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Season Record: 22-60, 13th in the Eastern Conference
Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg (5-19), Jim Boylen (17-41)
Most Frequent Starting Five (12 Games): (G) Kris Dunn – (G) Zach LaVine – (F) Otto Porter – (F) Lauri Markkanen – (C) Robin Lopez
8 July 2018 – As part of a three-team trade, the Chicago Bulls traded (G) Jerian Grant to the Orlando Magic; the Charlotte Hornets traded (G) Julyan Stone to the Chicago Bulls; the Charlotte Hornets traded (C) Timofey Mozgov to the Orlando Magic; and the Orlando Magic traded (C) Bismack Biyombo, a 2019 second-round draft pick and a 2020 second-round draft pick to the Charlotte Hornets.
14 July 2018 – Signed (F) Jabari Parker as a free agent.
3 December 2018 – Fired Fred Hoiberg as Head Coach. Appointed Jim Boylen as Head Coach.
3 January 2019 – Traded (G) Justin Holiday to the Memphis Grizzlies for (G) MarShon Brooks, (G) Wayne Selden, a 2019 second-round draft pick and a 2020 second-round draft pick.
6 February 2019 – Traded (F) Jabari Parker, (F) Bobby Portis and a 2023 second-round draft pick to the Washington Wizards for (F) Otto Porter.
More Than A Dunker
— Gustavo Vega (@iamvega1982) September 30, 2019
There were some questions about LaVine when he was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves. While he showed tremendous confidence shooting the ball, his decision making and maturity were questioned.
With the Bulls, he posted career highs across the board. 23.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game put him into an impressive tier of players.
He had attitude issues in conflict with head coach Jim Boylan last season. His ability to mature and step up as a leader will be under the microscope.
Champion to Prospect
Arcidiacono gets three rows deep to save this one!! pic.twitter.com/cKYxgWjbsE
— No Huddle NBA (@NoHuddleNBA) November 22, 2018
The Chicago Bulls are not an incredibly deep team by any means. But last season there were some diamonds in the rough that looked to be interesting prospects, despite their lack of fanfare coming into the league.
Look no further than former NCAA Champion Ryan Arcidiacono. Undrafted and fighting for a professional place in the NBA, he was given a chance and he did more than impress.
Arcidiacono appeared in 81 games for the Bulls last season, averaging 3.3 assists and an impressive 37.5% from deep. He may not have had the glamour of his draft-mates, but he is showing that he certainly has the skill.
Old School Is Still An Education
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The firing of former head coach Fred Hoiberg was a decision that many thought was well past due. In his place was Jim Boylen, who struggled to control the young attitude of his team at the outset.
Boylan epitomizes what he calls a “road dog mentality”. After some initial hesitation, it seemed to have rubbed off on his team come to the end of the year.
The truth of it is that Boylen is not a high-profile coach, but none of his players could be considered high-profile either. The Bulls came together as a squad near the end of the year – no doubt added by some key trades – and showed there might be a future for Boylen and this group.
Is Dunn’s Time Done?
KRIS DUNN HAD 16 POINTS (ON 9 SHOTS) & 17 ASSISTS (ONLY 2 TURNOVERS)
& HE DUNKED ON MYLES TURNER (WHO LEADS THE LEAGUE IN BLOCKS AT 2.9 PER GAME)
— ✶✶✶✶ (@NotARoleModeI) January 5, 2019
Kris Dunn came into the NBA as one of its hottest point guard prospects. Dynamic, athletic, but missing some key pieces to his game, growth was key for Dunn’s success.
Unfortunately for Dunn, he has struggled to be efficient on offense. He’s still not a capable shooter, and in clutch moments Ryan Arcidiacono was favored.
Dunn has more than enough time to bounce back, but he has to show that he is more Russell Westbrook than Frank Ntilikina before it’s too late.
