Posted August 27, 2013

Offseason Grades: Chicago Bulls

2013 Offseason Grades, Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose, Rob Mahoney
Mike Dunleavy

Mike Dunleavy should fit seamlessly into the Bulls’ rotation. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Point Forward will grade every team’s offseason over the next few weeks. Click here for the complete archive.

Additions: Mike Dunleavy, Tony Snell (No. 20 in 2013 draft), Erik Murphy (No. 49)

Losses: Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli, Richard Hamilton, Malcolm Thomas

Other Moves: Re-signed Nazr Mohammed

What Went Right: Subtle roster improvements to set up Derrick Rose’s comeback. The biggest offseason development for Chicago was always going to be one of availability. After missing the 2012-13 season while rehabbing a torn ACL, Rose is set to return in the fall and restore order to the Bulls’ offense. With his reintroduction, shot creators such as Robinson and Belinelli were no longer a priority. Both were vital in keeping the Bulls afloat last season, but Rose and Chicago’s reserve guards render their services somewhat redundant.

Dunleavy is a better fit for a Rose-driven team. The 11-year veteran swingman is firmly in the role-player set, with a vanilla game compared to the roller-coaster play of Robinson and Belinelli. But he’s a consistent catch-and-shoot type who reads the floor well, making him a good bet to fill a slot on the wing beautifully for the Bulls.

The former No. 3 pick is reliant on players such as Rose to control the offense while he curls around screens or spots up on the wing, but his tendencies make him a natural choice for a complementary role. He passes when he should, shoots when is prudent and stays active without the ball. All he needs is a more dynamic player to get things in motion, which he’ll have in the Bulls’ centerpiece.

Dunleavy aside, drafting a lanky, athletic shooter in Snell was a good call, even if he’s not likely to play much this season. Mohammed is a nice piece to have around, too, as he proved in the first round of the playoffs when he came off the bench to play important minutes against Brooklyn. He can pull spot duty in guarding the centers who might be too tall for Taj Gibson to handle.

What Went Wrong: If anything, the support system in case of another Rose injury is a tad bare. This is a worst-case-scenario problem, but the Bulls have left themselves vulnerable in allowing both Robinson and Belinelli to walk as free agents. The point guard rotation would still be covered between Kirk Hinrich and Marquis Teague if Rose were to be sidelined, but creating shots would be more challenging for Chicago than last season.

The Bulls will be in great shape as long as Rose even vaguely resembles his previous form. From Rose on down, Chicago’s roster is loaded. The combination of Jimmy Butler and Luol Deng is as stout a pair of wings as any team could hope for, with Dunleavy and Hinrich available to contribute quality minutes behind them. Joakim Noah has become one of the top three or four defensive big men in the league, and Gibson is an exceptional defensive reserve. Even the much-maligned Carlos Boozer has his place as a spot source of scoring and rebounding, which helps fill the gaps while Rose rests or assists. It’s a sound rotation, through and through, and should be equipped to challenge the Heat.

Grade: B. Chicago didn’t have all that much to do in free agency but managed to grab a quality wing player at a bargain (Dunleavy signed a two-year, $6 million deal), brought back a reserve big man who has experience in coach Tom Thibodeau’s system and drafted a wing who could be of interest down the line. Not bad for a team that was already a contender with a healthy Rose.

12 comments
Pete_Medina14
Pete_Medina14

The Chicago Bulls didn't want or need the greatest offseason they just looked for role players, and that's what they did. They weren't looking for an amazing offseason. The biggest factor for the Bulls right know is seeing if Derrick Rose is going to be a very healthy player. Also seeing if he'll return to MVP form. So if the Chicago Bulls can be as good as they were last year,and have superstar Derrick Rose they'll be a tough and scary team to beat.

amolad
amolad

Boozer is MUCH too inconsistent. They will undoubtedly amnesty him after this season. He will have one good game followed by three average ones. That won't cut it against the Heat.

His total lack of defense--not even moving his FEET--would be acceptable if he averaged 23 ppg.

But he only averages 17.

mon1
mon1

1. Rose

2. Butler

3. Deng

4. Boozer

5. Noah

This a very good line up with Butler a question mark coz he's young.  If he can play the way he did last year,  I think they a very solid line up that can challenge Miami.


Plus they have a very good coach.


marino.eccher
marino.eccher

Rose is the one coming back, but to me, the biggest addition this year is a full season of Butler alongside him. I'm excited to see what they can do now that Jimmy has come into his own.

DeanHewitt
DeanHewitt

People thought the Bulls wouldn't make the layoffs last season and they made the second round against the Heat and even won a game with Noah hurt and Deng and Hinrich out.  I got to get to Vegas before the season starts and put a hundred down.

spiderminion
spiderminion

I personally think Rose coming back is not going to put the Bulls in championship contention. This is just based on the 2 rounds I've seen the Bulls battle agains the Heat. The Bulls last year got their points thru EXCELLENT ball movement and the occasional Robinson iso.  The 2011 Bulls with Rose seem a bit too Rose-centric (similar to Cleveland with LeBron) and simpler (not necessarily easier) to guard. I don' see them beating the Heat or the Pacers (and even the Nets, depending on how they pan out) in a 7 game series. 

b-felt
b-felt

  dat dude Goudelock can drain 3s when hes on look to see him down the stretch at some point.

Maximum1
Maximum1

I don't know about anyone else, but the suspense is killing me.  I kept hearing about how great the new Bears offense was going to be and first play of the preseason Cutler throws an interception.  Jordan came back from a foot injury and won six championships, so there is hope.  But I can't wait to see Rose out there again.

mon1
mon1

@spiderminion I think you are wrong.  good young players when they get injured they always came back a better player.  

common sense, they have so much time to practice


PaulSharpe
PaulSharpe

@b-felt  Yeah, that's why Lakers kicked him to the curb...  Bulls continue to slide back to middle of the pack...  Rose can only do so much, Boozer over-achieved & is likely to resume his flaky ways, loss of Robinson & Bellinelli hurt significantly more than Dunleavy helps...  3rd or 4th seed... at best...

spiderminion
spiderminion

@mon1 @spiderminion I didn't say Rose isn't coming back as a better player. On the contrary, I think his jumpshot will be better and I do think he will be coming back more or less with the same athleticism.

I was just saying the Bulls are going to go back to being Rose-centric. Rose with an improved jumpshot is still at his best with the ball in his hands, and we'll be seeing the ball move around less.