Chicago Bulls 2017 NBA Preview, Draft, Offseason Recap, Depth Chart, Outlook
Chicago Bulls 2017 Preview
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The Chicago Bulls finished last season with a .500 record and gave the Boston Celtics a run before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs. Well, the Bulls are indicating a full rebuild a few months later and certainly aren’t doing head coach Fred Hoiberg any favors. This is likely going to be a long season in Chicago.
Here is your Chicago Bulls 2017 NBA preview.
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Key Player Losses: The big loss for the Bulls was trading Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Butler has led Chicago in win shares each of the last three seasons and is fresh off a year in which he averaged 24 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Butler is one of the better two-way players in the league and just entering his prime as he approaches 28 years old. Rajon Rondo leaves for New Orleans after averaging 6.7 assists in one season with the Bulls, and Michael Carter-Williams is now in Charlotte. The loss of Butler, however, is a real low to this franchise.
Key Player Additions: The Bulls picked up Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine in the Butler trade. LaVine is a young, exciting player who is coming off his best season yet in which he averaged 19 points and three assists, but he’s also coming off a major knee injury, which is scary considering he relies heavily on his athleticism and high-flying ability. Dunn is coming off a brutal rookie season in which he shot just 37.7 percent from the field in 78 games, but I’m always one to give the benefit of the doubt before calling somebody a bust. Dunn’s play will heavily determine if Chicago got hosed in the trade with Minnesota.
Draft: Lauri Markkanen is a seven footer who can space the floor, as he shot 42.3 percent from three in one season with Arizona. There’s questions about Markkanen defensively, but there’s no doubts about him offensively, as he can play in today’s game due to his ability to shoot a high percentage from the outside. Chicago can only hope Markkanen can provide a similar impact as a Karl-Anthony Towns or Kristaps Porzingis.
Outlook: When you trade away the best player on your team, one of the top two-way players in the league and the face of your franchise for the foreseeable future, it’s a clear sign of a rebuild. The Bulls barely made the playoffs with Butler on the roster, now they have even more question marks and no star to go out there and will victories by dominating at both ends. Expect Dwyane Wade to be bought out at some point, as this season is all about the young guys and finding out if Dunn, Jerian Grant, Cameron Payne, Denzel Valentine and others are worth building around. It’s a show and prove season for everybody on this Bulls roster minus Wade and Robin Lopez.