The Chicago Bulls “fantasy-wise” after the departure of Luol Deng

With their decision to trade away their All-Star forward, Luol Deng, the Chicago Bulls officially enter a mini-rebuilding process around Derrick Rose. Some more significant moves could be expected, like the amnesty of Carlos Boozer. However, for now, the Bulls will have to live without their second best player and they will have to wait for an entire season to see their best player, Rose, back in action,

Deng’s departure will certainly affect the Chicago Bulls as a team. But it will also have an impact the individual performances of a bunch of players in the team.  So what should fantasy owners who own members of the Bulls pay attention to, now that Deng is no more around?

At first, Luol Deng led the Bulls in scoring and minutes per game this season. So now, other players will have to step up and fill in for the missing forward. In general we can expect increase in the production of several players of the Bulls roster. Let’s analyze a bit more.

Deng’s absence will have a big impact in Mike Dunleavy’s numbers. He will now be the starting small forward for the Bulls and that means first of all an increase in his minutes. When a player sees more playing time, that most usually leads to more shot attempts, more rebounds, more assists and steals.

Up to this point of the season, Mike Dunleavy averaged 28.2 minutes per contest. Now, this number is projected to exceed the 30-minute mark and in fact, it could get up to 32.  The 33-year old forward averaged 10.7 PPG, 2.1 APG and 3.9 RPG up to now in the season. He also recorded 45.5 FG% and 39.0 3P%. All those numbers will most probably see an upgrade. We could easily see Dunleavy recording over 14.0 PPG and over 5.0 RPG as the season progresses.

Jimmy Bulter will also see an uplift in his minutes and as a result, in his performance. Butler has lots of potential and now he has an opportunity to prove his real value. We can easily see him emerging as one of the leading scorers for Chicago by the end of the season.

Tony Snell, the first-rounder guard of Chicago, will be affected, too. Nonetheless, fantasy owners, shouldn’t expect big changes in his numbers. Snell will still be a second-tier option for Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. It looks like at least for this season, Snell has reached his ceiling. He is putting up, 5.3 PPG, 1.0 APG and 1.9 RPG while he is shooting 38.7 percent from the floor. There are many other options fantasy owners should turn their attention to and avoid Snell.

Finally, Taj Gibson will certainly see a change in his performance. The 28-year old forward delivers every time he is given a chance. It’s notable that up to now, there hasn’t been a season where Gibson averaged more than 27 points per season. Now, if the Bulls amnesty Boozer, Gibson’s value will explode. But even if they don’t, he should be given much attention from fantasy owners. Gibson is putting up 12.1 PPG and 6.5 RPG in 27.9 MPG up to now in the season.