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.