Chicago Bulls: Mamba Challenges For Our Core Players

(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images) /

Kobe Bryant took to twitter a few years back to issue challenges to new players in the NBA. What would that mean for the Chicago Bulls? I wanted to take that idea and issue some challenges that I think our players should try to achieve this year.

So even though Kobe Bryant issued these “Mamba Goals” last year, they are still pretty relevant to this day. What he did wasn’t anything special, it was just his own spin on challenging the young stars in the league. The Chicago Bulls could have interesting challenges mixed in here.

So originally he challenged players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Isaiah Thomas. So I wanted to do that same idea and issue my “Brown Mamba” goals for the key players on our team.

Kris Dunn: Request a trade

Do what you gotta do man. We already got Coby White and Tomas Satoransky on the roster and you’re taking valuable minutes away from them. Try forcing Gar-Pax’s hand and try forcing yourself to a team like the Heat or Orlando where you can play meaningful minutes.

Tomas Satoransky: Put yourself in the 6th man conversation

You guys will definitely give me a lot of crap for this, but I do think the Bulls should start White immediately. Sure he’s not ready right now, but giving him those minutes from the start vs starting units will help him develop faster ( It’s like how Trae Young, De’Aaron Fox and SGA have developed so well).

So that leaves Sato on the bench, which is actually perfect. Just because he doesn’t start, doesn’t mean he won’t end games. Especially with his efficiency and maybe playing against second units, his stats will jump out. Not saying that he’ll have Lou Williams numbers, but he could be like a 14/5/5 guy off the bench for the Bulls and that’s definitely enough to be in the conversation.

Coby White: Average 10-plus points per game and 5-plus assists per game

I think that Coby will be pretty damn solid for the Bulls. His speed and finishing ability will help make the Bulls improve their pace ranking, which is the style that the Bulls are gearing towards. With that fit, I don’t see the 5-plus assists being a big hurdle to get over. What I do think might be tough is his scoring.

He obviously didn’t shoot very well in Summer League, but I don’t put much stock in that percentage. He showed the confidence to take those shots and I do think they will go in throughout the season. What I’m worried about is shot opportunities. I don’t think he’ll have too many shots in the half court setting with Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. It’ll be tough but I do think, at least for this season, will mostly score in fastbreak settings.

Wendell Carter Jr. : Shoot over 30 percent from the three-point line

Wendell Carter Jr. is already a great defender. Even though it was a small sample size (44 games), you can tell that he’s a stud. All he needs to do is to put on a little more muscle and within a few years, he will be in conversations for All-Defensive teams.

But it’s his offense that he needs to take to the next level. I truly believe that Wendell is the X-Factor for the Bulls. I project them as a 34 win team next year, but if Wendell is able to expand his game and stretch the floor, it takes the Bulls to the next level.

But I don’t expect that immediately, it too much to ask for that early for a 20 year old. Instead, I want Wendell to show that he has the potential to be a stretch shooter, even if 30% is below league average.

Lauri Markkanen: Be a 50/40/90 player next season

I don’t have much to say about Lauri. It’s not a challenge to expect him to be a 20/10/5 guy because that’s what his career is currently trending towards. Even though I would say to be a all star this season, I don’t think he will ultimately because the front court competition in the East is pretty deep. Instead, I do want Lauri to increase his efficiency and try to join the elite 50/40/90 club.

He’s a career 43/36/86 player, which is already pretty efficient for a stretch 4. But I do think that with another year in the league, he can improve that significantly. Especially if Wendell can stretch the floor, it gives Lauri more open looks. So even though it’s tough, I do think that Lauri can do it.

Zach LaVine: Average 25-plus points per game and make the all star team

It’s two challenges, but one entails the other. I think that if he is to make the all star team this year, he needs to average well over 25 points per game as well as improving his assists and rebounds because the Bulls aren’t gonna be in playoff contentions next year.

Individual challenges for each Chicago Bulls player in 2019-20. dark. Next

For All Stars on non playoff teams, they really have to stuff the stats sheet. But I do think that Zach can do that. In his first full healthy season back, he was a 23 point scorer and showed flashes of being an elite scorer in the league. I do think that with another healthy season, he will become a top 30 player in the league and prove that he is the player that can eventually lead the Bulls to the playoffs.