By Joseph Phillips
In spite of finishing 13th place in the NBA Eastern Conference last season,
the Chicago Bulls will look to change that narrative as they kick
off the 2019-2020 NBA season on Monday afternoon with hope’s of
optimism, a new culture, and dreams of making the 2020 NBA playoffs.
And after signing interim head coach Jim Boylen to a new deal, adding
two new draft picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, a few free agents and
possibly revamping the starting lineup, the Bulls hopes, dreams and
optimism of competing for a future playoff spot “might just come to
This week, the Chicago Crusader will give a breakdown of the
2019-2020 Chicago Bulls NBA roster and season preview.
BULLS SIGN INTERIM HEAD COACH JIM BOYLEN TO NEW DEAL
Entering his first full season as head coach of the Chicago Bulls,
coach Jim Boylen will look to implement his culture of hard work,
communication, and passion into the thoughts and minds of the players for the
“He has tremendous passion for developing young talent,” said John
Paxson, Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Chicago Bulls
about Boylen and his influence. “(He) is a strong communicator and a good fit for this team. The
organization is confident in the direction that he is taking our
players, and we are committed to him.”
Paxson, along with Bulls management, believes that Boylen is the perfect
leader to help take the young Bulls to the next level.
Prior to the new deal, Boylen was already under contract through the
2019-2020 season when he took over for then fired coach Fred Hoiberg
back on Dec. 3, 2018. But during his trial period, Bulls management never
placed an interim tag on Boylen’s head coaching title and initially
reworked his deal according to Chicago Bulls Insider KC Johnson.
“This multiyear extension replaces that deal,” Johnson said.
This year, the Bulls will look to improve on Boylen’s 17-41 regular
season record and will try to avoid missing the playoffs for a third
BULLS ADD TWO DRAFT PICKS IN THE 2019 NBA DRAFT: COBY WHITE and DANIEL GAFFORD
With the seventh pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls
selected Coby White out of the University of North Carolina.
The last time the Bulls drafted a guard out of the University of North
Carolina, he measured at 6′ foot 6″, could dunk a basketball from the
free throw line, had an uncanny ability to hit game winning shots, was
clutch beyond clutch, bald, wore the number 23 and set the world or fire.
But in the words of former Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino, “Michael
Jordan is not walking through that door.”
White, who’s playing style is often compared to former NBA star
Gilbert Arenas, is a lighting quick 6’5’’, 185-pound combo guard out of UNC with
an aggressive scoring mentality (sounds familiar) and a unselfish
passer with the ball on the floor.
Known as a shifty player with an excellent first step that allows him
to blow pass defenders, White will look to add an additional scoring punch with
back court running mate and future NBA rising star Zach Lavine for the
White will also compete with Bulls starter Kris Dunn for the 2019-2020
starting point guard position.
White, who is also known a versatile scorer who can score anywhere on
the floor (this includes getting his own shot off the dribble or any
catch and shoot situations according to scouting reports), will look
to bring his 16.1 points per game from UNC and his excellent free
throw percentage of 80 percent from the line.
In addition to his ability to score the ball and excellent free throw
skills, White also moves well without the basketball.
In last year’s NBA Preseason Draft Board, power forward Daniel Gafford
was ranked among the best when it came to big men who can run the
floor, protect the rim, and score in the low post at any given time.
Gafford, who is often compared to Houston Rockets center Clint Capela,
a player who makes a living in the paint catching alley-oop slams,
running in transition, snagging boards and blocking shots, played
that same role on a nightly basis at the University of Arkansas.
As a freshman, Gafford averaged 11.8 points per game, 6.2 rebounds and
2.2 block shots for the Razorbacks, and will hope to improve those
numbers on the pro level as he joins the Bulls as the 38th pick of the
2019 NBA Draft.
BULLS ADD FREE AGENTS
In their first huge move of the off season, the Chicago Bulls signed
former Indiana Pacer and NBA journey man Thaddeus Young to a three
year, $40.6 million dollar deal in the summer of 2019. Young will look
to bring his veteran presence and leadership to the “young” Bulls
locker-room and attitude of winning after advancing to the playoffs
with the Pacers last season.
In three seasons with the Pacers, Young averaged 11.8 points, 6.2
rebounds and two assists per game. Last season was his most productive
year in Indiana, where he averaged 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5
assists per game despite of seeing his average playing time drop by
almost two minutes.
Following Young’s signing, the Bulls added several more additons in
the off season including former Washington Wizards guard Tomas
Satoransky on a three year $30 million dollar deal (Satoransky was
acquired via sign-and-trade using cap room), scrappy second year guard
Ryan Arcidiacono on a three year $9 million dollar deal, former New
York Knicks center Luke Kornet on a two years $4.5 million dollar deal
(using cap room exception), point guard Shaquille Harrison on a one
year, minimum salary and a two-way contract for guard Adam Mokoka.
POTENTIAL CHICAGO BULLS STARTING LINEUP
Since the off season, the Bulls has now added a few key veterans to
the current core including key guys like: Lauri Markkanen, Wendell
Carter Jr., Zach LaVine, Otto Porter, Coby White and Daniel Gafford.
But in my latest research of the Bulls current roster which features
Ryan Arcidiacono,Perrion Callandret, Wendell Carter, Jr., Kris Dunn, Cristiano Felicio,
Daniel Gafford, Shaquille Harrison, Chandler Hutchison, Luke Kornet,
Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Adam Mokoka, Otto Porter, Tomas
Satoransky, Justin Simon, Denzel Valentine, Coby White, and Thaddeus
Young, here is my projected starting line up for the 2019-2020 season:
PG: Coby White
SG: Zach LaVine
SF: Otto Porter
PF: Lauri Markkanen
C: Wendell Carter, Jr.