At the beginning of the NBA season the future for the Chicago Bulls seemed very dark, but with the acquisition of Otto Porter Jr.
However, with acquiring him on February 7th, combined with the talents of Lauri Markkanen , Zach Lavine , along with the potential to draft very high in this summers NBA Draft, the Bulls could possibly be one of those sleeper teams in the east next season. With the firing of Fred Hoiberg last December the door has opened up for the Bulls to rewrite the embarrassing years that the team has suffered through in the last four seasons.
In the last three seasons under Fred Hoiberg the team finished 4th and 5th in the central division, which was the worst for the Bulls since the 2014-2015 NBA season. The eastern conference door has also opened up with LeBron James departure from the eastern conference, the same LeBron who went to nine straight NBA Finals, as the east struggled to knock the self-proclaimed King off his thrown.
The Bulls Chance
Chicago then went on to trade Jimmy Butler for Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen. Lauri and Zach turned out to be future pieces for the Bulls, while Kris Dunn became just an average player. Zach Lavine is averaging 23 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assist per game and he’s become one of the explosive offensive scorers of the 2018-2019 NBA season. Lauri Markkanen is averaging 18 points, and 9 rebounds for the Bulls, along with becoming one of the most prolific scorers this season in the NBA. Kris Dunn is averaging 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assist. I recently gave my opinion on the state of the Bulls as a guest on ” The Bulls Podcast” with Marcus Couch and Weis Black.
Jimmy Butler is currently averaging 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assist, so with those numbers as a measuring stick, it’s more than safe to say that the Bulls improved themselves from that trade. With the trade the Bulls still lacked an identity, struggled to find an identity, along with ranking 20th in the league in opponents points per game, allowing 113 points per game. The once gritty, prideful Bulls team was a memory, as Fred Hoiberg completely changed the culture and mindset of the Bulls locker room.
With the addition of Otto Porter Jr.; a player that had so much to prove coming in, averaging just 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assist most of the season behind John Wall and Bradley Beal, you got the sense from Porter’s play that he came in looking to not only prove he shouldn’t have been traded, was worth the money he was asking from the Wizards, along with being better than his stats has shown in Washington.
With the trio of Lauri, Otto Porter Jr., Zach Lavine, and a top tier 1st round draft pick, the Bulls could be one of the most formidable teams under the radar next season.
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