It’s time to acknowledge what should have been obvious months ago. This isn’t your typical Lebron James team that you’ve seen in the past. There isn’t a secondary scorer like Kyrie Irving who exists on the roster to take the scoring burden off of James. Kevin Love isn’t in his familiar role as the third option who can rebound, hit open three pointers, and ignite a fast break. And the role players of Rodney Hood, George Hill, and Jordan Clarkson are terrible defensively.
Speaking of defense, this team is tied with Phoenix in defensive efficiency. They needed a superhuman performance by Lebron to beat the Pacers by three and weren’t playing on the road.
The Celtics on the other hand are playing beautiful basketball without having Kyrie Irving’s lethal scoring abilities. And they haven’t lost a step defensively with having Irving sidelined. They’ve actually gotten better. The Celtics could well decide to move on from Irving’s hefty contract with Gordon Hayward returning and continuing with the development of Josh Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Why does this matter to the Bulls? Because the organization has three very good building blocks in Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine, and Kris Dunn, along with the potential to add a future stud player in next year’s draft. Couple that with a solid veteran presence in Robin Lopez and three solid bench pieces in David Nwaba, Bobby Portis and Denzel Valentine. That could prove to be a very potent lineup to compete with the Cavs and Celtics in a few short years.
The team is missing a versatile small forward who can add some scoring punch and strengthen a paltry defense.
Jaren Jackson Jr. or Mikal Bridges could very well solve those issues, although I’m sure most Bulls fans are hoping Michael Porter somehow slips to them at number six.
If the Bulls land one of those three, Bull’s Vice President John Paxson might have a better understanding for how long this rebuild could take.
And with the direction that this team is headed in, that rebuild might not last very long.