you look around the league at who may be available, Gordon makes the most sense in a lot of ways.
It'll suck giving up Deng, but I really do think Butler has made him somewhat expendable. Deng and the 20th pick to the Pelicans would be a good deal for both teams IMO.
OJ Mayo makes good sense as well for the Bulls
Been calling for that the last few years. Hopefully it happens.
The word "great"is thrown around too often. On the East, it's not difficult to make the all-star game, so let's stop saying players are great bc they made the all-star game. Put it this way, neither Deng, Noah, nor Boozer are hall of game type players. That's what separates them from other teams. Teams that has won and are title contenders this year has multiple hall of fame players. Dallas and Detroit are not fair comparisons. If you're gonna build around only 1 star, he needs to be a big for you to have a chance. That's what Dallas had, as well as veterans who were "starving"for a title, and had a great bench. Detroit, was a great team and the stars aligned for them. We'll be hard pressed to see a team without Hall of famers (Wallace, Billups are arguable) that can come together for that success.
Chicago does need another star/hall of fame player. They need someone that can create for himself and/or teams have to gameplan for. Who and how to get this person will be difficult bc of their cap situation now and for the foreseeable future. I think we underestimate just how important luck and timing is when building a team. with Rose max contract, and Boozer, Deng, and Noah's, even when one or two of their deals are up, they will only have yet so much room to sign another player.keep in mind when Deng and Noah expires, they may feel they need to resign them. Bulls will need to get "lucky" and find some gems late in the draft, where they'll always be picking, or take a step back and deal Noah/Deng for young players and high picks and cross their fingers they draft great players.
Now my idea for a quick fix, I'll take the step backwards approach. Like someone above suggested, Howard would be great alongside Rose. I don't think he'll want to go to Chicago, but if he would:
1. Trade Deng to Sacramento for 2013 lotto pick. Sac town needs a SF and should rather a veteran over another prospect.
2. Trade Noah to Orlando for Afflalo, Harris, Nicholson. I'm assuming here that Orlando drafts McLmore and prefers Harkless to Harris as their future SF. Orlando brings former Gator Noah back to Gainsville and would playing alongside Vuvecic at pf and compliment him perfectly.
3. Amnesty Boozer
4. With Boozer, Noah, and Deng contracts gone, Bulls can offer Howard a max contract.
I believe Noah is a Hall of fame type but Deng and Boozer fall short. There are not a lot of big men that can do what Noah can. Small forward like Deng are common. Boozer is not even top 10 pf among current players. If Noah stays healthy and Bulls win a ring, his numbers, high energy, and intangibles will help his case. Also he was a winner in college.
Eric Gordan could be a nice fit in Chicago, if he can stay healthy that is, and thats a big if. They've needed a second scorer and a good 2 guard since Ben Gordon left and Rip was one of the most inefficient players in the league this season from an Effective Field Goal % stand point. Could bundle away Deng and a couple other pieces to New Orleans to pick him up, insert Jimmy Butler into the starting line up, he can somewhat fill the defensive void on the perimeter that Deng would leave behind.
Plus Eric and D-Rose were highschool team-mates and already have innate chemistry and know each others games well, making a dangerous back court tandem.
I think a sixth man that can give them scoring off the bench could be what they need. Like a Jarrett Jack or J Crawford.
I don't think they are desperate to have a 2nd Star on the team. Deng, Noah and Gibson aren't exactly young but are perfect players for coach Ts roster.
The only spot they really need help is at the 2. we all know how tough it is to make progress with Booz' contract around but still they need a shooting guard really bad.
Mayo could be a nice pickup for them even if I have a feeling he won't live up to his next contract. I always wanted Monta Ellis to play on a contender and if there is a team out there that can hide his defensive flaws it should be the Bulls.
Maybe they can work out a sign and trade somehow but I hope they don't dump Deng who is one of the most underrated players right next to Andre Miller to me.
I hope they find a way to upgrade the 2 spot this year without blowing up the starting five. Gibson just got a big extension and may be the one to be moved unless they find a way to get rid of Boozers contract who had a rock solid season so far but just isn't worth so much money.
I don't think they need a 2nd star, I think that any team that wins 45 games and makes the 2nd round (if they hold on to 3-1 lead) without their star and top-5 player is already a talented enough team on paper to win the title. I think we forget that sometimes talent isn't enough to win a title, you also need coaching, circumstances, and maybe a little luck too.
With that said, I would love to see them make a run for Big Al Jefferson (Free Agent) to pair with D. Rose. As an offensive player he's a superstar (mediocre defender at best though) but he's a legitimate low post scorer that can take over games and command double teams. I think if you amnesty Boozer, and don't resign Deng (Butler is ready to take his spot) you could slide an athletic Noah to PF and play him alongside Big Al, with Gibson as the 3rd Big. I think Noah's all around skill and great defensive play would make him and Big Al a great 4/5 tandem. This team could also destroy Miami on the boards which I think right now is a team's only chance of beating them.