While the first regular season game for the Chicago Bulls might be over a month away, things are about to get busy over at the Advocate Center.
Training camp will tip off in roughly two weeks. Then, the Bulls will compete in their first of four preseason games on Oct. 4 against the New Orleans Pelicans at the United Center. With that being the case, it comes as no surprise that a handful of roster members have already made their way back to Chicago to start the preparation.
Throughout the week, the Bulls have shared images of multiple players inside the practice facility, with the most recent being big man Nikola Vucevic.
Alongside the Bulls center, Javonte Green, Coby White, and recently-signed backup Andre Drummond have been shown putting in the work:
All things considered, this feels like the group you’d want to see back in the city early. Vucevic and Drummond, in particular, are expected to carry quite important roles for the team moving forward. Vucevic is trying to bounce back from one of his worst statistical seasons of the past few years. The Bulls made a significant investment in him to be the starting center of this new era, but his lack of reliable shooting played a sizable role in the Bulls’ struggles last season.
Meanwhile, Drummond will be asked to fill one of the team’s most glaring holes from last season. Not only did the frontcourt allow the 9th-most points in the paint per game, but the Bulls’ rebounding percentage sat in the bottom half of the league. While Drummond’s ability to help keep opponents from scoring down low is questionable, there is no doubt he will help boost things in the rebounding department (especially on the offensive end, where the Bulls OREB% sat a horrendous 28th in the NBA).
We should probably also be encouraged by the fact that White is already back in town. Someone whose status on this team was unclear heading into this offseason, he could be in store for even more playing time than expected with Lonzo Ball’s health still up in the air. Not to mention, the Bulls failed to add much shooting to the roster this offseason after chucking up the fewest 3-point attempts per game last season, which means the door has opened further for White to establish himself as this group’s premier catch-and-shoot threat.
Anyway, I’m sure we’ll see plenty of other recognizable faces back in the gym over the next few days. Basketball is almost here, folks!