A long history of free agency failures leaves the Chicago Bulls with little hope heading into the 2012-2013 season. With leader and superstar Derrick Rose shelved, will his team look to help him through the NBA draft?
Owner Jerry Reinsdorf put all the rumors about Derrick Rose to bed in one simple statement. In an interview with ESPN he said very bluntly he thinks the Bulls are good enough to make the playoffs but not good enough to win a championship without Rose. Reinsdorf said the team will absolutely not take chances with the former MVP in his rehab on the torn ACL. The owner admitted he made that mistake before when Chicago let Michael Jordan return early from a broken foot. While Jordan came out of it healthy, the doctors warned there was increase risk of injury by rushing him back. Reinsdorf isn't taking that chance with Rose. Most predictions now have the point guard ready for basketball by May. This means the playoff hopes of the team rest squarely with starters like Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, not to mention bench captain Taj Gibson. The real hope is whether Chicago can find a way to add another superstar next to Rose when he returns. Given the free agency failures, does that come down to what general manager Gar Forman does in the draft?
Shabazz Muhammad and Nerlens Noel highlight unusual 2013 class
While 2013 free agency doesn't offer much for the Bulls in terms of their needs, the projected draft class is a totally different story. While many experts question the depth of the 2013 class because of the lack of players returning for another, the top end of the draft has several players that could instantly help Chicago. One big name with a big body is Kentucky prospect Nerlens Noel. Most have him going first overall once he rounds himself into shape. While the Bulls already have a stable center in Noah, Noel offers Ã©lite defense to go with his tall and athletic frame. However the real prize for the Bulls isn't a center from Kentucky but a guard from UCLA. Shabazz Muhammad is probably the most interesting of the top projected players in the draft class. He is a 6'6" shooting guard with an ability to score from anywhere on the court. Combined with solid defense and rebounding and the young freshman may become the most rounded talent in the draft next year. That is exactly what Chicago could use next to Rose.
Jerry Reinsdorf has the right idea not rushing Derrick Rose back. The Chicago Bulls may suffer in the short run but that's why Luol Deng and Joakim Noah got paid the big bucks. Then again, with Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad coming up they might think about a plan to move up in the NBA draft.