Chicago Bulls Rebuilding Season Will Not Look Pretty
The Chicago Bulls basketball season is gonna look ugly this year. They will not be a good team.
A good team will win more games than they lose. Last year’s team finished even with 41 wins against 41 loses.
Vegas odds makers predict the Bulls will be last in the league. Gulp!
This year’s team may remind us of the lowly years before Michael Jordan put Chicago on the map with six NBA Championships in the 1990s.
This is a totally different team from two years ago, and even last year. Fans will not recognize new faces on the court – Zach La Vine, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen (No. 7 draft pick). Who are these guys?
Gone are Jimmy Butler – their all-star who was traded over the summer to the Minnesota Timberwolves for those three guys – and Dwayne Wade, who demanded way too much and was released to join up again with Lebron James at Cleveland to give them another shot at an NBA ring.
The Bulls have shed most of the team that fans recognized two years ago – Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, Rajon Rondo and Joakim Noah (son of French Open tennis winner Yannik Noah) have all left.
The one name fans will remember is Nikola Mirotic, a strong yet erratic scorer, who signed a two-year deal after NBA teams showed little interest in his free agency.
It is a total rebuilding year, and could be for a while. Draft picks, youth and luck weigh heavily. The coach is the same – Fred Hoiberg (year 3 of five-year $25 million contract!), and former coach Doug Collins returns as a special advisor (I still wonder why did the Bulls fire him when he coached Jordan in the beginning years and were steadily climbing).
Perhaps the Bulls management took liberty to radically restructure the team because even though they were an average team last year, they still led the league in attendance. So the hell with it, let’s gamble big, corporate sponsors are still throwing money around.
Longtime fans might notice echoes of the years after the era of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen when a couple of rebuilding schemes kept the Bulls in the lottery for six consecutive years.
Are the Bulls looking to do the same? That is a big risk, as the years before Michael Jordan were dire lottery picks, punctuated by the second overall pick of David Greenwood (David who?) in 1979, who lost the coin flip to the LA Lakers who selected superstar Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson No. 1.
This year’s team has no established veteran leader.
The starting five – Dunn (3.8 points per game ppg), Justin Holiday (7.7 ppg), Robin Lopez (10 ppg), Paul Zipser (5.5 ppg) and Mirotic (10.6 ppg).
First game of the season is next Thursday, October 19 against the Toronto Raptors.
Good Luck Chicago Bulls – you’re really going to need it!