Chicago Bulls: 2012-13 Player reviews

Bulls player preview: Kirk Hinrich

September, 26, 2013
9/26/13
9:00
AM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
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With training camp almost here, Nick Friedell previews every player on the Bulls roster.

Kirk HinrichDavid Sherman/Getty ImagesKirk Hinrich will return to a backup role with Derrick Rose back in the lineup.

Kirk Hinrich

Age: 32 | Pos.: SG | Salary: $4,059,000

Role for Bulls in 2013-14: After an injury-plagued season that ended with him missing most of the Bulls' run to the Eastern Conference semifinals, Hinrich will head back to the bench this season, playing behind Derrick Rose. That should be a good move for the aging veteran, but it remains to be seen whether or not he will be able to stay healthy regardless of how many minutes he plays.

What happened this summer?: Hinrich spent time getting his body back in order. He sounded optimistic about his health and the Bulls' chances during a golf outing last month.

"I'm very excited," Hinrich said. "We have most of our guys back. We had some great additions. The anticipation of Derrick coming back healthy -- and it sounds like he's motivated. We think we have a very good chance and it will be very good."

What does the future hold?: This is likely the last year Hinrich will make major money in the league. With his injury history, teams may not want to invest a lot of money in him given his inability to stay on the floor. In the short term, he is a solid backup behind Rose and is one of the most respected players in the Bulls' locker room.

Bottom line: Hinrich can still play at a high level in this league but he must find a comfort level as far as keeping his health intact.

Bulls review: Gar Forman

June, 10, 2013
6/10/13
1:04
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
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Nick Friedell looks at each member of the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Gar Forman Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY SportsBulls general manager Gar Forman will have to put together another bench for the second straight summer.

Gar Forman, general manager


Season recap: Forman was crushed by critics last summer for saying that the Bulls would be making "basketball decisions, not financial ones" in regards to the upcoming free agency process only to allow Omer Asik to go to the Houston Rockets by not matching the poison pill deal he was offered last July. The Bulls made an organizational decision to keep open potential flexibility in the future instead of bringing back the popular Bench Mob. Forman deserves credit for sticking to his guns and putting trust into the fact that Tom Thibodeau would form the Bulls into a respectable product in a season without Derrick Rose.

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Season highlight: Game 7 in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Brooklyn Nets might as well have been the Bulls' Super Bowl this season. The fact that they won despite playing without Kirk Hinrich (calf), Luol Deng (illness) and Rose only underscores the job that Forman did in putting together the roster with Executive VP John Paxson and the work that Thibodeau did on the bench. The fact that the Bulls won that game in large part due to bench stalwarts Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson as well as Joakim Noah, the man the Bulls invested $60 million into before last season, surely made Forman happy about his decisions in a season that many fans figured would be completely lost without Rose.

Season lowlight: The loss of Asik. While the Bulls' bench performed admirably this season, there's no question the loss of Asik hurt more than anything else. The fact that he ended up going to Houston without any compensation has to eat at Forman and the rest of the front office.

Final grades: Regular season: B Postseason: B

Notes: Forman and Paxson have done a good job over the past three years of identifying players that fit well into Thibodeau's system. Not any player can play for a demanding coach like Thibodeau. Forman and Paxson have done a good job filling up their roster with players who will embrace hard work and won't complain.

Quotes: "We're really, really excited about him," Forman said in April on ESPN Chicago's "Waddle and Silvy" of Bulls' draft pick Nikola Mirotic. "We built a relationship with him, we're in constant communication. John (Paxson) and I went up and saw him this fall when he played at Memphis and at Toronto in a couple NBA exhibitions, and we think the ceiling there is incredible.

"He's probably a four, but he's very, very skilled. He shoots it from 3, can handle it, good mobility. And he's a tough, tough kid."

What's next?: Forman has a tough job ahead of him in trying to recreate a bench for the second summer in a row while also deciding what to do with Luol Deng. The front office understands that it needs another star to pair alongside Rose but it will be tough for the Bulls to make such a move given their long-term cap issues.

Bulls review: Tom Thibodeau

June, 10, 2013
6/10/13
10:14
AM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
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Nick Friedell looks at each member of the Chicago Bulls and how they fit in for the future.

