The latest edition of Nate Duncan's "Dunc'd On" podcast gave letter grades for all of the NBA's Eastern and Western Conference offseason deals and acquisitions.
Nate Duncan gave the Bulls a D-
Danny Leroux gave them an F+
They created kind of a Frankenstein's monster of a 2016-17 Bulls squad that can actively antagonize their best player who is also their best contract... and that is baffling. --Danny Leroux
It's hard to disagree with that summation. Duncan then conceded that the Dwyane Wade signing would have been alright had the team not signed a non-shooting point guard in Rajon Rondo prior to it, but he begins his dissection of what went wrong with the Bulls' offseason starting with the simple plan they (in his opinion) should have followed to get back to the mid-teir of the East:
Sign a starting-caliber defensive center, acquire a capable backup point guard, and attempt to re-sign E'Twaun Moore.
By his account, the Bulls attempted to do none of those things.
Duncan and Leroux both hate Robin Lopez as a starter (we disagree), and his status as the main return-chip in the Derrick Rose trade made the offseason an abject failure from the start. However, the most baffling move from both perspectives was still the Rondo signing, which was a poor compliment not only for Jimmy Butler, but also eventual acquisition of Wade. To both analysts, the Bulls moves made even less sense on a metaphysical level. The egos and personalities don't coincide with Fred Hoiberg's laid-back style, which doesn't bode well for chemistry building and squad success.
Duncan also criticized dumping two potentially good second round picks to get rid of Jose Calderon, which is a somewhat misguided take considering the move allowed them to sign Wade and polished turds are still turds.
When discussing drafting Denzel Valentine, Leroux said he doesn't believe Valentine has a path to ever becoming an NBA starter and that the Bulls should have gone after a boom-or-bust-type player instead at the fourteenth pick. Duncan agreed, saying he doesn't quite envision Valentine becoming anything more than a Greivis Vasquez-type player that can handle and shoot threes, but is a slow defensive sieve that also can't get to the rim.
Overall, the outlook is that the Bulls got worse both in the short and long term, provided Wade doesn't recruit a superstar to Chicago next year as Rondo is shown the door.
You can listen to the entire Dunc'd On podcast here, with their take on the Bulls' offseason starting at around 25 minutes in.