Do the Chicago Bulls have a point guard problem?

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Many Chicago Bulls fans are disappointed with the progress of Kris Dunn. Entering year three of their rebuild, does Chicago have a point guard problem?

The Chicago Bulls are currently in the depths of a rebuilding effort, trying to establish a winning team and culture for years to come. As always, a large part of this is securing key young pieces, and continuing to develop them. In the first two seasons of their rebuild, the Bulls have had much success in this area, securing key pieces in Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Wendell Carter Jr. They also gained a starting point guard in Kris Dunn.

Chicago was initially extremely high on Kris Dunn. The 6’4″ defensive guard out of Providence was a priority on their 2016 draft board. Gaining him in his sophomore season via the Jimmy Butler trade, Dunn was given the reigns to the starting point guard position by the Bulls. However, two seasons on, people are beginning to wonder if he is the right man for the job. Questions have been raised as to his work ethic and his development over the past two seasons, which in turn raises a bigger question. Does Chicago have a point guard problem?

In Kris Dunn’s first year in the NBA, he averaged 3.8 points, 2.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds. His first season with Chicago, these numbers jumped to 13.4 points, 6 assists and 4.3 rebounds, making him a valuable part of the rebuild. However, this season saw Dunn’s numbers drop across the board, putting up only 11.3 points, 6 assists and 4.1 rebounds. Additionally, there were numerous reports over the off-season that the Bulls were dissatisfied with Dunn’s work ethic and commitment. This has lead to speculation that the Bulls will look to upgrade at the point guard position, with a number of alternatives being raised.

The first of these, and possibly the most obvious option would be to draft a point guard. With the Bulls picking seventh in the upcoming NBA Draft, they will most likely miss out on the draft’s best point guard in Ja Morant. However, they will have a legitimate shot at guards Darius Garland and Coby White, both of whom are projected in the 4-8 pick range.

Garland, out of Vanderbilt, represents a high-risk, high-reward player, one with devastating offensive impact, but who missed the majority of his season with a left meniscus injury. North Carolina’s Coby White shot up draft boards this year, spearheading UNC’s run in the NCAA Tournament. Both of these players would be fitting to take with the 7th pick and could play the starting role for Chicago extremely well.

If the Chicago Bulls choose not to draft a replacement, they can look to sign an established point guard in free agency. An optimal target for the Bulls would be Clippers guard Patrick Beverly. Pat-Bev is a tenacious defender, a glue guy for the team, not to mention a Chicago native. Beverly could bring this team a much needed defensive impact, as well as veteran leadership. He has also shown somewhat of an interest in making a homecoming:

Other guards the Chicago Bulls could target during free agency include Ricky Rubio, Darren Collison, and Malcolm Brogdon. All of these options are effective players who the Bulls can sign to relatively reasonable contracts.

The last option for the Bulls would be to trade for a new starting point guard. By trading a package including Dunn and the 7th pick, Chicago would be able to secure a top-caliber point guard. A popular trade being thrown around online is that which sees the Bulls trade Dunn, the 7th pick and other assets to the Lakers in exchange for Lonzo Ball. While perhaps an infamous name, Ball’s defense and playmaking would be a near perfect fit for the Bulls. Other options include Mike Conley, as Memphis will most likely draft Ja Morant and be looking to move Conley.

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If the Chicago Bulls do decide they have a point guard problem, they have a multitude of avenues to decide from. They can bolster themselves at the position through the draft, free agency or via trade. Whatever their decision, it will have a monumental impact on the team heading into what could be a pivotal season for the franchise. All that’s left is to wait and see.