LY W-L: 43-37
Key Additions: Mike Dunleavy, Jr.
Key Departures: Richard Hamilton, Nate Robinson
Analysis: Despite a slew of injuries, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA playoffs before falling to the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat a round later. Since the loss, the 2010-11 league MVP, point guard Derrick Rose, has told reporters he is 100% healthy. Rose averaged 21.0 points, 6.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game over his first four NBA seasons, but tore his ACL during the 2012 playoffs, costing him the entire 2012-13 season.
With Rose back in the fold, the Bulls look like a contender. They have talked contract extension with Luol Deng and after several rumors, look like they won’t trade him. With All-Star Joakim Noah healthy at center and Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson complimenting him up front, the Bulls have one of the best front courts in the league. Throw a developing Jimmy Butler into the mix and this is a team that will clearly challenge the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat.
The Bulls also return Kirk Hinrich, Nazr Mohammed, Marquis Teague and Malcolm Thomas. and added New Mexico swingman Tony Snell with the 20th overall pick in the draft. Plus, they signed Dunleavy, who should provide solid shooting off of the bench.
(Projected) 2013-14 W-L: 57-25
With Rose and Noah healthy, the Bulls should be a legitimate contender and will challenge for a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals.
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