Bulls Basketball Returns This Week, Breakout Candidates, Herro Gets the Big Bucks, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Bulls Basketball Returns This Week, Breakout Candidates, Herro Gets the Big Bucks, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

Today is the day … before the day.

At 8:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, the Chicago Bulls will kinda-sorta officially start the 2022-23 season. A matchup with the Pelicans at the United Center will mark the first of three preseason contests this week. In case you’re not caught up, here’s what we’re looking at over the next handful of days:

Tuesday – vs. Pelicans (8:30)
Friday – vs. Nuggets (7:00)
Sunday – vs. Toronto (5:00)

The final preseason matchup will come against the Milwaukee Bucks next Tuesday before the team gears up for the season-opener on Oct. 19 in Miami. I know preseason may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it sure feels worth watching for a group like the Chicago Bulls.

Whether it be the starting point guard competition, the refined offensive approach, or the continued growth of this team’s three All-Stars, the next four games will help set the stage for a year full of high expectations.

  • ESPN ran through their top-10 breakout candidates of the season, and six of their choices reside in the Eastern Conference. Cade Cunningham, Chris Durate, Tyrese Haliburton, Franz Wagner, Oneyka Okongwu, and Nic Claxton each made the cut. It’s probably worth noting that those first three players also happen to play inside the Bulls’ central division, which feels like it’s only becoming tougher by the day. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to pretend divisions hold much weight in the NBA. But if any one of those youngsters does experience an All-Star-caliber leap, that would give the Bulls just another guy to worry about four times a year.
  • I also wouldn’t be doing my job as a Blog Boy Meathead if I didn’t complain about the absence of Patrick Williams on that list. So, without further ado, *clears throat* ESPN IS FULL OF A BUNCH OF DUMMIES WHO DON’T KNOW BALL. PARTICK WILLIAMS IS A FUTURE ALL-STAR. HE WILL SAVE THE BULLS AND DUNK ON GIANNIS IN THE PROCESS. HOW DARE YOU. *TEARS SHIRT OFF OUT OF PURE RAGE*
  • In all seriousness, I think Williams probably deserves to at least be in the conversation for a spot on that list. While he may not be able to generate the kind of usage percentage we’ll see from a handful of the names ESPN chose, he does have the potential to make a more immediate impact on winning. Not only is he surrounded by the kind of talent that will open up the floor for him on offense, but he could very well become the Bulls’ defensive anchor in the frontcourt. We’ll see.
  • The Miami Heat just dropped a bag on the 2022 Sixth Man of the Year.
  • On one hand, I understand paying someone as young and offensively explosive as Tyler Herro. On the other hand, that’s a big-time contract for someone who has played his best basketball off the bench and showed real problems staying on the floor in the playoffs. I get why Miami prioritized keeping in town. The potential is there for him to be one of the league’s more lethal scorers. But only time will tell whether he can be the other championship piece this franchise needs.
  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I think Kostas gets that final two-way spot.
  • If there is one thing that stood out to me from K.C. Johnson’s brief Q&A, it’s that Antetokounmpo seems to fully understand who he currently is as a player: “For sure I’m a defensive player, able to guard multiple positions and switch 1 through 5 (point guard through center). And then offensively, I space the floor and run the floor too. I definitely want to improve on my outside shooting and my playmaking in general.” In my opinion, it’s that defensive potential that should win him the job.
  • Meh. They’re fine.
  • Yes, this actually happened:
  • Looking on the bright side …
  • I hope this isn’t the end for Willy in Chicago.

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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.