3 players that should be cut from Bulls playoff rotation

DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

I won’t feign ignorance here, the Chicago Bulls wouldn’t be a 35-38 team if there weren’t a multitude of leaking holes on this ship. It’s more obvious than ever that this team has weaknesses that can and will be exploited by even some of the NBA’s worst teams.

And yet, the Bulls currently hold a 7-6 record against the league’s four best teams this season, so what gives? The truth here is that Chicago has found success, not through their star trio, but the supporting cast that surrounds them. Despite a worse record, this Bulls team undeniably has a deeper bench than last year.

Unfortunately, they’ll be forced to abandon one of their greatest strengths if they qualify for the play-in tournament and (hopefully) eventually the 2023 NBA Playoffs. While other teams may have an easier time shortening their rotations, the Bulls will have a harder time deciding who deserves those important postseason minutes.

The Chicago Bulls have some tough decisions to make as they’ll have to cut down to an 8 or 9-man rotation in the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

3. Javonte Green

I regret having to write Javonte Green‘s name here, as he has truly been a revelation for the Chicago Bulls off the bench this season when he’s been available to play. His frenetic energy and will to win are two things this team appeared to significantly lack before the addition of Patrick Beverley to the lineup.

With this in mind, it should seem that Javonte would be a welcome re-addition to the lineup, but his legs may not quite be under him just yet. In three games since returning from injury, Green has logged just 15 total minutes of playtime. It was always expected that Green would slowly ramp back up, by with 9 games left on the regular season schedule, he may not have enough time to get back to the level the coaching staff is looking for from him.

To complicate matters even more, Derrick Jones Jr. has been playing extremely well and has logged 61 minutes to Green’s 15 over the last three games. Jones Jr. has the versatility to play both forward and small ball center when necessary, so his versatility could be enough to help give him the nod over Green in the playoffs if Javonte doesn’t return to form soon.

2. Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond has built his career around dominating the boards and monitoring the low post for easy baskets. Unfortunately, these skills don’t translate quite as well to the NBA Playoffs as say, shooting, playmaking, or isolation defense. As defenses tighten up, it’ll become easier and easier for opponents to take advantage of Drummond’s multitude of weaknesses.

This isn’t to say that Drummond doesn’t hold value in specific scenarios. He’s great to have on the floor when the Bulls will need to either box out after a crucial free throw or attack the glass in the clutch for potential second-chance points, but I expect his minutes to receive a significant reduction in the postseason.

Opposing teams have been able to render Drummond effectively useless in the playoffs by scheming him out of games for several years now, it would be foolish to expect things to magically play out differently now that he’s on the Chicago Bulls.

1. Ayo Dosunmu

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big of an Ayo Dosunmu fan as anyone. It’s quite literally in my Twitter bio. But I won’t let my fandom cloud objective judgment here, as I believe Dosunmu will be an unfortunate but necessary cut from the playoff rotation.

As it currently stands, Patrick Beverley has bumped Dosunmu down in the depth chart. Alex Caruso is still this team’s best perimeter defender. Coby White is still the Bulls’ second-best shooter and most dangerous offensive weapon off the bench. Dosunmu does not any one thing better than these three players, so where does that leave him?

A well-rounded rotation piece has value in the regular season ⁠— and he’ll certainly be the next man up if Chicago runs into any injury issues ⁠— but it makes far more sense to trust the proven veteran talent like Beverley and Caruso over Dosunmu at this stage in his career.

Next. Ranking the Bulls' ideal first-round playoff opponents. dark