It’s a brand-new day in Chicago, one that features a Bulls team with a plethora of outside shooting, all kinds of lineup versatility, tremendous size and most importantly, depth.

The newest round of Kevin Love trade rumors notwithstanding—seemingly improbable after adding veteran big man Pau Gasol, the Bulls are reportedly back in the hunt for the disgruntled All-Star power forward, though word Cleveland being willing to give up No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins is increasingly circulating—the Bulls’ current roster, after the signings of holdover guard Kirk Hinrich, instant-offense scorer Aaron Brooks and the rookie duo Doug McDermott and Cameron Bairstow, if not as impressive to the faction still pining for the services of Carmelo Anthony, inarguably is very intriguing, at the least.

Former league MVP Derrick Rose’s return to the court, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah’s ascendance to superstardom, Sixth Man of the Year runner-up Taj Gibson’s offensive emergence and swingman Jimmy Butler’s defensive prowess, marked by his second team All-Defensive Team selection, on their own, are enough for the Bulls to be optimistic. But add in Gasol’s polished skill set and championship experience, the as-advertised perimeter marksmanship recently displayed by McDermott in Las Vegas, second-year wing Tony Snell’s new-found aggressiveness that earned him first team all-summer league honors with his rookie teammate and the diminutive Brooks’ offensive firepower, and it’s clear why many observers believe the Bulls to be the early front-runner in the Eastern Conference this upcoming campaign.

Assuming Gibson and Butler—who, along with McDermott, will participate in USA Basketball’s mini-camp next week as members of the Select Team—aren’t wearing Minnesota uniforms this fall, the squad’s trademark defensive identity remains, especially with the aforementioned Noah and Hinrich also making their respective presences felt on that end of the floor. In a departure from the last two seasons of gutsy, if not aesthetically-pleasing basketball, the Bulls could be almost as formidable on offense, with proven scorers (veteran Mike Dunleavy Jr., who isn’t exactly chopped liver offensively, and talented rookie forward Nikola Mirotic, haven’t even been mentioned at this point), facilitators, slashers and a variety of specialists giving the club endless possibilities as to style of play, personnel and in general, being a much less predictable matchup for opponents.