The Bulls didn't make a splash in free agency, but they did do enough to earn a solid offseason grade from Sports Illustrated.
Depending on how you view the acquisition of Mike Dunleavy Jr., while letting Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson walk in free agency, you either hate what the Chicago Bulls did this summer or you think the team has actually improved going into the 2013-14 season.
Obviously the return of Derrick Rose instantly makes the team better and puts Chicago back into the conversation of potential NBA champions, but teams are judged – and sometimes graded – by the moves they make in the offseason. Sports Illustrated, in taking a look at the moves made by every team this summer, gave the Bulls a ‘B’ grade.
On the addition of Dunleavy, SI said, “Dunleavy is a better fit for a Rose-driven team. The 11-year veteran swingman is firmly in the role-player set, with a vanilla game compared to the roller-coaster play of Robinson and Belinelli. But he’s a consistent catch-and-shoot type who reads the floor well, making him a good bet to fill a slot on the wing beautifully for the Bulls.”
However, on the decision to let Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli go, SI commented, “If anything, the support system in case of another Rose injury is a tad bare. This is a worst-case-scenario problem, but the Bulls have left themselves vulnerable in allowing both Robinson and Belinelli to walk as free agents. The point guard rotation would still be covered between Kirk Hinrich and Marquis Teague if Rose were to be sidelined, but creating shots would be more challenging for Chicago than last season.”
Obviously, no one wants to see another Derrick Rose injury, and all signs have pointed to D. Rose being ready to go, but losing an explosive scorer in Robinson and a player like Belinelli who can put the ball on the floor and shoot from distance, will be something the Bulls will miss this season. But the cash strapped front office was limited in the moves they could make and given those circumstances, SI was rather complimentary in assessing the grade they gave the Bulls.
“Chicago didn’t have all that much to do in free agency but managed to grab a quality wing player at a bargain (Dunleavy signed a two-year, $6 million deal), brought back a reserve big man who has experience in coach Tom Thibodeau’s system and drafted a wing who could be of interest down the line. Not bad for a team that was already a contender with a healthy Rose.”