Losing the Tank
Tanking is bad for the NBA, it is bad for all sports. With the new Draft Lottery odds, it has been made clear that there is much less of a benefit to tanking. However, the Bulls didn’t do it quite well.
Against the worst teams in the NBA (Knicks, Suns, Cavs, Grizzlies, Wizards, and Hawks), the Bulls put together a debatably acceptable 12-5 record. Versus the remainder of the league, 9-52.
While there’s no pride in losing to increase draft odds, the Bulls weren’t even able to get that done properly.
The Broken Bulls
Feel like the Bulls have cornered the market on notable injuries in camp. Let’s hope WCJ’s is nothing serious, but now i’m expecting his foot to fall off
— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) October 1, 2019
When a young team steps on to the court, you would at least expect enthusiasm and effort to compensate for a lack of overall seasoning. Unfortunately, many of the Bulls’ best talent found themselves in street clothes.
Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, and Zach Lavine were expected leaders turned suit models due to injury. Even promising rookies Wendell Carter Jr and Chandler Hutchinson were benched for the year due to a torn ligament and toe fracture respectively.
It is quite easy to say that the Bulls limped out of last season.
The Bulls Couldn’t Unload
Robin Lopez did some damage in the paint and Cristiano Felicio came in with the exact same mentality.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 19, 2019
Cristiano Felicio is a player that every team would want to have but hate to play against. However, the team that has him, signed him to a shocking four-year, $32 million contract.
At a budget-friendly $7.8 million in 2018, the Chicago front office couldn’t find any takers for their truck of a center.
He will surely be on the trading block during the 19-20 season, as four points and three rebounds on his salary is nowhere near acceptable.
You Can Ruin Your Shot
— NBA (@NBA) December 24, 2018
Antonio Blakeney came out of LSU, undrafted, and looking for a shot at glory. He got it in a two-way with the Bulls which became a regular contract, impressing with the Windy City G-League side.
Unfortunately for Blakeney, he was awful in his stint with the Bulls. Averaging more turnovers than assists, and more shots per game than passes per game, Blakeney was a disappointment.
Ball hog may seem a juvenile term, but it is absolutely a great way to find yourself out of the rotation.
With two picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls opted to shore up their frontcourt and backcourt. Star UNC guard Coby White and Arkansas big man Daniel Gafford are high-ceiling prospects.
Coby White’s best hair day happened to land on the same day his lifelong dream came true: draft night ?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 23, 2019
A lightning-quick combo guard, Coby White projects to be even better when NBA defenses open up for him in the paint. Dangerous from everywhere on the court, White will have to show that he has the maturity to take on the NBA’s best.
“There’s a lot of stuff that I keep close to my heart to help motivate me to go harder each day. Go further in my career.” – @Dan_G33
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) September 27, 2019
Gafford is a bouncy big man with the speed and recovery for the modern game. He isn’t incredibly quick side-to-side, but his length and athleticism more than make up for it. He is also a talented finisher in the paint, however, his shooting leaves much to be desired.
Coby White is expected to immediately slot into the Chicago Bulls backcourt rotation. At his size, he should be able to fit in at either guard position should he have the strength to keep up with his opponents.
Gafford is less of a finished product, but he seems to be ready as a help-side defender. Expect him to spend some time with Chicago’s G-League affiliate the Windy City Bulls, in order to work on and develop his game.
The rationale that Thaddeus Young provided the media regarding why he chose to sign with the Chicago Bulls was excellent.
Thad passed up signing with already established teams because he wanted to help a young team build a culture as he did with the Indiana Pacers. pic.twitter.com/gnrEiCP5jK
— Grant Afseth (@GrantAfseth) October 1, 2019
Young is the presence that the Bulls needed in their locker room last season. A calming veteran leader with a fantastic resume, Young should slot in excellently regardless of it being with the starters or the reserves.
— Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) October 1, 2019
Satoransky enters the Chicago Bulls as the team’s most capable playmaker. At 6’7, he is incredibly versatile on both ends of the court and will be backed up by the length of Markannen and Carter Jr in the paint. He put together an excellent FIBA World Cup campaign this summer which the Bulls will hope can carry over into the regular season.
↔️ #2WayTracker ↔️
Don’t miss out on the latest updates and scouting reports on new #2WayPlayers ✍️
☘️? Tremont Waters: https://t.co/j3UYezfEwa
?? Justin Wright-Foreman: https://t.co/SrtfuybKuY
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) September 25, 2019
Mokoka has all the physical tools to suggest that he might be a decent NBA player in the future. While his technical ability can still be considered quite raw, he has the mentality and physicality to the matchup. He’ll spend most of his time with the Windy City Bulls.
Luke Kornet gets the start over Enes Kanter and just knocked down his 5th three pic.twitter.com/j1CFk7q3cS
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) December 28, 2018
There is no secret as to what Kornet brings to a team. At his size, he is a fantastic pick and pop player. He still struggles on the defensive end, but his situational ability as a stretch-big is incredibly valuable.
— Bulls Nation (@BullsNationCP) September 23, 2019
Milton Doyle is an interesting combo-guard prospect for the Chicago Bulls. He was excellent in his last season with the Long Island Nets but played sparingly for the Brooklyn Nets last year. Jim Boylan will hope that he can provide an offensive spark off the bench.
|18-19||22||St. John’s (NY)||34||32.9||10.4||5.1||3.2||.462||.289|
S/O to the young BULL Justin Simon @simon_Says_so 6’6 Point Guard St Johns, Temecula, CA. Congrats Jus! You signing your first Professional Contract with the Chicago Bulls Yo!!! Its only the beginning yo, #TMC? proud day, been a tremendous journey thus far… pic.twitter.com/FOMAOBlYAm
— Sunni in SoCal (@Sunni_in_SoCal) September 13, 2019
Get an odds boost with DraftKings Sportsbook!
The former St. John’s point guard Justin Simon is a dynamic playmaker. Clearly the Bulls are still looking for LaVine’s backcourt partner, but Simon will have to prove his shooting is up to par. His athleticism is already at the NBA level.
BREAKING: Perrion Callandret has signed a deal with the Chicago Bulls. Contract details/length still TBA. pic.twitter.com/FWV6t7tnQZ
— Bullish (@Bullishhoops) September 24, 2019
More of a playmaker than a scorer, Callandret is a prototypical point guard. He impressed during the Bulls’ summer league campaign, earning him an opportunity with the main team.
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The Canadian Simi Shittu is an interesting energy piece for the Bulls. He has excellent size and has the nose to get on the glass. He’s raw offensively, so a stint with the Windy City Bulls is expected regardless of his contract status come the end of training camp.
|Point Guard||Shooting Guard||Small Forward||Power Forward||Center|
|Kris Dunn||Zach LaVine||Otto Porter||Lauri Markkanen||Wendell Carter Jr.|
|Ryan Arcidiacono||Tomas Satoransky||Denzel Valentine||Thaddeus Young||Cristiano Felicio|
|Coby White||Adam Mokoka (Two-Way)||Chandler Hutchinson||Daniel Gafford||Luke Kornet|
|Shaquille Harrison (Partial/Non-Guaranteed)||Milton Doyle (Partial/Non-Guaranteed)||Simi Shittu (Exhibit 10)|
|Perrion Callandret (Exhibit 10)||Justin Simon(Exhibit 10)|
The Chicago Bulls will have to overcome themselves before they can make any noise in the East. After a tumultuous 18-19 campaign, a new team of youngsters is primed to prove their worth.
The success of the Chicago Bulls depends on Zach LaVine’s ability to be their new leader. He failed the test last year but seems set on turning over a new leaf with Jim Boylan.
The Bulls don’t factor into the NBA Championship race at all at this point. While they are rising, they don’t look to have the immediate talent to impact the top tier of the Eastern Conference.
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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