5. Internal chemistry issues plague the Bulls
The final problem the Bulls had this season came towards the beginning of the year, when there were plenty of rumors going around regarding Zach LaVine’s relationship with the team and Billy Donovan.
There were two instances in particular that raised some concerns among Bulls fans: first was LaVine’s 4th quarter benching in a November loss to the Orlando Magic that led to conflict between the max player and his coach. Second was the locker room incident at halftime against the Minnesota Timberwolves, a game in which Chicago gave up 150 points. The team’s frustration at the time was directed primarily at LaVine, and this was the peak of the franchise’s turmoil this season.
Although the Bulls seemed to have rebounded from this incident, their performance up until that point made it difficult to come back from, despite their strong play later on in the season which included a 14-9 stretch to end the season after the All-Star Break.
Overall, the Chicago Bulls faced many different issues that prevented them from getting to the playoffs this year and meeting the high expectations they came into the season with. In the offseason, the Bulls’ front office has plenty to look at, especially with expiring contracts from notable players and plenty of holes in the team’s construction. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see what the Bulls look like next year, especially considering they have about a 92% chance of losing their first-round pick to the Orlando Magic.