While the NBA playoffs continue, nobody seems too focused on what the Chicago Bulls have planned for next season. One thing is clear; they may need answers at center because of Joakim Noah. Is Kelly Olynyk a possibility?
Noah’s health has become bigger story for Bulls than Derrick Rose
Heart is something that never lacks with Chicago center Joakim Noah. Despite the painful condition of plantar fasciitis in his foot, the Bulls All-Star gutted it out in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Brooklyn Nets. He came away with 11 points and 10 rebounds including two huge buckets and two big offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter. One can only imagine how good he would’ve played if he were completely healthy. That is what scares a lot of Bulls fans. In truth he will never shake the condition. It is chronic and will follow him the rest of his career. As much as fans have focused on Derrick Rose and whether he will return in the playoffs from his ACL injury last season, the bigger question for the Bulls’ front office is how much can they trust Noah in the future?
Jimmy Butler could push Bulls towards front court help in NBA draft
For the past two years, nearly every fan and expert has said the same thing about Chicago–when and how will they find a shooting guard worthy of playing alongside Rose? Somebody who can score and create offense. Lost in all that is the sudden rise of second-year man Jimmy Butler. His broadening game, both on offense and defense has become one of the pleasant surprises of the 2012-2013 season. He’s played so well to the point that many wonder if his athletic ability and size could make him the answer at 2-guard. He is plenty good enough on defense and if his offensive game keeps getting better than their problem is solved. That is why the 2013 NBA draft may take on a different look for Chicago. With Butler on the rise and Noah battling time and his own body, it might serve the Bulls better to find help in the front court at center. Early first round projections have plenty of options. Among the biggest, literally and figuratively, is Gonzaga star Kelly Olynyk. Having declared for the draft last week, he projects as a mid first round pick. ESPN experts see him as a proven scorer with a range of offensive options, including from behind the three-point arc. His biggest drawback is on defense, something Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau specializes in. Taking him would give the team loads of option moving forward.
Joakim Noah has battled so hard for the Chicago Bulls. He deserves the benefit of the doubt, but business is business. They can’t trust his health will improve. With Derrick Rose returning and their championship hope growing, a move for Kelly Olynyk may stand as their best course of action.
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