So Where Does the Bulls' Projected Win Total for the 2022-23 Season Stand?

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So Where Does the Bulls’ Projected Win Total for the 2022-23 Season Stand?

Chicago Bulls

While we can’t rule out some kind of late-offseason trade, the Chicago Bulls have seemingly made their bed for the 2022-23 season.

The organization’s few additions included drafting Dalen Terry and signing veterans Goran Dragic and Andre Drummond. As each week passes by, Arturas Karnisovas has stood up straighter next to his message of continuity, which he first started to preach ahead of last season’s trade deadline.

The hope is the All-Star trio of Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic can continue to build on the chemistry they started to develop last season, while players like Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball can simply manage to stay on the floor. Considering this group sat at the top of the Eastern Conference for more than half the 2021-22 season, it’s a gamble that makes sense. But it’s not one the Sportsbooks love.

Regular season win totals have yet to be released for every team, but two of the biggest betting sites have already shared projections for the upcoming Bulls’ season. The PointsBet Illinois Sportsbook has listed the Bulls’ Over/Under win total at 42.5 (O -150, U +125). If we look at the other East teams with projections available, this puts the Bulls tied for 7th in the conference with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In other words, it has them finishing one spot below their 2021-22 win total and in the Play-In Tournament. The team to push them down the totem pole, according to PointsBet, will be Trae Young’s Atlanta Hawks.

Meanwhile, the DraftKings Illinois Sportsbook is a little more optimistic about the Bulls’ chances, putting Chicago at 43.5 wins (O -120, U +100). This lands Billy Donovan and Co. ahead of the Cavaliers again but still behind the Hawks.

To be sure, the big move of acquiring Dejounte Murray should undoubtedly move the needle for the Hawks. But so much so that they surpass the Bulls? This team finished 43-39 last season in the conference’s 9th spot. While they were able to fight their way through the Play-In Tournament and earn a first-round matchup with the Miami Heat, they fell in a swift five games. Yes, I know the Bulls experienced a similar playoff fate, but they also proved to be a far more superior regular season squad. Chicago took down Atlanta three of the four times they met (twice by double-digits).

No one is denying that Murray boosts Atlanta’s two-way ceiling. His ability to take on the toughest backcourt assignment each night will shield our eyes from Young’s horrendous defense. However, there will still be a learning curve for this new All-Star duo, as both have proven to be most useful on the offensive end when the ball is in their hand. I guess the Sportsbooks are high on this franchise’s ability to re-channel the success they saw two seasons ago, though. We can’t forget that Young, Capela, Bogdanovic, and Collins were just two wins away from cracking the NBA Finals in 2020-21, which is surely more experience than the Bulls’ core can show for.

As for teams like the Bucks, Celtics, 76ers, and Heat, I can’t sit here and make a worthwhile argument for the Bulls sitting in front of them. Not only did all finish higher than Chicago last season, but they each have a resume that garners even greater preseason respect. I get it.

Still, it feels a bit underwhelming to see the Bulls sit in the 42-43 range one season after they earned their most wins since the 2014-15 season (and suffered so much injury trouble). But I guess the good news is that we all watched them easily surpass expectations last season, so who is to say they can’t do it again? Time to bet!

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Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.