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Forman's Bulls embark on crucial two week stretch

"It’s a very exciting time for our organization and our fans,” said Bulls GM Gar Forman of this summer. "The biggest thing is that we have an opportunity to get significantly better. That’s what we’re trying to do. We don’t know how everything will fall, but I do know we’re taking steps in the right direction and we will be an improved team, whichever path we end up taking."

GM Gar Forman, Taj Gibson and James Johnson

Speaking in a phone interview from his Berto Center office, GM Gar Forman, above with last summer's draft picks, said that he and his staff will have worked out approximately 35-40 players when the pre-draft sessions conclude on Monday.

Bulls to introduce Tom Thibodeau on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

With the team’s coaching search recently coming to an end and potentially the most significant free agency class in NBA history right around the corner, there hasn’t been a lot of talk about the fact that the Chicago Bulls have a first round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

However, they currently hold the 17th overall selection and will be ready to go when it’s their turn on Thursday, June 24, said General Manager Gar Forman on Friday.

Speaking in a phone interview from his Berto Center office, Forman said that he and his staff will have worked out approximately 35-40 players when the pre-draft sessions conclude on Monday.

Forman added that the Bulls have narrowed it down to “four or five” players they are considering at No. 17, though not all of the prospects who have worked out are being looked at for the team’s first round pick.

“We bring in a lot of players who we may have interest in should we are acquire a second round pick, or for down the road,” he said. “We may like a guy who goes undrafted and these workouts give us an opportunity to see them first hand.

“Every draft is so unpredictable and there are always surprises,” added Forman. “Someone always falls that you didn’t think would, so you’ve got to be prepared for a number of different scenarios.”

The team is moving forward under the assumption that they’ll keep the pick; however, Forman said they will consider moving it if the right situation arises.

He added that the team has had some talks about trading the pick to create additional cap space, but that trading it by itself is “not significant enough” to make a deal.

“It would have to be the pick with a combination of something else,” Forman stated.

Should the Bulls keep the pick, Forman expects to employ the best player available philosophy, rather than looking to fill a need or draft a specific position.

“With that said, if it’s close, we may look to fill a need,” Forman acknowledged. “I really believe, especially with our team and where we are at today with only six players under contract and drafting as far down as No. 17, we will take the best player available.”

It doesn’t help that identifying the aforementioned needs with all the unknowns—namely free agency—is an impossible task at the current time.

“We’re trying to fill out a roster and build some depth, so you’re going to have a lot of needs,” said Forman.

The GM added that the team’s pick will not be affected by what may or may not happen with free agency.

“Because of the timing, it’s a backwards process,” said Forman. “You don’t know what’s going to happen with free agency. With free agency, you’re talking about guys who are ready to come in and make an impact. But with the draft, it’s more about projections.”

Forman noted that Derrick Rose was back at the Berto Center on Friday following a few weeks of workouts in Los Angeles. On Wednesday, the Bulls will introduce Tom Thibodeau as its next head coach. Beginning July 1, teams can speak to members of the highly anticipated free agency class of 2010.

“We’ve been in here seven days a week and put in countless hours,” said Forman. “It’s a very exciting time for our organization and our fans. The biggest thing is that we have an opportunity to get significantly better. That’s what we’re trying to do. We don’t know how everything will fall, but I do know we’re taking steps in the right direction and we will be an improved team, whichever path we end up taking.”