BN Bulls Mailbag: Zombie Apocalypse, Coby White’s Future, the Right Offseason Approach, More

Sometimes, you try to think outside the box. Other times, you stay inside the box because it’s comfortable, safe, and full of plenty of bubble wrap (you know you love to play with it too). There might be tons of mailbags out there, but I thought I might finally give it a try. The plan is to have one of these out every other week or so during the offseason. Then, depending on the response, we can make it a weekly thing next season.

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions this time around! If anyone already has some questions they would like to throw my way for next time, feel free to either comment them below this post, tweet me @BN_Bulls, or email me at elias.schuster at bleachernation dot com.

“If you needed one Bull past and present to protect you from a zombie apocalypse who would you choose?” – Nick P. 

I thought you’d never ask. 

First, let’s start with my present-day Zombie Fighting Accomplice. I’m going to assume for the sake of simplicity that we mean anyone on this past season’s roster, regardless of contract situation heading into next season. Also, I should make clear that both of these selections will be picked with my own perceived apocalypse skills in mind. I need to pick someone who will compliment my abilities, which I believe include a sense of direction, team motivation, and pitchfork throwing accuracy. I am not someone who is proficient in hand-to-hand combat, nor am I someone who does well in medical emergencies.

With all of that in mind, I would likely go with Daniel Theis. The man brings a sense of toughness and physicality I clearly lack. I envision no hesitation from him when it’s time to kick a Zombie’s head off or quickly stitch together a gruesome injury. Likewise, he offers a pretty agile and athletic presence, one that is needed when having to escape a building from a mob of flesh eating predators.

The selection of a past Bull is a bit harder. I could see a lot of helping hands. Joakim Noah is the ideal teammate in any situation, Luol Deng is a jack of all trades, John Lucas III could fit into any necessary small spaces, and Dennis Rodman would keep things interesting. But if I had to choose one guy, I’d probably take Scott Burrell. You always need that friend to rag on, right?

“Did Coby show that he has a future with the team with the success of his last 10-ish games?” – Brendyn J. 

Future? 100 percent. Future as the team’s lead guard? Eh.

I’ve been a firm Coby White believer even since before Adam Silver read his name on draft night. I’ve always liked his scoring chops, and the way he carries himself has made me feel confident in his ability to gradually improve. While we should always be cautious about reading into success at the end of the regular season, I do think what White did over his last 18 games demonstrated that gradual improvement.

White averaged 17.6 points and 5.9 assists on 43.3 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from downtown in his final 18 starts. The chemistry he built alongside Vucevic was notable, and the lack of untimely turnovers was very encouraging (2 or less in half the games). Also, we need to remember the context in which White produced these results. The Bulls were not out of the playoff picture over these final couple of weeks. In fact, they were still very much fighting for a spot as the No. 9 or 10 seed. To see White perform this way in a more pressure-filled scenario is good stuff.

Again, exactly what role he will play moving forward is hard to say. I have now come around to the idea that he is best suited to play the Sixth Man role. Maybe he eventually moves back into the starting lineup and Donovan tries out some three-guard work with a more crafty facilitator at the point. But, to answer the question directly, yes. Coby White has a future in Chicago.

“Is there a way to trade for Lillard without including The Paw?” – Patrick Williams Fan Club

No. Next question. 

I kid, I kid. Well, not about the “no,” but about not providing more context. Acquiring Lillard feels like a fever dream. Not only do I think the Blazers would be silly to move him, but the Bulls most likely don’t have the assets to pull it off. Rather than walk through all of that myself, I’ll take the lazy way out and recommend you read Rob Schaefer’s post at NBC Sports Chicago. If the Bulls did somehow get into talks to acquire Lillard, though, I fully expect the Blazers don’t accept a deal without Patrick Williams involved. The franchise trading away the superstar is ALWAYS looking for a young potential star in return.

“Better strategy for the Bulls, preserve cap space for next year or use it up to win now?” – Carlos J. 

