Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won the 1998 NBA championship during their “Last Dance” season and then, the infamous “rebuild” began. Since then, Chicago has seen some success through the years with the likes of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler, but none of the Bulls teams since 1998 have been able to break through and win the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls have not had a winning record since the 2016-17 season and now, they enter the offseason looking for answers once again. While they may have had a shot to make the play-in tournament if they did not have to deal with injuries and health protocol near the end of the season, there is still a lot of work to be done to this Bulls’ team in the offseason if they are to improve at all.
Zach LaVine was dominant for the Bulls yet again, averaging 27.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists and making his first All-Star game appearance of his career during the 2020-21 season. He is the focal point of Chicago moving forward, but so is Nikola Vucevic, who the Bulls gave up a lot to acquire at the trade deadline this year.
Vucevic was traded to the Bulls in exchange for Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr. and two first-round picks, one of which is Chicago’s first-round pick this year, which is Top-4 protected. With LaVine and Vucevic being the two All-Stars on the Bulls roster, this team has a foundation to be a playoff contender, but bad news has already struck this organization this offseason.
On June 10, the Chicago Bulls announced that Coby White underwent successful surgery on his left shoulder to repair damage from an injury sustained this offseason while engaged in basketball activities away from the team.
The Bulls also stated that White would be re-evaluated in four months, meaning an update on his health will not come before the mid-October start of the 2021-22 NBA season. Coby White being out to begin the 2021-22 season is not ideal, especially since he improved drastically this past year and was expected to take on a huge role heading into next season.
With that plan now out the window, Chicago could look to be super aggressive in their pursuit for more talent in the offseason. With some moveable contracts on their roster and a lot of intriguing assets, the Bulls definitely have a chance to turn themselves into a postseason threat next year, but they will need to have everything go their way, starting with the NBA Draft lottery.