Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said in a radio interview with CSN Chicago that he was not certain which of his players would be coming off the bench as of yet for the upcoming NBA season. Last year Carlos Boozer started games for the Bulls while Taj Gibson came off the bench to relieve him during play. Now that the Bulls have added some depth with Pau Gasol coach Thibodeau said he wasn't sure which team member would be called to go onto the floor.
"I'm not sure on who's starting and who's finishing yet," Thibodeau told the Kap & Haugh Show on 87.7 FM The Game on Thursday morning. "Here's the thing, I know all three are going to have a significant role. I have 96 minutes there and I look at all three of those guys as starters. We'll see how it unfolds when we get to training camp and we let them play together."
Regardless of how the minutes are divided up, Thibodeau only has one goal in mind.
"We're always going to do what's best for the team and make us function at the highest level."
Gasol spoke with new teammate Joakim Noah prior to joining the Bulls when he traveled to Los Angelos to recruit Pau for a potential roster spot on the Bulls. Gasol also spoke with Derrick Rose over the phone to see what his opinion on joining the team would be if he ended up signing.
Gasol since realized that the Bulls are still hungry for a championship run against other upper echelon teams in the NBA, and decided to sign with them after careful consideration.
The 34-year-old Gasol begins his 14th NBA season with career averages of 18.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists, and the 6-10 Mirotic joins the Bulls after a successful final season with Real Madrid.
''It was a gut feeling. I thought Chicago was going to be the best fit for me,'' Gasol said. ''It's a great challenge, but I'm driven by challenge. I look forward to it.''
Gasol said his conversations with Noah and Rose helped sway him to Chicago. Noah was the league's defensive player of the year last season, and Rose is coming back from a pair of knee injuries which kept the 2011 MVP out for much of the last two seasons.
''How humble they were, I think that's real important to be able to not have big egos, that makes things a lot easier,'' Gasol said. ''Their passion, their hunger as well. They're hungry. They're hungry to win, that's something that I wanted to also come into, to be a part of a hungry team.''
The Bulls used the amnesty clause to cut Carlos Boozer on Tuesday, leaving an opening in the starting lineup. But coach Tom Thibodeau isn't sure what the lineup is going to look like just yet.
''I don't know how it's going to unfold,'' he said, ''you know, who will be the starter, who's finishing? Maybe we change as we go. We're going to see once we get everyone out there together. We're always going to do what's best for the team.''
Coach Thibodeau is content with his newly added depth that is certain to help the Bulls push deeper into the playoffs during the upcoming season.
''I think we've added shooting. Of course, getting Derrick back is a huge piece,'' Thibodeau said. ''So it depends how it all fits together. We won't know until we get out there.''