Chicago Bulls

Schanowski: How will Boozer's return affect D-Rose?

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Schanowski: How will Boozer's return affect D-Rose?

Monday, Nov. 29, 2010
9:41 PM
By Mark Schanowski
CSNChicago.com

That's the question being pondered by fans and media members around the league. Where do you weigh in? Will Carlos Boozer's presence force Derrick Rose to dramatically reduce his shot attempts per game or will he continue to attack the basket at every opportunity? Will the Bulls struggle for awhile trying to adjust to having a low-post scorer on the court? Please post your comments in the section below.

Personally, I think the Bulls might struggle a bit over the next few weeks trying to work Boozer into their offensive and defensive schemes. Rose has never had a low post scorer on his team to work with, and given his unselfish nature, I would expect he'll go out of his way to make Boozer more comfortable by getting him more touches on the block.

In case you haven't noticed, Rose has moved all the way up to number two in the league scoring race, and has the look of a player who could get 25 to 30 points every game if that's what the coaches want him to do. But he's always said winning is the only thing that matters to him, and if that means fewer shot attempts, I'm sure that won't be a problem.

So far, it's been nothing but praise for the equal opportunity offense introduced by Tom Thibodeau, but if Boozer's return means a less effective Rose, that could be a problem for the Bulls. It's become abundantly clear the Bulls are D-Rose's team, and without him attacking and pushing the tempo, they're much less effective.

Boozer did a good job co-starring with point guard Deron Williams in Utah, and he should thrive in screen and roll situations with Rose. But until those guys actually get into game situations and see what works and what doesn't, we won't know for sure what the Bulls offense will eventually look like.

Let's be clear. Signing Boozer was a great move, and eventually his scoring and rebounding ability should make the Bulls a threat in the Eastern Conference playoffs. But in the short term, the players and coaches will have some adjustments to make, so don't expect instant success once number 5 takes the court.
CIRCUS TRIP REVIEW

Let's hope the Bulls finally got the "circus trip" gorilla off their backs after going 4-3 on the annual November tour out west. Rose was spectacular, averaging 30.5 points per game, along with six assists and five rebounds. And, Joakim Noah continued his All-Star level play, consistently putting up double-doubles and making important hustle plays all over the court.

But let's not forget about the rest of the team. Luol Deng played heavy minutes at both forward spots, and did some of his best work late with games on the line. The Bulls also got a huge performance from Taj Gibson in the win at Dallas, and we saw signs of what the bench will eventually contribute with the performances of Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson and Omer Asik.

Watson did his best D-Rose impersonation in Denver, scoring 33 points, and almost singlehandedly carrying the Bulls to an unlikely win before Carmelo Anthony's buzzer-beater saved the day for the Nuggets. Watson may not be a true point guard, but he can score points in bunches, and might get more chances to play with Rose depending on match-ups.

Korver had his best game in a Bulls' uniform in the double overtime win in Phoenix, and it looks like Thibodeau is feeling more comfortable leaving him in games for longer stretches. Korver provides the 3 point threat that's so important to this offense with Rose attacking the paint, and forcing opposing defenses to collapse.

Thibodeau insisted his guys just focus on the next game, and not worry about the past history of futility on the circus trip. It's an approach that should serve this team well over the highs and lows of a long NBA season.

So, how many games do you think the Bulls will win over their 16 game schedule in the month of December? Should Gar Forman stand pat with the roster, or do the Bulls need another shooter to join Korver? And, how will Boozer's return affect D-Rose?

As always we appreciate your comments and feedback. Hope to see you out at the United Center this month. We'll be doing our pre-game shows live from the U.C. concourse on December 1st, 10th and 28th. Stop by and say hello.

Mark Schanowski hosts our Bulls pre- and postgame studio coverage with 15-year NBA veteran Kendall Gill. You can also watch Mark on SportsNet Central, Sunday through Thursday at 6:30 and 10 p.m.

State of the Bulls: Stacked 2018 draft class

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USA TODAY

State of the Bulls: Stacked 2018 draft class

2018 draft class is loaded at the top

Quietly, you can bet Bulls' front office executives John Paxson and Gar Forman had a little celebration after hearing that prep star Marvin Bagley III was going to graduate from high school early and enroll at Duke for the 2017-18 season, making him eligible for the 2018 draft.

Bagley, a 6'11 power forward from Los Angeles, is being compared to longtime NBA star Chris Bosh, right down to his smooth left-handed shooting touch. Bagley averaged 24.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and two blocked shots during his junior season for Sierra Canyon H.S. He's also fared well against NBA competition at the highly-regarded Drew League in L.A. this summer. Bagley’s physical tools are off the charts, and you can count on Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski preparing him well for life in the NBA.

