2015 Chicago Bulls

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Chicago Bulls (Last Year: 50-32)

2015-16 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Joakim Noah

PF: Pau Gasol/Taj Gibson

SF: Nikola Mirotic/Doug McDermott

SG: *Jimmy Butler/Tony Snell

PG: Derrick Rose/^Kirk Hinrich

NBA Free Agents:

*SG-Jimmy Butler (RFA)

^PG-Kirk Hinrich (PO)

SF-Mike Dunleavy (UFA)

PG-Aaron Brooks (UFA)

C-Nazr Mohammed (UFA)

2015-16 Team Salary: Approximately $61.8 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Lock-up Butler: Jimmy Butler is about to get PAID. The former Marquette standout turned down an extension offer from the Bulls last offseason, and it was a brilliant move since he is coming off a career year. Butler should be coveted by most teams looking for a young star on both ends of the floor. Chicago holds the upper hand though since they have the ability to match any offer sheet Butler signs this summer. It will likely cost Chicago a max deal, which would jeopardize the team’s luxury-tax situation in the future, but it would be well worth the investment. Butler could also bet on himself once again and become an unrestricted free agent next offseason when the salary cap is expected to drastically increase.

2. Backup Point Guard: With Derrick Rose’s ongoing injury issues, the Bulls need to find a more than capable backup point guard since Aaron Brooks is a free agent and Kirk Hinrich is nothing more than a role player at this point of his career. If Brooks is not re-signed, a replacement must come at a bargain since Chicago doesn’t have much flexibility in free agency.

3. A Shooter: With Mike Dunleavy a free agent, the Bulls should be looking to add another shooter in case the former Dukie signs elsewhere. Doug McDermott could help fill that void, and Nikola Mirotic should step into a bigger role, but finding another shooter, especially with Fred Hoiberg now calling the shots, is a must.

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