By not being able to sign Carmelo Anthony, the Bulls were able to utilize their cap space by signing former all-star Pau Gasol and bring over Nikola Mirotic from Europe. The Bulls also drafted National Player of the Year Doug McDermott, re-signed veteran Kirk Hinrich, and also acquired point guard Aaron Brooks. Many of those acquisitions wouldn’t have been possible with Anthony on board with the Bulls.
Now, with the team loaded with depth and size, coach Tom Thibodeau will be able to expand his rotation with his brand new lineup. And don’t think for a second that Thibodeau will stick to a similar seven to eight man rotation that Bulls fans were accustom to seeing over the previous two seasons. With Gasol projected to start, Taj Gibson will also stay in his sixth man role that he has thrived in over the years.
Tony Snell, who emerged in the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League, is poised to find minutes behind starters Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy. During the offseason, Snell has already gained over ten pounds of muscle and shot over 50 percent from behind the three-point line in Las Vegas. If he can keep the muscle mass over the course of the season, Snell could finally have a major role with the Bulls after an inconsistent rookie year.
However, the most important factor that hangs over the Bulls organization is the health of Derrick Rose. Rose’s return to the team will obviously deepen the roster by allowing Hinrich and Brooks to provide a veteran spark off of the bench. Hinrich will now move behind Rose on the depth chart, while Brooks figures to be the same scoring point guard that rejuvenated D.J. Augustin‘s career last season.
With the Bulls roster deeper than it has been in years, Thibodeau will finally be forced expand his rotation drastically with a loaded roster that is hungry for a championship.