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Bulls Fri Jan 10 2014

Bulls' Future Hanging In The Balance

Bulls_200.pngControl is something the Chicago Bulls don't have a lot of right now.

The future of the franchise rests on whether Derrick Rose can be elite again, some draft lottery ping pong balls in May and how the Charlotte Bobcats and Sacramento Kings perform.

The one thing Chicago had complete control over of was Luol Deng's future in a Bulls uniform. After years of living on the trading block, the Bulls front office seemed to finally value Deng's worth to the point where I truly wondered if they would be foolish enough to try and re-sign him in the offseason.

Luckily, they thought about the future and moved him to Cleveland, saved some major money in the process and added a few draft picks.

Deng's decade in Chicago was a meaningful one, but the biggest impact he could make on the franchise is how the Bulls perform without him the rest of the season.

By dealing Deng, the Bulls could fall out of the playoff hunt and be bad enough to be in position to secure a great slot in an unprecedented 2014 NBA Draft. Additionally, if the Bobcats can fall just short of the NBA Playoffs they'll potentially have two lottery picks to work with.

As painful as this season has been with championship aspirations blundered by another significant D-Rose injury, Bulls fans should be hoping for their team to lose, and lose a ton the rest of the season.

I'm just hoping Tom Thibodeau temporarily modifies his classic "we have enough to win" line with "we have enough to lose."

The Bulls does itself no favors by being a seven or eight seed in the NBA playoffs or narrowly missing the postseason.

They need to be bad because it could yield very good results as soon as next season.

A decent draft pick, the addition of Nikola Mirotic from Europe and Rose's return could put Chicago right back in the championship conversation next season.

A ton of moving parts are in play right now. This summer, the missing pieces of the puzzle could be in place for a franchise that is only a couple moves and some ping pong balls bouncing the right way from being elite again.

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