The NBA’s Dearly Departed: Chicago Bulls Edition

As teams in the NBA Playoffs get eliminated, Murphy’s Multiverse takes a look at their prospects for next season.

Even with being eliminated from the Playoffs in the first round, this was a surprise season for the Bulls. Chicago had one goal this season and that was to surround Zach LaVine with as much talent as possible to sell him on the future of this team and convince him to reup with the team rather than look around as a free agent. With that in mind, the Bulls put together an impressively solid roster of veterans and defensive payers, improving their win total by over 40% YoY. There’s a lot to look forward to next season as the Bulls were injury prone this season, especially with their difference making defensive anchors, Caruso and Ball being out majority of the season, and in Balls case, the playoffs. The big question for the Bulls this offseason is, did they convince LaVine to stay?

Notable Free Agents

  • Guard Zach LaVine
  • Guard Matt Thomas (Restricted)
  • Forward Derrick Jones Jr.
  • Forward Tony Brown Jr.
  • Forward Tyler Cook (Restricted)
  • Center Tony Bradley (Player Option)
  • Center Tristan Thompson

Projected 2022-2023 Starting Lineup

  • PG Lonzo Ball
  • SG Zach LaVine (Free Agent)
  • SF DeMar Derozan
  • PF Patrick Williams
  • C Nikola Vucevic

Will Zach LaVine Resign

Outside of a few role players the Bulls are essentially running it back for the 22/23 season, but that’s assuming that LaVine resigns. Under the radar, Zach has proven himself to be a capable leader and scorer with the Bulls while also improving on the defensive end almost every season. With a ceiling that have yet to be hit, the Bulls are desperate to keep LaVine in the fold as the team is built to go as far as LaVine can take them. The question is, what is LaVine looking for? Is he looking to be to sole focus point? Is it a desired state to live in? Or is it a desire to be in the best place to win? If the goal is to win, then the Bulls is the best option as the next best teams with potential cap space to sign him would be the Portland Trailblazers or the Indiana Pacers.

Winning on the Margin

With a starting 5 set for the next season, and roll players like Caruso and White signed, look for the Bulls to focus on shoring up their bench with solid reliable veteran role players. Injuries killed the Bulls this season, which forced them to rely on young, inexpensive, and inexperienced players. This is their window if they successfully resign LaVine, and in order to maximize this window they will have to use their cap space wisely on real veteran presence on their bench. This is an important off season for the Bulls and it will be interesting to see if they can continue the positive momentum from this season.

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