Who will Benny the Bull meet at O’hare in July 2010?

After the first few days of NBA free agency 2 things are clear:

  1. there is a lack of quality talent in the free agency pool
  2. the Bulls will look basically the same (sans Ben Gordan) in October 2009 as  they did in May 2009

When Ben Gordan is receiving heavy recruitment from one of the teams with the most cap space, you know your free agent options are limited. I’m fine with the Bulls not re-signing Gordan because his lack of defense during the span of a game often lead the Bulls to need his game-ending shots many times throughout a season. While several good teams in the East get better (Carter to Orlando, Shaq to Cleveland), the Bulls (and many other teams) are content preparing for the 2010 class of All-Star free agents. The question is can the Bulls put their checkbook on a hook and reel in a big fish like LeBron, Wade, Stoudemire or Bosh or will they end up with a guppy (Eddy Curry anyone…)? Can the Bulls convince a top free agent that he and Rose can lead Chicago back to the top? And will one top free agent be enough to bring Chicago back to the Finals?

With new GM Gar Forman handling day to day operations and Paxon likely holding final say in personnel moves, I’m confident they’ll handle this better than Jerry Krause who sent Benny the Bull to meet Tracy McGrady at O’hare in the Year 2000 (I’m not kidding). I anticipate a top tier free agent in Chicago before the 2010-2011 season and I’ll deal with 1 more year of mediocrity if that happens. As we saw with the pursuit of Ben Wallace a few years ago, the new Bulls regime knows how to properly (and professionally) recruit a free agent.

It seems likely LBJ will stay in Cleveland as team management continues to put different pieces around him. If not, he’ll head east to New York (or maybe the Nets if they move to Brooklyn). He is a dream, not reality for Bulls fans.

I’m sure Wade will give Chicago some consideration but the team has re-built quickly after a poor season and it might be hard to convince him to return to Chicago winters after enjoying the South Beach heat.

The Bulls will pursue this option , especially if Del Negro sticks around past this year since they both enjoy fast-paced teams with minimal defensive effort. He seems injury-prone and lacks a defensive prowess but is better than the current option, Tyrus Thomas.

My favorite option is Bosh. He is a low-post, athletic power forward that can score, rebound and defend. He isn’t undersized and doesn’t have an injury history. Bosh and Rose could team up for a lot of wins in Chicago.

I realize we have the 09-10 season to still watch and I hope to see continued progress from players like Rose, Noah, Tyrus (not likely) and Deng (just don’t get hurt) but a real change is on the horizon as long as Reinsdorf keeps Benny the Bull away from the United Airlines terminal in July 2010.

– Niral


2 thoughts on “Who will Benny the Bull meet at O’hare in July 2010?

  1. Skyhook

    I have a weird idea (at least I am sure every LeBron-Bulls lover will think this) for the Bulls. Why not find one big free agent and then shop from the bargain bin free agents after that!

    Stay with me, now. Joe Johnson or Rudy Gay would be good fits with a team that already has a floor general in Rose. Beyond this, Noah, Deng and Hinrich seem to fit good roles within the team. Gibson coming off the bench allows Noah to go all-out when on the court. What the Bulls need is depth and puzzle pieces that within the concept of it being Rose’s Bulls. So, follow me on this………

    With Johnson or Rudy Gay, the Bulls get proven scorers that can create their own shot, but not demand the ball (which James and Wade would expect).

    #1. After Johnson or Gay, the Bulls should sign Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Joel Pryzbilla. With both men, you get inside presence, decent shot-making skills and business-like attitudes. Bosh may be dazzling, but is his defense worth the millions being requested?

    #2. Grab Michael Finley and Luis Scola. Scola is a shorter version of Noah, while Finley is John Salmons with a little more basketball common sense and a willingness to put forward defensive effort.

    #3. Bring in Carlos Arroyo and Luther Head. The Bulls need a gunner, and Head would bring that, along with a good defensive reputation, while Arroyo would be a useful PG in place of Rose in the game and in times when Rose throws his body into danger once too often over a two-week period.

    This would leave a line-up that looks like:

    C – Ilgauskas
    PF – Noah
    SF – Deng
    PG – Rose
    SG – Johnson/Gay
    6th Man – Hinrich
    Scola, Pryzbilla, and Gibson sub for Ilgauskas and Noah
    Finley and James Johnson sub for Deng
    Head subs for Johnson or Gay, when Hinrich is not
    Arroyo is in for Rose when Hinrich is not.

    This allows the team to have more depth and not feel like its thrown its money on a luxury sports car without the money for gas.

    Any haters on this?

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