Published on 12-01-2013 11:36 AM
Number of Views: 7
For years the org did whatever it took to get more ping pong balls.
Sometimes those ping pong balls result in all out busts like Marcus Fizer.
Sometimes you get a really high pick and it turns into Jay Williams, and tragedy strikes.
Sometimes you land an Eddy Curry, who while productive is flawed and eats himself out of the league.
Sometimes you actually land future sixth men of the year and defensive players if the year / champions in Jamal Crawford and Tyson Chandler and you let them waltz out the door for nothing.
Sometimes you get an Elton Brand who while good does really win a lot of NBA basketball games for you and will force you to either pay him a lot of money or let him go.
Sometimes the lotto pick turns in to role players like Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon.
Sometimes you get all-star level players in Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, who are not going to be "the man" but could be cornerstones of a championship team.
When the Bulls were playing the ping pong ball game, it didn't really work out. And that was, what, a decade of that?
When the Bulls were not playing the ping pong ball game is when dumb luck struck and we landed a MVP level superstar. And even that can go south on you.
We have one of the best coaches in the NBA who can seemingly get the most out of nearly anyone and gets his players to play hard. And he can win.
We have an all-star level, all defensive team center.
We have an all-star level small forward.
Some good young / youngish talent as well in Snell, Butler, Gibson.
Mirotic is a ? but could be an asset. A chance to add more or parlay with a Charlotte pick.
Thibs also has established a good culture with this team. The Bulls are no longer losers or have a losing mentality. That does count for something.
These are all good assets. If you have the MVP level player to plug into the mix you can really be a threat.
If you revert back to playing the ping pong ball game, you basically have to lose all of the current assets you have, except for Rose. And, there are so many bad teams in the NBA this year, you are probably not get the most balls. And then you're talking 2-3 years to develop the 18-19 year old you draft even if you do hit the lotto. And we've seen first hand the ping pong ball game isn't all its cracked up to be.
The Bulls have to make 2 decisions, IMO, and the first one is the most important.
They have to decide if Derrick Rose is going to be a high level all-star again if not an MVP short term. If this can happen, you don't blow up this team. If you don't think it can, you blow it up.'
The other tough call is Deng. He's going to command 13-15 mil a year over four years. Is having Deng at age 220.127.116.11 after LOTS of miles worth tying up salary. The Deng we're seeing this year will be the youngest, most motivated Deng we'll see, so that has to be kept in mind. ALso, if you are going to have Thibs as coach, Deng is a guy he feels is key to winning.
IF Rose can be a high level All-Star / MVP and Deng can continue to be an all-star level for the first 3 years of that contract at least, you can run with Rose/Deng/Noah as your core and Butler/Snell/Gibson/Mirotic/Pick as the rest. That will be a good team and as the Heat superteam fades as Wade fades it will be a contender. And the Bulls need to do everything they can to convert Butler/Snell/Gibson/Pick into another very above average if not all-star level scorer. I can be on board with that.
Its unclear from my view from the 300 level how Rose will pan out and its also unclear if Deng will be worth what he'll command. Having Butler and Snell being able to potentially play the 3 has to be kept in mind as well, but people tend to forget how good Luol Deng is and that guys like Butler are still very unproven (1 solid year as a backup, now hurt).
As it stands right now, blowing it up just doesn't feel right to me. We have too many assets to start another potentially decade long ping pong ball game. And, once you've torn down the house, getting the ping pong balls is the easy part. The Bulls never turned the ping pong ball game into an MVP level guy while they were actually playing that game.
Can Deng keep playing at this current level for at least 3 more seasons? Can Rose be a high level all-star MVP again? If the answer to those two questions is yes, I say stand pat. But those two questions are the tough ones.