Bittersweet Business: Luol Deng Traded to Cavaliers

NBA: Playoffs-Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets

via Bittersweet Business: Luol Deng Traded to Cavaliers | SportsDivas Inc..

After months of trade rumors, the Chicago Bulls ended an era when they wheeled and dealed their two-time All-Star small forward Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers late Monday night.

Initially, you might be thinking the Bulls front office has lost their marbles. Deng has been the most consistent offensive player on the Bulls the past few years, he’s led the entire league playing a ridiculous amount of minutes, he’s a stifling defender and he has a heart of gold.It wasn’t always pretty, but Lou gave Chicago his all throughout his 10 year journey and embodied the Bulls gritty defense-minded approach. Unfortunately, our love for Luol Deng is not enough to keep him in Chicago. There are plenty of reasons why the Deng-er-ang was sent off to hang with Kyrie Irving and the Cavs. It’s business, baby.

To give the Bulls’ organization some credit, they did try to keep Deng in Chicago by offering him a 3-year, $30 million extension last week. However, Deng declined the offer which then led to plan B – the trade.Deng is 28, leading the team in points scored, but he’s also be ailed by quite a few injuries this season and in past years. The game takes a lot of wear and tear on the body. John Paxson, Chicago’s VP of Basketball Operations, addressed the media immediately Tuesday morning to discuss the big move. He explained just how hard of a decision it was to trade Luol and the amount of respect the organization has for the NBA player.

Chicago has been through the ups and downs with Deng and he has always proven the toughest of soldiers, playing through sprains, muscle tears and spinal taps. The city is forever grateful for his time here and we wish him nothing but greatness in Cleveland unless he’s playing the Bulls of course.

What the Bulls got in Return:

I know what you’re thinking, “ditching Deng better have been worth it,” or maybe that’s just what I was thinking. The Bulls picked up center Andrew Bynum, three future draft picks and the right to swap 2015 first round picks with the Cavs. Los Bulls already have a solid center in Joakim Noah, so they will release Bynum before the Jan. 7 deadline tonight. This will clear up about $12.3 million to go with the $14.3 million they saved by trading Deng.

The draft picks are what really sweetened the deal. The Bulls now have a boatload of draft picks coming their way in the next few years. This is great news because the 2014 draft is deep with talented players and the Bulls could really get some quality guys.

What This Means for the Bulls:

The fun has only just begun for the Chicago Bulls’ front office. This trade absolutely signifies a new era in Chicago basketball and a time for rebuilding, but it’s not going to be a complete overhaul. They still have serious talent in Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson. Yes, trading Deng means the Bulls won’t be doing much winning this season, but the goal is to develop the young players we do have like Tony Snell and find the the guys who can truly take the Bulls to a championship upon Derrick Rose’s return.

DRose is still the center of Chicago’s universe. The organization’s goal is to find the best players to compliment Rose. We need a team who no longer plays under Derrick, but rather a team who plays well WITH Derrick.

Expect the Bulls to amnesty Carlos Boozer this summer, this will cut another $16.8 million for the Bulls spending, which would hopefully allow enough salary cap room for the signing of an elite caliber free agent. All these deals give the Bulls quite a bit more wiggle room when it comes to the limitations of players they can sign.These are absolutely long shots, but players like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Greg Monroe and even LeBron James could potentially be attainable. The Bulls have cap space and with some tempting rookies, Chicago may be able to conjure up some sign-and-trade deals.

Losing Deng is no easy feat. It’s going to take the team some time to bounce back after their silent leader was traded away, but I bet Joakim Noah is even more upset that the poor guy has to live in Cleveland.

Farewell Luol, we’ll miss you and your Dengerous wingspan.

 

Bulls November Report Card: C-

The Bulls’ season has been underway for a little over a month and the game has already taken a toll on our emotions. As fans we’re exhausted, I can’t imagine what the players must be going through. If you’ve missed Coach Thibodeau’s recent emotional sideline displays, the Bulls are in a full fledged identity crisis after losing Derrick Rose for the season and sitting 2nd in the Central Division at 7-9.

It’s tough times Bulls fans. November started with the highest hopes, Rose was finally finding his rhythm after a year off the floor and the team was starting to gel again. Then BAM in the blink of an eye everything plummeted into a devastating black hole. This is the kind of season where you either pride yourself on being a die-hard Bulls fan and stick it out, or perhaps just pack it up until next season.

The Good: 

Jimmy Butler finally got a haircut.

Other than the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat the Bulls are competing in a weak Eastern Conference. It’s a blessing and a burden. The Bulls won’t be terrible enough in the conference to “tank” the season and get a top draft pick, but they don’t have enough without Rose to

The Bad: Well gosh, where do I even begin.

