Will this problem continue to plague the Chicago Bulls?

Chicago Bulls v Minnesota Timberwolves
Chicago Bulls v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

The biggest complaint about the Chicago Bulls over the last several seasons is that they are trapped in NBA purgatory, the spot in which no team wants to be.

They aren’t good enough to truly compete in the Eastern Conference but have little financial flexibility and will have even less if they bring back DeMar DeRozan and can’t find a trade for Zach LaVine. 

They held onto potential trade assets for too long and now risk losing them for nothing, leaving the Bulls the choice of doubling down or starting from scratch.

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It’s the same problem the Bulls have had for years and it’s staring them right in the face. 

The Chicago Bulls need to face reality 

Even with a healthy Lonzo Ball (an oxymoron if ever there was one), the Bulls were not a serious contender in the Eastern Conference, which is the far weaker of the two. 

They were eight games away from one of the six playoff spots, seven away from the 8th seed. They were throttled by Miami in the play-in tournament, showing just how far away they are from even the lowest playoff seed. 

You could argue that with a healthy Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball, things would be different, but LaVine has only won a single playoff game in his career, and he’s only played in four, so even fully healthy, this is not a serious playoff contender. 

For the Bulls to move forward, they have to accept this fact and address it. 

That doesn’t mean they have to completely rebuild or tear down the roster, but running back with the same group also isn’t an option unless the Bulls want to continue to win just enough games to sneak into the play-in and sell plenty of tickets. 

It means being aggressive in the draft and in moving Zach LaVine to a new team even if it means taking back little in return. It means focusing on acquiring some young talent so the future doesn’t look so grim past this group of aging veterans. 

In short, it means finally doing something to change the reality.