The Chicago Bulls are upset to say the least. This was a championship or franchise altering season. The Bulls acquired Pau Gasol who averaged a double-double per game and Jimmy Butler had a breakout season. With a healthy Derrick Rose, they looked like competitors in the Eastern Conference. For the third time in his career, Derrick Rose tore his meniscus. All looked over until he the injury wasn’t as severe and was able to return one month later. When the playoffs begun, the Bulls demolished the Toronto Raptors and looked ready to challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. The Bulls took the series to six games, but didn’t advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. In Game 6, the Bulls looked like they have given up and only scored a pathetic 73 points. Upon exit, Tom Thibodeau was fired. In three out of five seasons, a Thibodeau coached team lost to LeBron James in the playoffs. Society writer Alfonso DeFalco talks about who could be Thibodeau’s replacement in Chicago. Chicago needs a backup point guard, shooting guard, and wing depth. Lets look at who could be in the windy city next season.
SF Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona
Rondae Hollis Jefferson is an athletic freak that is a brick wall defender. His NBA ready size will allow him to instantly be able to cover the bigger small forwards in the NBA. His fast feet keeps him in front of opposing players and his 7’1″ wingspan makes him a solid perimeter defender. He has the quickness to drive the lane and the passing ability to run the floor. He drawn fouls and isn’t afraid of contact. His consistency is hurting his draft stock. If he finds consistency he will be a steal at the end of the draft.
PG Tyus Jones, Duke
Tyus Jones is a pure passer and is the best decision maker out of all the point guards in this draft. The Bulls need a reliable backup point guard because there is no depth outside of Derrick Rose on the roster. History tells me Rose will not be healthy all season. He knows how to win and thrives in a winning environment. Chicago may not be the best team in the East but is still a winning team. He lacks athleticism and the ability to create his own shot. His confidence and craftiness in his passing will keep him in the NBA.
SG R.J Hunter, Georgia State
RJ Hunter is a three point shooting specialist. He can shoot from all over the court and isn’t afraid to shoot. He stands 6’6″ and has the size to shoot over the average size shooting guard. He is a smart shooter but has a tendency to be selfish with the ball. His father is a basketball coach so he has a high basketball IQ. He needs to add size because he only weighs 185 pounds. The Sun Belt is a weak conference so his competition hasn’t been the greatest. His excellent shooting is why he is a potential first round pick.
SG Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
Jimmy Butler was named the most improved player in the NBA last season and played a huge role for the Chicago Bulls. He averaged 20 points per game and was the reliable scorer the Bulls have been looking for. Butler was named to the All-NBA 2nd Defensive team and fit well with Chicago’s already stout defense. If the Bulls want to keep him they have to give him a max deal. The Bulls are tight salary cap wise and will have to move or not re-sign some key role players to make the deal happen. The Bulls will do all they can to keep Butler.
SG Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
Dwyane Wade is in contract disputes with the Miami Heat and it isn’t looking good. He wants to feel respected by the organization he plays for and the Heat aren’t giving him the respect he deserves. Chicago is worried Jimmy Butler and the only improvement at shooting guard in free agency is Dwyane Wade. He is a Chicago native who looks desperate for a title after a miserable Heat season last season. Chicago has the talent to win a title with Wade. He scored 21.5 points per game and flashed his young self at times. The Bulls need Wade if Butler walks.
SF Iman Shumpert, Cleveland Cavaliers
The current small forward depth for the Chicago Bulls is Doug McDermott. Iman Shumpert is a defensive minded wing who has a three point shot. He is a great role player on a good team but is a poison when he is asked to be the teams number one scorer. He wouldn’t be the scorer on the Bulls. Chicago is a nice fit for Shumpert. They have bigs who are solid defenders and Derrick Rose who is an all around star when healthy. He would give the Bulls an improved defense and athleticism in the starting lineup.
Multiple sources tell me current Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg is the leading candidate for the Chicago Bulls head coaching vacancy. Hoiberg played four seasons in Chicago and played with a high basketball IQ. He ran an NBA style system at Iowa State which was very successful. The Bulls are looking for a coach they can control. Thibodeau wanted to lead the charge but management didn’t allow him to do that. A change in leadership is exactly what this Bulls team needs.