After the draft, the signings of Jannero Pargo and Lindsay Hunter, and the release of Anthony Roberson the 2009 Bulls 15-man roster is starting to come together.
The starting five is still up in the air and according to Tyrus Thomas, he is the Bulls starting PF.
Tyrus is one of my favorite players in the NBA but I think his energy is perfect as the sixth man (don’t hate me Ty!) and I think Joakim Noah is good enough to start at the Power Forward.
Don’t get me wrong, there are few players who protect the rim like Ty but I think Joakim’s fundamentals, rebounding, passing, and defense are good enough to start over Tyrus.
Obviously Derrick Rose will start at Point Guard and I think John Salmons will get the nod at the Shooting Guard spot.
The Bulls highest paid player, Luol Deng, who was absent during the postseason due to injury, will definitely be starting and he was just cleared to resume basketball activities.
If Luol were playing against the Celtics the Bulls would have won that series handily.
Rose, Salmons, Deng, Noah, and of course everyone’s favorite thug Brad Miller round out the Bulls 2009 starting lineup.
Miller will move the ball, rebound, make open 18 footers and help the Bulls clear a lot of salary after his $12 million contract comes off the books after next season.
The Bulls have a deep team and the first two off the bench, Tyrus Thomas and Kirk Hinrich, would be starting for most teams across the NBA.
I mean, if this weren’t the NBA, a league filled with ridiculous contracts, I would say Hinrich is probably the highest paid player that comes off the bench, but this is the NBA and if you give me 10 minutes I’ll find at least 30 players with worse contracts.
Next off the bench will likely be combo guard Jannero Pargo and rookies SF James Johnson and PF Taj Gibson. Veteran big man Aaron Gray is still not under contract but is expected to resign and will most likely be behind the talented rookies.
So far, starting we have: Rose, Salmons, Deng, Noah, Miller
Off the bench: Hinrich, Thomas, Pargo, Johnson, Gibson, Gray.
The last spot goes to veteran PG Lindsay Hunter who recently resigned and acts as more than a role player. He has nurtured and tutored Chicago’s baby boy Derrick Rose and will likely sign with the team as a consultant after the 2010 season.
The last three reserve spots will likely be rotating all season long but Linton Johnson and DeMarcus Nelson will see a lot of time in street clothes at the end of the Bulls bench this in 2010.
Sidenote: It was very hard for me not to pencil in Ben Gordon at SG. I wont miss him on the court but Ben is a good dude and was very fun to watch.