Last season was a disaster for the Bulls as they entered 2009-10 with promise and left with their tails between their hooves, thumped by the Cavs in the opening round of the playoffs. This is a franchise that has produced the likes of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Artis Gilmore, Butterbean Love, John Mengelt and Kenny Reeves, so underachieving has not been a theme. Defense will be the top priority of longtime NBA assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, who takes the reins from the catatonic Vinny Of The Black.
This is a squad with hordes of talent, particularly at point guard where Derrick Rose will look to make that leap from a maturity standpoint. From a fantasy perspective, Rose is a cross between Deron Williams and Edmund Sherrod. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him average over 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game, while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field. He is not a steals kind of guy, averaging only 0.7 per game last year and he knocked down only 16 threes on a smelly 27 percent from long range. Apparently, he takes 500 jumpers per day on his Nerf hoop at home, so i can see that 3s total doubling in ’10-11. Now in his third year in the league, this is Rose’s team, all arrows are pointing up, and I’m taking him in the fourth round. Who’s with me!?
The Bulls gave up on John Salmons last year and excavated the rather large contract of Kirk Hinrich, who will now ply his trade in the nation’s capitol. I like what they have done here as the combination of defensive stopper Ronnie Brewer and 3-pt. marksman Kyle Korver will split the shooting guard spot. Unless one or the other gets hurt, neither is draftable, but I like it in real life so I’ll just shut up now. Korver may actually be worth a late-round flyer based on his penchant for not having a conscience from deep.
I love Carlos Boozer‘s game. I love it so much that I’m considering divorcing my own soft inside-outside game for it. Call it irreconcilable differences. Few in the free agent market deserved max money, but a healthy Boozer is worth it. He is quick with the ball, has soft hands, a feathery touch and can use either hand. He is an animal on the glass and overall one of the league’s and fantasy basketball’s most efficient players. The biggest knock on him over the years has been his lack of ability to stay on the court. Let’s hope that trend does not continue.
Luol Deng is one of those guys I never have any interest in drafting, yet I often end up regretting not pulling the trigger. Chicago’s starting small forward produced a respectable 17.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and nearly a block and a steal per game last season and rarely turns the ball over. There are plenty of worse guys to be had around the eighth round, which is where we should consider hopping on him.
I’ll never forgive myself for not drafting Joakim Noah last year as I had him queued for the middle rounds. Can’t make that mistake again and I don’t think he’ll last past the fifth this time around. Don’t let his final numbers (10.7 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg) from ’09-10 fool you. He was way better than that as he lost several games to a nasty case of plantar fasciitis. He wasn’t himself upon his return, and his overall numbers were dummied up by his limited minutes. The presence of Boozer may keep his rebounding totals closer to 10.0 per contest, but I could easily see the rest of his numbers continuing to climb. The Bulls also have Taj Gibson ready to back up both Noah and Boozer and Gibson’s worth a late-round grab. He can give you some scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking and with the injury history of the two dudes in front of him, he could find himself earning plenty of burn.
PG – Derrick Rose, C.J. Watson
SG – Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver
SF – Luol Deng, James Johnson
PF – Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson
C – Joakim Noah, Kurt Thomas
Up Next: Memphis Grizzlies