The Chicago Bulls front office made a statement at the trade deadline. They showed the league that Chicago will do what it takes to be good again. The Bulls brought in All-Star Center Nikola Vucevic to pair up with All-Star shooting guard Zach LaVine. They followed this up by bolstering the team’s bench. The trades that were made ahead of the deadline excited Bulls fans everywhere. Just take a look at the roster they put together with those trades.
They set themselves up with two All-Stars in the starting lineup along with a great cast of players in the second unit. The additions of center Daniel Theis and forward Troy Brown Jr instantly gave the bench an upgrade. Other new additions to the team, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and Javonte Green give the team even more depth. The moves made ahead of the deadline were exciting for Bulls fans. We haven’t seen moves like that in a while. Though these moves were exciting we have to remember this will be a work in progress.
It’ll take time. But we’re excited 🙏 pic.twitter.com/rQUorGr7cM
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 28, 2021
Be patient Bulls fans
The new Bulls lineup has now played in two games as a team. They are 0-2 in those games and have lost by an average margin of 15 points. This team had never played together until those games, not even in a practice setting. While those losses certainly sting they should be expected. The Bulls were in the third year of virtually the same lineup they had been running with. That all changed in one day. It’s going to take some time for these players to learn each other’s play styles and make it work. Even in these losses, there have been plenty of positives.
Positive takeaways from tonight:
-Starting unit looks solid with Thad
-Patrick Williams and Vooch showed great chemistry
-Theis is a dude and needs a lot of minutes
-Vooch looks real good
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) March 30, 2021
Head coach Billy Donovan decided to bring forward Lauri Markkanen off the bench and start forward Thaddeus Young. That looks to be a good choice at this point as Vucevic and Young complement each other better. The Bulls are on a bit of a tough road trip but with each passing game, this team gets more experience with one another.
Defense still needs to be the priority
While it’s only a matter of time before the offense starts clicking the focus needs to be on defense. The Bulls have struggled as a defensive unit tremendously over the last few years. Two games with this new unit and it looks like Donovan needs to continue to put focus on the defensive side of the ball.
Until the Bulls start taking their defensive responsibilities seriously, it doesn’t matter how Donovan rotates players. Bad loss tonight, with games in Phoenix & Utah coming up followed by a home game vs. Brooklyn. And LaVine is struggling with that sprained ankle.
— Mark Schanowski (@MarkSchanowski) March 30, 2021
The team has looked sloppy at times but again this comes with a different starting lineup and roster. If this team wants to be successful they need to put some focus on shutting down teams. It needs to be consistent from the starters to the bench. The Bulls certainly put themselves in a better position defensively with the addition of Daniel Theis. He is a force to be reckoned with on both the defensive end of the floor. He brings the energy that the Bulls had been lacking on that side of the ball. Hopefully, he can rub off on the rest of the team as they continue working with one another. For now, Theis is taking it upon himself to bring the defensive intensity.
DANIEL THEIS. REJECTION. pic.twitter.com/DoU1ylJL8U
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) March 30, 2021
Keep your sights on the long-term goal
One thing to remember about this Bulls front office is they are focused on the long-term success of this team. While these additions were great moves by this team they certainly aren’t going to be hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy at the end of the season. The Bulls want to put themselves in a position to be an attractive destination in free agency. Adding Vucevic did exactly that. The Bulls have two All-Stars on the roster and that is enough to make players want to come to Chicago. On top of that, the allure of bringing the Bulls back to greatness will always bring people in the door. While the Bulls will have some moves to make in the offseason they have set themselves up for the future. They are in a far better position than they were ahead of the trade deadline.
Just remember Bulls fans, be patient as this new team works together. They are going to be good. The LaVine-Vucevic combination is going to be lethal. We just have to give it time. Trust in our front office and our head coach. The Bulls are on their way back to greatness.