They're not fully posted yet, but Hollinger and Chad Ford have come out with their latest future power rankings. For those of you who don't have insider:
The Future Power Rankings are ESPN Insider's projection of each team's on-the-court success during the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.
Consider this a convenient way to see in what direction your favorite team is headed.
Each of the NBA's 30 teams received an overall Future Power Rating of 0 to 1,000 based on how well we expected each team to perform in the three seasons after the coming season. To determine the Future Power Rating, we rated each team in five categories. (See table at right.)
As you can see, we determined that the most important category was a team's current players and the future potential of those players. That category accounted for 40 percent of each team's overall Future Power Rating.
At the same time, we looked at many other factors such as management, ownership, coaching, a team's spending habits, its cap situation, the reputation of the city and the franchise, and what kind of draft picks we expected the team to have in the future.
Now, the Bulls placement on this list is unknown so far, as ESPN's only posted teams 21-30. However, aside from the fact that Hollinger/Ford don't think we completely suck, there is some good news. The team ranked 30th out of 30 is none other than the Michael Jordan-owned Charlotte Bobcats, whose 1st round draft pick conveniently belongs to us. Apparently, it's not even close:
In fact, Charlotte not only came in last in our ratings, it also achieved barely half the score of the No. 29 Timberwolves. (How's that for a slogan: "Our future is twice as bleak as Minnesota's!")
Now obviously ESPN's methodology is far from conclusive, and there's surely some degree of protection on the draft pick, but it's still pretty awesome to think that we could somehow end up adding an elite young talent (or at least a very valuable trade asset) to this already very good team in a few years.
Other teams ranked, for those who care, but don't care enough to get insider:
21. Golden State
23. New Orleans
The Bulls didn't get LeBron, Wade or Bosh, but they still made a major move up our rankings.
Some of their rise comes from our belief that young players Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah will continue to blossom in Chicago. But a lot of it has to do with three pieces they added this summer: Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer.
Boozer especially looks to be a terrific fit for Chicago. The Bulls have desperately needed a low-post scorer since trading away Elton Brand nine years ago, and Boozer should command a double-team in the paint. Korver is also a godsend, as he joins a team with almost no other outside shooting.
Chicago gets a slight bump in its management rating, too, for hiring new coach Tom Thibodeau. While it's too early to project what sort of success he'll have as a head coach, Thibodeau, a former Boston assistant, was a critical part of the Celtics' success the past few years and is widely regarded as the best defensive coach in the league. Vinny Del Negro was a better coach than he got credit for, but Thibodeau brings a lot to the table that Del Negro just didn't have.
On the downside, the Bulls had to give up Tyrus Thomas, Kirk Hinrich and the No. 17 pick in the draft to get all of that cap space this summer. Thomas, a recent lottery pick, showed enormous potential but was inconsistent and never won the confidence of his coaches. Hinrich, on the other hand, was a veteran anchor who will be missed.