The Chicago Bulls have been trying to find a new identity ever since the wonderful Jordan era has sadly come to an end after their last championship run in 1998. As a fan and many others, we wish that era never came to an end and would still be winning championships as we speak. But with everything along with people, […]
The Chicago Bulls have been trying to find a new identity ever since the wonderful Jordan era has sadly come to an end after their last championship run in 1998. As a fan and many others, we wish that era never came to an end and would still be winning championships as we speak. But with everything along with people, they cannot last forever. With drafts come and go many years you would think the team would find their savior again with one of the drafts after Jordan left. They thought they landed with a young man out of Memphis who miraculously turned out to be a Chicago native himself. I am referring to Derrick Rose, he came out the gate ready to take on the league by jumping out the gym and dominating every opponent that stood in his way. After winning MVP only his third season, there were high hopes in the organization that they truly found the one that could league them into winning more championships throughout his career. Then reality set in after suffering a terrible ACL tear, in the second half of a game that was already a blowout!!
Sorry, I had to get it out. As a fan you have to bring up old stuff as if the wound was still fresh, I know you understand. After missing the next season, Rose came back the following year ready to pick up where he left and if you know the timeline then you know what happens next, which caused him to miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season. You would think the injuries would somewhat come to a halt with a few sprain ankles or sore knees due to the previous injuries, right? Absolutely wrong! The next year he had another injury, which caused him to miss the remaining 14-15 season. At this point, the organization decided to blow up the team and start fresh with a young squad, and with getting rid of Rose that meant getting rid of one of the best two-way guards in the league and is known for being the closer of teams he has been on, Jimmy Butler.
With the team still in rebuilding mode, they have picked up some nice pieces over three years. Trading to get Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, both known for their own attributes. Dunn for being a very good point guard in college and with the right coaching he could transition into a nice one in the NBA, LaVine is one of the most explosive Small Forwards in the league. He may have had a minor set back with a torn ACL but after coming back he picked up right where he left off and is still growing within the league. Also in the draft, they picked up two big men in back to back years, Lauri Markkanen coming the first year who transitioned into a nice stretch forward who also can take you inside and show you who is boss, and then there’s Wendell Carter Jr. who turned into a shot-blocking rebounder from Duke, who is coming back for his second year.
They are still trying to figure out what to do with Denzel Valentine, who was a three-point threat at Michigan State and showed a glimpse of that same attribute in the NBA, but like D. Rose, his injuries came early and is trying to stay healthy so he could play through a full season. With this year’s draft they went out and got a point guard from the same school Michael Jordan went to, the University of North Carolina, some may say this is the second coming since they came from the same school, but only time will tell if he can be either a great fit or just another bust in the system. During this season and offseason they picked up a few more pieces to complement the young they have at the moment, after trading away Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker to the Wizards, they received back Otto Porter Jr. and his big contract. This offseason they picked up Tomas Satoransky who was also a Wizard with Porter during their time there, to add a veteran presence to this young core they went and got Thaddeus Young from the Indiana Pacers who can add to the defensive end of the floor.
- Ryan Arcidiacono
- Antonio Blakeney
- Kris Dunn
- Shaq Harrison
- Tomas Satoransky
- Coby White
You won’t see that many changes in the PG position, we expect Dunn to bring up the ball the start of the season with their top 10 pick White learning and coming off the bench, but don’t be surprised if becomes the starter before All-Star break. Dunn is a good point guard but to me, I’ve always seen him as a shooting guard and facilitating from the wing. Blakeney makes a good back and he brings a nice spark off the bench along with Satoransky, him coming from the Wizards bring more depth to the bench along with being another spark plug.
- Zach LaVine
- Adam Mokoka *(Two-Way)
- Denzel Valentine
Not much depth when it comes to the SG position, but with what they do have it’ll have to work, they can always move one of the extra point guards to the SG position then move LaVine to the SF position if they ever decide to go small and fast. But other than that you will see LaVine starting for the team during the season. Hopefully, we will see Valentine a little bit more this season and many more seasons to come after battle many foot injuries during his short career with the bulls.
- Chandler Hutchison
- Otto Porter Jr.
- Thaddeus Young
With a full offseason under Porter’s belt with the team, there should be a lot of chemistry that was built within the team. He brings a lot to offer to a team of young talent. He has the playoff experience they need when they hopefully make the playoffs. He brings a three-point threat that they somewhat lacked this past season. Hutchison is coming back for his second season and is showing some promise, he may have not played a lot during last season, but when he did he can be an explosive player. Young was brought over through free agency from the Indiana Pacers, he brings a veteran presence that they lacked all last year, and like Porter, he also brings playoff experience to the team.
- Christiano Felicio
- Daniel Gafford
- Luke Kornet
- Lauri Markkanen
Markkanen is coming into his own in this league, setting new heights every year. First, it was setting a three-point record for rookies, then it was making the Rising Stars Challenge, next on the list is making the All-Star team and helping his team make it to the playoffs. Felicio has been up and down between the G League and the NBA, he is a solid backup, but is not known to be a starter anytime soon. Gafford is a second-round pick out of Arkansas, who brings a cutting edge to the team.
- Wendell Carter Jr.
Coming off his rookie season with the Bulls, he had a tremendous run before having to sit out the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury. But look for him to come back healthy and picking up right where he left off. Now he isn’t the only Center the Bulls have, you could put Felicio on the block as well and he could get the job done while Carter is resting on the bench.
Coming into this season, this will be his first full season with Jim Boylen as head coach. As we all know he came in as the coach midway through the first half of the season after the organization let go of Fred Hoiberg. Many of the players and Boylen started off on the wrong foot for he is a more stern coach than some players are used to when they get to that level. But for me as a player, I like a coach he is always on top of you making sure you do your job correctly. I had a coach that once said, “just be happy that I’m hard on you now because if I wasn’t then you know I don’t see much in you to do so.” For Boylen, he is hard on all his players, because he has that winning attitude and is willing to do anything to get them as far as he can. I don’t expect him to have a big impact on the team just yet, we all know that it’s baby steps and it takes time to develop a winning formality.
Projected Lineup/Roster Cuts
- PG: Kris Dunn
- SG: Zach LaVine
- SF: Otto Porter Jr.
- PF: Lauri Markkanen
- C: Wendell Carter Jr.
- Sixth Man: Tomas Satoransky
- Key Role Players: Coby White, Christiano Felicio, Thaddeus Young, Denzel Valentine
- Rest of the Bench: Daniel Gafford, Chandler Hutchison, Antonio Blakeney Ryan Arcidiacono
- Two-Way Players: Adam Mokoka
- Roster Cuts: Shaq Harrison, Luke Kornet
I look forward to seeing the changes in a new system for the Bulls, I look for them to make a slight playoff run this year, while also losing a couple players along the way.
Hot Take: I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bulls put Valentine on the trading block midway through the season, for he hasn’t really developed to the person they expected him to be, yes it is due to injuries, but like what the Sixers did with Markelle Fultz and dealing him to the Orlando Magic to give him a fresh start in a new season, I could see the bulls doing the same thing with Valentine. With making the playoffs, I could see them being a bottom seed with barely beating out the team in ninth. This is still that’s still trying to figure out their identity if they make the playoffs this season it shows that they are earlier than they expected and that they are on the right track of something truly special.