The Bulls appear to have completed filling out their roster for 2012-2013, so now is as good a time as any to review what the H just happened. The first action the Bulls took in FA was to let all of their players on non-guaranteed (or partially guaranteed) contracts go. Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, and CJ Watson were all let go, and all signed contracts under the last CBA; thus they were all overpaid. However the Bulls could have taken the tax hit this year and brought those players back at a reasonable salary when they were FA's(see CJ Watson's contract). Instead the Bulls elected to go cheap for this season and hope for the best. I think the Bulls could have competed for a title this year and you keep a title contending team as intact as possible unless you are upgrading, so obviously it disappointed me to see 3/5ths of the bench mob let go, however I will say that those 3 have actually been ably replaced.Kirk Hinrich wasn't very productive last year, but he was a 30-year-old recovering from a shoulder surgery last year so it is reasonable to expect a bounce back year. I was never the biggest CJ Watson, so I could be biased but Hinrich is at the very least a versatility upgrade and given his fit with the Bulls culture he could be a performance upgrade too. Marco Belinelli isn't the 3 point marksman that Korver is, but he can actually create a shot and still shoots 3's at around the 40 percent mark. Jimmy Butler isn't the player Ronnie Brewer is yet, but if he can defend and crash the boards(two things that appear to his forte so far) he will be an acceptable replacement. I have no idea what Butler will bring offensively, but Ronnie Brewer was an extremely limited offensive player, and before he got to the Bulls he wasn't viewed as much of a defensive player either. Vlad Rad should be another player who provides the spacing the Bulls need to pair with Rose.
If only the Bulls hadn't let Asik go I would have made the controversial stand that they improved this off-season. Unfortunately they let half of their most unique advantage walk away. With Asik and Gibson, one could argue that the Bulls had a top 5 defensive center and power forward coming off the bench.That is an advantage that was unmatched throughout the league and it is what allowed them to grind out more victories than anyone else the past two years despite injuries to D-Rose, Joakim Noah, and Carlos Boozer. Will the Bulls still be a good defensive/rebounding team without Asik? Probably, I wouldn't expect them to fall out of the top 5 in either category, but they were dominate the past two years. Domination is hard to replace. A completely healthy Bulls team appears slightly better on offense than they were last year, but they have more than given that gain back by losing Asik, The worst part is the Asik deal was 5 million for the next two years (very reasonable) and though there was a lot of hand wringing over what Asik's salary would do to the Bulls in 2014, I think I speak for most Bulls fans when I say I would trade a championship (or 2) for a loss of financial flexibility in 2014.
Overall the Bulls took a step back with the moves they made this off-season, not a giant step but one a wealthy title contender shouldn't ever take. The Bulls management and ownership deserve to be derided for their off-season, but it should be noted that the Bulls still have their best 6 players and arguably the best coach in the league, so throwing dirt on them may be premature. The Bulls window isn't closed, its just been pushed down.