Garrett Brooks | May 16th, 2020
The Bulls (finally) brought in a new front office to turn the franchise around, hiring Arturas Karnisovas to lead the charge. This offers a much needed fresh look in the front office, and the sky is the limit moving forward. The Bulls 2019-20 season has had glimpses of a bright future. It has also been frustrating to watch at times. Many things can be taken away from this season, and here we are going to break down the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The sixth overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, White is the Bulls guard of the future. If the new front office has any reservations, they just need to look at his post-all-star break performance.
In those ten games, White averaged 24.7 points per game on 46.8% shooting. His 3-point shooting also jumped up, knocking down 40.7% from deep. While White may not ever become the traditional point guard, that isn’t a knock in today’s NBA. A score-first guard, who is a willing facilitator is more of an asset now than ever.
White’s flash of brilliance might be small in sample size, but it was huge in impact. The front office will have to maintain a focus of building around White this off-season, with it being a priority to put him in the best position to succeed.
While hiccups existed between LaVine and head coach Jim Boylen, LaVine didn’t allow that to impact his production. He’s shown the ability to be the team’s top offensive weapon, and in the process has upped his worth greatly.
On the season, LaVine has put up a career-high 25.5 points per game, on a productive 45% shooting from the field. At 25 years old, LaVine can be a part of the Bulls long term plan or be used to acquire more assets.
His play this season has ensured any return for him in a trade would involve great building blocks. If the front office views him as a part of the team’s future, they can begin to focus on getting the right pieces around a backcourt of him and Coby White.
Boylen hasn’t earned himself very many fans in Chicago, and the same seems to be true regarding players in his locker room. With a young roster looking to build something for the future, one would expect a coach to look to connect with his players. Rumors have been leaking out since Boylen was announced head coach about players not enjoying playing underneath him.
Whether it be moving LaVine to the bench to make a point, or taking over sixty games to start the sixth overall pick, Boylen has not built a positive relationship with his roster. It’s likely only a matter of time before Boylen is replaced with a coach who will grow alongside his young players.
A major disappointment under Boylen has been the season of forward Markkanen. Part of the blame for this goes to the coach undoubtedly, but Markkanen is far too talented to see his production dip the way it did this season.
In his third season, he’s averaging a career-low 14.7 points per contest. His shooting percentages are also the lowest of his career across the board.
Last year, Markkanen seemed to take a great developmental step, improving his scoring average by 3.5 points. This year’s regression is a major area of concern for the Bulls moving forward.
While Boylen has struggled to use him properly, that can’t be enough to take him completely out of the game mentally. That’s what has been the case all season. Far too often, he is going through the motions, not capitalizing on his size and athleticism that should make him a nightmare match-up.
His upside remains extremely high, but he must be put into situations that he can thrive. This season was a major step back for the big man, but his talent is still sky-high. Improving his production and assertiveness will be a major key in the Bulls rebuild.
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