Deng Gives Back to Chicago, Are We Still Talking Traditional Point Guards? Boozer Gets a Diploma, and Other Bulls Bits | Bleacher Nation

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Deng Gives Back to Chicago, Are We Still Talking Traditional Point Guards? Boozer Gets a Diploma, and Other Bulls Bits

Chicago Bulls

Last night’s Chiefs-Texans game may not have been all that exciting, but it turned out to be great for my fantasy team. I had both Deshaun Watson and David Johnson going, and both finished the night with a solid performance. In other words, the means I had a great night. Let’s keep up the good work this weekend, boys! (Michael: Also had Watson last night, but I was sweating in the first-half. Thankfully he walked the TD in and had some ground to cover in the second half, otherwise I would’ve been toast).

Oh yeah … basketball.

•   You’ve got to love Luol Deng. Despite not playing for the Bulls since 2014, the 2x All-Star continues to leave his mark on the Windy City. The NBPA has announced that Deng will lead the charge on a community development project on the south side of Chicago: “Having spent nine seasons with the Chicago Bulls, I have strong ties to the city and care about communities like the West Pullman,” Deng said in a statement. “This project is an opportunity for me to invest in a community I care about and help catalyze transformative change.” The project will have several phases that will bolster housing and community spaces, including a plan to create a new STEM Facility and library. For more information, I recommend you check out the press release shared by the NBPA. I also recommend we give Deng a massive virtual round of applause.

•   Are we too hung up on the Bulls need for a true point guard? Look, I get why guys like Killian Hayes and Tyrese Haliburton should be on the Bulls radar for the upcoming draft (and I wouldn’t necessarily mind if Karnisovas thought either player was the right pick). The team was 23rd in assists per game and had the 29th offensive rating in the NBA – someone needs to step up to better disrupt the ball. However, playmaking can come from another position (or multiple positions) on the court, and that actually seems to be a quite popular formula in today’s NBA. While reading through Sam Smith’s latest mailbag at Bulls.com, I noticed he made quite a valid point on this topic: “There’s been speculation about the team’s need for a point guard, and White isn’t exactly the classic definition. But there don’t appear to be many anymore, anyway. You watch these playoff games and players like Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Jamal Murray, primarily scorers no one ever called a point guard, are running teams … Actually, there are hardly any guys who are primarily passers.”

•   Let me be clear, all of those players Smith listed are better than anyone the Bulls currently have on their roster. All have proven they can lead a team successful and play-make while doubling as a bucket-getter. Neither Zach LaVine nor Coby White have proven they can do that (… yet), and thus we have this ongoing conversation about acquiring a more pass-happy guard. The overarching point Smith is making, though, is what’s important – there aren’t many traditional NBA offenses anymore. With that being the case, we should look forward to the Bulls trying out the whole White-LaVine backcourt combo next season. If the Bulls were to draft a Hayes or Haliburton, it’s hard to say how much of a chance that experiment would get. We all know the No. 4 draft pick can’t sit on the bench the entire season.

•   Sure, White will needs to improve his assist numbers to properly fill a starting role, but I don’t think he’ll have much trouble doing that. Remember, over the last five games of the season – when he really got a chance to lead the charge – he averaged 6.0 assist per game. For reference, there are lead guards like Bradley Beal (6.1), D’Angelo Russell (6.3), Chris Paul (6.7), Eric Bledsoe (5.4), Jamal Murray (4.8), and Kemba Walker (4.8) who all averaged around that number or less on the season. If White can hover around that 5-6 mark while a new coach tweaks this offensive system to get more players involved, I could see things working out a-okay. After all, the Bulls already have some solid-passing big men that should be better used to promote ball movement (Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen).

•   CONGRATS BOOOOOOOZZZZZ.

•   Could the Bulls even convince Donovan to take the job? Hard to say.

•   If you’re looking for some more head coach talk …

 

•   Never Forget.



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.