The Chicago Bulls and executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas went quiet at the trade deadline, showcasing hope in the 2022-23 roster to make a deeper playoff run. Still, the team sits four games below .500 and barely out of the play-ins.
The Bulls are one of two teams to not make an in-season trade this season.
Why is Karnišovas so confident in the Bulls abilities when the team is worse than last season, a season they ended as a first-round exit to the Milwaukee Bucks? When Karnišovas created this team in his first off-season as VP, he looked to create a dynamic offense built around star Zach LaVine and veterans in DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vučević. Still, after 56 games in the season, the Bulls sit 24th in Offensive Rating in the entire league.
So much of the poor rating has to do with the Bulls’ inability/willingness to shoot three-pointers, while most of the league has made the transition.
The Bulls are dead-last in the league, attempting 28.8 threes per game, and they’re the only team under 30 attempts.
So much of the discrepancy comes from the loss of sharpshooter Lonzo Ball, who has missed the entire season due to a knee injury. Veteran Goran Dragić started the season strong, but he has been abysmal recently, and Coby White is having the worst shooting season of his career.
The Bulls were playing their best basketball when he was on the floor last season, and they’re greatly missing his playmaking in transition and elite perimeter defense. That is why it’s mind-boggling that the team didn’t make any moves for a similar player.
A GM should know when to make moves to improve the roster, especially when the conference they play in is so top-heavy.
After losing three in a row and dropping to 26-30, the Bulls are given a chance to get back in the win column against the Orlando Magic Monday. If they want to secure a higher seed in the difficult East, they need to make a run quickly.
With the All-Star break coming up in a few weeks, only the team can hope the time off can rekindle the team’s ferocity from last season.