Kobblehead wrote:I took all Lavine's early career mistakes with a grain of salt because I think he was the least polished lotto pick in my memory. As a prospect, he was barely even a basketball player. He was literally just an freak athlete on UCLA's bench that wowed scouts during the predraft process.
Where he's at right now is astounding to me and where he'll be as he continues to fine-tune his game has me excited about his and the Bulls' future.
I agree with your previous post about how many games some of the Bulls' young core missed last year-- Lavine, Markkanen, and Carter-- and also must add that the Bulls were tanking much of the year, so their previous record shouldn't be held against them.
It's also important to note that not only did they add Thad, but also (and maybe more importantly) Satoranský.
White may or may not be a hit; I'm not sold. But strictly for this coming year:
Is a pretty competitive starting 5, with Thad Young as a 6th man (possibly playing as many minutes as one of the above-named forwards).
I don't see them as having that high of a ceiling, though.
Re: Porter, I could easily see the Bulls letting him walk. He'll be a UFA after the season, and could command $30M on the market, and the Bulls can only afford to pay so many of their young players.
Re: Lavine, while a lot better than I thought he would be when he originally came to the team, still reminds me of Jalen Rose. He could be a valuable piece on a very strong, veteran team, but as a lead piece on a young team I'm not convinced. He's a sieve on defense and hasn't shown the highest BBIQ.
Re: Markkanen, I like the guy, quality player, but a superstar? Someone who'll take over games? Seems doubtful.
Carter is very, very solid. A core of Carter, Lavine, and Markkanen could also be high quality with the right players added alongside. But will it ever be elite? Seems doubtful to me.
Plus, the team still needs to start playing defense. At least they got rid of Fred Hoiberg, who never should have been an NBA head coach (at least at this point in time). But while Jim Boylen is solid-- I keep using that word with the Bulls-- I don't see him as a miracle worker.
In short, the Bulls look to be able to claim a post-Butler "rebuild" to the point of being a borderline playoff team after two years of Tank City. A borderline playoff team will fill enough luxury boxes to keep ownership happy. And if they get a fluke good-health year and everyone stays healthy, they could even be a to 4 or 5 EC team for the year. But that'd just be for this year. Porter might walk in the offseason. And unless they can sign a superstar FA in the next few years, something that they've never been able to do-- and man, Chicago is given way too hard of a time as a destination city, because it's a tremendous place with the sole misfortune of being cold 7 months out of the year-- I can't really see them becoming a serious title contender.