We’ll take a look at all 30 teams in the next 30 days as they prepare for the 2017-2018 regular season, which is when the real fireworks begin! Today's team: The Chicago Bulls.
Dwyane Wade’s homecoming was anything but a joyful experience this past season for the Bulls or the perennial All-Star, with the outlook even bleaker now that Jimmy Butler is gone, which is why Wade will reportedly work out a buyout prior to the season starting and take his talents elsewhere.
Even if Wade stays, the Bulls will still be among the worst teams in the NBA this season.
So, sending him on his way only quickens the rebuilding process which this team will likely be in for a few years (at least).
But that’s where it gets really scary for Bulls fans, because rebuilding a franchise means making smart moves through the draft and via trades – two areas the Bulls' brass has been striking out a lot in lately.
They traded Butler, one of the league’s top two-way players, to Minnesota for an athletic wing in Zach LaVine who is still recovering from an ACL injury, and Kris Dunn who had an underwhelming first year in the league.
Chicago also added rookie big man Lauri Markkanen who like most neophytes to the NBA, will need some time to adjust to the faster, stronger, quicker-paced game of the NBA.
That deal was preceded by a string of really bad deals that when you add up all the assets gained and lost, it shows that Chicago gave up two, first-round picks, four second-round picks and Taj Gibson, for a group of players with the “prize” pick-up being Cameron Payne; yes, the same Payne who last season was fifth on their point guard depth chart and if he’s lucky, he may be on the team’s active roster this season.
Bobby Portis and Paul Zipser both showed glimpses of being able to contribute, and will each get plenty of opportunities this season. And veteran big man Robin Lopez can still contribute as well.
But the Bulls don’t have the pieces in place to be a team that will challenge for anything other than the worst record in the NBA this season.
And that is in part why most believe this is going to be a rough, rough season for the Bulls.
Key free agent/draft/trade additions: Zach LaVine (Minnesota); Quincy Pondexter (New Orleans); Kris Dunn (Minnesota).
Key losses: Jimmy Butler (Minnesota); Rajon Rondo (New Orleans).
Rookies of note: Lauri Markkanen
Expectations: 20-62 (Fifth in the Central Division, 15th in the East)