From a distance, and even in many ways from up close, it appears that the Chicago Bulls are closing up shop for the season and starting to look at their future.
Joakim Noah has foot issues that could have him shut down for most, if not all, of the remaining regular season games.
Luol Deng is also taking some time off to rest bad knees and, now, a strained calf.
Taj Gibson , the Bulls’ surprising rookie power forward who has played well this year, is also suffering from foot issues and, despite playing through pain, could miss action moving forward.
Kirk Hinrich has dealt with sprained ankles lately, at one point rolling both ankles in the same game.
Is there anyone left to play for Bulls’ coach Vinny Del Negro ?
The Bulls had lost five straight entering the Magic game that, with Rose leaving early, became an exhibition at the expense of the United Center fans. In their previous 11 games, the Bulls had only held an opponent under 100 points in two games; Chicago is allowing an average of 108 points per game in that stretch.
Making matters worse, despite leading the league in rebounding at 44.7 boards per night, over 57 percent of those rebounds come from Noah (11.4), Deng (7.3), and Gibson (7). If those three leave the lineup, there isn’t a person in uniform averaging more than six boards a night.
Can it get worse? The Bulls are averaging 97.4 points per game of offense. If the assumption is that Rose’s sprained wrist will cost him game time, Noah’s already out and Deng is questionable for every game, those three account for over 50 percent of the Bulls’ scoring this year.
If someone added water and a pool at the end, this slide might become fun to watch!
With the exception of Rose, it’s probably time to drop any Bulls on your roster. Brad Miller hasn’t picked up any statistical benefits from Noah’s missed time; Hakim Warrick has seen some marginal benefit but hasn’t seen enough playing time to put up bigger numbers.
Considering any player of fantasy relevance is hurting, it might be wise to look elsewhere for help at this point in the season. For some potential sleepers of value, check out our point guard , shooting guard , small forward , and power forward Power Rankings .