The Chicago Bulls may be tanking at the right time

Oklahoma City Thunder v Chicago Bulls
Oklahoma City Thunder v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Chicago Bulls didn’t do it right, or do it well, but they are finally embracing the rebuild that fans have wanted. 

They have been panned (by myself and many others) for their confounding mismanagement of assets in the Alex Caruso trade, Andre Drummond free agency, DeMar DeRozan debacle and the Patrick Williams’ signing. 

There is no doubt the Bulls should have started this rebuild last trade deadline if they were going to do it, but they didn’t, so we can really only look forward from here. 

They have a young core of Coby White, Josh Giddey, Patrick Williams and Matas Buzelis, which has some big question marks, but could be the start of something if the Bulls play it right. 

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Chicago may not have planned this, and certainly won’t admit it, but they are tanking at the right time to build an exciting young core. 

The Chicago Bulls will be tanking for the 2025 NBA Draft 

This year’s draft wasn’t loaded with surefire stars, but the Bulls were able to land a high-upside prospect in Matas Buzelis. 

Tanking is a risky proposition in the NBA, as the odds are more balanced at the top and you could be the worst team in the league and end up with the 5th pick, ask the Detroit Pistons, who have had that scenario happen three years in a row. 

But if you are going to tank, you need to do it in a draft when there is some franchise-altering talent at the top.

The 2025 Draft is expected to have plenty of it, headlined by Cooper Flagg, but he is not the only elite prospect. Ace Bailey and Dylan Harper are ranked in the next tier in most way-too-early 2025 draft predictions (subscription) and this group is expected to be deep and loaded with talent all through the lottery.

The Bulls own a top-10 protected pick next season, and given their current roster, it’s hard to see them not being one of the worst teams in the league. Even if you believe in Giddey and White, the Bulls will be very young and could still move Zach LaVine before the season starts. 

Regardless of what happens with LaVine, it’s hard to see too many teams behind the Bulls next season, so there is a good chance they will keep their pick.

The Bulls also have a protected pick from Portland, which they will get if the Trail Blazers somehow make the playoffs, which is highly unlikely. But stranger things have happened. 

At worst, the Bulls should have a top-10 pick in a loaded draft, and if things bounce right for them, who knows, they could end up with a franchise cornerstone. 

There are a lot of “ifs” and “coulds” qualifying any positives for the Bulls, but if you are looking for one, they should be bad with a young team in a year when having the odds for the top pick could pay off. 

It’s a small sliver of hope, but it beats chasing 39 wins again.