Chicago Bulls: 5 biggest reasons we own a losing record

Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

1. Lack of star power and a go-to option

This one is a bit of an “easy pickings” and “thank you, captain obvious” choice for what plagues this young Bulls team most, given recent last possession losses, but it’s by far the Bulls biggest problem.

The previous slide already addressed Lauri’s shortcomings, but let’s take a closer dive into the Bulls other supposed “star” LaVine. How does Zach stack up against other number one options across the league?

First, basketball is a two-way sport. Offense is definitely more important in today’s NBA but having a defensive liability on your team is still not going to put your team in a position to win a lot of games. LaVine sits below every other starter besides Porter Jr. (who hasn’t played in a month and a half) in defensive win shares on this Bulls team.

He also sits at second to last on the team, only better than Luke Kornet, in defensive rating, a stat that has nothing to do with his team’s defense.

His lack of defense really puts him in a bad position because his value lies entirely on his offensive ability. He currently sits at 19th in the league in scoring at 22.2 points per game.

Of the 18 scorers ahead of him, only the one directly above him (Russell Westbrook) has a worst field goal percentage. Despite his perceived above average ability to get his own shot, the percentage of his shots made that come unassisted (49.7%) sit far below elite scorers like James Harden (84.9%), Damian Lillard (85.3%), or Luka Dončić (78.4%).

Given this information, it’s not hard to see why when the Bulls need a bucket, whether it be to stop a scoring run by the opposing team or to close out a game, LaVine is not the guy you necessarily want out there to take the shot.

The clock is running out on the LaVine era in Chicago, and the solution here is probably to begin looking for trade partners if we have not already. Trading away LaVine, even if we don’t net a great player in return, would free up playing time for White and scoring opportunities/experience for Markkanen in end of game situations, and will most certainly net us some kind of asset further down the road.

Next. 2020 NBA Mock Draft version 2.0. dark

Zach would be excellent on a team that needs an offensive punch that won’t have to rely on him to score when push comes to shove, and a first round pick in return is not at all out of the question.

LaVine is not a star, and it really really shows.