The Chicago Bulls once again failed to land the top Free Agent on their wish list. With the big players this off season in place, the question now is; Do the Bulls have enough?
Things to be excited for:
When Pau Gasol is the back up plan, things really aren't that bad. Sure, it looks like the Carols Boozer situation all over again, but time will tell if Gasol has enough in the tank to bring the Bulls to the promised land.
Gasol has average 18.3 PPG in his career and has averaged more that 17 PPG in every year but one of his 13 year career. He's smart with the ball and is a great passer. Look for some gorgeous passes between him and Joakim Noah under the net.
The next piece that looks promising (at the moment) is Doug McDermott. There are a few things that translate really well from the college game to the NBA. 1. Is height. You can't teach height. McDermott is 6-8 and will fit in with the height of the NBA. 2. If you can shoot, you can shoot. McDermott was a phenomenal college player being able to use his size and shooting skill to make him college's top player. He shot .550% from the field and .458% from three point range in his college career at Creighton.
The good news for the Bulls is that these two player could make a big impact right away. Along with Noah, Taj Gibson and the developing Tony Snell, there are things to be optimistic about in the Bulls camp.
Things to be worried about:
There are two knees on the Bulls that have everyone's attention. Derrick Rose has played 10 games in two seasons and leaves a big question mark of what kind of player he will return.
The former MVP will be needed to play big minutes to make this team a true contender. There is nothing to say that Rose won't get hurt again. As a Bulls fan, every time he hits the deck, you better hold your breath.
The next guy that has a high ceiling but is untested in the NBA is European star Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic played for Real Madrid Baloncesto in the Euroleague and put up some solid numbers. Standing at 6-foot 10 inches, he averaged 10 points and five rebounds across the pond. His height added to Noah, Gasol and Gibson gives the Bulls a long and tall front line that should make the Bulls' defense at the top of the league once again.
The concern I have with Mirotic is will he be able to play his style of basketball in the NBA? He isn't a physical force and might get pushed around underneath the net. The good news is he is silky smooth with the ball and has a pretty shot from all distances. Hopefully he can shorten his learning curve while working with the other bigs on the roster. Mirotic is after all only 23 years old.
McDermott and Mirotic have great upsides, but at the same time they haven't proven anything in the Association.
This situation looks all too familiar for Bulls fans. Miss on the star free agent, get the second best available player. Fill out the roster with a 'bench mob' and put a lot of faith in the point guard...
We have read this story before but are hoping for a different outcome. If you don't have the star power, you need to have one hell of a team. Coach Tom Thibodeau will need to push all the right buttons to guide this team to hopefully a conference final and beyond. Not to mention limit players minutes. This is the time of year to feel optimistic, but it leaves me wondering, do they have enough?