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Central Notes: Bulls, Pistons, Cavs, Oladipo

The Bulls' season is done, despite gritting out a tough run of injuries–not to mention their season-long absence of 2011 MVP, Derrick Roseto defeat the Nets and advance to the second round. Even with Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, and the aforementioned Rose out, and with Taj Gibson's knee bothering him, the Bulls pushed the Heat a lot more than many expected. 

With the Bulls' season over, now is the time to plot for Rose's heralded return (a season later than expected), and decide whether to make a splash this offseason or hold firm and see what this year's tough group can do with a healthy and rested Rose.

  • K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune provides a primer on the state of the Bulls' guaranteed contracts next season, and with $72,044,288 earmarked for just eight players, the Bulls are hoping to find someone like Nate Robinson who can inject some offense without making more than the league minimum. 
  • Paul Ladewski at thinks the Bulls should go after Al Jefferson in a sign-and-trade deal with the Jazz and Joe Cowley at the Chicago Sun Times bids adieu to important backcourt producers, Robinson and Marco Belinelli, who will likely sign with other teams this offseason when they become unrestricted free agents. The Bulls are expected to buy out Richard Hamilton's contract this summer, so they'll have a paucity of guards under contract for next season, and Cowley notes that Tom Thibodeau is looking for more outside shooting at the lowest cost they can find. 
  • Indiana guard, Victor Oladipo, told Vincent Goodwell at the Detroit News he had his best team interview at the NBA pre draft combine on Friday with the Pistons. The Pistons love his defensive tenacity and motor, and Oladipo says he'd be a good fit for the "defensively oriented" team.
  • Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote in her mailbag the Cavs shouldn't look to acquire Paul Pierce this summer, but believes the team wants to win now and could be looking to add "significant veteran" to their younger squad using a collection of draft picks and money. 
  • In another in a series of pre-draft columns, Mary Schmitt Boyer also looks at the pro prospects of Michigan point guard and NCAA Tournament hero, Trey Burke.

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