Tom ThibodeauDavid Banks/Getty ImagesIn a season full of challenges, Tom Thibodeau managed to lead the Bulls to 45 wins and a trip to the second round of the playoffs.

Tom Thibodeau


Season recap: Thibodeau proved again why he is one of the best coaches in the NBA. He took a team led by Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and a lot of spare parts on the bench and turned them into a 45-game winner and into the second round against the Miami Heat. The Bulls knew they were going to take a step back this year without Derrick Rose, but Thibodeau made sure it wasn't much as the Bulls played hard almost every night and set a tone defensively that was respected throughout the league.

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Season highlight: Playing without Kirk Hinrich (calf) and Luol Deng (illness), the Bulls still found a way to win Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals in Brooklyn against the Nets. It was the defining win of the Thibodeau era in Chicago and one he has to be proud of as he starts the offseason.

Season lowlight: In November, Thibodeau's team lost three straight regular season games for the first time in his tenure. The three-game losing skid included losses to the Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets.

Final grades: Regular season: A Postseason: A

Notes: Thibodeau's big challenge will be integrating Rose back into the lineup this summer. He will need to find a way to make his former MVP most comfortable. He definitely did that in the public eye this past season by standing behind Rose throughout the process. Thibodeau never wavered in his support for Rose and that should pay dividends in that relationship moving forward.

Quotes: "We're not satisfied because we feel like there's still a lot to accomplish," Thibodeau said after the Game 7 win in Brooklyn. "You begin the season with the end in mind knowing that you're going to be going through a lot of different things and you have to have the perseverance and mental toughness to get through a lot of tough things. And this was one of those things. We lost some guys along the way, they had homecourt ... we took a big punch in Game 1 and we kept fighting back and that's been the story of the season."

What's next?: Thibodeau continues to squeeze the most out of his roster but for the third year in a row his team hobbled its way to the finish line. He is always going to coach with the same passion and fire but he is facing more critics about the way he splits up his minutes. The front office will likely sit down with Thibodeau this summer and see if they can get him to take his foot off the gas just a little bit during the regular season.

Bulls player review: Luol Deng

June, 5, 2013
6/05/13
3:54
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
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Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Luol DengAP Photo/Alonzo AdamsLuol Deng led the NBA with 38.7 minutes a game this season.

Luol Deng


2012-13 salary: $13,305,000 | Age: 28 | Season stats: 16.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg

Season recap: Deng was the most consistent player on the Bulls' roster this season. Tom Thibodeau repeatedly called Deng "the glue" of the team and that was an apt description given how many things he did well for this squad. Deng played in 75 games before being knocked out of the postseason because of a bad case of the flu and complications due to a spinal tap. He also acknowledged late in the postseason that he had played through a fractured thumb and was still playing with torn ligaments in his wrist from last season. He endeared himself to the fans because of his play and continues to be one of Thibodeau's favorite players.

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Season highlight: Deng scored 19 points with seven assists and six rebounds in a Jan. 16 win in Toronto in which he also knocked down the game-winning shot.

Season lowlight: Before leaving the postseason because of illness, Deng struggled badly in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Brooklyn Nets. He was just 3-for-11 from the field and struggled to control Nets forward Gerald Wallace.

Final grades: Regular season: B+ Postseason: B-

Notes: Deng sent out a flurry of tweets after Game 6 against the Nets defending his decision not to play after enduring a spinal tap. He did not appreciate critics who had come out before the game and suggested he needed to be on the floor if he was just suffering from the flu.

Quotes: "I just felt like everyone kept saying I'm missing the game because of the flu," Deng said of his decision to go to Twitter. "I've been here for nine years and I've played with the flu without coming to the media and saying I had the flu. I don't think the flu would make me miss a game. I might not play well, I might not play the minutes I play, but even if I had the flu I would sit on the bench. It kind of bothered me a little bit that that's what was being said when I had a totally different thing. It wasn't really just the flu."

What's next?: Deng must get his body back in order while the Bulls must decide whether to keep him or trade him. They might not want to lose the two-time All-Star, but if they can get a younger, cheaper asset they must consider doing so given the fact that Deng's deal runs out after next season.

