Published June 18, 2014
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls once again endured the difficult task of playing a season without Derrick Rose, but, once again, they have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming season.
Rose is expected back for the start of the 2014-15 campaign. The Bulls are often mentioned in connection with a possible signing of prize free agent Carmelo Anthony, or even an acquisition of All-Star forward Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In order to make any kind of deal, the Bulls would have to move some things around to free up finances. Popular among those notions is exercising the amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer.
Assuming none of those moves comes to fruition, the Bulls could use help at the small-forward spot. Mike Dunleavy is moving on in terms of years and Tony Snell, last year's first-round pick, didn't develop as well as expected.
With Rose's scary injury history, a backup point guard might make sense if the Bulls elect not to bring back Kirk Hinrich, or D.J. Augustin, who turned into a life-saver for Chicago this past season.
The Bulls have two first-rounders, the 16th pick, which the Bulls acquired in a trade for the Charlotte Hornets for Tyrus Thomas, and their own three spots later.
With two picks so close together, the Bulls can look at Kentucky's James Young, Duke's Rodney Hood, Syracuse's Jerami Grant, or North Carolina's P.J. Hairston, who spent last season in the D-League.
As for backup point guards, there might not be many available in either of those two slots. Syracuse's Tyler Ennis probably won't fall to 16 and he certainly won't be there at 19. Shabazz Napier, the star of the national championship Connecticut team, might be there with the second first-round pick.
A lot of what the Bulls do will ultimately depend on what they do with Boozer and any other big moves.
Players under contract: G Derrick Rose; F Carlos Boozer; C Joakim Noah; F Taj Gibson; F Mike Dunleavy; G Tony Snell; G Jimmy Butler; F Ronnie Brewer
Free agents: G Kirk Hinrich; C Nazr Mohammed; G D.J. Augustin; G Jimmer Fredette
Recent Draft History: 2013: Tony Snell (20), Erik Murphy (49)
2012: Marquis Teague (29)
2011: Norris Cole (28), Jimmy Butler (30), Malcolm Lee (43)
2010: Kevin Seraphin (17)
2009: James Johnson (16), Taj Gibson (26)