Most NBA scouts and execs expect the No. 1 overall pick to come down to either Bagley or Michael Porter Jr., who will play his one season of college basketball at Missouri. The 6'10 Porter averaged an amazing 34.8 points and 13.8 rebounds last season against Seattle high school competition. He's considered a more dynamic scorer than Bagley with more range on his jump shot. Some scouts believe he could quickly develop into one of the league's elite players with Kevin Durant-type length and shooting ability at the small forward position.

International swingman Luka Doncic is also highly coveted by NBA teams. The 6'8 swingman has excellent shooting range, and is also capable of creating his own shot with outstanding ball-handling ability. Forget the stereotype of European players being mechanical and unable to compete athletically, Doncic is capable of being an 18-20 point scorer in the NBA and should go in the top five next June. He's considered one of the best international prospects in the last decade.

Two 7-footers also will hear their names called early on draft night 2018. University of Arizona freshman DeAndre Ayton averaged 19.8 points and 12 rebounds in high school last season, while Texas freshman center Mohamed Bomba has an incredible 7-foot-9 wingspan. Sure, the NBA has moved away from the traditional low post center, but teams are still looking to acquire agile big men like Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid, DeAndre Jordan, Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside. Depending on how they fare against top level college competition, Ayton and Bomba could round out the top five.

Other names to watch in the lottery portion of next year's draft include Texas A&M power forward Robert Williams, Michigan State's forward duo of Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr., and the latest one-and-dones from John Calipari's Kentucky program, center Nick Richards and small forward Jarred Vanderbilt.

In case you missed it, ESPN released its preseason win total expectations for the Eastern Conference on Wednesday, and the Bulls were dead last with a projected record of 26-56. Now, I'm not sure a team with veterans Dwyane Wade and Robin Lopez and the three young players acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota will be quite that bad, but if you're going to rebuild, the idea is to get the best draft pick possible, and the Bulls appear to be on course for a top-five selection depending on how the lottery falls.

If the Bulls are able to land an elite talent like Porter Jr., Bagley III or Doncic in the draft, then use their $40-50 million in cap space to land a couple of quality free agents, the rebuild might not be as painful as some fans are fearing.

Last dance for LeBron in Cleveland?

Well-connected NBA writer Chris Sheridan dropped this bomb on Twitter Wednesday, quoting an NBA source, "This will be LeBron's final season in Cleveland. He is 100 percent leaving. Relationship with owners beyond repair." Don’t forget, Sheridan was the first national writer to report James was going to leave Miami to go back to Cleveland in 2014, so his reports definitely warrant a little extra attention.

Okay, we've already heard countless rumors about James planning to join the Lakers after next season. He's built a mansion in Brentwood, is close with Magic Johnson and will be able to bring another superstar with him to L.A. like Paul George or Russell Westbrook. Plus, the Lakers have a number of talented young players in place like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. and a promising coach in Luke Walton.

Add in the likelihood Kyrie Irving will be traded before training camp opens and LeBron's long-standing poor relationship with Cavs' owner Dan Gilbert, and you have the perfect formula for another James' free agent decision next July. Although, I'm not sure why LeBron would want to go West, where Golden State is positioned to dominate the league for another five seasons, with strong challengers like the Rockets and Spurs still in place. 

But if we've learned anything from watching James over the years, he's clearly a man who wants to align the odds in his favor. So don't rule out anything when it comes to James' free agent decision. If the Cavs make a home run trade for Irving, maybe LeBron decided to plays out his career in his home state. If not, look for him to find a team with the cap space to bring in another top star to run with him.

Back in 2010, the Bulls carved out the cap space to add two max contract stars, but lost out to Pat Riley in Miami. This time around they won't be on James' July travel itinerary.

One thing we know for sure. Where LeBron plays in 2018 will be the number one story throughout the NBA season.

Report: Bulls expected to reach buyout agreement with Dwyane Wade

Report: Bulls expected to reach buyout agreement with Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade's homecoming may not last much longer. 

According to Nick Friedell's ESPN report, the Bulls are expected to reach a buyout agreement with the 12-time NBA All-Star "at some point in the next few months." 

The news comes two months after Wade picked up his player option, choosing $24 million over earning less on a more competitive team. 

If Gar Forman and John Paxson indeed decide to buy D-Wade out, the "Three Alphas," which consisted of Wade, Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo, would all be out just one season after coming together. 

The buyout may also mean more ping-pong balls in next year's stacked draft