If there’s one thing NBA fans love, it’s player rankings. We consume them annually like they’re Girl Scout cookies, we just can’t help ourselves. With the offseason concluded and the regular season just one week away, I can’t blame anyone for eating them up. This time, ESPN’s panel of analysts got together to compile their Top 100 list for the 2023-24 season, and the Chicago Bulls received a controversial amount of recognition.
This year, Zach LaVine (No. 38), DeMar DeRozan (No. 39), and Nikola Vucevic (No. 75) once again featured on the list. Once again, they were not joined by their fellow teammates. Perhaps more egregiously, however, each of Chicago’s stars took a significant double-digit tumble down the rankings.
I found this particularly strange, especially in the case of DeRozan, who was an All-Star once again last season and is still widely respected by his peers as one of the league’s elite offensive players. Unfortunately, we can’t amend ESPN’s list this season. We can, however, revel in a strong performance from these four players next year as they all make their case why they deserved to be ranked in the Top 100 in the first place.
These four players could join the Bulls’ All-Star trio on ESPN’s Top 100 if they perform up to expectations this season.
4. Jevon Carter
Jevon Carter is an interesting starting point here, as he was the Bulls’ biggest offseason acquisition in free agency. Even so, he’s not projected to hit the starting lineup to start the year off, as it seems to be Coby White’s job for the taking.
As the season progresses, however, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Carter usurp the starting point guard role. Through no fault of Coby’s, Jevon’s shooting (hitting 43.7% of his threes across 101 games with the Bucks) and defensive ability (8th-highest DBPM among all guards last season) would simply be an invaluable fit alongside LaVine, DeRozan, and Vucevic.
The only hurdle left for Carter to cross is to prove he can be a true floor general for the Bulls. We already saw last season with Patrick Beverley how important it is to have the point guard running the show. Averaging a career-high 2.4 assists per game last season, Carter has some work to do in that department. When he develops some chemistry with this new roster, however, look for Carter to prove he deserves to have his name among the Top 100.