Jerian Grant helps Bulls retool at point guard in post-Rose era

Jerian Grant helps Bulls retool at point guard in post-Rose era

Gar Forman told reporters at the Advocate Center that Wednesday's Derrick Rose trade marked the first step in the retooling of a Bulls roster in dire need of one.

The writing was on the wall that Rose likely didn't have a future in Chicago past the final year of his five-year, $94 million deal with the Bulls, which is why the trade that sent him, Justin Holiday and a second-round pick to the Knicks wasn't all that surprising.

In return the Bulls found their starting center in Robin Lopez, who averaged 10.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in 82 games for the Knicks last season. He was one of four players last season to average at least seven rebounds, 1.5 blocks and shoot 79 percent from the free throw line; Pau Gasol was another, along with Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns and Lopez's former teammate Kristaps Porzingis.

Lopez headlined the package the Bulls received - he's penciled in as the starting center and is under a team-friendly deal for three seasons - but Jerian Grant will give Fred Hoiberg a young option with upside as they "retool" the point guard position.

Grant was selected 19th overall in last year's draft by the Atlanta Hawks, who flipped the Notre Dame point guard to the Knicks for wing Tim Hardaway Jr. The Knicks were in search of their point guard of the future after rotating through Jose Calderon - also in the deal with the Bulls - Shane Larkin and Langston Galloway at the position in 2015.

Grant saw little action as a rookie, averaging 5.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 16.6 minutes while playing behind Calderon and sharing time with Galloway and Sasha Vujacic.

Head coach Kurt Rambis gave Grant some run in the final six games of the season after the Knicks were eliminated from playoff contention, and the rookie showed promise. In those six final April games, he averaged 14.5 points on 49 percent shooting, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists. He also added 1.3 steals and hit seven 3-pointers.

Those final six games certainly helped convince the Bulls that Grant - who the Bulls were considering drafting at No. 22 in last year's draft - has the ability to come in and be a rotation player for the Bulls. Grant made 34.5 percent of his 3-pointers in four years with Notre Dame, and though he struggled from deep with the Knicks (22 percent on 1.3 attempts per game) he's someone who's able to play off the ball when the offense runs through Jimmy Butler.

The Bulls were bound to move away from Rose in the not-too-distant future, so receiving a 23-year-old point guard one year removed from being drafted in the first round was excellent value in return, and that's without including the veteran Lopez.

With Rose gone and Aaron Brooks a free agent, the Bulls still have a need to keep boosting the point guard position. Calderon will add depth there if the Bulls retain him, and there's still the chance the Bulls use the No. 14 pick in Thursday's draft on a point guard; this author has the Bulls selecting Kentucky's Tyler Ulis, while Insider Vincent Goodwill has them pegged selecting Wade Baldwin IV (both mocks were done before the Rose trade).

At the very least, regardless of the route they go in the draft, the Bulls have gotten younger at a position of need and began their "retooling" process with a talented guard in Grant who could be a part of their future.

Bulls Talk Podcast: Rookie survey surprise, Joakim will double-team anyone


Bulls Talk Podcast: Rookie survey surprise, Joakim will double-team anyone

On this edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast, Sean Highkin and Michael Walton join Kevin Anderson.

1:00 The great Chicken Sandwich Wars- believe the hype

5:15 Judging the Bulls missed free throw promotion with Chick-fil-A

9:25 The story of Michael Jordan betting with teammates on the Dunkin Donuts race

11:45 The myth of the special NBA Jams version with Michael Jordan

17:00 How Jordan would have used twitter in the 90’s

18:00 Which player in NBA history would have had the best twitter account

22:20 Are you with Devin Booker or Joakim Noah in the double-team debate?

25:37 On the NBA rookie survey and Cam Reddish winning ‘best career’ vote

Listen to the full podcast here

Bulls Talk Podcast


The 90s Bulls references in Comedy Central's "South Side" are amazing


The 90s Bulls references in Comedy Central's "South Side" are amazing

Any TV show that references Bill Cartwright and Cliff Levingston gets a positive review in our book.

"South Side" is a new show from Comedy Central that "follows two friends who just graduated from community college and are ready to take over the world. But until they do, they’re stuck working at Rent-T-Own. Shot on location in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, the show offers an authentic look into what life on the South Side is all about."

This isn't an #ad, but you should certainly check it out if for no other reason than the constant Bulls references like the one below.

For you newer generation of Bulls fans, Cartwright played the final seven seasons of his NBA career with the Bulls. He averaged 8.7 points and 5.3 rebounds in 426 games and later coached the Bulls from 2001 to 2004. He went 51-100 as head coach.

Levingston played two seasons with the Bulls (1990-1992) and averaged 4.0 poinst and 2.9 rebounds in 157 games.

No one would argue they were critical pieces to the early 90s Bulls title teams, but they're still making headlines in 2019 for getting shoutouts in "South Side."