Image ImageImage Image

Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years

Moderators: HomoSapien, Ice Man, DASMACKDOWN, dougthonus, Payt10, fleet, GimmeDat, kulaz3000, AshyLarrysDiaper, RedBulls23, Tommy Udo 6

MrSparkle
RealGM
Posts: 17,603
And1: 6,764
Joined: Jul 31, 2003
Location: chicago

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#21 » by MrSparkle » Tue Jun 8, 2021 5:08 pm

I actually side with the idea of not comparing our present roster to other teams. Obviously you want to compare your "infrastructure" to that of the best teams (coaching, scouting, training staff), and set up a system for success. But players come and go; injuries come and go. Hell, stars come and go. A mere 3 years ago, did anybody think the Warriors would miss 2 straight post-seasons right now? The Ainge-Cursed Nets are favorites to win a ring?

The thing Cowley said well was that while GarPax fumbled 3 years of tanking/rebuilding, the Hawks did everything right. They added a lot of strong pieces over the years, and have managed to really save face despite tons of injuries and trading the Bird/Lebron of this era for an undersized Curry (which yes, still sounds great).

The league moves faster than we do, at this point. Hardcore fans like us are having a hard time accepting this, but it's the modern way of sports. IMO if you do things right, you're in position to hit a strike (bowling, not baseball) when the lucky break comes along. Lucky breaks happen occassionally to everybody. Drafting Fox and Haliburton, trading Cousins were lucky breaks for SAC - but they had so many other problems it never manifested. GarPax let multiple all-stars go with zero trade returns, had Dinwiddie fall into their lap in exchange for Aaron Gray, watched their 30th defensive pick turn into a top-10 player on an old-CBA contract, and then proceeded to burn the house down.

If you step back and objectively look at the "shape" of the roster - it's clean. Cowley makes it sound like we're on the hook for $80m towards Vucevic and LaVine the next 4 years. I keep saying it; we were in no shape whatsoever to "contend" or even dream of it with GarPax. I'm not sure Luka would've turned things around. There was a lot of back-scene FO drama, questionable coaching hires and a whole lot of uncertainty. Lot different than going into Cuban's happy fist-pump world with a rock solid Carisle foundation, and a calm 40yo Dirk there to pass the torch. Bulls monumentally failed between 2015-2020.

More I think about it, Artunas' goal this year was to fix league perception. Given Temple's, Durant's and other player's comments, sounds like mission accomplished. I still peg whatever's going on here as some kind of transitionary roster. May take up to 5 years to get on a contender track (let alone winning a ring). Sean Marks took the Nets out of a complete dumpster fire in 3 years. He caught a real lucky break with Durant and Kyrie's interest in burning their contenders for Brooklyn, but he also assembled overlooked cheap talent like a wizard.

Watching Gafford perform in DC was a minor salt wound, but we have to be honest with the ceiling of an athletic, undersized garbage man. Otherwise, Artunas' "in and out" chart is still a monumental success:

OUT: Gafford, Dunn, Shaq, Kornet, Wendell, Porter, Hutchison, two picks (likely both end in 8-18 range, with much greater odds of a Coby/Sexton/Wendell than a Kawhi/Giannis)

IN: Temple, Patrick, Vucevic, Theis, Troy, Green, Aminu, Dotson

Seriously, who takes the OUT trade in NBA2K? The IN team wins 10 out of 10 by an average margin of +87 points. :lol: AK's new pickups alone comprise what already appears to be a low-tier but competent NBA rotation. I don't know what that collection of GarPax defensive specialists was supposed to accomplish, other than ride the injury reserve. I guess they expected Lauri and Zach to average 100 PPG as a pair, and let the Gatorade Rec-Squad handle all their defensive assignments.

One more round of (limited) moves this summer, and not surprised if even more moves happen next deadline and next summer, as almost the entire roster comes off the books.
pipfan
General Manager
Posts: 7,638
And1: 1,762
Joined: Aug 07, 2010

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#22 » by pipfan » Tue Jun 8, 2021 5:54 pm

If we don't move up in the lottery-I am fine with an incremental approach.

