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Dwyane Wade at Bulls media day on Sept. 26, 2016 at the Advocate Center. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)

Dwyane Wade at Bulls media day on Sept. 26, 2016 at the Advocate Center. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)

Will Karmin, North Shore Country Day 

The Chicago Bulls have started their preseason, with their roster in a major state of flux. The Bulls began their offseason by trading away Chicago-native Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks, along with Justin Holiday. Holiday is a young wing, more of a throw-in player in this trade. Used in the correct way, Holiday can thrive as a role player off the bench. Holiday prides himself as a 3 and D type player. This means he makes three point shots and plays good defense. He shot 43 percent from long distance last year so he can make three pointers.

Shipping Derrick Rose out of Chicago made this trade a blockbuster deal. D-Rose is a brand name throughout Chicago and represented Chicago in his tenure here. The Bulls felt it was time to get rid of Rose as he played about 33 games on average for the last five seasons. The Bulls front office dealt Rose as both parties felt it was time to move on. The Bulls GM, Gar Forman, also said he wanted the team to become “younger, more athletic.” In addition, many believe the on-court relationship between Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler caused a problem, and it would be very hard for the two to coexist in Chicago.

While there is a good chance the 27-year-old Derrick Rose has already peaked in his career, as he has had a trio of major knee surgeries, I believe this was the wrong move. In this trade, the Bulls received Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon. The Bulls waived Calderon. Robin Lopez is a solid center who is on a team-friendly contract. Jerian Grant, an unproven second-year guard, has shown flashes of potential but has not displayed any greatness in terms of consistency. Chicago traded Rose for a very modest package. The same value of a Rose trade would remain at any point next season. Derrick Rose enters his first season healthy in five seasons, and he has a chance to work on improving his game, instead of rehabbing his knee. Derrick Rose is a proven veteran point guard in this league, and he has a chance to regain his MVP form this season. If Rose does accomplish this, the Bulls may have lost the chance to become championship contenders, and they could have dealt Rose for a much better package. He might end up playing at the MVP level so the Bulls could have traded him for a lot of value at the trade deadline. Overall, the Bulls did not have good timing in trading Derrick Rose.

Next up, the Bulls signed Rajon Rondo. I am not a member of the Bulls locker room, but if Jimmy Butler and the rest of his teammates could not get along with Rose, they will not get along with Rondo. Rondo is a proven locker room ‘cancer’. Not only is Rondo not good in the locker room, he is older than Rose and is definitely not ‘younger and more athletic.’ Rondo is a selfish player. He only passes the ball if the assist is flashy and will go on his statline.

Next up, the Bulls made one of the most noteworthy signings of free agency by bringing Dwyane Wade home. Wade grew up in Chicago as a kid and still has family in town. While Wade adds a good locker room presence, he does not fit the bill of ‘younger and more athletic.’ Wade is a good player, but he is past his prime and wastes cap space. By signing Wade and Rondo, pairing them with Butler, the Bulls have one of the worst perimeter shooting teams in the NBA. With a projected starting lineup of Rondo, Wade, Butler, Mirotic and Lopez, the Bulls starting lineup shoots an average of 31.4 percent from three, excluding Robin Lopez, who has never shot a three pointer. While Mirotic is battling with Taj Gibson for the starting forward position, Taj is even worse as a three point shooter. This team needs better shooting, and it needs it now.

Right now, the Bulls are positioned as a middle-of-the-pack eastern conference team that will never compete for a title. While the Bulls have set themselves up as a four or five seed in the eastern conference for years to come, they will never become a championship team with the current roster and salary cap. Had the Bulls rebuilt in the offseason, they would have improved themselves for the future. As they stand right now, the Bulls will have trouble beating alpha dogs in the eastern and western conference. These teams include the Warriors, Cavaliers, Raptors, Celtics, Clippers Spurs, Rockets and Thunder, etc. By doing what the Bulls did this offseason and not committing to a rebuild or go all in, they have officially committed themselves to selling tickets and remaining a team mired in mediocrity.

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