Although the current Chicago Bulls team sit in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, nobody expects them to have a deep play off run. Many people believe that the Bulls are not championship contenders this year because of Derrick Rose’s injury. As Rose continues to rehab his surgically repaired knee, several questions surround the Bulls front office. The Bulls’ future is in question.
For the past four seasons the Bulls management have thought that the core of Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, and Luol Deng would bring Chicago its first NBA championship since the Michael Jordan era. Now, Luol Deng plays for the Cleveland Cavilers, Derrick Rose has had two major knee injuries, and Carlos Boozer’s days are numbered in a Bulls uniform. The biggest question moving forward is Rose’s health, but it is obvious that the Bulls need to improve their roster if they want to compete.
Fortunately, the Bulls have a lot of positive pieces in place. Joakim Noah is playing the best basketball of his career, and is a virtual lock to be in a Bulls uniform for many years to come. Shooting guard/small forward Jimmy Butler is following up a strong 2012-2013 campaign, with another great year this season. Although he has been injury prone during his short career, when he plays he is a difference maker. The Bulls also own the rights to power forward Nikola Mirotic, who might be making his way to the NBA this offseason. Taj Gibson is having the best year of his career, and is proving that he can be a threat to score on every possession.
Although they have a lot of pieces in place, the Bulls still lack a second scorer that can carry the team when Rose is struggling (or hurt). This problem has plagued the Bulls for the past few seasons, and many believe that until they can find a second superstar to compliment Derrick Rose, they will be unable to win a championship.
Their division rival, Indiana Pacers have been in a similar boat for the past few years, they have been on the door step of a championship, but unable to get over the hump. Recognizing that they needed an upgrade, the Pacers front office traded injury prone Danny Granger to the Philadelphia 76ers for shooting guard Evan Turner. Turner is having a career year averaging 17.4 points per game, playing for one of the worst teams in the league. Having Turner play the shooting guard position, now gives the Pacers a legitimate threat to score at every position.
Prior to this year, many people believed that the Bulls were the best team in the Eastern Conference, however at seasons end the Bulls won’t even be the best team in their division. This offseason will be very important if the Bulls want to compete for a title anytime soon. The free agent and draft class will be one of the deepest pools in years, so the Bulls could build a championship team this summer.
This will not be a rebuilding project, primarily because they don’t need to rebuild. The Bulls have several core players that have the talent to be very dangerous, they are just missing a few pieces to be a championship threat. Head coach Tom Thibodeau is revered as one of the best coaches in the league, mainly due to his defensive genius. If Thibodeau is given a team with enough talent to win a title, it will be extremely hard to stop him.
The Bulls have several pieces of the championship puzzle, but until they find a second superstar to compliment Derrick Rose, a championship will only be a dream for Bulls fans.