By: Nate Leer
Chicago has remade their team but do the parts work? And does the coach match the type of talent assembled? Combining Dwayne Wade, Jimmy Butler and Rajan Rondo in the same offense seems to be a study in redundancy. None of the 3 is a pure shooter and they all operate best with the ball in their hands. Rondo is a great passer and the other 2 will pass the ball as appropriate so maybe head coach Fred Hoiberg can make this work. Newly-acquired Michael Carter-Williams is another ball-handling slasher as well.
Moving on from Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol was absolutely necessary to allow the coach to take charge of the team but are they any better? They should be a much-improved defensive team but the offense has less skilled players and doesn’t seem well put together. While not a complete fantasy wasteland, most Bulls players are going to be over-drafted because of past performance. Even Jimmy Butler, a fantasy stud, should be down-graded a bit for having to share the court with Wade and Rondo.
Dewayne Wade, Rajan Rondo, Robin Lopez, Michael Carter-Williams
Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, Mike Dunleavy
Like many over-the-hill players, Wade shows flashes of his old game and does contribute in several categories. However, his age and injury history make him a tough gamble for fantasy basketball purposes. At this point he is little more than a late-round flyer.
Rondo is at a different point in his career after something of a resurgence last year. However, his role in this offense and the plethora of other ball handlers should cap his assist numbers, by far Rondo’s strongest fantasy category. Do not reach for him when PGs get thin in the middle rounds.
Lopez looks like he is in line for another solid, low-end-center type of season. He would benefit from more shooting around him on the floor but contributes in enough categories to be valuable.
Carter-Williams does not appear to have much fantasy value unless and until some injuries happen to the Bulls and the rotation shake out.
The moral of the story for the Bulls is that the best fantasy player(s) to target are the shooters. If Nikola Mirotic or Doug McDermott can become a knock down shooter, Hoiberg may be forced to give him a lot of minutes. Mirotic might get drafted too high for the risk he brings but McDermott could be a late round bargain. Taj Gibson is also worth considering at the end of the draft as Hoiberg seems inclined to start him.