Sports Writer and Analyst. Occasionally, I will write about other topics.
Signing Coach Bill Donovan is a major move for the Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls have recently signed Coach Billy Donovan in a move that could propel the Bulls.
Offensively, the Bulls are ranked 22 in the NBA in 3P% and 11th in 3PA. The Bulls need to add better three-point shooters to their roster and/or shoot fewer threes. Their young talent includes Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr., Wendell Cart Jr., Thaddeus Young, Khris Dunn, Tomas Satoransky, and Colby White. Zach LaVine is likely to make an All-Star selection for the 2020-21 season. LaVine is Chicago’s leading scorer and averaged 35.3 points per 100 possessions for the 2019-20 season. He has made steady offensive improvements since he was traded to the Bulls.
Defensively, the Bulls had the 9th best defensive rating for the 2019-20 season. This included having one of the best half-court defenses in the NBA. However, the Bulls struggled at guarding teams in transition and during fast breaks. The Bulls had the 7th highest points scored by opponents off of turnovers. Chicago’s opponents last season scored 17.8 points per game off of turnovers. The Bulls were a -3.1 +/- for the season. A reduction in points their opponents score from turnovers could make the Bulls an instant playoff contender.
To the disappointment of some, the Bulls have been poised not to rush the championship building process. However, their fans have been rather patient with the franchise. Coach Donovan has coached some of the best players in the NBA and has relationships with all of the NBA’s top talent.
Many analysts agree that the Bulls are just one piece away from being a really great team.
Over the past three seasons, the Bulls have been focusing on developing their young players and hesitant to bring in veteran players. At any rate, the Bulls can eventually build up enough depth to be competitive in the Eastern Conference. They also could be the destination for some big free agents in the future. This is very similar to how Miami became an overnight contender. The Heat built up a lot of depth on their roster and after signing Jimmy Butler became a contender in the Eastern Conference Finals. However, the Bulls are arguably better than Miami is without Butler.
However, the Bulls will not have significant cap space until the 2022-23 season. The 2022 free-agent class is going to be one of the most talented in NBA history. However, the Bulls may not even need to sway a major free agent. Adding some more complementary role players to their roster could give them more of an edge as well. The Bulls desperately need better three-point shooters and playmakers on their team. More playmakers could help unlock their talented young core of players.
The Bulls own their next 7 first-round picks, including the fourth pick in the 2020 NBA draft. Killian Hayes and Lamelo Ball with their playmaking and three-point shot ability make them a perfect fit for the Chicago Bulls. Deni Avdija with his size and playmaking ability would also be an interesting fit for the young Chicago Bulls.
Colby White made an immediate positive contribution to the Bulls after being drafted in the 2019 draft. Picking the right player with the 4th overall pick could provide a major boost to the Chicago Bulls. The 2020 NBA draft has a lot of interesting players that could really alter franchises.
Luckily for the Bulls, Coach Donovan is one of the best player development coaches in NBA history. He is also one of the best coaches for identifying talent in drafts. This is precisely what the Bulls will need over the next couple of seasons to get into position to make the playoffs.
The race for the 8th seed in the 2020 NBA playoffs was extremely competitive for the 2020 playoffs. In the Eastern Conference, the 8th seed Orlando Magic had only won 11 more games than the Chicago Bulls. And the 9th seed Charlotte Hornets only won 1 more game than the Bulls. The Magic also had only 13 more games than the 14th seed Atlanta Hawks.
The momentum is in favor of the Bulls. With their second-round pick, they could also add more three-point shooting to their roster. Jordan Nwora could also add some more size and three-point shooting to the Bull’s bench. Nwora averaged 18.0 points and shot 40.2% from three-point range while a junior. Ashton Hagans could be another interesting 2nd round pick for the Bulls. Either way, the Bulls have an exciting future.