If the players ran the show, it sounds like we’d see an identical Chicago Bulls roster next season.
As Nikola Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso sat down for their end-of-season interviews on Thursday afternoon, they all preached a message of continuity. Not only was the roster practically built from the ground up just one summer ago, but the season was plagued with injury trouble. There is no question the amount of missed games and the lack of collective experience hindered success in some fashion, so it comes as no surprise that running it back is a popular idea. And for more on that, make sure to check out our post from earlier:
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) April 29, 2022
What I wanted to share here is what the boss man had to say. As much weight as the players’ words carry, it’s even more important to know where the front office stands. Arturas Karnisovas addressed the media on Friday, and he did seem to agree that keeping the Bulls’ core together is what he plans to do. However, he still made sure to mention that plans can always change in the NBA.
“My expectations are those. But, again, we’ve always been ready for what comes our way. Hopefully, we can keep the core together. And, like you said, work around the margins … We’re going to look in free agency to see what else we need, where we need to add. We’re going to be in the draft at 18. We still have Portland’s pick. We have a couple assets, and we’ll see what happens.”
As a front office that has been nothing short of aggressive since arriving in 2020, I believe Karnisovas when he says he’ll be ready for what comes their way. We never know what kind of free agents could show interest or what kind of trades could arise. I mean, both Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan were additions nobody saw coming until the Woj tweet hit our timelines.
With that said, this is also almost entirely the new front office’s roster. They are no longer getting rid of the previous regimen’s vision, which surely means they could finally take their foot off the gas and try to let this team grow. After all, both Karnisovas (Nuggets) and Eversley (76ers) came from organizations that allowed a certain foundation to grow over time. As long as they can ink LaVine to a new deal, it could make plenty of sense to do just that once again, especially when we consider how they played over the first few months of the season.
To be clear, though, this doesn’t mean impact talent can not or will not arrive. The playoff exposed how important having more experienced depth can be. I expect to see the team hunt some well-known veterans to build out their bench, but we can talk more about that at a later date. For now, the biggest takeaway is that the man in charge continues to see a future with the core in place, so let’s just keep this in mind as we head toward the draft and free agency.
Check out Karnisovas’ full interview below: