Greenburg: Face it, Bulls are absolute mess
After their 2016–17 loss to the Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls organization did what it always does. Vice-president 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 -41. They continued 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 3-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 point fingers and hint that where the Bulls are is not on them.
With the salary cap rising every year, many NBA teams enter free agency with a good amount of cap space. Not the Chicago Bulls. They gave Dwyane Wade a deal last summer that included a $23.8 million player option for 2017–18. You also have Rajon Rondo. They way he played during the middle of the season earned him a spot on the bench.
The Bulls tried to trade him away, but couldn't find a taker. During the end of the season press conference, Paxson made it clear that he expects Rondo to return next year.
How can you develop the young players at point guard when you don't play them? Even if the Bulls let Nikola Mirotic go and bring back CristianoFelicio, 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 star players.
They 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 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 draft -- Bobby Portis, Denzel Valentine, and Paul Zipser are the recent draft picks. All three showed some flashes this past season, but were out of the rotation multiple times because they were so inconsistent.
Also, the 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 Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson. The Bulls got back a bag of chips with no chips inside in return.
Actually, they have high hopes for 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 make you shake your head.
As long as they continue to make money and win enough games, Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf won't fire Forman and Paxson. Every season, 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 ownership does.
It's a very toxic environment within the 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 Forman could stay a step ahead, the report suggested.
This should NEVER happen. I wouldn't feel comfortable playing for a team that does shady stuff. Who remembers when Paxson got in a physical altercation with Vinny Del Negro, and got a promotion out of it?
This organization is just in a big mess. They 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.
And as long as Forman and Paxson still have their jobs, the Bulls will never win another championship.