It has been 1,209 days since the Derrick Rose era came to an abrupt end. Since then, the Chicago Bulls have been exceptionally mediocre and quite frankly not that interesting. Fast-forward to October 2019 and the team is on the verge of being competitive again.
Let’s take a look at the exciting young core the Bulls have heading into the regular season.
Lauri Markkanen who is just 22 years old, is heading into his third NBA season with a lot of buzz. In 2018 he finished his injury-plagued season averaging 18.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.3 3-pointers. If Lauri can remain healthy and play a full 82 games, expect his numbers to skyrocket. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had very high praise for the young power forward:
“He’s going to be a star in this league. He’s going to score 20 points a game in this league until he’s done in the mid-’30s.”
Last year Zach LaVine produced career-high averages of 23.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists on 46.7 percent shooting. It is safe to say that LaVine is on the brink of breaking through to that upper echelon of NBA stars. Will this be the season he makes the leap? He sure seems to think so.
“I had an All-Star-caliber year last year, but we had 22 wins so it got a little bit swept under the rug. But that’s how it’s supposed to be when you have 20 wins. But if I continue to play the way I’m supposed to, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be an All-Star or All-NBA type guy.”
Back in June, the Bulls drafted White with the seventh overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Since then the rookie has turned heads but it’s likely Tomas Satoransky will get the nod for the starting point guard role to begin the season. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it will give the rookie time to adjust his game to the NBA as there will be opportunities down the road for the youngster to make his mark. For now, let’s just enjoy this side by side of Derrick and Coby.
Wendell Carter Jr.
Last year during his rookie season Carter averaged 10.3 points, 7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. Friendly reminder he is just 20 years old. The future is bright when it comes to the young big man.
What to expect?
Will the Chicago Bulls be a playoff team in 2019? Not sure.
But, the potential is there and it honestly just feels good to be able to say that. When it comes to the Eastern Conference who knows how the back end of the playoff seeds will play out but expect this team to be in the conversation come late March.