The Chicago Bulls didn’t have the cap room to make a ton of moves this offseason, but there are still some new faces that have to get acclimated.
Through the draft, the Bulls got Tony Snell and Erik Murphy. Neither will get a lot of minutes, but they could prove to be solid pieces in the future.
Chicago’s roster is pretty much set at this stage. All that’s left is figuring out how each new player will fit into the rotation and what role they will fill.
The Bulls spent the offseason going after three-point shooters, and Mike Dunleavy was their big free-agent signing. He was a top-eight three-point maker last season at just under 43 percent.
One important aspect is Dunleavy’s versatility. At 6’9”, 230 pounds, he has the size to play small and power forward, but he also has the skill set to play the 2-guard position. This gives him the chance to play behind Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer.
This can lead to multiple lineups.
If the Bulls go small, they can keep Dunleavy on the floor, maintaining solid size for defensive purposes while keeping some three-point shooting on the court.
If they use a bigger lineup, Dunleavy can provide outside scoring and stretch the floor.
He was brought in to be the Bulls’ three-point specialist and he’ll fill that role perfectly while also helping the Bulls throw different looks at opposing defenses.
Expect Dunleavy to play anywhere from 18 to 23 minutes per game.
Tony Snell and Erik Murphy were drafted to add more perimeter shooting, but whether they’ll see any playing time remains to be seen.
Murphy isn’t a great defender or rebounder, so you can expect to see him on the bench for a majority of the season. Snell, on the other hand, has the potential to be a good defender and showed flashes of being a capable slasher during the summer league.
Snell could get spot minutes here and there, but with Kirk Hinrich and Marquis Teague expected to take the backup guard spots, there’s small chance Snell gets a chance to shine this year.
The only way Snell (and possibly Murphy) gets any minutes is if Tom Thibodeau decides to take a more conservative approach with his big-minute players, but do we really expect that to happen?
He isn’t exactly a new acquisition, but after a year of no action, there’s no doubt Derrick Rose's return will give the Bulls a new look.
Thibodeau is known for being aggressive with the way he spreads out minutes, so expect Rose to get his usual amount of playing time throughout the year.
This upcoming season, Rose will come back as the starting point guard, but he could also be an off guard on certain occasions.
Teague figures to have a slightly bigger role this season as Rose's backup, and the two could do some damage on the court.
The Bulls can play both Teague and Rose as a variation of their small lineup. This gives them incredible backcourt speed and two players that excel at getting to the basket.
They would also be able to run the floor with this lineup, something they seldom did last season. According to TeamRankings, Chicago scored just 9.8 fastbreak points per game.
With Joakim Noah or Taj Gibson at center, an outlet pass to either Teague or Rose could ignite a fast break. Add Butler and Dunleavy spotting up on the corners ready to catch and shoot from outside, and you have a real offensive threat.
There’s no question Rose makes this team exceptionally better, but now he’ll be able to give the Bulls different looks offensively when he’s paired up with certain teammates.
Rose will most likely play anywhere from 30 to 34 minutes per game.
Chicago only has a few new faces, but there wasn't a need to make many moves. Their core was already set going into the offseason, so adding a few shooters—which they did—was the way to go.
Dunleavy will see his fair share of minutes and is sure to have an impact during 2013-14. As for the rookies, we'll have to wait until the regular season, but don't expect Thibodeau to start changing things up.
The biggest addition, though, is Rose. He’s the key to making the Bulls a title contender once again, and winning a championship is the goal.
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