With reports coming in that the Chicago Bulls will be moving Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks, the Bulls front office has declared the end of the Rose Era. This uncharacteristically bold move means Gar Forman and John Paxson have shown their hand for their philosophy moving forward. After an incredibly disappointing season, running it back with the same roster was not an option. Previous transactions show that the incredibly conservative front office would let people walk and slowly rebuild, but today’s NBA climate does not allow that.
With two or three teams dominating the league, there is no point in hovering around the bottom half of the playoffs when you can’t contend and tanking gives you the best chance at drafting a franchise-changing player. On the other hand, the salary cap is on the rise. Most teams have set themselves up with the ability to sign upcoming free agents. Which means your current team better be alluring enough to sign them.
The Bulls have smartly set themselves up to venture down either path depending on where the market takes them. Getting rid of Rose’s $21 million frees up cap space to bid on more free agents and opens up the backcourt for their star Jimmy Butler. If free agency does not pan out, the Bulls current roster should fit them squarely in the lottery. If the King’s finally play well enough to not have one of the ten worst records in the league (don’t count on it), that could potentially mean two good first round picks in 2017. Butler will continue to be an asset that could be used bring in more rebuilding pieces, as well. A franchise like the Bulls will not have to the spend years in the gutter trusting the system to turn their fortunes around. With this first bold move by the front office, they are creating their own path.