Finished 41-41, second in the Central Division, seventh in the Eastern Conference
First Round: Lost to Boston Celtics 4-3
James Johnson via draft, Taj Gibson via draft, Jannero Pargo via free agency
Ben Gordon via free agency
You would think the loss of your leading scorer would completely dismantle your team, right? Not in the case of the Chicago Bulls. Thanks to a future all-star and having another star come off of injury, the Bulls are ready once again to make another push into the playoffs.
This off season the Bulls lost their sixth man in Ben Gordon. Even though he came off the bench most of his career with Chicago, his shooting touch and scoring flurries were pure fire and it would usually be his hot shooting that would lead the team to victory.
But those days are gone now and Gordon will be bringing his scoring outbursts to the city of Detroit where he was signed as a free agent.
Even without Gordon though, the Bulls do have a lot of young talent that it can rely on to carry it to the postseason. With point guard Derrick Rose at the helm, this team has a bright future to look forward to. In his first season, he averaged 17 points and six assists per game and took away rookie of the year honors.
There is one game though that Rose will be most remembered for and that was his game one performance against the Boston Celtics. In one of the most storied postseason series in NBA history, Rose joined the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar by scoring 36 points in his first playoff game. While the Bulls would eventually lose the series, Rose emerged as one of the premiere young talent's of the league and a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
The team will also be very happy to welcome a healthy Luol Deng back to the starting lineup. Deng suffered a leg injury halfway through the season and was forced to sit out the last 33 games of the regular season and the postseason. It is obvious that the young forward is committed to the Bulls after he rejected an opportunity to play for the British national team over the summer. Luol has averaged 15 points and six rebounds with his tenure for the Bulls.
Trade rumors circulated around young, high flying forward Tyrus Thomas over the off season, but all the deals fell through and the Bulls can now look forward to having Thomas as it's starting power forward again. Thomas is not known for his shooting and needs to drastically improve if he wants to be taken seriously on offense. It is his defense though that keeps him as a starter. He currently averages a little under two blocks and one steal per game.
The Bulls cannot guarantee success in the draft yet, but it does appear they made the right moves to get James Johnson and Taj Gibson. Johnson is a mismatch for most of his opponents and has an excellent shooting touch and could become a solid backup for Deng or even a starter if injuries continue to force him to the bench.
Gibson is another forward and his rebounding specialty is huge for the team, but his undersized frame could become a problem in the future.
This Bulls team is heralded by young talent that could prove itself in the long run and judging by the recent playoff series against the Boston Celtics, it is ready to compete with the powerhouses of the league as well. The seven game series with the then number two seed Celtics was headlined by six down to the wire games that revealed the true talent this team has.
Losing Ben Gordon is a huge loss for the team and it might take a few years for it to gain another scorer like him, but the city of Chicago has a lot to look forward to if players like Derrick Rose only improve with experience.The future is bright for the Bulls and in a few years time, they will become the future of the NBA.
Projected Starting Lineup
This is part four of a thirty day series of 2009-'10 season previews of each NBA team. My profile will contain every other team that has been previewed before.