The Chicago Bulls: the Play-In team

The Chicago Bulls were once at the top of their game, but their chances of success this year are slim. (Royalty-free photo by Philbert Pembani via

By Ray Gonzalez, Reporter

Think of an ex-super team that has been out of glory for decades: after the retirement of one of the greatest players of all time, the whole team has worked to finally bring the spotlight back in hopes of reclaiming the glory, but will inevitably fail.

The Chicago Bulls are a sports franchise owned by Jerry Reinsdorf. The Bulls roster consists of two superstars, a few NBA veterans and a decent supporting cast.

The superstars of the team are of course DeMar DeRozen and Zach Lavine. DeRozen, a 33-year-old NBA veteran who is able to put up 20-plus points a game easily, lacks outside shooting. He does not take as many three pointers as other well-known superstars do. But, to not undermine his greatness, DeRozen is also able to average 21 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists for his career.

DeRozen has also been able to prove his superstar role by being elected as an all-star team five different times in his career, with the most impressive being his latest, achieved last year when he was 32. 

The second Bulls superstar, Lavine, is a 27-year-old player who, over the course of his career, has been able to average 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.

I think DeMar DeRozen and Zach Lavine are not so good basketball players, and that the Bulls suck,” said junior Zachary Wiegele.

Despite what some may say, both DeRozen and Lavine average nearly the same amount of points, an impressive number overall. But for a team to win a championship, they need a good supporting cast behind them. 


The Bulls’ Supporting Cast

Lonzo Ball a defensive threat and below-average offensive threat, unfortunately, is out because of injury this season. Nikola Vučević, the starting center for the Bulls with an above-average offensive end of the court, but a below-average defensive end ever since he came to Chicago, is hardly going to carry the team.

Other cast members include Ayo Dosunmu, the starting point guard for the Chicago Bulls. Even though he is only a sophomore in the NBA, Dosunmu should be praised for starting last year as a second round draft pick rookie.

The off-season moves made by the Bulls franchise have been a bit underwhelming. The team only signed on two veteran players over the summer, those being a decent point guard, Goran Dragić, and a great rebounder, Andre Drummond

“I feel like they didn’t do much, getting two old, washed people in free agency. That’s not gonna help them win the championship, and they won’t win one for a while,” said Wiegele.

The Competition Looms

Considering their weak roster compared to the other formidable teams in the Eastern conference, the Bulls hardly have a chance. The juggernauts of the East, as most NBA fans would agree, the Bucks, are lightyears better than the Bulls. The Bucks have a two-time MVP in Giannis Antetokoumpo and decent depth on their roster. 

The Celtics are another team to watch, after they just reached the finals last year. Their team consists of superstar Jayson Tatum, their DPOY (Defensive Player of The Year) guard, Marcus Smart, and all-star potential Jaylen Brown. The Celtics have a good defensive center in Robert Williams but are not, by any means, an offensive threat.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are another team threatening the Bulls’ chances of a deep playoff run. The Cavs have good balance of defense and offense ever since they traded for Donovan Mitchell (an all-star player). They have a promising rookie in Evan Mobley, a great guard in Darius Garland, and the addition of a good scorer in Mitchell.

The Brooklyn Nets are also one of the teams that could sweep the Bulls if they have all of their players actually play. The team has two superstars under the organization, including a top 20 player in NBA history: Kevin Durant, the great near 7-foot scoring talent. Nets ball-handling wizard Kyrie Irving is also a threat. Durant averaged nearly 30 points a game and Kyrie averaged 27 points a game last season. 

“[The Nets are] lowkey bad now, but they’ll get better now that Steve Nash is fired,” said junior Nathan Mruk.

Yet another threat in the Eastern conference – because of the second-place finisher in MVP (for two straight seasons) Joel Embiid and an ex-MVP in James Harden – comes from the 76ers. Both Embiid and Harden averaged over 20 points last season, and Embiid won the NBA scoring title, averaging 30 points a game. The 76ers line-up also includes promising point guard Tyrese Maxey, who earned 17 points a game on average last season, and is now starting the season with a mean 25 points a game.

Other key competition this year comes from the Miami Heat, with the great defense and offense of Jimmy Butler, the great center Bam Adebayo, and veteran point guard Kyle Lowry. The Raptors, with their ROTY (Rookie of the Year winner) Scottie Barnes, in addition to Pascal Siakam, both of whom are able to provide good offense and defense, are a formidable team (and do not forget they have their defensive menace OG Anunoby)

Last but not least, the Hawks franchise, with its gifted point guard scorer, Trae Young, in addition to offensive and defensive threat Dejounte Murray, have a chance this year. They picked up a few decent pieces in the off-season, all of whom are surrounded by all-stars Clint Capela, the defensive anchor, and power forward John Collins.

“They ‘iceyyyyyy’ and one of the most underrated teams in the league,” said Mruk.

Chicago Bulls Central

The Bulls’ Chances this Season

If they want any hope of the playoffs this year, the Chicago Bulls need to increase the supporting cast around the superstars of the team. But realistically, they will not be able to bring on any other players, and so they will have to deal with post-season loss, as they did last year. After losing the Play-In tournament next spring, the Bulls will probably fade into obscurity.

“I believe the Bulls’ greatest strength this season is they are very well-constructed and a very deep team with a pretty good bench. They also have good players, such as DeRozen and Lavine. But I think their weakness is we haven’t seen them do anything in the playoffs, and DeRozen is a very good player in the regular season, but doesn’t really do well in the playoffs. Also, there are lots of other good teams in the East that the Bulls will probably play in the first round,” said junior Eric Deguzman.

Still, the Bulls have no option but to try and rebuild the team. The franchise’s mediocrity stands no chance in the post-season. The best way of rebuilding would be to trade away the “all-stars” of the team. In doing so, the Bulls might be able to get better draft picks, possibly increasing the Bulls’ chances of a championship.

The owner and General Manager of the Bulls, Marc Eversley, will likely sustain the status-quo of the team: he thinks the best way to run a team is to try and win now. Eversley is not patient enough to try and build a new team from the ground up.