Three seasons ago (2010), the Bulls posted the best record in the NBA (62-20) led by their talented point guard Derrick Rose, the MVP of the year.
These days are different. After losing Derrick Rose to an ACL injury in 2012, which sidelined the star for nearly a season and a half, the Bulls’ hopes of winning a championship quickly diminished. To make it worse, the Bulls lose their main star yet again this year due to a torn medial meniscus in his right knee forcing Rose to shut down the season for the second year in a row.
Major players, such as Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng have been continuously discussed to unlikely return with the Bulls in the 2014-15 season. There’s a chance Boozer could be amnestied with one more season left in his contract, while Luol Deng is approaching his last year with the team. Other members, such as Kirk Hinrich is also on his last year with the team so there are definitely some questions that need to be answered come free agency.
Similar to the fans, Derrick Rose knows far too well that things will indeed change in Chicago no matter the circumstances. According to the New York Daily News, sources close to Rose state that Derrick wants no part of Chicago rebuilding. Rose is worried that the Bulls will allow key players to leave via free agency and basically “start from scratch.”
It boils down to this. Via Doug Thonus of the Chicago Bulls Confidential, the projected salary cap for next season is around $62.1 million. The Chicago Bulls currently are capped at $58.7 this year, which leaves the team $12.2 million to play with in free agency. Looking at the numbers, it would be difficult to bring Luol Deng back and keep everyone else as Deng would more than likely request for a contract that will exceed $12.2 million. In addition, the Bulls will still need to sign their 2014 Draft Choice, another contract that will request some extra funding. Of course, the Bulls could exceed the cap if the team wanted to sign top free agents, but will have to take on added tax responsibilities. A liability that many teams don’t want in their back pocket.
Just as Derrick Rose has regressed, the Chicago Bulls have done the same. While the team is still equipped with a fantastic coach in Tom Thibodeau and a great defense, the Bulls no longer acquire dominance the organization once had in the Eastern Conference. Chicago has dropped down from being one of the elite to a team currently clinging to the eight seed in the East.
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