Is there a team in the NBA getting more disrespect than the Chicago Bulls?
Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley went to great lengths to retool the Bulls roster, but many analysts aren’t only predicting the team will fall short of contention, some are opining the front office blowing up the roster by midseason.
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We’ve heard a lot about the new Bulls lineup and how some of the pieces don’t appear to be a natural fit. We’ve also heard about the team’s defense.
Many suspect it will be horrible, and there is concern about the guaranteed money the team has doled out in a matter of months to DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. Those factors seem to be powering Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley‘s pessimistic view on the Bulls’ chances to be viable during the 2021-22 season.
Buckley can see the Bulls blowing it up by February. Center Nikola Vucevic seems to be the piece of the Big-4 that Buckley has zeroed in on as a potential trade chip. He writes:
If LaVine doesn’t sign an extension this offseason, the front office could feel awfully antsy come February if the Bulls can’t gain traction in what could be the most competitive Eastern Conference playoff race in years. And if they get the sense LaVine might leave, they surely won’t be keen on paying the 30-year-old Vucevic $46 million for the next two seasons or $81.9 million over the next three to the 32-year-old DeRozan. There’s a perfect world in which Chicago looks wise for the roster reshuffling while competing for a top-six seed in the East. But there are more scenarios in which the best path forward for the franchise involves fire-selling the vets and retooling around Ball and Patrick Williams for the long term.
Vucevic does look like the star who is most apt to be traded, but it seems pretty early for such projections. LaVine and others have combatted those who have insisted the team is doomed because of mis-fits.
The Problem With the Pessimistic Bulls Prognostications
Oftentimes, fans and analysts dismiss a simple concept when it comes to team and player projections; there is an assumption that we won’t see veterans improve, adapt or evolve into different versions of the players they have been most of their careers.
LaVine spoke to Heavy’s Sean Deveney about fit, and you can tell he seems keen on proving doubters wrong this season. Deveney asked LaVine about a potential fit issues that some are mentioning.
I don’t get that at all, because that’s just outside narratives. At the end of the day, we are some of the basketball players in the world and we know how to make something work. It’s our job to get out there and get to know each other, obviously personally and as a basketball player. It’s easy to make things work on the basketball court if you all have the same intent, and that’s winning. I don’t think anybody on this team is selfish. With that, going forward, if that is the standard, we’re going to figure out everything because we’re too good of basketball players, we work too much, we care too much about the game for it not to.
Buckley and others might be surprised what these Bulls can accomplish if they are committed to unselfishness on offense and high effort on defense.
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