Grading Each Team’s Offseason: Chicago Bulls

Posted: 08/08/2012 by levcohen in Basketball

Key Additions: Marco Belinelli (FA), Kirk Hinrich (FA), Marquis Teague (draft), Nazr Mohammed (FA), Vladimir Radmanovic (FA), Nate Robinson (PG)
Key Losses: Omer Asik (FA), Ronnie Brewer (FA), Kyle Korver (trade), CJ Watson (FA)

Grade: C- (D+ until they signed Robinson)

The Bulls had a pretty uneventful offseason, but overall I think they could have (and should have) done more. Their team hasn’t gotten better, and it has probably gotten worse. The biggest decision they had to make was whether or not to match the Rockets offer sheet with Asik: 3 years, 25 million. This would have been  a no brainer for some owners, but Jerry Reinsdorf would hate nothing more than going over the luxury tax. Asik wasn’t worth the money, but they should have over payed to keep him in Chicago. Knowing that Derrick Rose would be out for most of the season, the Bulls signed point guard Kirk Hinrich and drafted Marquis Teague out of Kentucky. That was progress. But then they quickly made their roster worse by losing Brewer, Korver and Watson while adding Belinelli, Nazr and Vlad Rad. Brewer is a good defender, Korver is one of the best 3 point shooters in the NBA, and CJ Watson is a very good backup point guard. The tight spending Bulls couldn’t really afford the loss of any of those three, especially Watson. To compensate for the losses they signed Belinelli (a solid 3 point shooter), Mohammed (an untalented big man), and Radmanovic (a swing man who can’t do much). Late in the offseason, they grabbed explosive PG Nate Washington, which makes their offseason a lot better. So while you could argue that Hinrich is an upgrade over Watson, they really got worse this offseason. The Bulls should be able to snag a top 5 seed even without Rose, as they have a strong core of Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. But they will need Rose to be at full strength in the playoffs to make a run at the Heat.

Last year’s starting lineup:
PG: Rose
SG: Richard Hamilton
SF: Deng
PF: Boozer
C: Noah

with a very solid bench including Waston, Korver, Brewer, Asik, Taj Gibson

This year’s projected starting lineup:
PG: Hinrich
SG: Hamilton
SF: Deng
PF: Boozer
C: Noah

with a bench including Teague, Belinelli, Radmanovic, Nazr, Gibson

last year they were definitely better, although less so when Rose returns.

Projected 12 man active roster (with Rose on injured reserve):

PG: Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson, Marquis Teague
SG: Richard Hamilton, Marco Belinelli, Jimmy Butler
SF: Luol Deng, Vladimir Radmanovic
PF: Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson
C: Joakim Noah, Nazr Mohammed

Projected minutes:

PG: Hinrich (20), Robinson (19), Teague (9)
SG: Hamilton (24), Belinelli (15), Hinrich (4), Robinson (3), Butler (2)
SF: Deng (36), Butler (9), Radmanovic (3)
PF: Boozer (27), Gibson (20), Radmanovic (1)
C: Noah (34), Mohammed (8), Boozer (4), Gibson (2)

Projected minutes for each player- assuming each player plays every game (in reality, Mohammed, Radmanovic, Butler, Teague getting often DNP’s, leading to more minutes for better players):

Deng: 36
Noah: 34
Boozer: 31
Hinrich: 24
Hamilton: 24
Gibson: 22
Robinson: 22
Belinelli: 15
Butler: 11
Teague: 9
Mohammed: 8
Radmanovic: 4

Bottom line: Bulls will always player Deng, Noah, Boozer, Hinrich, Hamilton, Gibson, Robinson if healthy. Belinelli will play most of the time. The rest will get some DNP coaches’ decision. I don’t expect the Bulls to go more than 9 or at most 10 deep each game, which will open up 2-4 more minutes for the starting five, Gibson and Robinson.

Each player’s stats last year:
Deng: 15.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal per game
Noah: 10 points, 10 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 blocks per game
Boozer: 15 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block per game
Hinrich: 6.5 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists per game
Hamilton: 11.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3 assists per game (28 games- injured rest of season)
Gibson: 8 points, 5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks per game
Robinson: 11 points, 2 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.2 steals per game (51 games- injured 9 games, DNPCD rest of season)
Belinelli: 12 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists
Butler: 2.5 points, 1 rebound per game (42 games- DNPCD rest of season)
Mohammed: 3 points, 3 rebounds per game
Radmanovic: 4.5 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist per game (49 games- DNPCD rest of season)

Each player’s strengths:
Deng: shooting, FT, scoring, rebounding, length
Noah: rebounding, defense, blocks, passing
Boozer: post scoring, leadership, scoring, rebounding
Hinrich: floor general, 3 point shooting
Hamilton: 3 point shooting, assists
Gibson: rebounds, blocks
Robinson: explosive, scoring, slashing, floor general, steals, dunk
Belinelli: 3 point shooting, scoring off the bench
Butler: 3 point shooting, scoring off the bench, depth
Teague: youth, scoring
Mohammed: depth
Radmanovic: depth, rebounding

Each player’s weaknesses:
Deng: 3 point shooting
Noah: outside shooting
Boozer: passing, defense
Hinrich: defense, rebounds, injuries
Hamilton: injuries, defense
Gibson: shooting, FT, passing
Robinson: defense, rebounding
Belinelli: everything other than 3 point shooting
Butler: rebounding, passing
Teague: needs to be more of a passer
Mohammed: everything
Radmanovic: everything



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