• Russell Schmidt

NBA Future Power Rankings: 21. Chicago Bulls


Chicago Bulls: The Bulls may have had the most roster turnover in the entire league this offseason. In are Jerian Grant, Robin Lopez, Denzel Valentine, Rajon Rondo, and Dwyane Wade. Gone are Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, Aaron Brooks, and Mike Dunleavy. Valentine does have some health concerns, but he is a very versatile, NBA ready rookie, who could prove to be a major steal as the 14th pick of the draft. It’s unfortunate the way the Derrick Rose era ended, but it was very clear the Bulls were ready to cut ties with the former MVP. Considering that it was well known the Bulls were shopping Rose’s expiring contract and his extensive injury history, acquiring Lopez and Grant for Rose was a major coup. Grant doesn’t look like he has the makings of a starting point guard unless he improves his shot, but he should still be a solid backup point guard under a rookie contract. Robin Lopez is one of the better centers in the league and gives the Bulls a younger and healthier replacement for the departed Noah. Where things got out of hand was with how the Bulls handled their backcourt situation. After trading Rose the Bulls had an obvious need at point guard. They ignored this need in the draft and, save for Mike Conley, this free agent class was especially weak at point guard. Rondo was probably the best available point guard on the market, and they signed him to one of the best contracts of free agency. The 30-year-old Rondo will make $14 Million this season and $13.4 Million the following year. What makes the contract great for the Bulls is only $3 Million is guaranteed in the second year. If the Rondo experiment fails they can cut ties with him after this season, and partially guaranteed contracts are always great trade pieces. The questionable move was signing Dwyane Wade to a 2-year $47.5 Million contract (2nd year is a player option). Wade certainly makes the team better in the present, but his fit doesn’t make sense. Wade is arguably one of the top-20 players ever and is still a borderline all-star. Nonetheless, Wade is 34-years old and one of the more beat up players in the league. It is hard to rely on Wade suiting up each game, and Wade and Rondo just might be the worst outside shooting combination to ever share a backcourt. Anytime the two share the court the Bulls will have awful spacing. The Bulls did well in the draft and by trading Rose, but they failed free agency. The Bulls should have traded star Jimmy Butler to the highest bidder between the Celtics, 76ers, and Timberwolves and collected assets to start a rebuild. The Rondo and Wade signings are simply the Bulls procrastinating an inevitable rebuild.

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