NBA Honors MJ, First Half vs. Second Half Net Rating, Detroit Loses Cade, and Other Bulls Bullets

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NBA Honors MJ, First Half vs. Second Half Net Rating, Detroit Loses Cade, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

It’s official: If LeBron James ever won another MVP, he would have to hoist a trophy of Michael Jordan.

The GOAT debate is over, folks (as if it was ever actually a debate).

  • I think we all knew it was only a matter of time before Jordan would be celebrated by the NBA in some grand fashion. And naming the MVP after him certainly feels like a suitable honor. Not only does he sit just behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most MVP awards in league history, but he truly is the game’s most valuable face. He took the sport to new heights in the 90s, making it a beloved worldwide sensation. Also, to this very day, he remains arguably the most recognizable name in all of sports.
  • For what it’s worth, ESPN also reported that Nikola Jokic will be the first player to receive the new Jordan trophy. The other new awards will seemingly be distributed for the first time during this upcoming award season.

  • While I don’t necessarily think the NBA had to rename or rebrand practically all of its trophies, I also don’t hate the decision. The scale and tradition of the old ones will be missed, but I kind of like the new look and synergy of each award. I also especially enjoy that the MVP is the only trophy to receive an entirely different build. Other than the Larry O’Brien, it’s easily the league’s most coveted prize and deserves to stand on its own. So, yeah, I might be in the minority here, but I kind of like what the league has done here.
  • Jordan highlights popped up on my Twitter timeline, so I had to drop them in bullets:

  • If DeMar DeRozan doesn’t win the NBA’s new Clutch award, we’re pushing the Bean into Lake Michigan. The fact they introduced this award one season after DeRozan was easily the most clutch player on the planet is downright evil. The good news, though, is that the five-time All-Star is still killing it down the stretch of games this year. While the Bulls’ success in those games may not be the same, DeRozan has dropped the most total points (61) in clutch games so far this season.
  • The Athletic released their latest power rankings, and the Bulls sit an underwhelming 17th. In Zach Harper’s short write-up on the team, he stressed just how unevenly this group has played so far this season. Their net rating from quarter to quarter is a creeky wooden rollercoaster, and they continue to wait until they’re faced with a deficit to play up to their standards. More specifically, their first-half net rating sits just 22nd in the NBA, while their second-half net rating is an impressive 4th. I’m sure that isn’t helping this front office decide if blowing things up is the way to go.
  • Indeed, what’s most annoying about the Bulls is that there is no middle ground. One night, this team is losing the Spurs or Magic and playing with as much energy as a sloth on gummies. The next night, the Bulls are beating the Celtics or Bucks with 48 minutes of physically taxing basketball. The inconsistency is crazy, and I think it reiterates how poorly this roster is built. Are they a talented bunch? Sure. But are they a cohesive unit? Not particularly.
  • Cade Cunningham has been stuck on the sideline since the beginning of November, and word officially dropped on Monday night that he will miss the remainder of the 2022-23 season. This is obviously massive news for Detroit’s key building block and almost surely locks the franchise into the No. 1-overall pick discussion. With that being the case, I have to wonder how active they will be in the trade market over the next handful of weeks. Bojan Bogdanovic has already been a popular name according to multiple reports, while vets like Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks are likely in line to draw their own interest.

  • Bogdanovic would be an ideal fit for what this Bulls team needs, but I also find it hard to believe that they can open the cap room necessary to add him. He’s currently owed $19.3 million with a two-year, $39 million extension on the horizon. The only world where it would make sense is if Vooch ended up elsewhere mid-season and Bogdanovic filled his spot on the cap sheet. But what are the Bulls doing at center then? A more realistic name to think about could be Burks. A 38.0 percent 3-point shooter during his career, he’s owed a much more reasonable $10.0 million this season with a team option for roughly the same amount next year.
  • If one thing is for sure, everyone around the league hopes Chicago is looking to sell, not buy:

  • Can confirm.

  • Sadly, the Bulls are also learning to win.

  • Good to know!

Author: Elias Schuster

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