Luol Deng was asked to shoulder a heavy load during Derrick Rose's injury-plagued 2011-12 season, and the veteran responded. He was named to the All Star team for the first time and was also named as a second team All-Defense member. He continued his improvement on the perimeter, played lockdown defense and acted as the Bulls go-to scorer in the 27 regular season games Rose missed.
Brewer was technically pegged in as the starting shooting guard 38 games this year, but his role was just as much on the wing as a forward as it was as a guard. He played well as a defensive stopper, but struggled offensively.
Last year's first round draft pick Jimmy Butler played a similar role to Brewer, but was stuck behind Deng, Brewer and Korver in the rotation.
Since 2000, the Bulls have made 29 draft selections. They spent five of those selections on samll forwards: 2001: Trenton Hassell (Austin Peay), Sean Lampley (California); 2006: Rodney Carney (Memphis); 2009: James Johnson (Wake Forest); 2011: Jimmy Butler (Marquette)
WHAT THE BULLS NEED IN A SMALL FORWARD
Should Deng stay in Chicago, the Bulls have a scorer on the wing for the foreseeable future. But it wouldn't hurt to add another scorer to the second unit, especially when Deng sits post-wrist surgery. Butler and Brewer bring defensive intensity, so looking for someone who can score and has a little size to go with it would help give a balance to go with Butler.
TOP 11 2012 DRAFT PROSPECTS
1. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky -- His only real weakness is an inconsistent jump shot, but he is one of the best defenders in the entire draft and has excellent size.
2. Harrison Barnes, North Carolina -- The ACC's third leading scorer last year has impressive size and can play multiple positions at the next level.
3. Moe Harkless, St. John's -- Despite being quite raw as a prospect, Harkless has as much upside as any small forward in this year's class.
4. Royce White, Iowa State -- Questions about his anxiety have all but vanished, and his stock has increased from a borderline first round pick to a potential lottery pick.
5. Quincy Miller, Baylor -- A torn ACL his senior year of high school set him back, but Miller still has plenty of upside and could be a steal in the first round.
6. Draymond Green, Michigan State -- He isn't the quickest player in the draft, but the 6-foot-8 Green can shoot, rebound, pass and dribble.
7. Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt -- The 6-foot-7 wing shot better than 49 percent in three of his four seasons with the Commodores, and is an above average rebounder and defender.
8. Kevin Murphy, Tennessee Tech -- The little-known prospect averaged 21.1 points and shot better than 41 percent from beyond the arc in his senior season.
9. Kevin Jones, West Virginia -- The runner-up to Jae Crowder for Big East Player of the Year, Jones averaged a double-double (20.1 points, 11.1 rebounds) and shot 50.9 percent from the field.
10. Darius Miller, Kentucky -- The sixth man on Kentucky's national championship team, Miller brings veteran leadership and an above average outside shot to the table.
11. Jae Crowder, Marquette -- Crowder doesn't have a real position, but his ability to rebound and shoot from outside should find him a roster spot.
Rumors of the Bulls looking to trade into the lottery have stemmed around giving up Deng, which would leave a void at small forward. The Bulls, of course, would have a high pick to fill that void, and while Kidd-Gilchrist and Barnes are expected to be off the board within the first five picks, Harkless or White would be intriguing prospects, depending on where the Bulls move up to (if they move up).
Even if Deng stays, his scheduled wrist surgery after the Olympics will cause him to miss substantial time into the 2012-13 season. With his 5 million contract, Brewer's status is up in the air. Butler is a cheap option who could be asked to step into a larger role next year.
If the Bulls stay in the No. 29 slot, any one of Miller, Taylor or Green would be an intriguing pick, as the latter two would be able to come in and play right away.