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Bulls remain focused on superstar hunt in 2019, 2020 NBA free agency

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Locked On Bulls is back with a special 4th of July episode, the guys kick off the show talking about what the NBA needs to consider now that the balance of power has completely shifted to the Western Conference.

The guys debate whether or not the NBA should go to a 1-16 seeding system or look to realign the Eastern and Western Conference.

Which one makes the most sense and what are some of the downfalls of both?

Locked On Bulls spends the rest of the episode taking your mailbag questions in their weekly Bulls mailbag.

You can be a part of the conversation by tweeting at us @LockedOnBulls or dropping us a question via text or voicemail at (331)-979-1369.

Some of the topics discussed on today’s mailbag include whether the Bulls should just take the risk on Zach LaVine or not, what happens if they strike out again in free agency over the next two seasons, Lonzo Ball to Chicago, Dennis Schroder, what free agents would be on the top of the guys list for 2019 and 2020, and whether or not the Bulls will be tanking again this season.

All of this and so much more on Locked On Bulls.


Jordan Maly is a writer and podcast host who originates from Naperville, IL. He is a graduate of Indiana University. Jordan’s history of coverage includes the Indiana Pacers, Indiana University Athletics, and NCAA basketball. Jordan currently writes for SB Nation’s BTPowerhouse and FanSided’s Busting Brackets. Jordan’s previous work has been featured on Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Seth Davis Draft House, FanSided, and the Chicago Tribune.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Claire

    July 4, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Hello Jordan!

    I’m a bulls fan writing you from France!
    I’m not registered on twitter, so I wanted to share my opinion by mail, on the future of my beloved chicago bulls.

    First of all, I think that we did a very good draft this year by getting:

    -WCJ: a Nikola Jokic/ Al Hardford kind of player, but stronger physically speaking. For me , this guy has one of the most important thing in a team sport: basketball IQ. You can learn how to shoot 3’s by practice. You can build your body to be an great athlete by working in a gym. But basketball IQ is both innate and a personality trait of the greats. This man has it.
    -Chandler Hutchison: who can be, in the best case scenario a kind of Scottie Pippen (by the way, nobody was mad about Scottie being 22 years old when he was drafted by the bulls, same thing with Draymond Green. So I’m asking our fans to stop hating on this young man for being a four year-college ball player) , the worst case scenario: Jimmy Butler. 🙂

    Finally, I would like to tell you that, we just need 3 things to be a championship contender:
    1) a backup PG.
    I’m not sold on Cameron Payne. I’m not saying that he is bad, but I just need to see him an entire year before giving a fair judgment. At least, I saw in him as a good passer….
    I think that it would be good to have a veteran PG who could have teach Kris Dunn how to elevate is game.
    By the way, I take this opportunity to tell you that: we’re not GSW. We don’t need to have a 3 point shooter PG. GSW IS GSW. We need to grow with our own philosophy… Who was the PG of our Chicago Bulls back in the Jordan’s era??? …… 🙂 … History don’t well remember him I think (not that he was a bad player)

    2) a backup SF
    Either a veteran SF, or younger one, like Jerami Grant (6ft 7, 7.2 wingspan). David Nwaba is small to be an elite SF (without questionning is qualities).

    3) a A POTENTIAL HALL OF FAME player.
    I’m not talking about an all star or a superstar. I’m talking about an elite player.
    Our big goal needs to be one and only player: ANTHONY DAVIS.
    This man , with KD are the two players from the next generation who can make history in this game. They can play and can guard one to five. Everything.
    The Kawhi, Paul George (who can not play defence), Jimmy Butler, CAN NOT CHANGE THE FACE OF A FRANCHISE. There are GOOD LIEUTENANTS, BUT NOT GREAT CAPTAINS.
    This is the goal: Anthony Davis in 2019 or 2020.
    During this period, our young core HAS to grow like the Draymond, Steph and Klay, that nobody thought there were going to be. To put it simple: THEY NEED TO BE THE BETTER VERSION OF THEMSELVES.

    The last thing is a question mark: Zach Lavine. I have doubts about his character in the locker room. I hope is not a diva, because he is speaking highly about himself. I believe that he has a very good potential. I don’t know if he is going to be great, because the greatest SG knew how to play defense (MJ, Kobe). I get that he wants the max because he sees himself as a franchise player. But he’s coming back from an severe injury and the bulls F.O shouldn’t rush to pay him more than 17 millions.
    If he’s not happy, then we need to let him go, thinking about Anthony Davis replacing him.

    At the end:
    P: Kris Dun / Payne-veteran PG
    SG: Zach Lavine/ Denzel-Anthonio Blakeney- (Anthony Davis)
    SF: Anthony Davis/ Chandler Hutchison-Jerali Grant
    PF: Lauri / BP- (Anthony Davis)
    C: WCJ/ Felicio -(Anthony Davis)

    =>>>>>>>>> LEGACY

    Merci Jordan ,
    A bientôt ! (see you soon)

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Chicago Bulls

Which Bulls player will come up consistently clutch this season?

