The word from today's practice, a day before the final preseason game:
Hoiberg said there's a "pretty good chance" Opening Night starters are Gasol, Mirotic, Snell, Butler and Rose/Hinrich.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 22, 2015
The big news, obviously, is that Joakim Noah is moving to the bench to make way for Mirotic. This was the lineup for the last preseason game, and something rumored to be occurring since Hoiberg was hired, given his proclivity for three-point shooting.
It's a potentially dreadful defensive frontcourt, and the clear balance in terms of skillset would be to pair Mirotic with Noah (and/or Gasol with Taj Gibson). But it's reading like Hoiberg values the experience Gasol and Mirotic have as a tandem in their overseas play, with of course Noah and Taj having lots of experience being the closing tandem for Thibodeau's teams.
There's also of course the question of how it affects Noah and the general locker room influence overall. He's saying the right things now but it's early, what happens if this doesn't work out? Noah is entering a contract year (as is Gasol, more-or-less) and may not like seeing his value diminished in limited bench time. I wouldn't put it past the Bulls to have that be part of their plan, making it 'easier' to say goodbye to him in the offseason. That last bit is somewhat cynical, but hey: they did say they'll be working with the coaching together a lot more!
The other stuff today with Rose is, per usual, quite strange. Rose has done 'a little' contact in practice and Hoiberg said he could play in the preseason finale tomorrow. Rose himself agrees, saying he figures to play unless his condition worsens. BUT, his current condition includes still experiencing double-vision, so what the hell?
And you'll notice that the potential opening night replacement for Rose is Kirk Hinrich. Because it was always going to be.