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Season Preview: Chicago Bulls

With the NBA season just a few months away and the majority of player movement being done, I’m going to start previewing the teams. Based on my projected order of the standings, we’ll start at the bottom and work towards the top rotating between East and West. Past previews will be linked as well.

Atlanta Hawks

Sacramento Kings

by Sean Taira
by Sean Taira

Key Additions:

Wendell Carter Jr PF (draft), Chandler Hutchinson SF (draft), Jabari Parker PF (free agency)

Key Departures:

Jerian Grant PG

\17-18 Stats:

Offensive Rating 101.3 (28th)

Defensive Rating 109.1 (28th)

Net Rating -7.8 (28th)

True Shooting Percentage 52.9% (29th)

Assist Percentage 60.7% (8th)

Rebound Percentage 49.4% (20th)

Turnover Percentage 13.8% (10th)

Pace 100.3 (10th)

Record 27-55

Overview:

The rebuild continues in Chicago but there might be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Laurie Markannen looked pretty impressive as a rookie, and Kris Dunn looked like a completely different player than he did in Minnesota. Add in Zach Lavine and Jabari Parker (I feel like last season is a throw away for both of them) coming back from ACL injuries, and Wendell Carter who looked very good in summer league, the Bulls might have something. I wouldn't be surprised to see them compete for the 8th seed this season.

Defense

Jabari Parker, Zach Lavine, and Lauri Markannen are good offensively players, but struggle defensively. The Bulls have to figure out how to use these guys and still be able to compete on the defensive end of the floor. Dunn is excellent defensively but needs help. Figuring out lineups that balance offense and defense is going to be a tough task for Fred Hoiberg and the coaching staff.

Wing Rotation

The Bulls look pretty thin on the wing, and will probably feature a rotation of Jabari Parker, Justin Holiday, Denzel Valentine, and Chandler Hutchinson. Parker is more of a 4, Holiday is more of a 2, Valentine is limited offensively, and expecting Hutchinson to be a contributor might be too much to ask. Finding a versatile wing would go a long ways in making the Bulls competitive.

Build Around Lavine

The Bulls made a big financial commitment to Zach Lavine this summer and are banking on him returning to pre-injury form. Before tearing his acl in 2017 Lavine averaged 18.9 points per game shooting 45.9% from the field and 38.7% from three. He's a scorer, not a natural point guard and the Bulls need to play to his strengths.

Player to Watch: Kris Dunn

by Sean Taira
by Sean Taira

Kris Dunn had a wasted rookie season playing in Minnesota but showed some signs of life last year. He struggled offensively (which is to be expected) but showed some flashes defensively. Playing alongside Lavine, Markannen, and Parker, Dunn shouldn't have to focus too much on scoring, but needs to improve as a playmaker and become a lockdown defender.

Starters:

PG: Kris Dunn

SG: Zach Lavine

SF: Jabari Parker

PF: Lauri Markannen

C: Robin Lopez

Reserves:

PG: Cameron Payne

SG: Justin Holiday

SF: Denzel Valentine

PF: Bobby Portis

C: Wendell Carter

Westgate Projected Win Total: 27.5

Projected Record: 29-52 (14th Eastern Conference)