e same essential bunch, minus Curry but with 23-year-old point guard Chris Duhon, went 41-41 and again was ousted in the first round in six games, this time to eventual champion Miami.
Former general manager John Paxson then traded 2006 No. 2 overall pick LaMarcus Aldridge to Portland for No. 4 pick Tyrus Thomas, then became impatient and signed an aging Ben Wallace to a $60 million contract as a potential piece to propel the Bulls deeper into the postseason. Chicago won 49 games and later swept the Heat in the first round but lost in six games to Detroit in the semifinals.
Former coach Scott Skiles lost control of the locker room in 2007-08, and the Bulls sputtered to a 9-16 start. Skiles was fired. Players turned their attention to contract issues. Hinrich and Nocioni were recently rewarded with extensions, and Gordon and Deng wanted equal treatment. Add to that, the Bulls were bombarded with questions about trade rumors involving a then-disgruntled Kobe Bryant. Chicago went 33-49.
The Bulls went 41-41 last season and assembled one of the most memorable seven-game playoff series of all time against Boston in the first round. Then Chicago sputtered to a 10-17 start this season. Del Negro’s seat grew hotter. And the Bulls have become one step closer to completing another lap on the merry-go-round.
It’d be wise for Oklahoma City to pay attention to their pitfalls.