Bulls player review: Derrick Rose

June, 4, 2013
6/04/13
11:14
AM CT
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Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Derrick RoseGarrett W. Ellwood/NBAE/Getty ImagesDerrick Rose did plenty of warming up with the Bulls but never returned to play this season as he recovered from knee surgery.

Derrick Rose


2012-13 salary: $16,402,500 | Age: 24 | Season stats: DNP

Season recap: Rose didn't play a single second for the Bulls this season as he recovered from knee surgery but his presence, or lack thereof, dominated everything within the Bulls organization. Most in the organization figured he would be back at some point after the All-Star break or in early March, but when it didn't happen the story hovered over everything the Bulls did.

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Season highlight: Rose's pregame warmup sessions were more entertaining than some regular season games. Fans watched his every move and cheered with seemingly every dribble and push to the rim. The idea that Rose would eventually return lingered over the Bulls all the way until the end of the postseason.

Season lowlight: Rose's inner circle and the Bulls organization didn't handle his availability to the media and fans well. Rose spoke on Oct. 1, the team's media day, and then did not speak again until mid-February when he told USA Today he was "far away" from returning. If Rose's inner circle and/or the Bulls had pushed him to give more frequent updates about his condition, and be more open about the fact he may miss the entire season, the backlash regarding his decision may not have been as severe.

Final grades: Regular season: Inc. Postseason: Inc.

Notes: Rose's pristine image took a major hit this year. Once universally beloved in Chicago, Rose's decision not to play angered a faction of Bulls fans who couldn't believe that he hadn't returned after being medically cleared to play in mid-February. The fact that the Bulls advanced to the second round of the playoffs, despite the fact that several players were playing through various injuries and illnesses, made the spotlight on Rose's decision even worse. If Rose puts up 20 points a game a game, his decision will be forgotten quickly by many. But if he struggles in his return he will face more criticism than ever.

Quotes: "I really don't know," Rose on Feb. 13, while discussing if he would return this season. "I'm feeling good but like I said if it's where it's taking me a long time and I'm still not feeling right I don't mind missing this year."

What's next?: Rose will spend most of the summer working out in the Los Angeles area as he continues to get his body in order for a return in October. After sitting out the entire season and facing the type of criticism he has never felt before, there will be more pressure than ever on Rose to produce at a high level.

Bulls player review: Rip Hamilton

June, 3, 2013
6/03/13
4:39
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Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

HamiltonJesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty ImagesSome people probably wondered why Rip Hamilton didn't play more this season.

Rip Hamilton


2012-13 salary: $5,000,000 | Age: 35| Season stats: 9.8 ppg, 2.4 apg

Season recap: Hamilton's second season with the Bulls looked a lot like his first one. He was plagued by different injuries and was never able to stay on the floor long enough to make much of a difference. He struggled to find a chemistry with his teammates and was dropped out of the rotation during the playoffs only to resurface for Games 4 and 5 against the Heat.

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Season highlight: Hamilton dropped in 30 points in a November 26 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. That game marked the end of a solid stretch for veteran shooter over the first month of the season.

Season lowlight: Over the first 10 games of the postseason, Hamilton played a grand total of 10:20, which included eight DNP- Coach's decision.

Final grades: Regular season: D Postseason: C-

Notes: To his credit, Hamilton never came out and criticized Tom Thibodeau for his lack of playing time over the last two years, especially during this year's playoff run, but his signing will be viewed as a failure for Bulls GM Gar Forman. The front office thought Hamilton could be the missing piece alongside Derrick Rose but the veteran could not stay on the floor as his body continued to break down. Once Rose got hurt, the fact that Hamilton couldn't stay healthy became even more prominent.

Quotes:"It is what it is," Hamilton said of his future after the Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs. "I enjoyed it. I enjoyed every bit of it. For me, it's just one of them things like when you've got somebody as great as Derrick, and me playing in the backcourt with him ... it's one of them things like, 'Man, I wonder what would have happened.' But that's part of the game. It's part of the game you just try to figure it out."

What's next?: Hamilton will be bought out of the final year of his contract for $1 million. He will try to catch on with another team in the off-season.

Bulls player review: Nate Robinson

May, 31, 2013
5/31/13
3:04
PM CT
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Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Nate Robinson Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty ImagesNate Robinson averaged 16.3 points and 4.4 assists a game during the playoffs.

