Chicago Bulls: ESPN’s best, worst case scenarios for 2020-21 season

The Chicago Bulls could have a volatile outlook for the 2020-21 season, but there is a lot of excitement building for this team after a lot of changes.

In a piece from ESPN detailing what the “Best and Worst Case Scenarios” would be for the “Delete Eight” for the 2020-21 NBA season, the Chicago Bulls had one of the more promising outlooks. Chris Herring was the ESPN writer that gave his opinion on the best and worst case scenarios for the Bulls heading into next season and the fourth year of the rebuild.

The Bulls finished up the 2019-20 shortened regular season in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic with a record of 22-43, good for 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings. That led to management parting ways with now former head coach Jim Boylen, who wrapped up his two year run coaching the Bulls with a record of 39-84.

As a result, the Bulls have largely retooled the look of the front office, coaching staff, and scouting department. The Bulls hired Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley to replace the likes of John Paxson and Gar Forman as the lead voices in the front office. And then Karnisovas hired former Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan to replace Boylen as the next Bulls skipper.

With all of that in mind, there is a lot of excitement surrounding what the Bulls could do heading into the fourth year of the rebuild. Here’s some of what Herring had to say about the best case scenario for the Bulls for next season.

After whatever this past season was for the Chicago Bulls, seeing the team’s young core stay healthy enough to play together and compete for the eighth seed would be a step in the right direction.

Good health would allow the Bulls to see what they have in Otto Porter Jr. before his contract expires after the season. The same would be true of restricted free agent Kris Dunn, one of the NBA’s best perimeter stoppers, assuming Chicago brings him back despite his struggles to stay on the floor.

It seems like Herring believes that a lot of what the Bulls do next season revolves around their moves on the free agent market and keeping their young core healthy, along with the likes of small forward Otto Porter Jr. If they can turn both of those storylines into noted positives next season, then Donovan could have an improved winner on his hands in the Windy City.

But on the other hand, there could be a negative outlook that plays out for the Bulls during the 2020-21 season. Here’s more on what Herring detailed for a potential worst case scenario for the Bulls heading into next season.

An overlooked blemish on this team’s résumé is its brutal performance against solid competition. The Bulls were an NBA-worst 2-23 mark against teams .500 or better last season. To play that poorly against the league’s best in consecutive seasons — with a decent roster — would be a failure, especially as the team tries to showcase its progress to free agents in 2021.

The Bulls should able to fair better against winning teams in the NBA next season. Boylen had a truly tremendous problem on his hands with how he couldn’t get his team to get up for the better teams in the NBA last season.

The Bulls haven’t played in a meaningful game in the NBA since mid-March. The next season could come around as soon as before Christmas 2020, but there’s nothing conclusive in that regard as of yet.