But, I have argued-let's say we move up. We take out luck, pick BPA and rebuild. Trade Lavine and Vuc-get as many young assets as possible and rebuild. BRK looks unbeatable for the next few years, then you have Philly/Milw/Atl-then we MAYBE could be in the next group. That group will be waiting for an injury to squeak into the 2nd round
Dan Z
General Manager
Posts: 8,917
And1: 3,618
Joined: Feb 19, 2002
Location: Chicago
 

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#23 » by Dan Z » Tue Jun 8, 2021 6:59 pm

Some team will drop and another team will surprise like the Knicks did this season. It happens every year. I'm not sure if the Bulls will be the surprise team, but it could happen.

I imagine that Miami drops a bit because either they'll retain their FA's (Duncan Robinson & Nunn) or they'll look to the 2022 FA market (but I could be wrong...maybe they get Lowry? Or Demar?). That means they'll either be about the same or not as good next year.
GoBlue72391
Assistant Coach
Posts: 3,930
And1: 1,569
Joined: Oct 26, 2009
     

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#24 » by GoBlue72391 » Tue Jun 8, 2021 7:06 pm

Playmaking and defense are the 2 biggest things holding the team back from short term success. I'm not too optimistic on our long term future, but if we can shore up just one of those things that should be enough to push us into the playoffs barring injuries.

I'm not worried about being a "top tier" playoff team next season, I just want to make the playoffs period. Once that happens we can worry about taking the next step.

Sent from my SM-S115DL using RealGM mobile app
Dan Z
General Manager
Posts: 8,917
And1: 3,618
Joined: Feb 19, 2002
Location: Chicago
 

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#25 » by Dan Z » Tue Jun 8, 2021 7:07 pm

pipfan wrote:If we don't move up in the lottery-I am fine with an incremental approach.

But, I have argued-let's say we move up. We take out luck, pick BPA and rebuild. Trade Lavine and Vuc-get as many young assets as possible and rebuild. BRK looks unbeatable for the next few years, then you have Philly/Milw/Atl-then we MAYBE could be in the next group. That group will be waiting for an injury to squeak into the 2nd round


If the Bulls get lucky and end up with someone like Cade then why not continue trying to compete with Lavine and Vuc? Sure Brooklyn is a good team, but those two players at least give us a chance.

Without Lavine and Vuc chances are that next season is bad and the Bulls give up the 2022 pick to Orlando. Are you planning on being bad again the year after that? We'd have the 2023 pick in this scenario, but better hope things get better after that because Orlando would have the 2024 pick.

A team only needs a limited amount of young players. The Bulls would have Cade, Coby and Williams. Plus Lavine and TBJ aren't old.
kodo
RealGM
Posts: 14,921
And1: 9,689
Joined: Oct 10, 2006
Location: Wrigleyville

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#26 » by kodo » Tue Jun 8, 2021 7:10 pm

Bulls are in a better position than the Knicks were last year, and the Knicks made #4 seed.
Nobody had Phoenix as a #2 seed before the CP3 trade.
Nobody had Utah as a #1 seed with no trades.
Nobody had Miami flaming out.
Nobody had Boston flaming out.
Nobody had the former champs flaming out.

Predictions are generally worthless, not saying that Cowley is a hack or anything just that even the best in the business can't accurately predict the NBA.
erasmusmrr
Sophomore
Posts: 147
And1: 17
Joined: May 07, 2006
Location: NY
Contact:

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#27 » by erasmusmrr » Tue Jun 8, 2021 8:45 pm

Porzingas as a salary dump?
User avatar
SalmonsSuperfan
Pro Prospect
Posts: 771
And1: 768
Joined: Feb 14, 2019
 

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#28 » by SalmonsSuperfan » Tue Jun 8, 2021 9:23 pm

This is a pessimistic take, but not an unreasonable one. My optimistic view is that Zach and Vuc are a really good 1-2 scoring punch that should be good enough on offense to carry a team in the playoffs. Unfortunately, the rest of the roster is pretty dreadful on both ends. I think the bulls can take the next step if Coby and Pat turn into starter-caliber NBA players. What are the odds of both of them being that? pretty low, but it's not such a crazy expectation. if we can somehow add a really good '#3' without giving up either one of those guys, I think the future is pretty bright. of course I say this every year and I'm always let down.
Stratmaster
RealGM
Posts: 16,704
And1: 6,320
Joined: Oct 02, 2010
       

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#29 » by Stratmaster » Tue Jun 8, 2021 10:32 pm

Who was expecting the Bulls to go from where they were when AK came in to being a top 4 east team in 2 seasons?

