We just wrote about the fact that the Indiana Pacers have a lot of options going into this offseason. In fact, they have so many options that they should be looking around the league at what other teams have done and the success (or lack thereof) that it has led to. And one cautionary tale Pacers fans should keep in the back of their minds would be the recent progression (or regression) of the Chicago Bulls.
1. A few years ago, the Chicago Bulls had a promising start to a rebuild
They had a franchise cornerstone in Zach LaVine coming off of his time in Minnesota and LaVine was showing early that he could carry a team, but probably not alone. The Bulls had multiple ways forward and had to choose what to do. Similar to the Pacers with Tyrese Haliburton.
2. The Chicago Bulls chased big superstars with large paychecks
Over the series of the next few seasons, the Bulls gutted themselves of their building pieces and draft capital in order to acquire top-end talent in Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan. Seemingly these seemed like huge upgrades at the time, and it initially seemed like the bet may pay off with the Bulls doing well in early returns with all three on the court.
3. Ultimately, the Bulls stars failed to work perfectly together and they’ve limited the ceiling on their franchise’s future to fighting to get into the playoffs
The Bulls have no future at the moment. Their best bet is to potentially make the play-in tournament year after year as their ill-fitting stars try to mesh together. The team has no immediate opportunity to improve, and few teams want their stars.
This progression should make Pacers fans think long and hard about what they want the team to do.
We need to learn from the cautionary tale of the Chicago Bulls. Going too hard, too early, can not only disrupt the rebuild but put as at risk of losing our next franchise cornerstone.