The goal for today is to be super productive despite five basketball games to watch. Wish me luck.
• Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Bad news? You got it. Jim Boylen is still the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, and we have absolutely no clue when or if that’s going to change. With that being the case, we learned recently that both the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets were keeping an eye on Zach LaVine’s situation in Chicago. Now, according to the Sun-Times, we’ve learned that Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen are both also drawing some extra attention from teams around the league. Of course, we should remember this is a pretty standard protocol. A front office’s job is to keep tabs on what’s going on around the league, and the Sun-Times also said there are zero ongoing discussions internally about trading away roster pieces. The main takeaway here is not the fact that other teams are interested in the Bulls’ talent, but rather why they are expressing this interest. In my opinion, this tells us the message more heavily shared around league circles right now is that Boylen could very well return. Thus, teams expect a handful of unhappy players – ones they could potentially pry away from Chicago.
• I think it’s always worth mentioning that most of these guys aren’t in a prime position to force a trade. LaVine has the most pull in the organization thanks to his probable value in the trade market, but guys like Markkanen and Carter Jr. probably wouldn’t receive the same level of action on behalf of the organization. Although, in today’s league, almost any player can push themselves out of a situation if they really want to.
• Oh, yeah! We have good news! Also in that Sun-Times report, we learned that Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley have started to change the Bulls offensive and defensive philosophy to better fit the talent on the roster. The coaching staff tried to force a dog to meow with many of the schematic decisions they made last season. While they followed a shot profile that advanced analytics applauds, they failed to realize a team still needs to right players to pull it off successfully. The whole point of coaching is to find a system to work for the talent on a roster, not force the talent to fit the system. So, the front office has stirred up some frustration with their hesitation to evoke more change, but at least this demonstrates they’re bringing some common sense to the Bulls organization.
• I should say, the report does state the new front office has praised Boylen for some of his work on the defensive end. Fortunately, that doesn’t include the aggressive over reliance on pick-and-roll blitzing. Regardless, I’ll consider this news a small victory, especially considering the limited news we’ve gotten this offseason.
• Yeesh, Zach LaVine has the 18th-worst winning percentage in NBA history.
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) August 1, 2020
• This fact must eat away at the guy, and that’s why I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that LaVine pushes his way out of Chicago. With two years left on his deal, he probably sticks around, but if Boylen returns and it’s just more of the same to start the 2020-21 season, I wouldn’t be surprised if rumors start to swirl.
• Lowkey wonder if the Bulls would win more games than this past season if these five were still on the roster lol
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) July 27, 2020
• You know times are a bit rough when I’m sitting around missing Robin Lopez.
I know he wasn’t really here for anything special, but I miss Robin Lopez. pic.twitter.com/1vKxDZ0OxR
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) August 1, 2020
• QUADRUPLE HEADER!
When there's an NBA QUADRUPLEHEADER on ESPN 🔥
🏀 Heat-Nuggets at 1 PM ET
🏀 Jazz-Thunder at 3:30 PM ET
🏀 Pelicans-Clippers at 6 PM ET
🏀 Lakers-Raptors at 8:30 PM ET pic.twitter.com/FkCH7esUx6
— ESPN (@espn) August 1, 2020
• MORE SPORTS!
Hockey is back! #AllForOne
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) August 1, 2020
• Come on, NBA.
Jimmy Butler stepped onto the court wearing a jersey with no name on the back. The refs made him switch to one with a name plate before tipping off.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 1, 2020