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They Did Nothing

Chicago Bulls

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls.

One team acquired an All-Star talent in the offseason and currently sits 4th in the Eastern Conference with multiple young players to continue building around. The other team is 26-28 and 9th in the Eastern Conference with two members of their aging core up for paydays in the offseason.

The only thing they have in common right now is the fact that they are the only two NBA teams to not make a midseason trade. For the Cavaliers, it’s more than defensible. For the Chicago Bulls, it’s more than a disaster.

I used this analogy in our morning bullets, but I’m going to use it again: Building a contender is like trying to find matching socks in the dryer. You have to grab one and then start flipping things around to find the other. The chance of you finding the right match in your first go around isn’t likely. But, as long as you are willing to keep trying, you should eventually find what you’re looking for.

In other words, you can’t just stand there and stare at the dimly lit pile of clothes and cross your fingers that two socks magically appear. In other other words, the Bulls are ridiculous for thinking that they can stick with a roster that is 34-43 since last year’s All-Star break and it will become a true contender. The fact of the matter is they need to at least try to find what they’re looking for. And, by sitting out this deadline, they’re not even trying.

This isn’t the first time they’ve made this mistake either, which is why it’s so infuriating. Today marked the third-straight transaction period where Arturas Karniosvas and Marc Eversley basically did nothing. I respected them for initially taking office and declaring that the goal was to win basketball games. I respected their aggressive approach to adding Nikola Vucevic, Lonzo Ball, and DeMar DeRozan. But, as I’ve said countless times on this website, you can’t just stop being aggressive in the NBA.

The Bulls picked a lane and stopped in the middle of the road. Despite two trade deadlines and one free agency period, they only have Andre Drummond, Goran Dragic, and two months of Tristan Thompson to show for. When that’s the case, there is no goal.

Indeed, Chicago continues to show its true and old colors as time goes on. While Karniosvas presents this idea of competitive play and consistent winning, ownership remains with their hands in their pocket. Here’s what Michael Resindorf told NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson last season:

“I think most people will tell you, ‘I don’t want to spend into the tax if we’re not competing for championships, if we’re not good enough. I don’t want to be the 8th seed or out of the playoffs and go into the luxury tax.’

“But when it comes to a team like this (the Bulls), and if we can take the necessary steps next year that allow us to compete for a championship, then for sure we’ll go into the tax. It’s part of the nature of the NBA.”

The Bulls continue to say with their words and actions that they believe the core can win at a high level. However, they refuse to dump the necessary assets into it to make that happen. How might they then justify that? By saying, well, they’re an 8 seed or a Play-In Tournament team right now. We don’t want to pay extra for that.”

So, um, blow it up, right?

No! We still believe this team can win!

Wait, then why aren’t you doing what’s necessary to continue improving it!?

The whole thing makes no sense, and the whole thing screams a lack of direction. The Bulls simply don’t know what they’re doing right now, and who the hell knows when they will.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.