The Bulls massive roster construction problem that nobody is talking about

The Bulls are creating another disastrous team-build.
Chicago Bulls, Arturas Karnisovas
Chicago Bulls, Arturas Karnisovas / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls are finally remaking their roster after failing to make the playoffs for the second straight year. They traded DeMar DeRozan to Sacramento and Alex Caruso to Oklahoma City. The Bulls are still shopping Zach LaVine, but are struggling to find a franchise willing to take on his massive contract. Regardless of what happens with the All-Star guard, their roster build remains head-scratching.

The Bulls worked out a five-year $90 million extension with Patrick Williams that locks him in as a starter. They acquired Josh Giddey and just watched Coby White break out. The franchise signed Jalen Smith and drafted Matas Buzelis to give them a talented young core with some massive holes.

Chicago’s new group is about to get significantly more expensive and has massive issues. Fans are questioning their lack of shooting and defense, but the team’s ability to score is questionable at best. Arturas Karnisovas is again setting the Bulls up to struggle.

Bulls lack offensive punch in new roster construction

Assuming Zach LaVine heads to a new franchise before the start of training camp, Chicago lost 43.5 points per game with the departures of their top two scorers from last season. Coby White is ready to average 20-plus every night for the first time in his career and Nikola Vucevic may increase his scoring, but who is the team’s third option?

Ayo Dosunmu is not a big-time scorer. He may be able to inch closer to 15 points per game, but any more than that will plummet his efficiency.

That leaves Josh Giddey to be the Bulls’ third option. The 21-year-old averaged 16.6 points per game in his second NBA season. His lack of shooting makes it difficult to envision him as an elite scorer, but he is still young with room to improve.

The problem is that Giddey will get significantly more expensive after the 2024-25 season. He is extension-eligible and views himself as a starting point guard. The 15th-highest-paid point guard makes $39 million per year, and Immanuel Quickley just got $35 million per season from the Raptors. Even if the Bulls can negotiate a discount, Giddey likely gets $25-plus million each year and will need to take a significant leap to live up to that contract.

Coby White is in line for an extension the following year. The Bulls roster is about to get significantly more expensive and is no closer to contention.

If the Bulls cannot find a taker for LaVine, they will have the offense but will be over the salary cap with a non-competitive roster. Their defense is disastrous, and Chicago is stuck near the bottom of the standings.

The Chicago Bulls have hope. They feature some young talent that could improve significantly and give them a chance to contend. Their roster’s fit is questionable and bordering on problematic, but the franchise has more moves to make. Creating a Coby White, Josh Giddey, Patrick Williams, Ayo Dosunmu, and Matas Buzelis core feels unlikely to produce a contender, but maybe Karnisovas has another move up his sleeve.

The Bulls want to make the playoffs and needed roster changes to make that a reality. Karnisovas has struggled to maximize the value of his talent, and it feels like Chicago is in for another rough half-decade. Even a star cannot save this core unless someone takes an unexpected leap. Buckle up because it could be a long road back to contention for the Bulls.