The Chicago Bulls are built for this year, next year and beyond
The Chicago Bulls have undergone a serious transformation over the past two seasons with Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley. They got rid of Jim Boylen before last season and went from several young pieces to Wendell Carter Jr. and others last season brought in Nikola Vucevic and a few other pieces.
This offseason they continued what could be the fastest makeover in team history by landing Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso, and on Wednesday they added 23-year-old tall Tony Bradley.
What they’ve actually done is protect themselves this coming season, next season, whatever happens with Zach LaVine, and in the future as a free agent destination.
Chicago Bulls have had one of the best offseason in the NBA and possibly team history
There has been more of a mixed reaction to what the Bulls have done than is deserved. It was a homerun offseason, and that’s no exaggeration. The addition of Ball gives them a pair of young players to build on with his progress and the expected growth of Patrick Williams.
It also gives them protection, no matter if LaVine reconnects with the team or decides to leave for greener pastures. He recently spoke about wanting his next deal to show the proper respect.
Trading for DeRozan gives the Bulls a legitimate third option on offense with LaVine and, with Vooch, the lineup of the next line should leave the scoring dynamo after the 2021-22 season.
If his tweet following Tuesday’s action is any indication, however, LaVine is sensing the moves that only increase the chances of him re-signing.
— Zach LaVine (@ZachLaVine) August 4, 2021
The questions people ask are understandable. None of LaVine, Vucevic or DeRozan is a great or even a good defender. DeRozan is also a non-ranged shooter. He also has a reputation for not being able to carry the load in the playoffs.
Well, he won’t have to do that with LaVine and Vucevic, both in the top 10 for shooting attempts last season.
Finally, Ball’s pass is better in transition than the half court, which doesn’t necessarily line up with Vucevic being post to post.
Except that LaVine, Vucevic, and Ball can all function as shooters in the half court offense. LaVine and DeRozan can work mostly off-screens and as cutters around Vucevic as a hub at the top of the key.
And we’ve seen the value of mid-range shooting – a DeRozan specialty – in the last few playoffs.
The Bulls did not stop, adding on Wednesday the big man on the rise Tony Bradley.
He should skillfully replace what the Bulls lost when they traded Daniel Gafford last season and do even more on the attacking side. The fact that Chicago landed him for a minimum contract further shows how astute they have been despite spending a lot of money on their goals.
Patrick Williams will be the starting point of defense, and that’s a scary proposition for a second-year player. But he drew praise from top dogs as a rookie. He will be fine.
Alex Caruso, Coby White, Troy Brown and Marko Simonovic would be thinking about completing the Bulls bench and, as a result, it’s a group with capable shooting and fierce defense.
At this point, if you don’t like what the Bulls have been up to, you better wait for the next diet. Nothing Karnisovas and Eversley have done suggests the time is coming anytime soon.