The trade deadline is fast approaching, and while the Chicago Bulls have maintained a top-four status in the Eastern Conference with their current roster, there are still some areas where they could improve.
Most notably in their frontcourt.
With the recent injuries to Carlos Boozer and All-Star center Joakim Noah, the Bulls have struggled to match up with opposing teams. Nazr Mohammed plays next to no minutes, and playing Luol Deng at the 4 is only effective if both teams are going with a small lineup.
There have also been concerns with the shooting guard position, but the emergence of Jimmy Butler and the way Marco Belinelli has played in the three games this month has shifted all focus on the frontcourt.
Let's look at a few targets the Bulls should look at to improve their depth up front.
1. Timofey Mozgov
The Bulls have had a thin frontcourt all season, but this was made even clearer after injuries to both of their starting big men. Chicago has been out-rebounded by double digits in their two losses in February.
Not only could the Bulls use that productivity now that Noah is out but also down the stretch as the Bulls get ready for the playoffs.
Mozgov would also allow Noah to play less minutes as the season continues. This would allow Noah to get back to full strength for the playoffs, where he will be playing extended minutes—especially in the later rounds.
Since he hasn't been able to crack the rotation in Denver, it could be possible for the Bulls to acquire him without many problems.
2. Samuel Dalembert
Samuel Dalembert is another center that is struggling to get minutes on his team (just 15 per game). His salary could be a problem for the Bulls, but if they were able to get him, he could be a huge asset coming off the bench.
He is a great shot-blocker and rebounder and can actually contribute on offense, too, as he's a very efficient scorer.
As a career 52 percent shooter, Dalembert would not only provide defense off the bench, but he could also provide scoring, meaning the Bulls wouldn't lose too much productivity when he comes in.
This season, Dalembert has gotten a majority of his points off cuts to the basket or offensive rebounding (per Synergy), something every big on the Bulls can do. If the Bulls could pull off a trade for him, he would fit in perfectly.
3. Jermaine O'Neal
O'Neal would also give the Bulls a post presence off the bench. Per Synergy, of the 225 plays ran for him, 102 have been in the post. This would give the Bulls more options offensively when the second unit is in.
His best years may be past him, but it doesn't mean he wouldn't be worth the roster spot. At this point, the Bulls would probably prefer anybody over Mohammed.
Whether or not the Bulls make a move prior to the deadline will remain to be seen, but the frontcourt issue should be addressed. It will not only help the Bulls now but also as the season progresses.
Taking the pressure off Noah as he recovers from his foot injury will be key, as the Bulls will be relying on him come playoff time. It will also provide the Bulls with new lineup options and combinations that could potentially be helpful for them down the stretch.
There's still time for the Bulls to make a move, and fans will surely be anticipating any upcoming announcements—if any.
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