Chicago Bulls 2011 Draft Review: Help Coming Now and Later
Sorry Bull fans—the team did not draft a backcourt scorer to go along with Derrick Rose.
Nor did they trade for a veteran shooting guard.
What the Bulls front office did accomplish tonight is something that this regime has done for years now: draft basketball players, plain and simple.
Here are five things we learned tonight on the Bulls thought process for this draft, as well as the team’s future going forward.
The Contender Building Plan
The front office stayed true to what they know, drafting good basketball players from competitive programs.
These players may not have flash or style, but they do play with a lot of heart and understand the game of basketball. Think of it as the limited risk/reward plan.
It has been something the Bulls have been doing since John Paxson drafted Kirk Hinrich from Kansas in 2003, and Ben Gordon from Connecticut in 2004.
That is where Jimmy Butler comes in, whom the Bulls selected with the 30th pick out of Marquette.
So who is Jimmy Butler and what can he do to help the Chicago Bulls next year?
To put it simple, he is everything the Bulls already are.
What does that mean?
He plays good defense, rebounds, and plays with a lot of heart and confidence.
He does not have three point range but can knock down mid-range shots, and create on his own a little bit.
While most people would not encourage anyone calling out LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, in his first radio interview on a local Chicago station he did just that by saying he is ready to guard either of them come playoff time next year.
Love him yet, Chicago?
Salary Cap Concerns
Like most teams, the Bulls seem to be worried about whether the new CBA will force teams to adjust to a new salary structure.
Derrick Rose will be owed a max contract soon, whatever the max will be when the deal is done.
If Jimmy Butler was the pick to help now, Nikola Mirotic is definitely the player to help later. The Bulls acquired him in a draft night trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He will be playing overseas for the next three or four years, finishing out his contract with Real Madrid.
That will leave the Bulls with some salary cap space until then.
The Bulls did trade up in the draft, sending picks No. 28 and No. 43 for the rights to Mirotic, who the Timberwolves selected at pick No. 23.
While he is some time away from playing in the NBA because of his contract situation overseas, some analysts seemed to believe that he would of likely been a lottery pick if not for the contract complications.
While he is only 20 years old, he is already playing in one of the best leagues overseas.
Mirotic seems to be a very crafty scorer offensively that can shoot, as well as put the ball on the floor to get to the rim.
He will need to add strength to his body to play in the NBA.
He may be years away from playing with the Bulls, but it seems as if once the contracts of Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng expire, they will have a player waiting in the wings to step in at one of the forward spots.
Shooting Guard, Help Please?
While all Bull fans wanted an answer to the problems at shooting guard, the team did not find an answer in this draft.
The Bulls seem ready to attack the problem via free agency or through trade, but they will have to wait until a new CBA is agreed upon in order to do that.