I obsess over basketball as much as the next guy, but let’s be real: if you’re waiting around all offseason for the NBA GM Survey, you need to find at least one more hobby (he says, as he WRITES about the NBA GM survey on a Saturday morning).
Let’s check out how the Bulls did this year:
- Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2019-20? – Wendell Carter Jr. and Tomas Satoransky received votes.
- What was the most underrated player acquisition? – Tomas Satoransky, 5th (7%)
- Which team will be most improved in 2019-20? – Chicago Bulls, tied-4th (7%)
- Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the Draft? – Daniel Gafford received votes
- Who is the best assistant coach in the NBA? – Chris Fleming received votes
- Which team has the most promising young core? – Chicago Bulls received votes
- Which player is the most athletic? – Zach LaVine, 7th (3%)
Not bad, eh?
The Bulls did end up appearing in the 2018-19 survey (last year’s) basically the same amount, but Wendell Carter Jr. claimed three of the categories. Here, we see a better overall distribution, which is a generally positive sign.
Tomas Satoransky, for example, gets his name in here twice. We knew the former-Wizards point guard garnered respect around the league with his strong play in relief of the injured John Wall, and we now see that respect has held up. He joins a pretty stacked list of players with Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Malcolm Brogdon, and Jerami Grant (all falling in front of him). Good for Sato.
Seeing Daniel Gafford crack the list is nice, too. The big man was kind of hiding in plain sight during this year’s draft, and there were probably a few organizations that started slapping themselves on the wrist after seeing his Summer League play. See what happens when you keep your second-round pick, Bulls!?
We should probably also give a shoutout to Chris Fleming. If you didn’t believe Jim Boylen hired a well-respected assistant, maybe this will help change your mind. Fleming has been a part of two young teams who were on the up and up. During the 2015-16 season, he sat on the Denver Nuggets bench before joining the Brooklyn Nets for several seasons. With that being the case, chances are the Bulls weren’t the only team who wanted him.
As for Zach LaVine’s 7th-place finish for most athletic, I’ll write one word: WRONG.
Okay just kidding … because I’m planning to write more words. Zion Williamson and Giannis Antetokounmpo claimed the top two spots, respectively, followed by Aaron Gordon, Derrick Jones Jr., Mitchell Robinson, and Russell Westbrook. Yeah, a couple of things.
- If you beat someone in a dunk contest you deserve to be ranked higher in the athletic category (sorry, not sorry).
- Zion’s played only preseason games … can we really put him above Giannis?
- LaVine’s more athletic then Derrick Jones Jr. and Mitchell Robinson, don’t @ me.
Moving on, the team as a whole took a hit in the “most promising young core” category. The Bulls placed 3rd last season but now find themselves out of the top-5. I guess last season’s 22-win performance didn’t do them any favors. Shocking. But on a positive note, at least General Managers have faith in them being one of the most improved teams this season!
All in all, a pretty solid showing for the Bulls considering the circumstances! And, if anything General Managers would know what they’re talking about, right? *Sees Jabari Parker received the second-most amount of votes for Most Underrated Player Acquisition before last season.* Actually don’t answer that.
Joke aside, the more the Bulls and their players pop up on the survey, the more space their occupying in other organization’s mind, which isn’t a bad thing. If Chicago wants to gain back the respect it once had, bumping up their stock on these surveys is a good place to start. And, fortunately, it appears they’re on their way to doing just that.