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After This Summer, Will the Bulls Still Be an Elite Team

With the Nets making moves and Miami coming back, where do the Bulls fit among the NBA's elite

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Will the Nets free agency moves and the return of the Miami heat spell trouble for Chicago?

    The Brooklyn Nets have been very active during the first two days of free-agency, acquiring Joe Johnson and his enormous contract from the Atlanta Hawks, while re-signing Gerald Wallace and attempting to re-sign former Fighting Illini superstar Deron Williams.

    The Nets billioinaire owner, Mikhail Prokhorov said he wanted to win a championship within his first five years of being an owner and now with rumors surfacing about a proposed deal that would bring Orlando big man Dwight Howard to New Jersey, he could very well be on his way to making good on that proclamation.

    But what does this mean for the Bulls?

    The Miami Heat are coming off their second NBA championship and will once again be in the hunt to repeat. And if the Nets re-sign Williams plus acquire Dwight Howard, in combination with Johnson and Wallace, they would immediately become a contender and quite possibly even the favorites to come out of the East ahead of the Heat.

    Given what the Bulls have currently, and even with Derrick Rose back and fully healthy, they may have a shot at getting by Miami, but it seems unrealistic they'd be able to compete with the all-around talent of New Jersey who would be elite at three of the four most important positions in basketball: point guard, shooting guard and center.

    Again, this is all speculative at this point and there is nothing to indicate that Howard will wind up in Brooklyn, but if he somehow lands there, it would immediately have a negative impact on the Bulls championship aspirations. They'd still be a good team, sure, but would have almost no realistic chance of winning a title given the level of talent in their own conference.

    It's a tough pill to swallow for Bulls fans but one that may become a harsh reality in the weeks and days ahead.

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