So is the Bench Mob 2.0 a riveting sequel in-the-making like the The Dark Knight, or will people be cringing through their junior mints at the likes of Pixar’s Cars 2?
While even the most die-hard fans seem to be conflicted on that question, the fact remains:
The winds of change continue to blow briskly through the streets of Chicago as the organization presses on reconstructing the 2012-2013 roster.
Bulls.com officially announced the long-since reported signing of former Nazr Mohammed early Friday.
The 6-foot, 10-inch former Oklahmoa City Thunder center has been called a “clever big man” with a knack for below-rim rebounding and short range shooting.
Mohammed has also been rated a suitable team defnender but is considered a poor one-on-one defender who turns even average scorers into stars when assigned to them individually.
Inhibited by mediocre mobility and limited leaping ability, the Chicago native will also be bringing his ugly behind-the-head release and high foul-rate United Center.
Mohammed does offer a more developed post-game than Asik and figures to be a slight upgrade in terms of feeding him in the post.
Those hoping to see an upgrade in catching ability will be disappointed as Nazr loses about one ball of his mitts per game.
Fans expecting to watch the former Kentucky Wildcat seamlessly fill the void left by the Houston-bound Turkish center Omer Asik are likely in for a rude awakening.
Asik, 26, offered the Bulls a unique competitive advantage to combat the young Thunder and the high-flying Miami Heat.
Standing a sturdy seven-foot, two inches, the “Turksh Hammer” offers a rare combination of mobility, defensive awareness, and rebounding ability.
What’s been most overlooked by fans and media alike is Asik’s immeasurable value on defense.
In matchups with the hated Heat, Asik frequently enveloped the likes of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in the paint, giving the two stars very little room to operate in.
Whether it was the 2010-2011 Eastern Conference Finals or the team’s last two season series, Asik was instrumental in Chicago’s victories.
Remember, one of those wins came without Derrick Rose, another with a lethargic and highly ineffective version.
Make no mistake, on defense, the talent drop-off from Omer to the 34-year-old Nazr is like a stone’s throw from the shore the ocean floor.
With all that being said, Chicago did value Asik greatly but ultimately elected that a short-term deal for Nazr offered the team the kind of future financial flexibility that will allow the organization to pursue upper echelon talent by the summer of 2014.
Devout followers of Coach Tom Thibodeau will argue that the defensive guru had more to do with Asik’s ascendance than anything else, and that a similar transformation can take close with an aging Mohammed.
Unfortunately, even the biggest Bulls optimist needs to remember that Thibs is an excellent coach, not a miracle-worker.
Notes and Dunks: The Bulls currently have 12 active members set for the 2012-2013 season. Per NBA rules, they can hold up to 15. The organization is thought to be pursuing depth at the point guard position. A few names to keep an eye on include Derek Fisher, Leandro Barbosa, Jonny Flynn, and former Bulls veteran Mike James. At least Fisher and Flynn have already been contacted by the team earlier in the summer with Flynn working out at the Berto center earlier this month.
Adam Jun covers the Chicago Bulls for Skyword, Inc., a search-driven media website.
You should follow him on twitter here for the latest developing Bulls news. Cheers!