Well, that should pretty much do it. Whatever hope there was of rescuing something of significance from the remaining prime years of Carmelo Anthony’s career with the Knicks has been squandered. It most likely became set in stone on Monday night, when New York’s prized offseason point-guard acquisition, Derrick Rose, failed to show for a loss to the Pelicans, the eighth in nine games for the Knicks.
But the Bulls will have the difficult task of pulling off a midseason blockbuster at a time when other teams know there is a whiff of desperation within the organization.
It’s what makes last summer all the more confounding. The Bulls were in position to make a Butler trade that would have landed them a Top 5 pick and other assets. Now, it’s a little dodgier. This is expected to be a strong draft class, and without the security of knowing how the lottery will play out, teams are more leery about trading picks. On the flip side, a strong closing run by whichever team’s pick the Bulls might acquire and bad luck on lottery night could mean that the Bulls wind up with a pick that falls out of the Top 5.
This could have gone much better for the Bulls and Hoiberg if they’d approached this season determined to rebuild, if they sent away Butler and gave more chances to young players like Doug McDermott, Jerian Grant and Bobby Portis. Instead, they brought in more veterans, and more Hoiberg headaches. Now they’re stuck trying to unravel the mess.
Butler will have a much more receptive market, but the Bulls are expected to ask for a massive return, though they’re not in a great position to demand it. Butler is having a monster season—25.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists—and there is no doubt that there will be a long list of suitors. Thibodeau Nike NFL Jerseys still would love to bring him to Minnesota, and there will be interest from the Lakers and NBA Jerseys Wholesale Boston, among many others.