The Chicago Bulls struck out on Carmelo Anthony, continuing a frustrating inability to sign star free agents that has lasted over the past few summers. However, the Bulls ended up with a handful of other players, and it looks like the future is brighter than we expected for Chicago basketball fans.
Most Chicagoans breathed a collective sigh of relief when Carmelo ended up back on the New York Knicks. I’m somebody who always thought his shortcomings could be alleviated on a team like the Bulls, but that’s just my opinion.
Regardless of your thoughts on Melo, we can all agree he is a genuine asset on offense. While he resorted to an inordinate amount of ball-hogging on the Knicks last year, look at that roster and tell me what his other options were. If he were on the Bulls, I bet he would be a much more controlled player.
Whatever. That’s all useless now and all we can do is see what the Bulls have to work with at this very moment. And honestly, it’s actually looking pretty great.
The Bulls traded their #16 and #19 picks for Doug McDermott, signed Pau Gasol, re-signed Kirk Hinrich, brought Nikola Mirotic over from Europe, and just signed point guard Aaron Brooks.
Offense was the biggest problem for the Bulls, without question, and that certainly seems to be less of an issue thanks to McDermott, Gasol, Mirotic, and even Brooks.
Dougie McBuckets killed it during Summer League, averaging eighteen points, four rebounds, and three assists on 44% shooting and 96% from the free throw line. He also killed it at Creighton, so I’m not too surprised.
Gasol is Gasol, which means being one of the best big men in the game, even at the age of 34. Gasol and Joakim Noah are both excellent passers, so expect some sick stuff in that area.
Hinrich will be Hinrich (in a good way) – we all know what he brings to the table at this point. The only interesting thing is that D.J. Augustin was let go, even though it’s arguable which player would have helped the team more.
Mirotic was a beast over in Europe. He’s 6’10” and shoots threes quite well; he shot 46% from three last season while playing for Real Madrid.
Aaron Brooks is the newest acquisition as of this writing and he adds depth to the bench. He also adds depth to the point guard position.
Speaking of point guards, remember that guy Derrick Rose? It all hinges on his health. With or without the improvements this free agency, the Bulls will make the playoffs. That’s what you get when you have the luxury of playing in the shitty Eastern Conference. But becoming a title contender is another story.
People are already saying that the Bulls are one of the top three teams in the East. They are correct. With LeBron James going back home to Cleveland, the Eastern Conference is pretty wide open. It’s almost anybody’s to win, and the Bulls will be huge favorites if Derrick Rose comes back healthy and plays at even 85% capacity.
I’m really liking the position the Bulls are in. Even though Carmelo is an excellent player, one can’t help but be a little happy he didn’t get signed by Chicago. Depth is an important characteristic of quality teams; look at what San Antonio did to Miami in the Finals.
If Derrick Rose comes back at an All-Star level, the Bulls will be formidable.
P.S. The Bulls are apparently pushing hard for a trade that sends Kevin Love to the Bulls and maybe Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves. I sincerely hope that trade never pans out for reasons that I shouldn’t even have to explain.