Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Opening Tip: Bulls' roster isn't changing
By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- John Paxson, Tom Thibodeau and Gar Forman sat halfway up on center court at the United Center on Tuesday night dreaming like the rest of the scouts, coaches and personnel directors in attendance at the Champions Classic.
The amount of talent on the floor was staggering. Julius Randle, Andrew Wiggins and Chicago's own Jabari Parker all made NBA people drool.
The reality for the Chicago Bulls is that they won't have access to any of the top-tier lottery players for a while because of their sustained success under Thibodeau.
Which brings up another intriguing question on any potential move the Bulls may undertake down the line: Will they make a deal for another star or future draft pick this season?
The safe money is no.
As much as the Bulls would love players like Randle, Wiggins or Parker, or another scorer in the league, the reality is that the Bulls aren't likely to make any kind of major deal.
The organization believes this team as it's currently constructed can contend for a title this season. Whether fans agree or disagree, the truth is the Bulls don't have a lot of moveable pieces that could bring back talent to instantly make them better.
Luol Deng doesn't have nearly as much trade value, given that he is in the final year of his contract. It doesn't appear any team wants to deal for Carlos Boozer and the remainder of his contract. Jimmy Butler is valuable because he is on his rookie deal, but the Bulls don't want to move him if they can help it.
Forman always points to the fact that the Bulls have assets like Nikola Mirotic and the future first-round pick from the Charlotte Bobcats; but those are far from certainties. Mirotic has all the leverage in negotiations next summer and it's always hard for general managers to deal for a pick, like the Bobcats' selection, that still doesn't become unprotected for a few years.
For the time being, the Bulls’ core is locked in place, and it isn't going to change much no matter how many times the Bulls' front office thinks about it.
What's next: The Bulls practice at the Berto Center in the morning and will be on “hamstring watch.” After an off day Tuesday, it will be interesting to see if the Bulls hold Derrick Rose out for a couple of days due to the right hamstring injury he sustained at the end of Monday night's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Paxson said Tuesday that Rose was feeling better, but the Bulls want to see how he feels after reiterating he was day-to-day. Given how cautious the Bulls have been with Rose, it would be surprising if he practiced on Wednesday.
Another shooter? The Bulls worked out veteran swingman Reggie Williams on Tuesday, according to a source. Williams has been in the league for four years and is a career 37 percent shooter from beyond the arc. The Chicago Tribune had earlier reported news of the workout.
The last word: Nazr Mohammed, Mike Dunleavy, Kirk Hinrich, Deng and Boozer were all shown on the JumboTron at the United Center at various points on Tuesday night. Hinrich received the loudest cheers of all from the Kansas fans.