While there is much to be excited about, there are also many questions that will not be answered until the season is underway -- some more pressing than others:
Luol Deng's swan song?
The Bulls did not sign Deng to a contract extension this summer. Thus, unless an agreement is reached during the season, which is unlikely, the All-Star forward is set to become an unrestricted free agent at its conclusion. It is entirely possible that this will be his last go-round in Chicago.
Surfacing in trade rumors just about every year, Deng has seemingly, and perplexingly, been largely viewed as expendable throughout his tenure with the Bulls. Combine this sentiment with the emergence of Jimmy Butler, and many may not think his exit would have much of an impact on the team.
But Deng is a very good all-around player who contributes in every single facet. If he must go, hopefully he can help the Bulls win a championship before doing so. Trust that they have a better chance with him than without.
Which Carlos Boozer will show up?
Booze had a resurgence of sorts last season. The power forward was able to put up some monster numbers and even had an impressive run of 11 double-doubles in 12 games. He was finally living up to expectations. However, fans have surely not forgotten the disappointing prior two seasons Boozer had with the Bulls. It remains to be seen if last year was a fluke, or if he has indeed found his way.
Who will provide outside shooting?
Outside shooting is an issue for the Bulls that seems to constantly go unsolved. Mike Dunleavy could very well end up the only member of the Bulls roster who gets significant playing time and can be even remotely classified as a "shooter." Without the ability to stretch the floor, any offense will be easily defended. Dunleavy will get his opportunities, but, unfortunately, Kyle Korver is not walking through that door.
Will Derrick Rose be the player that he once was?
This is undoubtedly the No. 1 question for which everyone is eager to gain an answer. The highlight of the upcoming season, much has been speculated about the health of Rose, the strength of Rose, and the mental state of Rose. The truth is that no one, possibly not even the man himself, can truly know if he is still able to perform at an MVP level until he has actually played in a few games.
Rose may return to form immediately, or it may take some time. Perhaps, he will not return to form at all. There is also the issue of how long it will take his teammates, who shined in his absence, to readjust to playing with him.
After being highly criticized for sitting out the entire 2012-13 season, every aspect of Rose's post-injury game is sure to be over-analyzed. Pre-injury, Rose was an elite talent capable of making a good team great. The good news is, soon there will no longer be a need to speculate with regard to who he is now. Soon, all will know if his current best is enough to take the Bulls to the next level.
Acamea Deadwiler is a Chicago-area native with several years experience covering the NBA, including the Chicago Bulls, for Examiner.com. She has also been featured in Bounce magazine, SLAM Online, and various other publications. Follow Acamea on Twitter @AcameaLD.
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