Chicago

Bulls

Survey data collected from team site writers and editors.

1.6

Out of 10

I trust in management and the coaching staff

2.4

Out of 10

I enjoy rooting for these players and this franchise

2.6

Out of 10

I am optimistic about the direction of the team

A Q&A with Matt Bernhardt of SB Nation’s Bulls site Blog a Bull.

What needs to happen for this to be an enjoyable season for Bulls fans?

“Enjoyable” is a very high bar. The team is likely going to be very bad and a tough watch most nights. Team performance will have to thread the needle where the young players look like keepers, yet the team cannot get too many wins to screw with their lottery chances.

Chicago Bulls
Position Starters Bench
Guards Kris Dunn Jerian Grant Cameron Payne
Wings Zach LaVine (injured) Paul Zipser Justin Holiday Denzel Valentine Quincy Pondexter David Nwaba
Bigs Robin Lopez Nikola Mirotic Bobby Portis Cristiano Felicio Lauri Markkanen

What makes Bulls fans most excited about this year? What makes Bulls fans most nervous?

If “Hoiball” is real, and a team that's actually “younger and more athletic” can make that offense fun, that’ll be nice. But if Hoiball instead needs good veteran decision-makers, the lack of quality guard play will make it difficult to objectively measure anybody's performance.

Zach LaVine in particular is an excited/nervous coin-flip as he returns from an ACL tear.

What storyline might a national audience be missing about the Bulls?

That the Bulls are not only going young, but very inexpensive. It'll be interesting to see if they actually use cap space to their advantage or hold it for “flexibility.” Chicago is the third-biggest market in the country and the largest with a single team, yet the Bulls are below the salary floor.

Why should neutrals pay attention to the Bulls this year?

If Lauri Markkanen is good right away, having a 7-footer bomb threes (alongside other chuckers like Nikola Mirotic and Lavine) is fun. If Cameron Payne returns from foot surgery, he's usually good for a GIF to point and laugh at.

What's your prediction for the season?

They won't win many games, and the entire second half of the season will be accompanied by an annoying gnashing of teeth over every infrequent victory “hurting” them. Everybody involved will say the word “accountable” a lot, but not actually practice accountability.