I think that's fair, I'm inclined to agree. If we change the question to "Should
Wade have played his last game as a Bull?", that's tough to answer as well. Honestly, I'm comfortable with both scenarios.
If he moves on, then the Bulls move on. To what? Hard to say, it depends whether GarPax has any kind of plan, or redeemable trick up their sleeves. He's obviously not the long-term future though, so if he leaves, best of luck to him, thanks for trying, and hopefully he at least partly enjoyed playing a season in his hometown. If he stays, I'm not upset about that scenario either. As you said, he has championship experience, and though he's getting up there in age and mileage, he's still capable. He'd be a good veteran to have around; still capable of being a good player, and he can be a good mentor for younger players given his experience, accomplishments, and character. $20 million isn't too much for a player like him these days. Ten years ago, sure. Now, it's pretty standard.
So, yeah. Either way, I'm fine with what happens with Wade.
As far as the leadership of Wade and Butler is concerned...yeah, I don't know about that. If the Bulls had the talent (and coach) to actually pull themselves together and make a run after the public criticism, Wade and Butler's leadership would likely be praised for the effectiveness of its "tough love" approach. Was it the right way to handle things? Eh, maybe, maybe not. We've seen the approach both work and backfire in the past, and like I said, when it works, it gets praised. The question is, what should they be doing differently as leaders? I'm not sure Rondo's take is necessarily right, nor do I think he's a more suitable leader.
It is what it is. But where to go from here?
Let's state the obvious. To get better, they need to bring in better personnel. A better coach, better players, and players who fit the modern NBA, which has greater emphasis on three-point shooting. They'll have cap space (even more if Wade does opt out and they don't retain Rondo), and from the looks of things, a lottery pick. Opportunities to start making the right moves in the not too distant future. In theory, it's just a matter of identifying suitable candidates, and making a strong pitch. A bit harder in practice (notice I'm not naming any names of suitable candidates here), and few teams are going to get everyone they want, but the opportunity is there to make some good moves, starting this offseason. They're in a position to make moves to get better...again, in theory.
Unfortunately, as we've sadly noted so many times before, it comes back to the people running the show. GarPax haven't made a shrewd pick in years, so that lottery selection could easily be another bust. They don't have a lot of assets to make trades, and they're not very good at that anyway. Hoiberg still has years left on his contract, so he's unlikely to be cut loose; he's also easy for them to control, which is obviously what they want their coach to be. They'll have some cap space, but can they really attract any good free agents who will address the holes in their roster? They also have a history of settling for what they can get, just so that they can use the cap space and get something
out of a free agent bonanza. It's not like the Bulls are in a terrible position to rebuild or retool - they're not the Knicks of 10-15 years ago - but it's hard to see them taking advantage of their opportunities.
As long as GarPax are calling the shots, the familiar problems of their egos and lack of vision are going to get in the way of progress and positive change. It seems highly unlikely they're going to get canned, and so the Bulls remain in limbo. No fun for us.
It's strange. Paxson had a front row seat to the mistakes that Jerry Krause made, and as a player on the first three championships (and assistant coach on the fourth), he should bristle at that infamous suggestion that "organisations win championships". Yet, here he is making the same mistakes, and displaying a similar attitude in his running of the front office. It's kind of like Phil Jackson in New York, come to think of it. After all the garbage he went through with Bulls' brass, you'd think he wouldn't meddle in the coaching of the team, or make some of the decisions that he has, knowing what it felt like to be on the other side of things. I guess the power just goes to your head, and not everyone is cut out for the job. That wouldn't be as big of a problem if ownership could recognise it, and make a few cuts themselves when changes need to be made.
Ah well. That Summer League championship was nice, wasn't it?