Nate Robinson


2012-13 salary: $854,389 | Age: 28 | Season stats: 13.1 ppg, 4.4 apg

Season recap: Robinson couldn't have had a much better season for the Bulls -- especially given the fact that he didn't even have a fully guaranteed contract until the first of the year. He provided a major scoring punch for the Bulls off the bench and filled in admirably for Kirk Hinrich every time the veteran point guard went down with another injury. Robinson played the role of Derrick Rose for the Bulls in the playoffs. He was able to create his own shot and led them to victory several times. Tom Thibodeau got frustrated with Robinson plenty of times because of his shot selection but the Bulls know they couldn't have advanced to the second round without him.

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Season highlight: Robinson went off for 34 points, including 23 in the fourth quarter, to carry the Bulls past the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. It was a performance that will live in Bulls' postseason lore forever.

Season lowlight: Playing in pain through a left shoulder injury, Robinson went 0-for-12 in Game 4 against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Final grades: Regular season: B Postseason: B

Notes: Robinson admitted after the playoffs that he would love to be back with the Bulls next year but that doesn't appear to be a realistic possibility given the fact that Robinson will be looking for a multi-year deal for more money than the Bulls are willing to offer.

Quotes: "I always think I'm on fire," Robinson said after his Game 4 performance against the Nets. "Like the old school game, 'NBA Jam,' you make a couple and the rim's on fire and when you shoot the ball, the ball's on fire. I feel like that at times. Well, all the time. When I'm in the game, I play with a lot of confidence and you kind of got to lie to yourself that you can't miss."

What's next?: With Rose coming back and Hinrich and Marquis Teague already locked up, Robinson sounded after Game 5 against the Heat like a guy who knew he wouldn't be coming back to play for the Bulls. But he definitely left an impression on Chicago in his one season.

Bulls player review: Kirk Hinrich

May, 30, 2013
5/30/13
9:05
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Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Kirk HinrichAnthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsKirk Hinrich missed 22 games because of injuries during the regular season and eight more in the playoffs.

Kirk Hinrich


2012-13 salary: $3,941,000 Age: 32 | Season stats: 7.7 ppg, 5.2 apg

Season recap: Hinrich's whole season was consumed by injuries. He missed 22 games because of various ailments and didn't stay on the floor long enough to be counted on for long stretches. Just when the Bulls thought he had turned a corner, he usually got injured again. During the first two months of the season Hinrich struggled not only to stay on the floor, but to find his shot. He bounced back after that and provided the Bulls with a solid spark down the stretch. But his season will be remembered because of the toll that was taken on his body.

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Season highlight: Game 4 against the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Hinrich scored 18 points and dished out 14 assists in almost 60 minutes during the Bulls' triple overtime win. It was Hinrich's last game of the season -- he sat out the rest of the postseason with a calf injury.

Season lowlight: Aside from all the injuries, Hinrich's worst game of the season might have come on Dec. 18 against the Memphis Grizzlies. In 31 minutes, he went 2-for-8 from the field, turned the ball over four times and fouled out.

Final grades: Regular season: C Postseason: B-

Notes: Hinrich was a widely respected figure in the Bulls' locker room -- so much so that backup guard Nate Robinson used to salute the "The Captain" as he ran out for pregame introductions. Like many of his teammates, Hinrich tried to play through injury, but there were too many of them piled up over time.

Quotes: "We all know what Kirk brings to this team," Bulls center Joakim Noah said after the triple overtime win in Game 4 against Brooklyn. "It's obvious. He's one of the best perimeter defenders in this league. The way he controls the offense ... Kirk is a big, big, big, big factor in this series."

What's next?: If Hinrich can get healthy over the summer, he'll be in a much better spot once the Bulls hit training camp. That's because he'll likely be asked to play 20-25 minutes a game instead of the 30-35 he was being asked to play without Derrick Rose on the floor. Hinrich likely will come into camp as the backup to both Rose at the point guard position and Jimmy Butler at the two-guard position. One of the reasons the Bulls were so eager to sign Hinrich last summer was because of his ability to play with Rose. The Bulls are hopeful that Hinrich won't need surgery to fix the calf injury he sustained in the Nets series.

