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I still don't think Pax is done

Under contract:


Still two roster spots remain, you'd think one is for an emergency point guard. Unless they believe Sefolosha can do it, I'm guessing Pargo returns.

The Adrian Griffin acquisition is yet another indication that Pax is gearing this team to win now. He dumped 20-year old J.R. Smith for the cap space to sign the 32-year old Griffin, not only suggesting that he values veteran leadership, but that there is little time for projects this season.

And while I demeaned Griffin as replaceable, he will help solidify the guard rotation. I know that Thabo Sefolosha has been preemptively crowned our long-awaited answer to the M2GwcDaS, but while he projects to be NBA-ready (and showed it in the summer league), there is no way of knowing how an international rookie will handle his first season in the league. Griffin will be nice insurance, especially since he already has established himself comfortable with the team, and trust has been reciprocated on him by the coaching staff. A 3-year deal will likely be viewed as regrettable fairly soon, until the actual contract is revealed I won't freak out just yet.

So not only is this still a deep team, it's also now a pretty experienced team. Right in Skiles' wheelhouse, as he's shown he'll play everybody.

There were pretty standard failures in Bulls games last season: They were falling way behind early, and in close games lacked the ability to isolate and create easy scoring opportunities. The team is still deep, and Pax's upgrades has provided better depth. Additionally, the maturity of the team's starters should lead to less situations where they need to use that depth due to foul trouble (this will be singlehandedly be helped by upgrading from Chandler to Wallace). This all means I see those early deficits becoming a thing of the past.

They still have a glaring weakness though, and it's something that almost goes hand-in-hand with the depth and versatility the Bulls possess: they have to work hard to get shots.  There is not a single player on that roster who they give the ball and guarantee a high percentage look (including a trip to the line). When the Bulls space the floor well and run a disciplined offense they usually do fairly well, but it still leads to far too many jump shots and over time it wears them down.

Having a post player who they can just dump the ball to once in a while isn't necessarily going to destroy the flow of the offense. I doubt a superstar is on his way soon, and while names like Wilcox and Gooden are still floating around I'm not sure they're the answer either. But Pax has shown all summer that he is getting this team ready to win right now. I don't seem them going into the season with this gaping hole in the frontcourt.

Besides, why dump J.R. Smith for two second round picks to use the resulting cap space on Griffin when they could've just dipped in their mid-level exemption? Who are they saving it for? [UPDATE: um...I'm pretty sure I messed the exemption stuff up. The Bulls do not get a mid-level exemption since when the cap was set they were farther under the cap than the value of the exemption. So ignore that last bit :)]