For the second-straight season, the Chicago Bulls will not be in the NBA Playoffs. The last time Chicago reached the playoffs was 2017 when they won the first two games of the series against No. 1 seed Boston.
But that didn’t last. Boston stormed back to win the next four games and advance in the series.
Since then, it’s been miserable for the franchise as they are currently in the middle of a rebuild which included trading Jimmy Butler at the 2017 NBA Draft. So as the league enters the first round of the playoffs this weekend, just how far away are the Bulls from competing again?
As it stands, the Golden State Warriors are the class of the NBA. They are the favorites to win the title again and we’d be shocked if they weren’t in the NBA Finals, again.
The Bulls are obviously far away from competing to get on the same level as the Warriors, let alone the top team in the East which is Milwaukee. While Houston and Denver may provide tough challenges for Golden State, the Bucks could be the dark horse if they meet in the NBA Finals.
According to this year’s odds for the NBA title, the team with the best chance to knock off the Warriors (-200) is Milwaukee (+700). While it took a while for sportsbooks to fully buy into the Bucks, they became the Eastern Conference favorites last month thanks to their dominance at both ends of the floor. They lead the league in both wins (60) and point differential (+9.1) and have been nearly unbeatable at full strength. (Four of their 15 losses came without Giannis Antetokounmpo in the lineup.) They’ve also been nearly unbeatable at home (33-7, 30-5 with Giannis) and will have home-court throughout the postseason.
Chicago is still a long ways from actually being considered a legit threat to win it all but this offseason could be the step in the right direction.
The Bulls currently have the fourth-worst record in the NBA and will have a 48.0 % chance at a Top 4 pick and a 12.5% chance at the No. 1 overall pick come the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery. With a draft that features Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, it’s very important the Bulls get a Top 2 pick and at the very least Top 3 pick.
If they do somehow land a player like Williamson, they will add him to a roster that already has Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter and Zach LaVine.
It would help speed up the Bulls rebuild process and might only take a few more years to be back in the NBA Playoffs. But if things don’t go that way, we could see them in basketball hell for a while.