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Team RankingPTS/GOPP PTS/G
Central Division93.7 (5th)91.8 (1st)
Eastern Conference14th1st
Mejia's Offseason Grade
The Bulls' primary goal this offseason was to hang on to their parts, including head coach Scott Skiles, who they came dangerously close to losing. Tyson Chandler, Chris Duhon and Jannero Pargo will return, but trading Eddy Curry to New York means Michael Sweetney will need to fill an important frontcourt role. Grade: B+.
 
Key Players
Kirk Hinrich: Hinrich is the Bulls' top returning scorer, but he may give way to others this season.
Ben Gordon: Gordon averaged about 15 points in 24 minutes per game. Look for him to increase that total this season.
 
Role Playing
Michael Sweetney, Forward
Big Rig: Although he spent most of the preseason in the starting lineup, Scott Skiles made a late switch to Darius Songaila for the final couple of games, suggesting the New York Knicks import might return to a customary reserve role. Regardless of how he's ultimately utilized, expect the brawny young forward to get significant minutes as he potentially emerges as Chicago's top post threat.
Andres Nocioni, Forward
Reckless abandon: It didn't take long for the Argentinean to carve out a reputation for himself. His rookie season was filled with multiple strong stretches in which he helped boost the Bulls with his relentless hustle. He got into his share of altercations, but his competitive nature was for the most part a huge positive.
Chris Duhon, Guard
Dependable: The second-round pick surfaced as a fixture in the Chicago starting five last season, giving the team strong ballhandling and superb defense. He might lose his position to Ben Gordon, but will still see plenty of floor time as he's counted on to do all the little things that prove to be invaluable.
 
Burning Question
Can the "Baby Bulls" continue to grow together into a title contender?
Eddy Curry is gone, but Chicago's nucleus remains remarkably young, especially since Mike Sweetney and Tim Thomas were acquired in exchange for him. After nearly not returning, Scott Skiles is back to steer the ship and must continue to foster development while distributing enough playing time to keep everyone on his deep roster interested and satisfied.
 
 
Kirk Hinrich has a shoot-first mentality, but has a lot of passing options this season. (Getty Images)
 
 
Team Projections
Projected finish: 4th, Central Division
Projected win total: 44-48
Team MVP:Kirk Hinrich
Leading scorer:Hinrich
Leading rebounder:Tyson Chandler
Leading assists:Hinrich
Top defenders:Luol Deng/Chris Duhon
 
Stat Rankings
Stat Rank Total
Pts Scored 21 94.5
Pts Against 7 93.4
Rebounds 2 43.8
FG% 25t 43.2
 
PROJECTED STARTERS
PG Kirk Hinrich
Don't count out him coming up with 18 points and eight assists per game this season; an All-Star berth is in his future.
SG Ben Gordon
Struggling to find his niche as a starter, the league's reigning top sixth man may reprise last year's role.
SF Luol Deng
It's scary that he could potentially emerge as the most talented of last year's Chicago rookie class.
PF Darius Songaila
A superb acquisition that went largely unnoticed, his best days are ahead.
C Tyson Chandler
Time for him to step up as a consistent force.
Team Depth Chart
 
Player Movement
Movement Player Pos.
Key loss Eddy Curry C
Key gain Michael Sweetney PF
Key re-signing Tyson Chandler C
Player Movement Chart
 
 
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