Bulls 2009 Draft Preview
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jun 25, 2009 2:20PM
Last year, the Bulls were sitting pretty with the top overall pick in the draft. And while some thought they should pick power forward Michael Beasley, the Bulls seem to have made the right call with their selection of point guard Derrick Rose. Not only did he take home the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy as the league's top rookie, he also helped the Bulls return to the playoffs -- where they played an epic series against Boston. As such, the Bulls avoided the draft lottery this year, and don't make their first pick in the 2009 draft until midway through the first round, at the 16th spot. The Bulls -- on account of trading Thabo Sefelosha to Oklahoma City -- also have the 26th pick. So with newly promoted GM Gar Forman running his first draft, we're interested to see what the Bulls can do to improve the team.
Of late, the Bulls have had a fleet of big men pass through the Berto Center as the Bulls try to finalize their draft board. Among those back for second visits were Ohio St. center B.J. Mullens and Pittsburgh forward DeJuan Blair. The Bulls have been on a seemingly endless quest for some inside scoring.
On the one hand, the Bulls might have some depth issues in the back court depending on how the summer unfolds. If Ben Gordon departs as a free agent, the Bulls might need some help at shooting guard. On the other hand, they might choose to trade Kirk Hinrich to free up cash to pay Gordon. In that case, the Bulls would need another point guard to back up Rose. Among the suspected targets for the Bulls are a trio of ACC guards. Sports Illustrated projects the Bulls choosing both Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington from UNC with their pair of picks, while others speculate the Bulls are trying to trade up to grab Duke's Gerald Henderson.
We suspect that the Bulls will do whatever they can to keep from selecting two rookies, and this expect some sort of trade. Already possessing a deep rotation and a team chemistry that improved vastly following the acquisition of Brad Miller and John Salmons, the Bulls don't want to shake things up too much. Nor do they want to take on two guaranteed first round contracts as they try to clear up salary cap room for next year.
Ultimately, the Bulls future isn't defendant on the Bulls moves in tonight's draft. The ability to lure one of next year's historic free agent class -- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, et al -- to town is what's likely to up the team's chances of returning to the NBA Finals.