Still no word on Vinny Del Negro’s future.
Still no real clue about which free agent(s) the Bulls will target this summer.
There’s always a certain amount of ambiguity surrounding a team after it is eliminated from the NBA playoffs. But the Bulls are one big question mark. The only players under contract for next season are Derrick Rose, James Johnson, Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng and Taj Gibson. Of course, there’s a sense that either Hinrich or Deng would be offered up readily in a sign-and-trade scenario. And Vinny has been one of the walking dead for months, although we won’t know for sure until this weekend or early next week.
What is the future of this team?
This season — and to an even greater extent these playoffs — proved that Rose and Noah provide a great foundation on which to build. Of course, the season and playoffs also proved the Bulls are another All-Star away from being something other than the scrappy team that sneaks into the playoffs and fights valiantly before their annual early exit.
We’re supposed to trust in management’s plan…even if we aren’t 100 percent certain what that plan is.
Jerry Reinsdorf is sitting on a big pile of cash. How will he spend it? I doubt LeBron James will come to Chicago. My two cent pscyhoanalysis is that LeBron wants to be bigger than Michael Jordan by the time his career is over, and that might be impossible if he comes to the Windy City, where he would be playing in Jordan’s shadow from the get go. If he leaves Cleveland, it’s most likely he’ll go to New York, right? James loves the Big Apple, and he would be the city’s greatest basketball player before suiting up for a single game.
Everything Dwyane Wade has been saying seems to indicate he’s not leaving Miami any time soon. Chris Bosh is still in play, and he would fill Chicago’s biggest need…a reliable frontcourt scorer. The biggest obstacle to Bosh will be the other teams throwing cash his way. Miami has more cap space available than the Bulls, and they have a former NBA Finals MVP, not to mention beautful weather 12 months a year.
I was critical of Joe Johnson’s performance in Game 5 of the Bucks-Hawks series, but to be honest, my reluctance toward Joe has more to do with the fact that he’s a volume shooter who’s numbers feel to reliant on big minutes and plenty of touches. I’m not sure he’s the ideal player to pair with Rose. I know, I know. The same could be said of D-Wade, but Wade is a superstar and Johnson.
No, I’m not excited about David Lee. I can’t shake the feeling that somebody is going to overpay for Lee this summer and that somebody will be very disappointed over the next four to five seasons.
Carlos Boozer? Word has it he wants to stay in Utah. Amar’e Stoudemire? It’s starting to look like the Phoenix Suns might break the bank to keep him.
Every possibility has a dark side. The folks in the front office have left the team and the fans dangling for the last season or two or three or four…and there’s no clear path to change. There are vague, blurry possibilities. We can only hope the Bulls don’t go the way of the Detroit Pistons — who spent over $90 million for Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva last summer — because that would be catastrophic.
As far as coaches go, my pick would be Jeff Van Gundy. I’m not sure that would be a poplular pick among most Bulls fans, but his teams always play tough defense and execute a disciplined (if unspectacular) offense. But as I said above, it’s not clear whether the Bulls will need a new coach. (That seems like a joke, right? I feel like management is dragging its feet on a decision that has already been made…but what do I know?
Man, I hate the offseason guessing game.