It has been pretty quiet on the Bulls front as we wait for the schedule to be unveiled tonight and perhaps another signing to round out the roster.
The Bulls are still in the market for a big man, although there hasn't been much chatter about the possibilities still out there. Antawn Jamison's name has been linked to the Bulls, and while he would provide a bit more shooting as a stretch 4, he's not exactly the backup center we've been hoping for.
Cole Aldrich is still available, as is Jason Collins, while another possible option could be Hamed Haddadi. The 28-year-old has played sparingly over his five-year NBA career, but he is 7-2 and is currently playing extremely well for Iran in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship. My only qualm with signing Haddadi would be having to listen to Funk butcher his name.
CSN Chicago's Aggrey Sam had some thoughts on the big man situation last week:
At this point, with presumed free-agent targets Marcus Camby and DeJuan Blair off the board, the Bulls' roster is virtually set in stone, with any potentially impactful big-man additions a more fleeting possibility.
A training-camp audition for a role behind both All-Star center Joakim Noah and re-signed veteran Nazr Mohammed - the narrative about the latter moving into more of an "emergency," fifth post player spot is now inaccurate until a proven, younger signee with a somewhat reliable and more productive recent track record enters the mix - seems likely, which wouldn't rule out the return of Malcolm Thomas, who was waived last week.
At this rate, it honestly wouldn't surprise me if Thomas did return and re-signed as the 13th man on the roster. We'll see.
With not much going on, usually this is the time when internet peeps start coming out with offseason grades, power rankings and projections for next year. While none of these things really mean anything, I often find it to be entertaining fodder for discussion. So we're going to look at some of the stuff that has been put out there in the last week or so.
- First, some offseason grades/rankings. Both ESPN's Chad Ford (INSIDER) and NBA.com's David Aldridge weren't all that impressed with what the Bulls did this summer. Ford gave the Bulls a C because they didn't do enough to "move the needle." I guess that's somewhat true, although I think the Mike Dunleavy signing warrants at least a B- grade. I would certainly dock the Bulls for how the backup center situation has played out thus far, but not harshly enough to warrant a flat C grade. As for Aldridge, he ranked the Bulls as having the 22nd best offseason in the league. He doesn't really say anything bad about what the Bulls did, but he does say the Pacers have caught and passed them. I've said in this space several times that I believe a healthy Bulls team is still better than the Pacers, but Indiana is going to be quite formidable no matter what, and even more so if Danny Granger stays healthy (way bigger ? than Rose staying healthy, in my humble opinion).
- Next, some power rankings. 22 SB Nation team bloggers cast their votes, and the Bulls came in sixth with an average ranking of 6.2. The highest ranking was No. 4 and the lowest ranking was No. 9. I'd say the No. 6 spot is pretty fair, although I personally would have them a bit higher, perhaps as high as No. 3 behind the Heat and Thunder. Then there were these hilarious rankings from Chris Sheridan over at Sheridan Hoops. He has the Bulls at No. 10 (behind the Knicks), while his Bulls blurb says Adidas should have fired Derrick Rose for what happened last year and that the team was dumb for not getting Pau Gasol. Never mind the fact that the deal that Sheridan was pushing for last season wasn't legal in the slightest (Taj, Mirotic and Bobcats pick).
- And finally, ESPN's Bradford Doolittle (INSIDER) has been projecting the top players at each position for the upcoming season based on WARP (Wins Above Replacement Player). I already posted a FanShot for the point guard rankings that had Rose at No. 7, but since then, the shooting guard and small forward rankings have been posted. There was no Jimmy Butler to be found on either ranking, and Luol Deng was at No. 13 for small forwards (behind Matt Barnes, so a minor victory for the dude who insisted that Barnes is as good or better than Deng). So yeah, the Bulls have gotten shit on pretty hard in these projections. Keep an eye out for the power forward and center ones in the next few days. Almost expecting Joakim Noah not to show up in the top 10 for centers.