Saturday, July 24, 2010

Meet The New-Look Chicago Bulls

I figured I better get something up to avoid Armchair Superstar's first ever donut, and a lot has gone on at the Berto Center in Chicago, so let's see who we'll be rooting for next season on the Bulls:

Guards: Derrick Rose is a lock to start, and it looks as if new acquisition Ronnie Brewer will be his backcourt mate.

Brewer is just 25, and is 6-foot-7. Although he had a rough year in '09-'10, his previous seasons with the Jazz (he was drafted in 2006) showed a player who is skilled on defense (hopefully a defensive replacement for Hinrich) and can fill the net as well, though he's much more of a slasher than a pull-up shooter.

The other new additions to the guards lineup are Kyle Korver and C.J. Watson.
Korver, of course, made more of a splash, signing after his former teammate Carlos Boozer and filling the Bulls' need for a three point shooter. But ultimately, especially if Brewer emerges for Chicago, I think the Watson signing may prove the wiser of the two. Check out what he can do on the fast-break:

It's possible that Chicago may tap John Lucas III to fill the last PG post, and Tracey McGrady will be in for a workout Monday, with Derrick Rose on record as saying he'd like to see T-Mac join the squad.

What I like about these new guys can be summed up pretty succinctly: They're young, quick, athletic, and high-character. That's Brewer and Watson. Which means they have room to grow, and they're coachable. Korver fits one of those (high character) and he's a deadly shot. Altogether, I like this four-guard group a lot.

Forwards: This is the place where the Bulls had the most continuity, since Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and James Johnson have all survived the offseason.

The addition of Carlos Boozer has been thoroughly discussed, but I also have high hopes for Gibson's continued development. Let's not forget that he was no slouch last year!

Johnson, on the other hand, didn't show much in Summer League, struggling to stay within the offense and to focus in general. However, since Brewer and Korver both have decent size, it's possible that they can sub in for Luol at small forward if the second-year kid isn't up to the task.

Deng is good for 18/7 a game, and so is Boozer, giving the Bulls improved scoring punch from the forward position. Boozer's passing ability give the forwards an added dimension as well.

Centers: Not much needs to be said about Joakim, except that I really hope his feet are okay this season.

However, the addition of 7-footer Omer Asik, who has been playing in Turkey since Chicago drafted him in 2007, is one of the most mysterious moves of the offseason. Apparently, he's ready. I hope so, because a competent backup center is essential. According to YouTube, he's a good shot blocker!

With Kurt Thomas just having signed today, the Bulls have pretty much filled their quota at big man.

PG: D-Rose
SG: Ronnie Brewer
SF: Luol Deng
PF: Carlos Boozer
C: Joakim Noah

PG2: Watson
SG2: Korver
SF2: Johnson/Korver
PF2: Gibson
C2: Asik

PG3: Lucas?
SG3: McGrady?
PF/C3: Thomas

Is this team good enough to win in the East? A lot depends on how well Thibodeau adjusts to his first season at the helm, and if Rose can stay healthy after the World Basketball Championships (he looks likely to make the team and log serious minutes).

But I think the bench has improved a ton, and Brewer and Boozer make the starting lineup stronger. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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