Cleat Geeks

The Chicago Bulls Leave Fans in Disarray

ESPN Marc Stein reported shortly after the 3 pm ET deadline that Houston called a variety of teams about Dwight Howard. Houston came into the morning of February 18 to make it a priority to move their 7ft center. But to no prevail, there were no takers, even after contacting teams like Chicago, Boston, and Miami.DwightHowardDunk

The one team, the Chicago Bulls, was in the mix of a lot of trade talk and rumors over the past couple of days all the way up until the deadline.

The most talked about trade would have sent Pau Gasol and Tony Snell to Sacramento for Ben McLemore and Kosta Koufus and a first round pick. That of course loomed for a couple of days but went dead just about an hour before the deadline.

Another deal talked about was sending Aaron Brooks to Orlando for former UConn basketball star Shabazz Napier. Brooks, resigned last summer with a no-trade clause, would have had to accept the deal. Sources say it never got to that point hence the deal not happening.

Many Bulls fans wanted the Bulls to do something at the deadline. The first half of the season was not Bulls basketball they have all been used to over the past few seasons. Rose is still trying to play catch-up and Butler, Gasol, Noah, and Mirotic were banged up, but that’s no excuse when the team blew fourth quarter leads one after another.

ct-spt-0104-bulls-celticsPau Gasol has already hinted he will test the free agent market this summer. The way the season is going, the Bulls may not make the playoffs or if anything a low seed. It would have made sense to trade the 35 year old for some young player and possibly a draft pick. Gasol does a lot for this team, but why hang onto a star big man when the market for him is at an all-time high?

The front office has been under fire for quite some time now. From the Thibs firing to making no moves expect trading away Kirk Hinrich for a 2018 second round pick, Gar Forman and John Paxson let a lot of fans down by making no moves to improve this team. Like me and others, many wanted to get some young players for Pau Gasol and get Hoibergs offense going. Fred cannot run his uptempo offense with a 35 yr old center.

Right after the deadline hit, Gar Forman addressed the state of the Bulls in a phone conversation.

Why didn’t you trade Pau Gasol?

“Because we like him. We value Pau. We value him on the floor and the leadership he brings. We didn’t make calls looking to move Pau. We received calls on most of our players. Our job is to listen and to hear what people have to offer and get the pulse of what is happening around the league.”

Why not re-tool the roster now?

We certainly were not in any type of panic mode. We looked at the big picture. Obviously, the injuries that we’ve had have hurt. But that’s not the only reason. … We explored heavily and were very, very active with talks with a lot of teams. There wasn’t something we felt … significant enough to do something right now.

You can read more of the interview here:

Another point to go along with the interview is Gar plans to re-sign Noah and Pau in the off-season. Why? Noah has problems staying healthy and Pau will be 36—maybe the Bulls need to sign a new GM.

Bulls fans have a right to be frustrated. The first half of the season has been a mess with very little excitement and hope. While the progression of Rose could be a positive, there hasn’t been anything that you could say the Bulls are a threat in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls knew they needed an upgrade but didn’t follow through with anything. Fred Hoiberg needs young guys to run his offense, not a 35 yr old center passed his prime. All the hype that the Bulls would finally get a true SG in Ben McLemore went down the drain in just hours.

BullslogohalfMachineAs a Bulls fan, I am upset.  The Bulls did nothing to upgrade the team. It would be a different story if the Bulls were atop of the East but that’s not the case. They are a game out of ninth place. I wanted to have some new players to watch but that’s not going to happen. The Bulls needed a SG.  The Bulls needed a young big man who can get out and run the floor. While other teams in the East like Miami, Cleveland, and Detroit all got better, the Bulls stayed put and will most likely been looking from the outside in come playoff time.

The Bulls do not have enough to contend for the title and that’s the truth. Their bench play has not been great, Butler and Mirotic could be out for a few more weeks, and the chemistry just doesn’t seem to be there. The worst part about all of this is that the Bulls have beaten some of the best teams in the NBA but lose terribly to some of the worst. Their mindset has not been right all year and the excuses continue to pile up. As of right now and unless something miraculous happens, I do not see the Bulls in the playoff picture.

Guess I have to cheer for the Kings now so the Bulls get that protected pick.

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