This past year the Bulls finished with the best record in a locked-out shortened season; then, everything changed. With a blink of an eye and a tear of an ACL on Derrick Rose’s left knee, the Bulls were vanquished, gone in the first playoff round. And, with Rose involved in a lengthy rehab, many other members of the team are also gone: The Bulls broke up the Bench Mob.
The friendly group of back-up and role players included Derrick’s back up, C.J. Watson (credited with coming up with the nickname) who has moved onto the Brooklyn Nets. He made a poor decision in the final playoff game by not dribbling the ball to run out the clock. The Bulls dealt Kyle Korver, their three-point specialist, to Atlanta, and versatile Ronnie Brewer left as a free agent to the New York Knicks. The other back-up point guard, John Lucas III, remains a free agent.
Omer Asik, the big center from Turkey, was a restricted free-agent and received a surprising contract offer from Houston: a three-year deal totaling $20 million. The tough part was the $15 million the final year of the contract.