Final notes have arrived for the Bulls now that the job is done
The NBA shouldn’t be about excuses. The current Bulls regime knows this much better than the old one.
This was demonstrated by Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas in his end of season speech to the media.
“There were a lot of games that we played for three and a half quarters,” Karnisovas said. “Learning to win often requires a period of transition. It’s part of what we’re going through here. We expect a steep learning curve with this team. The ups and downs in the games were drastic, going from game to game. Consistency is the hallmark of a mature and developed team, a team that adapts to adversity. I understand, it is the protocols, the lack of practice time, the lack of rest and development that affects you. But each team was in the same situation. Resilient and mature teams overcome challenges. ”
Game, set and match. So while there was an improvement over last season’s circus, the goal wasn’t even close to being achieved. That’s why the Bulls’ overall rating this season is a D.
The All-Star goalie had career numbers across the board and was even ready to put on more defensive energy for the first time in seven seasons. This has to continue, as does the idea of figuring out how to impact winning. GRADE: A-.
It’s not often that a player fails the playmaker school and loses their starting seat in the classroom, only to come back and look like a capable starter. Here’s the problem: White excelled at a point in the season when the pressure had eased. GRADE: C +.
The veteran guard hasn’t been the playmaker / outside threat he was with the Wizards, but he did have a few glue moments for the starting and reserve units. GRADE: C.
The veteran suffered some injuries and was inconsistent on the pitch, but his leadership for the money the Bulls paid for him? Invaluable. CATEGORY B.
Troy Brown Jr.
An ankle injury limited Brown to 13 games, but it was a good performance, especially on the defensive end. Need to see more of Brown moving forward. GRADE: incomplete.
The Bulls have an option on Arch, and although pound for pound he’s one of the toughest players on the roster – see the charges he takes – it’ll be interesting to see if he’s picked up. CATEGORY B-.
Like Brown, the sample size was too small to be fairly judged, but when he played there was defensive energy. He is a free agent and decisions have to be made. GRADE: incomplete.
The rookie has some weird tools for a 19-year-old, but he needs to stop overthinking his role on the team and play aggressively offensively. Williams should have been the third best player on the roster at the end of the season and wasn’t. CATEGORY B-.
Sure, he looks like a villain in a Jason Statham movie, but Theis brought a presence and tenacity that this team badly needed. Now it’s about keeping the free agent in a Bulls jersey. GRADE: B +.
The Michigan State product has had some memorable moments this season – and not all of them good. Either way, the future free agent is never boring when in the game. GRADE: C.
The player once considered a centerpiece of the rebuilding has had every chance to excel this season. The right coach, the right attack, then a few more Euros added to the list at the deadline. But it continued to disappear too often. GRADE: D.
Coaching matters, and it definitely does with Young. He went from wanting to retire under former coach Jim Boylen to establishing a career high in assists under Billy Donovan. Then you add the leadership aspect. GRADE: A-.
The veteran has picked his player option for next season at $ 10.1million and could take over from Cristiano Felicio at the end of the bench. GRADE: F.
It’s not Big Cris’ fault that former general manager Gar Forman thought he was the smartest executive in the room and handed the backup center $ 32 million. Felicio, however, never seemed to work on his weaknesses. GRADE: F.
The “Vooch” may fall out of bed and set up a double-double, but can he and LaVine figure out how to get this team to the playoffs next season? GRADE: B +.
It was good to cover up a coach who tries to be transparent, admits his mistakes and owns the losses.
Donovan was handcuffed past the deadline, getting five new players in the locker room and having almost no practice time to assimilate them, but, again, in a pass / fail affair the Bulls did not completed. GRADE: C.
Karnisovas took a big boost in acquiring Vucevic and possibly losing a 2021 draft pick to do so and still hasn’t made it to the playoffs. The league-wide message, however, was that the Bulls are now a culture of trying to win rather than trying to survive.
We’ll see if that resonates. But for now, the Bulls are once again a lottery team that could lose their first-round ticket. GRADE: D.