Players Getting Amped, Donovan Grace Period, Karnisovas' Late-Round Success, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Players Getting Amped, Donovan Grace Period, Karnisovas’ Late-Round Success, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

Oftentimes, I get stuck deciding what to write in this introductory section of the bullets, so this morning I turned to the trusty girlfriend. When I asked her what I should discuss, she replied “your crazy hair” in a rather sassy manner before walking away. Kind of rude, but I did look in the mirror, and my hair is pretty damn crazy. I should highly consider a haircut.

•   For the first time since March, Chicago Bulls players will wake up knowing when they play next. The NBPA approved the season’s plan to start the 2020-21 campaign on December 22nd. While a formal schedule has yet to be released – and a number of logistics continue to be negotiated (escrow, salary cap, etc) – it is at least confirmed that the league will begin their season over the holidays. GIVE. ME. THOSE. HOOPS.

•   Zach LaVine and Wendell Carter Jr. took to Instagram to express their excitement for an official return to play. The more excited they are, the more excited I am.

•  Knowing both are said to have an intense worth ethic, I’m sure they would take the court tomorrow if allowed. However, a transition back into competitive play will not be the easiest for this young Bulls team. I’m glad they’ve had this extended time to get fully healthy (after all, we know how much of a problem that’s been in the past), but not playing competitive basketball for nearly 8 months can be a problem. Chances are, it will take some time for these players to get back in “game shape,” as well as reconstruct on-court chemistry. The fact that this roster also has a new head coach doesn’t necessarily help the case.

•   Yes, we can all agree that Billy Donovan is a hell of an upgrade for this Bulls team, but it still takes time to implement a culture and system. Donovan was not at the two-week mini-camp the organization held earlier this season, so his first real chance to work with the entire roster will be at the training camp that is set to start on December 1st. Even combining that period of time with a couple of preseason games will probably not be enough to get this team on the track he wants. I do suspect we see better play from the start, but by how much is hard to say. This stuff just takes some time.

•   NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson talks a bit more about what the Bulls have to accomplish over the next two months or so. Something he mentions that we also talked about the other day is the team’s ability to extend qualifying offers to Denzel Valentine, Kris Dunn, and Shaquille Harrison. Johnson seems to believe that only one of those three will return next season and that player could very well be Valentine.

•   For anyone curious about why the league pushed heavily for a Dec. 22nd start date, I recommend giving this post a read. The Ringer describes the whole ordeal quite well.

•   Poor No. 44 pick … always forgotten. Arturas Karnisovas has a great history of finding productive talent in the second round, and he has another shot to pull that off on November 18th. I’ve more than agreed with the comments about this being considered a “weaker” draft class, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s rather deep. There seems to be potentially decent role players across the board. We saw Chicago grab Daniel Gafford last season in Round 2, and there is a good chance they can grab an equally promising player with Karnisovas at the helm. One name to keep an eye on could be Louisville’s Jordan Nwora. The 3-point assassin falls in the 40s on most draft boards, and The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie even picked Nwora to go to Chicago in his mock draft from October. Second-rounders are always hard to project, but we do know the Bulls need some help behind the arc, so this pick couldn’t hurt.

Author: Elias Schuster

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