The Immortals: The front office deserve to be bashed for the off-season we have seen. They are a rich, title contending team, that is making decisions as if they were a poor team. Their moves haven't increased flexibility, they have just weakened the current team. This is all true, however I am of the opinion that its possible to both curse the Bulls frugality and admit that 2012 Nate Robinson looks a lot better than 2010 CJ Watson, that Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler can combine to do an adequate job of replacing Ronnie Brewer, that Carlos Boozer is a better player than Omer Asik, that if a lineup featuring JL3 and Kyle Korver can be stout defensively, so can a lineup featuring Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson. Its been said that the Bulls no longer have depth (completely ignoring that they still have one of the league's best backup big men) almost as if they didn't bother to replace the departed players. The fact is when you add in Thibs coaching the gap between Kirk Hinrich- Nate Robinson-Jimmy Butler-Marco Belinelli, and Kyle Korver-CJ Watson-Ronnie Brewer-JL3 is marginal. With the exception of Kyle Korver, every member of the bench mob saw his stock rise dramatically during his time with the Bulls. It isn't inconceivable to think something similar could happen with this group. An argument can and has been made that the Bulls defensive system and Thibs can(and has) turn(ed) fringe players onto valuable role players.
Letting go of Asik: This is the move that the Bulls will regret. Omer Asik was an elite defender and rebounder on a team that was also elite at both. He along with Taj Gibson were the principle agents to the best defensive bench in recent memory. The Bulls have lost a lot of their margin of error with Asik's departure. The front court that consists of Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, and Luol Deng must now stay healthy. However, Asik in a way has the best replacement. There was no FA who could come close to replacing his defensive acumen, but the other 3 players in the big man rotation were superior players to Asik and they are now in line for a minutes increase. I ,for one, would love to see Taj Gibson play 25-30 minutes a night or see Noah put in 33 minutes a night.
Summary: The Bulls have been correctly skewered for being cheap and stupidly trying to sell the idea of flexibility in 2014 (letting go of Deng and Gibson to maybe have enough money for a max player in a weak FA class? No thanks) but lets not pretend that the Bulls bench was their core or that Thibs wasn't the driving force behind their success*. It was a good bench with some above average players (Asik and Gibson) some average players ( Korver and Brewer) and some below average players (Watson and JL3) that was buttressed by an excellent starting 5 and an excellent coach.
* I could be talked into it being the Asik/ Gibson duo, but its 1a and 1b at best.