Mediocrity perfectly summarizes the Chicago Bulls’ season.
The Bulls finished 10th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 40-42 and would fail to fight their way into the playoffs.
The Search for the Next Starting Point-Guard
The Chicago Bulls entered the season with the hope of point guard Lonzo Ball being able to return at some during the season, but as the season went on, it became clear that Ball wouldn’t be returning. Eventually, Ball was ruled out for the rest of the season, and then it was announced that he would need a second surgery on his knee which would keep him out of action for the entirety of the next NBA season. Unfortunately, at this point, the Bulls need to operate with the assumption that Lonzo Ball will be out indefinitely. This means the Bulls will have to find a starting caliber point guard who fits the team, whether it’s one of the impending free agents Coby White, Patrick Beverley, or someone in the upcoming free agent class.
The Bulls sat at 26-33 at the All-Star break, falling to find any form of consistency. Following the break, the Bulls finished the season 14-9 and ended up as the 1oth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls improved following the signing of Patrick Beverley, but the team still failed to make the playoffs. The team had a steep hill to climb and put themselves in a situation where they would have to win two games in a row to earn a playoff spot and came up just short. The presence of Pat Bev was a benefit for the Bulls, and that should be taken into consideration this off-season as he hits free agency. Patrick Beverley stated he is looking for a contract that pays him $13-15 million yearly, which would be too steep for the Bulls to pay.
Addressing Three-Point Shooting
Another focus point for the Bulls this offseason is shooting. The Bulls shot 36.1% from downtown this season. That percentage is not horrific, but the Bulls were hesitant to shoot threes all season, with Zach LaVine being the only consistent threat from deep on the roster. The Bulls need to focus on finding shooters to present themselves as threats from three-point range next season.
Preparing for a Loaded Eastern Conference
Overall, the 2022-23′ season was one to forget for the Chicago Bulls. Fans entered the season assuming that the Bulls would at least make the playoffs following their first-round elimination the year prior, but the improvements across the Eastern Conference put the Bulls in a tough spot. The New York Knicks signed Jalen Brunson in free agency and traded for Josh Hart at the trade deadline solidifying a playoff-caliber team. The Clevland Cavaliers acquired Donovan Mitchell setting the Eastern Conference up to be a difficult Conference to earn a playoff spot in. Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving led the Nets to the 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference until they were traded, and the Nets were still able to secure a playoff spot thanks to their outstanding record before the All-Star break. Established teams in the East, the 76ers, Celtics, and Bucks, finished top 3 in the Conference. For the 2023-24′ NBA season, the Chicago Bulls must be ready for a plethora of hungry teams in the East looking to fight their way into a playoff spot.
The Chicago Bulls Have Extended Arturas Karnisovas
According to Darnell Mayberry of the Athletic, the Chicago Bulls have extended vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas—another extension kept secret by the Bulls. Despite a mediocre season, ownership felt that Karnisovas deserved an extension. While Karnisovas has restructured the Bulls and ended their playoff drought last year, the team is far from a championship contender. Karnisovas is by no means a bad VP of basketball operations, but getting an extension should be earned, and it has not yet been earned in this case.