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Big Changes could be coming for Bulls after disappointing season

Bulls, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler

Saying that it was a disappointing season for the Chicago Bulls is an understatement.

Coming into the year, many prognosticators picked Chicago to at least go deep into the playoffs. Instead, they won’t even be participating.

This is the first time that the Bulls have missed the postseason since 2007-08, and it’s only the second time in the last 12 years.

After turning the reigns over from Tom Thibodeau to Fred Hoiberg as head coach, the team struggled immensely with the adjustment to his system. Whether he’s to blame is up for discussion, but it’s hard to deny that Hoiberg at least played a role in the Bulls’ struggle to compete.

Injuries kept Chicago below full strength basically all year, and turmoil in the locker room hampered their drive to compete on a nightly basis.

Usually, when a proud franchise goes through a troubling season like this with big expectations, big changes are in store. Hoiberg is safe, for now.

So, what about the roster?

RELATED: Fred Hoiberg Used ‘Dumb And Dumber’ Movie Clip To Try To Motivate Bulls

Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Fred Hoiberg

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

According to the Associated Press, executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson stated that he was incorrect in believing that the current core could make a run at the Eastern Conference title. Both Paxson and general manager Gar Forman said that no player on the roster is untouchable.

Recent reports have stated that the Bulls plan to keep Joakim Noah, while it’s “all but assured” that Pau Gasol will have to seek a roster spot else where in free agency.

One of the big questions is if star players Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose can figure out how to mesh on the court. If the right deal is offered this offseason, one of them could be out the door in a hurry. Both the Celtics and Magic have already had discussions with Chicago about acquiring Butler.

Taj Gibson chose to take a broader outlook on what went wrong and how the Bulls can fix things next year.

”I think it’s a whole team collective, group thing,” Gibson said. ”It’s not just those two guys (Rose and Butler). Those two guys are the leaders, but we need everybody as a whole to come together.”

Despite criticism from the media, Paxson stands completely behind Hoiberg moving forward.

”We made that change last year for a lot of reasons, and they were all in the best interests of the Chicago Bulls,” Paxson said.

In December, Butler made a statement that seemed to question Hoiberg’s intensity and overall grasp on the locker room. The former Iowa State coach is open to changing his approach next year.

”Would I change? Would I be more vocal, more direct? Maybe,” Hoiberg said. ”We’ll evaluate that as we go in the offseason.”

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