With the offseason complete and the NBA regular season rapidly approaching, it is time to preview each team and set our expectations. First up, we take a look at the Chicago Bulls.
Regular Season: 22-43
Eastern Conference: 11th
- Patrick Williams (4th Overall Pick)
- Marko Simonovic (44th Overall Pick)
- Devon Dotson (Undrafted)
- Garrett Temple
- Noah Vonleh
- Kris Dunn
- Shaquille Harrison
- Adam Mokoka
- Max Strus
Three Key Questions
How much of an effect will Billy Donovan have on their overall record?
The Chicago Bulls’ most notable change in the offseason was in their coaching staff. After parting ways with the Thunder, Billy Donovan will take the reins of the Bulls after they have struggled significantly under Jim Boylen. Donovan has plenty of experience working with younger players both at the college level and in OKC and should be able to help significantly with the team chemistry and help the team perform to their expectations at a bare minimum. The ultimately test for Donovan will be around what culture and identity he will establish for the team. It will be up to him to work out which players he can consistently put on the floor and create a specific game plan for that group. If he can do that, then the Bulls stand a chance to improve into the play-in game.
Will Patrick Williams live up to the number 4 pick?
Generally, when a player is picked at number 4 in the NBA draft, they have usually been a star in college, but Patrick Williams entered the 2020 draft without having started for Florida State. He did win the Atlantic Coast 6th man of the year award for his offensive production and defensive clamps off the bench and the Bulls clearly see something special in him. So, will he be able to live up to the expectation?
Can the Bulls stay healthy?
It is a well-known reality that the Bulls have struggle to develop their roster due to a string of unfortunate injuries over the past 2 seasons. In fact, three of their regular starters in Porter, Markkanen and Carter have missed a combined total of 223 games over the last two seasons. If the Bulls can get a full healthy season from these three key players, it will go a long way towards them making a run at a playoff spot in the east.
The Bulls had a really quiet offseason and so I do not expect them to magically improve into the playoffs overnight. What I do expect is a more cohesive unit that shows some sort of identity under their new head coach in Billy Donovan. They may be a more impressive offensive outfit, but their defense is expected to take a hit without players like Dunn and Harrison. Overall, if the team can stay healthy and their draft picks perform well, they may improve their win total and are a sneaky chance to make the playoffs via the play-in tournament.
Regular Season Record: 28-44
Eastern Conference: 11th