Chicago Bulls hopeful to build a lasting legacy in 2022-23

DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Let’s face it, the Chicago Bulls have had a lot of bumps, collisions, and roadblocks in their way that put a damper on their performances this recent season. They battled some injuries, had COVID-19 protocol setbacks, and didn’t finish out some games the way they would have liked to.

However, they had some significant celebrations, came out on top in close games, left the court with smiles, and started off the first half of the season maintaining first and second place in the East and proved to the world how great they could truly be.

Despite a disastrous finish last season, there remains a firm belief this Bulls squad can live up to their expectations and get to the playoffs. If you take an in-depth look at the 18-man roster; there is a ton to dig into and most importantly, get pumped up about. There is an enormous amount of versatility and highly touted talent.

The journey toward greatness is just around the corner for this Chicago Bulls team this season.

There have been a couple of additions to the Bulls squad this off-season. As we all know, Dalen Terry could end up becoming quite the hit for this roster. His ability to have a complete impact on both ends of the floor in every aspect of the game could grant the Chicago Bulls the chance to climb the Eastern Conference ladder.

Carlik Jones from the University of Louisville will ignite the backcourt and be an integral dimension of the success at the point guard position. Jones went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft but had some good stints this recent season with the Mavericks and Nuggets. He played the majority of the season with the Texas Legends of the NBA G-League.

The Bulls also bring Goran Dragic over to the Windy City. The veteran has a terrific skill set and will give the organization some more needed depth at the guard position. He joins Andre Drummond as a fellow former member of the Brooklyn Nets, as the big man should provide some more post-game depth and a dominant presence on the inside. Standing at 6’10, the fireworks will be booming with elevation, frequency, and intensity.

There are two other noteworthy newcomers in Javon Freeman-Liberty and Justin Lewis. Both of these young men went undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft but have rigorous potential and upside. At 6’4 and 6’7, you’ll see some incredible wing and slashing capabilities with tremendous athletic ability if they are able to crack the final 15-man roster.

It’s intriguing to know that the Bulls organization is taking an extreme interest in Kostas Antetokounmpo, who is the brother of two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Kostas last played in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, who signed him in 2020. He was not on an NBA roster last season, but could find himself filling the Bulls’ second and final two-way spot.

The snowstorm did not stop as we’ve gone through this off-season, as injuries have put a black cloud in the middle of the sky for the whole Bulls organization. The phenomenal, run-the-show to a new level, dandy floor general Lonzo Ball will be a question mark for the start of this upcoming season. If his left knee continues to improve and get to full strength, he will be back within the first few weeks of the season.

All-Star guard Zach LaVine hurt his knee at the end of April and will be probable for the start of the season. Words cannot describe how much his presence would be missed if his injuries lingered and affected another season in Chicago. Meanwhile, Lewis has a knee injury and is expected to be out until at least September 1st. Terry suffered a hamstring injury in the NBA Summer League; however, he is making daily improvements. He had magnificent performances in the NBA Summer League and the Drew League this past summer.

DeMar DeRozan, LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, and Patrick Williams need to orchestrate this Bulls offense and need to do it in total rhythm. DeRozan’s team-leading 27.9 points per game put him in the upper echelon of scoring leaders in the NBA. LaVine’s 24.4 points, 4.6 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game prove he can put on a show game-in and game-out.

If Vucevic and Williams improve on a lackluster 2021-22 season, the sky’s the limit for this roster. This Chicago Bulls team is a significantly better team when both are producing and playing well. We saw flashes of what the pair could do in the playoffs, but their time together was limited in regular season play.

This 2022-2023 Bulls training camp is going to be something special from all angles. Coach Billy Donovan and the coaching staff have their work cut out for them. They have a tight-knit group of hoopers who have the ability to get the job done each night. With excellent comradery, the pieces will fit into the puzzle in no time. The Bulls start off their season on October 19 against the Miami Heat in Miami. They then play the Washington Wizards in Washington on October 21. Their first home game is going to be a wild and electric one on October 22 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Yes, there is room for growth, but the overall capabilities of each man are definitely out of this world. The key players, role players, and newcomers will present themselves with the utmost class, high-level basketball talent, abundant athleticism, and an undecided future filled with endless possibilities and a road to distinct glory.

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