There is no reason the Bulls shouldn't be fighting for the 5/6 seed in the coming season. If they fail to make the playoffs the coach and front office all failed.

From there the options should open up.

Sent from my SM-G965U using RealGM mobile app
meekrab
Head Coach
Posts: 6,356
And1: 3,859
Joined: Dec 15, 2014

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#30 » by meekrab » Tue Jun 8, 2021 10:57 pm

MrSparkle wrote:Watching Gafford perform in DC was a minor salt wound, but we have to be honest with the ceiling of an athletic, undersized garbage man.

We also have to be honest though, there was never going to be the possibility here for Gafford to get the opportunity he's getting in DC. Russ and Beal just create far more chances for a bouncy rim runner than Sato Zach and Thad do.

Otherwise I agree with you.
User avatar
Michael Jackson
RealGM
Posts: 16,905
And1: 3,003
Joined: Jun 15, 2001

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#31 » by Michael Jackson » Tue Jun 8, 2021 11:15 pm

Stratmaster wrote:Who was expecting the Bulls to go from where they were when AK came in to being a top 4 east team in 2 seasons?

There is no reason the Bulls shouldn't be fighting for the 5/6 seed in the coming season. If they fail to make the playoffs the coach and front office all failed.

From there the options should open up.

Sent from my SM-G965U using RealGM mobile app



Yeah them being a contender is unrealistic considering what they were working with. The Vuc trade pushed the timeline up to a playoff team though so next season will be telling. Theoretically we were looking at a playoff run, but the Zach covid protocol and injury blew that up a bit. You don't go after Theis though if you weren't trying to compete this year, you would have also traded Thad etc...
User avatar
Michael Jackson
RealGM
Posts: 16,905
And1: 3,003
Joined: Jun 15, 2001

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#32 » by Michael Jackson » Tue Jun 8, 2021 11:18 pm

meekrab wrote:
MrSparkle wrote:Watching Gafford perform in DC was a minor salt wound, but we have to be honest with the ceiling of an athletic, undersized garbage man.

We also have to be honest though, there was never going to be the possibility here for Gafford to get the opportunity he's getting in DC. Russ and Beal just create far more chances for a bouncy rim runner than Sato Zach and Thad do.

Otherwise I agree with you.



Still in retrospect, if Theis walks, keeping Gafford might have been better long term to hold on too. We need the big bodies right now, but I get the idea behind making a run at Theis and you can always find another buy like Gafford.
MrSparkle
RealGM
Posts: 17,603
And1: 6,764
Joined: Jul 31, 2003
Location: chicago

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#33 » by MrSparkle » Tue Jun 8, 2021 11:30 pm

Michael Jackson wrote:
meekrab wrote:
MrSparkle wrote:Watching Gafford perform in DC was a minor salt wound, but we have to be honest with the ceiling of an athletic, undersized garbage man.

We also have to be honest though, there was never going to be the possibility here for Gafford to get the opportunity he's getting in DC. Russ and Beal just create far more chances for a bouncy rim runner than Sato Zach and Thad do.

Otherwise I agree with you.



Still in retrospect, if Theis walks, keeping Gafford might have been better long term to hold on too. We need the big bodies right now, but I get the idea behind making a run at Theis and you can always find another buy like Gafford.


I really don't think Gafford would've worked here. I imagine Donovan and Artunas want to implement a system with higher-IQ sets. Obviously high on big man creation, if Thad, Vucevic and the failed attempts with Wendell were any hint. Gafford's got no fundamentals; he's pure athleticism and energy. Great for a team that gives the ball two guys and lets them do whatever they want for 48 minutes. I'll hand it to Gafford; if there's an open path to the rim, he's NBA Jamming it.

It's another thing I like about AK's no-BS style. Player doesn't fit the team style? Move on (so long it's not a generational talent). GarPax kept these guys around as assets and just wanted to horde cheap young talent for some imaginary purpose. I actually liked Shaq and Dunn's defensive contribution, but seeing them cut with no hesitation was a relief. It's not like we lost Tony Allen and Dennis Rodman.
User avatar
kulaz3000
Forum Mod - Bulls
Forum Mod - Bulls
Posts: 38,245
And1: 19,294
Joined: Oct 25, 2006

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#34 » by kulaz3000 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 4:54 am

dougthonus wrote:The Knicks were a 47 win team on a pro-rated basis and were fourth.

