Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bulls at Crossroads

Bulls at Crossroads

All the experts keep touting the bulls as one of the best young teams in the East, and really, that's all they are right now -- one of the best young teams in the East. This is the most important offseason for the Chicago Bulls in the Post Jordan Era. The big question, which will be answered this summer, is does John Paxon want to construct a title contending team or keep on building an exciting young ball club. I have the utmost faith in John Paxon as a GM but the fate of the bulls does not rest entirely in his hands. Therefore, I am going to break down some plausible scenarios.

1) The bulls keep their #2 and #16 pick and draft two more young players. With the #2 they will either take a poor man's Chris Bosh in LaMarcus Aldridge or a motorized Stromile Swift. The only consensus seems to be that none are franchise changers which is what one ideally likes to acquire with such a high draft pick. With the #16 pick I could see the bulls nabbing a Ronnie Brewer, Mardy Collins type player -- a productive big guard who can step in and contribute. I'm confident Pax will make the best choice with each pick (he usually has in his short tenure) but are more young players what the Bulls really need?

2) The bulls package the draft picks with either Deng or Gordon for KG or JO. I would not want to acquire Jermaine O'Neal if I were the Bulls due to his recent injury history but KG is a very intriguing option. Check out this link for a better description of his value http://gladwell.typepad.com/gladwellcom/. I think this is the optimal offseason move for the Bulls but it takes two to tango and I don't see how a rational GM/owner would want to trade a superior (althletically and financially) bball player for a couple good role players. Luckily, Kevin McHale is the GM of the Twolves. Also, one can hope that KG starts up the trade demands in the near future.

3) Sign a free agent. The only free agent that makes sense to me is also the most difficult one to sign -- Ben Wallace. The Bulls would have the best defensive front court with Wallace, Tyson and Noc (personal fave) but would also get a combined 5 points/game out of Wallace and Chandler; however, with a defense that menacing, I doubt it would matter. It will be interesting to see how the Heat Pistons series unfolds and how Joe Dumars handles the delicate balance between winning now and future flexibility. The other possible free agents -- Joe Vanilla Gorilla Pryzbilla, Nazr Mohammed, and Al Harrington aren't great investments in my mind. I would much rather wait for the 2007 free agent class which is loaded with the likes of the 2003 draft class, Dirk, Vinsanity, Rashard Lewis, and Mike Bibby.

In any case this will be a very interesting offseason for The Chicago Bulls. I hope the pieces fall in place for John Paxon to make the Bulls a title contender once again.

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