The Chicago Bulls ended their five-game losing streak on Wednesday night as they beat the Detroit Pistons 114-108. The win is big for the Bulls as it keeps them in fourth place in the Eastern Conference at 40-26 and a half-game in front of the Boston Celtics.
Injuries have been a big part of the Bulls’ struggles at times this season, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons for optimism. The team has built a solid roster, hitting it big in free agency landing DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso.
Pairing those additions with Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic has allowed the Bulls to be competitive again. They’ve also done well in the draft over the last three years, taking Coby White, Patrick Williams, and Ayo Dosunmu.
With those three young players, the Bulls have some nice assets to help them continue to build the roster. Whether that’s on the court or as potential trade pieces.
A recent article from Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale named each NBA team’s best young prospects and some might be a little surprised by who they chose for the Bulls.
Ayo Dosunmu comes pretty damn close to usurping Patrick Williams in this prospect ladder. His rookie season has obliterated even the most optimistic expectations; he’s flashed everything from on-ball creation to dependable outside shooting to indescribably effective defense across roughly 11 of the five positions on the floor.
Depending on what happens with Williams’ recovery from a left wrist injury, there’s also a not-insignificant chance Dosunmu racks up more total minutes this season than the former logs through his first two. That is bonkers.
So, no, I won’t put up a fight against anyone claiming I’m an unstoppable moron who doesn’t watch the games. Dosunmu’s case grows ever stronger looking at the breadth of defensive assignments he covers from the point of attack. But I’m trying not to be swayed by recency bias.
A healthy Williams has the size and length to be indiscriminately pitted against superstar wings, which should render him the higher-end difference-maker if he pans out. And while Dosunmu’s on-ball offense currently has him beat by a mile, Williams seems more a plug-and-play as a shooter and someone who will have an easier time getting off in-between looks in traffic and over trees.
In reading the expectation it seems like Favale was a little torn on making his choice between Williams and Dosunmu. That’s actually a good thing for the Bulls that they have two young prospects that are intriguing.
Williams Injury Recovery
Bulls head coach Billy Donovan gave an encouraging injury update yesterday on Williams. Donovan said that Williams has been cleared for partial contact in practice meaning that he is available to do some one-on-one drills.
It’s the next step in the return for Williams meaning that he is progressing. The Bulls are hoping he’ll continue to progress and that he’ll be able to return before the end of the regular season.
If Williams can get back into the rotation before the playoffs he can give the Bulls some valuable depth for a team that has been lean in the frontcourt. The team has to be careful with him though as they don’t want him to reinjure his wrist and potentially hurt his future.