Prior to the Bulls 119-100 romping at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, Bulls fans were gifted with John Paxson’s annual state of the union address. Christmas morning Bulls VP of Basketball Operations joined David Schuster on 670 The Score to speak on the current state of the team (thanks to 670 The Score’s Cody Westerlund for grabbing the following quotes and many more).
A couple of the big takeaways from the following quotes from Pax were that he was often blunt as usual, and that he seemingly contradicted every offseason move they made, aside of signing Dwyane Wade.
On the Bulls current pace of play:
“We’ve wanted to play with a little more pace, a little quicker. In this day and age, if you’re not advancing the ball quickly and you’re allowing defenses to set up and you’re fighting clock, that becomes an issue.”
Followed by the Bulls three point shooting, or lack thereof:
“It’s hurt us, there’s no question about it. We’re last in the league in three point shooting. We acknowledged that going in, that that would be an issue with us.”
LOL. It gets better.
“At the beginning of the year, we knew that was going to be a weakness of ours. It’s something we have to address. We did think we were going to shoot the ball a little bit better than we’re shooting it right now.”
But this, these right here are the gems of the bunch.
On trying to plug holes when Derrick Rose was injured:
“In the meantime, you’re drafting in the middle of the pack all the time. You’re good enough to make the playoffs a little bit, but you’re picking between 14, 15, and 22. It’s difficult to get impact players, unless you’re lucky like we were with Jimmy (Butler) years ago.”
Where the Bulls need to improve:
“The area we really do need to improve is with our athleticism. That’s been evident this year as well. We’ve got some vets that know how to play, can score, but you know when you look around the league and how the game is now, that’s an area we have to address.”
Is everyone done laughing yet?
Everything that Paxson went through and then some, is under his and general manager Gar Forman’s control. An inability to grab an impact player in the middle of the draft? You literally surrendered FIVE draft picks for Doug McDermott when you had Jusuf Nurkic and Garry Harris. Or the fact that when you did make the trade with Denver, Rodney Hood, Zach LaVine and TJ Warren were still available. There were impact players available, you, the front office failed.
They knew the way Hoiberg wanted to play when they hired him, they acknoweldge such during multiple occasions. Through two offseason’s now, they’ve had an opportunity to build an adequate roster to fit his offensive schemes, to rebuild this team around Jimmy Butler, and have failed to do so each time.
Want to get younger and more athletic? Don’t sign Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade. Want to play with more pace? Don’t sign a point guard notorious for ball-stopping and assist-hunting. Need more three point shooting? Again, why sign Rondo and Wade? This list goes on of the obvious mistakes this front office has made.
If anything, Paxson’s interview was an indictment on his and Forman’s performance over the past few offseason’s. Sure they had a good run back when, but it’s clear these two can’t perform their jobs adequately. The only way this organization can move forward is without them.