Can I hedge and say somewhere in between? All I know is that I don’t want the Bulls to tie themselves to too many long-term contracts. The 2021 free-agent class is pretty darn weak, and 2022 is currently stacked. There is always the possibility that many of the top free agents next season sign extensions beforehand (which is what greatly diminished this 2021 class), but that still does not mean the Bulls should not leave their book relatively flexible moving forward.

The only long-term deals I would expect the Bulls to make this offseason would be for someone like Lonzo Ball. Not only is he one of the better players on the market, but he is still just 23-years-old with plenty of room to develop. Otherwise, I’m hoping the Bulls can pull off some rather flexible deals.

“What is the Bulls cap situation and what does it mean in regards to signing a PG (like Ball) this off season?” – Micah P. 

The Bulls cap situation is … complicated. I’ll do a more comprehensive post on all of this as free agency nears, but a lot rides on what the team does with Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young. Both players are partially guaranteed deals. If the team decides to move on from both players, they would likely be looking at around $24 million in cap space (that is also assuming the team declines Ryan Arcidiacono’s player option). Now, that number could grow even higher if the team decides to stretch and waive both players, which means they pay their remaining guaranteed salaries over the next few seasons. You can look at all the Bulls’ contracts here.

As for what this all means for their point guard aspirations, I would say not much. This position is clearly a priority, and the options on the market are not expected to be ridiculously expensive. They could run into an issue where a team like the New York Knicks runs up the asking price so high for Lonzo Ball that they have to pull out, but that kind of stuff is always a concern when a franchise does not possess top spending power.

“How does the organization feel about passing on MPJ and taking WCJ? What a terrible mistake compounded by the fact that they never really gave Gafford playing time trying to prove WCJ was the guy. Now look at DG who balled out for the wizards and of course MPJ who is killn it for Denver.” – Dave M. 

This front office is not currently the one that drafted Wendell Carter Jr., so I have no clue. I also don’t know how the GarPax regime felt about it, but I’m assuming they would have pretended like everything was just peachy.

Normally, I don’t like to look at drafts like this. Passing on Michael Porter Jr. stinks, but it’s also not like he did not drop seven more picks. Everyone was equally concerned about his long-term health.

I will fully admit, though, that the Carter Jr. pick is pretty rough in hindsight. He could still pan out, but it is always a weird feeling when a lottery pick is off the team in three years (even if his departure did come in a package for a top talent like Vucevic).

“Are the bulls ever gonna be good again?” – Bryan W. 

“The world may never know.” – Tootsie Pop Guy – Me

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

more bulls news

Tom Thibodeau Grabs Maurice Cheeks From the Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls will officially lose a well-respected coaching voice. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Maurice Cheeks will join the New York Knicks as an assistant head coach. Cheeks had been a member of Billy Donovan's coaching staff ever since...

A Couple of Chicago Sky Players Deserve Your All-Star Votes …

The WNBA officially opened up All-Star voting on Thursday! Fans will have a chance to submit their picks up until 11:59 p.m. ET on June 29. This year's contest is scheduled for July 20 in Phoenix, Arizona, and the WNBA...

Illini’s Terrence Shannon Jr. Found Not Guilty

Illinois basketball star Terrence Shannon Jr. has been found not guilty by a Kansas jury, per multiple reports. The announcement comes after a trial that spanned days from rape charges pressed against Shannon in December of 2023. The Illini basketball...

Missing a Shot on Purpose? This Might be the Most “Michael Jordan” Story Ever

June might as well be the month of Michael Jordan. Nearly every day is an anniversary of something the GOAT did on his way to a legendary six championships. For instance, the date of publishing represents 27 years since Jordan's...

Ayo Dosunmu in the Gym, Make Some Dang Trades, Angel Reese’s Great Start, and Other Bulls Bullets

Never did I think I'd enjoy watching the 2023-24 Chicago Bulls more than these NBA Finals. As painful as it was, the majority of Bulls games this season were chaotically close. They appeared in 44 total clutch performances and collected...

