The Chicago Bulls had a quietly interesting offseason. They didn’t add any big names to their roster but got significantly better with the additions of veterans like Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young to mentor their young guns.
Moreover, Coby White and Daniel Gafford looked great during the Summer League and they’re likely to have a huge role going forward with the team, especially if they’re not close to a playoff spot when the All-Star Break comes.
The Bulls are on the verge of contending for a playoff spot and are most likely going to try and compete next year but, perhaps, they’d be better off tanking again to put the icing on top of the cake on an already promising roster.
But what is the lineup going to look like to start the year? Who’s going to be their starting point guard? Let’s take a look at their roster and break this down:
Bench: Coby White, Tomas Satoransky, Denzel Valentine, Antonio Blakeney, Thaddeus Young, Daniel Gafford, Luke Kornet
Point Guard: Kris Dunn
Kris Dunn is going to handle the starting playmaker duties for the Bulls, at least to start the season. It’s not a secret that they’re having a lot of doubts about him, so they’ll likely going to showcase him before trying to move him.
Dunn has all the tools to become one of the best backcourt defenders in the league, but has lacked aggressiveness as a scorer and has spent a lot of time nursing injuries. Hence, this will be his last chance to impress before likely losing his spot to Satoransky or White.
Shooting Guard: Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine has shown glimpses of greatness when healthy. He’s a great and versatile scorer and one of the most athletic players in the world. Also, he’s vastly improved as a secondary playmaker.
LaVine’s biggest issue will always be his lack of defensive awareness and instincts, but there’s no ceiling for him offensively. If this team hangs around a playoff spot, he’d be in the conversation for a spot in the All-Star Game.
Small Forward: Otto Porter Jr.
Otto Porter Jr. is entering his first full season with the Bulls, and while some people may argue he’s getting overpaid, he showed his ability to make this team significantly better with his 3-and-D skills.
Porter won’t be asked to do much in the offensive end but hit corner threes, and he’ll help hide LaVine’s miscues in defense. This team had been looking for a reliable wing for years, and they finally found one with him.
Power Forward: Lauri Markkanen
Lauri Markkanen is going to be back at full strength next season and that’s music to the Bulls’ ears. He’s already impressed as a scorer during his first two seasons in the league, showing Kristaps Porzingis-like upside.
However, Lauri needs to put a lot of work in the defensive end. He was often torched by opposing big men in the post, and he wasn’t much better below the rim. Thad' Young’s mentorship in that regard will do wonders for his game.
Center: Wendell Carter Jr.
Wendell Carter Jr. regressed under Jim Boylen. He stopped being aggressive on the offensive end and didn’t even look at the rim when he got the ball in the high post. That’s likely going to change this season.
Carter Jr. will also bring more balance in the paint next to Lauri as a hard-nosed rim protector. His length, athleticism, and instincts make him a defensive stud in the making so, hopefully, his offense will catch up eventually as well.
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