3 ways the Bulls can become true championship contenders in 2022-23

DeMar DeRozan, Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
DeMar DeRozan, Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls
Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

1. Patrick Williams makes a massive leap

As if you needed any reminder of just how young Patrick Williams still is, he’s still nearly two months removed from turning 21 years old in August. Although he was drafted two years ago, he’s still younger than some of the top rookies from last year’s draft class such as Evan Mobley, Davion Mitchell, Herbert Jones, and Rookie of the Year award winner Scottie Barnes.

It’s true that Williams’ box score stats haven’t popped off the page, but he has shown he has many of the characteristics Chicago is looking for in a starting forward. He can defend at a high level, is a very dependable spot-up shooter, and isn’t prone to committing low-IQ fouls and costly turnovers. However, the Bulls already have that utility role player in Lonzo; they need Pat to become something even greater.

Whether or not he can actually become what the Bulls need remains to be seen, as his sophomore campaign was cut short by a wrist injury sustained just five games into the season. With a full offseason to continue working on his game and DeRozan around to mentor the promising forward, the hope is that Pat is ready to turn the corner and break out next season.

I believe a lot of the frustration directed towards Williams is derived from Chicago’s former draft failures. The Bulls tanked for a half-decade to be able to draft players like Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter, and Coby White, each of whom were all selected in the top half of the lottery. Although Bulls fans remained patient through the process, none of these players lived up to the potential the front office had envisioned.

Now, Pat seems to be suffering from an impatience that has carried over even with a new front office in charge of things. Whether he’s shown you enough to make you a believer or not is irrelevant, because the Bulls have always been banking on the idea of the player he could one day become.

As it currently stands, a massive improvement from Williams is still the only way for this Bulls team to improve its ceiling, so there’s no point for a select minority of fans to continue rooting for his downfall. The front office has been patient with Pat and should continue to do so, after making the right call by not over-eagerly chasing a mid-season Jerami Grant trade package that would have led to nowhere.

We know what we’re going to get from the main core of DeRozan, LaVine, Lonzo, Caruso, and to a lesser extent Vucevic next season. The task to continue improving and help take this team to the next level now falls on the shoulders of Ayo, Coby, and especially Patrick Williams.

Next. 3 things worth watching in Bulls 2022 preseason. dark