Wiz End Bulls' Season
By Benjy Lipsman in News on May 9, 2005 6:15PM
The Bulls magical season came to a close Friday night as the Washington Wizards defeated the Bulls 94-91 in DC, winning the best-of-seven series 4-2. The entire game, it looked like the Bulls would hold of the Wiz and bring the series home to Chicago on Sunday. Up most of the game, the Bulls lost that lead in the final minute.
Just about as soon as the final buzzer sounded, talk turned to next season's team. Who will stay, who will go elsewhere, who will join the team. Don't expect much in the way of changes, though.
For one, this team's chemistry was incredible. Players moved into and out of the lineup due to injuries, poor play, etc. Everybody accepted whatever role was thrust upon them and succeeded in nearly every case. Why tinker with that success?
Especially because the Bulls have the say regarding nearly every player. Being a young team, the Bulls have only two unrestricted free agents -- Adrian Griffin and Othella Harrington. Curry and Chandler are restricted free agents, as are a couple others. But the Bulls have made every indication that they intend to match offers for nearly everybody. Pargo may be the lone man not matched -- if he draws any offers.
Also, the Bulls have no draft picks this year. Their first round pick was traded to Phoenix for the rights to Loul Deng. Their second round pick now belongs to Utah.
The Bulls do have some weaknesses, however, and there are some free agent players who could help fill those roles. Chicagoist thinks their biggest need is some more front court scoring, particularly late in the game. Somebody like Shareef Abdur-Rahim or Donyell Marshall might fit the need. However, the Bulls will likely only have the mid-level exception to offer. Will either sign for the approx. $5 million? Marshall has mentioned a desire to return to Chicago.
The summer speculation season is now in session. And for the first time in a LONG TIME it won't primarily be focused on the Draft Lottery.