The Bulls Have Something to Build Around
The Bulls were looking like a lost team with no talent after buying out Dwayne Wade, but luckily the front office had a plan that’s still ongoing. The team has a young PG to build around in defensive PG Kris Dunn who has earned his minutes after injury coming off the bench, showing that he was a true leader on this team. Dunn is a solid rebounder and knows where to go with the ball, but the true development everyone wants to see is in his jump shot; however, he has found ways to score. SG Justin Holiday has been a good surprise as a two-way player who can score in spurts. SF Denzel Valentine has developed into a stat sheet filler who can explode off the bench, he has been thrown into the starting lineup, but consistency will be the key to his overall improvement. Rookie PF Lauri Markkanen has been better than advertised and very NBA ready with a smooth jumper, solid rebounding, and valued pick and roll game; his continued growth will start a winning culture again. Veteran C Robin Lopez has provided offense when needed and continues to bring good energy, rebounding, and defense. SF/PF Nikola Mirotic and PF/C Bobby Portis seem to have put their differences aside and both are playing great basketball off the bench, Mirotic with a smooth outside game and Portis with a tough, offense inside game; always be on alert for a trade here, if the situation still has life to it. PG Jerami Grant showed improvement with his passing while starting the PG spot, during Dunn’s injury, but appears better off the bench; however, he can be used as a serviceable spot starter.
The team also awaits the return of SG/SF Zach LaVine, who they hope can return with his same athleticism (2-time dunk contest champ) and continue to improve on his shooting, but the team is setup where there is no rush to bring him back early and the minutes are available for him to improve once he returns. The Bulls have building blocks in PG Kris Dunn and PF Lauri Markkanen, a solid 6th man in Denzel Valentine who could still develop into a legit starter, a possible athletic starter on the wing in Zach LaVine, and three solid veterans in Portis (3rd year pro), Mirotic, and Lopez to hold down the fort; adding a scoring wing to the mix would help a lot. If this team can add another top talent and a good free agent, they could be right back in the playoff hunt, especially in the Eastern Conference. They have a good mix of young players and trade-able assets, which was not the outlook coming into the season.