I was talking to a source inside the Bulls organization, and I was told Joakim Noah is living at the Berto Center this summer. He's had an outstanding off-season, and we can expect him to come out really strong this year.
He's still throwing up the sidewinder, but he's knocking it down at an excellent rate, and it may be more of a weapon this year than in the past. We had started to see Noah knock down this mid range jumpers last year, and if he can take one more step forward with it this season then he'll become much more deadly on the court.
Overall, the mood around the team is very positive and everyone is excited for the season. There's no doubt the team is better, and they know it and are ready to prove it on the court.
There's a much better vibe around Thibodeau as head coach than there was around Del Negro. Ever dating back to the initial hire, Del Negro never had the players on his side the way Thibodeau appears to already. Sources had told me even early on in his first season the veterans on the team thought Del Negro was a boob.
Thibodeau commands much more respect, he's simply a much greater basketball mind. I think of all the players on the team right now, Luol Deng stands the most to benefit from the switch and is probably the player most happy to see Del Negro leave (though the departed Gordon/Hinrich also disliked Del Negro).
This season marks the beginning of a new era for the Bulls. New head coach, significant roster turnover in terms of role players, and a new star player added to the team. The talent on the roster now exceeds anything the Bulls have thrown out there since #23 suited up. They bring a post offense, a slashing offense, defensive intensity, and balance to the table.
The only fear is a lack of three point shooting, but all of the other places are in place to have a 50 win season as a reasonable guess with upside to play even better if everything falls into place.