Opinion: Bulls Won’t Win Until Management Takes Some Risks

An unwillingness to pay the salary cap is not a bigger issue for the Bulls than their unwillingness to take risks on the roster

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One of the biggest complaints about Chicago Bulls management is that they don’t seem to be willing to do what it takes to win a championship. And by "do what it takes,' I mean spend money.

Those who purport themselves as being "anti-Reinsdorf" always cite the owner's unwillingness to pay the luxury tax while simultaneously making mention of all the money his franchise rakes in annually, as well as his unabashed love for the White Sox as being the reason why the Bulls franchise doesn’t seem any closer to winning a seventh NBA Championship than they were five years ago.

When hearing comments like these, I often wonder if people realize that the Bulls actually do spend money on players. The team has shelled out tons of dough on guys like Ben Wallace, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, and of course, Derrick Rose.

The real problem is not that they don’t spend, it’s that they don’t take risks by spending on guys that could potentially put them over the top, even if said players don't exactly fit their "mold."

The Bulls as an organization have been on a kick lately of adding "character guys" to the roster and for the most part, it’s been a "safe" and successful formula. Tyrus Thomas was the last player you would classify as being a "head case" on the team and since his departure there hasn’t been one guy on the squad that’s caused any sort of trouble.

Yes, the Bulls have won a ton of games using this formula, but the end goal is always a championship and can you really win a championship without taking some roster risks in the process? I don’t think so.

But roster risks becomes a difficult proposition when you make it a habit of overvaluing and subsequently overpaying guys who are talented, but not necessarily the right pieces you need in order to win a championship. This, of course, is why the Bulls find themselves in their current predicament: capped out from a salary perspective with no tradable assets to boot.

There are, of course, other reasons, but these are the biggest two. So as Bulls fans, we must understand that the real problem with the Bulls isn’t solely rooted in their unwillingness to pay the luxury tax, it's their aversion to risk taking.

Many applauded -- while others questioned -- what they did in 2010 by gutting the roster in an attempt to land LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade, only to have it backfire. But that’s what happens when you take risks: sometimes you swing for the fences and you miss.

Now, the only thing any of us can do is just sit back and wait. Wait to be out from under the hefty contracts of Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer, wait for Derrick Rose to come back, and wait for the organization to finally come to the realization once again that you can’t steal second base until you take your foot off first.

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