The good, bad, and ugly of the Chicago Bulls’ 2018-19 season

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images) /

Boylen Bounces Back

The firing of former Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg was another highly criticized move, as Jim Boylen struggled to assume the helm of this young and quickly improving team. After a few weeks of locker room tension and hostility, Boylen’s self-proclaimed ‘road dog mentality’ has apparently rubbed off on the roster. Seen in moments like this, it’s not hard to see how:

Now that the young Bulls are on the same page as their new coach, things are looking upward. Zach LaVine even offered to pay Boylen’s ejection fine as a token of appreciation for sticking up for his team in a heated moment. Ironically enough, after his rough start in Chicago, even other teams are taking notice of the bond being forged between Boylen and his players.

When asked about the current state of the team, former-Bull Jimmy Butler offered a ringing endorsement for the first-time NBA coach.

"“I’m happy for Jim… I think he’s going to be great for the young group of guys that they have here because I know that he works. I know that he studies the game. And he wants to win. I think this city, of all cities, definitely deserves that,”"

This has been one of many promising developments from the Bulls tumultuous year, which will hopefully help carry a bit of positive momentum into 2020.

Fire Keep GarPax?

Contrary to the negative image they’ve built up for themselves with their various management mistakes and business blunders, Bulls General Manager Gar Forman and President of Basketball Operations John Paxson have pulled off a series of surprisingly excellent deals and decisions.

Although matching Zach LaVine’s offer sheet from the Kings this summer was far from a highly lauded decision, it has proved to be a tremendous steal for the Chicago Bulls. Expending 78 million dollars on an unproven player with an ACL tear was certainly a risky move, yet it’s paid dividends as LaVine looks to have the makings of a future star.

A seemingly minor move that sent Justin Holiday to the Grizzlies ended up working out nicely for the Bulls, as they acquired a promising young player in Selden and two additional second-round picks from the rebuilding Grizzlies.

At the deadline, Chicago made a surprising move that sent Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker to Washington in exchange for Otto Porter Jr. Since the transaction, Porter has played better than ever in his career, with a scorching hot 17.5 points per game on 48.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

These bright spots in an otherwise grim season will have Bulls fans eagerly waiting to see how the team develops heading into next season, in no small part thanks to the excellent decisions made by the front office recently.