Let me start by saying that I agree with Sam Smith's article(http://blogs.bulls.com/2013/11/the-bulls-move-on-without-rose-now-what/), NBA teams don't tank, players nor coaches like to lose and much less to lose on purpose. But NBA executives and GM's do tank and many of them make trades and moves toward this goal every year. If the Bulls try to tank the season it will be very hard after all they have Coach Thibodeau that will try to stop it.
The bulls loss of Rose for the season was a big hit to winning a championship for this year and possibly the next few seasons. But I believe he can return to form just like other players have after multiple knee surgeries. The most recent example of this is Chris Paul, but it took him a whole season after returning just to get back into form. Once he was back the Hornets had to trade him because their players injures and decline took out of contention for a title and Paul wanted to be on a winning team. Therefore I do not see the Bulls being able to contend again until 2015-2016 season, I believe Rose will need a whole season to be form and don't see the Bulls contending in the 2014-2015 season. Usually I would be against tanking because the bulls have a really good group of players and great chemistry between them, but right now most of these players fate are in limbo!Deng - He is a free agent next season and I do not see bulls resigning him again unless he decides to get paid less than 4 yr 40 mil and with Rose news that makes it even harder. Although I always though he would stay with the Bulls at that price $10 mil per season, now with Rose out who knows Butler is developing and he will also need new contract in the future.
Noah - He is a great player but I do not see his body holding up by the time bulls are able to contend again and if it does it will be only for a few more years. Currently he is 28 and has had multiple lower body injuries by the time I believe the Bull will able to contend again he will be 30 years old. With age I do not see him being that effective, once age catches to him I am not so sure the hustle will be the same. I believe this is visible every time he comeback from injury it takes him a while to get in shape and be effective, with age this will become even harder.
Boozer - Nothing to say but he was a piece to this run as much as we all hate to admit it. Even with Rose here there was thought of amnesty now it seems sooner rather than later. I always hoped the bulls would wait to summer of 2014 to find the team that strikes out on the free agent class of the off season and trade him for a trade exception. Dunleavy - He is 33 and come to the bulls to win a championship! When the bulls are able to contend again he will be 35 and a free agent!
Butler - He is young and developing, when Rose was around and still trying to find his shot Butler did never looked for his shot. I think the Bulls need to give him a bigger part of the offense and make him develop (just as Pacers did with Paul George when Granger was out)
Mirotic - He should be a Bulls player next season with Rose out there is no reason to keep him in Europe. Bull will probably offer him a contract around $16 million for 4 yrs.
Taj - He might be overpaid and already 28 years old, if Boozer is amnesty he has the most to gain as he will be starting and probably putting up good numbers, also increasing his value as a possible trading asset.
It will all come down to The Bulls 3 Options -
Option 1 - Yes the bulls could keep playing and maintain their core of Deng, Noah, Taj, Butler and Mirotic(hopefully in Bulls uniform next season) but this would mean being a Tax repeater offender! Oh did I mentioned Butler eventual contract? The NBA rules does not allow for teams to maintain their core without penalty and bulls ownership has not shown interest in paying much of these tax unless bulls are contenders and even then they appear to be cheap.
In this option the Bulls decide to keep their core of players. - They resign Deng for approximately 4 yrs 40 mil (A. Iguodala got 4yrs 48 mil). Deng knows he has a coach that respects him as what he is and knows what could happen when you follow the money(Ben Gordon). - Heinrich - Try to resign for less money approx 2 mil per year or have Teague take his spot if he develops. - Trade Boozer for an Trade exception allowing you or amnesty him. Trading Boozer would be preferable because if he is not pickup by any team with cap space he can go anywhere he wants, did I mention his kids live in Miami and are Heat fans? This allows the Bulls to bring Mirotic and if they get the exception they could trade in the middle of the season for large available contract.
This option was the best with a healthy Rose, Bulls can keep going in this direction as it was probably the original plan, but its not as good as before as not they are repeater tax offender and they might want to get out of this.
Option 2 and most likely - Bulls decide not to resign Deng and trade him and Amnesty or find a sucker to trade for Boozer. - Deng could be traded for draft picks(highly unlikely), but most probably he can be traded for prospects that could serve as future assets for trades. Possible trade - Deng to Minnesota for Derrick Williams, Dieng, and Budinger (hes hurt but Bulls don't care about winning this year if they make this trade), maybe their 1st round pick or Shabazz(its Minnesota maybe even Sanders can be bad at trading) - Bulls trade Boozer for an expiring contract that never sees the light of day off the bench (Most likely they amnesty him) - This is minor tanking the Bulls will probably do, they obtain young players and try to see if one can Develop enough to be trade assets toward draft picks or better players. Unfortunatelly this will not be enough asThibs is tooo good and will proabably still make the playoffs...... unless. - At trade deadline Bulls will have to Trade Hinrich and Dunleavy for more young players, trade exceptions, or future draft picks, probably taking them into the Lottery Draft but with a pick in the teens.
Option 3 least likely - Total blowout - Bulls do Option 2 but they decide to trade Dunleavy and Hinrich earlier. - Also Bulls decide to trade their best asset for younger players. Noah is traded. Possible trade - Noah and Dunleavy are traded to the Spurs for Splitter and Kawhi Leonard and (Spurs 2014 pick if possible). Or Noah and Dunleavy to Portland for Nicolas Batum and Robin Lopez and (Portland 2014 pick and/or CJ McCollum)
These Trades will make the Bulls bad but not horrible with enough young assets to rebuild and be able to get in the Lottery top 10 picks where there a chance to get an all-star in this draft or better and if you lucky enough you can get a top 3 pick and have a possible future superstar! Your 1B to Rose 1A but in the end its a gamble and one that Bulls might not be willing to make. This draft is very deep and could yield great players for the future and is something the Bulls could obtain by being bad.
They already have Mirotic and Butler if they add other young assets they could be set up to Trade for another star. The current window seems to have closed on this group, now we need to see if management has the imagination and the guts to open a door into the future.
I just wanted to rant a little and sorry for the bad spelling errors in my writing.