II. Draft History (Displayed are first round picks
over the last 10 years.)
- 2002: Jay Williams
(Duke University, 2nd pick)
- 2001:Eddy Curry
(Thornwood HS.), 4th pick (Elton Brand was traded for the Number two pick in the
draft which turned out to be Tyson Chandler another Highschooler)
Marcus Fizer (Iowa State), 4th pick, Dalibor Bagaric (Europe),
Elton Brand (Duke), 1st pick; Ron Artest (St. John's)
Corey Benjamin (Oregon State), 28th pick
Keith Booth (Maryland), 28th pick
Travis Knight (UConn), 29th pick
Jason Caffey (Alabama), 20th pick
Dickey Simpkins (Providence), 21st pick
Corie Blount (Cincinnati), 25th pick
III. Management and Coaching
Jerry "Players don't win championships, organizations
win championships!" Krause's time in Chicago has come to an end. Any credit he
received for putting the Jordan/Pippen Bulls together seems to have been
forgotten and overshadowed by the misery he inflicted on the city of Chicago in
the 5 years since. John Paxson starts with a clean slate, and brings a new,
kindler, gentler attitude. Bulls fans hope that translates into an ability to
attract free agents, many of whom seemed turned off by Krause's arrogance and
parsimony in recent years.
Bill Cartwright earned the respect of Bulls players
by instilling a no-nonsense attitude. He demonstrated patience, persistence,
and a positive attitude, which should ultimately pay dividends.
Eddy Curry- In his
2nd year, Curry showed great progress and demonstrated that he has
the ability to be the top center in the Eastern Conference (although that’s not
saying much). Cartwright seemed to light a fire under him and saw his numbers
improve from 6.7/3.7 to 10.5/4.3 in his sophomore season, shooting 58.5% from
the field.. Those numbers didn’t tell the whole story, however. He scored in
double figures in 20 of the Bulls last 22 games, capping the year with a 31
point performance in the finale, a win vs. the Sixers. He only reached double
figures in rebounds 6 times all season, however, and will have to show more
aggression under the boards.
Dalibor Bagaric- This guy is a
scrub who takes up space.
Tyson Chandler – Like Curry,
Chandler’s second year was also an improvement over his rookie campaign. His
numbers jumped from 6.1/4.8 to 9.2/6.9, but his season was cut short by, of all
things, and esophagus injury. He is extremely athletic, a skilled shot-blocker
and rebounder, and should blossom in his third campaign.
Donyell Marshall – Marshall
gave the Bulls 53 starts in 2002-03, at both forward positions and occasionally
at center, averaging 13.4 and a team-leading 9.0 rpg. He provides good
frontcourt depth. If Curry and Chandler emerge as the Bulls expect in 2003-04,
Marshall should start fewer games, but should be a solid
Lonny Baxter - Acquired in the
2nd round of the 2002 draft (#44 overall), Baxter played in 55 games and showed
some ability to play well in limited minutes. At 6-8, he is on the small side
for a power forward, but his 260 lb. frame takes up space, and he has some game
in the paint.
Corie Blount - Somehow, this
guy has managed to be in the league for 10 seasons. Was drafted by the Bulls in
1993, and has played for 7 teams since. Works on D and hits the boards, but
will never be a meaningful contributor.
Jalen Rose - Took his role as
the go-to guy to heart, starting all 82 games, and averaging over 40 minutes
per. Wasn't afraid to take the big shot.. the small shot... or any other shot.
Hurt himself by falling in love with the 3 pt. shot, hitting 37%, and dragging
down his overall FG% to 41%. But, he scored 22 ppg, and added 4.8 assists and
4.3 rbs. He will remain the team's go-to scorer, although it would be
preferable if Curry and Chandler could develop into more reliable scorers
themselves, taking some pressure off of Rose.
Marcus Fizer - Not large enough to play
power forward, not quick enough at the 3 spot, Fizer is the classic tweener. In
his 3rd season, Fizer was showing improvement, until his season was cut short by
an interior cruciate tear. He can be an effective scorer against certain
opponents, when matchups are favorable. He has one year left on his rookie
contract. His status for the upcoming season is unclear. If he returns to
form, he can be a valuable reserve, but is not a front-line
Eddie Robinson - Robinson was signed as a free agent,
when other options failed. He was expected to bring great scoring ability and
athleticism, after signing a 6-year, $31mm contract. Instead, he showed
inconsistency, minimal effort on the defensive end, and gave his best effort in
warm ups. The Bulls would be glad to find a taker for Robinson's hefty
contract, but that seems unlikely. They will have to hope that he gains
maturity and his athletic ability enables him to blossom into a solid
Trenton Hassel - That Hassel
is the best 2-guard on the team reflects the fact that the Bulls has a
tremendous deficit at this position. The Bulls often were forced to play Rose,
a forward, or Crawford, a point, at the off-guard position. Hassel started 53
games, but regressed from his surprising rookie season in every meaningful
Fred Hoiberg - "The Mayor" is
a free agent. Can shoot the ball, coming off the bench, but is no Steve Kerr.
