What if Williams Misses a Few Games? Wiggins Denied, MJ and Curry, and Other Bulls Bullets

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What if Williams Misses a Few Games? Wiggins Denied, MJ and Curry, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

How much is too much when it comes to pumpkin-flavored/themed products?

Don’t worry, I’m not asking for me. The significant other and I are about to run to Trader Joe, and I’m concerned we will leave with one of every pumpkin product in the building. I need help to convince her this is not the move.

•   New front office. New players. Same old injury scares. With Coby White suffering a torn labrum earlier this offseason and now Patrick Williams suffering a severe ankle sprain during a voluntary workout … it looks like Arturas Karnisovas has not yet fumigated this franchise for injury bugs. Fortunately, there were some positive takeaways on Friday afternoon for both players. The Chicago Bulls announced that White is in line for a November return, and he will be able to participate in non-contact portions of training camp next week. As for Williams, while the news is raw, the Bulls reported the injury nine days after it happened. In other words, he is already over a week into his 4-to-6 week recovery timeline, which means there is a world where he IS available for the start of the season on October 20th. If that is not the case, Williams should only be in line to miss a couple of games.

•   Let me preface what I’m about to say with the following: The Bulls are not in a position to take any opponent lightly. As a team with a four-year postseason drought and a roster in which they invested oodles of money and draft capital, they need to attack every opponent the same. Now, with that said, it’s merely a fact that not every opponent is the same. The first four games of the season come against squads who also missed the postseason in 2020-21 (DET, NOP, DET, TOR). All things considered, that is a generous start to the season before an absolute gauntlet begins at the end of October, so if there is a time for Williams or White to be on the sideline, this might be that time.

•   So what will the starting lineup look like if Williams does have to miss a few games? Good question, me! I tend to believe training camp will give us an answer, especially as we begin to see what players like Derrick Jones Jr. and Alize Johnson can prove. But my gut is that head coach Billy Donovan would experiment with moving DeMar DeRozan to the four and inserting either Troy Brown Jr. or Alex Caruso into the open backcourt spot. Moving either out of the second unit – especially Caruso – feels like a big hit to the bench, but it might prove to be the best and most reliable starting combination. After all, a three-guard look with Caruso is already something I expected to see from Donovan plenty this season, and I also anticipated DeRozan eating minutes at the four when staggered into the second unit.

•   Also for anyone questioning whether or not DeRozan should move to power forward, keep in mind he played 69 percent (nice) of his minutes there last season. No, I don’t love his fit next to Vucevic because of his aggressively poor defense, but he has plenty of experience at the position and at least can rebound well.

•   Again, there is still a good chance Williams misses no time at all, but what this situation reminded all of us is that the Bulls’ frontcourt depth is excruciatingly thin and unproven. The team desperately needs someone with true size to help rim protect behind Williams. Can Alize Johnson turn into that? Maybe. But I would expect this team to be active for frontcourt improvement right off the bat, and they can use their $5 million trade exception from the Daniel Theis sign-and-trade to seek that addition out.

•   More Ben Simmons drama!? *Sarcastic gasp!*

•   I mean, hey, I don’t necessarily blame the guy. Not only did his front office try to trade him midway through last season, but his head coach and star player teammate publically questioned him after the team’s playoff exit. The front office may not want to trade him right now because his value is at an all-time low, but Simmons couldn’t care less about that.

•   Good read here from Nekias Duncan at Basketball News Dot Com. I would focus on the “dislikes” section of his writing for Chicago. He does a good job pinpointing specific defensive concerns for this roster.

•   Andrew Wiggins will currently not be allowed to attend home games due to San Francisco’s vaccination requirements. The league is only 90 percent vaccinated, so there is a chance that Golden State is not the only team that runs into this situation. Something to keep an eye on as training camp begins next week.

•   GIVE ME THIS INTERVIEW RIGHT NOW.

•   Let’s end these Saturday bullets with some GOAT content.



Author: Elias Schuster

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