Midday Stampede: Looking Ahead to Next Summer
Which players in the 2013 free agent class can help the Bulls get back to elite status?
If the Bulls are going to get back to contending status, the summer of 2013 will be a good place to start.
Looking beyond the Bulls 2012-2013 season may make many fans uncomfortable, but it's necessary.
The team won't regain its status as one of the NBA’s elite franchises until Derrick Rose returns to his former self. Any thoughts of Chicago being a legitimate threat to the actual contenders in the league before that happens is borderline unreasonable.
The team has rebuilt the roster for the upcoming campaign, but the “real” rebuilding doesn’t start until next summer. That means the dreaded "2014 plan" actually begins in 2013. That’s when the front office will have had time to evaluate Rose and assess the type of players they’ll need to surround him with – long term – in order to make a real push for the team’s seventh championship banner.
Although next summer's crop of free agents won't be nearly as stellar as the ones in 2014 (the same players who made up the star-studded 2010 draft class), there are still some quality players the team will take a look at and consider signing in order to make another deep playoff run and possibly win an NBA title.