Where ESPN ranked Chicago Bulls early for the 2020-21 NBA season

Where did the latest edition of the way-too-early 2020-21 NBA season power rankings from ESPN place the retooling Chicago Bulls?

It actually likely won’t be all that long before the Chicago Bulls return to meaningful game action. All things considered, the Bulls might be less than two months away from the start of the 2020-21 season. While it has been more than seven months since the Bulls last played in a meaningful game, which came back in mid-March in a home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, it seemed like a lot longer than that.

In the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Bulls were part of the “Delete Eight” that didn’t get to play in any portion of the NBA’s season restart in the bubble at Disney World. The Bulls wound up finishing off their portion of the shortened 2019-20 regular season in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic with a record of 22-43, good for 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings.

But since last season ended for the Bulls, they’ve made a plethora of changes to the organization from the top-down to hopefully make more headway in the standings in the East heading into the fourth year of the rebuild. They hired Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley to replace John Paxson and Gar Forman in the front office. And then Karnisovas and Eversley subsequently hired a replacement for the now ex-Bulls head coach Jim Boylen, in the former Oklahoma City Thunder bench boss Billy Donovan.

With all of that in mind, how do some of the major media outlets around the basketball landscape project the Bulls out heading into next season?

ESPN released their “way too early edition” power rankings for the 2020-21 season last week, just after the Los Angeles Lakers won the title in the bubble to round out a very lengthy 2019-20 season. And the latest edition of NBA power rankings from ESPN for the 2020-21 season had the Bulls way down the list at No. 26.

Here’s more on what ESPN had to say on their placement of the Bulls in their way too early 2020-21 season power rankings.

The Bulls failed to reach the postseason for the third consecutive season. The organization cleaned house with a new front office, led by executive vice president Arturas Karnisovas, and new head coach Billy Donovan. Chicago has the No. 4 pick in the draft to add to its young core of Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Coby White and Zach LaVine. Now, they will need to stay healthy to see how the pieces blend together

The four teams that made it on the list below the Bulls in the power rankings from ESPN (in order from 27-30) were the Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, Cavs, and the lowly New York Knicks. And the top five in these power rankings (in order from top-to-bottom) included the Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, and Dallas Mavericks.

The next highest team in these power rankings out of the East were the reigning runner-ups in the conference Boston Celtics.

Before the 2020-21 regular season can officially begin, the NBA has to find a way to pack in this cycle of free agency, opening of the trade market, and the 2020 NBA Draft. That doesn’t even include a possible form of mini/training camp for the NBA’s 30 teams, and any idea of a preseason (which probably won’t happen).