Over the next several weeks, we’re going to be “scouting the enemy,” as we’ll be covering the outlook for the 29 other teams in the league ahead of the 2019-2020 season.
Former Grizzlies: None
Offseason in Review
The Chicago Bulls didn’t make many splashes like some of their Eastern Conference counterparts — the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, or Philadelphia 76ers. However, they made some moves that could help accelerate this rebuild to the next step.
It all started with the draft, as they drafted Coby White with the 7th overall pick. White is a big dynamic guard with the size to man both guard positions, and he also possesses the playmaking and shot-creating prowess to be an impact player in the league.
They also drafted Daniel Gafford, who has the tools to follow the footsteps of rim-running big men that were draft-night steals — DeAndre Jordan and Mitchell Robinson, to name a few.
I was a huge fan of their free agent acquisitions, as they signed two solid veteran players that can contribute to winning and guide their young fellas. Thaddeus Young is one of the league’s most underrated big men in basketball. He’s a solid two-way presence that won’t take shots away from the young players and can take on a tough defensive assignment. In addition, Tomas Satoransky is a big guard that can facilitate the offense and play off ball. His presence will give the Bulls a starting-quality point guard that can alleviate playmaking pressure off Zach LaVine and Coby White.
I like the Chicago Bulls. Are they a playoff lock? No. But do they have the tools to be this year’s surprise team? Perhaps.
For one, their young core is nice. Zach LaVine took a huge leap as a go-to scorer next year, and some suggest he can take it to another level by contending for the scoring title. Lauri Markkanen is a smooth offensive player that can score at all three levels. Is he another Dirk? No, but why can’t he be the next iteration of Pau Gasol? Wendell Carter Jr.’s season was cut short, but he can be a strong 5 on both ends of the court for the Bulls for the next decade.
The Bulls adding veterans alongside these young guys — as well as Coby White — could pay dividends for them as soon as this season. Satoransky and Young are going to play huge roles regardless of starting or not. The underrated impact player here is Otto Porter. After the deadline deal, he found his shooting touch (17.5 PPG on 48.8% shooting from 3 on 5.3 attempts per game), and he also impacted winning.
In games Porter played in last season, the Bulls were 7-8. Granted, it’s a small sample size. However, with Porter for a full season, another year of development for the young players, and some reliable veterans guiding them along, the Bulls could trend towards .500 basketball and catch everyone off guard.