Welcome to the Bulls Podcast, coming to you from BullsPodcast.com. This is where we’ll be bringing you the latest news, reviews, rants, rumors and opinions on the players, coaches and front office of the Chicago Bulls.
I’m your host, Marcus Couch. And with me is our co-host, Mr. Wyse Black.
We’ve got a lot in store for you this episode. Including:
- NBA Rookies survey is out and the Rookies think that Bulls Wendell Carter Jr will have the best career.
- We’ll go over some of our favorite Bulls games on the schedule
- Christiano Felico responds to my calling him out for not posting workouts to social.
- We continue with our expectations for each Bulls player. This week we’re going to wrap it all up and cover the Small Forwards for Chicago.
- More trades to think about with the ESPN Trade Machine
Wendell Carter voted by NBA Rookies to have the Best Career among all 2018 draft picks
In the league's annual rookie survey, via John Schuhmann of NBA.com, Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (#1 pick) and Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Collin Sexton (#8 pick) were picked to be co-Rookies of the Year. They each received 18 percent of the votes, respectively.
The Bulls may have missed out on players like top pick DeAndre Ayton or foreign sensation Luka Doncic, but the other rookies of the NBA feel like Wendell Carter Jr. may have the most potential of them all. It’s clear that the newest players in the NBA see the potential in Carter. This is just confirmation of what we’ve already seen from WCJ during the summer. It's important to take these results with a grain of salt. Since the survey was first conducted back in 2007, rookies have correctly predicted the Rookie of the Year winner just once in nine attempts: Kevin Durant in 2007. But it’s still great news for Bulls Fans long-term as we focus on the rebuilding of the Bulls core players. It’s nice to see that WCJ is getting the recognition and respect from his draft classmates going forward.
The Bulls schedule is out and we’ve been hard at work analyzing the calendar and circling the dates of our favorite matchups. For this segment, we’ll highlight a few of those games and let you know what we’re looking for in each matchup.
Oct. 18, 2018: Opening night against Philadelphia 76ers
Naturally, this is going to be the litmus test for the long season to come. How will the Bulls stack up to one of the East’s current powerhouses? As the season opener, Bulls’ fans optimism and excitement for the new season should be at a peak. The long offseason full of speculation on how this young squad will play and develop together will finally be over. Bulls fans will finally get a taste of meaningful basketball for the first time in months.
Oct. 29, 2018: Dubs in the UC
Despite the fact this matchup is taking place very early in the season, the new-look Bulls are hoping to hold their own against the defending champs, even if a victory proves to be a momentary speed bump on the Warriors’ march towards another championship.
BULLS vs SUNS – Nov 21, 2018 (Wyse)
BULLS vs BUCKS – Nov 28,2018 (Wyse)
BULLS vs KINGS – Dec 10,2018 (Wyse)
Dec. 26, 2018: Bulls vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Last year’s matchup between these two teams featured an epic battle between Zach LaVine and Jimmy Butler. Although Butler won the statistical battle, the Bulls overcame a 17-point deficit thanks to LaVine’s 15 points in the 4th quarter for the late win. What will Round 2 bring us in this post-Christmas match-up? How will the Jabari Parker vs Jimmy Butler matchup play out? What about Wendell Carter Jr vs Karl Anthony Towns? This is going to be a holiday season game to remember for the whole season.
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Christiano Felicio responds to Marcus on IG
We do want to bring to light a reaction that I received on Instagram a few days ago. Listeners to the show may remember that I kind of called out Christiano Felicio for not posting any workout pics. I also made the same comment directly to Felicio on his own instagram page, and he RESPONDED! In essence, he said “If you follow the @chicago Bulls on Instagram they have posted plenty of pictures of my workouts – Just saying (shrug)” Point taken, I apologized to good old #6 and told him that we do get emotional as Bulls fans, and that we’re really counting on him to step it up this year. Let’s see if Christiano actually comes through with it. But listeners to the show can clearly see that I do put my money where my mic is..
Player Expectations – Chicago Bulls Small Forwards
For the last 4 shows we’ve been evaluating the team player by player. As you recall we have covered all of the guards, centers and power forwards. This week we’re going to wrap it all up and evaluate our small forwards.
The Chicago Bulls signed Jabari Parker this offseason to a two year $40 million dollar deal, with the 2nd year of the deal being a team option. The Bulls plan for Parker is for him to be the starting Small Forward going forward. While some fans have doubted that Jabari has the athletic prowess and ability to play the 3, it was his natural position in high school and at Duke University. Jabari also brings back much-needed stability to the Small Forward position. Last year, Denzel Valentine had some reps at the 3 as well as Justin Holiday. If Parker can stay healthy he has some serious potential in being one of the top 3’s in the Eastern Conference. Parker has enough athleticism and scoring talent to bully smaller Small Forwards and he has enough scoring ability to hang with the elite at the position. Through social media, fans have gotten to see the work Jabari has been putting in this off-season. It seems to be that Jabari is slimming down a bit to get leaner and gain quickness to prepare to play Small forward full time. Just as we have said on this very podcast when news of the trade happened. Another plus of having Jabari in the starting lineup is he actually fits Fred Hoiberg’s pace and space system very nicely. Having a wing that can shoot threes and put the ball on the floor is going to benefit Fred Hoibergs offense tremendously. Only time will tell on how Jabari truly fits in with this team but, it’s nice to see a very young high ceiling player get a second chance with his hometown team.
