As everyone knows at this point the Bulls didn’t make a single move before the trade deadline.
This came as a surprise to a lot of fans and reporters as it was expected the team would move at least one player. However, if you look at the bigger picture for this team, management hasn’t actually made any moves this season. Not one free agent signing, not one trade, not one waive. Only assigning and recalling players from the G-League team.
The real question here, is this foretelling management changes after the season is over or is it just a continuation of poor management? Paxson came out and spoke to the media following the trade deadline and stated:
We weren’t going to be buyers….We don’t know what we have yet.
To many including myself, this was just an excuse for laziness or carelessness. Management would rather do nothing because they aren’t sure of what we have due to injuries, instead of realizing the true issues with this team.
It’s hard to pinpoint just one issue with this team because there are a lot. The most glaring issue from a fan’s perspective is GarPax. The combination of Gar Forman and John Paxson has been terrible for the past decade. Even when the Bulls were somewhat successful they made questionable decisions that hurt the franchise. Looking at this season as a whole they’ve done nothing. This has fans calling for their firing online as well as in the arena. It has gotten to the point where fans are being removed from the arena for wearing shirts with Fire GarPax on them.
An article was released by the Daily Herald that suggested the Bulls will move Paxson into more of an advisory role after the season’s end. It also suggested a full split from Gar Forman come seasons end.
This would be a day of rejoicing for all Bulls fans. The Reinsdorf’s have been too loyal to GarPax and need to bring in management that will actually try to better this franchise.
In the midst of year 3 of a rebuild, the Bulls have nothing to show for it. They are 19-35 with a coach that’s focused on wins instead of development. Boylen has said in instances that he will continue to develop the young core of players but given the chance, he keeps young players on the bench. Just last night against the 76ers Boylen played Felicio throughout the game and left Gafford on the bench in a position much in need of depth.
Another reoccurring situation with Boylen is calling timeouts in the closing seconds in games the Bulls are surely going to lose. Again we saw this in the game last night against the 76ers.
Boylen talks about creating a winning culture but seems to do everything he can to get players disengaged and lose control of the locker room. 2020 has been a tough start filled with injuries and loses and it’s clear that players aren’t excited to play for Boylen.
Management claims that we “don’t know what we’ve got” and use that as an excuse to keep Boylen around. This should have been the grading period for Boylen, show how he can produce without the core. He’s failed miserably and yet he still has a job. Though he has proven to be a below-average coach in the NBA all of the blame in the play can’t be put on him.
Aside from Zach LaVine and Wendell Carter Jr. the rest of the team has underperformed. We’ve seen a drop off in Markkanen who went from scoring 18.5 PPG to 15 PPG, which is the lowest in his 3-year career. He also declined from 9 RPG to 6.5 RPG, again the lowest in his 3-year career. We’ve seen the same regression in Dunn who is down in points and assists — his worst in his career with the Bulls. Porter Jr. was lost after 9 games and hasn’t played since then.
We see that player’s stats have regressed but that could also be due coaching. That is something that won’t be seen until a new coach is introduced to the same core of players. The Bulls will find themselves in a pretty similar situation next year. The only question will be, who from the current management/coaching staff will be around next year?