Blogtable: Better Future, Bulls Or Cavs?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


Future pick: CHI or CLE | High-energy stud | DMC an All-Star?


Kyrie Irving (David Liam Kyle/NBAE)

Kyrie Irving (David Liam Kyle/NBAE)

If you had to bet on which team will be better in three years, who would you pick: Chicago or Cleveland?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comCleveland. They’re younger and they’ve already turned the allure of “future Draft picks” into high draft selections such as Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and, er, Anthony Bennett. The Bulls have to hope they get lucky with the pick they have coming from Charlotte or steal someone with the Kings pick from the Deng deal. Then there is the dueling luck of landing the No. 1 pick for an elite point guard. Well, Irving hasn’t had any injury as debilitating, and ominous, as Derrick Rose’s two knee blowouts. Since Chicago never has proven an ability to lure the top free agents, they’re pretty evenly matched in how they can improve. The Cavs’ assets just have a greater upside.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: You always start by deciding which team has the best individual player and I’m taking Derrick Rose over Kyrie Irving while assuming that LeBron James won’t return to the Cavs. At this point there is no reason to think back-to-back Rose injuries are anything but bad luck and in three years the former MVP will be healthy, still only 28 and the key piece to build around. In three years Joakim Noah is only 31, Jimmy Butler 26. Then there are all the Draft picks and roster flexibility that was just gained by trading Luol Deng.  To start with, Chicago potentially has three lottery picks in the loaded 2014 Draft. When they amnesty Carlos Boozer, there will also be cap space that could attract a big-name free agent.

Chicago's Tom Thibodeau (Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE)

Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau
(Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE)

Jeff Caplan, NBA.comChicago. The Bulls still have solid players on the roster. Derrick Rose will be back. Lots of Draft picks being accumulated and cap space coming if/when amnesty Carlos Boozer this summer. Great coach who gets most out of his players. Potential is there for a fast rebuild. Cleveland? Not so much.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comChicago, because of the track record of the front office compared to Cleveland’s recent history. Because if Tom Thibodeau is still the coach, the Bulls will have an advantage over most teams in that department. Because Cleveland has mostly only produced on lottery night. Derrick Rose is obviously the great unknown for the Bulls, while the Cavaliers have Kyrie Irving. The certainty, though, is that Chicago is the organization that has shown it can build something.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: It’s impossible to know who each team will add or subtract in the next few years, if Derrick Rose will ever be back to his former self, or if Tom Thibodeau will last another three years in Chicago. But a core of Rose (28 in three years), Jimmy Butler (27), Nikola Mirotic (25), Taj Gibson (31) and Joakim Noah (31) should be stronger than the Cavs’ current core three years from now, because most of those Chicago guys are two-way players. Of course, I don’t necessarily believe in the Bulls organization’s willingness to keep a veteran (and somewhat expensive) core together.

Sekou Smith, NBA.comI’m not a betting man. But if I had to choose, I’m going with Chicago, based mostly on their track record compared to that of the Cavaliers in recent seasons. The Cavaliers haven’t shown any propensity for getting it right since losing LeBron James to free agency, so I’m not ready to wager anything on them at this point. From Drafts and trades to free agency armed with ample cap space, they’ve just missed the mark at almost every turn. And thanks to the Luol Deng-Andrew Bynum deal, the Bulls have assets and the promise (however fragile it might be right now) of Derrick Rose returning to some shape and or form of the MVP and All-Star he was before his knee injuries changed the game. The Bulls have tons of flexibility to work with as they rebuild the core group of a team had exhausted its possibilities. I know Tom Thibodeau isn’t pleased and might not stick around to see the new core come to fruition. But again, the possibilities are endless!

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com All Ball blog: There are a lot of ways to parse this but to me, Chicago has Derrick Rose, Cleveland has Kyrie Irving, and that’s a pretty simple and fair way to decide this thing. I know Cleveland was supposed to be the young and up-and-coming team this season, but they’ve been that team for a while now and haven’t been able to make that jump into being a genuine Playoff contender, either because of injuries or because of personnel missteps. This latest trade for Luol Deng might get them into the postseason this season, but trading a handful of picks for a guy who will be a free agent this summer doesn’t really speak to long-term planning. And yeah, I know Derrick Rose has had injury issues, but for me, having a recent MVP on the roster means I go with Chicago.