Might stay, might leave... doesn't much matter.
Jamal Crawford - Career has been riddled
by injuries and flashes of brilliance. Feuded with Coach Floyd but seemed to
get his act together under Cartwright. The addition of Jay Williams seemed to
light a fire under Crawford, who averaged 10.7 ppg and 4.2 apg, both career
bests. The Bulls were entertaining trade offers for Crawford until Williams'
injury. Now, they'll have to change course and put the team in Crawford's
hands. He improved dramatically at the end of the season, scoring 19+ in each
of the team's final 6 games, when they went 4-2.
Jay Williams - Williams had an
up and down year, which was somewhat disappointing for the #2 pick in the
draft. Seemingly out of sorts in the triangle offense, Williams was handed the
reins to the team and wasn't sure what to do with them. He spent much of the
season complaining about his role, taking about being traded, and redefining the
team "the rookie wall." He is tremendously talented and was expected to come
back with a better sophomore showing... until a broken leg and pelvic bone in an
offseason motorcycle accident ended his hope of coming back in 2003-04... and
perhaps even longer.
Rick Brunson - Journeyman
point is a free agent, and is unlikely to return
Roger Mason - Combo guard was
a 2nd round pick in 2002. Missed much of the season with injury. Has some
ability to shoot the ball. Will hope to get a chance to prove it as a
V. Team Needs and Possible Offseason
The loss of Jay Williams for the upcoming season and
maybe longer changes the plans for the Bulls in the offseaon. Instead of
considering dealing Crawford (or Williams) for a veteran 2-guard, the Bulls will
have no choice but to hang on to Crawford. Nevertheless, an experienced back up
at the point would be a welcome addition. They will have to fill the 2-guard
slot, whether by free agent or through the draft. They are dreadful outside
shooters, which will be a critical area for improvement, to balance the inside
game which Curry and Chandler can provide. It is extraordinarily unlikely that
the Bulls could get a Reggie Miller or Gary Payton to join as veteran guards.
Neither would have the inclination to help mentor a young team, but either would
be a great addition in the backcourt. A backup center would also be a good
addition, whether in free agency or the 2nd round of the draft.
VI. My selection
With the 2nd pick in the 2002 Usenet Mock NBA Draft,
the Chicago Bulls select:
Pietrus, SG, 6'6" Pau Ortiz (France)
As this report has detailed, the Bulls dramatically
need help at the 2-guard, and this French swingman appears to have the most
upside of anyone available. He is an extraordinary athlete, is very
competitive, and known as an excellent defender on the perimeter. He is known
as a great finisher in transition, and a creative scorer. He is not a great
long-range shooter, but shows the fundamentals and ability to improve in that
phase. Considered the French Jordan. I'm not going to go that far, but...
seems like poetic justic to me.
VII. Other Players
Dwayne Wade - Extremely
athletic combo guard. A tweener, but very explosive, solid wing defender,
excellent rebounder for his size. Drives the lane like a madman, but his
shooting range is suspect. Lack of size could create matchup problems on D, and
lack of pure ball handling ability makes the ability to handle the point
questionable. Bulls already have one "tweener" type in Crawford. Not interested
in pairing him with another one.
Jarvis Hayes - Excellent
scorer, if not a great long-range shooter Great ability to get open and get
shots off in college, but will be challenged in the NBA, as Hayes does not
thrive putting the ball on the floor. Not adept at sharing the ball. May make a
more immediate impact than Pietrus, but without as much long-term
VIII. Likely Selection - If
the opportunity presents itself, I would not be surprised to see the Bulls deal
to move out of this position. This draft has a large drop off before the #7
spot, and the Bulls could be well served to move down to enable another team to
select Maclej Lampe or Kirk Hinrich. If they can move down 5-8 slots, pick up a
player, or dump a salary (such as Eddie Robinson's) and still find Hayes on the
board at a lower slot, that could be the best of all worlds for the Bulls.
We'll see if Paxson shows that type of savvy in his first year in the driver's