By Daniel Caccamo – Follow Daniel on twitter @danielcaccamo22

48 victories seemed unlikely for the Bulls – who in November lost Derrick Rose to another major knee injury and in December were sitting with a 9-16 record, it got so bad that talks of tanking began to surface. Despite this horrible start, they ended the season on a roll, finishing with the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference (48-34), whilst also in a position to have a real shot at having another long playoff run. Unfortunately for the Bulls the regular season is where the good times finished. A discouraging loss to the Washington Wizards in the first round of the playoffs has given the Bulls a longer than expected vacation, in which the front office will have various big decisions to make. Before the time for that comes, lets discuss and grade the Chicago Bulls 2013-14 roster.

 

*ALL STATS used in this article were gathered from the basketball reference website on the 2nd of May 2014*

 

Nazr Mohammed (36, C, 6’10, 250 lbs.)

 

GP

GS MIN FG % FT % PTS REB AST STL BLK
80 1 7.0 42.9 53.3 1.6 2.2 0.3 0.2 0.4

 

The veteran big man was a solid presence for the Bulls in the locker room, but unlike years gone by he wasn’t able to provide much in terms of on court production. This could be the final year for Mohammed as a member of the Bulls, as it looks likely they will opt for a younger option to back up Joakim Noah. Mohammed wasn’t called into action a lot due to Coach Tom Thibodeau running a 3-man PF/C rotation and showed signs of finally slowing down.

Grade – D

 

Will Snell be able to carve out a role next season for the Bulls?

Will Snell be able to carve out a role next season for the Bulls?

Tony Snell (22, SG/SF, 6’7, 200 lbs.)

 

GP GS MIN FG/3-P % FT % PTS REB AST STL BLK
76 12 16.2 38.4/32.0 75.6 4.6 1.6 0.9 0.4 0.2

 

The rookie swingman flashed his potential at various stages this season but he was just too inconsistent to become a night in and night out threat for the Bulls. His shot was broken all season and he struggled to make an impact when given the minutes. Snell was able to play solid defense though, which was promising, but like the rest of his game, it still needs a lot of work. A valiant effort from the rookie who showed enough to keep Bulls fans satisfied – expect more from him next year though.

Grade – C

 

D.J. Augustin (26, PG, 6’0, 180 lbs.)

 

GP GS MIN FG/3-P % FT % PTS REB AST STL BLK
61 9 30.4 41.9/41.1 88.2 14.9 2.1 5.0 0.9 0.0

 

His teammates and coaches called the diminutive point guard a “season saver” with Augustin coming in after being cut by Toronto and making a big impact in Chicago. His offense-first style of play was just what the defensive orientated Bulls needed. Whilst his defense is not good and he struggled in the playoffs, he was tremendous for the Bulls in the regular season and put them in the position to grab the 4th seed out East. With Derrick Rose out again this season, Augustin provided the Bulls with the scoring they needed.

Grade – B+

 

Taj Gibson (28, PF/C, 6’9, 225 lbs)

 

GP GS MIN FG % FT % PTS REB AST STL BLK
82 8 28.7 47.9 75.1 13.0 6.8 1.1 0.5 1.4

 

One of the best and versatile bench players this season, Taj had the best season of his career and has heaped the pressure on the Bulls front office to start him next season. He defense was excellent and that combined with his offensive improvement made Gibson one of the best two-way players on the Bulls roster. Whilst he didn’t win 6th Man of the Year, he was a leading candidate and was one of the only Bulls players to show up for the Playoffs. Just entering his prime, expect Gibson to build on this season and dominate again next year.

Grade – A

 

Will Kirk or Carlos be a Bull come next year?

Will Kirk or Carlos be a Bull come next year?

 

Kirk Hinrich (33, PG/SG, 6’3, 190 lbs.)

 

GP GS MIN FG/3-P % FT % PTS REB AST STL BLK
73 61 29.0 39.3/35.1 76.0 9.1 2.6 3.9 1.1 0.4

 

Hinrich stayed fairly healthy this season, which was one of the main reasons he had a fairly effective season. He played his role well all season, where his professional attitude and defensive mentality were important in helping the Bulls reach the 4th seed out East. He hasn’t had the chance to play behind Rose for an extended period of time during his second stint with Chicago, so maybe if he could accept a hometown discount, the Bulls would be willing to give him another year.

