Sprinkled about Gar Forman’s office are screwed up balls of paper torn from the Chicago Bulls precious handbook of success. The very same handbook responsible for an established regular season juggernaut that terrorised the East just a few years ago, built around a core of very good draft picks. Raw potential blossomed into real talent with Derrick Rose at the helm, but the Windy City that looked deadly at the start of the decade was eventually crushed by injuries and LeBron’s college years.
So why undo their recent success at the draft with weak moves? The last two trades green lighted by Forman and the big wigs saw minimal return on rough but potentially elite sniper Doug McDermott and a rather lacklustre package for their franchise guy Jimmy Butler.
Perhaps the handbook only translates when drafting and not trading.
It is clear now the Bulls are stacking bricks of dynamite, uncoiling the liquorice fuse and are poised to blow it up. A likely upcoming Dwayne Wade buyout could be the spark that sends the team into deep space.
But despite diminishing returns across the board and the prospect of a few years sucking it up with the sad sacks circling the Eastern Conference toilet bowl, there is actual direction. A rebuild seems welcomed compared to a couple of quick fix players with slightly expired skillsets and a nasty allergy to the 3.
The Bulls have bravely attached themselves to another freak athlete with a major knee op under his belt which may make some fans a little queasy. But if there is any organisation in recent times who know the path back from a torn ACL, it is undoubtedly Chicago. And let’s not forget, Zach LaVine is younger than Joel Embiid.
The ceiling is still high on LaVine with reports indicating a strong work ethic translating to a successful recovery. The 22 year old could be given the keys to the house if poppa Wade scoots taking him from the 3rd option in the frozen tundra, to the man. With more room to move out there we’ll find out if LaVine is more than just a rim destroying cyborg programmed for anti-gravity exhibition stuffs.
Things look a little more dicey for Kris Dunn however, who’ll be vying for a starting spot alongside Rondo, Cameron Payne and five thousand other point guards on the books.