During one of the most exciting off-seasons in NBA history, the Chicago Bulls have quietly inched their way closer back to respectability.
Their 22 wins this season fell five short of the year before. General Manager Gar Forman fired head coach Fred Hoiberg 24 games into the season continuing the franchise’s search for an identity in the post-Drose era.
Chicago didn’t maneuver into position to throw a bunch of money at max free agents this offseason. This kind of self-awareness bodes well for a franchise that is further than one big star away from having a true championship identity. Instead, Chicago made some shrewd moves in-season that combined with more practical signings this summer. The result is a roster that has added veteran talent that will come in and help a promising young core learn how to win in this league.
Here is the projected depth chart for the 2019-20 Chicago Bulls.
PG: Thomas Satoransky, Ryan Arcidiacono, Coby White
SG: Zach Lavine, Denzel Valentine, Antonio Blakeney
SF: Otto Porter Jr., Chandler Hutchison
PF: Lauri Markkanen, Thaddeus Young
C: Wendell Carter Jr., Luke Kornet, Cristiano Felicio, Daniel Gafford
If you follow the Bulls you’ll notice that Kris Dunn’s name is noticeably absent. The writing is on the wall. Chicago drafted Coby White with their first-round pick and followed that by signing Satoransky away from Washington and re-signing Arcidiacono. Dunn’s name has been linked to rumors involving bringing Justin Holiday back from Memphis.
Dunn can still contribute and brings value as a playmaking defender. However, he struggles with his consistency and Satoransky presents a more steady option at point guard that will space the floor better for Zach Lavine. Satoransky is a career 40 percent 3-point shooter who will serve as a bridge for White to develop at his own pace.
Vanderbilt alum Luke Kornet is far from a household name but hit 36.3% of his three-point attempts last season and was one of the best shot blockers in the country in college. He will see more playing time in Chicago than he did in New York and will provide a different, more modern touch at center after the departure of Robin Lopez.
The market grows thinner by the day. Chicago’s greatest question mark will be their wing depth. Denzel Valentine had a slow rookie season but showed impact two years ago before being lost for this season due to injury. When healthy, Valentine is an excellent shooter that can provide key role minutes as a starter or some offensive punch off of the bench. He and second-year forward Chandler Hutchinson’s development will be the key to seeing just how high the Bulls’ ceiling is this season.
The sensible offseason continues for Chicago. Moving Dunn will solidify a roster that should continue to provide optimism for brighter days in the Windy City.