Tha Sports Junkies 101

Amidst Butler Deal, The GarPax Era in Chicago Should End

GarPax Press Conference Jonathon Daniel via Getty Images


Bulls Need to Get Rid Of GarPax, Front Office

During the 2017 NBA Draft on June 22, the Chicago Bulls showed why their front office is in dyer need of a change. The Bulls agreed to trade a top-10 player in Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and then later traded the 38th pick, (Jordan Bell) who the Golden State Warriors desperately wanted for cash. And with these two trades, and the ongoing disaster that is the Bulls front office, the GarPax (Gar Forman and John Paxson) era needs to end for any chance of this rebuild being successful.

Details of the 2017 Draft-Day Deals

Jimmy Butler Deal

Former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has been dying to acquire Jimmy Butler since he became head coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves. And due to this, Chicago should have held the Wolves for a ransom, but obviously that didn’t happen. The Bulls traded away Forward Jimmy Butler AND the 16th overall pick (C Justin Patton, Creighton) in the 2017 NBA Draft in exchange for the 7th overall pick (PF Lauri Markkanen, Arizona) and Guards Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn. Now let’s get to the issues of this deal.

Bulls fans (myself included) were appalled when Chicago included the 16th overall pick in the deal. There was no reason to add that pick if you are supposedly going in the direction of rebuilding. Don’t you think you want to have as many young players as possible? Because after all, that is the definition of a rebuild.

Trade Value for Dunn, Lavine

While I like LaVine, and think Dunn still has potential, the trade value for each of these players couldn’t be lower. LaVine is coming off a torn ACL, and although he was extremely athletic and was able to jump out of the building, you never know how a player, especially known for his athleticism, will be able to rebound after a gruesome injury like that. (*Cough Cough, Derrick Rose*)

As for Dunn, he struggled mightily during his rookie season, especially on the offensive end. In 17 minutes per game, the Providence alumni averaged 3.8 points and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 37 percent from the field, 29 percent from 3-point range, and 61 percent from the line. While it was his rookie season, you can normally tell right away if a player has any offensive ability. And so far, he has been unable to prove he is a capable scorer.

7th Overall Pick

Now to the 7th overall pick, Lauri Markkanen. There’s no denying that he has great offensive talent and versatility. He was one of the highest rated shooters in the draft and shot 42% from beyond the arc. The Finesse big man averaged a tick over 15 points and 7 rebounds per game during his tenure as a Wildcat. The numbers that popped-out to me though was his PER (player efficiency rating) of 25 and his WAR (wins above replacement) of 6.7.

Where I think he’ll struggle is on the defensive end. He doesn’t have quick feet, nor is he an elite shot-blocker. And with the way the NBA is shifting to run-and-gun 3’s, Markkanen is bound to struggle defensively. He has been getting comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki. And while I don’t think he’ll be nearly as good as the Dallas Maverick, if he can mirror Dirk’s career, it wouldn’t be a bad selection.

But as far as the trade goes, you don’t let a 27-year-old, top 10 player in Jimmy, and the 16th overall pick leave your hands for the poor return the Bulls ended up receiving.

Jordan Bell to the Warriors

Slam the brakes, because GarPax made another poor trade Thursday night. The Bulls traded the draft rights to F Jordan Bell out of Oregon (38th overall pick) to the Golden State Warriors for $3.5 million.

Jordan Bell was skyrocketing up draft boards prior to Thursday’s draft. The former Duck helped carry Oregon to the Final Four with his tenacious rebounding, and top-tier shot blocking ability throughout the year, especially in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

With comparisons to Kenneth Faried, Bell was a coveted prospect that every team could use. And in this case, the rich got richer (and I’m not talking money). The Golden State Warriors really wanted Bell, as he’d fit perfectly into their scheme. The only problem was, they didn’t have a pick in the 2017 draft. But leave it to the Bulls to help the recent NBA Champions get even better.

He could’ve been a key component to Chicago’s rebuilding efforts due to his relentless energy. But GarPax dealt him away for $3.5 million, as if Bulls owner Jerry Reindsdorf, who’s a multi-billionaire, needed $3.5 million.

Just Fire Forman and Paxson Already

In conclusion, Bulls fans are getting tired of all the questionable moves made by this duo since they took office. The way they make the opposite side of any transaction look bad is unprofessional. This causes former players and coaches such as Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Tom Thibodeau, Vinny Del Negro to leave in disgust. And now we can add Jimmy Butler to that list. The GarPax era has to end, and if it doesn’t soon, the rebuild can be in trouble.

Updates as of July 1, 2017:

The Bulls have waived PG Rajon Rondo.

The Bulls agreed to terms on a deal with C Cristiano Felicio. The deal is for 4 years/$32 million.