Leslie Forman wrote:I will forever maintain the opinion that if a competent front office had been put in place and traded for him this summer and signed another FA like Kemba or something, that it would have done pretty well in this garbage conference and would have been enough to have Davis pull a Paul George (the OKC part, not the LA part).
There are two moves that forever changed the fortunes of this franchise for the worst
- The first was hard lining Jimmy so long on a deal at 4/48. If the Bulls (who at the same time should have known that with the drastic increase in TV money from ESPN any deal signed later that fall was going to turn any contract into a bargain) stupidly fought Jimmy on the deal to the point that he was able to sign for nearly double (5/95) and with an out after 4 meaning the Bulls cost themselves about, oh, 35 million dollars in free contract value. For nothing. But the real issue with that deal was that if he signs the extension, Jimmy's cap hold this summer would have been in the 20-23 million range but he could have signed for at least 10-15 million more than that. If you have Jimmy at Otto Porter's cap hold, you can go into FA and attract a star + another really good player and still not overly cap yourself.
- The second was the MCW/Snell/Dinwiddie debacle. Some will say ''THIS MOVE?" is franchise changing and unfortunately the answer is yes. If the Bulls had decided that Dinwiddie and Snell was better than MCW and RJ Hunter, they would have had Dinwiddie here for a fairly cheap deal. But the main thing would have been if nothing else changes that year, does Dinwiddie provide enough value that if the Bulls are up 2-0 and Rondo still breaks his thumb, can the Bulls close the series with Dinwiddie instead of Grant/MCW/Canann? Let's say they can and now, you have Butler as the best player on a 8 seed that just beat the #1 seed AFTER Rondo got hurt and you have no major money. It's the summer of 2017, now all of the sudden you're the premier FA destination because you're good, you have a ton of cap space, and the team is on the rise.
It's two moves, both at the time completely indefensible, that cost the team a chance at truly being something special. The Bulls and Warriors faced very similar situations with Butler and Curry after three years in the league: do you give them 4 years at a slightly above what they are worth price because of either being slightly not good enough (Butler's case) or in Curry's, injury risk? The Bulls said no, made Butler play it out, and was the beginning of the end of Jimmy in Chicago. In Golden State, all Curry did after signing that deal was make the all-star each year of the four years of the extension (was probably robbed in year 4), win two MVP (one unanimous), led a team to 73 wins, and won 2 titles and lost another in game 7.
None of that is possible if the Warriors tell Curry to play another year and have to max him to a deal in the summer of 2013. So yeah, sometimes it is just one contract or move that changes the entire complexion of a team's history.