The Chicago Bulls have shown promise in the midst of an evaluation year for the franchise under first-year coach Billy Donovan, but turnovers have become the bane of the Bulls’ season.
Without a true distributor, Chicago (4-8) is the NBA’s most turnover-prone team in the league, averaging 18.3 a game this season. While Coby White and Zach LaVine have traded facilitating duties, both have been walking turnovers. LaVine is currently fifth in the league with 4.3 turnovers per game, while White ranks 24th with 3.1 turnovers a game.
The return of Tomas Satoransky should help alleviate some of the Bulls’ struggles, however, LaVine hinted at a potential free agent Chicago could bring in to bolster the team’s depth at guard.
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Isaiah Thomas to the Bulls?
LaVine retweeted a soundbite of former Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas saying he’s healthy and waiting for his next chance to play in the league after undergoing hip surgery in May.
“I’m 100 healthy. I know I can help — given the opportunity — whether it be last guy on the bench or if you need some baskets made. I feel like I can help in so many different ways for any team. I’m just waiting,” Thomas said. “I’m staying ready. Staying on my grind. Continuing to get in even better shape and know when my name is called I’m going to be able to take advantage of the situation.”
"I'm just staying ready."
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) January 15, 2021
In 37 starts last season for the Wizards, Thomas averaged 12.2 points per game and 3.7 assists in 23.1 minutes played. He had the best shooting performance since his 2017 All-Star season, hitting 41.3% on threes and 40.8% of his shots from the field.
The dilemma with a potential signing is Thomas has generally served a scoring guard, a position the Bulls seem set at with both LaVine and White fitting more of that mold than a distributor.
Scoring hasn’t been an issue for the Bulls who rank fourth in points per game (116.8) and second in PACE (104.67). The issue has been the competition’s ability to run the floor with Chicago and capitalizing on turnovers.
Defense needs to be a point of emphasis for the Bulls and Thomas leaves much to be desired on that front.
Thomas Has Been Vocal About Playing in Chicago With LaVine
Last summer, Thomas said he had always wanted to play for the Bulls on his Instagram, adding that “playing in Chi with Zach would be cold. Zach’s my lil homie.” A few weeks later, Thomas posted a video of LaVine and him working out together.
Isaiah Thomas in the gym with Zach LaVine.
A couple of weeks ago Thomas said on IG Live that he always wanted to play for the Chicago Bulls and that “playing in Chi with Zach would be cold.”
(Video via isaiahthomas/IG) pic.twitter.com/btHydCzqES
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) July 27, 2020
It’s unclear whether LaVine has vocally lobbied for Thomas with the old or new front office, however, the duo’s rapport does signal LaVine’s support for Thomas.
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