|2013/14 NBA Season|
|January 10, 2014|
|BMO Harris Bradley Center | Milwaukee, WI|
|FS Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ / Audio League Pass|
|Brandon Knight||PG||Kirk Hinrich|
|Luke Ridnour||SG||Jimmy Butler|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||SF||Mike Dunleavy|
|Ersan Ilyasova||PF||Carlos Boozer|
|Larry Sanders||C||Joakim Noah|
|2012/13 Advanced Stats|
|91.5 (26th)||Pace||90.8 (28th)|
|98.8 (30th)||ORtg||99.4 (29th)|
|107.5 (23rd)||DRtg||100.1 (2nd)
In two months the Bulls have devolved from title hopeful to possible lottery fodder, a presumed death spiral that was only further accelerated by Chicago's decision earlier this week to deal all-star wing Luol Deng to the Cavaliers for three picks and Andrew Bynum's partially guaranteed deal. Bynum was subsequently waived to save the other half of his $12 million salary, while Deng and his expiring deal join a Cavalier squad desperate to make the playoffs despite a miserable 12-23 start to the season. In return the Bulls saved some money and added two future second round picks and a 2014 protected first, one that they're unlikely to see this year (the Kings would have to finish outside the top 12 in the lottery).
It's a white flag deal for Chicago, at least for this season, but most have graded it a necessary evil for a Bulls team that had already seen its ambitions derailed by Derrick Rose's second season-ending knee injury in as many years. With a presumed amnesty of Carlos Boozer in the summer providing additional cap space to pursue free agents, the Bulls could reload next fall with a healthy (?) Rose, a solid free agent signing, two first round picks (they also own Charlotte's) and 2011 draft pick Nikola Mirotic, the highly-touted 22-year-old whom many have dubbed the best player outside North America.