(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls expect to be a major force next season in
With former MVP Derrick Rose expected to return this season after a torn ACL
cost him the whole 2012-13 campaign, he should be better than ever.
In his absence, the Bulls performed valiantly in the postseason. They bested
the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, then gave the Miami Heat all they could
handle in round two.
All of their key pieces are in place for this season. Their projected starting
five of Rose, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah are under
contract. Key reserves Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson will be back as well.
So the Bulls can address depth issues in the draft.
Chicago can take the best player available although their bench could take a
hit in free agency if both Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli bolt. Guards like
Shane Larkin of Miami, Glen Rice, Jr., a D-League standout, and Allen Crabbe
of Cal could fill that void.
One spot the Bulls didn't replace last season was the backup center spot,
which became open when Omer Asik signed with the Houston Rockets before last
Steven Adams is a project from Pitt, but he's a legit 7-footer. Gorgui Dieng
of Louisville, or Jeff Withey from Kansas might make sense. A foreign big man
like Lucas Noguiera of Brazil, or France's Rudy Gobert is an option.
Players under contract: G: Derrick Rose; F: Carlos Boozer; F: Luol Deng; C:
Joakim Noah; G: Richard Hamilton; G: Kirk Hinrich; F/C: Taj Gibson; G/F: Jimmy
Butler; G: Marquis Teague; F: Malcolm Thomas
Free agents: G: Marco Belinelli; C: Nazr Mohammed; G: Nate Robinson; C:
Vladimir Radmanovic; G/F: Daequan Cook
Recent Draft History:
2012: Marquis Teague (29)
2011: Norris Cole (28), Jimmy Butler (30), Malcolm Lee (43)
2010: Kevin Seraphin (17)
2009: James Johnson (16), Taj Gibson (26)
2008: Derrick Rose (1), Sonny Weems (39)
Draft picks: 1st round (20th overall); second round (49th overall)
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