Author: Adam Klaus
This past Friday night, the Chicago Bulls welcomed back Zach Lavine, who has been injured since joining the team last season. With his return and the Bulls hot streak over the last few weeks, Bulls fans must be asking themselves what they expect out of this season.
As a Chicago Bulls fan myself, when I look up and down the roster, I see a ton of young talent with huge upside. With that being said, I have long realized that if the Bulls do not full commit to rebuilding, they will continue to be in “limbo” of the NBA standings. By “limbo” I am referring to the place in the standings where the team will barely make the playoffs or just miss the playoffs, basically messing up any chances of a high draft pick. In the last few seasons when the Bulls have been in this situation it has signaled two things to me:
1. They truly have no shot at winning anything in the short term
2. They have no long-term plan for the team’s success
The last few seasons for the Bulls can simply be described as ignoring the need for a rebuild. This can be shown by the team making moves like bringing in players that include Dwayne Wade, Rajon Rondo, Robin Lopez and several others to try and compete for a single year in a top heavy Eastern Conference. It finally seemed like the Bulls had started the rebuilding process when they decided to trade Jimmy Butler for young talent including Kris Dunn and Zach Lavine. However, since this young talent has started to mesh, the Bulls are playing a little too well for my liking.
Lavine, for one, is doing things like this:
Oh stop it Zach LaVine🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/qwQQ5kiUmH
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) January 14, 2018
Currently sitting with the fourth to worst record in the East, the Bulls are actually exceeding expectations. Tanking has been a huge controversy for the NBA the last few years, especially looking at teams like the Milwaukee Bucks or the Philadelphia 76ers. Regardless of your opinions on tanking, the stakes for missing out on a draft pick this year could be very high. Looking at the talent in college basketball right now, if the Bulls continue their hot streak and accidentally fall into a playoff spot, they could be missing out on the top half of a loaded draft class including names like Trae Young, Marvin Bagley, Deandre Ayton and many others.
The trade deadline is quickly approaching, and if you’re a Bulls fan, you best hope the they can start unloading players that are currently productive and might actually have the value of a second-round draft pick. Looking at you, Robin Lopez and Nikola Mirotic.