Healthy Derrick Rose also vital if Bulls want to compete next year…
After their season ended in disappointment with an opening round playoff series loss to the Washington Wizards, the Chicago Bulls will switch their focus to rebuilding for next season.
On a positive note, considering Derrick Rose was lost for the year with another serious knee injury as well as Luol Deng being traded in mid-season, the Bulls arguably had no realistic expectations of a 48-game winning season along with the No.4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
All the positive aspects of coach Tom Thibodeau’s methods coupled with the heart from the likes of Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler showed the foundations in Chicago, but to become an elite team competing for championships, they need more.
It is no secret that the Bulls were plagued by slow starts and offensive struggles throughout the series with the Wizards, and so the first question is whether or not Rose alone would have made a difference.
The explosive point guard has been a non-factor for almost two seasons now given his knee troubles, but the organisation appear confident that he will return at his best next year, potentially with another new team-mate or two.
The Bulls are widely expected to use the amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer, who has disappointed in terms of production, which in turn along with a couple of other moves could make the necessary room for Carmelo Anthony.
The 29-year-old has conceded that he will explore his free agency options this summer, although his preference is still to remain with the New York Knicks.
Nevertheless, by adding Anthony to a roster containing the likes of a healthy Rose, Noah, Butler and Taj Gibson, we could be looking at an immediate contender for an NBA championship.
The number crunching has shown that both parties need to make sacrifices in order for the move to happen, but even if it does, would it address all the needs that Chicago have?
It is important not to overreact after such a disappointing end to what seemed to be a promising campaign, but ultimately the Bulls didn’t have enough in their line-up to advance beyond Washington.
Rose and Anthony will add scoring which has been a constant criticism of the Bulls over the last year or so, with Thibodeau emphasising the importance of defense which has been a successful philosophy through his tenure.
However, he will need the same commitment from both players if the scenario were to work as he could be dealt a blow in terms of depth if that duo were to be brought together.
The requirement is obvious, the Bulls need a go-to guy that will put up points in bunches on a regular basis while the rest of the rotation do their job and lock down defensively.
Adding both Rose and Anthony to the equation could be the final pieces to the puzzle, but Chicago faces a wait until July at the earliest to find out whether or not they are the chosen pieces for next season.