Bulls player review: Marco Belinelli

May, 29, 2013
5/29/13
9:20
AM CT
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Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Marco Belinelli, Carmelo AnthonyBruce Bennett/Getty ImagesMarco Belinelli struggled to earn time early in the season but proved to be an integral part of the Bulls' playoff run.

Marco Belinelli


2012-13 salary: $1,957,000 | Age: 27 | Season stats: 9.6 ppg, 35.6 3-pointers

Season recap: Belinelli couldn't find a regular place in Tom Thibodeau's rotation to start the year but found his rhythm starting in December and became a key piece to a 45-win team. Belinelli shot with more confidence midway through the season and improved defensively to the point where Thibodeau didn't have as much hesitation about leaving him on the floor. Belinelli's confidence grew higher as his teammates gained even more trust in him and that paid off in the form of several crucial shots late in games for the Bulls.

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Season highlight: Belinelli had 24 points, including a few huge shots late, to help lead the Bulls past the Brooklyn Nets in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. To watch him go from a player who couldn't find minutes early in the year to a player who wasn't afraid to take and make big shots late in playoff games was impressive.

Season lowlight: Belinelli received a DNP -- coach's decision during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 26.

Final grades: Regular season: B Postseason: B-

Notes: Belinelli was billed as a three-point bomber and better all-around player than Kyle Korver when he signed with the Bulls last summer. While Belinelli definitely improved throughout the year, he only shot 35.7 percent from beyond the arc.

Quotes: "I wanted to win this game so bad. I have never been to the semifinals, conference finals," Belinelli said after Game 7 in Brooklyn. "I'm going to be the first Italian guy that is going to play in the second round. I'm happy. I just love this team."

What's next?: The Bulls would like to re-sign him if the price is right but after the season he just completed, the veteran swingman figures to get more guaranteed money than the Bulls would be willing to offer.

Bulls player review: Marquis Teague

May, 28, 2013
5/28/13
10:50
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Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Marquis Teague Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesMarquis Teague's season highlight came during Game 7 of their first-round playoff series when he had four points and three assists in 14 minutes against the Nets.

Marquis Teague


2012-13 salary: $857,000 | Age: 20 | Season stats: 2.1 ppg, 1.3 apg

Season recap: Teague had an inconsistent season and that was to be expected for a 19-year-old rookie. He didn't get many minutes most of the year but went through stretches when Tom Thibodeau used him more than others. He proved he has plenty of speed and athleticism to compete at this level but his decision-making and shot selection left plenty to be desired. He will benefit greatly from another summer in the gym under Thibodeau and the Bulls coaching staff.

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Season highlight: After barely playing the last two months of the season, Teague played over 14 meaningful minutes in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Brooklyn Nets. Teague had four points, three assists, one steal and one block -- but most importantly, he planted a reminder in Thibodeau's mind that he was not afraid of the big moments.

Season lowlight: Teague struggled to find the floor throughout the season, but especially in January. He barely played and did not register a single point.

Final grades: Regular season: C Postseason: C

Notes: Teague has the quickness to produce at this level but he must work on his jump shot. He was 43-for-113 on the season from the floor but he struggled to knock down anything outside of a few feet with consistency. In order to gain more time in Thibodeau's rotation, Teague must prove he can hit that shot, which will give his teammates more space on the floor in the process.

Quotes: "This was big. This was Game 7 of the playoffs. Don't get any bigger than the playoffs," Teague said after the Game 7 win in Brooklyn. "So to play now, I'd rather play now than the whole season."

What's next?: Teague will be part of the Vegas Summer League the Bulls put together in July. He will head into training camp as the third point guard assuming Derrick Rose is ready to play and Kirk Hinrich is healthy.

Bulls player review: Vladimir Radmanovic

May, 26, 2013
5/26/13
9:00
AM CT
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Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Vladimir Radmanovic Gary Dineen/Getty ImagesVladimir Radmanovic played at least 10 minutes in just seven games this season.

Vladimir Radmanovic


2012-13 salary: $854,389 | Age: 32 | Season stats: 1.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg

Season recap: Not much to recap -- Radmanovic barely played all season. He was brought in to fill the role that Brian Scalabrine played for the Bulls the past two years as the last guy on the bench, but Radmanovic didn't even play as much as Scalabrine.

