Don't call it a eulogy! I'm here f' at least one more year! (Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE)
The Bulls are in low spirits, down 3-1 going into Game Five of the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against an eight-seed. But they still have a shot at pulling three straight to get through the 76ers in the first round, K.C. Johnson said on 670 The Score's "Mully and Hanley Show" Monday.
He added that a first round exit and injuries will both weigh in noticeably on decisions relating to everything from Tom Thibodeau's contract to low-balling next season's roster.
"I've never seen anything like this: just the feeling of [going into the playoffs after an injury-ridden season as the top seed] and to fall in such a short time," Johnson said. "We all know this has a funeral feel to it, but I'm really fascinated to see this game because you can't get past the fact that Philadelphia isn't that good.
"I know the Bulls look like they are done and it feels like they're done and they're acting like they're done, it'll be interesting to see what they come with Tuesday night because, no matter what they are trying to do in terms of how poor they're playing, Philadelphia can't run away and hide."
When asked how this first round meltdown will affect the Bulls mentality going into the offseason, he added that there is "always fallout when something bad happens", despite the reasonable injury excuse.
"How it will affect the Tom Thibodeau contract negotiations is a fair debate," Johnson said. "I don't know the answer to that."
Thibs' contract expires after this season, but there's a team option to pick up the 2012-13 season -- which K.C. fully expects the Bulls to exercise.
"But whether or not he'll get the long-term deal that he was hoping to get before, I don't know," he added. "You'd like to think he still will because he's obviously a good coach, but this will have some ramifications."
The Organization will take a less optimistic look at how not-fully dressed the emperor is and exploit the first round exit to their advantage, Johnson also said.
"Regardless of what happens, the roster will look different next season," he said, later adding: "With [Derrick Rose] out most of the season, you wonder if they write off most of next season and make decisions, financially, based on that."
He "guessed" that C.J. Watson would be back, that the Bulls would match any offer to Omer Asik, and Taj Gibson is still under contract. But the fates of Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer's future with the team are up in the air. With Rose' extension kicking in next season, any other additions will likely be minimum contracts.
Listen to the full interview here.