Despite an early and disappointing end to this year's season, Bulls GM Gar Forman remains optimistic about his team's long-term future. Forman appeared on BullsTV this week to answer fans' questions, and opened up a little on a few topics, including his plans for the draft, Derrick Rose's rehab, and the futures of a couple young big men. Here are some of the highlights from the GM, courtesy of Adam Fluck at Bulls.com....
On the draft and the Bulls' lone pick at No. 29:
"We feel pretty good about where we’re at with No. 29. It’s a deep draft and we’ll be able to address a need with our pick and get a player that’s going to fit into our team, both from a culture standpoint and from a strategic standpoint.... As always, we’re not looking at specific needs. We’ll draft who we feel is the best player available."
"He’s been diligent in his rehab, he’s made tremendous progress, and the surgery, obviously, was a huge success. The biggest thing that’s been encouraging about Derrick has been his mentality towards the rehab. He’s working each and every day, putting a lot of effort into it, and we’re optimistic that if he continues to make the type of progress that he has, that we’ll see Derrick back on the floor at some point next season."
On restricted free agent Omer Asik:
"Omer is very, very important to us. We see him as a key piece of our team moving forward. We think he’s shown the potential to continue to improve. We’re looking forward to getting a chance to sit down with him on July 1st. But it’s certainly our intention to have Omer Asik in a Chicago Bulls uniform long term."
On 21-year-old Nikola Mirotic, whose NBA rights the Bulls hold:
"He’ll remain under contract with [Euroleague's] Real Madrid for the next couple years. But it’s certainly our goal and our expectation that Nikola will be in a Chicago Bulls uniform somewhere down the line. We’ll continue to monitor his progress and feel really good about the development that’s taking place.... He’s seeing major minutes for Real Madrid. When he does come over, we think he’s really got a chance to be a key piece to what we’re trying to put together."
On the team's long-term outlook:
"We’ve hit a bump in the road. We’re going to take a step back short term. But long term, we’re in as good of position as we feel we’ve ever been in. We’ve got some quality young players and we’ve got some assets on the horizon. We don’t have a lot of financial flexibility right now, but we will in the future."