Positive vibes surrounding the Chicago Bulls’ offseason have been a surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one (Michael: Let’s try dunking … that’s a neat trick!).
And while the Bulls’ front office has earned a fair share of lumps over the years for moves that didn’t pan out, there has been a noticeable shift that caught the eye of The Athletic’s Sam Venecie, who highlights the Bulls as a team whose free agent additions have stood out (and with good reason).
Rather than being saddled with questionable contracts and players who fit like square pegs in round holes, the Bulls used free agency to round out what could be a competitive roster. That’s certainly different than what we have grown accustomed to from the Bulls, and Venecie shines some light on why good things have been happening for this growing roster.
“[O]ver the last year, they’ve promoted some people within the organization, and things seem to be running better,” Venecie explains. “Since the trade deadline, when they moved Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker and a second-round pick to Washington for Otto Porter, the Bulls have actually done about as good a job of building this team as they possibly could have. Genuinely, I don’t think there is a single move to complain about. Heck, the big moves have been outright worthy of praise.”
Venecie didn’t mention any specifics regarding promotions or front office changes, but I doubt a respected NBA reporter throws in a nugget like that without having heard it whispered somewhere in league circles.
And while front office changes weren’t specifically highlighted in this K.C. Johnson piece in the Chicago Tribune, there is a worthwhile quote from Bulls Head Coach Jim Boylen highlighting front office cohesion that put the Bulls on the good path this offseason: “We have people in that room who have a lot of experience at this level. When you have an open forum for discussion about what’s best for this team and getting this right, it’s good. That’s been a big tenant of ours — to get this right. Get the right people on the bus in the right spots. Coach (Doug) Collins, that’s one of his big things with me. Get the right coaches on the bus in the right spots. Get the right players — role definition, shot selection, coachable guys, guys who care about the city. And we’ve done that. Obviously, I can’t speak on all who they are. But it’s encouraging.”
Oh, Jim … you tease!
To be clear, John Paxson and Gar Forman should get credit for the moves they made this offseason. HOWEVER, they should also get a tip of the cap if a front office re-shuffling has aided them in putting the team on the right path to signing quality basketball players. Further, those new voices in the front office should be getting some pats on the back for their work. It’s often the case that fresh eyes on old problems can bring to light new (and effective) solutions. If that is what has happened with the Bulls, then kudos to all parties involved.
Not only has this offseason been praiseworthy, Venecie ventures to call the Bulls “a legit playoff threat” this coming season in the Eastern Conference. With the additions of Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young to a core of Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine, and Wendell Carter Jr., the Bulls are better positioned to make some noise in the East now than they have been in some time. That’s certainly refreshing. Also refreshing is the idea that some new voices are being heard by the head honchos at the United Center.