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Season highlight: Radmanovic went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc in a blowout loss to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Season lowlight: Radmanovic only played 19:09 combined in December and January.

Final grades: Regular season: D Postseason: Inc.

Notes: Radmanovic may be best remembered for giving teammate Marco Belinelli a hard time for staying a few minutes later in the locker room to speak to reporters after a good game. Radmanovic was always one of the first guys ready to leave after a game ended.

Quotes: "Vlad, his back is a problem," said coach Tom Thibodeau late in April in reference to Radmanovic's late season back problems.

What's next?: The Bulls will try to use his roster spot on somebody Thibodeau may actually use in a game.

Bulls player review: Daequan Cook

May, 25, 2013
5/25/13
9:00
AM CT
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Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Daequan CookIssac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty ImagesAs a three-point specialist, Daequan Cook was disappointing from beyond the arc with the Bulls.

Daequan Cook


2012-13 salary: $512,633 | Age: 26 | Season stats: 2.8 ppg, 28.6 3-pointers

Season recap: Signed midway through the season, Cook rarely played for the Bulls and didn't have much of an impact. He shot just 28.6 percent from beyond the arc for the season -- including his time with the Houston Rockets.

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Season highlight: In a Feb. 7 loss to the Denver Nuggets, Cook scored 19 points and had four rebounds as the Bulls got crushed in the second half.

Season lowlight: Cook played almost 23 minutes in a Game 2 loss against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals and went 0-for-6 with two turnovers.

Final grades: Regular season: D Postseason: D

Notes: Cook didn't play much in the postseason but he did jump over Richard Hamilton in Tom Thibodeau's rotation for about a week. Thibodeau's decision to play Cook and not Hamilton during that time was questioned throughout the end of the series and will be second-guessed throughout the summer.

Quotes: "I take a lot of pride in being young in this league and being known as one of the best shooters in this league right now; (It's) a good thing," Cook said after signing with the Bulls in early January. “I can't just settle for that. It's going to be more than my shooting that's going to get me out on the floor to play."

What's next?: Cook will likely be trying to latch on with another team. He did not provide the consistent three point threat the Bulls were looking for. The Bulls would love to sign Kyle Korver to fill that role -- if the price is right.

Bulls player review: Nazr Mohammed

May, 24, 2013
5/24/13
2:19
PM CT
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Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Nazr Mohammed, Carlos BoozerAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhNazr Mohammed didn't play much early in the season but played well when he got extended minutes.

Nazr Mohammed


2012-13 salary: $854,389 | Age: 35 | Season stats: 2.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg

Season recap: Mohammed rarely played in the first three months of the season but managed to provide some minutes for Tom Thibodeau with some solid play down the stretch and into the postseason.

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Season highlight: Numbers-wise, Mohammed had a solid game on April 12 in a loss to the Toronto Raptors, scoring 16 points with 13 rebounds. But the biggest impact he had in a game might have been in the Bulls' triple-overtime thriller against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals in which he scored nine points and had six rebounds in almost 19 minutes.

Season lowlight: Mohammed's most memorable moment as a Bull was probably also his lowest point. It came in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in which he shoved LeBron James to the floor and was ejected.

Final grades: Regular season: C Postseason: C

Notes: Mohammed filled the role that Kurt Thomas played for the Bulls during the 2010-2011 season. He stayed prepared despite going several months without playing and never complained publicly about his lack of playing time. Obviously, the Bulls missed Omer Asik more than anyone from the old Bench Mob, and they still miss his presence now. But Mohammed did what he could in limited minutes as the Bulls got about what they had hoped from him on the floor down the stretch.

Quotes: "It's one of those things that happened so fast, you don't know what's going to happen, but instincts kick in," Mohammed said after his Game 3 ejection against the Heat. "When a guy pushes me down, instinctively, I'm going to get up and do something. Sometimes, you have to fight your instincts and do what's right. I'm disappointed I didn't fight my instincts well enough tonight because I could have probably helped the team a little more."

What's next?: Mohammed is not expected to be re-signed by the Bulls as they look to go younger to find a backup for Joakim Noah.

