The Bulls were 22-60 last year and despite dropping to the seventh pick in the lottery the consensus is that they made pretty good moves in the offseason. You know, relatively speaking because the front office punted on actually going after a superstar in free agency. But nonetheless, the Bulls improved their roster and should be competing for one of those last playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
One obvious measure of the Bulls being better in 2019-20, is that they have four ranked players in SI’s top-100 NBA players list. Last season, they only had one, in Lauri Markkanen, who was ranked 84th.
So, let’s check out where the four Bulls rank heading into the 2019-20 season. First, here’s an overview of how SI determined its rankings.
Given the wide variety of candidates involved and the deep analytical resources available, no single, definitive criterion was used to form this list. Instead, rankings were assigned based on a fluid combination of subjective assessment and objective data. This list is an attempt to evaluate each player in a vacuum, independent of his current team context as much as possible. We’re not evaluating Kemba Walker as a Celtic, but as a concept. A player’s prospects beyond the 2019-20 season do not factor into our ranking process.
Past performance (postseason included) weighed heavily in our assessment, with a skew toward the recent.
A predictive element also came into play with the anticipated improvement of certain younger players, as well as the possible decline of aging veterans. Salary was not taken into consideration. Otherwise, players were ordered based on their complete games.
No rookies made it into the rankings and players with major injuries (Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall) weren’t included as well.
All right, so the four Bulls in SI’s top-100 are:
Zach LaVine – 90th (unranked last year)
Lauri Markkanen – 75th ( 84th last year)
Thaddeus Young – 70th (76th last year)
Otto Porter Jr. – 57th (42nd last year)
You can see the full rankings here.