Ranking players is hard.
Sure, some guys fit nice and neatly into a spot but with a team as deep as the Chicago Bulls, it is tough.
Last season, coach Tom Thibodeau had the benefit of using a 10 man rotation. He had an all-star and the league MVP as well as three other all-star caliber players. Also, let's not forget the all important "bench mob."
I took into account the 11 players that are under contract or will be under contract for the upcoming season whenever it starts. Like I said, some were very obvious while others it could be a coin toss but perhaps a certain skill or situation pushed one player ahead of another.
Now I will say this, if General Manager Gar Foreman adds a legit shooting guard like OJ Mayo, Jason Richardson or Rip Hamilton, then a lot of guys on this list might be sliding way down in the rankings.
The Bulls were wheeling and dealing on draft day, making two selections in the first round with the second being Jimmy Butler.
Once the season starts, Butler might stay ranked right here or he could possibly sky rocket up the rankings. He may find himself sitting at the end of the bench, sometimes not even dressing or could be the main backup to Luol Deng.
Butler's role with the team will depend on the health of the starters and who might be added in free agency.
Keith Bogans started every game for the Bulls last season at shooting guard.
I feel pretty safe in saying it won't happen again. Bogans didn't play starting minutes, so his playing time may not change. It will be much easier to tolerate his four points again coming off the bench rather then starting.
If Gar Foreman is able to upgrade the shooting guard spot, Bogans might be in the same boat as Jimmy Butler where he might not dress for some games. I know a lot of fans who would be very happy with that.
I like CJ Watson.
He is a good, solid point guard but when you are backing up the best player, your minutes will be limited. Watson could be higher on this list considering he is the only other point guard on the roster besides Rose, but based on his minutes, it is hard to put him higher.
However, if something were to happen to Rose, Watson's stock will skyrocket.
Finding a spot for Omer Asik was the hardest part of this ranking.
Some argue that he is better then Joakim Noah but either way, there is no denying his talent and potential. Asik has double-double potential as he showed in the FIBA European championships.
With a season under his belt, it will be interesting to see how coach Thibodeau uses Asik since he gained more faith in him as the season went on based on his playing time. If anything were to happen to Carlos Boozer or Joakim Noah, it could be Asik stepping in and not Taj Gibson.
Ronnie Brewer is a hard player to rank because his role on the team could be very much affected by free agency. His role can also be affected by rookie Jimmy Butler.
When Brewer was signed last summer, it was assumed he would be the starting shooting guard alongside Rose. However, a preseason injury slowed him down and allowed Bogans to claim the job.
If Gar Foreman adds a legit starting two guard like Jason Richardson or OJ Mayo, Brewer is going to find himself fighting for minutes with a lot of players.
But what if Foreman is unable to sign a legit two guard? Well then, the job might be Brewer's and his role will be very clear.
The first three-peat had John Paxson.
The second three-peat had Steve Kerr.
If this current Bulls team is to win a championship, Kyle Korver needs to be their sharp shooter.
Korver is in a very similar position to Brewer. If a shooting guard is added to the mix, Korver, Brewer, Bogans and Butler will be fighting for minutes backing up whoever that guard is and Luol Deng.
However, the reason that Korver is ranked higher then Brewer is because he can shoot the ball like no one else on the roster.
Taj Gibson could be a starter on many teams around the league but on this team, he is the first big off the bench.
Over his first two seasons, Gibson has started a lot of games and has made a huge impact, even if it isn't shown in the box score. His play in the postseason had many fans clamoring for coach Thibodeau to bench Carlos Boozer and insert Gibson into the starting lineup.
There is an old saying that goes it doesn't matter who starts it is who finishes, or something like that, and even though Boozer might start, when the Bulls need a defensive stop at the end of the game, Gibson will be on the court.
Carlos Boozer could and maybe should be the second ranked player on this list.
However, his play last season has him behind a few guys.
Boozer was signed last summer to be a post presence and be the second option on offense. Unfortunately, due to injuries and poor defensive play, that didn't happen.
If Boozer can stay healthy and learn to play alongside Joakim Noah, he might actually reach those expectations of last summer. But if he doesn't, he might be watching Taj Gibson play a lot of minutes that should be going to him.
Like I said with Omer Asik, some people don't believe Joakim Noah is the best center on the team.
However, I am here to tell you that much like Kyle Korver, Noah has something that no one else on this team has.
Noah is the heart and soul of this team. He is their emotional leader. He is the ying to Derrick Rose's yang.
Now if he can just stay healthy, maybe he can prove to all those doubters he is the best big on the team.
Luol Deng's career so far has been a roller coaster.
He has been the third option.
He has been the star in the making.
He has been the over paid underachiever.
Now he is maybe the next Scottie Pippen.
Before everyone goes nuts, I am not saying Deng is as good as Pippen but if Rose is filling the Jordan role then Deng needs to be the Pippen. Deng is the glue to this team.
I made the comparison that Noah is the ying and Rose is the yang. Well, Deng is the line between the two. He does almost everything you ask for. He can score, defend, rebound, pass and even though he disappeared at times last season, he showed up to play every night.
Now the biggest question is are those injury plagued, underachieving days behind him or was last season just a mirage?
Really, could it have been anyone else?
Derrick Rose was the MVP of the league and at the age of 23 is a two-time all-star. He led the team in scoring and assists and no matter who Gar Foreman is able to add once the lockout ends and free agency starts, Rose is the franchise's most important player.