The 14th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft pulled no punches regarding his unhappiness about being in and out of the starting lineup for the Bulls last season. In fact, he sent a message to the coaching staff and front office at the end of the season. “I feel like I should have a bigger role next year,” Valentine said. “I definitely should be a starter coming in. I definitely want to improve and be a for-sure starter on this team.” It took awhile, but the Bulls’ reply came during the last month when they drafted Chandler Hutchinson and signed Jabari Parker, dropping Denzel even further down the rotation chart. He may be able to play some two-guard because of his playmaking, but he obviously will be behind LaVine. Parker will hold down the starting small-forward spot, so any idea of a training-camp battle to fill what looked to be a vacancy is already over before it even gets started. What do we expect from Denzel this season? My opinion is that he will be moved to another team soon. Perhaps he’d like to take his talents to South Beach and spend the last remaining year of Dwayne Wade’s career with his mentor. Denzel’s future with the Bulls is already forseen, and he’s not in it.
Although Hutchison is coming off a solid senior campaign, producing at the NBA level will be a bit more difficult. If he hopes to see meaningful minutes, here are some things he will need to focus on for the upcoming season.
Three Point Shooting – Chandler shot a career best 37.7 percent from deep in his junior season and 35.9 percent from 3-point range last season. As long as he can continue shooting the long ball at a more respectable rate (say mid 40’s in 3PT%), he should have little trouble carving out a spot in the rotation.
Free Throws – Chandler needs to improve his Free Throw percentage. Out of college he’s got just under 69% FT percentage. While it’s not horrible, he should be able to pick that up in the NBA ranks if he wants some meaningful minutes with the team this year.
Defensive Ability – The team is sorely lacking on defense this year and we really need a few of the guys to step up their defensive roles. Hutchison’s numbers have improved each season and he averaged a respectable 1.5 steals per outing last season and 1.9 steals on a 40-minute scale while in college. Additionally, he allowed just .78 points per isolation possession, placing him in the 51st percentile in this category, per NBA.com. While it’s hard to predict how well he can defend at the NBA level due to playing in a zone scheme in college, Hutchison does have the length to be a disruptive force at that end of the floor. Let’s hope he can improve the Bulls overall defensive rating.
And that does it for all of our player expectations for the season. We’re going to actually save all of these and refer back to them at the midway point in the season to see if the players have lived up to our expectations.
POTENTIAL CHICAGO BULLS TRADES 2018-2019 SEASON using http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine
Marcus Proposed Trade:
Three Way Trade with the Hornets and Lakers.
This is a three-way trade that makes sense for all teams. It could happen at the trade deadline. Or even sooner if Lebron is having a meltdown in LaLa Land.
Bulls get Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram from the Lakers, Charlotte gets Robin Lopez, and the LA Lakers get Kemba Walker and Justin Holiday.
This would give the Bulls a very strong PG rotation with Dunn and Ball and adds Brandon Ingram a solid option at small forward to rotate with Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis. Ball is on a 3-year deal and Ingram a 2-year deal. If we choose to keep them beyond next season, it still gives us cap room to sign a MAX contract for someone else to join the Bulls next year.
The Lakers would get an immediate upgrade at the 1 with Kemba Walker to play with LeBron, and Walker is on a 1-year deal, so they are not committed long-term to his $12M salary. They get a solid vet in Justin Holiday as well. It also frees up the Lakers with 2 multi-year contracts, which they will need to do if Lebron’s past history of blowing up pieces around him maintains its usual course.
Charlotte would get Robin Lopez to help rotate the 5 spot with Bismack Biyombo. The pair would actually make a killer duo in Charlotte with a lot of experience between them. Overall, this would help all teams and give the Bulls some decent young pieces for the rebuild. If they work out, they can stay for a few more years. If not, we have some good names to include in a trade package for next year.
Wyse Proposed Trade:
Bulls trade Justin Holiday (SG) to the Sacramento Kings for Ben McLemore (SG)
Next week we will have more guests joining us on the show. For Episode 6 we have Big Dave and Chris (C-Dub) from Bawl! On Bulls. That’s going to be incredible. Can’t wait for next week.
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Until then, Thanks for listening everyone, Go Bulls!