The NBA is set to return in late July, but the Chicago Bulls will not be one of the 22 teams playing, pending the NBA board of governors approval of NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s proposal. In October, some were speculating playoffs and at least a step in the right direction. However, with the pandemic and the rumors about dissatisfaction around the team in the fall and winter, the team cleaned house in the front office.
Despite the disappointment, missing the playoffs isn’t the worst scenario for the Bulls. Rumors have heated up whether the team will retain Jim Boylen as their head coach. The team will be in a better position to refresh and start a new season with the new GM Mark Eversley and Arturas Karnisovas, VP of basketball operations. Die-hard Bulls fans would like to see the team play because the remaining part of their schedule was to include some top tier teams and resulting in increased odds of having a higher draft pick.
Starting with a fresh slate with the new front office would make it easier for them to help rebuild the roster and address some of the sore spots. The idea that having a top-five draft pick guaranteeing a slam dunk win for the team doesn’t always play out. The Bulls have had a history of draft pick busts. In 2001, the team selected Eddy Curry with the 4th overall pick out of Thornwood High School in South Holland. He played only 4 seasons with the team averaging less than 7 points a game before getting traded.
The offseason will be a challenging one for the Bulls as they owe two players $36 million: Otto Porter Jr. and Cristiano Felicio. The appearance of a disconnect between the players and Boylen won’t be solved just by playing games at a neutral site. The NBA has not had any games in almost three months and teams who are going to be part of the resumption will have 2-3 weeks to get their players back in shape. With that, the Bulls have one of the youngest rosters in the entire NBA and the fallout of a Coby White getting injured and missing even more time isn’t worth the risk in the short term.
When you put a young team on the court that isn’t in game shape and a coach that is not well liked, don’t expect the results to get better.