Bulls player review: Carlos Boozer

May, 23, 2013
5/23/13
6:10
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Carlos BoozerAP Photo/Lynne SladkyCarlos Boozer proved durable again this season, playing 79 games.

Carlos Boozer


2012-13 salary: $15,000,000 | Age: 31 | Season stats: 16.2 ppg, 9.8 rpg

Season recap: Boozer was solid for the Bulls throughout most of the season, averaging 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds a contest in 79 games. He stayed on the floor and was a consistent option for coach Tom Thibodeau. He looked most comfortable on the nights when he was the first scoring option and delivered numbers for a team that was missing offense without Derrick Rose.

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Season highlight: Boozer scored 27 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in a surprising win in Miami on Jan. 4. What made his performance most impressive was the fact that he was locked in defensively and was diving on the floor for loose balls. It was one of the best games Boozer has played in a Bulls uniform.

Season lowlight: Games 1 and 2 against the Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Boozer combined for just 14 points, 11 rebounds and five turnovers in the two games. He was a non-factor in both contests.

Final grades: Regular season: B- Postseason: B-

Notes: Boozer's biggest issue remains on the defensive end. Some nights he looks more engaged than others, but on a team that is known for its defensive effort, he remains the weak link. He has definitely improved as a defender under Thibodeau but he remains far behind where the rest of his teammates are on that end of the floor.

Quotes: "It's interesting because he's sort of a lightning rod for our team," Thibodeau said during one of Boozer's hot streaks in mid-January. "He really has played well since he's been here. He got hurt his first year which set him back a little bit, but at the end of every season where you look at where he ranks statistically he's always at the top at his position. More importantly, when you look at the wins the last two years and that's the most important thing. I think he and (Joakim) Noah have played extremely well together and he plays to win, and I think that's important."

What's next?: Boozer must remain in good shape over the summer and continue to work on his jumper. The Bulls wouldn't mind if he continued to work on his post moves, but he seems most comfortable shooting 16- to 18-foot fadeaways in games. The biggest key for the veteran forward is to come into training camp ready to run up and down the floor next season alongside Rose and Co.

Bulls player review: Joakim Noah

May, 22, 2013
5/22/13
3:11
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Joakim NoahDebby Wong/USA TODAY SportsJoakim Noah's shining moment of the season was a 24-point, 14-rebound performance in Game 7 against the Nets.

Joakim Noah


2012-13 salary: $11,300,000 | Age: 28 | Season stats: 11.9 ppg, 11.1 rpg

Season recap: Noah spent the early part of the season playing about 40 minutes a night and worked his way into the first All-Star berth of his career. Without Derrick Rose on the floor, Noah elevated his game on several levels and played the role of leader more than ever. His year changed at the beginning of February when the plantar fasciitis in his foot crept up again and he had to miss three games. He tried to play through the injury, but admitted later that he probably shouldn't have been playing at the time. Noah gritted his way through the postseason on one foot -- delivering one of the best performances by a Bulls center of all time in Game 7 against Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

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Season highlight: The Game 7 performance against the Nets won't be soon forgotten. He had 24 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots in 41 minutes to propel the Bulls to the second round.

Season lowlight: The last two months of the regular season were tough for the big man because of the injury but as far as a specific game, Noah would probably like to forget Game 5 against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. He scored just three points and had nine rebounds in 42 minutes.

Final grades: Regular season: B+ Postseason: B

Notes: Noah is in the midst of a team-friendly contract and has become one of the most popular athletes in the city. His teammates and coaches love his drive and his ability to will them emotionally. The problem for Noah is that he has dealt with a serious injury almost every season. He knows he must find a way to cure the plantar fasciitis that has plagued him recently or else it could derail his time in Chicago.

Quotes: "We're a team of fighters," Noah said after the Bulls' 95-92 loss in Game 6 to the Nets. "We keep getting punched in the face but we fight back. I'm proud of this team and we're going to go into a hostile environment in Brooklyn and we're going to win."

What's next?: Noah will spend the summer working with personal trainer Alex Perris as they continue to try and find ways to get his feet back in working order for next season. Noah proved to be in good shape for all the minutes he played, but he must find a way to make a mid-range jumper more consistently. He will have plenty of looks with Rose expected to be back on the floor -- he just has to take advantage of those chances.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5