Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, Patrick Williams, and Coby White. Those are the four players who the Chicago Bulls front office view as building blocks heading into the offseason. But don’t take my word for it.
The latest episode of Run With Us by BullsTV makes the opinion of Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley on these four players very clear. Immediately after Eversley mentions his excitement for the “young core,” the episode individually highlights all four.
And each is accompanied by quite the high praise.
All things considered, the fact these four players are (currently) viewed as centerpieces is not all that surprising. Not only were all four fundamental pieces this season, but two are All-Stars and two are high-upside young players. At the same time, considering the front office is still rather new, any declaration of this magnitude feels noteworthy. We headed into this season with the idea that no one was safe moving forward, and we are now coming out the other end with four players who have made it through (what at least appears to be) an in-depth evaluation process.
Does that mean that all four will be mainstays for seasons to come? Not necessarily, but it means they are considered key pieces to what this team is building right now. That’s important, especially when we consider the possibility of widespread roster change this season.
“It will be a short offseason, and we’re already thinking about the draft and free agency,” Karnisovas says at the end of the Run With Us episode. “We’re looking for way to improve and add more talent to our group. I think it’s crucial. We’ll take this information that we have over the last six/seven months and be brutally honest with ourselves and look at how we can improve, what mistakes we made, how we can be better. We got a lot of work to do.
Brutally honest might as well be what they are doing with this video. Maybe it’s simply because he has a contract situation to attend to, but the omission of Lauri Markkanen in almost any capacity throughout this video is obvious. We know Karnisovas has said he views Markkanen as an “essential” piece moving forward, but his previous actions have said otherwise. Not to mention, Markkanen also told NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson that he is ready to “look what’s out there” in free agency this summer.
So while this video may not tell us how the Bulls plan to approach this pivotal offseason, it does show us that LaVine, Vooch, Williams, and White are as safe as can be. Everyone else? Not so much.