Chicago Bulls: Holes That Still Need to Be Filled After 2012 NBA Draft

Ernest Shepard@@ernestshepardAnalyst IIIJuly 2, 2012

Chicago Bulls: Holes That Still Need to Be Filled After 2012 NBA Draft

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    At the 2012 NBA Draft the Bulls took the best available player in Kentucky’s Marquis Teague. By doing so, they effectively sealed a hole at backup point guard.

    Now it is time to look beyond the draft and see what other holes need to be filled.

    Looking at the Chicago Bulls from afar, I see a cacophony of bad contracts. No one has an issue with what Derrick Rose stands to make. It is the contracts of Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Omer Asik if the Bulls matches Houston’s offer for the backup (Yahoo! Sports).

    If the Bulls opt not to match Asik’s offer, that will lead to an additional hole to fill. I will take a look at each hole and what the Bulls need to do to seal each one.

1. A Second Top-Tier Scorer

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    Shooting guard has been considered the Bulls’ biggest problem ever since Ben Gordon took his talents to Motown.

    I firmly disagree.

    I may be alone in this sentiment but, a lack of a second top-tier scorer from any position is the biggest hole for the Bulls. That is not to say that Bulls do not need a shooting guard to play alongside Rose in the future. If a proven top-tier scorer were on the roster, the Bulls need only a specialist at shooting guard.

    Looking at some of the last few teams that won an NBA championship, I cannot recall who had dynamic scorers in both backcourt positions. One player was a top-tier scorer while the other one was a specialist either defensively or at three-point shooting.

    Keep in mind that scoring is the main ingredient in all sports. You can be as great as any team defensively, but if the ball does not go into the basket, you lose.

2. A Bully on the Defensive End

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    Who is the bully on this Bulls’ roster?

    You know. Who is the guy that will knock a player on his back for trying to come into the lane? Last season, the Bulls did not have that type of player.

    For as much as I will have someone sell me on how good Asik is defensively, he does alter shots. Does he scare anyone?

    The season prior to that, Kurt Thomas was the bully. Before that it was Chris Richard and Brad Miller. This player is vital to any team because they have six fouls at their disposal and their whole purpose is to say "not in my house."

3. A Capable Starter at Point Guard

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    Starting at guard is who, again?

    The Bulls hope and pray that Kirk Hinrich does not mind taking a huge pay cut to be put back on the uniform. I think that would be a wise choice, but what if he says no? Where does that leave the team?

    Before deciding on whether or not they should keep him, finding a starting point guard should be a top priority.

    Whomever they sign, he must be a playmaker who is willing to set up his Bulls’ teammates first. He also must come at the right price.

4. The Bulls Need Extra Bodies, Period

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    The Bulls’ last hole is filling up their up their depleted roster. As of right now the Bulls have no healthy guards under contract except for C.J. Watson. While Teague will be signed soon, the Bulls have no idea what they will do with Watson.

    This leaves a lot of uncertainty on the table.

    If they do not keep Kyle Korver they will be without a three-point shooter. They may not have Deng in uniform when the season starts. It is unknown whether or not he will have wrist surgery.

    The draft would have been a good time to address the need to fill out the roster. The Bulls could have traded for a second-round pick or two, especially with Memphis’ guard Will Barton available the 40th pick. Afterwards, the Bulls could have used another pick on a rotation player in the frontcourt.

    There were some options that the Bulls chose not to pursue for reasons that we are not privy to.

The Solutions

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    The solutions are simple to those of us who wear a general manager’s cap when we talk about our favorite teams. For the Bulls’ biggest hole, lack of a second top-tier scorer, Eric Gordon and O.J. Mayo are good choices.

    Both are restricted free agents, but ideally they fit what the Bulls need. They also help shore up the shooting guard position. They have good ball-handling skills—good enough to run the point guard spot for 23-28 minutes a game. Either player would kill two birds with one stone. If the Bulls have to go with Kirk Hinrich, he would be an overall upgrade over what they had.

    As for the bully, the Bulls could bring in an undrafted rookie. Someone, anyone who does not mind floor burns and dishing out hard fouls. Could the Bulls ask the Thunder to swap Kendrick Perkins for Carlos Boozer?

    Perkins is the type of player that the Bulls need—a nasty player.

    To fill out the roster is a simple solution. Players like Gerald Green and Chris Douglas-Roberts are low-cost players looking to land on a roster. The Bulls can grab a couple of veterans and undrafted rookies who are seeking an opportunity.  

    William Buford out of Ohio State and John Shurna from Northwestern would be good candidates. The same goes for Demetri McCamey.

    With several holes to fill and not a lot of assets to fill them with, I hope the Bulls do what is best for the team. For now I will keep my fingers crossed.