At this point, I’m always suspicious of a surprise party.
The way Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley have conducted business since arriving in Chicago has been as mysterious as it has been bold. They’ve blindsided us enough times that I can’t help but tiptoe into any deadline or offseason. Plus, the fact they have also thrown this team into a win-now position only has me on higher alert for aggressive decision-making. The hope is clearly to expand on the success from last season, and I don’t think any of us would be surprised to see them go to great lengths to achieve just that.
• Indeed, I think that’s why LaVine staying in Chicago remains the most likely outcome (at least for now). While he might get wined and dined by other organizations to fully experience the unrestricted free agency he has earned, it’s going to be hard to turn down the extra tens of millions of dollars he can make in Chicago. And I expect this aggressive front off to offer him those extra tens of millions to continue building out this winning product. Yet, I also write these words after having just written “at this point, I’m always suspicious of a surprise party,” so … who the hell knows.
• The only thing we know about this front office is that they want to be a two-way team. With the acquisitions of DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic for the offense came the additions of Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso for the defense. Meanwhile, both Patrick Williams and Ayo Dosunmu were viewed as solid two-way prospects on draft night. Don’t get me wrong, I know every team around the league strives to play well on both ends, but there seems to be a particular point of emphasis on finding the right balance for this front office. With no true superstar on the roster, they appear set on building one of the most harmonious squads in the league. In other words, for every flaw one player has, another player has to make up for just that.
• I expect most of the future roster moves to be centered around adding strictly two-way talent, particularly after we watched certain role players this season struggle to hit shots from behind the arc. That’s why I think the futures of guys like Coby White and Javonte Green are really up in the air this summer. While White is still an intriguing young piece, he’s really struggled to defend at even an average level, and his offense has been streaky at best. As for Green, he was a plus defender all season long, but other teams would happily let him shoot the ball from long range. There just wasn’t enough two-way talent on this bench to adjust on the fly and fill the injury gaps throughout the season. This has to change, and I suspect it will.
• Arturas Karnisovas’ old running mate could soon be headed to Minnesota.
Connelly’s discussed the job extensively with minority owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez and an in-person meeting with Taylor is next in the process, sources said. Minnesota’s attempting a massive hire of a top league executive that would transform the face of the organization.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 21, 2022
• Get those ‘Welcome to Chicago’ banners ready for the MVP and pop the champagne! The Windy City Joker!
• In all seriousness, one does have to wonder if this could change anything about Jokic’s thinking. While there is absolutely no question the Nuggets will offer the big man his max contract extension this summer after back-to-back MVPs, it’s hard not to question if Jokic is at all hesitant to stay in the city long-term. Not only would losing one of the best executives in the league hurt the franchise … but can we say for certain this roster is capable of winning a ring? Michael Porter Jr. has not been able to stay on the floor since he got into the league, and we still don’t know what version of Jamal Murray will appear after he missed this entire season with an ACL tear. I still expect Jokic to sign his massive deal and see what a healthy Nuggets roster can do, but all it can take is a massive front office shuffle to stirrup doubt. Chicago will be a shoulder to cry on if you need it, Nikola!
• If we’re being real, Cockburn doesn’t really feel like he fits the mold for this front office, but I’d love to see the Bulls somehow land the big man and fulfill the Illini prophecy!
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) May 20, 2022
• Good news for Miami:
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 22, 2022
• LOCKER ROOM TENSION!?
Stop it…fake club
— Nikola Vucevic (@NikolaVucevic) May 22, 2022
• Get a dub, please.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) May 22, 2022