To wrap up the offseason and season preview portion of my coverage, I thought bold predictions would be a fun way to look ahead to this season. I tried to not make them all positive even though I tend to be a glass-half-full type of guy. This is a very interesting season for the Bulls… one that probably should dictate whether the Bulls should rebuild or continue to try to add to this team. I should note that I am trying to be a little out there with these predictions, I’m not out here shooting layups! Please forgive me if I don’t nail each prediction, a decent chance of being wrong is what makes these predictions bold.
The Bulls will make an in-season trade
The front office has taken a lot of heat for sitting out the last 2 trade deadlines. I think they won’t make it 3 in a row. This should work in both ways as well. If the team is playing well, the team could look to add talent, if the team is struggling, maybe a teardown finally happens. Even if the team is in the middle and not really exceeding or disappointing when it comes to expectations, the team might realize they need to pick a path. Marc Eversley and Artus Karnisovas should be busy people leading up to the NBA trade deadline.
Coby White gets some Most Improved Player buzz
I’m all in on Coby White. I love the steps he took last season and have always viewed him as an underrated young player in the league. I think he takes another step and really thrives this upcoming season. The team needs his shooting out there and I expect him to get plenty of opportunities. Seems like he is getting the first crack at the starting point guard spot and that he has taken another step over the offseason based off training camp and the first preseason game.
Torrey Craig will close games semi-regularly
I don’t think Craig would get much mention if we polled people on what the best 5-man lineup for the Bulls will be this upcoming season. I think he allows the team to not have to rely on 3 and 4 guard lineups to close games so frequently and even gives the team a chance to close small with Vooch going to the bench in certain matchups. As a team in win-now mode, I expect them to rely on their veterans more than they did last season.
Patrick Williams will still be a work in progress on offense
After a great defensive season last year, we still don’t really have a good idea what Patrick can provide this team on offense on a consistent basis. I expect him to show some improvement and some more flashes but still largely be up and down for the Bulls on that end. The big thing I’m hoping for is that he is able to up his 3 point volume and keep the career 41% he shot it with. I think some fans will be frustrated with his play at times but I still have hope for his future. He is still young and has plenty of time to improve.
LaVine makes it back to the All-Star Game and averages 27 ppg
LaVine missed out on making the All-Star game last season after struggling with a knee injury. He was named an All-Star each of the previous 2 seasons. After the All-Star break LaVine averaged 27 points per game. With a healthy offseason, LaVine should continue that play into this season. He is one of more underrated players in the league, but I bet he gets some recognition when it’s time to name All-Stars and earns a spot to Indy who will make a great host for the event.
DeRozan won’t join LaVine in Indy
Despite taking a slight step back, DeMar still earned a spot in his 2nd straight All-Star game last season. I think it’s fair to assume another slight step back for DeMar and that combined with LaVine being fully healthy and the Bulls probably not deserving multiple All-Star, I’m predicting DeMar to miss the cut for this season. I still expect DeMar to have an awesome season for the Bulls and continue to be a master in the midrange, the league is just loaded with talent right now.
The Bulls make the playoffs
As I’ve mentioned a few times throughout the offseason, I think the Bulls are in a better position than they were entering last season, where they were 1 game short of making the final 8 teams in the East. They will most likely have to make it through the play-in and I don’t expect them to make it much further, but this team has enough talent to make it to the playoffs.
The Bulls end a shockingly long streak
Making the playoffs through the play-in means a likely date with the Bucks or Celtics, fresh off offseason trades that will make them even harder to deal with than they have been in the past. The streak I’m alluding to is that the Bulls haven’t won a home playoff game since 2015. The Bulls did win a game against the Bucks in the 2021 playoffs, but that game took place in Milwaukee. Though I don’t expect the Bulls to advance past the 1st round, I think that streak comes to an end this season. Hopefully it’s as exciting of an ending as the last home playoffs win.