Entering the offseason, the Chicago Bulls looked like they were forced to play a bad hand and would have to suffer losing some of the backcourt talent that made them such a versatile team last season. However, the Bulls surprised us all with the decision to not only pay both Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu handsomely this summer but also hold onto valuable trade assets like Alex Caruso and interesting prospects such as Dalen Terry and Carlik Jones.
For this reason, I expect to see a fierce battle commence for the starting point guard position alongside Zach LaVine. Whoever loses out will fill in the primary reserve roles, while the young up-and-comers will occupy the third-string position in the depth chart. If we consider LaVine a lock for the starting shooting guard position (as we should), then here are the remaining contenders for minutes in the frontcourt next season.
- Alex Caruso
- Ayo Dosunmu
- Carlik Jones
- Coby White
- Dalen Terry
- Jevon Carter
Right off the bat, it’s easy to identify Jones and Terry as “break in case of emergency” players. They just shouldn’t be receiving heavy minutes next season, if all goes according to plan. Although Dosunmu has achieved more in the league, he also likely joins this group, simply due to how much talent is in Chicago’s backcourt. He’ll have the opportunity to prove himself down the road, but for now, the other three remaining players will be the primary contenders.
Let’s examine how the depth chart should play out for the Chicago Bulls when it comes to our final three remaining contenders: Alex Caruso, Coby White, and Jevon Carter.
Start, bench, cut: Chicago Bulls point guards
Start: Jevon Carter
When the Chicago Bulls signed free agent Jevon Carter to a three-year, $20 million deal this summer, the immediate assumption here was that it was so he could fill the void at starting point guard. For the time being, I believe that notion still stands.
In the absence of Lonzo Ball, the Bulls have scrambled to find a player who can offer even a fraction of what he did on both sides of the court. As a value signing, I think the Bulls could have done significantly worse than Carter. He’s probably not Chicago’s most talented guard in a vacuum, but he will certainly help to fill the most glaring holes on this roster.
Carter is the best three-point shooter of the bunch, averaging 39.7% for his career and a blistering hot 42.1% for the Bucks last season. He’s also a very solid point-of-attack defender, something the Bulls rely heavily on to ensure that Nikola Vucevic isn’t targetted in the paint and in pick-and-rolls.
Jevon has also already proven he can be an unselfish player and accept a lesser role alongside star talent in Milwaukee, something he’ll need to do when paired with Chicago’s ‘Big 3’ in the starting lineup. We saw the Bulls look like a much-improved team following the All-Star Break with Patrick Beverley on the roster. Carter looks to be a sizeable improvement over Beverley, so if they could go 14-9 with Pat, I’m very interested to see how good the Bulls are with Jevon Carter in the starting lineup next season.