With everyone throwing around trade ideas for the Chicago Bulls—which are borderline fairy tales involving Lebron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh—let's take a look at the top Bulls players in fairy tale basketball: fantasy basketball.
Although the Bulls are extremely mediocre, the team has provided a big name fantasy player, two nice pieces to a fantasy team, and the possibility of a future fantasy contributor.
The Big Name
Derrick Rose (per game)—19.6 PPG, 5.7 AST, 3.7 REB, 47.1 FG%, 76.5 FT%, .7 STL, .3 BLK, .1 3PM, 2.8 TO
Rose was extremely disappointing for fantasy owners at the beginning of the season—even becoming hopeful trade bait for owners, due to injury. The roller coaster continues...just as Rose was embarking on fantasy madness with an increase in just about everything, he got hurt in the last game before the All-Star break.
Rose said he is healthy and will play Tuesday night against the Knicks, but fantasy owners will have to wait and see how he plays after the break.
Rose is looking pretty good for a third-round fantasy pick this season. If he learns to shoot from beyond the three-point arc, he will be a fantasy goldmine.
Joakim Noah (per game)—11.2 PPG, 2.1 AST, 12 REB, 49.5 FG%, 77.2 FT%, .63 STL, 1.7 BLK, 2.11 TO
Luol Deng (per game)—18.1 PPG, 2.0 AST, 7.5 REB, 46.8 FG%, 77.2 FT%, 1.02 STL, .98 BLK, .5 3PM, 1.98 TO
Good numbers for two guys who were—in the case of Deng, drafted very late and, in the case of Noah, went undrafted.
Noah has been a complete surprise, not so much with his points and rebounds, but his shooting percentages from the field and at the free-throw line, along with his defense.
Noah knows his role, which is the hardest thing to get out of an NBA player. He understands he is a rebound and put-back guy, and therefore he built upper body muscle in the offseason—unlike Ty Thomas, who worked on his jump shot...a prime example of a player either not knowing his role or refusing to accept it.
Noah, however, has hit a huge bump in the road for fantasy owners due to plantar fasciitis in his foot. He had been playing limited minutes until the Bulls shut him down for the remaining four games before the All-Star break.
Noah says he is not 100 percent, but may play against the Knicks Tuesday night. However, the Bulls have four games in five nights, so owners will see how the Bulls are going to treat Noah the rest of the season.
Deng, on the other hand, was a risk to draft due in part to his injury-plagued season last year. However, he has turned out to be a great late pick for fantasy owners, as he has stayed healthy the entire season, and thrown in the occasional three-pointer here and there.
Possible Future Pick
Taj Gibson (per game)—8 PPG, .7 AST, 6.4 REB, 47.2 FG%, 61.9 FT%, .59 STL, 1.1 BLK, 1.25 TO
Gibson is clearly not a guy you want taking up a roster spot this year. Next season though, he may have a permanent starting position with the Bulls, and may not be a bad pick considering what he has done in his limited playing time this season.
However, this is based on if the Bulls do not get Chris Bosh. If the Bulls somehow get Bosh, or another big man in free agency, Gibson will essentially be worthless when it comes to fantasy basketball.
Overall, he is having a solid rookie season.
John Salmons (per game)—12.8 PPG, 2.4 AST, 3.4 REB, 41.7 FG%, 78.6 FT%, 1.26 STL, .44 BLK, 1.4 3PM, 1.36 TO
Salmons was supposed to replace Ben Gordon for the Bulls, which led to a lot of fantasy speculation. He was given the chance to take over for Gordon, but completely flopped.
Salmons lost his starting job, and is shooting terribly from the field—all while not being the outside threat the Bulls and fantasy owners were hoping for.
There really is no reason to keep Salmons on your team, as he is easily replaceable. The only upside to his value would be if Kirk Hinrich were to be traded before the deadline.