Morning after: Draft thoughts and the new makeup of the Chicago Bulls

After a night to sleep on a relatively boring draft, I’ve come up with the key questions relating to the Bulls going forward, and how our draft effects the rest of our summer.  First, James Johnson is still a stud, relatively speaking, and I’m happy we drafted him.   Taj Gibson, after looking up his profile, appears to be a Michael Ruffin clone for better or worse.   I’ll do some actual scouting of Gibson and give a full report later.

However, the more interesting draft news lies in the trades and moves that did not happen.   First, the Bulls drafted two forwards.   What does that mean?   Going into next season we have a big man group of: Tyrus, Noah, Miller, Johnson, and Gibson.     Many in the media are going to paint this as “the Bulls are down on Tyrus”.   

I’m not sure that’s necessarily the case.   It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Tyrus is traded, but Miller will be gone next season, and the Bulls aren’t likely earmarking lots of minutes for Gibson right away.   If anything, this most likely spells the end of Aaron Gray.

Next, the Bulls are presently stacked at guard, but there’s been widespread speculation that Ben Gordon won’t return, and I’ve heard many times that Kirk will be traded.    If either or both of these things came to pass the Bulls would be awfully thin at guard without addressing it in the draft.

The lack of taking a guard to even play some role player minutes mandates that another guard come back in a Hinrich trade if Ben Gordon walks away or that the Bulls shift gears and elect to keep Hinrich for another season instead.

Also, Amare Stoudemire was in serious trade talks with Golden State who balked on including the #7 pick.   While Bulls fans were up in arms about not getting Amare, realistically, the Bulls simply couldn’t touch an offer of Biedrins and the #7 pick for Amare.   Fans will be clamouring for the Bulls to make a run at Amre, but they simply may not have the horses to get a deal done.

If the Suns don’t want long term contracts, and it doesn’t appear they do, then the Bulls really don’t have many attractive assets to offer in a trade for Amare.

Finally, Toronto was rumored to be in love with James Johnson and considering drafting him at #9.   Taking Johnson may prove valuable if Chris Bosh trade rumors pop up, however, the odds of Bosh, or any major star, being traded for players drafted this year after the draft is low.   If the Raptors were going to make a move, then it would have made more sense to make it on draft day when they could use the picks themselves.

So how does this position the Bulls going forward?   I think there’s a good chance that it positions them to move Hinrich or Gordon, bring everyone else back, and leave the team as it is.   While the Bulls will certainly always be on the lookout for a star big man, I think that was a move that was done on draft day or not at all.   

What did the Bulls gain in the draft?   I don’t think Taj Gibson gives them anything that Joakim Noah won’t give them better.   As for Johnson, he gives them a legit offensive threat at PF, and someone who can really help the Bulls in an up tempo game as a small four.


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  • Good morning Doug,
    You do not think James Johnson could be an option for Luol Deng or Ben Johnson Gordon.Vejo with a good repertoire of moves than Deng and this is great. Coming to him would be a sign that one of the two can get out?
    The injury of nine shirt can be a difficult business? The Suns have interest in it or is it just a rumor?
    Any chance of Gordon sign and logo be changed?
    All Star What you have to mmais chances of paint in Illinois?
    I am here in Brazil and all the fans comment on the inability of the board of the Bulls to bring an All Star. All can and through a good deal and the Bulls not. Impressive!
    Another interesting fact is that they brought in twenty-sixth position a player who is older than Tyrus Thomas will evolve as it has with this age?
    I think not and that means playing out an interesting option for the rotation of the time.

  • Doug,
    Another subject commented that here in Brazil that the Thunder in three years set up a time most promising and most complete in all positions that the Bulls in ten drafts. Good names to choose not failed.
    If the Thunder get a more experienced player, soon they may very uncomfortable.
    If the board of the Bulls are not aggressive, the risk of being ten years suffering.
    You do not think the direction of Chicago very cautious and afraid to dare?

  • I think Gibson is 100% about what the Celtics series taught us about depth in the frontcourt. He gives us an option that combines Tyrus' and Noah's skillsets: Tyrus' blocking, Noah's rebounding and defensive tenacity, and a little bit of post scoring on top. He's skinny, but if he improves on that, he'll be a good 3rd option at both PF and C.

    That is, if his existing skills translate to the NBA, because he's not going to be building on them a ton at this point.

    I'm still disappointed they didn't go after a wing, but I wasn't happy with anything we'd have gotten late in the 1st anyway. Everyone I was impressed with was either gone before our #16, or would have been a reach at #26.

    Doug, any word on the undrafted class? A few guys stand out with potential: McNeal, Christmas, and Harris.

  • Doug,
    I leave a question for you:
    What was the big player that Chicago has to hire in recent years?
    The list of failures is huge.
    I think the leaders of Chicago is due to pay a long and wretched wages for Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich and the courage and time to hire a star, they do not have this ability. This tired and annoyed.
    We had many opportunities to choose good names in drafts and can not have an exceptional team and teams like Oklahoma, with a shorter term has a more promising time.

  • With this draft, the Bulls positioned themselves nicely to do nothing this summer, but wait to see if Gordon leaves or comes crawling back because no one offers him more than the mid level.

    Maybe Gibson can be a Joe Smith type of rotation player.

    I agree with you, we enter the season with the team as is minus Gordon, and niether is a bad thing.

    We can afford to be patient, and see what happens at the trade deadline and take advantage of a desperate team. In the meantime Deng and Tyrus have some time to regain/increase their value.

    We definately don't need to make a trade just for the sake of making one, or for cap/luxury reasons.

    Worst case we get $24-$30(if Salmons opts out)-$35(if we renounce Tyrus) million of our cap at the end of the season.

    Maybe next summer we talk Lebron into coming and/or he forces a sign and trade with us sending Deng and Thomas back to Cleveland, not a bad haul for them under the circumstances.

    Lebron and Johnson could be a nice frontcourt, since they both can play either the 3 or 4 on any given possession.

  • I think that the Bulls need to pipe dream.

    Look, if Lebron decides that he wants to leave Cleveland, then we should have as good of a shot as anyone for at least 3 reasons.

    First, obviously we have Rose, and he will want to play with another superstar or 2.

    Second, Chicago is a world class city to establish an empire from. Other than New York, LA, and the 2 weather cities Miami and Phoenix where else is there to go.

    Third, if he decides to "force" a sign and trade we have some excellent trade assets in Deng and Thomas.

    I still think that Lebron and Wade are the top 2 priorities.
    Bosh to me, is a lesser version of Pau Gasol. With Bosh you would definately need to add a third star. Whereas with Rose and Lebron or Wade you can probably win with complimentary players like Noah, and hopefullly James Johnson.

    By the way I was a Noah fan from before day one, and I would be loathe to trade him in any deal. He and Rose are the 2 reasons I watch Bulls basketball and I root for him the most.

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