As they did prior to the start of a breakout season last year, the majority of the Chicago Bulls roster has started their 2022-23 preparation early.
News broke earlier this week that a large chunk of the Bulls’ roster would meet up with Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan in California for voluntary group workouts. A flurry of Instagram stories confirmed that everyone from Nikola Vucevic to Javonte Green to rookie Dalen Terry has made it out West. And it looks like they have wasted no time getting on the court.
Recent footage from an apparent five-on-five scrimmage has surfaced. The clips compiled together make up no more than 30 seconds, but I’d say it’s enough of a taste for those of us who are starving for some Bulls basketball.
Check it out:
GIVE US MORE, YOU COWARDS!
Watching the film closely, it looks like the following players are in attendance: DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, Patrick Williams, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, Coby White, Dalen Terry, Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr., and Tony Bradley. If you go frame-by-frame like me – an obsessive weirdo – you can also see head coach Billy Donovan and who appear to be assistant coaches Chris Fleming and Josh Longstaff. Goran Dragic (who we know is in LA thanks to a recent Instagram pic with Vucevic) also looks to be the one sitting next to Fleming.
Of course, that leaves out the recently max-ed Zach LaVine, but his failure to appear in the footage below doesn’t mean he isn’t around. Not only could he have competed in a separate scrimmage, but we also know he’s working his way back from an offseason knee surgery. While all signs have pointed toward a quick and routine recovery, it’s not hard to imagine the franchise prefers he lays somewhat low until training camp officially begins.
Speaking of which, Lonzo Ball also fails to make an appearance, which should come as absolutely no surprise. The point guard’s status remains a pretty big mystery, and I doubt the training staff would want him playing any five-on-five before he’s back in Chicago.
Despite the absence of those two key players, it’s still beyond fun and encouraging to see this group, once again, prioritizing extra work ahead of a highly-anticipated season. The flashes of Patrick Williams are especially intoxicating. We first see the muscular 20-year-old sinking one of his smooth one-handed jumpers before flying in for a ridiculous block on Coby White. I know, it’s just two plays, but I’m basketball-deprived, people! Let me enjoy in peace!
The surprisingly sudden chemistry of this unit last year was a big reason why they rose to the top of the conference for roughly half of the regular season. With the Eastern Conference only improving this offseason, ensuring the same fate will be that much more challenging … but that’s why you start the grind early, right? I look forward to some more clips surfacing soon!