Bulls

Tom Thibodeau explains why the Bulls won't make NBA Playoffs

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Tom Thibodeau explains why the Bulls won't make NBA Playoffs

Give Tom Thibodeau credit: He refuses to take any other path besides the high road.

Thibodeau and the Bulls parted last season under somewhat-contentious circumstances.

Under Thibs' reign, the Bulls were 255-139 (a .647 winning percentage) in the regular season and made the playoffs all five years.

A lack of success in the playoffs (23-28) was one of the knocks on Thibodeau, but now the Bulls need a miracle to even make the postseason under new head coach Fred Hoiberg.

[RELATED - Bulls come up short again against Heat, and this time it's costly]

When asked about it on ESPN, Thibodeau refused to take a shot at his former team, Hoiberg or the Bulls roster.

On reasons why the Bulls won't make the playoffs:

"I think at the beginning of the season when Joakim Noah got injured, that was a big hit for the team. And then I also think the East has gotten a lot better.

"When you look at teams like Charlotte, Detroit, Orlando got off to a very fast start. I think it's harder to get wins in the East.

"When you combine the injuries with the improvement of the other teams, it made it tougher. You know, obviously Derrick Rose being injured at the beginning of the season was also a hit, but he's played very well since January, I think. He's really moved along well. Of course [Jimmy] Butler has been terrific all season, as has [Pau] Gasol."

On Rose's future:

"I think it's going to be very bright. This was an important year for him. He's going to end up playing around 70 games and I think that's the most in almost three years, if you combine the last three years. So that's a big improvement for him."

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

On Rose's confidence and training in the summer with Butler:

"I think regaining confidence in his body, and it sounds like he's going to put a lot of work in this summer.

"I think it's a good idea to spend some time with Jimmy [Butler] and prepare themselves for next season."

Wendell Carter Jr. talks up his fit with Lauri Markkanen: 'We're going to be unstoppable'

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USA TODAY

Wendell Carter Jr. talks up his fit with Lauri Markkanen: 'We're going to be unstoppable'

Draft prospects always get asked about how they would fit in with the best players on various teams. Once they are drafted, that goes double

New Bulls' draft pick Wendell Carter Jr. didn't disappoint with his answer about how he can play with Lauri Markkanen, the Bulls' first-round pick from the year before.

“We’re going to be unstoppable," Carter Jr. said to reporters in Brooklyn. "He is a great player, someone I can learn from. A great young player. Someone I can learn from on and off the court. With my work ethic, as I come in I’m going to do all I can do to help my team to win. I think we’ll definitely complement one another on both ends of the court.”

Carter Jr. could play the center next to Markkanen at the power forward spot to form a formidable frontcourt if both players continue to develop.

On the ESPN broadcast of the draft, Chauncey Billups talked about the two big guys and the state of the Bulls in general after Carter Jr. was picked.

"I love what they're putting together there," Billups said of the Bulls. "I like their backcourt with Dunn and LaVine. These two big guys, him and Markkanen, are going to play very well together."

Bulls fulfill their promise, take Boise State's Chandler Hutchinson at No. 22

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USA TODAY

Bulls fulfill their promise, take Boise State's Chandler Hutchinson at No. 22

Chandler Hutchinson abruptly cancelled his NBA Combine trip a month ago because of a promise given to him by a team in the 20s.

And the Bulls fulfilled that reported promise on Thursday night by taking Hutchinson with the 22nd overall pick.

Hutchinson, a senior, came on strong in his final two seasons with Boise State, and as a senior averaged 20.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 31.0 minutes. He shot nearly 48 percent from the field, shot a respectable 36 percent from 3-point range and averaged 1.5 steals.

The pick comes after the Bulls opted for the safe route and Duke center Wendell Carter with the 7th pick.

The Bulls were in desparate need of versatility on the wing and they get it in Hutchinson, who projects as someone who can play both forward positions.