Offseason Vibes Check, Exec of the Year, Trade Target Wish List, and Other Bulls Bullets
Despite the fact that they’ve already been sent off to Cabo, the Chicago Bulls are still stacking L’s.
- The offseason vibes are off to a pretty terrible start. Not only have we sat through a rather discouraging end-of-year press conference from Arturas Karnisovas, but team owner Jerry Resindorf recently said a bunch of words that are bound to make you irate. If you missed that, I’ll encourage you to read our post here. All I ask is you don’t read it next to anything that’s easily flammable or breakable. In fact, perhaps go to an open field in the middle of central Illinois just in case you go full Hulk mode.
- Adding to the sour vibes was the official Executive of the Year ballot. A total of 15 front office faces earned at least one first, second, or third-place vote. Only a year after finishing tied for second in the vote tally, Karnisovas failed to receive any recognition. I wrote more about that concerning fact here:
- Look, I know we shouldn’t put too much stock into the Executive of the Year Award. But I do think Karnisovas’ omission from this year’s ballot represents how pivotal this offseason will be for both him and the organization. He can’t sit on his hands for a fourth-straight transactional period. If he wants to prove that his initial aggressive moves weren’t misguided or too short-sighted, this is the summer to do that. And, conversely, if he believes he made a mistake, then he’s got to change course NOW. There is no better time than the present to address concerns.
- Look at guys like Justin Zanik of Utah and Sean Marks of Brooklyn – two executives who received recognition on the EOY ballot. Zanik missed the playoffs entirely, while Marks got swept in the first round. Still, they earned respect from their peers this year for making tough decisions. Utah traded away both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert for massive packages and still finished with just three fewer wins than Chicago. Brooklyn finally got off Kyrie Irving and sent Kevin Durant to Phoenix for a historic return.
- I’m not trying to say the Bulls MUST trade their All-Star-caliber players (although, it should be on the table). All I’m getting at is there are numerous ways to earn respect as a lead executive in this industry. And one of those ways isn’t standing pat as your “win-now” team struggles to even crack the Play-In Tournament.
- Speaking of trades, I couldn’t help but look at one of those trade target posts from Bleacher Report. Zach Buckley name-drops three guys who he believes would be “realistic” gets for Chicago, which you can read in its entirety here. I usually disagree with these kinds of articles, but I think Buckley at least hit it on the head when it comes to the kind of talent the team needs. Tyus Jones of the Memphis Grizzlies would be a pretty tremendous true-point guard to add to the mix. He has one of the best AST/TOV ratios in the NBA, and the 3-ball has also trended in the right direction in recent weeks.
- Likewise, Dorian Finney-Smith has been on my wishlist for a long time. The guy has All-Defensive team potential and showed he could be a reliable catch-and-shoot threat in Dallas. As far as relatively inexpensive needle movers go, I think both of these guys would help Chicago a lot. With that said, I also think acquiring both may not be as “realistic” as the article suggests. These are two real assets that I bet both teams would like to include in a potential future trade for a star. If that isn’t the case, they will at least want first-round draft capital. And we all know Chicago is limited in that category.
- The Chicago Sky return to action with their first preseason game tomorrow. I wrote a little bit about the new-look roster here, but the Chicago Tribune’s Julia Poe adds even more context below:
- I can’t decide if I love this or hate this.
- Brett hits the nail on the head here:
- You have my attention!