This is the final portion of a three part post grading the Chicago Bulls's offseason moves or lack thereof. General format of the grades will include the grade, followed by a brief background, reasoning for the grade, and potential impact it has for the future of the Chicago Bulls. You can find part one here and part two here.
Well, we're at the end of the major moves the Chicago Bulls did/did not make this past offseason. Too be completely candide, while the past couple of posts have been fun it's been grueling to have to relive what Caleb describes as the offseason from hell. But I digress. Let's dive right into the final grades before we begin to look forward to the 2012-2013 NBA season.
Bulls Draft Marquis Teague With Their Only Pick of the NBA Draft: F
The Bulls had only one draft pick in this year's draft and had a gaping need at shooting guard. Just about every expert analyst expected Chicago to take a shooting guard to eventually take over for Richard Hamilton. Instead, management shocked everyone by taking a point guard.
Reasoning For the Grade:
This one is simple: If you have a superstar named Derrick Rose playing point guard, have a dire need at shooting guard, and you draft a backup point guard instead, an "F" is the only grade you're going to get. Quite frankly, I do not care that Teague has the potential to be Kyle Lowry good. I do not care if in the 2013 draft he'd be a lottery pick. The fact of the matter is, the Bulls needed a shooting guard, and they did not get one. And what was the point of drafting Teague if management was just going to go out and get Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson to play ahead of him?
But I could have forgiven drafting Teague with the first pick. Who knows? He may end up being the best backup point guard in the league if he lives up to his potential. What I cannot forgive is the fact that management would not pay a team for their second round draft pick to draft Doron Lamb or Will Barton. Granted neither player could end up being the answer at shooting guard, however, what's a few hundred thousand to the most profitable team in the NBA?
Hard to say. Teague could end up being the best backup point guard in the NBA and make the bench phenomenal all while locked into a rookie contract. Or he could end up being terrible and a waste of a pick.
Management Overhauls the Bench: D
Going into this offseason, the Bulls had some big question marks with their bench. Would Omer Asik, CJ Watson, and Ronnie Brewer be brought back? Who would be brought in? How would management handle being in the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history
Reasoning For Grade:
I can understand letting Ronnie Brewer and Omer Asik go this past offseason. Brewer was solid defensively but brought nothing in terms of offense. Asik was just too expensive for a guy who had as much offensive capability as I did if I were playing as a center in the NBA. I can even understand letting Watson go simply because he was not worth five million for the next season. However, I do not understand why they got rid of Kyle Korver to bring in a trade exception that they will not even use. I also wonder why they got out of the luxury tax if they were going to dive right back into it with a group I am determined to have named the BenchSobs.
I'd rather not go into all the signings, but so far things are not looking good for this bench squad. The BenchMob was known for their shut down defense though they were fairly anemic offensively. The BenchSobs, on the other hand, are fairly anemic on both sides of the ball, with the exception of Taj Gibson (and Hinrich who is technically starting in Rose's absence). So far Nazr Mohammed has shown flashes of being a stronger offensive option than Asik was, but the defense is lackluster and has left Gibson trying to cover two bigs at once. Nate Robinson is literally another version of John Lucas III. Marco Belinelli has been a poor man's Korver, and Jimmy Butler… ok, Butler's been solid. He hasn't been great offensively, but he's Jimmy Butler. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Point is is that so far, the bench seems to have downgraded. Most of the players haven't lived up to standards in the preseason against opposing benches and random players still trying to make squads and that doesn't exactly scream good things for the regular season.
If you're a new reader, I'm someone who is in favor of throwing this season away simply so Rose doesn't try to do too much coming back from the injury only to end up hurting himself again. I say cut losses and move on. With this bench, there's a chance that Chicago may in fact end up a lottery team and could figure out something to get Rose the help he needs.
But to get back to the main point, I think that the change from the Bench Mob to the Bench Sob will only hurt the Bulls.
Editor's note: Seriously, am I the only one who finds 'Bench Mob Vista' funny? Sigh. Although, to be fair, Bench Sob isn't bad.
Final Offseason Grade: D
This offseason for the Bulls just hasn't been good for the Bulls. I can't blame management for too much of it due to the uncertainty surrounding Rose. However, things could have been much better if things had been handled better (such as Reinsdorf saying basketball is only a game while he's lowering the team's salary).
At the end of the day though, there's not much we can do but continue to faithfully root for Chicago and hope for better times. In my opinion, despite the minor setbacks this offseason, Chicago will be in a much better place moving forward.
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