Record: 41 – 41 (8th in the East)
Season Ended: Eliminated by the Celtics in 6 in the First Round
Lauri Markkanen (PF)
David Nwaba (SG), Quincy Pondexter (SF), Diamond Stone (PF/C), Justin Holiday (SG)
Kris Dunn (PG), Zach Lavine (SG)
Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler, Michael Carter-Williams, Rajon Rondo
Projected Starters (Last year averages)
PG: Kris Dunn (4 pts, 2 reb, 2 ast)
SG: Zach Lavine (19 pts, 3 reb, 3 ast) will miss time due to injury
SF: Paul Zipser (6 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast)
PF: Nikola Mirotic (11 pts, 6 reb, 1 ast)
C: Robin Lopez (10 pts, 6 reb, 1 ast)
Denzel Valentine (SG/SF), Bobby Portis (PF/C), Lauri Markkanen (PF/C)
Major Story lines
Jimmy Butler Trade: The Rebuild is on- For most of the latter part of the year last season the Bulls flirted with the idea of trading Jimmy Butler. The trade would signal the beginning of a rebuild and I think they were on the fence about whether or not they wanted to go there. In the end, they did and they traded Jimmy to the Timberwolves to be reunited with Thibs. In the trade the Bulls got back some young guys with potential that has not quite been realized and they got an earlier pick. The future is now in the hands of Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen.
D Wade Buyout – Once Jimmy Butler was traded the writing was on the wall as far as Dwyane Wade. It took a while but the Bulls finally bought out his contract a few weeks ago meaning they paid him almost $40 million dollars for last season… and so went the hometown return.
Mike Predictions (15 – 67) (15th in the East)
- Bulls Finish Last – It will be a long season for a few teams in the league but for the young Bulls it will be the longest. While they have some nice looking pieces none of those pieces are experienced or hardened enough to get them any significant wins. They’ll have fun battles against the other bottom feeders but will be feasted on by the rest of the league.
- Robin Lopez traded – Robin is the only real vet on this team and there is almost no reason for him to be there. His presence only stands to slow the development of the younger big men on the roster so I expect he’ll be dealt to a team that needs rebounding/rim protection before the trade deadline. It wouldn’t surprise me if the deal went down before Christmas.
Josh Predictions (14-68) (15th in the Eastern Conference)
- Chicago has the worst record in the NBA – This feels like an easy one. Aside from Zach Lavine, who is still recovering from an ACL tear, the Bulls don’t really have any single player to get excited about. Seriously, none. That’s ok though, because this year’s draft is expected to be stacked with potential future stars. So I predict a full-on tank fest in the Windy City this year and maybe a #1 overall pick next June.
- Kris Dunn triples his 2016 PPG average – I still have faith that Kris Dunn can be a serviceable player in the NBA. And with Zach Lavine and Cameron Payne injured, there are a lot of minutes to go around for Chicago’s group of guards. I predict Dunn will average somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 pts, 3 reb, & 4 ast this year. He also might stink. Guess we’ll see…