Only LaVine and White Remain, the Role Player Grind, Hutch in Phoenix, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Only LaVine and White Remain, the Role Player Grind, Hutch in Phoenix, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

We have 42 days until the Chicago Bulls play regular-season basketball.

We have 27 days until the Chicago Bulls play preseason basketball.

We have 20 days until the Chicago Bulls begin training camp.

And we have 0 days until I scream about how I JUST WANT BASKETBALL NOW!! AHHH!

•   Once Lauri Markkanen was sent to Cleveland (a place no one vacations), Zach LaVine and Coby White officially became the only remaining players from the GarPax regime. AKA: The Leftovers. LaVine – a first-time All-Star and Olympic Gold medalist – has maintained his spot as the team’s foundation. The front office made an investment in his future with the most active offseason in franchise history. The goal will be to show LaVine – a 2022 unrestricted free agent – that Chicago can become a consistently competitive organization with him at the helm. With that being the case, even as we see the names DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, and Lonzo Ball appear on the depth chart, there is no question LaVine will practically have carte blanche when it comes to this organization’s on and off-court gameplan.

•   As for White, things feel quite the opposite. Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley showed an obvious devotion to his development last offseason when they decided to let him run lead guard. However, the experiment (for a lack of better words) failed, and they went on to reinvent the backcourt with additions like Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Troy Brown Jr., and Ayo Dosunmu. So where does this leave White? Actually, let me rephrase: Where does that leave White, who is coming off a torn labrum and may not even be ready for the start of the regular season?

•   My guess is this front office still remains optimistic about his potential. After all, when we consider all the moves, I’m not quite sure White would still be here if they were not. And while he might not be this team’s future starting point guard, he has expressed a gifted scoring talent that teams in this offensive-minded league do not kick to the curb. The fact the front office failed to add many offensive-minded weapons to the second unit suggests they want White to develop into a reliable second unit leader and sparkplug scorer, which is a role he always capable of playing.

•   At the same time, his leash might be only so long. He is a personal favorite of mine, and I hope he returns fully healthy and finds success in this rotation. But this front office has shown no hesitancy to move on from a pre-existing player who they believe no longer fits the bill. As they look to fill holes on this win-now roster moving forward, could they be open to trade talks for a healthy White? It’s something to keep in the back of our heads as we watch this new era unfold.

•   Time to get way too hyped over some #OffseasonGrind photos!

 

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•   Seriously, though, I love to see a newbie like Derrick Jones Jr. already at the Advocate Center. He currently has a good chance to play a key role off the bench as a go-to lengthy defender. But the more work he can put in with team personnel and teammates before training camp, the more useful head coach Billy Donovan could find him to be.

•   The same goes for a guy like Troy Brown Jr. Another player who this front office seemed to have on their radar for a while, I expect Brown to see plenty of run off the bench to start the season, especially with White sidelined. He is technically one of the more proven offensive commodities on the bench (which, yes, is not saying much considering the talent and a scary thought). Don’t get me wrong, Brown has never been a volume scorer, but he has always finished well around the rim and has flashed some promising playmaking when given a greater workload. Not to mention, at 6’6″ with a 6’11” wingspan, he possesses good size and quickness for a two-guard. I think defense could still be the area he helps the most, but don’t be shocked if he starts to find the bottom of the net early on.

•   Speaking of role players, all three the Bulls signed recently are on non-guaranteed deals. I would think Stanley Johnson and Alize Johnson are in a good position to be on this roster come opening night, but I don’t hate that Arturas Karnisovas is waiting until training camp to make the decision.

•   So this is adorable.

•   A two-way deal for Hutch means he could see plenty of G-League time.

•   “And I took that personally.” 

https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/1435603705634738178?s=20

•   Excuse me while I release a major “UGH.”

•   If you haven’t checked this out yet, please do. Cool stuff from Mario!

•   FRANK THE TANK!



Author: Elias Schuster

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