Back from a bountiful Thanksgiving break, now is a great time to catch up on the latest Chicago Bulls news. With Andre Drummond and Coby White seemingly fully re-integrated back into the lineup, it’s nice to have seen this team be relatively injury-free over the last few games.
For better or worse, this has given us a chance to see what the Bulls are truly capable of in a sans-Lonzo Ball world. Holding an 8-11 record entering their 20th game of the season tonight in Utah, there’s certainly room for improvement; just how desperate the Bulls should be for a win, however, is certainly worth a debate.
Bulls News: Media outlets continue their assault
In the preseason, we discussed ESPN’s continued barrage on this Bulls team, but they were far from the only critics of how Chicago has constructed its roster. Now that we’re nearly 20 games into the season, some have been emboldened by the Bulls’ early struggles.
The Ringer’s Michael Pina offers a vicious take on Chicago’s current situation, and it’s hard to fault his opinions here.
"“Let’s not mince words: The window that cracked open after DeRozan was acquired is closed. If any team in the entire league should tank, it’s this one… Chicago has backed itself into an unenviable corner. Just about every other organization has something to look forward to. Meanwhile, the light at the end of Chicago’s tunnel is a candle flickering its way through a downpour.”"
While I’m not usually one for callous hit pieces, I believe Pina tries his best to be objective here and offers a fair assessment of the good and bad surrounding this Bulls team. This article is well worth the read for those looking to further understand just how dire the situation could become.
Bulls News: Chicago’s 2023 NBA Lottery odds
If the NBA Draft Lottery took place tomorrow, the Chicago Bulls would have a 6.0% chance to receive the 1st overall pick, 6.3% for the 2nd, 6.7% for the 3rd, and 7.2% for the 4th. That means the team has a 26.2% combined chance to keep their pick based on their current placement in the standings.
When I ran the lottery simulation through Tankathon100 times, the Bulls actually achieved a top-four pick at a disproportionately high rate. The Bulls landed in the top four a surprising 42 times and even won the first overall selection 9 times, which speaks to the enormous variability of the lottery’s new flattened odds system.
With the Hornets, Lakers, and Thunder just barely below the Bulls in the standings, we’re still at a point where Chicago could quite easily improve their lottery standings should they choose to blow up this experiment while they still have time.
Around the NBA
Despite all this discussion around whether or not the Bulls should blow it up, they’ve actually done quite well against the league’s top teams. Among their eight wins include victories over the 2019 NBA Champions, the 2021 NBA Champions, and both 2022 Eastern Conference Finalists. The Celtics and Bucks have achieved a ridiculous 29-8 combined record against every other team, and yet Chicago currently holds a 3-1 record against the East’s top two teams.
If the Bulls decide to commit to winning this season instead of blowing it all up, there are a multitude of interesting players floating around the trade market at the moment. P.J. Washington, Jae Crowder, Saddiq Bey, Gary Trent Jr., Josh Richardson, and Evan Fournier are just a handful of the names that could make a big impact in Chicago if their respective teams decide to move on via trade.