The Bulls 2008-09 roster is finally set with the recent passing of the trade deadline and although Paxson made several considerable improvements to the squad, it's still time to look to the future once more as we continue to build a championship contender.
But before we get to the summer of 2010 we have a little business to handle in the summer of 2009, more specifically the NBA draft in June. Before I submit my picks for review by the Chicago Bulls front office (they might read bleacher report too) I’ll give a brief rundown of the likely roster heading into next season.
PG – Derrick Rose
SG – John Salmons
SF – Luol Deng
The typical fan will notice a few omissions from that list in the Bulls backcourt, Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon. Kirk is rather simple to explain since the Bulls can’t afford to pay him $9 million a season to be a backup. He even came close to being moved last week but then Paxson remembered we don’t need to clear cap space until 2010 so why rush?
Ben Gordon is a little more difficult to understand for several reasons but anytime a team parts ways with its leading scorer, odds are it’s going to be complicated. Gordon is an explosive scorer and the biggest problem is that he knows it. Ben tends to overvalue himself and has twice turned down offers to remain in Chicago for $50 million plus.
Somehow Gordon’s agents forgot to remind him that he’s undersized, has a poor handle, and can’t defend. So it’s safe to say he’ll take his 20 points per game to another gym next season.
All of this makes for an interesting couple of months for the Bulls because most fans would assume that our strength lies in our backcourt and therefore Paxson should target big men in the upcoming draft, but take one more glance at the likely roster for the Bulls next season and one sees a drastically different picture.
The Bulls will head into the 2009-10 season lacking depth in the backcourt while having a decent rotation established up front. So now for the picks:
Round One (13-16 pick) – Dajuan Summers SF Georgetown
Round Two (25-28 pick) – Evan Turner SG Ohio State
Round Two (43-46 pick) – Eric Maynor PG Virginia Commonwealth
Dajuan Summers has the perfect size for a SF at 6’8" and three-point range on his jumper. He is shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc. He also displays both the tools and willingness to be a more than capable defender at the next level.
Dajuan can handle the ball when needed but doesn’t create much for himself, instead preferring to catch and shoot from pretty much anywhere on the floor. He is unselfish and coachable, merely trying to fill his role since he is used to playing for talented squads.
While Dajuan may never reach an All-Star level in the league, he is an athletically gifted wing with a nice combination of size and strength for his position to go along with a great jumpshot. With those skills he could be an excellent complement to Rose, should Deng fail to live up to his contract.
Evan Turner is a do it all kind of SG in the mold of Brandon Roy which makes me wonder if he’ll be available for the Bulls' late first rounder. For some reason he has flown a little under the radar until this point so I’m hoping that continues or if needed we can trade up just a few spots to nab him (Hinrich will be a trade chip this summer, plus any future draft picks).
While he doesn’t excel in any particular category he is truly solid in every aspect of the game. He is also a great character guy and is willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win. He can shoot, pass, dribble, rebound, defend multiple positions, you name it he does it.
Eric Maynor would be an excellent backup PG to Rose because with that combination the opposing defense would NEVER be able to rest. Maynor has shown flashes of stardom at the college level and is an explosive athlete. He uses his quickness to get to any spot he desires on the court and creates opportunities both for himself and his teammates.
He is also an aggressive defender who will cause fits for the opposing PG. If Eric went to a premier program he would be a first round lock but since he has never faced top-level talent (except for his NCAA tourney run where he helped execute a first round upset of Duke) scouts are a little unsure of what to expect from him at the next level.
He would be an absolute steal in the second round.
With this draft the Bulls could shore up their backcourt depth and benefit from a little flexibility while moving forward with overpaid players such as Kirk Hinrich and even Luol Deng, all while never losing sight of the big prize in 2010; Chris Bosh.