Philipp Dornhegge, NBA Deutschland: It’s all about Derrick Rose’s health for Chicago, but assuming that he’ll return to form sooner or later, I go with the Bulls. They have already established a winning culture and can rely on a great core that is still young: Rose, Butler, Noah, Gibson, Snell. They will add Nicola Mirotic next summer and probably have two first-round picks in a deep Draft. If they amnesty Boozer, they will also have some financial flexibility.

Akshay Manwani, NBA India: For now, I would pick Cleveland. The Cavaliers have fewer variables to deal with and have more all-around young talent on their squad set to pop over the next three years. With Chicago, we don’t know how Derrick Rose will recover, whether they will amnesty Carlos Boozer and land a big free agent and even whether or not they will continue with the coaching staff down the road, given how injuries have piled up over the past few years.

Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA Greece: Chicago. First of all, they start at a better place right now than the Cavs. Secondly, they have a great coach that can built a solid team despite injuries or any kind of problems. Thirdly, everybody hopes that Derrick Rose will be back at his top form in three years. Fourthly, by shipping Deng they made a lot of cap space and the potential to make the moves they want over the summer.

29 Comments

  1. azell says:

    I think that the bulls should have kept deng one more year to see how this team will be. D-Rose fate will rest on the way he comes back after back to back injuries. If he half as good as he was Chicago will accept that. Lebron will never go back to Cleveland and i think they will only be a 500 team. May make the playoff but that’s years from now.

  2. Jim Edwards says:

    Cleveland will be the better team in 3 years without a doubt. The Bulls aren’t going to be able to compete with Indiana and Miami within the next three years and they know it. They won’t even try to.

    Boozer is gone. I’d even move Noah in the right trade. He is a great role player, but a role player isn’t needed on a team that is rebuilding. Take the draft picks and/or the young player(s) that Noah will bring in return.

    As for Rose, the Bulls cannot move forward expecting any production out of him at all. They can’t afford to. If he comes back and stays healthy then move him. Remember Kevin Johnson? Rose is K.J. Junior.

  3. EJTwice says:

    Let’s look at it this way. If Cleveland resigns Deng (probably 13-14 mil per year), then that would keep them from getting any big time free agents in the future. If Deng leaves Cleveland, then most certainly the Bulls like always would have a better record than the Cavs next season…and due to the Deng trade, the Bulls can swap picks with the Cavs.

    To sum it up, the Bulls won the trade…have the Bobcats, Kings, and Cavs (swap) picks in the future…they have better players…and with the trade, have room to sign a big time free agent. With or without Derrick, the Bulls have a better, winning team right now than the Cavs with Irving and Deng. That just shows you which franchise is better.

  4. asdf says:

    chicago has a coach that can win a championship, cleveland dont.

  5. TheOtherGuy says:

    The cavs but only if kyrie can remain at an all-star level,waiters produces 15-18 points per game, deng locks down defensively, Thompson rips boards and blocks shots, bennett becomes a solid sixth man 10-12points 6-8 boards, and they have to get another piece for example Irving, Waiters, James, Deng,Thompson/varejao

  6. J says:

    They will both be great. The Bulls will probably be better if Rose can be SUPERB.

  7. Bloodnest says:

    Steve Aschburner, the guy who writes most of the Chicago Bulls related articles on NBA.com just picked Cleveland. What a freaking joke. Cleveland ain’t going nowhere until some moves are done.

  8. jaet says:

    C’mon guys, D-Rose out, Boozer out, Deng out and Chicago still have much better team and record than Cavs. What will happen in next three years in this matter. Absolutly nothing, even if Rose never come back to full health. Mirotic and 9 mln $ ?? 5 mln $ per year will be enough in my opinion. Nikola want to play in NBA and this is the most imporatnt (over money).

  9. Osman Tawakel says:

    what if LEBRON JAMES come back to cleveland 2014?
    Oooh kill em.

  10. Kamote says:

    Chicago would’ve been a better choice since the players just play their hearts out despite of the lack of players. But that is probably their downside too. I’m not sure if who among their current line-up can still be healthy after three years. The players are just banged-up and bruised everytime. I mean, if Joakim is already limping when he’s 28, can he still walk when he’s 31? Hats off to Thibs for bringing out the best out of his players, but health has always been a concern for this team.

