A Lot Can Change in a Year and Other Bulls Bullets

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A Lot Can Change in a Year and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

I’m not trying to ruin your Friday or anything, but do you remember where the Chicago Bulls sat this time last year?

On Dec. 9, 2021, Zach LaVine and Co. held a record of 17-9. Not only were they right behind the Brooklyn Nets as the East’s second-best team, but they also held the NBA’s fourth-best net rating. They were only one loss away from rattling off a nine-game winning streak – one that would include DeMar DeRozan’s historic back-to-back game-winning buzzer-beaters (fourth wall writer thought: that’s a lot of hyphens).

What a difference a year can make.

  • Again, I’m not trying to put you in ostrich mode and bury your head in the sand for the rest of the day. But I do think that’s some important context when we consider the recent conversations about what this organization should do. On one hand, an almost identical roster was crushing it just 12 months ago. Why not give them a chance to do the same with a far easier stretch on the horizon? They may surprise us!
  • On the other hand, what if that start was simply a fluke? A larger sample size has not been kind to the Bulls, and there are many glaring problems with the way this roster has been constructed. If anything, the fact they have dropped so drastically over the course of one year should be a massive eye-brow raiser. So what if now is the best time to get out? What if it’s actually a saving grace that things fell apart so fast? The front office might now know that they need to change things sooner than later.
  • I’m still waffling back and forth between both those realities. While I do believe that some sort of change obviously needs to be made to this roster, I’m not at all sure how drastic that change needs to be. Is this front office creative enough to successfully re-arrange the supporting cast around guys like Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan? Or have they put themselves in too tight of a bind by giving up so many assets? I guess all we can do is wait and see how this regular season and the trade deadline pan out.
  • Speaking of things flip-flopping …
  • I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that a team with three aggressively offensive-minded All-Stars has one of the least efficient offenses in the league. If that doesn’t tell you that something needs to change, I don’t know what does.
  • If you read yesterday’s bullets, then you know I entered a dark place and talked about Jerry Reinsdorf’s couch cushions. ESPN’s Zach Lowe did a similar thing in his recent column, referencing the owner’s love for a sustainable income.

Nothing about Chicago’s history under the Reinsdorf family says they would green-light a teardown; they love vanilla profitability. The pick they owe Orlando (via the Vucevic deal) is top-4 protected; even if the Bulls lose every game, there’s an almost 50-50 chance they’d cough up the pick anyway.

  • Lowe also discusses the Bulls’ offense and the continuous struggles that their three All-Stars experience playing alongside each other. Of course, this includes a reference to the team’s extreme lack of 3-point shooting, and how smart defenses know that they can leave most role players open from long range. I highly recommend you give it a read here.
  • Gonna look real nice next to his Finals MVP and Larry O’Brien.
  • This is just disrespectful.
  • Hey, that is a surprise!
  • Then … like … do it already.

Author: Elias Schuster

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