Bulls: Take 'em or Trash 'em?
The promise of basketball in June was lost when the reality of Derrick Rose's came so suddenly and violently.
The Chicago Bulls widely kept the core of last year's team together, but now it might be time to add some new players. With luxury tax looming, and Rose's status questionable after knee surgery, it will be interesting to see how the front office changes the winningest regular season team in basketball two years running.
Here's a start. You don't have a decision, but you can make your voice known here, to us at least. Then tell us why in the comments section.
Greenberg: Asik is a fine defensive center, one of the best in the NBA, but he needs to learn how to catch NBA passes. He also needs to keep high the passes he catches and basically move a little quicker offensively. Asik should just roll a cot into the Berto Center this summer. If his offense catches up, the Bulls might not be able to afford him. Take.
Greenberg: Boozer's game is drifting from the basket. He took fewer shots at the rim and more rainbow jumpers from 16-23 feet. On good days, he hits the J. Bad days, he's benched. There's no way he gets amnestied this year. Maybe before the 2013-14 season, if the Bulls have a plan to replace him on the books. Take.
Greenberg: Brewer has been the swingman of the team in more ways than one, going from reserve to starter and back. He's a defensive stopper though he gets on Thibodeau's bad side when he gambles. All things being constant, Brewer should be back for the final year of his contract, but he's tradable if the Bulls believe Jimmy Butler can absorb some of his minutes. Certainly the Bulls can use the money. But the bench's chemistry requires he stays. Take.
Greenberg: The rookie from Marquette didn't get much playing time, but it looks like he has potential. It's up to him to keep progressing, and he could make one of the bench players, like Brewer, expendable. Take.
Greenberg: Deng gutted out a wrist injury, which essentially turned him into a one-armed man. His field-goal percentage (.412) was dramatically lower than his career average (.465), but because he couldn't drive, his 3-point game was improved. Post-Olympics wrist surgery, if he chooses to have it, could sideline him early. Take.
Greenberg: Gibson isn't just the name of a great steakhouse in Chicago. Taj had sizzle and meat for the Bulls' frontcourt. He should be starting in place of Boozer, but he's extremely valuable coming off the bench and anchoring the second-unit defense. Take.
Greenberg: This season didn't amount to much for the supposed missing piece to the Bulls. Twenty-eight games and a first-round exit. Perhaps the additional rest could be beneficial to Hamilton, who didn't get enough time with the first unit. Tom Thibodeau didn't seem to trust him in fourth quarters late in the season, which should change next season. Take.
Greenberg: Who? Mike James! James had a couple good games in his on-again, off-again stint, but his biggest contribution is that his name sounds a lot like rapper Mike Jones, thus providing fans, hip-hop familiar writers and players a chance to yell Mike Jones lyrics. Trash.
Greenberg: Korver's minutes and his effectiveness decreased in the playoffs, but he represents a need for the Bulls, a 3-point gunner. At $5 million, it's not exactly a bargain, but Korver's a keeper. Take.
Greenberg: He might dribble too much because he's miscast as a point guard, but Lucas won the Bulls games this year when Rose was out. Hopefully, for him, his gunning performance earns him a guaranteed multi-year contract from someone. Lucas has to be one of the nicest guys in the NBA and was a boon to the locker room, but he probably won't be back next year. Trash.
Greenberg: Noah had a slow start, but picked it up quick. His season ended early, which helped presage the Bulls' demise. His weight training has picked up, but he needs to work on strengthening his ankles and coming to camp in top condition. He can do more statistically as well. Take.
Greenberg: Rose's season began with a game-winning shot and ended prematurely with a near-triple double/torn anterior cruciate ligament. He only played 39 games in an injury-plagued campaign that negated an MVP defense. He should be back next season, but it won't be for awhile. Take.
Greenberg: Scalabrine's days as a player are likely over. He was valuable to the team in many ways, a lot of them unseen by the public. He will have a successful career in broadcasting or coaching or really whatever he wants to do. Trash.
Greenberg: Watson's final game was unfortunate, but he did an admirable job backing up Rose and running the "Bench Mob." The Bulls need to watch payroll, and they have a $3.7 million team option on Watson, and I don't think it should be executed. Chicago might look to bring back Kirk Hinrich, who still has a house near the Berto Center. Trash.