#1 Derrick Rose: This was pretty obvious despite Rose missing the entire season, which I am not bitter about. Once Rose returns he may not be the same player driving inside but his jump shot was really underrated before the injury and he could turn his quickness and dribbling ability into a +20ppg season when he returns, he could also add a few more assists. I definitely see Derrick Rose not only returning, but also becoming a better player all together.
Will Rose be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? I don't think this should even be a question honestly, but just to answer this question adequately, yes.
#2 Joakim Noah: Noah is one of the most underrated star players in the league, he was once again cheated out of the defensive player of the year award and barely made the first all-defensive team. Marc Gasol is most certainly worthy of this award but without Joakim Noah the Bulls defense is deprived of all stability inside the paint, and even outside. Without Marc Gasol I don't think the Grizzlies would have as much problems with Zach Randolph and Ed Davis there. But to state the obvious, Joakim Noah is most definitely the Bulls second best player and I am a little weary of saying "second" because Noah could possibly be the best player on this team, especially after seeing what he did this year.
Will Noah be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? Noah is one of the most underrated centers in the league, you could possibly put him in the discussion of being in the top three best centers in the NBA. The odds of Noah being traded is very little, so will he be back? Yes.
#3 Luol Deng: Deng is not the most athletic player out there, that is pretty obvious. He is a few milliseconds away from being as athletic as Dirk Nowitzki. Of course I am over exaggerating the whole athleticism thing, and Deng is still the Bulls third best player. He is one of the very few that can stay in front of Carmelo Anthony as well as LeBron James. His defensive ability and his ability to hit the 3pt shot consistently is what made Deng the sixth-highest paid SF in the National Basketball Association.
Will Deng be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? It wouldn't surprise me if the Bulls traded him considering he is in his contract year, although there are very few teams willing to trade for Deng. While one of them being the Bulls rival, Cleveland Cavaliers. Overall, the odds say that Deng will be back next year.
#4 Carlos Boozer: This #4 spot was split between Boozer and Taj; Taj would have been my decision last year but Taj had taken a step back this season (I will explain in #5). Boozer has impressed me, Boozer finally stepped up in the playoffs and did not disappear when the Bulls needed him the most. Unfortunately he decided to step up during a season that was supposed to be a scrub of a year (technically speaking). But just to mention, Boozer still makes those little idiotic mistakes that could possibly cost them the game.
Will Boozer be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? Most likely, the only way Boozer would not return is if the Bulls had the hots for a certain player in free agency and decided to either amnesty him or trade him for a cheaper player or 2nd round pick to a team with some extra cap space. His offense and durability alone will be enough to entice teams.
#5 Taj Gibson: Like I said in Boozer's paragraph, Taj took a pretty big step back this season. Taj really shined with a fresh seven footer playing next to him last year. Asik has obviously showed what type of player he is over in Houston and showed what he can do for the rest of his team. With the next best option being Nazr, Taj will not be the same player as before. Especially since the only other options are playing next to a tired Joakim Noah, a inefficient-Boozer and a creepy PF that stays behind the arc 90% of the time. Sorry Taj, I hope the Bulls front office can find you another buddy this off-season.
Will Taj be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? The odds say, Taj will be back. But like I said in the Boozer paragraph, if the Bulls have the hots for a certain player in free agency Taj could be traded (no crap offer in this case though). Of course the Bulls front office would have to decide between Boozer and Taj with Boozer making $15.3 million and Taj making $8 million next year. Although I don't see the Bulls letting Taj go after just resigning him.
#6 Jimmy Butler: Butler is the Bulls future, of course Nikola Mirotic is missing from this article so everyone is not quiet here yet. But Butler has shown all-around improvements, whether you are talking about his jump shot consistency or his ability to intercept a pass on defense. Butler has the possibility of becoming an even better SF than Luol Deng especially since he has the ability to pick the brains of he and Joakim Noah. Overall, you know someone is going to be special when they can stay in front of both Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James when their only twenty-three years old.
Will Butler be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? This is almost certain, there are very cases where Butler could even be traded.
#7 Nate Robinson: The guy can make you yell at the top of your lungs in pleasure and in disbelief all in five seconds of time. He has a little Michael Jordan coursing through his veins as well as a little Carlos Boozer. He may not always be there for you but then again how many guys can spontaneously just make fourteen points in one quarter off the bench?
