The Bulls Have Officially Planted Their Flag In No Man’s Land, But Hear Me Out2 min read
Truth be told, I’m mad at myself at this point for expecting different. The FO has been getting ripped apart for dealing Doug, Taj and their 2018 2nd rounder for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow at today’s deadline. This was expected, but the deal on its own is not absolutely terrible. The Bulls have dug deeper into basketball purgatory, but at least now we can see if anyone on this roster has some promise.
Looking at this objectively, we dealt an expiring contract and a failed draft pick, for young PF on an expiring deal, a second year PG that has shown flashes, and a “sharpshooter” that is also a free agent at year’s end. Only Cameron Payne projects to be on the roster past this season, so he is really the centerpiece of this swap. He’s going to be given the opportunity to separate himself from the glut of average PG’s that have been assembled for the Bulls, but don’t expect him to blow anyone away. He’s an average athlete, can’t finish at the rim, doesn’t get to the line and is a career 32% 3pt shooter. Exciting stuff, huh?
Mediocre return aside, this deal was really about the young players already on the roster. Dealing Taj now opens up plenty of minutes for Bobby Portis, and Zipser and Denzel will be staples in our rotation now that Doug is gone. The Bulls are hoping at least one of these guys will take advantage of the opportunity, and prove that they are worth being part of the organization’s future plans. If Denzel is given the opportunity to actually play with the ball in his hands, I can see him finding a groove with the second unit.
If not, GarPax will have to face the cold reality that they’ve assembled a roster with virtually no one that projects to be anything more than an average player. In that case, a Jimmy trade is most certainly going to be in the works, or at least it should be. Letting their young guns prove their worth for the last 25 games of this season and reassessing in the summer seems like a reasonable move, but who knows if our front office is that self aware. I’m talking myself into this plan, but really I should know better.