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Losing Derrick Rose for another season has not stopped the Chicago Bulls
How far would you go?
Shouls the Bulls tank the season for a chance of landing a high draft pick?
Started from the bottom
So Bulls fans lost Derrick Rose for the season again, and traded the forth leading scorer in Chicago Bulls history Luol Deng. Well it's looks like another season of lost hopes for the Bulls. Or is it? While many fans perfer the team tank the season and try to win the league's draft lottery and have a chance to draft one of the freshman sensations Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, or Julius Randle.
The biggest problem with tanking the season appears to be that the East is so horrible that the Bulls may still make it even without the teams top two scorers. So what can fans look to be excited about? Well there could be allot if you examine how the current roster is playing.
The future of the Bulls may have already started with the new bench mob
Building a good team starts with small sacrifices
When the Bulls traded Loul Deng for Andrew Bynum and conditional draft picks, many believed that the season which has become a bust with the loss of Rose would become unbearable. There is next to no chance for the current team to challenge the Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers for the chance to represent the Eastern conference in the finals, but the team keeps on fighting. Winners of 5 of their last 6 games the Bulls are still showing signs of life and for good reason. Coach Thibodeau has found a good rotation coming off of the bench lead by D.J Augustine, , and Taj GibsonTony Snell. The new version of the bench mob show great continuity so far in the season, and at times provides more of an offensive punch than the starters. D.J. Augustine a former Charlotte Bobcat, and Toronto Raptor has been a great pick up since signing with the Bulls shortly after the injury to Derrick Rose. Augustine is averaging 10.8 points and 6.4 assists per game so far in 17 games off the bench for the Bulls. While playing the same minuets per game as his starting counterpart Kirk Hinrich, D.J. averages three more points and two more assists than Kirk and shoots for a higher percentage. Augustine is just one of the more recent journeymen points guards to strive with the Bulls in recent years. Many remember Nate Robinson's great play last season which helped the Chicago Bulls win their first round playoff match-up against the Brooklyn Nets in last years playoffs. And who may have forgot John Lucus III and his play for the team. While the previous point guards played with allot of emotion, D.J. seems to bring a calm presence to what could become one of the best benches in the game.
New and Improved
The new bench mob
Taj Gibson has improved his game each and every season with the team. While known as a good defensive player and re bounder, Gibson has made great strides in his offensive game. Taj is averaging nearly 12 points per game off the bench and normally in the game during it's final quarters in the place of Carlos Boozer. After last years contract extension for Gibson, fans wondered if Taj would live up to the contract, but he has shown signs this season that he can deliver. But the X factor for the Bulls may be Tony Snell. Not many Bulls fans had a chance to see Tony play before his play this season. The 6 foot 7 shooting guard is looked at as someone who will stretch the floor and knock down jumpers from the perimeter, but seems to be providing more. Each game he seems to improve on offense and defense,
but what should excite fans is his ability to make plays with the ball in his hands. The future is bright for the Bulls with their new bench mob.
Don't forget about me
And then there is Nikola Mirotic, the 6 foot 10 inch forward from Spain. Bulls GM Gar Forman has hinted that the organization would like to bring the 21 year old forward over next summer to join the team. Before the Bulls can bring Mirotic to the NBA they must first buy out his contract with Real Madrid. The money will likely come from the money saved by the Deng trade and a Boozer amnesty. In two exhibition games this past summer Nikola Mirotic had 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocks against the Toronto Raptors. Against the Memphis Grizzlies his stats read 14 points and 7 rebounds. He was also 2-5 from three point range. Many have compared the 21 year to Dirk as far as his range and ball handling ability.
What you see is what you get
Where will your favorite NBA player land next season?
While some say the Bulls are rebuilding, I say reloading
For Chicago Bulls fans this season the rest of the 2013 season seems to be a bust, but what did you have to look forward to. Even if Derrick Rose was not to be lost again for the season the Bulls were not likely to challenge the Miami Heat for the Eastern conference title. Many of the moves which have come from the Bulls this season were potentially the same moves they would make in the off season. Instead of just letting Luol Deng leave the team at the end of the season the Bulls save money this season in taxes, save next season with an extra $14 million to sign another player or two, and they also pick up draft picks to keep or trade. Chicago traditionally has been good at drafting young talent. Take away Eddie Curry, the trade of Lamarcus Aldridge(drafted by Chicago), and Marquis Teague the Bulls have traded for or drafted some good talent during the years. And then there is free agency. With names like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and more on the market many of the top free agents may stay in their respective homes, while some lesser known players may look for a change of zip codes. While Carmelo can provide the much needed scoring punch that the Bulls need, there are some players who may help the team even more. Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz is averaging 17 points and over 5 rebounds a games for one of the worst teams in the NBA. He is a restricted free agent but may be available for a team with a chance to compete for a title. Lance Stephenson could also be a good pick up. The third year shooting guard averages 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists a game for the Indiana Pacers which will have a hard time resigning him in the off season giving what the demands will be for his services. While the numbers may not blow you away, he has improved his stats in each of the 3 seasons he has been in the league. While Chicago Bulls fans may consider this as a rebuilding period, in the eyes of some it may just be the team reloading.
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