Wendell Carter Jr. Throws Teammates Under the Bus After Embarrassing Loss

Getty Wendell Carter Jr.

If the Chicago Bulls‘ 2020-21 season was written in story form, it should be authored by late, great Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, because as the title of his classic book states, things are falling apart.

On Wednesday night, the Bulls fell 103-94 at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs were even playing without star guard Collin Sexton. If you didn’t watch the game, and the loss sounds bad on paper, trust me, it was even worse for those of us assigned to or crazy enough to watch it from beginning to end.

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The Bulls played sloppy and uninspired basketball in their last contest before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday. Quite frankly, they played like a team that badly wants their front office to shake things up a bit. It seems like at least one member of their core was as frustrated on Wednesday as many of the team’s fans were after the game.

During his postgame media session, Wendell Carter Jr. didn’t hold back with his candid comments. He said:

From the get-go as a team we underestimated them. We just thought we could show up and play just because of their record. That’s kind of the vibe I was getting. Even in the warmups, I’m like, ‘Man, c’mon. We’re not one of the best teams in the league either.

The comment was captured in a tweet from NBC Sports’ K.C. Johnson.

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Underestimating Teams?

The Bulls are currently 19-24 on the season and sitting in the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference. It’s perplexing to think this bunch could be underestimating anyone.

However, based on the Bulls’ inconsistent effort, Carter Jr. may be on to something. That said, Carter Jr. is not always the most consistent performer himself. He was recently removed from the starting lineup, and while he’s had some moments since the change, he hasn’t distinguished himself as a reserve in a way that would shorten his time coming off the bench.

Quite honestly, it’s all a mess.

The Bulls Must Move Markkanen

As up and down as Carter Jr. has been, and as maddeningly erratic and helter-skelter as Coby White can be, the one young player, the Bulls need to trade the most is Lauri Markkanen.

Chicago is a better team without him, as proven by their 11-9 record when Markkanen isn’t in the lineup compared to the 8-15 mark with the talented but fragile 23-year-old.
The Bulls are running out of time to make a deal this season.

They could wait until after the season for a sign-and-trade deal, but that would essentially doom Zach LaVine, Thaddeus Young, Patrick Williams, Billy Donovan, and the team’s fanbase to deal with this ill-formed squad 28 more times this year.

LaVine has become an All-Star, and he deserves better. Young has been the most consistent veteran, and he deserves better. Donovan is a heck of a coach who has inherited a roster with too many poor competitors. Williams is too young and talented to allow him to be infected by these kinds of bad examples, and the fans have suffered enough over the years.

Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley should throw everyone a bone and make a deal.

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