It was just a normal game during the yearly Circus Trip where the biggest challenge was Jimmy Butler sitting out with a case of turf toe. Then suddenly Derrick Rose’s right knee buckled in the third quarter and he limped off the TrailBlazer’s court. Next thing we know he needs season ending surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus. And in an instant all the Bulls’ hopes and dreams of an NBA Championship were immediately stripped away.Losing your franchise player to a knee injury for the second time in less than two years is a bit traumatizing. It’s one thing to go into the season knowing you’ll be without your star player, however losing DRose 11 games into the season after believing he was 100% healthy is near impossible to bounce back from. DRose seems to be on a year-to-year status with the Bulls.

Overall: It’s going to take the Bulls a hot second to shake off the loss of their superstar point guard, regain their composure and buckle up to do what they do best – get back to playing defense. It’s always been about heart hustle and muscle in Chicago.

Read my whole piece via Bulls November Report Card: C- | SportsDivas Inc..

IINJURY ALERT: Rose Officially Ruled Out for the Season

It’s honestly hard to stomach, but for the second time in two years the Chicago Bulls find themselves Rose-less. Derrick Rose has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after having surgery to repair the torn medial meniscus in his right knee Monday morning.

The basketball odds are not in the Bulls’ favor and so a serious case of the Bulls Blues has taken over the city of Chicago as we embark on #theReturnPart2.

With the confirmation of the devastating DRose news comes an overwhelming sea of questions. Will Rose ever be the same? What are the Bulls going to do? Can the season still be salvaged? Will we ever see a NBA Championship in Chicago during the Rose era? Let’s see if we can get some of these answered.

What Does this Mean for Rose’s Future:

The Bulls’ star was in good spirits after surgery and the organization expects a full recovery from their MVP. Rose opted to have the meniscus repaired in his knee rather than having it removed all together. The recovery time for removing the meniscus would have been much quicker, but repairing it allows for more longevity in Rose’s career. The rehabbing process takes at least six months.

There is one silver lining to the Rose injury saga, it could have been worse. Most feared the worst Saturday afternoon while refreshing their news feeds to get the latest DRose news, he could have torn the ACL in his right knee. Which ultimately could have been career ending.

Confidence and trust will play a major factor in Rose’s recovery. We all watched him struggle to find his groove this season after sitting out for an entire year rehabbing his ACL. In the last three seasons, Rose has only played in 50 games and now he’ll have two reconstructed knees. Rose is a super humble dude, but it’s going to take some mega-mindpower to get back into his pre-injury form.

What This Means for the Bulls:

All postseason hopes are not lost of our mighty Bulls. Don’t get me wrong, the Bulls are absolutely better off with Rose on the court – the entire league is actually – but they still have enough talent to take them into the playoffs without the 2010-2011 MVP.

With Rose active the Bulls are a title contender. Without Rose the team could make a playoff run, but are unlikely to beat the Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers in a 7 game series. HOWEVER the Heat are one Dwyane Wade injury away from trouble and the Pacers still struggle on offense down the stretch.

Los Bulls have been down this road before. They’ve managed a winning season without their star point guard. The key to success will be a healthy Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson. Offseason pickup Mike Dunleavy, a seasoned vet, will need to get going and be a consistent scorer.

Luol Deng trade rumors have begun to spiral. Without Rose healthy the team is now looking toward the future rather than the present season. Deng is a two-time All-Star forward who’s expecting some serious cash when he becomes a free agent at the end of this season. That being said, the Bulls are already paying the luxury tax for being over the salary cap threshold. They’re looking to lower their financial load and unfortunately the team would get the most in return for a Deng trade.

Overall, it was a bad weekend to be a Bulls fan and more importantly a Derrick Rose fan. Instead of our white knight riding off into the sunset with an NBA Championship, he’s forced to hobble around with a set of ugly crutches. #notfair

Read more of my Bulls coverage at SportsDivasInc.com via Injury ALERT: Rose Officially Ruled Out for the Season | SportsDivas Inc..

Weekend Roundup: Bulls are Back in Business with Two Blowout Wins

Weekend roundup

It was a win-win kind of weekend for the Chicago Bulls who got back to their streak-snapping roots and pulled off two big blowout wins against the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers.

Despite their healthy roster, it has been a rough start overall for Chicago who is still working through the kinks and rust of Derrick Rose’s return to the court. This weekend put the haters to rest and gave Bulls fans a gust of hope with some breakout performances and team defense.

Friday Bulls at Raptors

Bulls were cruising in the 96-80 win over the Raptors Friday night. With Rose on the bench resting his sore hamstring the Bulls played stingy defense and a well rounded offense. Luol Deng led the way with 19 points, but every Bulls’ starter was in double digits.

Joakim Noah finally found his offensive swagger and had his first big offensive game with 18 points. Jo-No missed the majority of the pre-season with a groin injury and needed a few games to find his rhythm again.

