Posted by Matt Moore
The Bulls needed upgrades, they've got upgrades. Carlos Boozer is the low-post presence they've been dreaming of. Kyle Korver is the perimeter shooter they've been amiming for. Ronnie Brewer is the shutdown perimeter man they've been needing. The Bulls upgraded at all the spots they needed to. Now it's just a matter of making things work together. And that's where we begin our Preseason Primer on the Bulls.
Training camp site: Chicago, IL
Training camp starts: September 28th
Key additions: Carlos Boozer (free agency), Kyle Korver (free agency), Ronnie Brewer (free agency)
Key subtractions: Brad Miller (free agency), Kirk Hinrich (trade), Hakim Warrick (free agency)
Likely starting lineup: Derrick Rose, Kyle Korver, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah
Player to watch: Taj Gibson. Gibson played well last season with extremely limited expectations. The questions in camp will surround his ability to develop under what is considered to be a very low ceiling. Gibson needs to expand his offensive repertoire and improve on the glass.
Chemistry quiz: Derrick Rose lead by example last season; he'll have to be vocal in that leadership this season. Seeing if Carlos Boozer can defer to a player as young as Rose is also a question. Then there's the looming question of the impact of the prospective trade for Carmelo Anthony. The last time the Bulls were discussing trading for a superstar, that player went on to win two (and possibly more) titles and the Bulls imploded. Should be fun to watch.
Camp battles: Backup shooting guard is going to be one to sort out, with Ronnie Brewer the defensive stopper and C.J. Watson the scoring type. Seeing who's going to be the primary rebounder between Noah and Boozer should be a good one to watch as well.
Injury issues: The Bulls seem awfully healthy going into camp.
Biggest strength: Defense. They have a defensive whiz in Tom Thibodeau taking over. Boozer can defend, in certain situations. Rose is improving. Brewer is a lockdown guy. Noah is a stopper. They have all the ability in the world to get stops, if they can communicate with one another.
Glaring weakness: Elitism. Derrick Rose is a divisive figure in terms of where he ranks among the top point guards. Carlos Boozer is a divisive figure in terms of where he ranks among the top power forwards. Joakim Noah is a divisive figure in terms of where he ranks among the top centers. If they want to compete with the Celtics and Heat, they have to be at the top of those lists.