Ignore the talent, ignore the names on the rosters. If the Bulls can take care of themselves and add a bit of talent, the jump up to 45ish wins isn't that dramatic based on the talent they have.

I don't know if everything will go well for them, but it sure as heck wouldn't be shocking if they make some type of improvement this off-season and with a healthy Zach/Vuc that we could make it to 45 wins.

I mean, my view on being a 45 win team that's going to need to be rebuild in 2-3 years is kind of "so what", but I don't think it is long odds to get there. It'd be incredibly disappointing if this team can't pull off at least 41 wins next season.


Yep, I'd be really surprised if we aren't a shoe-in for the playoffs next season, PROVIDED we can stay healthy, especially with Zach and Vuc. With Nikola he has been a little up and down as far as hell goes, and with Zach, after his last ACL injury he has been relatively healthy for the most part. I'd like to see those two play at least 80% of the season together.

When it comes to health though, anything goes with the Bulls, but it will be a refreshing change if we can finally muster a healthy season for the majority of our roster. If we do remain relatively healthy, but still end up being a lottery team, it's time to just retool and start anew - make an early decision, and not wait out.
Why so serious?
MrSparkle
RealGM
Posts: 17,603
And1: 6,764
Joined: Jul 31, 2003
Location: chicago

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#35 » by MrSparkle » Wed Jun 9, 2021 1:57 pm

kulaz3000 wrote:
dougthonus wrote:The Knicks were a 47 win team on a pro-rated basis and were fourth.

Ignore the talent, ignore the names on the rosters. If the Bulls can take care of themselves and add a bit of talent, the jump up to 45ish wins isn't that dramatic based on the talent they have.

I don't know if everything will go well for them, but it sure as heck wouldn't be shocking if they make some type of improvement this off-season and with a healthy Zach/Vuc that we could make it to 45 wins.

I mean, my view on being a 45 win team that's going to need to be rebuild in 2-3 years is kind of "so what", but I don't think it is long odds to get there. It'd be incredibly disappointing if this team can't pull off at least 41 wins next season.


Yep, I'd be really surprised if we aren't a shoe-in for the playoffs next season, PROVIDED we can stay healthy, especially with Zach and Vuc. With Nikola he has been a little up and down as far as hell goes, and with Zach, after his last ACL injury he has been relatively healthy for the most part. I'd like to see those two play at least 80% of the season together.

When it comes to health though, anything goes with the Bulls, but it will be a refreshing change if we can finally muster a healthy season for the majority of our roster. If we do remain relatively healthy, but still end up being a lottery team, it's time to just retool and start anew - make an early decision, and not wait out.


Every team has a build-up of injuries, though. The difference is their backups and their backups aren’t Valentine, Arci, Felicio and Kornet.

Important to just scout/stock a quality 8-12 (or push back our primaries), the cheapest part of the payroll. Indiana did it with their small town appeal - we can do it too.
User avatar
coldfish
Forum Mod
Forum Mod
Posts: 53,114
And1: 24,187
Joined: Jun 11, 2004
Location: Right in the middle
   

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#36 » by coldfish » Wed Jun 9, 2021 5:13 pm

The promise of AK was that he was going to put an organizational system in place to develop players. That didn't happen last year. Lauri improved and then was marginalized, Wendell looked bad and was dumped, Coby looked terrible before having the same late season surge he had last year, Pat seemed to get worse as the year went on.

Overall, last year was terrible. Outside of developing young guys, the team really doesn't have a path forward to significant improvement.

Chicago's core issue is the draft. With Pat looking terrible, it sure looks like the team has drafted poorly ever year since 2011. No team can handle that level of drafting and succeed.
GoBlue72391
Assistant Coach
Posts: 3,930
And1: 1,569
Joined: Oct 26, 2009
     

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#37 » by GoBlue72391 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 5:25 pm

coldfish wrote:The promise of AK was that he was going to put an organizational system in place to develop players. That didn't happen last year. Lauri improved and then was marginalized, Wendell looked bad and was dumped, Coby looked terrible before having the same late season surge he had last year, Pat seemed to get worse as the year went on.

