I wonder how many championships Miami will have won before Mirotic arrives?
Somebody, tell me GAR/PAX didn't know Minnesota would go behind their backs and help Miami strengthen one of their main areas of weakness. Pat Riley slithering his way into the first round aside - I don't feel the Bulls had a horrible draft because they didn't draft Marshon Brooks. I'm not convinced Brooks or anyone past pick number ten was the answer to the Bulls glaring job vacancy at shooting guard .
However, the Bulls had a terrible draft because the two draft picks could have and should have been used to keep the Miami Heat weak at their glaring position of weakness - point guard.
Jerry Reinsdorf pointed out to Lebron if he chose Miami (or any team over Chicago) the Bulls would be a stronger and deeper team. And Mr. Reinsdorf was right. The Bulls were strong where Miami was weak - point guard and center. Yet, - for reasons I won't list here - the Bulls couldn't defeat Miami in a seven game series, losing four games in a row.
The Shooting guard position bore the brunt of the blame, yet isn't the only position that could use an upgrade on the Bulls roster. So with two late first round picks and the knowledge that the Shooting guard position couldn't be adequately addressed with those two picks, the mission was (or should have been) to keep Miami weak, especially at point guard and upgrade the Bulls depth.
Norris Cole would have been an excellent backup to D. Rose. Especially since my picks - Iman Shumpert and Reggie Jackson - both went much higher than their late first and early second round projections, but that didn't imply the plan changed. The next best guard on most boards was Norris Cole. Pat Riley said "the Heat had Cole Ranked behind Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight, and Kemba Walker. That's right, higher than Jimmer.
Speaking of Pat Riley, eight years after figuratively cutting the throats of GAR/PAX to snatch Dwayne Wade out of the dreams of Bulls fans, Riley returned wearing a pimp hat to signify his skills to put GAR/PAX to work for him. In the most important draft for the Bulls and Heat, since 2003, Pat Riley cleverly scooped up the most important player from this draft - who will be a factor - should the two franchises meet again in the playoffs. And Riley did it with a pick the Chicago Bulls owned going into the draft.
Pat Reily plugged a glaring hole in Miami's starting lineup, eliminating an overwhelming advantage the Bulls had over the Heat. Now, Lebron and Wade can concentrate more on offense as Cole will give Rose all he can handle on both ends of the floor. Did I hear Pat Riley shout "where's my money...?" You fill in the blanks.
Jimmy Butler may eventually become a nice player. Mirotic may or may not be worth the four year wait, but isn't the goal to beat the Heat now and not four years from now when D Wade retires and Mirotic arrives in the USA?
Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost faith in GAR/PAX and I'm probably their biggest supporter (not on the payroll), so I have an obligation to present the best case scenario as well.
In the best case scenario - after the new Collective Bargaining Agreement - GAR/PAX announce the Bulls have traded the rights of Mirotic, two future first round picks, the Charlotte pick and (sadly) Joakim Noah for Dwight Howard.
In the very, very, best scenario, the Bulls sign Mirotic to a near max contract (to make the money work) before trading him - so Joakim can stay. I can get creative finding ways to keep Joakim, but that's another thread. So, unless Mirotic is flipped into Dwight Howard, the draft that could've been hailed as one of the smartest in Bulls history, will be known as the dumbest in Bulls history. The draft where the Bulls let Miami solidify an area of weakness.
And don't let Norris Cole hit the game winning shot - to win the Eastern Conference Finals - while Mirotic marinades in Europe. GAR/PAX will have some serious (In the words of Ricky Ricardo) "Splaining to do."
Sadly, the bottom line is, today, the Miami Heat are stronger after the draft and the Bulls will be stronger in four years when Mirotic is projected to arrive.
In the meantime, I wonder how many rings Norris Cole will be wearing?