Chicago Bulls: Leaving Home, Returning Home

One of the biggest change-ups in the Bulls’ roster is the trade of NBA MVP Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks – the first trade of his career and move from his hometown of Englewood. The Bulls chairman, Jerry Reinsdorf told ESPN, the trade was a “hard one” to make because Rose was “the local kid who became MVP.”

Rose’s reoccurring injuries in the 2010-2011 season made the Bulls consider moving on from him, leading to the trade to the Knicks in the off season of this year. Along with Rose, another major Bulls player was traded, Joakim Noah. He was traded to the Knicks as well after having problems with the team during the off season.

The Bulls acquired center Robin Lopez and guard Jerian Grant in the trade with the Knicks. Grant was drafted in 2015 out of Notre Dame and played 76 games in his rookie season. He averaged 5.6 points and 2.3 assists in the 2015-2016 season. Lopez, after his eighth year in the NBA, has played 82 games with a 10.3 point in this past season, according to ESPN. The general manager, Gar Forman, had the goal of making the team “younger and more athletic,” he told ESPN, and hopes the two players will make that impact.

The Chicago Bulls also welcomed Dwyane Wade from the Miami Heat. Wade is returning to his hometown to play for his second team in his 13 year NBA career. He has won three NBA championships with the Heat and hopes to bring a championship to Chicago. Sadly, his homecoming began with the murder of his cousin, Nykea Aldridge. Wade responded to the public saying on Good Morning America, “My purpose being back in this city is bigger than basketball.” He wants to not only improve the Bulls’ team, but also improve the city of Chicago. Wade’s record in service and basketball will make Chicago a better place on the court and off. He will take the court with the number 3, given to him by small forward Doug McDermott, allowing Wade to keep the number he has played in for thirteen years.

One major player the Bulls got out of the 2016 draft was Michigan State’s shooting guard, Denzel Valentine. He averaged 20 points, eight assists, and 7.5 rebounds per a game, according to SB Nation. He led Michigan State to the Big Ten Championships, but lost in the NCAA Tournament to Middle Tennessee. His college record was what Chicago was looking for, along with his youth and athleticism.

Some big names from last year are also returning. Small forward Doug McDermott will return with a different number, but with the same game he brought last season. He averaged 9.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in the 2015-2016 season. Power forward Nikola Mirotic will also return with his 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Shooting guard Jimmy Butler will be returning with his 20.9 points per game and athletic power. He was close with Derrick Rose and was sad when he left, but wants to work with Wade and Rajon Rondo to “win games,” Butler told CSN Chicago. After coming off a gold medal Olympic win in Rio, Butler is looking forward to the 2016-17 season and working with the older veterans who have joined the team in the off season.

Rajon Rondo has been an important name in the NBA and holds numerous records. He is considered to be the triple-double threat in the NBA and has led the NBA in steals and assists in the past. He has made an impact on the league and will most likely make some records with the Bulls.

The returning Bulls consist of: Cristiano Felício, Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis, and Tony Snell. The new players are former 76er Isaiah Canaan, former Piston Spencer Dinwiddie, former King Rajon Rondo, and former Bayern Munich player Paul Zipser.

In this upcoming season the Bulls will face the reigning champions the Cleveland Cavaliers four times. The Bulls are going to face Wade’s old team the Miami Heat two times, and both games will be at the United Center. There will also be a few games with rivals Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers. Last year, the Bulls finished ninth in the eastern conference out of fifteen with 42 wins and 40 losses. The preseason starts October 3 against the Bucks at 7:00 pm, and the regular season will start October 27 against the Boston Celtics at 7:00 pm.