Currently, the Chicago Bulls have an 8.3% chance of receiving the number 1 pick in the 2023 draft compared to their less than 8% chance of making the playoffs. The Bulls also have a 32% of keeping their 2023 pick as long as it stays within the top 4. Otherwise, it’s sent to Orlando as a part of the Nikola Vucevic trade. It makes all the sense in the world to begin tanking to salvage their draft odds, but management isn’t considering losing any time soon. However, Nikola Vucevic already seems to be waiving the white flag.
“We have to win. But we’re depending on the people in front of us, on how they do. So it’s hard to say after 65 games we didn’t figure it out. It’s tough to believe that something’s just going to (click) like that.” – nikola vucevic
Where Did It Go Wrong?
Starting and ending the conversation about Lonzo Ball’s health status is easy. That’s a bit of a lazy take, although accurate. The Bulls front office failed to fix the backcourt issue in case Lonzo Ball’s comeback was delayed. They’re an ample amount of playmaking guards in the NBA. Fortunately, there are none on the Bulls roster that are healthy. The Bulls opted to sign Goran Dragic, which was waived a few months later. They also signed Patrick Beverley to pair next to Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, and Alex Caruso, but none have the skill set to run this team as a point guard.
They also failed to address the rebounding flaws from last year. They did sign Andre Drummond, but his inability to play defense has forced Billy Donovan to keep his minutes limited, rightfully so. For the past several games, Alex Caruso has been starting at the power-forward position, which has led to the Bulls getting outrebounded on a nightly basis.
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The most glaring issue from them all is the lack of three-point shooting. Outside of Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, and Coby White when he’s feeling it, the Bulls virtually have no reliable three-point shooters. In a three-point shooting era and a team build around DeMar DeRozan’s midrange game, the Bulls may look like they spread the floor, but in reality, they’re one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league. This issue was known heading into the season, so Arturas Karnisovas should be held accountable for signing Andre Drummond and Goran Dragic to fix these issues.