The rebuilding Bulls won't play on Christmas Day for the first time since 2009

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USA TODAY

The rebuilding Bulls won't play on Christmas Day for the first time since 2009

You won't need to schedule Christmas Day mass or dinner around the Bulls this year.

For the first time since 2009 the Bulls won't play on Christmas, a stark reality that this year's team is in for a long season.

The Bulls are 13-8 all-time on Christmas Day, and had won three of their last four games on the holiday.

But an offseason that saw Jimmy Butler dealt to the Timberwolves and Rajon Rondo leave in free agency meant little room available on national TV, despite the Bulls touting the league's third biggest TV market. Here's a look back at the Bulls' history on Christmas Day.

It also, of course, means for now that Dwyane Wade won't be playing on Christmas. Wade ranks second on the all-time Christmas Day scoring list and had played on each of the last eight Christmases. If he isn't bought out (more likely) or traded (less likely), he'll have the day to himself for the first time since 2009.

Here's the complete Christmas Day schedule (central time):

76ers at Knicks
Cavalaiers at Warriors
Wizards at Celtics
Rockets at Thunder
Timberwolves at Lakers

Thibs getting the band back together: Taj Gibson agrees to deal with Timberwolves

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USA TODAY

Thibs getting the band back together: Taj Gibson agrees to deal with Timberwolves

Not to be outdone by Jimmy Butler's reunion with head coach Tom Thibodeau, Taj Gibson is reportedly also on his way to Minnesota.

The former Bulls power forward has reportedly agreed to a two-year, $28 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Gibson played for Thibodeau the first six seasons of his NBA career. He averaged 9.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 24.7 minutes per game, including a career-best season in 2013-14 (13.0 points, 6.8 rebounds).

The Bulls dealt Gibson at February's trade deadline to the Oklahoma City Thunder along with Doug McDermott. He averaged 9.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in a smaller role behind Steven Adams and Enes Kanter.

In Minnesota he'll be tasked to be the veteran - along with Butler - on a young Timberwolves team that features budding star Karl-Anthony Towns.

Bulls will have plenty of options in 2017 NBA Draft

Bulls will have plenty of options in 2017 NBA Draft

Owning homecourt advantage at this week's NBA Draft Combine, the Bulls have one of the league's largest contingents for the testing and games at Quest Multisport, including their analytics experts and head of international scouting Ivica Dukan.

Picking in the middle of the first round (16th overall), you can expect the Bulls to go with the "best athlete available" formula, with extra emphasis on finding a young wing player to develop behind Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade.

So, assuming the Bulls stay at No. 16, which players might still be on the board when they're on the clock? Let's start with a pair of athletic wings' OG Anunoby (Indiana) and Terrance Ferguson (currently playing professionally in France).

Anunoby would have probably been a lottery pick if he had not suffered a knee injury that ended his sophomore season with the Hoosiers. At 6-foot-8, with a 7'2 1/4" inch wingspan, Anunoby should be a plus defender immediately. With the Bulls, he could provide valuable rest for Butler and also spare the three-time All-Star the responsibility of guarding the opposing team's best scorer for long stretches.

Anunoby only averaged 11.1 points during his shortened sophomore year at Indiana, but he has the athleticism to run the floor for easy baskets, and since he still hasn't turned 20, he has plenty of time to develop his offensive game.

Similar story with Ferguson, who grew up in Tulsa but decided to play overseas rather than spend a year in college. He's only averaging 4.6 points for French team Adelaide, but scouts are intrigued by his physical skills and potential as a 6-foot-7 shooting guard.

Some other players to watch in the middle of the first round include power forwards' Ivan Rabb (California) and John Collins (Wake Forest). Rabb was projected as a likely lottery pick last season, but decided to return to Cal for his sophomore year.

Facing double teams most of the season, Rabb didn't show the improvement in his numbers (14 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game) that a lot of NBA scouts expected. Still, the 6-foot-10 lefty continues to draw comparisons to long-time Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat star Chris Bosh, and is a polished low post scorer.

[RELATED: NBA executives understand why top players skip combine]

Rabb can hit consistently from mid-range, but if the Bosh comparisons are going to hold up, he'll need to stretch his shooting skills out to the 3-point line.

I asked Rabb about the possibility of being drafted by the Bulls.

"One of my friends, Bobby Portis, he's a real good player," Rabb said. "He played pretty well in the playoffs and throughout the season. I know they traded Taj Gibson, they have (Nikola) Mirotic, so I'm not really sure what they plan on doing. I feel that's a great destination from me, too."

The Bulls needs at power forward depend heavily on whether they re-sign Mirotic, who will be a restricted free agent on July 1. Rabb could be a good fit as an athletic, rangy 4 who can replace some of the skills the Bulls lost with the Gibson trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Similar story with Collins, who averaged 19.2 points at Wake Forest last season. The 6-foot-10 Collins is known for his athleticism and ability to finish at the rim, but he understands how important it is to show scouts he can be a threat from the 3-point line.

"I think I can shoot it a lot better than I've shown, or had the ability to show," Collins said. "Definitely going to be working on that, and keep on expanding on that, so when the time is necessary for me to shoot it, I'm going to look good doing it."

When it comes to self-confidence, it will be tough for any of the prospects to top Creighton center Justin Patton. The 7-foot Patton averaged 12.9 points per game last season, playing for Doug McDermott's dad Greg McDermott at Creighton. Patton shot over 68 percent on 2-point attempts and is a powerful finisher on alley-oop passes.

When asked about his ability to be a "stretch 5" in the league like Al Horford or Karl-Anthony Towns, Patton said, "If they're looking for a stretch-5, they come to me, and find the right person. My skills translate perfectly. I can put the ball on the floor, I can shoot the ball with range, and I'm a willing passer, and a great passer too, and I have a high IQ."

Okay, then. Patton says he's already met with the Bulls and will be ready to play immediately with any team that drafts him. At this point, it seems unlikely the Bulls would draft a center at No. 16, but anything is possible considering Cristiano Felicio and Joffrey Lauvergne are both restricted free agents.

Other names to watch during the middle part of round one include power forwards' T.J. Leaf (UCLA) and Kyle Kuzma, Duke shooting guard Luke Kennard, Syracuse small forward Tyler Lydon and point guard Jawun Evans.

And, there's always the possibility the Bulls could be involved in a trade to move up into the Top 10. That would bring a whole different level of prospects into play. But for now, the front office is looking for athletes and shooters to add quality depth to a roster that figures to be very similar to the one we watched last season.