Will Robinson be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? You know Robinson would love to be back but he will likely want a longer contract along with a bigger asking price than the $1.14 million he made this year. I am guessing more like a 3yr/$12 million contract.
#8 Kirk Hinrich Kirk had shown why he is worth a 2yr/$8 million contract, if he could stay healthy he could be a great PG/SG. But that is the problem, durability is a huge question mark for him. Kirk may not have the explosiveness of Nate or the shooting ability of Belinelli but he has the leadership and defensive ability to still contribute to a team.
Will Hinrich be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? A quality offseason will be huge for Hinrich and if he can take this brief opportunity to rest and get back to 100% (or at least nearly) he will be huge for the Bulls. Overall, even if the Bulls wanted to it would tough to trade Hinrich due to his $4 million contract. So yes, Hinrich will be back next year.
#9 Marco Belinelli Belinelli was huge for the Bulls, between playing in the clutch and playing stable defense, Belinelli possibly has the most underrated on-ball defense in the league. His ability to stay in-front of players is pretty remarkable considering how little his defense is mentioned and how non-athletic he seems. The person to blame for this is Thibs, well at least partially. Seeing what he did with Korver (who was believed to be the worst defensive player back in his 6ers-Jazz days) it shouldn't surprise anyone what he could do with Belinelli.
Will Belinelli be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? This one is the toughest out of all the Bulls players, no matter how great Belinelli has been the Bulls have been notorious for allowing productive players walk (I.e. Omer Asik, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer). Overall, it will depend on who the Bulls will pursue. If the Bulls want Butler starting at SG then Belinelli will be resigned but if they pursue a guy like OJ Mayo then Belinelli will likely be given his walking papers.
#10 Marquis Teague: Teague has shown great potential, he has John Wall quickness and Kirk Hinrich defensive ability. Along with that Teague was able to perform in the clutch against the Nets back in December which allowed Bellineli to hit a game winning lay-up. Just the fact that he just turned twenty years old shows how great of a choice that the Bulls made picking Teague with the twenty-ninth overall pick last year.
Will Teague be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? He will have to fight with Hinrich and Rose to find some minutes but yes, he will be back next year.
#11 Richard "Rip" Hamilton This was a depressing year for Rip to say the least, his inability to get onto the floor was really tough due to Butler and Belinelli. Along with that, when he was on the court he struggled with shots that he normally mastered. Rips defense also went from terrible to unbelievably terrible, which is the biggest reason why Rip sat out almost all of the playoffs.
Will Hamilton be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? No, just no.
#12 Nazr Mohammad Mohammad is in no way a role player but when he came in he grabbed a few necessary rebounds and scored a few points in the paint. He was also a great addition to the locker room.
Will Mohammad be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? The only reason Nazr will be back is for some extra experience in the locker room. Nazr may even retire this offseason if no one offers him a contract. I honestly would say he retires.
#13 Daequan Cook Cook never really found a groove, he was never really given any quality minutes to find his shot. His defense was also off all season and to end his season LeBron James walked all over him when Cook tried to cover him.
Will Cook be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? Just like last season there will be no room for Cook to be a consistent role player for the Bulls, Cook would be better off moving on to another team. So no.
#14 Malcolm Thomas Thomas was lucky to play more than a few seconds during a game, he never really even struggled at any point while he was on the court. But he didn't excel at anything either.
Will Thomas be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? The Bulls would be better off moving on and leaving a spot open for an undrafted rookie next year.
#15 Vladimir Radmanovic I am much more intrigued by Vlad's hair style than his attributes, through most of the regular season Vlad looked like a creepy Russian spy but in the post season he looked like a Yugoslavian-Justin Bieber with a beard. But about his game, he shot .185% from behind the arc. He also played a total of 144 minutes in 25 games. With all of that together you should see where I am going with this.
Will Radmanovic be back for the 2013 - 2014 NBA season? If Vlad would even be on a roster next year it would be fairly surprising to me. Overall, Vlad will most likely retire this offseason.
This season was crazy and next year shouldn't be any different, just like last season it will be another year waiting for Nikola Mirotic to fly over to play for the Bulls and waiting for Rose to get back to scoring at least +20ppg once again. But it should still be an interesting season especially considering how determined Thibs and co. are.
Thanks for reading and be sure to comment below to have your say!