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Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Feb 8, 2006 4:48AM

2006_2_sports_bulls_jazz.jpgBefore the start of the NBA season, Chicagoist actually thought the Bulls would be comparable to last year's surprising 47-35 team. Boy were we wrong! Whereas last year's team regularly scraped and clawed to overcome early defecits and win games they had no business winning, this year's team has been following the opposite script. Monday night's loss to the Utah Jazz saw the Bulls give away the game not once, but twice. They jumped out to a double digit lead in the first quarter before letting Utah back into the game. Down late in the 4th quarter, they managed to tie the game and send it to OT. They jumped out to a quick 7 point lead Following Monday night's loss to Utah, the Bulls fell to 0-4 on their current 7-game road trip and 20-27 overall.

You know the season's over when probably the biggest name in local basketball coverage starts looking towards the next draft. The Trib's Sam Smith the other day wrote,

[T]he Bulls have the Knicks' first-round draft pick this season and the right to swap picks next season. At this rate, the Knicks could be a high lottery pick this year and in the lottery again next year. It's why the Bulls probably won't make any deals this month and instead will await their chances with two first-round picks this season, possibly both in the lottery if they miss the playoffs, and the chance to get the Knicks' next year.

Sure, the Bulls could end up with a top 3 pick in June's draft thanks to the draft pick they got as part of the Eddy Curry trade along with another possible lottery pick. Sure they could end up with another high pick next year if the Knicks continue to flounder. But is that really what the Bulls should be pinning their hopes to?

Chicagoist is exhausted from dealing with all the highly drafted rookies the Bulls have drafted since MJ's retirement. Elton Brand. Ron Artest. Eddy Curry. Tyson Chandler. Jamal Crawford. Marcus Fizer. Jay Williams. Kirk Hinrich. Ben Gordon. Loul Deng. Enough already! Too many of these guys have come and gone. Some have excelled since leaving. Ohters have continued to frusterate their new teams. Artest has done both.

The Bulls have a solid core of young players with Gordon, Deng, Nocioni and Hinrich. They need to add a proven star to the mix to take this team to the next level. They can't keep hoping to find the next diamond in the rough to lead them back to glory. The Bulls have a surplus of young players and high draft picks, as well as ample cap room. They should trade for a big time player now. The Bulls' biggest need is down low. Kevin Garnett remains one of the top big men in the league. He's unhappy in Minnesota. Could the Bulls put together a package of players and draft picks to land him? There have supposedly been discussions that could bring Kenyon Martin or Drew Gooden to the Bulls. But those options don't really give them the All Star caliber presence they need to make progress towards returning to the playoffs this year.