Grade – C+

 

Jimmy Butler needs to be more of a consistent offensive weapon for the Bulls next season.

Jimmy Butler needs to be more of a consistent offensive weapon for the Bulls next season.

Jimmy Butler (24, SG/SF, 6’7, 220 lbs.)

 

GP GS MIN FG/3-P % FT % PTS REB AST STL BLK
67 67 38.7 39.7/28.3 76.9 13.1 4.9 2.6 1.9 0.5

 

This season following the Luol Deng trade, Jimmy Butler became the player Coach Thibs leaned on to play enormous minutes, whilst also defending the opposing teams best player. Whilst Butler took the next step in his defensive game, where he established himself as one of the best wing defenders in the league, his offensive game showed signs of weakness. Butler could not find any sort of rhythm with his jump shot and that will be an area where Butler will need to improve if he wants to take the next step. Still despite his offensive struggles, Butler showed why he is so highly regarded within the Bulls organization and key cog in the Bulls championship aspirations.

Grade – B

 

Mike Dunleavy (33, SF, 6’9, 220 lbs.)

 

GP GS MIN FG/3-P % FT % PTS REB AST STL BLK
82 61 31.5 43.0/38.0 85.4 11.3 4.2 2.3 0.8 0.6

 

Another veteran who came in and played extremely well, he provided the floor spacing the Bulls needed, whilst also being a better defender than anyone could have expected him to be. He played in every game this season and once Deng was dealt, he stepped into the starting role and thrived in Coach Thibs’ system. He never really got a chance to create any sort of chemistry with Derrick Rose, so it will be interesting to see how he plays with Rose next season.

Grade – B

 

Carlos Boozer (32, PF, 6’9, 258 lbs.)

 

GP GS MIN FG % FT % PTS REB AST STL BLK
76 76 28.2 45.6 76.7 13.7 8.3 1.6 0.7 0.3

 

This was Boozer’s worst season as a Bull, failing to build off what was a strong season in 2012-13. Whilst people have used Boozer as a scapegoat when things have gone wrong in previous seasons, this season – especially in the playoffs – he deserved the criticism being thrown his way. Boozer was inefficient and unreliable throughout the season and many Bulls fans are hoping that the front office decide to either trade him or use the amnesty clause on him.

Grade – C-

 

The two best Bulls players this season - Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson.

The two best Bulls players this season – Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson.

 

Joakim Noah (28, C, 6’11, 232 lbs.)

 

GP GS MIN FG % FT % PTS REB AST STL BLK
80 80 35.3 47.5 73.7 12.6 11.3 5.4 1.2 1.5

 

The Most Valuable Player for the Bulls and the heart and soul of this franchise, this season was Noah’s best season as a pro. He led this team for a second straight season following the Derrick Rose injury and showed that last season was no fluke. Noah put this team on his shoulders and carried them as far as he possibly could, along the way he earned the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award and MVP consideration. Despite a substandard postseason where his left knee bothered him (he has since had the knee operated on and will need 8-12 weeks to recover), he elevated his game to a new level and along side Butler, Gibson and Rose provide the Bulls a very intriguing core group to build around.

Grade – A+

 

Summary

 

The Bulls are an intriguing franchise that is far from having reached their ceiling as a team. Although they have some major offensive limitations, with cap space at the disposal of GM Gar Forman, the chance is there to fix up the issue. Bulls’ fan will be hoping their team makes a serious push to bring in Carmelo Anthony, who could be the missing piece for this team and lead them to NBA Championship glory. Along with the chance to bring in serious star talent through free agency, the Bulls have two first round picks in the vaunted 2014 NBA Draft, whether they keep them or trade up is anyone’s guess, but this draft is deep enough for the Bulls to add one or two solid rotational players. The Derrick Rose era is far from done in Chicago, and with Rose likely back at 100 % for next season, anything is possible in Chicago.

Let me know what you would grade each player in the comment section below, or hit me up on twitter @danielcaccamo22 and tell me what you think.

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