Well, it looks like more off-season grades are still rolling in.
The latest comes courtesy of SI.com and several members of their basketball staff, where they graded the Central Division teams.
The components they focused on for their grading scale was fairly simple: "best move" and "worst move".
For the Bulls, they considered the "best move" the signing of Dwyane Wade. Which I would doubt anyone will disagree with at this point. Wade's a household name with the fans and still a flashy & respected name in the league. Wade completely owned his introductory press conference. He was charming and delightful, winning over the Chicago media in the process. However, the obvious glaring question is how much does Wade have left in the tank to contribute? Jeremy Woo nails down the Wade signing with perfection:
Throwing Wade’s homecoming into the narrative mix makes for a beautiful PR opportunity and a slim chance they can overachieve and make it work
The Bulls worst move? As many have noted here, it's hard to boil it down to one, single move (there are many), but the SI writers correctly state how the Bulls aren't really picking a lane:
The departures of Rose and Noah made it seem the Bulls were finally ready to detach from the Thibodeau era and build around Jimmy Butler. Instead, Chicago added pricey, aging veterans in Wade and Rondo. What is the plan here? The moves neither push the Bulls closer to the top of the conference nor help Butler fully emerge as the leader of the team.
Many here lamented similar thoughts. Either blow it up completely or surround Jimmy with younger pieces who will complement his game. The Bulls did neither, instead opting to basically tread water.
They correctly state that it was the "defensible" thing to do in trading Rose and letting both Jo and Pau walk in free-agency. That being said, they were still pretty perplexed by the way the Bulls handled this off-season:
As the questionable decisions piled up, the logic driving them dwindled and dwindled, to the point that it’s no longer clear exactly what Chicago was trying to accomplish.
Instead of targeting talents who can space the court and help make Butler’s life easier, Chicago opted for "name" free agents who are non-shooters and who need the rock to be successful
And the parting money shot:
In sum, Chicago looks like a team that knew it needed a new chapter but didn’t have the foresight to actually write it.
That last quote is probably my favorite quote of the article. It correctly sums up GarPax's seeming fear (lack of knowledge?) on mapping out a plan going forward. It's hard to see what foresight, if any, was used this off-season.
Though it can be strongly argued that many of these off-season grades don't hold a lot of weight...(heh, someone actually gave the Bulls an "A-" last offseason)...the reasons given in SI's grade breakdown are pretty spot on. Though I am a proponent of the "let's wait until they play" mindset, it's hard to see how this season's team will be successful. Exactly what are the Bulls doing or planning to do going forward? I guess we shall see.