Wednesday morning, Bulls VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson and General Manager Gar Forman sputtered meaningless words and old cliche’s for 45 minutes, taking zero accountability for what happened this season. Nothing said by either offered anything of significant substance, and perhaps left us with more questions and frustration.
When Paxson was asked directly by The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg why they won’t choose to either build around Jimmy Butler or just blow it up, he offered this excu...response:
“We have those discussions all the time. But the opportunity has to be right. To say to just blow it up, for example: If we don’t get something in return that puts us in a position to really move forward, then, it’s, it’s, you can’t do that. You can’t do that.”
For what we’ve heard from Paxson on Wednesday and in the past, he isn’t comfortable with a total rebuild. However, staying in that middle ground that they’ve been in for the past few years (you know, that’s exactly where you want to be as an NBA franchise) seems ideal to them. But to reboot or rebuild is THE honest question management needs to address in the coming weeks, which direction are we going to take moving forward?
And regardless of which they choose this summer, have they provided us any evidence that suggests they can be successful with either option?
From a personnel acquisition standpoint, whether through free agency or via trade, GarPax have lost more than they’ve won, including some baffling decisions recently. Since coming to fruition in 2009, management has had two franchise players to build around, and yet in both cases they’ve failed to do so.
I don’t need to go into further detail, do I? Where do we start?
Personally, I believe if there’s one moment that fully encompasses this front office it’s their trade with Oklahoma City back in February. Right there, you get the trifecta; failed negotiating, talent acquisition and validation of poor drafting.
And to be fair, this isn’t just one Bulls blogger’s perspective either. On March 30th, ESPN released it’s front office rankings, evaluating the team’s owner(s), GM, president and coach; the Bulls came in 28th, only in front of the Sacramento Kings and New York Knicks. More specifically, as a duo GarPax were ranked 27th, finishing ahead of the recently fired Rob Hennigan of Orlando, Phil Jackson and Steve Mills of the Knicks and Vlade Divac of Sacramento.
I would like to think that speaks for itself.
Over the next several weeks there will be many words written and debates had on Twitter about the direction the Bulls should head in this summer. Each of which comes with a valid explanation.
But at the end of the day, what all of this comes down to is...can we put our trust John Paxson and Gar Forman to execute either option?
I’ll let you answer that.