Only the Bulls
With the 18th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls select...
Let's be honest, your guess is as good as mine with what the Bulls will do with their draft picks this year. Before we go down the road of the unknown regarding Arturas Karnisovas and the Bulls scouting department's big board, we need to see where we were this year.
The Chicago Bulls had a successful season in 2021-2022. I don't care what anyone says. The addition of DeMar DeRozan was, at the very least, in the top 3 best acquisitions in the NBA offseason last summer. Many outside the organization and talking heads questioned the signing saying DeRozan and LaVine could not play together however seeing them on the floor took pressure off one and other.
Despite the Bulls being accused and later acquitted of tampering violations, 2021 also brought Lonzo Ball to the Chicago Bulls organization. Defensively, he is an absolute pest for any opposing team's guard averaging 1.8 steals per game, before his season came to an abrupt end. Ball's importance became overwhelmingly relevant during his absence. The Bulls offense sputtered in the second half of the season which resulted in a 8-15 record after the All-Star break. Ball's ability to control the offense and start fast breaks is crucial for the Bulls success next year.
2020's 4th overall pick, Patrick Williams showed flashes before and after his wrist injury. Of note, his last 6 games of the 2021 season he averaged 15.8 points per game. His high water mark being the Minnesota game where he scored 35 points. Keep in mind Williams is only 20 years old. The ceiling could be very high for him and I don't see him being seriously involved in ANY trade talks.
Commonalities during the regular season, injuries and defensive inefficiencies, were brought to the forefront during the playoff run this year. The Chicago Bulls finding a player in this upcoming draft that can guard perimeter shooters, has length and is readily available is on top of my wish list for the Bulls. Opposing teams were shooting 36.7% against the Bulls from the 3 point line which was 27th worst in the NBA.
So here we are, at a crossroads where Chicago can go for development at pick 18 in the draft or go for immediate results. After only 1 year of relevancy, do the Bulls have the equity with their fanbase to wait and see for development? It's my opinion the Bulls should, and will, stick to their current roster in the 2022-23 season. I'm confident they will add a solid role guy to help fill some deficiencies the team had last year. The potential is there to be in the top 5 in the Eastern Conference if their stars play well and the roster stays healthy.
A playoff run, however, will only happen when Chicago acquires role players that make their stars better, namely Zach LaVine. All this could be completely wrong, IF, Karnisovas finds a willing trade partner to bring in a veteran who can help the Bulls get to the playoffs in back to back years for the first time since the 2014, 2015 seasons.
Answers to our questions start to be revealed Thursday, June 23rd at the Barclays Center.
Until next time.