The Chicago Bulls have a lot of soul searching to do in the coming days and weeks as the offseason really gets underway with free agency.
Players will be signed and trades will be made to reshape the future of the team – hopefully. While it’s never a guarantee given the Front Office, in all theory the Bulls should be looking to get a lot younger and more athletic.
Having said that, there are several players that need to be moved because they either don’t fit, aren’t useful to the vision of the team going forward or could really just use a change of scenery.
Tony Snell, G/F
Tony Snell has been pretty awful during his time in Chicago.
It’s not that he can’t play, it’s that he has absolutely no consistency whatsoever. He will have a night where he drops 20 points and shows off his three-point range. He will have nights where he plays really solid defense and looks like a player that can take some defensive pressure on the perimeter off of Jimmy Butler.
But then he will have a lot of nights where he looks completely lost on both ends of the court and appears like a deer in the headlights on the offensive side.
Snell might just need a change of scenery to get his head straight.
While I’d love to see Shabazz Muhammed come to the Bulls as a scorer off the bench – though it would mean the Bulls would have three liabilities on the defensive end at the same position in Shabazz, Doug McDermott and the newly drafted Denzel Valentine – the last person that Snell would probably want to see is Tom Thibodeau again.
Perhaps a trade to the Sacramento Kings, the most dysfunctional organization in professional sports, would actually do some good for Snell. He could get traded for former Kansas star and reportedly apple of the Bulls eye at the trade deadline, Ben McLemore.
Importantly, this trade works because the Kings don’t have anyone on their roster currently that projects as anymore than a defensive turnstile. While Snell hasn’t proven that he can be a lockdown defender, or even a really good one, his length is a strength and he’s had his moments.
Gibson’s name has been in the news lately as the Bulls have been shopping him.
I love Taj, his work ethic, and his game. I thought he should’ve been the starting power forward the second year of the Carlos Boozer experiment and I thought pairing him almost exclusively with Pau Gasol last year would’ve been best for the Bulls.
But it’s time to let go of Taj Gibson.
He’s 31 with a very tradable contract and a game that will make him useful on a playoff, contending team. I could see the Atlanta Hawks making a call if they lose Al Horford to replace some of the rebounding that they’ll lose, though two 6-foot-9 forwards in the front court – Paul Millsap being the other – might not be the best idea.
I can see Boston calling to maybe shift around parts, as Amir Johnson is an interesting fit with Fred Hoiberg.
But the team I can see most is the Toronto Raptors.
For the Raptors, they were not able to land Serge Ibaka, which is a clear indicator that they are looking to upgrade their power forward position. While he’s not Ibaka, Gibson might just be Ibaka-lite. He rebounds well, he can shoot a midrange jump shot well which leaves the paint for Jonas Valanciunas to do his dirty work on the inside, and as we all know, Gibson is a good defender.
He compliments Patrick Patterson’s game really well, and it wouldn’t cost the Raptors too much.
Norman Powell isn’t seeing a ton of playing time with the Raptors, and if retooling/rebuilding/focusing on the younger players is really the goal of the Bulls this season, Powell makes a lot of sense. He can shoot threes well – in limited playing time, granted – and could be a spark plug off the bench behind Jimmy Butler.
I wasn’t a fan of the Derrick Rose trade for several reasons, but most notably that it didn’t feel like the Bulls got anything back in return.
Sure, Robin Lopez will probably start and be solid on defense and maybe Jerian Grant will be better in a pick and roll offense. Jose Calderon can shoot threes, sure, I guess. But it didn’t feel like they got anything of substantial value back.
At least the first two players somewhat fit the mold of what the Bulls are looking for. Lopez can get up and down the court and effectively move the width of the floor. Grant exemplifies young and athletic.
Calderon? He really doesn’t fit. Like at all. Yeah, he can shoot, but that’s really it.
The Bulls need to get as young and athletic as possible. Shipping Calderon off would do wonders in going in that direction. In my opinion, a team like the Philadelphia 76ers makes a lot of sense.
They showed last year that they need a non D-League level point guard (Ish Smith) and they’ll at least be competitive. Even if he doesn’t get more than 10 minutes a game, Calderon’s ability to catch and shoot should play well with point forward Ben Simmons.
In addition, since the 76ers didn’t draft a point guard – I thought Demetrius Jackson would’ve been a perfect fit – Calderon can serve as a placeholder until they inevitably flip one of their big men for a quality guard.
Mike Dunleavy Jr.
I have absolutely no qualms with MDJ. I think he’s a solid player and a good human being. He’s 35, has lost most of his athleticism and just doesn’t deserve to be on a bad team. Dunleavy can help out a contending team, or at least a team with playoff aspirations.
They fit I’d live to see him is with the Houston Rockets.
With Mike D’Antonio making a return as a head coach, Houston is going to need as many shooters to surround James Harden as possible. Dunleavy’s ability to catch and shoot, as well as move the ball is a huge asset in this sort of system.
In return, the Bulls could receive K.J. McDaniels, whom the Rockets are reportedly shopping anyways.
McDaniels fits every criteria the Bulls should have going forward: he’s young, he’s athletic and he’s defensive oriented. He could be a potential great fit next to Jimmy Butler in effort to move Butler back to the 3.