  11. jdub455 says:

    i think the bulls only because they have a much better coach… those are the most hardworking guys out there…. i dont think drose will return in his MVP form… sad… deng, shld he sign with the cavs nxt yr will be a solid addition to the cavs though…

  12. vesus1 says:

    “From Drafts and trades to free agency armed with ample cap space, they’ve just missed the mark at almost every turn.”

    Cleveland GM Chris Grant has never gotten the worse end of a trade. He just traded 3 2nd round picks and a broken down center for Luol Deng. He traded Mo Williams for Kyrie Irving. I don’t think Sekou knows what he is talking about.

  13. #30 says:

    D.Rose will follow footsteps of Brando Roy. :)

  14. Mark says:

    Gottta note that the Cavs have 6 or 8 players who won’t hit their peak for another 3 or 4 years—they’re all 22 years old! The Bulls in 3 years will be over 30, headed for the downside of their careers.

  15. Rose may never be the same player he once was.

    Possibly the next Grant Hill.

    Sad to say but he didn’t look the same when he returned earlier this year.

  16. Art says:

    Now we know that Deng didn’t ask neither for $15M per year, nor for any other amount and management offered him not negotiable $10M three days before the trade. They perfectly knew he doesn’t accept it & just pretended they wanted him. $20+M saving were much more important for the cheapest owner in NBA. Until he sells the team to somebody who cares Bulls unfortunately will never be a contender.
    I believe it’s 1st time NBA team did nothing to keep their best player. Please don’t say that Rose is the best. He is not top 5 anymore. Only Noah is on the same level as Luo & he will be traded no later than next year.
    In 3 years Bulls will be worse than in 1999.

  17. okc2014 says:

    I’m going with Chicago too. Their are too many “ifs” with Cleveland. If Lebron returns, if Kyrie stays healthy, if Deng stays on, if the coach is still there, if if if…

    • herpaderp says:

      chitown has many of the same questions you just asked, irving has played more games the past 2 years than rose has

    • Danny Basketball says:

      There are more ifs in chicago Cleveland has solid core players and are a healthy young team who only threaten to get better in chicago its if Rose will ever get back to form if they amnesty carlos boozer if Tom Thibodeau stays throughout and if they land a big name free agent

  18. mahki sahn says:

    Wow! Never thought of Kyrie in CHI. But if Rose is a goner, Kyrie would fit nice with Noah, Jimmy Butler, T. Snell. Just need a power foward who knows his place is to board and be a MAN in the post.

  19. lakerslakerslakers says:

    these guys need to stop being such chicago fanboys and be objective. chicago has dismantled the team that could challenge the heat….who whooped them in 2011 anyway. then rose got injured…twice…then noah and deng are always injured…..now deng is gone and boozer is being boozer…..they need to trade rose, noah and completely rebuild.

    • walt williams 55 says:

      As a Kings Fan, I am agreeing with this Lakers fan, give it a rest on believing Chicago is some kind of threat with Gibson, Rose, and Noah.

    • KB24 says:

      This is not only about the Chicago, this is about Chicago AND Cleveland.Duhh

  20. Shawn Kemp No. 1 says:

    Cavs if they trade Irving :D

  21. Art says:

    What financial flexibility or big-name free agent Mr. Blinebury & other “experts” are talking about?
    If Mirotic is not coming Bulls doesn’t amnesty Boozer of course.
    If he is coming they must pay him $9M per year. Why? Because he is making now 3.5M euro AFTER taxes. Do you have calculator? BTW Bulls in this case will not even have MLE.
    But the most funny is taking Derrick Rose over Kyrie Irving.
    I would be surprise if Derrick is better than Augustin.

  22. Saka Deek says:

    Umm Chicago hands down. DRose, Butler, Noah, Gibson, plus all the cap space for new good free agent, plus rookie picks VS who???

  23. dustydreamnz says:

    Cleveland should with the young players they have but like most of them say Chicago has the track record so probably will.

  24. Edub says:

    Funny the guy from Chicago is one of the only 2 to say that Cleveland’s future is brighter.

  25. Too Greedy To Think says:

    One word is suffice this question: Chicago