With both Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich out now, someone has to step up and put in the work for the Chicago Bulls. It looks like that person will be Luol Deng. Rose is out until sometime next year with a torn ACL. Hinrich just recently tweaked his right groin. It will likely keep him out of the season-opener.
According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Luol Deng is one of the most important players on the court - even when Rose is playing. In fact, the Bulls coach, Tom Thibodeau, thinks he is the most important player on the court.
“I don’t think you can ever measure how important he is for our team,’’ Thibodeau said. “His statistics don’t measure how important he is. He makes our starters function well; he makes our bench function well; he does so many little things that help you win."Deng is never going to replace Rose as the team's best player, but he can help fill the void. All Deng needs to do is play up to the level we all know he can, and the Bulls can actually stay afloat without Rose. Deng's presence holds the team together, and Hinrich will be back soon too.
Deng has averaged 16.0 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game in his career. Last season, he averaged 15.3 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game. Deng is an All-Star and a leader. Rose is the best, but Deng will help hold the Bulls together.