Off-season acquisition Rip Hamilton did not bring stability the Bulls had hoped for, as the 13-year veteran appeared in just 28 games and averaged 11.6 points, the lowest mark since his rookie season in Washington.
His productivity picked up toward the end of the year, and his injury-plagued season can be somewhat linked to the lockout-shortened season. But at 34 years old, Hamilton cant be counted on as an everyday starter.
Kyle Korver enjoyed one of the best shooting seasons of his career. The 6-foot-7 wing connected on more than 43 percent of his 3-pointers, the second-best mark of his career, behind only the blistering 53.6 percent he shot from beyond the arc in 2009-10.
Jimmy Butler and Ronnie Brewer, both natural small forwards, also saw time at shooting guard when the Bulls used a bigger lineup. C.J. Watson played alongside Derrick Rose at times, as well.
Since 2000, the Bulls have made 29 draft selections. They have spent five of those selections on shooting guards: 2000: A.J. Guyton (Indiana); 2002: Roger Mason (Virginia); 2004: Ben Gordon (Connecticut); 2007: JamesOn Curry (Oklahoma State); 2008: Sonny Weems (Arkansas)
What the Bulls need in a shooting guard
As the most inconsistent position in Chicago last year, the Bulls need a scorer. Luol Dengs ability to play on the perimeter took some pressure off Rose, but the Bulls could use another shooter to open up the offense. With the contract statuses of Korver and Brewer in the air (which well discuss next week), depth at the position would be a warm welcome to a position that needs improvement.
Top 11 2011 Draft prospects
1. Bradley Beal, Florida Comparisons to a young Ray Allen may be a bit much, but the 6-foot-3 Beal has the makings of a premier shooter and will be off the board within the first four picks.
2. Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut The lanky wing averaged 17.7 points per game in his sophomore season, but will need to put on some more muscle before he reaches his full potential in the NBA.
3. Terrence Ross, Washington At 6-foot-6, Ross brings a great skill set to the table as a slasher, above-average rebounder and underrated passer. He will need to improve on his shooting, as he shot just 37 percent from beyond the arc last year.
4. Austin Rivers, Duke Playing primarily point guard last year for the Blue Devils, Rivers oozes with potential at 19 years old.
5. Doron Lamb, Kentucky The Wildcats sharpshooter last year, Lamb shot better than 46 percent from beyond the arc and averaged 13.7 points per game.
6. John Jenkins, Vanderbilt No one in college basketball made more 3-pointers (129) than the SECs two-time scoring champion.
7. Evan Fournier, France One of the top international prospects, Fournier has an impressive mid-range game and can get to the basket. At just 19 years old, hell need to add strength at the next level.
8. Will Barton, Memphis Aggrey Sams choice for the Bulls in his most recent mock draft, Barton would bring versatility and length give him a chance to crack the rotation right away for a Bulls team that will likely have several new faces.
9. Orlando Johnson, UC-Santa Barbara Johnson has excellent length and averaged 19.7 points per game last year for the Guachos.
10. Jared Cunningham, Oregon State At 6-foot-5, Cunningham possesses great athleticism and court vision, but needs improvement on his outside shot.
11. William Buford, Ohio State A four-year starter for the Buckeyes, Buford struggled from the outside his senior season but has great size and is a solid defender.
NOTE: Dion Waiters was included in the point guard rankings.
The Bulls reported desire to move into the Lottery could certainly be to go after a shooting guard. Beal will be gone but every other name above may be available toward the back-end of the top-14 picks. This years class is full of capable scorers, and if the Bulls stay their current position (No. 29) Doron Lamb, Jenkins, Fournier and Barton will all be in the mix. Most of the prospects will need some seasoning early, but could help the Bulls scoring woes at the position at some point next season.
Of the five positions, its most logical that the Bulls would go after a shooting guard with their first pick, but if their cap room dictates they can keep Korver and Brewer, the best player available will be chosen. Still, Korver (31 years old) and Hamilton (34) arent getting any younger, so Gar Forman and John Paxson will need to address the position sooner than later.