- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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But to take the next step toward becoming a perennial championship contender, Grant knows that the man who currently fills his old role as power forward, Carlos Boozer, must take another step in his progression and rebound from a lackluster postseason.
In this case, as far as the Bulls are concerned, the role of Jordan would be played by current point guard, and reigning league MVP, Derrick Rose.
It's a role that Grant, and several other former teammates, who have been in Australia all week serving as a coaches and spokespeople for the NBA's first ever league sponsored camp on the continent, believes Rose can fill as long as he gets help -- especially from Boozer.
"You have scorers. You have Rose. You have [Luol] Deng. You have guys coming off the bench," Grant said. "[Boozer] needs to be a combination of being that physical presence down low. He has the body to do it. He can score whenever he gets himself in the right position. And the Bulls need another second-tier rebounder. [Joakim] Noah has done a great job. Taj Gibson when he's in there. But they need that extra guy."
Grant, who was critical of Boozer's performance during the postseason when the veteran forward struggled to make much of an impact because of a turf toe injury, is confident that Boozer can become the player the Bulls want him to be -- the Pippen to Rose's Jordan.
"Yeah, no question," he said. "I've been watching his career even when he was in Utah and Cleveland. He can do it. There's no question about it. Hopefully for the Bulls, and for the years to come, he will do it."
That sentiment wasn't shared by some of Grant's former teammates. Ex-Bulls guard Ron Harper flatly said "no" when asked if Boozer could play the role of Pippen to Rose's Jordan.
"Carlos Boozer is an undersized four," Harper said. "So the way that he helps the Bulls out is when he's scoring. He's not a great defensive guy; he knows what his role is. He plays hard. He can rebound the basketball. So they just have to use him when he's out there."
As far as Boozer's struggles on the defensive end, Grant believes that those issues are something which he can be coached through over time.
"You can be taught that," he said. "You can always be trained to be that defensive stopper. But more or less, if you don't want to do it, then you have a problem. But they're going to need him to do all the intangibles for them to get over the hump."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.
4dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann