Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Ball Don't Lie continues counting down potential NBA Draft lottery picks. Because Skeets is far from a college ball expert, and I'm even farther, J.E. called in the big guns - The Dagger's MJD and Eamonn Brennan - to help break it down. Up last, the Chicago Bulls:  

KD's offseason outlook: The Bulls have a host of questions to answer this summer. They're essentially bidding against themselves for the right to extend Luol Deng and Ben Gordon's contracts, and they have to be delicate in dealing with the two youngsters so as to not offend after last fall's embarrassing negotiation fall-through, while still not destroying the team's payroll.

The Bulls desperately need to move the overpaid, overrated, and downright superfluous Andres Nocioni, and if Derrick Rose is the true answer with the first pick, the team needs to figure out what to do with Kirk Hinrich. The team can't be too anxious to move the combo guard, however. With Chris Duhon not coming back, the Bulls can't afford to waltz into 2008-09 with a 19 year-old as the team's lone point man.

Needs: Not only have the Bulls needed a go-to scorer for years, they've also been desperate for someone that makes the tough passes. For a while now, Luol Deng (not really noted for his passing) has been the best alley-oop tosser on this team, with Hinrich's hesitancy to pull the trigger on certain fast-break passes (though Hinrich isn't hesitant to push the break initially) killing Chicago's chances for easy buckets. The Bulls could use someone to score in the post, but so could about 26 other teams.

Really, the team needs to improve its mindset more than anything, and understand that this roster (the league's youngest) deserves patience.

So, with the 1st pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls, represented by Eamonn Brennan from The Dagger, should select ...

Derrick Rose, PG, Memphis

Cosmetically, the Bulls would seem to be the perfect fit for Michael Beasley. He's big, strong, scoring power forward, an athletic Zack Randolph without the whole lazy-and-fat bit. For years, Bulls fans -- and their GM, John Paxson -- have bemoaned the lack of a scoring power forward. Two or three failed trades later, and sit the Bulls, flush with a chance to snatch their low-post holy grail with nary a lost asset in the giving.

Of course, that's only skin deep. Squint a little harder, and you see why Derrick Rose is the can't miss pick for the Bulls: Kirk Hinrich is not a true point guard, and never has been. Ben Gordon has already hit his ceiling. The Bulls have three young frontcourt players just dying to get out on the break and score -- they merely need someone with the speed and verve to make it happen. Derrick Rose is that player, a clear point-guard slam dunk if ever there was one.

Our job with these things has been to give you some insight into the player, the reasons he can help the pro team to which he's slotted. But is there anyone -- not just any college fan, but any basketball fan in general -- that doesn't see what Derrick Rose can do?

He's not perfect. Far from it. But he's the closest thing the Bulls have to a future, and the future is already here.

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