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News » Chicago Bulls Getting Inside 2009-06-28

Chicago Bulls Getting Inside 2009-06-28

Chicago Bulls Getting Inside 2009-06-28
The Bulls didn't expect to find another rookie of the year with the Nos. 16 or 26 picks in the 2009 NBA draft. But they did end up with a couple of players they were surprised to find still available.

General manager Gar Forman mentioned that he thought the Bulls were close to moving up -- he didn't say which spot he was seeking -- but ended up drafting the player he wanted to trade up to select.

The Bulls took 6-8 Wake Forest forward James Johnson with the 16th pick and 6-10 USC forward Taj Gibson with the 26th selection.

"When the night started, if we knew this would be the outcome ... we would have taken it right from the get-go." Forman said.

Johnson doesn't necessarily fill a need for the Bulls, but they planned to take the best player available and feel that goal was accomplished. The Cheyenne, Wyo., native is a chiseled 257 pounds and owns a variety of skills, despite getting a late start in basketball.

"We love his versatility," Forman added. "He can play the three, he can play the four. He can play inside, he can play outside. He can put the ball on the floor, rebound it, push it out in transition. He's a very good passer for a big guy."

With Johnson on board, the Bulls wanted to get some help on the inside and were pleasantly surprised to find Gibson still available. Forman talked about watching the final moments of the Pac-10 championship game, when Gibson twice switched on the screen-and-roll onto Arizona State's James Harden and forced missed shots.

"We really, really liked his versatility defensively," Forman said. "For a guy 6-10 with a 7-4 wingspan, he can really move his feet and he's a committed defender."

The Bulls passed twice on Pittsburgh power forward DeJuan Blair, who fell all the way into the second round before being selected by San Antonio with the 37th pick. They would have strongly considered North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough, who went to Indiana with the 13th selection.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: June 28, 2009


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