NBA Finals Takeaways: Game 3 Loss Must Be Learning Experience For Luka Doncic

Last night's loss for the Mavericks was essentially the nail in the coffin for their NBA Championship hopes this season. They got off to a fantastic start on their home court after dropping Games 1 & 2 to Boston. They...

NBA Finals Injury News: Updates on Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis

After entering the day as questionable, the Boston Celtics have officially ruled out Kristaps Porzingis for Game 3 of the NBA Finals. The Celtics received some very concerning news regarding their big man on Tuesday. Porzingis suffered a left leg...

Zach LaVine Sure is Looking Healthy …

One year after playing his most games since the 2015-16 season, Zach LaVine suited up for the second-fewest contests in his career. The max player appeared in his last game on January 18, 2024. He opted for foot surgery in...

2024 NBA Mock Draft: Still Lots of Questions Two Weeks From Draft Night

With the NBA Draft just two weeks away, we still have a lot of uncertainty in the lottery and the first round as a whole. Projections are a bit all over the place as this year's draft class isn't necessarily...

You Have to See This Young Fan’s Reaction to High-Fiving Angel Reese

Angel Reese's rookie year is off to a strong start. Averaging a near double-double (11.2 points and 9.6 rebounds) to go along with almost 2.0 steals per game, Reese has flashed the two-way potential many hoped to see from the...

Latest News

Rockies vs. Pirates: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – June 14

The Pittsburgh Pirates (32-36) will visit the Colorado Rockies (24-44), Friday at 8:40 PM ET, in the first of a three-game series.Looking to see who's in and who's out for the Rockies and the Pirates? Keep reading to get full...

Giants vs. Angels: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – June 14

A series opener between the Los Angeles Angels (26-42) and San Francisco Giants (34-35) is scheduled for Friday at 10:15 PM ET, at Oracle Park.Want to see who's available to play for the Giants and the Angels? Keep reading for...

Brewers vs. Reds: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – June 14

On Friday, a matchup of NL Central rivals is on the docket, with the Milwaukee Brewers (40-28) hosting the Cincinnati Reds (33-35) at 8:10 PM ET.Hoping to find out who's playing for the Brewers and the Reds? Continue scrolling to...

Twins vs. Athletics: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – June 14

At Target Field on Friday, the Minnesota Twins face the Oakland Athletics (six consecutive defeats) at 8:10 PM ET.Looking to see who's in and who's out for the Twins and the Athletics? Keep reading to see full injury reports for...

Dodgers vs. Royals: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – June 14

At Dodger Stadium on Friday, the Kansas City Royals (40-30) open a three-game series versus the Los Angeles Dodgers (42-28), at 10:10 PM ET.Want to see who's in and who's out for the Dodgers and the Royals? Keep scrolling to...

Mariners vs. Rangers: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – June 14

The Seattle Mariners (40-31) will host the Texas Rangers (33-35), Friday at 10:10 PM ET, in a battle of AL West rivals.Looking to see who's available to play for the Mariners and the Rangers? Keep reading for complete injury reports...

Diamondbacks vs. White Sox: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – June 14

A series opener between the Arizona Diamondbacks (33-36) and Chicago White Sox (18-52) is on deck Friday at 9:40 PM ET, at Chase Field.Looking to see who's in and who's out for the Diamondbacks and the White Sox? Read on...

Astros vs. Tigers: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – June 14

On Friday, a series opener is on the schedule, with the Houston Astros (31-38) hosting the Detroit Tigers (33-35) at 8:10 PM ET.Looking to see who's playing for the Astros and the Tigers? Continue scrolling for complete injury reports for...

Cubs vs. Cardinals Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Friday, June 14, 2024

The St. Louis Cardinals (33-34) serve as underdogs on the moneyline (-106) in Friday's contest with the Chicago Cubs (33-36). The game starts at 2:20 PM ET on MARQ. The Cardinals are favored against the spread in this one (1.5)...

Best MLB Prop Bets Today, June 14, 2024

Today's MLB schedule features 15 games, including a matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Baltimore Orioles.There are usually lots of MLB player prop bets available for each and every game. Look below to see what opportunities you have in...

more bulls news