Posted this at RealGM, but thought it was worthy of some interesting discussion here as well. As we saw yesterday, the Bulls stood pat. But if you've noticed, yesterday was our first chance in a while to make a move to actually improve the team. And we couldn't take advantage of it, for whatever reason. Why?
Regarding the Memphis situation: as someone who had fun ripping JR and Pax over the years and is now somewhat reformed after the great summer we had, even I can see that the Bulls aren't really at fault here. No combination of any assets was going to get this deal done. The Memphis FO is bat**** crazy and they have a vendetta against JR. Anyone who tries to blame the Bulls "not offering enough" is missing the point.
With that said, I'll stick to my sentiment expressed yesterday, that it is really frustrating that the current Bulls FO have not been able to make any non-lateral/non-salary-dump deals to substantially improve the team, other than in 2004 when Pax worked his magic and got the Deng pick. Before someone brings up the Salmons/Miller deal again, yes we had the 50 pace win and all that after that trade for the rest of the year, but we ended up dumping one guy the next year anyway and letting the other expire, so I don't see how that was really a trade of improvement. I'm talking about deals made to improve the team on a long-term basis.
This is not saying the Bulls FO hasn't made great moves. They are great drafters. They have great pull with players' agents and can show the money and sign guys as free agents when it counts (see this summer). But for whatever reason, it seems like 99% of our trade dealings with other teams, when we're trying to do more than salary dump, and actually improve the team on a long-term basis via TRADE, things end up with us missing out. For whatever reason, the Bulls just don't seem to be able to work with other front offices for OUR TEAM to improve, and if you can take away one thing from this Memphis situation, it's that we should have learned the first time and just not even bothered with those guys. Again, this isn't our fault, but I'm just stating what happens to be the case, and my frustration with it.
This seems to be more an issue of our inability to deal with other front offices. When it's just our front office, other players, and their agents, all goes well. When it's just the draft board, all goes well. When it's international scouting and buying out dudes from overseas clubs, all goes well. But when it comes to trades, something always seems to come up.
What can the Bulls do to change this? I dunno what's missing here. Are the Bulls not doing a good job of building relationships with other clubs? Are we saying things in private about other teams owners, like how fat the guy is, that is getting leaked out? Do we have a leaker in the FO who spills all our secrets to other teams so that it's impossible for us to hold our cards close to the vest?
tl;dr: Why don't other front offices like us? What did GarPaxDorf ever do to piss in the cheerios of other guys?
I mean, how could you say no to this guy?