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Locked On Bulls is back with a fresh episode, the guys pick up where they left off on yesterday’s episode talking about what the fourth quarter of games might look like. Jordan and Matt dive into clutch time statistics, what they mean, how they are important, and where the young Bulls core ended up last season. The second half of the show the guys kick off their newest segment of “Most Iconic Moments in Bulls History” with 32 different storylines that have defined the Chicago Bulls. The guys start with Michael Jordan’s “I’m Back” fax vs. Derrick Rose’s press conference asking “Why Can’t I Be MVP?”. The guys discuss the importance of both and ultimately which one moves on. Vote for either on Twitter (@LockedOnBulls) and join the discussion at (331)-979-1369.


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Bulls Voicemail: Who are you relying on to take the clutch shot?

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Locked On Bulls is back with their weekly Bulls mailbag show, the guys kick off the episode with a voicemail about comparing Lauri Markkanen to Rasheed Wallace. The guys compare both players, why Matt and Jordan don’t necessarily see a connection and ultimately what Markkanen should be working on this season. Second voicemail is in response to an early question asking how Fred Hoiberg can get back into the good graces with Bulls fans who don’t believe in him. Third voicemail is a call about not necessarily needing to sign a top-tier free agent in 2019 in order to compete. Last voicemail of the show asks who we would like to see take the last shot in close games this season. Matt and Jordan dive into some clutch time statistics from last year to try and make a case for any of the five Bulls core players. All of this and so much more on Locked On Bulls.


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Chicago Bulls

Three Factors That Will Determine Bulls Playoff Chances

Benjamin Repay

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The Chicago Bulls won 27 games last season making it their lowest winning season since 2004. The Bulls were 26th in the NBA in points per game and 27th in points allowed per game. They were also 29th in the league in total point differential at -577 points. Although the Bulls had their worst season of the decade, the new and young additions to the roster may induce a playoff berth in a struggling Eastern Conference.

When deciding whether or not the Bulls are a playoff team, these questions come to mind:

  • Can an injury-prone starting lineup remain healthy?
  • Will Jabari Parker finally become the elite player he got drafted to be?
  • Are other teams in the East too good?

Health

Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room, this Bulls starting lineup has a long history of significant injuries. Whether they can remain healthy is a question that could make or break their playoff chances. The two biggest concerns for the Bulls regarding health is Jabari Parker and Zach LaVine. Parker and LaVine have a combined three ACL tears in the past two years. We know from previous years with Derrick Rose that it is difficult to stay healthy and yield the same production after an injury like Parker and LaVine suffered. But it wasn’t just Parker and LaVine who were recovering from injuries throughout last season.

Kris Dunn missed 11 games due to a concussion after a hard fall in January. He missed a few more games due to minor injuries like a dislocated finger, patella tendinitis, and a big toe sprain.

Bulls sophomore Lauri Markkanen missed a total of 14 games last season dealing with some minor injuries. Markkanen’s “back stiffness” was the main reason for most of his missed games. You could argue that some of Markkanen’s “rest days” came at the end of the season when the Bulls were trying to get a better draft pick.

Health is perhaps the biggest factor in whether the Bulls can make the playoffs. A healthy Bulls team can be a productive one with this young and talented lineup. No player necessarily needs to be a star if the team is healthy. Each player in the starting lineup is capable of scoring 15 per game with ease. If they all remain healthy, it’s not hard to see them as the 8th seed in the East.

Jabari Parker

After the Bulls offered Parker a questionable $20 million deal, expectations have never been higher for the Simeon legend. Many Bulls fans are wondering if Parker can be the scoring threat he once was with the Bucks. As much as I hate being reminded of it, I can’t help but think of Rose’s struggles on the floor after his ACL tear.

It’s not just about whether Parker can remain healthy. Can he still show the explosiveness and athleticism he had prior to the injuries? Driving to the rim and creating his own shots off the dribble are substantial elements of Jabari’s game. If that is taken away from him due to his injuries, we may not see the player the Bulls paid for.

Competition

The East has been the significantly weaker conference over the past several seasons. It’s for this reason the Bulls’ chances of making a playoff appearance are a lot greater than they would be if they were in the West. There were a total of five teams under 30 wins in the East last year and every team that didn’t make the playoffs was under .500. There were only four teams in the East that had 50 or more wins. One of those teams was the Cleveland Cavaliers. Obviously, the Cavs will struggle to reach the playoffs this season without LeBron James.

The Bull could pull off a mediocre 42-win season and still manage to make the playoffs. Not many teams in the East improved their roster quite like the Bulls. They drafted what looks to be one of the more talented and NBA-ready rookies in the league in Wendell Carter Jr., signed a proven scorer in Parker, and continue to develop young and talented players like Markkanen, Dunn and Bobby Portis.

The Bulls are one of the most improved teams in the NBA if they can remain healthy and Parker can live up to everyone’s expectations. They have scorers all over their starting lineup and players like Portis and Antonio Blakeney wanting to prove themselves off the bench. Whether you want the Bulls to make the playoffs or not, there is no doubt they will be a fun team to watch come October.

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