Chicago Bulls Power Rankings: Rating Every Player After First Six Weeks

Mike B.Correspondent IDecember 2, 2013

Chicago Bulls Power Rankings: Rating Every Player After First Six Weeks

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    The season is only a few weeks old, but it still makes sense to rank every Chicago Bulls player not named Derrick Rose.

    Unless you've been living under a rock or a gigantic mountain, you're well aware that Rose will miss the remainder of the season due to a torn meniscus.

    While D-Rose won't be ranked in this slideshow, there are 12 other players who will be, including All-Stars Joakim Noah and Luol Deng as well as the Tony Snell-Erik Murphy rookie duo.

    And don't forget about key role players like Jimmy Butler and super-sub Taj Gibson.

    Chicago certainly isn't a title contender without Rose in the lineup. However, this is still a group that's capable of reaching the playoffs.

    All Stats used are accurate as of 12-2-13.

12. Erik Murphy / 11. Mike James

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    Erik Murphy

    Nobody expected Erik Murphy, who was drafted in the second round of this year's draft, to play much as a rookie. So far this season, no one is surprised.

    Murphy has appeared in just seven games, logging a total of 15 minutes. He is the only player on the Bulls' roster who hasn't scored a single point.

    He'll likely become a rotation player at some point during his career. Don't look for it to happen this season, though.

    Mike James

    During training camp, the free agent trio of Mike James, Dexter Pittman and D.J. White competed for the final regular season roster spot. James would end up winning the battle.

    Too bad he has barely touched the court, appearing in only five contests so far. The veteran point guard has recorded a total of two points and four assists.

10. Marquis Teague

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    Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

    Will Marquis Teague ever pan out? That’s surely a question Chicago fans are asking one another these days.

    After rarely seeing any action as a rookie last season, Teague was supposed to become a valuable role player for the Bulls during Year 2.

    Sadly, he is having a miserable campaign, producing a total of 11 points and seven assists.

    “Miserable” is the perfect word to describe his shooting as well. Teague has hit only four of his 24 field-goal attempts.

    Hopefully, the youngster's game will come around, and doesn't pick up the "bust" label.  

9. Nazr Mohammed

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    Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Nazr Mohammed isn't exactly putting up superstar numbers (1.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game).

    It's pretty hard to contribute a lot when you're averaging less than 10 minutes a night.

    His playing time has decreased from last year, as Taj Gibson gets minutes at the backup center spot behind Joakim Noah.

    Mohammed hasn't done much thus far, and don't expect things to change anytime soon unless a Bulls big man goes down with an injury (knock on wood).

8. Tony Snell

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    Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

    Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau doesn't usually play rookies much. Jimmy Butler and Marquis Teague were victims the past two seasons.

    It looks like things have changed, though, in the Windy City.

    Rookie Tony Snell has started three games, filling in for the injured Jimmy Butler. He has played at least 25 minutes in each of those starts, including 36 against the Detroit Pistons.

    Speaking of that Pistons game, the talented New Mexico product enjoyed a productive night in Auburn Hills with 13 points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals. He also hit five of his nine field-goal attempts, including three from downtown.

    Snell would top that off the following game with a career-high 18 points vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers. And he knocked down three from beyond the arc once again.

7. Mike Dunleavy

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    The Bulls have employed plenty of dangerous long-range threats in the past. Guys like John Paxson, B.J. Armstrong, Steve Kerr and Kyle Korver are perfect examples.

    Mike Dunleavy, who was signed during the offseason, is the guy nowadays. The 12th-year pro is currently Chicago’s top three-point shooter with 41.9 percent.

    While he isn’t anywhere close to being the scorer that Nate Robinson was last season for the Bulls, Dunleavy is a nice weapon off the bench. Other than shoot the lights out, he can handle the ball and play decent defense.

6. Kirk Hinrich

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    Kirk Hinrich began the season off the bench, the role he’s better suited for. But with Derrick Rose out until next year, he is now the Bulls’ starting point guard.

    Hinrich started 60 games last season, replacing Rose, who was recovering from ACL surgery. He did an admirable job, and he’s doing the same this year as well. Captain Kirk is averaging a respectable 8.4 points and 4.7 assists per game.

    In a loss to the Utah Jazz, Hinrich contributed only one point, despite logging 35 minutes of action.

    If the Bulls want to reach the postseason, they can’t afford to have many more performances like that from their starting floor general.

5. Taj Gibson

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    Taj Gibson had a fantastic preseason, and his regular season hasn’t been too shabby either.

    The Bulls were truly dominant in their 99-79 victory over the Detroit Pistons. One of the main reasons for the win was Gibson, who had his best game of the young season.    

    He scored 23 points and grabbed eight boards while shooting an impressive 11-of-13 from the field. That’s not a bad night at all for a reserve.

    With the possibility of Carlos Boozer being amnestied next summer, this could be Gibson’s last season as a member of the “Bench Mob.”

4. Jimmy Butler

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    Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

    Currently out with a toe injury, Jimmy Butler should return to the lineup soon. Chicago could certainly use the stellar defense he provides on a nightly basis.

    Absolutely one of the best wing defenders in the business, "Jimmy Buckets" hasn't looked so great on the offensive end of the floor.

    Butler is averaging just 11.2 points per contest, and not being nearly as aggressive as he should be. He attempted over 10 field-goal attempts in only three of his nine games this season.

    He was rather impressive on opening night against the Miami Heat, pouring in 20 points. Hopefully the third-year swingman can have more performances like that once he returns to the hardwood.

3. Joakim Noah

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    Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    Last season was undoubtedly Joakim Noah's best since joining the league in 2007. He reached career-highs in basically every category imaginable, and made his first-ever All-Star team.

    This season, Noah's numbers aren't the same. But he has a good excuse, seeing that his playing time has decreased. Tom Thibodeau is obviously trying to help his star center avoid the dreaded injured list.

    Noah has come up with a few solid performances thus far. The former Florida Gator recorded 18 points, nine rebounds and three assists vs. the Toronto Raptors.

    And he had a near triple-double against the Denver Nuggets, collecting 11 points, 12 boards and eight assists.

2. Carlos Boozer

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    We've seen some monster performances from Carlos Boozer this year. He dropped 31 on the Miami Heat, and turned in an outstanding 26-point, 16-rebound effort against the Utah Jazz.

    In addition, he put up 18 and 10 in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

    At times, Boozer has resembled the All-Star he used to be out in Utah.

    Unfortunately, we've also witnessed some not-so-wonderful performances. Boozer scored just six points (3-of-10 from the field) against the Indiana Pacers, and six points (3-of-11) vs. the Detroit Pistons. Yeah, that's not so great.

    However, he has put together a quality campaign, serving as the Bulls' top rebounder and second-leading scorer.

1. Luol Deng

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    Without Derrick Rose last season, Luol Deng was "The Man" for the Bulls, leading the club in scoring average.

    And his status is basically the same this year. The two-time All-Star small forward leads the way with 18.2 points per game.

    So far this year, Deng has reached the 20-point mark seven times, including a pair of 27-point nights against the Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers respectively.

    While his scoring has been solid, his three-point shooting is definitely nothing to smile about. He has hit only nine of his 42 attempts from downtown (21.4 percent). No, that is not a typo.

    But oh well, he never claimed to be the next Larry Bird or Reggie Miller, right?

    It's possible Deng could make his third consecutive All-Star team if he manages to keep the Bulls from falling off the face of the earth.