Written by Paul Banks of the Chicago 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: 42-40)
2016-17 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Pau Gasol/Cristiano Felicio
PF: Taj Gibson/Nikola Mirotic/Bobby Portis/Cameron Bairstow
SF: Mike Dunleavy/Doug McDermott
SG: Jimmy Butler/Tony Snell/Justin Holliday
PG: Derrick Rose
NBA Free Agents:
PF-Pau Gasol (PO)
C-Joakim Noah (UFA)
PG-Aaron Brooks (UFA)
G-E'Twaun Moore (UFA)
2015-16 Team Salary: Approximately $73.5 million
NBA Offseason Team Needs:
With Gasol only scheduled to make $8 million next season, he is expected to opt out of his contract with the Bulls and pursue a long-term deal. Turning 36 years old this summer, Chicago might be better off passing on bringing Gasol back and looking elsewhere to find a big man. Add in the fact that Joakim Noah is a free agent and unlikely to return to the Bulls, and Chicago needs to key in on adding a starting big man for next year.
2. Backup Point Guard:
Aaron Brooks is a free agent, so that leaves Chicago without a backup to Derrick Rose. Expect the Bulls scour the free agent market to find an affordable upgrade from Brooks with the potential of Brooks returning as a Plan B option. The Bulls could also look to snag a point guard when they select 14th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.
The Bulls' bench is fairly void of someone who can create his offense or drive to the basket. Guys like McDemott, Snell, and Mirotic are more spotup shooters who rely on others to get them the basketball in the right spots. Finding a better backup point guard would help, but so could finding a slashing wing who can get to the rim.
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