As the Chicago Bulls head into the offseason, for general manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations, John Paxson, the season is just starting. The Bulls expect to be busy this summer looking to sign players who they think will bring the NBA championship back to Chicago. Many people have been talking about the Bulls as a possible landing spot for Carmelo Anthony, but at this point those are just rumors. The Bulls also hold the rights to European star Nikola Mirotic, and will try to bring him over to the NBA this offseason.
The first question on Paxson and Forman’s mind is where to begin. After being completely dominated in almost all facets of the game against the Washington Wizards, one thing is clear the Bulls need more scoring. Even with a healthy Derrick Rose, the Bulls need a second primary scorer. This does not mean Mike Dunleavy Jr. or D.J. Augustin, the Bulls need another super star if they want to be true championship contenders. This is why there have been many rumors about Anthony making his way to Chicago.
Unless Anthony wants to take a major pay cut to play for the Bulls, a sign-and-trade scenario is most likely. The Bulls would have to give up basically half of their roster for the Knicks to trade him. This would most likely include Taj Gibson, Dunleavy, Jimmy Butler, and possibly a few draft picks for a 29 year old who has been out of the first round of the playoffs only twice in his career. One thing is for sure, Anthony can score….a lot, and the Bulls could use that.
More and more reports have surfaced about Nikola Mirotic’s future in the NBA, and as of now it seems that he will be staying at least one more season in Europe. Although the Bulls would love to bring him over, right now it seems they don’t have enough money. This leaves the Bulls with a major dilemma, if they can’t bring over Mirotic, and they can’t sign Carmelo Anthony who do they turn to?
Sorry Bulls fans, Lebron James will not be signing with the Bulls, so where do the Bulls go from there? Keep in mind that the Bulls hold the 16th, 19th, and 49th overall pick in the upcoming draft that is filled with talented prospects. Forman and Paxson have been known for their late round draft picks (Gibson and Butler most notably), so they may find their scoring answer in the draft. However, to find an impact player for next season, free agency is probably their best bet.
The Bulls will most likely use the amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer, so they need to find a power forward and shooting guard (assuming Butler with play small forward). A few names to look out for this offseason include: Detroit Pistons Center Greg Monroe, although he is a restricted free agent and most likely won’t leave Detroit, it is nice to dream of a Joakim Noah-Monroe duo running up and down the court. Memphis Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph if he decides to opt out of his contract. Unrestricted free agent shooting guard Lance Stephenson, who the Bulls know can score in bunches. Another name to look out for is Detroit Piston’s Rodney Stuckey. Thought to be the face of the franchise, Stuckey never took the next step in the NBA, but one thing is for sure, he knows how to score the basketball. Also, they are relatively good defensive players, something Tom Thibodeau preaches.
The fact of the matter is that the Bulls need help. Derrick Rose or not, this offseason is extremely important for the Bulls. They need more talent if they even have a chance to compete for an NBA championship. The championship window for the Bulls keeps shrinking as they wait for Derrick Rose to return to his “old self”. As a Bulls fan though, would you consider this offseason a failure if they cannot sign Carmelo Anthony? I guess we will have to wait and see.