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Bulls Face Tough Decision with Gordon

Over a decade now removed from their last NBA championship, the Bulls must make tough roster decisions this off season on how to build on a roster that took the Boston Celtics to the brink this past season. These decisions include what to do with Luol Deng, whether to listen to Kirk Hinrich trade offers and most notably, whether to make a play at resigning former first round pick Ben Gordon.

Gordon has been a valuable member to the Bulls since they drafted him out of Connecticut four years ago. Whether it’s been off the bench or in the starting lineup, Gordon has proven himself as pure a scorer you are going to find in the league. Unfortunately, Gordon is a below average defender and is a liability on offense if he’s not feeling it on a particular night. The question the Bulls have to decide then is whether Gordon is worth the 10 plus million dollars a year he will likely command.

If I were making the calls, I would let Gordon walk. When I look at roster decisions in the NBA I look at it this way: can you win a title with player X as the Y best player on your team? In this case, can you win an NBA title with Ben Gordon as your second best player? I say no. What you see with Gordon now is what you’re going to get. And the Bulls need a more multidimensional player as the sidekick to Derrick Rose if they are going to take the next step.

The final straw to this decision actually happened months ago with the Bulls made the trade that brought them John Salmons. Salmons and Gordon play a very similar game and if you can save ten million a year and get 80 percent of what Gordon would give you with Salmons, then I say take it. Sure it’s a downgrade, but it’s a small one and this team can still be competitive without him, more than most Bulls fans realize.

More importantly, the money the Bulls would save by not resigning Gordon would give them major flexibility not only this offseason but also for the much coveted free-agent class of 2010 where they can add a player such as Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh or possibly even a guy by the name of Wade. Adding one of those guys would do what resigning Gordon would not; make the Bulls a legitimate title contender.

Of course there is a good chance they won’t be able to sign a Bosh, Stoudemire or Wade. But far too often in the NBA a team overpays a player because there isn’t anything better or it is the safe choice. And that’s exactly what resigning Gordon is, the safe choice. This is how teams get stuck in a world of mediocrity, a place the Bulls have been for too long. A decade too long.

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