Vegas odds for 2024 champion are proof the Bulls are directionless

Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Following a disappointing 40-42 season and prompt elimination in the play-in tournament, please excuse me if I join many other fans when I say I’m ready to put this year behind us and look forward to the future. The Chicago Bulls’ options this summer may be limited, but at this point, standing pat and not making any moves in either direction would be an abject failure for the franchise.

Although this season just wrapped with the Denver Nuggets laying claim to the Larry O’Brien Trophy, all those that fell in their wake already have their eyes on 2024 and beyond. There are still plenty of draft picks, signings, and trades (looking at you, Damian Lillard) that could massively shake things up, but it’s still not unreasonably difficult to pick a few teams from the bunch who are most likely to bounce back strong next year.

FanDuel has released their opening odds to win it all in 2024, with the Bucks, Celtics, Suns, and returning champion Nuggets all pegged as favorites while the Chicago Bulls find themselves much further down the totem pole, tied for 19th with the Brooklyn Nets.

Vegas sportsbooks don’t believe the Bulls are true threats to go all the way next season, and for good reason.

While it should be noted that Vegas’ championship odds are certainly nothing like reading the future from a crystal ball — after all, Golden State and Boston opened as the betting favorites on FanDuel with Denver ranked 11th — but there are definitely some interesting trends worth looking at here.

What’s most interesting to me here is the teams placed in the same tier as Chicago, as the Bulls join the Nets, Trail Blazers, and Thunder with odds in the range of +12000 to +13000. Each of these teams aren’t supposed to be built to win now the way the Bulls are, and yet the bookies still believe they have approximately equal odds to go all the way.

That should be very concerning.

What’s more, is that each of these teams has at least one extremely promising prospect on their hands. OKC has Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams, the Nets have Nic Claxton, and the Trail Blazers have Shaedon Sharpe and the No. 3 pick in the upcoming draft. Each of these players is significantly more proven and valuable than any young player on the Bulls right now.

Two of these three squads have true superstar-caliber players in Damian Lillard and Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, while Brooklyn has an extremely valuable building block in Mikal Bridges, who was reportedly receiving offers of four first-round draft picks at last year’s trade deadline. There’s not a single player on the Bulls who would fetch as large of a haul as either Lillard, SGA, or Bridges at this point.

That can only mean that not only are the Bulls in a worse position long-term without great prospects to build on, but they’re also in a worse position to win in the short-term, as other general managers and Vegas both seem to agree that Chicago simply doesn’t have attractive assets to become a true title contender. Instead of living in denial of this reality, it’s time for the front office to begin seeing the error of their ways, and switch lanes to a path that may bear a realistic opportunity to compete in the future since they so very clearly are not equipped to do so right now.

Next. Bulls' all-time starting lineup (according to win shares). dark