There are 16 games to go. Do you know where your draft lottery positioning is? Oh, wait, you’re the ones asking the questions.
What is Michael Reinsdorf smoking and where can I find some? — Everyone, Chicago
I received roughly 1,283 responses to my interview with the Bulls president and chief operating officer. For those who missed it, Reinsdorf reiterated his faith in the management team of John Paxson and Gar Forman, confirmed — again — that Jim Boylen will return next season and expressed his optimism in the progress of the rebuild the franchise undertook when it traded away Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler.
Most readers and e-mailers found it, shall we say, too positive.
I’d start by reminding that he did add there’s plenty of work that remains. Simply put: The Reinsdorfs believe in the roster construction ability of Paxson and Forman. Ownership watched the team management created from 2003-2005 when it first took over for Jerry Krause. And it watched cheap nba jerseys from china
management build another solid team around Derrick Rose from 2008-2010. In Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr., Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., the Bulls feel they possess four solid, frontline starters. The goal this offseason is to upgrade the point guard position and bench.
I’ve been wrong countless times before, but this nucleus to me has the feel of a slightly better version of that Luol Deng-Kirk Hinrich-Ben Gordon era. Good enough to win 50 regular-season games, make the playoffs but not compete for championships. For me to be wrong, LaVine and/or Markkanen have to be really, really, really good. And that’s certainly possible. The Bulls also could get lucky in this May’s draft lottery and/or pull off a free agency surprise.
That’s why, as they say, they play the games.
It’s been great to see Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen get some “free air” and continuity. For the first time, we’ve been able to have a sustained look at how the future might look with this team. While they look like really solid pillars and potential future All Stars that the team can build around, management has to be concerned with the diminishing play of Kris Dunn as the season has gone on. Do you think that this is the biggest concern for management moving forward and how do you see it playing out? Do you think Dunn will be in Chicago next year or will they go to the draft or free agency? — Andrew R., Melbourne, Australia
I think both will happen. I think Dunn will be in Chicago next season but I also believe management will try to upgrade the point guard position either via the draft or free agency. Dunn remains on his rookie deal. I think he’d make an excellent reserve — an athletic defender with energy. In fact, Boylen has started to stagger his minutes — with Ryan Arcidiacono, no less — to move him off starter’s minutes and playing some with the second unit. This allows Dunn to serve as a primary ballhandler more often and also in more pick-and-roll situations.