The dream starting 5 for the Chicago Bulls 5 years from now

Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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As we prepare to enter the 2023-24 season, there’s one unavoidable truth that can’t escape the back of my mind. As much as I’d like to see the Chicago Bulls’ current core develop over the years, the clock is ticking. DeMar DeRozan is 34. Nikola Vucevic turns 33 next month. Even Zach LaVine is only 18 months away from turning 30.

This Bulls core will not be permitted to grow organically. If they want to seriously compete and go far in the postseason, they’re going to have to do it quickly. In the event they fail to become a true contending team, we’ll just as soon see them replaced by the next generation.

But would would the “next generation” look like?

Ideally, the Bulls would find a way to build a team that crosses the bridge between competing now and building for the future. If they managed to balance the mix between intriguing prospects and star talent, Chicago could certainly return to prominence like the glory days of the 90s. If we were to fast forward five years into the future, I believe this hypothetical starting five would be the absolute best-case scenario for the Chicago Bulls moving forward.

Dream starting point guard for the Chicago Bulls: Lonzo Ball

  • Age in 2028: 30
  • Comparison: 2021 Chris Paul

Since we’re hypothesizing dream scenarios here, how about one in which Lonzo Ball makes a full return to the court? When healthy, Ball proved he was the perfect complementary player to this Bulls’ offense, elevating the performance of the team even when the ball was not in his hands.

The areas of the game in which Lonzo specialized — namely shooting, playmaking, and defending — are not things that deteriorate with age. His keen mind for the game will keep him relevant in this league for as long as his body manages to hold up. Even at 30 years old, Lonzo would still be the guy I’d want calling the shot as Chicago’s floor general.

Ball has proven to be an effective fit with this current Bulls team, as he helped propel the team to a 51.5-win pace in games he participated in. Even as the Bulls inevitably move on from this current core in the coming year, Lonzo’s unselfish brand of basketball would make him a seamless fit for any roster. If he can return to even being 80% of the player he once was, Ball would be a high-value, low-cost addition to this team so that they can prioritize spending big in other areas.