Today marks the start of the 2020-2021 season for the Chicago Bulls. The team opened up training camp today with 5 days of individual player workouts. The entire team will be able to meet on December 6th and that’s when the real fun will begin. For now, the Bulls are working with players individually and conducting media “week”. This isn’t the typical start to training camp but in the midst of a pandemic, this is the way it has to be. Here’s a quick snapshot of what the Bulls schedule looks like for the rest of the month and beyond.

To start off this media “week” the Bulls had two players take center stage. Bulls SG Zach LaVine and PF Lauri Markkanen were the first two to speak to the media. Both were asked questions about the new Bulls front office and coaching staff. One thing is for sure, these players are ready to get things going this season.

Zach is ready to be great

LaVine was the clear leader of this Bulls squad last season. He took over in games when he needed to and he ran the Bulls offense. By all accounts, he seems ready to continue striving for greatness and keep pushing this Bulls team forward.

LaVine has been working continuously throughout this extended offseason and he’s ready to get back on the court. LaVine seems to be especially excited about working with the Bull’s new front office and coaching staff. He touched on the differences between this staff compared to the previous years.

We saw it play out in front of us last season as LaVine had issues with former head coach Jim Boylen. The Bulls former front office team of Gar Forman and John Paxson had a track record of not changing. New general manager Marc Eversley and executive vice president of basketball operations Artūras Karnišovas are ready to make the Bulls a player first team. They brought in player first head coach Billy Donovan this offseason and allowed him to create his own coaching staff. This team is going to be much different than the one in years past. That’s one of the reasons why the Bulls haven’t changed the roster much. Regardless, LaVine is excited to see what his role will be under Donovan.

For the first time in a long time, Bulls players appear to be excited to play for their head coach. The team seems motivated to play their best ball for their coach. This is big heading into a new season for this young team. LaVine appears to be doing everything right as the leader of this Bulls squad. Hopefully, under a new head coach, he can find his footing and bring this team to the playoffs.

Lauri wants to be in Chicago long term

The next Bulls player to speak to the media, Lauri Markkanen, made it clear that he wants to stay in Chicago.

Many fans out there are seeing this season as a “show me what you can do” type season for Markkanen. He hasn’t shown the consistency in his game that would make fans okay with giving him a long term deal. This season is going to be a big one for Markkanen. Lauri knows what he has to do this season and he is setting those expectations for himself.

A good portion of this team’s future success hinges on Markkanen living up to his expectations. He has shown that he can perform at a high level but he needs to stay consistent. The Bulls most likely will hold off on offering Markkanen an extension before the December 21st deadline. The Bulls most likely don’t want to tie themselves down in another big contract if Markkanen doesn’t work out. This will be a situation that has to play out during the season to see if he’s worth keeping around.

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The new regime has changed the culture

This new front office and coaching staff has already had a major impact on the team. The Bulls haven’t even hit the court for an official game and the team already seems excited to play for this new regime. LaVine had high praise for them and Markkanen echoed that same praise.

The Bulls had a tough year this past season. The negativity surrounding the team and in the media certainly got to some of the players. The Bulls hit the reset button this offseason and purged as much negativity as they could out of the building. Donovan is focused on making this team run efficiently and towards player strengths. This will give the Bulls a true evaluation of the young players on the team.

As the Bulls begin day 1 of individual player workouts we should continue to hear from the players. Bulls fan’s excitement levels are high right now. This is the first time in a long time that we can be excited about the Bulls season beginning. Stay tuned as the Bulls go through training camp and through the preseason. We don’t have to wait much longer to see Bulls basketball.