Overall, last year was terrible. Outside of developing young guys, the team really doesn't have a path forward to significant improvement.

Chicago's core issue is the draft. With Pat looking terrible, it sure looks like the team has drafted poorly ever year since 2011. No team can handle that level of drafting and succeed.
I generally agree with this take, but you've got to give it more time. I'm a PWill skeptic, but his drafting was never about this year. In 2019 the drafting of Lauri looked like a massive W, now just 2 years later it's looking questionable at best.

Sent from my SM-S115DL using RealGM mobile app
User avatar
TheStig
RealGM
Posts: 13,969
And1: 3,585
Joined: Jun 18, 2004
Location: Get rid of GarPaxDorf

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#38 » by TheStig » Wed Jun 9, 2021 5:30 pm

erasmusmrr wrote:Porzingas as a salary dump?

I had been a big KP fan but he's rapidly approaching damaged goods status.
User avatar
Brothaman33
Junior
Posts: 333
And1: 228
Joined: Feb 25, 2009

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#39 » by Brothaman33 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 5:53 pm

coldfish wrote:The promise of AK was that he was going to put an organizational system in place to develop players. That didn't happen last year. Lauri improved and then was marginalized, Wendell looked bad and was dumped, Coby looked terrible before having the same late season surge he had last year, Pat seemed to get worse as the year went on.

Overall, last year was terrible. Outside of developing young guys, the team really doesn't have a path forward to significant improvement.

Chicago's core issue is the draft. With Pat looking terrible, it sure looks like the team has drafted poorly ever year since 2011. No team can handle that level of drafting and succeed.


Yea, I'm about of the same mindset. I agreed with the large majority of their moves, but none of it worked. The bulls pretty much sucked last year. I liked AKME, really liked the Donovon hire, was a fan of the trade and P-Will but...

They just sucked still.

As much as they went on about being serious at winning, and changing the culture and blah blah blah... they still just sucked.

I dunno, is it possible the new regime just started off with some bad moves? Unlucky? Talented guys making the wrong moves? Seems like that to me.
"Thibs and Deng make Skiles and Duhon look like a one night stand" - Red Larrivee
User avatar
coldfish
Forum Mod
Forum Mod
Posts: 53,114
And1: 24,187
Joined: Jun 11, 2004
Location: Right in the middle
   

Re: Cowley: Bulls chances to be a top tier playoff (top 4-7) are pretty thin over the next 2 years 

Post#40 » by coldfish » Wed Jun 9, 2021 6:36 pm

Brothaman33 wrote:
coldfish wrote:The promise of AK was that he was going to put an organizational system in place to develop players. That didn't happen last year. Lauri improved and then was marginalized, Wendell looked bad and was dumped, Coby looked terrible before having the same late season surge he had last year, Pat seemed to get worse as the year went on.

Overall, last year was terrible. Outside of developing young guys, the team really doesn't have a path forward to significant improvement.

Chicago's core issue is the draft. With Pat looking terrible, it sure looks like the team has drafted poorly ever year since 2011. No team can handle that level of drafting and succeed.


Yea, I'm about of the same mindset. I agreed with the large majority of their moves, but none of it worked. The bulls pretty much sucked last year. I liked AKME, really liked the Donovon hire, was a fan of the trade and P-Will but...

They just sucked still.

As much as they went on about being serious at winning, and changing the culture and blah blah blah... they still just sucked.

I dunno, is it possible the new regime just started off with some bad moves? Unlucky? Talented guys making the wrong moves? Seems like that to me.


Agree with everything you wrote.

I have 3 areas for hope:
- I do think its possible for both Pat and Coby to play better. Coby clearly isn't a PG but was asked to be for most of the season. When his role changed to more of a SG, he played better. Pat showed small flashes.
- The rotations after the Vucevic trade were problematic. It wasn't hard to figure out that Theis was who should be PF but they went with Thad. Then when they figured things out, Lavine went out on protocols. Then when Lavine came back, the team was out of contention. We only saw glimpses of a proper rotation.
- All through the year, the team was getting murdered by the refs and losing close games at a level I have never seen before. I have difficulty thinking that will continue.

I don't see a title winner here but I do think the team is capable of being much better than they looked last year. At the same time, I can't argue results. They sucked and it seemed like most decisions ended up looking bad.

Return to Chicago Bulls