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After their doomed and dismal season, have the Bulls learned anything at all?

After their doomed and dismal season, have the Bulls learned anything at all?
Published On: Sat, Jun 03
Jun 23, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Denzel Valentine (Michigan State) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number fourteen overall pick to the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls' 2016-17 season was 10 times more terrible than their 41-41 record suggests. It represented an organizational arrogance that bordered on insulting to those who are old enough to remember when the team was genuinely great and those who pay even a modest amount of attention to the way the modern game is played. Jimmy Butler played like an MVP candidate and Robin Lopez was a star in his role, but their work was overshadowed by the doomed partnership of veterans Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, predictable locker-room turmoil and roster composition that never made the slightest bit of sense.

Let's say for a second that you're a Bulls fan. What would you want from your favorite team this summer?

I'd probably start with some sort of acknowledgment, on the record or not, that this past season was a mistake. That they took risks on big names with championship experience at the expense of on-court fit. That they have not provided Butler with the kind of teammates that can make the most of his skill set.

Beyond that, I'd want a clear message that next season will be different, that they will have some sort of plan, that they might even revisit the idea of giving coach Fred Hoiberg players with room for improvement who can push the pace and spread the floor. I'd want their transactions to reflect that they're thinking about the next five or six seasons, not just the one directly in front of them. This does not necessarily mean trading Butler and tearing the whole thing down, but it should at least mean being open to major changes. The very most important thing is making sure that the team can no longer be defined by drama, dysfunction and ill-fitting parts.

Depending on whether or not Wade picks up his $23.8 million option, Chicago will have significant cap space either this offseason or next. The front office might still be high on youngsters Cameron Payne, Bobby Portis and Denzel Valentine. Big man Cristiano Felicio, a free agent, and swingman Paul Zipser, signed through 2020 on a cheapo deal, could be rotation players. There is a way to be optimistic about this team's medium-to-long-term future, as long as it does not try to bring back the "Three Alphas" again.

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