With training camp almost here, Nick Friedell previews every player on the Bulls roster.
Age: 36 | Pos.: C | Salary: $884,293
Role for Bulls in 2013-14: Mohammed remains as an insurance policy for Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. The veteran center saw some action towards the end of last season, especially when Taj Gibson went down with a knee injury, but he rarely played through the first few months of the year. Thibodeau appeared to gain more trust in Mohammed as the season progressed, but it's still most likely that Mohammed will only be used in case of an injury to Joakim Noah or Gibson. Either way, the Kentucky alum is proud to be back with the Bulls for another season. While some expected the Bulls to take a young big man in the NBA draft, Mohammed always envisioned himself coming back to the Bulls.
"I think we've got the players and I think if everybody just improves on the the things they do well, we've got enough to compete for a championship," Mohammed said in July. "At the same time, the biggest thing you need to compete for a championship is sacrifice. … It's going to be different guys on different nights and maybe some guys have to sacrifice minutes here or there because guys fill a role and do their job. But that's the big component as far as winning or competing for a championship. I think we have guys willing to do that. Talent only gets you so far. You need guys on the same page and sacrifice is the biggest thing."
What happened this summer?: Aside from working on his game, Mohammed spent a lot of time working to build up his foundation. Mohammed also tried to maintain a sense of calm in the midst of a fan base which is convinced the Bulls are headed to a championship this season.
"We're not going to talk about winning titles in the summer," Mohammed said. "I mean everybody thinks they can win titles in the summer. We're confident that we've got a pretty good team that plays playoff-style basketball all year long so it's not hard for us to turn it up another notch. We think that we can compete with the eight teams that have a legitimate shot at winning it. I think that there are a lot of teams that want to win it but only about 6-8 teams every year that have a legitimate shot and I think we'll be one of those teams."
What does the future hold?: This is likely Mohammed's last season with the Bulls, but if he produces in his limited role and wants to continue to play there's always a chance that he will return.
Bottom line: The Bulls hope that Mohammed will continue to provide a stabilizing veteran presence and can produce in short minutes.