Offensive Improvements, LaVine’s Free Agency, Karnisovas Thanks the Fans, and Other Bulls Bullets

How rough was the Chicago Bulls’ offense in the playoffs, you ask?

Take it away, Kirk Goldsberry!

•   If your face began to violently melt like you were looking at the Lost Ark, I apologize for the inconvenience. I’m pretty baffled by just how awful the team’s offense turned out to be at the end of this season. While I understand the Bucks’ defense presented arguably the worst possible matchup for this group, we are still talking about a roster that was built to primarily be an offensive threat. Watching them crumble to the tune of the worst offensive rating in the first round of the playoffs was remarkably frustrating, and I’m sure it will not soon be forgotten by this front office as they head toward free agency and the draft.

•   To be clear, I don’t necessarily blame the Bulls’ “Big 3” for their playoff stinker. The Bucks have the personnel to make life difficult on each of these players, especially when Zach LaVine is operating far below 100 percent. What the Bulls desperately needed was for their supporting cast to step up and force the Bucks’ defense to adjust. The more open 3s guys like Coby White, Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr., and even Alex Caruso are able to knock down (the Bulls shot just 28.3 percent in Round 1), the harder it is for Milwaukee to commit that aggressively to stopping DeRozan, LaVine, and Vucevic. They dared the Bulls’ role players to beat them, and they failed to do just that in a catastrophic fashion. Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley now know that for this team to take the next step, adding more reliable shooting off the bench is a must.

•   Make sure a bucket is nearby because we’re going to see a lot of this over the next couple of months:

•   Even more frustrating than watching fans drool over the prospect of landing Zach LaVine is the fact that LaVine encouraged the drooling on Friday afternoon. The Chicago Bulls’ All-Star sat down with reporters for his end-of-season press conference and reiterated that he would keep an open mind during his unrestricted free agency. Now, do I think this was a leverage play to ensure the Bulls slam down the max money later this summer? Absolutely, and I wrote more about that below:

•   With that said, there is no way to feel truly comfortable about LaVine’s future in Chicago until the pen is put to paper, especially when we’re talking about this particular organization. We know the Bulls have not been a franchise keen on spending top-dollar, and this is at least part of the reason we saw them move on from Jimmy Butler in a similar situation back in 2017. However, Michael Reinsdorf did try to ease the fear that ownership would not pay LaVine earlier this season. The COO told NBC Sports Chicago that he wants to keep LaVine in the city for the long haul, and he also claimed the franchise would be willing to go into the luxury tax to continue building a contender.

•   Of course, actions speak a lot louder than words. I’ll believe this team spends like a big market franchise when I see it, but I will at least give them credit for trending in that direction this past year and a half. Giving up assets to grab Nikola Vucevic and paying up to land DeMar DeRozan reflected the kind of aggressive team building we’ve been waiting to see from this organization. Let’s hope we only see more of that in the coming months.

•   I do want to add that the sheer amount of social media posts and photoshops we’ve seen about LaVine switching teams should illustrate just how coveted he is around the league. As we mentioned recently, he is viewed as arguably the top free agent in this market, and he’s also proven to be one of the NBA’s best scorers over the past two seasons. Other teams would love to get their hands on him, which should only further emphasize how worth it re-signing him would be. You just can’t let a player like that walk.

•   Arturas Karnisovas took time out of his end-of-season talk with reporters to shoutout the fans:

“I want to also thank our fan base. Coming back to that building and it was special to watch them,. The passion in that building. And I hate to disappoint them … and even when we went on the road, sometimes it feels like we’re playing in Chicago. So the support that we had from fans, it was amazing.”

•   I think this season gave us a taste of how ready people are to hop back on the Bulls bandwagon. Particularly during the early portion of the season, I was so impressed by the out-of-town crowds this group could generate. If anything, I think that’s yet another reason why the Bulls would benefit from bringing back this nucleus. Fans started to build a connection with this (healthy) core, and we could only see that connection grow next season.

•   Do you think Javonte Green is here next year? I’ll probably talk more about this later on, but it’s a question I was asking myself earlier today. As great as he was as a versatile defensive threat and transition talent, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Bulls use his career year (and expiring contract) to their advantage in the trade market to add more shooting/traditional size.

•   Thanks to WGN for having me on to talk about the Bulls’ upcoming offseason. If you want to hear me say words instead of reading my typed words, here ya go:

•   MAJOR OOF.

•   Say hello to the newbies!

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

Derrick White Would “Lose All His Teeth for a Championship”

With a little over two minutes to go in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Derrick White got a mouthful of hardwood. The now-champion dove for a loose ball only to have Mavericks big man Dereck Lively II fall on...

The Negotiating Window for Key Bulls’ Free Agents Is About to Begin

Now that the Boston Celtics have claimed the 2023-24 Larry O'Brien Trophy, the Chicago Bulls can get to work. While draft preparation is in full swing, organizations across the league will have to add another big task to their to-do...

The Boston Celtics Have Won Their 18th NBA Championship

The Boston Celtics have completed one of the most dominant playoff runs of all time en route to their league-best 18th NBA title. With their blowout win over Dallas tonight, the Celtics closed out a 4-1 series win and will...

