The Bulls’ first priority this off-season was to find a new coach to replace Vinny Del Negro. Check it off the list as it has been announced that Boston’s defensive guru, Tom Thibodeau, has been hired. Now they need to address their single pick in the draft before they get around to spending the large amount of cap room on the free agent class.
Returning Players- Luol Deng (SF); Joakim Noah (PF/C); Kirk Hinrich (PG); Derrick Rose (PG); James Johnson (PF); Taj Gibson (SG/SF)
Team Payroll (6 Players) – $31,861,826
Estimated Salary Cap – $56,000,000
Team Needs- Signing one of the top tier free agents; adding frontcourt depth and perimeter shooters
Position Needs – SG, PF, C
Picks – 1st Round (#17)
Analysis- New coach Tom Thibodeau will have a solid young nucleus with which to re-build the Chicago Bulls. The main goal will be to try and lure Lebron James to Chicago, followed by either Wade or Bosh, Joe Johnson or Amare Stoudamire; expect one of that group to land with the Bulls, especially with the popular Thibodeau as the new coach. So where does this leave them in the draft?
Because they are set with young players at all the key positions, they are in the position to choose the best available player at #17. A great fit who would fulfill their need for a perimeter shooter and scorer is James Anderson from Oklahoma State. Anderson has great size, is a confident shooter and can attack the basket from any point of the court. Defensively he can improve his on-ball skills, but he is athletic enough to keep up with his man. Another option, if available, would be Paul George from Fresno State. George is a similar type scorer, having the ability to score from the perimeter and take the ball to rim. George will need to focus on improving his defense where he is prone to ending up off-balance against athletic wings. An interesting option would be Daniel Orton from Kentucky, who would add some much-needed bulk to the frontcourt and he would be able to learn without having the pressure to start.
That’s it for the Eastern Conference, tomorrow we start on the Western Conference and the Oklahoma City Thunder.