It may only be August, but it’s never too early to amp up your Bulls knowledge, particularly after a turbulent off-season like this. The theme of this year’s off-season has definitely been “out with the old, in with the new” – bench that is. After the Bulls brass changed up the roster quite a bit through a series of trades during NBA Free Agency, we’re going to have some new names and faces to get to know. Old faces like Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson are still around to provide us with some dunks, but the Bulls’ beloved bench mob is essentially gone. Check out who’s in and who’s out!
Say Good-Bye to the “Bench Mob”:
We know, we’re just as sad about the whole situation – if you aren’t familiar, the “Bench Mob” was the nickname given to the Bulls’ bench players who would come into the game to relieve the starting five players. The Bench Mob was the core group that sustained the Bulls top record in the NBA all season after facing so many injuries to star players. Many of our favorite personalities on the team have been traded off one-by-one to new NBA cities, take a look:
- Most recently the Bulls decided against matching the Houston Rockets $25 million dollar offer for the “Turkish Hammer”, Omer Asik. Although he isn’t the best offensively (he struggled with an inbound catch to win in the playoffs and then proceeded to miss some free throws) his defense and rebounding abilities will be tough to replace.
- Chicago won’t be hearing anymore “Hot Sauce” during the color commentary since the handsome Kyle Korver will be making his way to “hot-lanta” as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.Of course being the classy guy we know and love, Korver had only kind things to say about his time with the Bulls organization.
- Backup point guard C.J. Watson will be heading to the Brooklyn Nets (formerly the New Jersey nets). He may have made quite a few Chicagoans cranky when he said Deron Williams (the Nets point guard) was the best point guard in the NBA – not his former teammate Derrick Rose.
- Chicago’s finest brew is heading to the Big Apple. Ronnie Brewer will be playing for the New York Knicks after signing a one-year deal. His defense will absolutely be missed.
- Chicago welcomed back a familiar point guard: Mr. Kirk Hinrich.With Derrick Rose most likely not returning until March of 2013 the Bulls need a seasoned point guard to man the court. The Bulls drafted “Captain Kirk” back in 2003 where he played his first seven seasons in the NBA and was then traded over to the Washington Wizards and later to the Atlanta Hawks. Kirk also holds the franchise record for most three point field goals – hopefully he can break his own record!
- The Bulls picked up forward Vladimir Radmanovic from the Atlanta Hawks after agreeing on a one-year deal.Radmaonvic is a big guy, but he’s not too smooth on defense. I can’t wait to see what kind of nickname Stacey King can come up with for Vladimir!
- Another recent addition is shooting guard Marco Belinelli. The 26-year-old sharp shooter is coming up from the New Orleans Hornets and hopefully bringing his offense with him. He slightly resembles Sylvester Stallone in his “Rocky” days – take it or leave it. His one downfall is also his defense. He openly admitted to not playing very well on defense, hopefully defensive connoisseur coach Tom Thibodeau can work some magic.
- The Bulls most recently picked up free agent center Nazr Mohammed, who will be able to pick up the slack after trading Asik. The 14-year NBA veteran played for the Oklahoma City Thunder last season and is also a Chicago native who gets to play for his hometown team!
What’s Next: The Bulls just released their 2012-2013 schedule, so get your calendars ready! Their first official match-up is at the United Center on Oct. 31 against the Sacramento Kings. Six of the seven first games will be played at home, including duels with the Oklahoma City Thunder and conference rival Boston Celtics. Check out the full schedule here!