The Chicago Bulls have been a struggling franchise since the Derrick Rose era came to its unfortunate end. The Bulls sit in 10th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 19-36. The Bulls are trying to push for that final playoff spot as they are only five games out of the #8 seed. The Bulls have some playoff-level talent, but the team as a whole is not great. They have a few players, but a lot of disappointments and overpays. Their roster consists of:
Note: Bold = Rookie
* = All-Star
^ = Two-Way Contract
- PG: Tomas Satoransky (28)
- SG: Zach Lavine (24)
- SF: Chandler Hutchinson (23)
- PF: Lauri Markkanen (22)
- C: Wendel Carter Jr (20)
- Otto Porter Jr (26)
- Coby White (20)
- Thaddeus Young (31)
- Kris Dunn (25)
- Luke Kornet (24)
- Denzel Valentine (26)
- Daniel Gafford (21)
- Ryan Arcidianco (25)
- Cristiano Felicio (27)
- Shaquille Harrison (26)
- Max Strus^ (23)
- Adam Mokoka^ (21)
The Bulls are clearly a rebuilding team, as they have a lot of young players on their roster. None of their starters are older than 28, and they have a bench with several talented prospects to help this team for the future.
Tomas Satoransky is having the best season of his career. Originally being drafted 32nd by the Washington Wizards, Satoransky slowly but surely worked his way into a starting role there. The Bulls signed him this offseason, hoping that Tomas can improve even further as a scorer and playmaker. Satoransky is averaging a career-high 10.3 pointer per game on 44.5% shooting and 34.1% from deep. He is the definition of an average scorer in the NBA. In addition to his scoring, he is averaging 1.3 steals per game and, being 6’7, pulls in a solid 3.7 rebounds. He also dishes out 5.3 assists, which is better than it looks because he has to share the ball with their star Shooting Guard.
Zach Lavine is a future All-Star. The 24-year-old Shooting Guard is one of the best in the business. He’s only 24, but this is his sixth season in the NBA. He has improved in every season and he doesn’t look like he’s going to stop in the next two seasons. This season, he’s been averaging 25.3 points on 44.8% shooting and 38.5% from three. His efficiency is better than those stats give him, though, because he shooting nearly eight three-pointers a game, giving him an effective field-goal percentage of 52.6%. Along with his scoring, Lavine averages 4.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game. On the defensive end, he averages 1.4 steals as well. He has shown his skills this season as a great all-around player and is going to be the face of Chicago for a long time.
Second-year player, Chandler Hutchinson, found himself in the starting lineup after countless injuries. Otto Porter Jr. got injured just nine games into the season, so the Bulls tried putting Satoransky at the Small Forward and put Kris Dunn at the Point Guard. The Kris Dunn got injured. So they moved Satoransky back to the Point Guard and started Hutchinson. Hutchinson has been surprisingly efficient for a second-year player drafted 22nd overall, averaging 7.8 points on 45.7% shooting and 31.6% from deep. He’s also been averaging 3.9 rebounds and a steal a game. He has the potential to be a solid role player in Chicago for years to come.
Markkanen has been one of the most disappointing players on the roster. After a very promising 51 games last season, there were high hopes for the seven-foot Power Forward. He averaged nearly 19 points last year and drew some comparisons to Blake Griffin last year in Detroit. Unfortunately, he hasn’t lived up to that hype. His scoring and efficiency went down as he is now averaging 15.0 points per game on 42.4% shooting. Those numbers are a major drop from his 18.7 on 43% just one year ago. Markkanen is a vital part of this rebuild and needs to fix what is wrong with him, and soon.
Although he’s only played 37 games, Carter Jr is becoming one of the most exciting players in Chicago. Carter was drafted 7th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft and has shown promise as a very good player. He has improved from his rookie season in almost every stat imaginable. His scoring is up to 11.7 from 10.3. His rebounds are up to 9.9 from 7.0. His field goal percentage is up to 53.7% in comparison to last year’s 48.5%. He has shown improvements in every aspect of the game. Be on the lookout for Carter in a few years.
Chicago’s bench is highlighted by two players. Rookie Coby White has legit All-Star potential. White was also drafted 7th overall, and he has been a great bench piece for the team. White has been averaging 11.1 points in just 24.3 minutes. He’s been shooting 37%, but his efficiency will improve in time. He is a great perimeter shooter, shooting 40.1% from deep on nearly six attempts. The other standout on the bench is fellow rookie, Bruno Fernando. Fernando was drafted 34th overall and has really shown promise to be a great rotational player. He’s been averaging 4.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in just 12.2 minutes per game. Fernando will be essential for giving Carter Jr and Markkanen days where they can take off, as they are both quite injury prone.
Trade Deadline Moves:
The Bulls didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline, but they may look at moving Satoransky in the offseason as they’re going to want to start White going forward.
Chicago has an interesting future. They have a lot of talent, but their talent is injury-prone and they may struggle to develop. They’re going to need at least one more promising asset to pair with Lavine and White if they want to contend in the near future.
Chicago should consider picking up the 6’9 wing from Israel, Deni Advija. He’s been playing very well and is one of the more athletic wings in the world. He will make for a great international prospect that can play the 3 and 4 depending on where they need him. He will provide the team with more depth, allowing for Markkanen to not have to play as many minutes.
Chicago’s future is heavily reliant on how Coby White turns out. They’re going to need to get Lavine some help or he will want to leave and they’ll be left the scraps once again. Time will tell what Chicago will do next, be ready for them to spike up in the coming years.