Raptors’ swingman DeMar DeRozan had a career high of 37 points. He dominated the fourth quarter making some outlandish jumpshots, but Toronto had dug themselves too deep of a hole to come back from.

Jimmy Butler showed off his new haircut. The handsome young stud changed up his fro to a more clean-cut style.

Saturday Bulls vs Pacers

STREAK SNAPPED: Going into Saturday’s matchup the Indiana Pacers were the only remaining undefeated team in the NBA. The Bulls, who had already lost to the Pacers earlier this season, said “not in our house.” Chicago not only ended Indy’s nine game winning streak, but they did so in a 110-94 blowout fashion.

Derrick Rosehad his first break-out game of the season with 20 points and four assists and against a tough opponent too (feel free to let out your sigh of relief).

It was a battle between two All-Star small forwards, but Luol Deng (23 pts) took advantage of Indy’s counterpart Paul George (12 pts) who has had a solid start to his season. Overall, the Bulls starters dominated the Pacers big guys.

Carlos Boozer did some pushin-and-shovin against Chris Copeland. They were both ejected with 21.9 seconds on the clock.

The Bulls and Pacers claim there is no longer a team rivalry between the two divisional opponents, but we beg to differ. Things got taken up a notch at the UC and things will continue to get more heated between these two teams as the season goes on.

Your Take Away Piece:

“We witnessed three things this weekend: the Bulls showed off their feisty team defense, they had a resurgence of balanced offense (they surpassed the 100 point hurdle) and DRose got his MVP groove back. I think things are finally coming together for our Chicago Bulls and there’s a lot of great basketball in store for us all.”

What’s Next:

Chicago is 5-3 as they prepare to host the 5-5 Charlotte Bobcats tonight at the UC. Tune in to Comcast Sportsnet at 7 PM to see if our main men can keep their offensive mojo going and continue their four game winning streak. Always BULLieve.

Check out all my Bulls posts via  SportsDivas Inc..

Your 2013 Chicago Bulls: Must Know Players and Positions

With the reemergence of our main-man Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls are once again considered a top threat in the Eastern Conference and NBA Championship title contenders. After getting down and dirty with an 8-0 preseason record, we can tell our Bulls are hungrier than ever.

Over the past three years the Bulls have established themselves as an elite NBA team coached by Tom Thibodeau. After last season, the Bulls have also proven that no matter who is on the court, Thibs will find a way to make them competitors. With Rose’s explosiveness leading the pack, this Bulls team has lofty expectations.

The countdown for the 2013 NBA season is less than 24 hours away and that means it’s time for your Chicago Bulls-Brush-Up. Know who’s rocking the red, black and white jerseys for the Bulls this season. Check out the Starters, supporting cast and coach info via Your 2013 Chicago Bulls: Must Know Players and Positions | SportsDivas Inc..

Bulls 2013-14 Season Preview: Lets Get Ready to Rumble

The Bulls are back in business! After going a very impressive 8-0 in the preseason, it’s clear that the Chicago Bulls are dedicated, determined and looking rather fierce for their 2013 debut. Superstar point guard Derrick Rose has returned after a rough year-long hiatus and so have the Chicago Bulls’ title hopes.

Last year was a tough time for Bulls fans, as we eagerly awaited the non-existent return of our MVP, but it’s time to put all grudges aside because DRose is ready to show us he was worth the wait.

The ultimate goal remains the same: knock Lebron James and the Miami Heat from their Eastern Conference throne and get Chicago to their first NBA Championship in over a decade. Can greatness be achieved with the return of Derrick Rose and a stifling defensive mindset under the guidance of head coach Tom Thibodeau? Only time will tell, but if the preseason was any indication of what is to come, things look good for the Chicago Bulls in the upcoming season. Let’s dig deeper into the Bulls 2013 season and Chicago title contention hopes.

Read my full preview at SportsDivasInc.com via Bulls 2013-14 Season Preview: Lets Get Ready to Rumble | SportsDivas Inc..

Bulls Lead Series 2-1 After Squeaking Out Gritty Game 3 Win | SportsDivas Inc.

The United Center was rocking on Thursday night as the Bulls defeated the Brooklyn Nets 79-76 to gain a 2-1 series lead. Defense was on high speed and Chicago snatched the game 3 win, but it was by no means a pretty sight.Los Bulls started things off by digging themselves into a 15 point deficit, came back and took a comfortable lead, and then during a sloppy fourth quarter, let things get way too close for comfort. Let’s just say there’s definitely room for improvement for our Chicago Bulls. If you missed the emotional roller-coaster keep reading for key details from game 3.

Read my full Game 3 recap at SportsDivas Inc via Bulls Lead Series 2-1 After Squeaking Out Gritty Game 3 Win | SportsDivas Inc..

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