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News » Chicago Bulls Roster Report 2009-05-30

Chicago Bulls Roster Report 2009-05-30

Chicago Bulls Roster Report 2009-05-30
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Guard Derrick Rose was probably even better than advertised. The No. 1 draft pick was a runaway winner for NBA Rookie of the Year and handled the pressure of playing in his hometown with ease. After averaging 16.8 points and 6.3 assists during the regular season, Rose scored 36 points in his playoff debut at Boston, matching a rookie record set by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1971.

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: Forward Luol Deng was given a six-year, $71 million contract last summer, then had another disappointing, injury-marred season. His statistics (14.1 points, 6.0 rebounds) dropped for the second straight year, and he was sidelined for the last two months because of a stress fracture in his right tibia. The Bulls have to be wondering if Deng will ever return to the form he showed in the 2007 playoffs.

FREE AGENT FOCUS: Most of the attention will be focused on guard Ben Gordon, an unrestricted free agent. The team's leading scorer for four years running might have limited options since few teams will have cap room this summer. The Bulls would like to re-sign him but might have to exceed the luxury-tax threshold in order to do so. The other free agents on the roster are all reserves -- guard Lindsey Hunter, center Aaron Gray, forward Linton Johnson and guard Anthony Roberson. The Bulls appreciated Hunter's leadership and would like to bring him back.


--F Tyrus Thomas ended the playoff series on a disappointing note. After hitting the winning basket in overtime of Game 1, he played just 17 minutes in the Game 7 loss as coach Vinny Del Negro opted to play more small lineups that sometimes included three guards, forward John Salmons and just one big man. When the final game ended, Thomas was the first Bulls player to leave the court and later the first to exit the locker room.

--G Ben Gordon seemed to struggle with a left hamstring strain during the final two games of the playoffs. After scoring 14 points in Game 6, he started fast in Game 7 and eventually finished with 33 points, but he knocked down just 2 of 14 shots in the second half.

--G Derrick Rose helped bring the Bulls back from a 14-point halftime deficit in Game 7 at Boston. During the third quarter, he hit 5 of 6 shots for 10 points as the Bulls trimmed the Celtics' lead in half. But he attempted just one shot and didn't score in the fourth quarter as the Bulls never got closer than three points. "We were running plays," Rose said after the game. "I'm still a point guard. I've got to give people the ball."


--F Luol Deng (right tibia contusion) didn't play after Feb. 28. A variety of doctors agreed that Deng has a tiny break in tibia that could be the early stages of a stress fracture. He'll continue to rest the injury this summer, hoping to avoid surgery and be healthy enough to join the Great Britain national team at the European championships in September.

--F John Salmons (groin strain) is planning to visit a couple of specialists to check on the injury, which kept him at less than 100 percent for the last month of the season, though he missed just one game.

--C Jerome James (torn Achilles tendon) was already out for the season when he joined the Bulls in a trade from New York on Feb. 19. Considering James played in four games the last two seasons for the Knicks, the Bulls were not expecting many contributions. It's uncertain whether he'll be healthy enough to join training camp in October.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: May 30, 2009


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