The 12 Days of Bullsmas. Day 7: Looking for the 7th Ring

Posted: December 19, 2011 by Mauricio Rubio Jr. in Basketball, NBA
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Moe Rubio is going through the gauntlet and will post a Bulls related post every day for 12 days.

6 is an ok number when you get down to it. It’s a dynasty level of excellence that defines a franchise a certain way. The Bulls will always be the team that Jordan played for. No matter who challenges the 72 win season, they will always be in the discussion for greatest team in NBA history, if not always top that particular list. The Bulls became an international brand because of one man and his historic tear during the 90’s.

We’re all past that now however, and no matter how great Jordan was, the fan base is hungry for another dynasty to hang it’s hat on. I feel that 6 is a fine starting point, because a lot of that dynasty shine rubbed off when Fred Hoiberg and Ron Mercer were playing minutes in the Red and Black. The Bulls are set up to get #7, but it depends on what the organization decides to surround Derrick Rose with at this point. The way I see it there are 3 plausible scenarios which gives the Bulls a ring in the not too distant future. Each of these scenarios requires a different time table for obvious reasons, but they are all within reach in my opinion.

The Dirk Nowitzki Model

He’s German, that should explain everything.

This is the closest to the current model that the Bulls are running. It consists of surrounding Derrick Rose with the role players he needs to succeed. The Bulls and the Mavs secondary players from the 2010-2011 season are pretty similar. You had the defensive minded center, the spot up jump shooter, and the shooting guard carousel where each player brought a specific skill set. Last years Mavs were a very good defensive team and when it needed buckets it looked to it’s superstar to hit big shots in key moments. The unfortunate reality however is that Dirk is a foot taller than Rose. That can be a problem when your best player is 6’3. I can’t really think of any champion of recent vintage that had a relative midget as it’s best player. The Bulls should want to keep this out of Allen Iverson territory and perhaps base a model closer to the Pistons strategy of loading up on defensive monsters and hoping for the best on the offensive side of the ball.

The Bulls have maybe 8 prime years of Rose left. This model is the safest bet in terms of regular season wins, but I don’t think it can lead to any lasting glory in the post season. Multiple championships should be more than just the goal for the Bulls, it should be the standard by which superstars are judged on. Rose is a gifted basketball player, but given his size he is limited in what he can do on the defensive end. Think about it, can you stick Rose on a 6’8 player? The Heat have the flexibility to do so and we saw what happened to the Bulls offense once James erased Rose as an option. For this model to work the 2 guard needs to be both offensively and defensively upgraded from Rip Hamilton.

The Trade Everyone for Dwight Model

He’s not German, he’s just kinda…like…that…

Dwight Howard is a goofball, and I don’t know how seriously he takes basketball. My issue with him is that he should be dominant, not merely great. I have yet to see that dominant performance that leads to a big win from him, and we’ve already seen it from a few other superstars. Dwight gets you around 45 wins if the rest of your roster is garbage right now, but I don’t know if he can turn into that monster in the playoffs.

That said, if the Bulls acquire him, I can see him thriving in the second banana role. He can be Pip, and he might actually enjoy that. The trade would probably leave Boozer here, and the SF position would again be a question mark, but any lineup that boasts both Rose and Howard in it will be a bitch to deal with. Jo does a good job of passing out of the high screen offense, so that will be missed, but other than that, Howard is an upgrade in every category. Hopefully if he comes here he can improve his post game.

Now, it’s been well documented that Howard doesn’t have the Bulls on his wish list, but perhaps there are other stars that the Bulls can pull a trade for. I mean, did anyone really think the Clippers were in the running to get Chris Paul? This model is risky, it doesn’t guarantee success, but I think it’s probably the best bet to win a ring. Unless GarPaxDorf figure out a way to remake the Pistons, I don’t know how far this team as constructed can go, especially since the Heat are getting better.

The Dynasty Bulls Model Redux

I kinda wonder what crazy stuff Stacey King was saying when he was on the bench.

Now this one is the least likely and the one that requires the most work, but if they can pull it off, it’ll be gold. The1988-89 Chicago Bulls were a team on the brink, but it would still be 3 years before they would reach the promised land. The team was still carrying around Dan Corzine, Sam Vincent and Craig Hodges in the rotation, but those guys were on the way out thanks to some shrewd front office work by Jerry Krause. Jordan had turned into a beast that year, and it was also Scottie’s rookie year.

If the Bulls manage to smarten up and trade some dead weight and draft pick assets, they can also make the moves necessary to build a dynasty without having to sign a big free agent or make a trade for a huge contract. The Bulls could potentially move up in the draft this year and take only minor steps back if they make a trade and try to get a lottery pick. Maybe Anthony Davis and his unibrow could come here and be the secondary player the Bulls need. Making this work, however, requires a brand of creativity that is somehow lost on the Hydra front office the Bulls employ.

All of these models are dependent on how well the Bulls self evaluate the talent they have. If they overrate the current roster, the Bulls will be a footnote in history and the Legend of Derrick Rose goes the way that Allen Iverson’s legend has gone. At A.I.’s peak he could only lose the NBA Finals to a 6’7 shooting guard of destiny.

The Bulls need to figure out what path they want to travel down quickly if the dreams of golden trophies are to be realized. The decisions are going to be tough, but when you have a talent like Rose, you have to be unafraid to make the move that might get you fired.

  1. […] the time the trade deadline rolls around. Dwight Howard controls the fate of this team. I have my issues with Dwight, but he is a great talent that will win you games in the regular season. Provided that […]

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