|Chicago Bulls 2012 Draft Preview |
|By John McMullen, NBA Editor |
Chicago certainly seemed like a serious title contender until Derrick Rose tore his ACL and Joakim Noah injured his ankle against Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bulls' brass evidently sees things a little differently, however, and has reportedly put Noah as well as All-Star forward Luol Deng on the trading block in order to retool the roster, something they can't do with just the 29th overall selection.
Both Toronto and Golden State have put their lottery picks on the market and are looking for a veteran wing player with a defensive mindset, which is exactly what Deng provides.
Chicago's main need for the past few seasons has been shooting guard and nothing has changed although that has taken a back seat to Rose's health. Since the former MVP will be healthy again at some point, however, wing scoring is still a priority in the Second City.
If unable to move up it's unlikely that the Bulls get immediate help at No. 29 so general manger Gar Forman could go in a number of different directions. A potential backup to D-Rose and an heir apparent to the declining Carlos Boozer at power forward are all possibilities.
Players under contract: G: Derrick Rose; G: Ronnie Brewer; G: C.J. Watson; G/F: Richard Hamilton; F: Luol Deng; F: Carlos Boozer; F: Kyle Korver; F: Jimmy Butler; F: Taj Gibson; C: Joakim Noah
Free agents: C: Omer Asik (restricted); G: Mike James; G: John Lucas; F: Brian Scalabrine
Recent Draft History: 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) 2007: Joakim Noah (9), Aaron Gray (49), JamesOn Curry (51)
Draft picks: 1st round (29th)