There are going to be a lot of changes in the NBA‘s Eastern Conference next season. The Cleveland Cavaliers will have the top player in the draft, the Miami Heat might have an entirely new roster with so many potential free agents, and the Indiana Pacers might try to re-tool their team after their roller coaster season.
But despite all of the possible changes in the East, the Chicago Bulls could very well climb to the top of the Eastern Conference as soon as next season.
The Bulls are already expected to trade or amnesty the remaining $15 million contract of Carlos Boozer. The absence of Boozer’s contract on the Bulls’ salary cap will allow the team to go after a big-name free agent — such as Carmelo Anthony — or sign a plethora of role players to fill out the roster and give Chicago more depth.
The team will also be armed with two first-round draft picks at 16 and 19. The Bulls acquired the 16th pick from the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010 for Tyrus Thomas. Chicago finally got the rights to the pick this season, and could use the pick in order to make further deals. Even if they decide to trade or use their two picks, the Bulls will be able to add more potential rotation players.
But the most important addition to the Bulls, and the one player that could make them contenders once again, is Derrick Rose. Rose was the MVP of the league in 2011, but with a torn ACL in 2012 and a torn meniscus in 2013, Rose hasn’t really seen much action on the court in two years. If he can return to his old MVP form, or can even come close to it, the Bulls could be a 60-win team once again.
No matter what happens this offseason, the Bulls are in a great position to improve drastically from their 48-win 2013-14 season. With all of the changes bound to happen, expect the Bulls to be one of the top contenders in the entire league.