NBA Preview: 2012-2013 Chicago Bulls
NBA Preview – Chicago Bulls
2011-12 Record: 50-16, 1st in the East
Key Additions: Kirk Hinrich, Nazr Mohammed, Marquis Teague, Vladimir Radmanovic, Nate Robinson
Key Losses: Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, C.J. Watson
Payroll: $74.8 Million – 6th in the NBA
The Bulls were rolling into the playoffs and were hoping to avenge a conference finals loss to the Heat. Then one wrong cut by Derrick Rose and their title hopes both last year and this year are pretty much done. No one team relies on Rose for offence like the Bulls do. He could be back anywhere from Christmas to opening day to next season. Given the nature and type of his knee injury and the way Rose makes other-worldly cuts that only two or three players in the league can make I would hope the Bulls are cautious with Rose’s recovery.
Given that Jerry Reinsdorf is notorious for not paying the luxury tax the Bulls did not make any significant payroll expenditures to try and replace Rose’s production. They even lost one significant contributor to Tom Thibodeau’s defence to Houston in Omer Asik. The Rockets structured the restricted offer sheet so that the Bulls would have had to pay prohibitive luxury tax in the third year of the contract. Losing Asik hurts but the Bulls still have formidable defensive forwards in Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Their best offseason acquisitions are guard Kirk Hinrich, who is really a rotation player and not a starter and intriguing point guard Marquis Teague.
The Bulls went the low-rent route and added a number of past their prime and possibly washed up veterans to replace key bench losses. Thibodeau will have to live up to his reputation as a defensive coach with this bunch. The Bulls are going to be a lower tier playoff team since they do not have a consistent offensive threat and Luol Deng will struggle without Rose drawing attention away from him. If Rose is back by Christmas then the Bulls will finish around 5th and noone else in the East will want to finish 4th and play them in the first round.
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