Chicago Bulls: Ranking Each Player in Rotation Based on Offensive Capability
Despite an expected and likely season-killing lockout, we basketball fans are just too excited for the new season to start.
While the Chicago Bulls have been expected to make some sort of move to acquire a shooting guard since the start of last season, no trade has been made.
As a result, the lineup and rotation has remained the same.
Therefore, here is a list of each player in the rotation based on offensive capability.
10. Omer Asik
I hate to throw Asik under the bus here as the worst offensive player in the rotation since he is one of my favorite players, but there is no doubt that he is weakest offensive player.
Asik has some talent, certainly. But all of his talent is defensively based.
The Bulls brought in Asik through the draft to do one thing. If you just look at the picture, Asik's one role is to block shots.
That being said, Asik is young and has been referred to as the hardest-working Bull by Derrick Rose.
It's possible he could develop some offensive talent and average 5-7 points a game.
9. Jimmy Butler
Okay, before you jump all over my back about Tom Thibodeau's not playing rookies, here me out.
Jimmy Butler is a big guard who will receive minutes due to his defense and ability to spell Luol Deng at the 3.
He definitely will be an important part of the Bulls; as soon as he was drafted, Butler came out and said he was planning on locking down Lebron James and Dwyane Wade.
What more could you want?
That being said, Butler isn't the best scorer and likely will have one of the lowest scoring averages of a player in the rotation next season.
8. Keith Bogans
Keith Bogans was an interesting player this season, for sure.
7. Kyle Korver
Kyle Korver is an extremely important player for the Bulls. Every championship team needs to have a great three-point shooter, and Korver fits the bill.
The Bulls certainly won't win a championship without Korver on the roster. No matter how good the Bulls are, there will be games during the season that the Bulls are trailing late in the fourth quarter. That's when Korver earns his salary.
But other than clutch shooting at the end of games, what else can Korver do on offense? Or defense for that matter?
As a result, he is low on the list.
6. Ronnie Brewer
If you have read some of my other articles, I've mentioned what a big fan I am of Ronnie Brewer.
He has a certain skill set that can lead to a decent PPG average, and, if a starter, could chip in 10 points a game.
While he is not the best shooter, Brewer definitely showed some improvement with long-range shooting during the playoffs. Although he won't be a go-to player for his jump shot, Brewer could make a couple open shots here and there.
Brewer's offense also comes from his defense. As a lockdown defender, Brewer can steal the ball almost at will and thus score on fast breaks. Brewer can also find the ball down on the baseline for a close-up finish.
As a result, he comes in on this list above Kyle Korver.
5. CJ Watson
This placement might be a little higher than most would put CJ Watson, but he does have skills that no one lower on the list has. As a result, I put CJ as one of the Bulls top five scorers.
Granted, CJ came to the Bulls from Golden State's chuck-a-random-half-court-shot-and-hope-it-goes-in offense, so it took him a couple months to work effectively within Tom Thibodeau's offense and even longer before he started playing like a point guard.
In terms of scoring, Watson has skills that make him a vital player on the team.
One of these is three-point shooting. When the Bulls desperately needed some scoring from downtown, Thibodeau briefly would run a lineup of Rose, Watson, Korver at the 3, and Deng at the 4. For being included in this quick-score offense, some credit has to be given to CJ and his offensive ability.
Watson can also score inside the arc through several different methods.
The only game he started all year, when Derrick Rose was troubled by neck pains, Watson went for over 30 points. Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, and Watson are the only Bulls players who realistically could get 30 in one night. Since Watson is on this list, his offensive ability has to be admired.
CJ also showed some flashes of true point-guard ability later in the season with crisp and accurate passes to open teammates.
Since CJ is good for a few assists a night next year and has scoring potential, his offensive game is ranked highly in this list.
4. Joakim Noah
It was tempting to put Joakim Noah above the next person on this list, but his constant injuries prevented me from doing so.
Noah has some scoring ability that isn't appreciated. Before his injury, Noah was averaging 16 points a game.
When Noah returned from injury, he wasn't playing effectively and had lost his confidence. His placement on this list and the analysis on this page are done based on his play before his injuries this year.
Joakim showed a decent set of post moves this year before his injury. He definitely wasn't a great scorer, but he had the ability to use back-to-the-basket moves to score at times.
With the expected extended lockout, Noah will have plenty of time to practice these post moves.
Noah is also a great offensive rebounder, good for a couple a game. And, when Noah gets an offensive board, he already has beaten the other team to get good position. As a result, he almost always scores.
Noah also has the ability to knock down jumpers out to the free-throw line. As with his post game, he lost his confidence with his shooting after the injury.
Again, with the lockout, Noah will come back with his confidence whenever the season starts up again.
3. Carlos Boozer
Boozer will be high on this list only until next season starts. I am convinced that this past year was the best he will ever have in a Bulls uniform and that next season he will be disappointing.
Until then, Boozer is a valuable player.
As a low-post threat, Boozer is invaluable when he can get going. His abilities to back opponents down and knock down distance jumpers can be difference makers in playoff games.
Of course, Boozer only plays well once in a blue moon, so he is here on the list due to his potential to play well, not because he regularly does so.
2. Luol Deng
Luol Deng is such a quality player that has had a hard rap in his career. Deng really did not fit in well with VDN's offense, but he is a perfect player under Tom Thibodeau.
Deng can score in a variety of ways, including by hitting deep jumpers and driving to the hoop. Deng has scored in pretty much every way possible for the Bulls, except maybe by backing opponents down.
Deng's different arsenal of ways to score and efficiency in doing so are why he comes in at No. 2 on this list.
1. Derrick Rose
What more can be said about how great Derrick Rose is? He has done things that no one else has ever done in such a short time.
Rose just might become one of the greatest point guards to ever play the game by the end of his career.
Rose's offensive staple is his speed. Derrick will always be able to run past every defender on the court and score at the hoop with crazy, off-balance layups and floaters.
With the lockout coming up, Rose will have plenty of time to work on his jumper and three-point shooting as he has done in the past.
D-Rose can easily be a 40-percent three-point shooter next season. This, coupled with his speed and his shooting, means that Rose could lead the league in scoring at some point in his career.
Rose is also a phenomenal passer and can put up assist numbers with the best of them. There is no reason his assist numbers won't go up again. Tom Thibodeau helped Rose become a much better passer in year one. Expect a huge improvement in year two as well.
Driving, shooting, assists—is there anything Derrick Rose can't do?