That is not to say that Forman and Paxson did nothing, though after assembling $31 million in cap space, not acquiring James, Wade, or Bosh has been one of the greatest disappointments for this current Bulls’ regime.
A Bulls’ regime that has endured great regular season success but have fallen flat on their faces in the playoffs. Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau has been criticized for being a great regular season head coach but a not so good playoff coach. That criticism comes with the territory of being a team’s head coach.
Meanwhile, Forman and Paxson have seemingly gone unscathed in the midst of the Bulls’ playoff failures.
That is why the 2014 off-season should be a make or break summer for the Bulls’ front office.
For whatever reason, the Bulls since 2000 have been an afterthought among the NBA’s greatest players. Before being left at the alter by James, Wade and Bosh, the Bulls were left with a bag of money and nothing to show for it when they were spurned by Tracy McGrady in 2000.
With nearly a week to go before free agency, Paxson and Forman now have a legitimate chance of landing a superstar in the form of Carmelo Anthony. In fact, the Bulls’ chances of acquiring Anthony may be stronger than the team’s chances of acquiring any of the Big 3 in 2010 as well as McGrady in 2000.
The Bulls, at least for Forman’s and Paxson’s sake, can not afford to miss out on Anthony this summer.
While Anthony does not a guarantee a trip to the NBA Finals for the Bulls, it certainly makes the path much easier.
The path that doesn’t include Anthony with Bulls is one that we would have seen before.
If the Bulls did not acquire Anthony, the team would likely move forward with their plan of trading for Arron Afflalo while drafting a player in the first round that Thibodeau would seldom use. Nikola Mirotic would also certainly be brought over from Real Madrid as well if the Bulls were unable to acquire Anthony.
While those moves would make the Bulls a better team, they would do little to alter the path that the Bulls have been on since 2010. The path being acquiring veteran role players that contribute to being a great regular season team but simply run out of gas by the end of the season.
That blueprint has failed since 2010.
The time is now for Forman and Paxson to change their ways and reel in the big fish. The big fish being Anthony. After all, acquiring Anthony may just save their jobs or at least save the pair from overwhelming criticism.