WATCH: PAYTON PRITCHARD DID IT AGAIN

Just when it felt like it couldn't get much worse for the Mavs in the first half, Payton Pritchard went and did this: https://twitter.com/espn/status/1802879616396194230 Payton Pritchard: King of the Buzzer Beater It's the second buzzer beater of the NBA Finals...

Bulls Reportedly Hosted a Loaded Pre-Draft Workout Group Today

With the 2024 NBA Draft set to begin this week, the Chicago Bulls are taking a closer look at some top prospects. According to The Athletic's Darnell Mayberry, the Bulls welcomed a jam-packed group for a pre-draft workout on Monday....

Bulls Mock Draft Roundup: A Kentucky Guard Has Entered the Chat

Draft season is officially upon us, and it’s a big one for Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley. Not only is their team stuck in the mud after back-to-back losing seasons, but this year will mark only their third first-round pick...

New Report Reveals Reinsdorf’s Impact on Bulls’ Trade Deadline Decisions

Just because it's the offseason doesn't mean the Chicago Bulls can't hurt us! Thanks to Will Gottlieb of CHGO, we have a little more insight into the Bulls' decision to sit out of yet another trade deadline this past season....

So Many Questions, Tidjane Salaun? Lonzo Ball Dunks, Trading for Veterans, and Other Bulls Bullets

Does the Chicago Bulls' 2024-25 championship run officially start tonight? The closer we get to the NBA Draft, the more questions I have. Would the Chicago Bulls actually trade up in the worst draft of the last decade-plus? Are they...

Happy Dad’s Day, Sky Starting Lineup Change, Another Trade Up Rumor? And Further Bulls Bullets

Considering the date, I'd like to use this intro to send some love my father's way. I have that man to thank for my Chicago sports fandom (which ... actually ... should I thank him for that?), and I wouldn't...

Angel Reese Sporting Perfect (Villainous) Kicks for Second Battle with Caitlin Clark

Two days after Angel Reese's first battle with Caitlin Clark at the pro level, she made herself clear: I'll take the bad guy role." Reese's team was under fire after teammate Chennedy Carter committed a hard foul on Clark in...

Latest News

Sun vs Sparks Prediction: Picks, Live Odds & Moneyline – June 18

The Los Angeles Sparks (4-10) will look to turn around a three-game losing streak when they visit the Connecticut Sun (12-1) on Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at Mohegan Sun Arena. The matchup airs at 7:00 PM ET on NBA TV...

I Really Can’t Believe Those Postgame Comments on Hector Neris

I'm not going to get into all the reasons why Hector Neris should not have gotten the chance to save tonight's game. Brett took his time and did that four days ago ... following a blown save and another nearly...

Where to Watch Portugal vs. Czech Republic: UEFA European Championship 2024 TV Channel, Start Time and Live Stream

On Tuesday, June 18 at 3:00 PM ET, Portugal matches up with the Czech Republic at Red Bull Arena in its opening game of the 2024 UEFA European Championship's group stage.The game is on FOX, if you're searching for how...

Brewers vs. Angels: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

On Tuesday, William Contreras and the Milwaukee Brewers (42-29) open a series against Taylor Ward and the Los Angeles Angels (28-43) at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, with first pitch scheduled for 9:38 PM ET.The article below will provide you with...

Derrick White Would “Lose All His Teeth for a Championship”

With a little over two minutes to go in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Derrick White got a mouthful of hardwood. The now-champion dove for a loose ball only to have Mavericks big man Dereck Lively II fall on...

Enhanced Box Score: Giants 7, Cubs 6 – June 17, 2024

That, my fellow prisoners, really felt like the end of something. That was one of the most laughably predictable and soul-crushing losses of the season. After weeks and weeks and weeks of the same low-scoring, bullpen-blowing, vomit-inducing loss, the Cubs...

Minnesota Twins vs. Tampa Bay Rays Series June 18-20: Odds, Starting Pitchers & Predictions

On Tuesday, June 18 at 7:40 PM ET, a three-game series featuring the Minnesota Twins and the visiting Tampa Bay Rays will get underway.Twins vs. Rays Series Info Rays @ Twins Time: Tuesday, June 18 at 7:40 PM ET Twins...

Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros Series June 18-20: Odds, Starting Pitchers & Predictions

The Chicago White Sox are hosting the Houston Astros for a three-game series, with the action getting underway at 8:10 PM ET on Tuesday, June 18.White Sox vs. Astros Series Info Astros @ White Sox Time: Tuesday, June 18 at...

Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals Series June 18-20: Odds, Starting Pitchers & Predictions

On Tuesday, June 18 at 9:40 PM ET, a three-game series between the Oakland Athletics and the visiting Kansas City Royals will get underway.Athletics vs. Royals Series Info Royals @ Athletics Time: Tuesday, June 18 at 9:40 PM ET Athletics...

MOONSHOT! Ian Happ Hit it Onto Waveland in a HUGE Tie-Breaking Moment

Ian Happ, man. He has come through a LOT lately, homering in some really big moments and turning his season all the way around. Tonight's blast was of the three-run variety, but it also came with two outs late in...

more bulls news