After their 2016–17 loss to the Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls organization did what they always do. VP John Paxson and GM Gar Forman refused to take any responsibility for the Bulls mess. They tried to explain to the media why the Bulls were 41 and 41. They continue to make excuses and didn’t take accountability for another mediocre season.
All I heard from the end of the season press conference is Paxson blaming Coach Fred Hoiberg for being the worst three-point shooting team in the NBA. It really sounded like Paxson didn’t want Hoiberg as the coach, but he can’t fire him because he is under contract. Paxson has hired four head coaches during his Bulls tenure. Gar and Paxson continue to finger point that this is not on them that the Bulls are where they are.
With the salary cap rising every year, many NBA teams enter free agency with good amount of cap space. Not for the Chicago Bulls. They gave Dwyane Wade a deal last summer that included a $23.8 million player option for 2017–18. Now you have Rajon Rondo. They way he played during the middle of the season earned him a spot on the bench with his poor play. The Bulls tried to trade him away, but couldn’t find a taker for him. During the end of the season press conference, VP John Paxson made it clear that he expects Rajon Rondo to return next year to the Bulls. How can you develop the young players who play the point guard position when you don’t play them? Even if the Bulls let Nikola Mirotic go and bring back Felicio, they won’t have the kind of money available to go after a top free agent. The Bulls aren’t the free agent destination that attracts the star players to join the squad. Bulls have a history of missing out of getting star players. For example, players such as Tracy McGrady, Grant Hill, Eddie Jones, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade (back in 2010). The Bulls roster is just bad, and that’s on you Gar and John. The Bulls have Jimmy Butler, and that’s it.
Let’s look at what the Bulls have done in the last couple of years in the NBA Draft. Bobby Portis, Denzel Valentine, and Paul Zipser are the Bulls recent draft picks. All three players showed some flashes this past season, but were out of the rotation multiple times because they were so inconsistent. Bulls traded Tony Snell to the Milwaukee Bucks for Michael Carter-Williams. The Bulls gave up a second-round draft pick to get Oklahoma City to take McDermott and Gibson. The Bulls got back a bag of chips with no chips inside in return. Bulls have high hopes in Cameron Payne who they got back in the Thunder trade. They are the only people in Chicago who have high hopes for a failed first round draft pick. There are a lot of other trades that the Bulls have done that just shakes your head.
As long as the Chicago Bulls continue to make money and win enough games, Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf won’t fire Gar Forman and John Paxson. Every season, Bulls fans get behind the team as the Bulls have led the NBA in attendance in each of the last eight seasons. It’s just sad that the fans care about the team more than the ownership does.
It’s a very toxic environment within the Bulls organization. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported this season that there was a mole in the front office. Someone spied on the players so that GM Gar Forman could stay a step ahead. This should NEVER happen. I wouldn’t feel comfortable playing for a team that does shady stuff. Who remembers when John Paxson got in a physical altercation with Del Negro, and got a promotion out of it? This organization is just in a big mess. The Chicago Bulls are consistently just good enough to contend for the playoffs, but aren’t ever bad enough to get high draft picks. The Bulls are in basketball hell. As long as Gar Forman and John Paxson still have their jobs, The Chicago Bulls will never win another championship.