The Above-Average Bulls, Lauri's Untapped Potential, Sato Keeps Rolling, and Other Bullets

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The Above-Average Bulls, Lauri’s Untapped Potential, Sato Keeps Rolling, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bulls

I’ll always be surprised by how tiring driving can be. I was on the road for about five hours yesterday and, boy, did I crash when I finally hit the pillow last night.

At least my deep slumber has me packed with energy this morning!

  • Dan Feldman with NBC Sports’ is ranking each team based on where they stand now compared to the beginning of the offseason, and the Bulls are … above average! How about that? Once a timid child trying to hide a report card full of D’s from their parents, the Bulls are now strutting their stuff into the kitchen with a solid B-. Put in on the fridge! Celebrate! Take the family to Outback Steakhouse!
  • And to be sure, most of Feldman’s reasoning seems to hinge on the selection of Coby White in the 2019 NBA Draft. Sure, the additions of Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young have improved the team’s stock in the near-term, but White is the piece that can really push this rebuild into its final stage. Indeed, broadly speaking, the moves made this summer (both in free agency and the draft) will help establish a foundation for the future, as well as make the team a low-end playoff contender this year (which, coincidentally, can help them attract more established star power in the future). We still don’t know how good the Bulls will look when they finally come out on the other end of this rebuild, but this season should tell us a lot.
  • Lauri Markkanen may be the most frustrating player on the Bulls. While he has all the right attributes to be a consistent All-Star-caliber forward, he isn’t one … yet. As his first two seasons have gone by, we’ve seen only flashes of dominance while wondering about the consistency. Sure, injuries have played their role in that, but it might just come down to the way he’s being used.

  • Markkanen isn’t a strong creator. If anything, he’s still not looked at as much more than an elite-shooting big. However, he has impressive ball-handling for a player with his size, and allowing him to work more in isolation may be the key to his next step. SBNation’s Ricky O’Donnell points out that 68.4 percent of Markkanen’s buckets last season were assisted, and if he wants to sniff the All-Star game, that has to change. Honestly, this goes hand-in-hand with what we discussed previously about Markkanen: he needs to become the aggressor. I expect the addition of Chris Fleming to help Markkanen become more creative offensively. The constant ball movement should help space out the court, and the supposed plans to play him more at the center will probably force him to be a bit more versatile and comfortable.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • I know bullets have kind of just been a Satoransky lovefest lately, but he’s giving us content, okay!? Check out his highlights from the Czech Republic’s win over Japan.

  • SBNation’s Tom Ziller ranked every NBA player in the FIBA World Cup, and Satoransky checked in at No. 25. With these rankings coming before the tournament got underway, I think it’s safe to say Sato’s stock has actually improved.

  • Coby white spoke briefly with Joshua Hicks at the Chicago Sky game about supporting the team and the Bulls offseason improvement: “This year should be exciting, we’re looking to make the playoffs.”

  • The Queen knows what’s up.

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Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.