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NBA Offseason Links: Bulls Tanking Season While Waiting For Derrick Rose?

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Can you imagine Cody Zeller running alongside Derrick Rose in Chicago in a couple of years? Yikes!

It appears the Chicago Bulls' front office has considered that scenario with their offseason moves this summer that has left the Bulls void of any depth with a salary cap nearly tapped out by Rose, Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. The Bulls are now acting like a team looking to lock up a spot in the NBA draft lottery for a shot at the top talent in next year's draft which should include big men Zeller and Nerlens Noel.

Rose's return from knee surgery has put the 2012-13 season in jeopardy and now that the Bulls are considering letting developing big man Omer Asik go to Houston while courting Darko Milicic, the Bulls look to be hunting for a way to add big-time talent through the draft next year. They already let strong supporting cast members C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver walk while just adding Kirk Hinrich.

With a long-term view, this all makes sense. Those bench players were nice but clogging up the long-term cap to keep them wouldn't guarantee a championship run. So by biting the bullet this season, the Bulls can start filling in the key gaps for the future when Rose is fully healthy and ready to lead the team once again.

But until then, the situation creates a fabulous opportunity for the Indiana Pacers to take a run at the top spot in the Central Division

Check out the links after the jump including another recent interview with Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard.