Chicago Bulls: Who’s the most important player on the team?

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 23: Lauri Markkanen
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 23: Lauri Markkanen /

The Chicago Bulls have a roster loaded with young talent. With that being said, who is the most important player on this roster going forward?

The Chicago Bulls have a ton of important players on their roster.

2018 7th overall draft pick Wendell Carter Jr. was the guy they got as a result of the post-Jimmy Butler tank. He’s clearly important when looking at the future success of the franchise. Then you have guys like Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker. The franchise took a risk on both of these players this summer.

The Bulls gambled on Zach LaVine when they signed him to a 4-year, $78 million deal. That’s a lot of money and a lot of years for a guy who has shown a lack of consistency in his 24 games as a Bull (still undoubtedly the correct move, though).

The Jabari contract (2-years, $40 million) is less of a risk for the Bulls than the LaVine deal but still comes with some risk. Financially, the Bulls will be fine – they can cut ties with Parker after the 2018-19 season if they feel like he isn’t a good fit. The risk, however, is that working too hard to get Parker involved could stunt the growth of players like Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr.

That’s a pretty unlikely scenario, but still – the risk is there.

Who’s the most important Bull?

While I have Jabari Parker ranked as the best player on the Bulls (read my Bulls power rankings here), I think Lauri Markkanen is undoubtedly the most important player on the roster.

With Zach LaVine struggling to find consistency, Markkanen has turned into the piece that the Bulls essentially swapped for Jimmy Butler (I know it’s a combination of Dunn, LaVine, Markkanen and Carter, but you know what I mean).

During his rookie season, Markkanen averaged 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game on 43.4 percent shooting from the field and 36.2 percent shooting from 3-point land. He also became the fastest rookie in NBA history to hit 100 3-pointers.

Oh, I forgot to mention, he also made the NBA All-Rookie first team. Not bad for a guy who was considered a terrible pick by most experts during the 2017 NBA draft.

Everyone knew Lauri could shoot the 3-ball coming in but Markkanen showed fans that he’s more than just a shooter with some elite drives and finishes at the rim – giving him the nickname “The Finnisher.”

His overall game has really taken off since the start of his professional career. He is a much better ball-handler, defender and rebounder than most people thought he would be – especially after just one year in the league.

The Bulls are in a fortunate position, especially compared to some other teams in the league. They have multiple talented young guys that they would love to keep around for years to come. Their job now is to find ways for them to all succeed and grow together.

Next. Power ranking the Chicago Bulls top 5 players. dark

Lauri Markkanen should be the centerpiece in their growth going forward. He’s the most important player on the roster.