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.
We’ve got a lot in store for you this episode. Including:
- Who leads the team for NBA award consideration this year?
- Wyse lays down “The BET” and will be back to Vegas to collect!
- Listeners iTunes Reviews
- What do the CAVS fans think of the young Bulls? You may be surprised!
- More trades to think about with the ESPN Trade Machine
Who leads the team for NBA award considerations this year?
Reading Hoops Habit’s Latest projections, they indicate who on the Bulls would be most likely to receive one of the coveted NBA awards. This is very early in the season, but let’s explore who would be in consideration for the various awards if the circumstances were right.
Rookie of The Year: Wendell Carter Jr.
The Bulls’ best rookie is clearly Carter, but the chances of him winning the Rookie of the Year award are probably not all that great as he may be coming off the bench for a good portion of the season.
Most Improved Player: Zach LaVine, Jabari Parker
There a few players on the Bulls’ roster who could qualify for the MIP on the team. Kris Dunn took a huge step following an underwhelming rookie season in the Twin Cities. Bobby Portis turned in a pretty solid season (more on that in a bit). Lauri Markkanen, put together a solid rookie season as well and proved that he is more than just a shooter.
As impressive as this trio was, the two players that will be discussed are Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker. LaVine played in just 24 games last season following an ACL injury that kept on the shelf for nearly a year.
While both players have proven to be respectable scorers, neither of them is known for playing defense at a halfway decent level. If either of them shows noticeable improvement in this area next season, they would have to be the favorite to win the award as far as this Bulls roster is concerned.
Sixth Man of the Year: Bobby Portis
Bobby Portis’ 2017-18 season didn’t exactly begin on the highest of notes. In fact, he got into an altercation with former teammate Nikola Mirotic. The result was Mirotic missed 23 games with a concussion and multiple facial fractures while Portis was handed an eight-game suspension.
This incident could have been the beginning of the end for Portis, but he bounced back nicely, to say the least. He posted career highs in nearly every statistical category, and he extended his perimeter game to the 3-point line, knocking down 35.9 percent of his attempts.
In light of being one of the most consistent performers off the bench last season, it should come as no surprise that Portis would get the most consideration of any player on the roster. In addition to that, Portis was only one of three players to post 21 points, 10 rebounds and 1.5 3-pointers per contest on a 36-minute scale.
The other two players were Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins.
Last season’s winner, Lou Williams, put up 22.6 points and 5.3 assists per contest in 60 appearances off the bench for the Los Angeles Clippers. Needless to say, those numbers are a bit beyond Portis’ range for the time being.
Even though he won’t win the league award, he should receive more consideration than he did a year ago.
Defensive Player of the Year: Kris Dunn
After being taken with the No. 5 overall pick two years ago, Dunn didn’t have a season to remember during his rookie campaign with the Minnesota Timberwolves. His averages of 3.8 points, 2.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds per contest on shooting splits of .377/.288/.610 didn’t give Bulls fans a lot to look forward to when he was included in last year’s draft-night trade that sent Jimmy Butler to Minnesota.
With a coaching staff that wasn’t afraid to give him the ball in key situations, though, Dunn played much better in Year 2, as he averaged 13.4 points, 6.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per contest. Furthermore, not only did Dunn lead the Bulls in steals with two per contest, but that average would have allowed him to finish just ahead of Butler (had he played in enough games to qualify), who averaged 2.0 steals per outing en route to earning an All-Defensive Second Team selection.
Being that the Bulls will be better than the 27-win team we saw last season, Dunn’s effort at that end of the floor should get more attention. That’s the good news.
Unfortunately for Bulls fans, his chances of winning the award are very slim, considering the players who have emerged as the best of the best in this category (Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green and Rudy Gobert, to name a few) the past few seasons.
MVP: Lauri Markkanen
During his lone season with the Arizona Wildcats, Lauri Markkanen compiled averages of 15.6 points and 7.2 boards per contest. Thanks to the fact that he shot 42.3 percent from 3-point range, he was considered to be one of the best shooting big men in the 2017 draft class.
At the time the Bulls acquired his draft rights from the Timberwolves, LaVine was actually considered the focal point of the trade. Initially, Markkanen was supposed to be brought along at a deliberate pace, but that plan was scrapped when Portis and Mirotic were out of the lineup for a total of 31 games to start the year.
Markkanen made the most of his opportunity as he averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest while knocking 36.2 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. For those who thought that Markkanen was just a shooter, I think New York Knicks’ big man Enes Kanter would agree that there’s more to Markkanen’s skill-set than meets the eye.
Unfortunately, being that LeBron James continues to get better with time, along with Kevin Durant and two-time MVP winner Stephen Curry being able to put up otherworldly performances on any given night, it will be at least a few years before he receives league-wide recognition in this category.
Wyse Makes “THE BET” in Las Vegas!
So you’ve heard our reactions to Las Vegas claiming that the Bulls won’t be any better than last year. Next week I’ll be driving to Vegas on business (as it’s only a 3 hour drive for me) and I’ll be laying down a bet. But our own Wyse Black was the first on the show to put his money where his heart is and he put down a bet on the Bulls.
Listener iTunes Reviews:
We are now on iTunes, and the last few weeks we have been getting our requests to everyone to leave a review for us on iTunes. You may not know that the amount of reviews and the review score is one of the main ways in which iTunes ranks a podcast in their directory. Right now we’re a new show, so we rank pretty low. With your help and a bunch more reviews every week we can certainly make a good run for being one of the top Bulls pods out there.
Here’s a few of the most recent reviews:
Let's Go! (5 Stars) by Tee contact – Aug 18th, 2018
“Glad you all got into Apple pod. I love the content and always looking for more Bulls info”
Love It! (5 stars) by R_bal88 – Aug 25, 2018
“Hands down the best Bulls Podcast”
Remember, we are a new show and we do need your support in social media. We’ve made it really easy to find us with some special redirect links.
Facebook Group: http://bullspodcast.com/facebook
The Cleveland Cavs fan base thinks the Bulls will be no problem!
I was a bit shocked to read what Cavs Nation recently put out, talking about the season matchups they think they have the upper hand on. One of them is the Bulls. In the article, they actually have the feeling that they are a playoff bound team again, even without LeBron.
What was completely hilarious was this line:
“The starting lineup is respectable, but Chicago’s lack of depth is what is going to hurt them. Aside from Cristiano Felicio, Denzel Valentine, Justin Holiday, and Bobby Portis, the Bulls don’t really have any legitimate NBA-level role players. And that’s going to be crucial when playing the Cavaliers.”
The Cavs’ best gameplan against Chicago is to exploit their severe lack of solid guards. Where the Bulls lack, the Cavaliers have in surplus. It’s easy to guess how things will go when Antonius Cleveland is matched up against Rodney Hood or Cedi Osman. George Hill and former Bull David Nwaba should be able to slow LaVine enough to the point where Lauri Markkanen is the biggest threat.
Even though Love is a stretch-four, he is not a good defender, meaning Markkanen should be able to score somewhat easily, even against Nance, Cleveland’s best defensive big. Zizic isn’t known for his defense, but may have to defend Markkanen just because he is similar in size. Of course, Markkanen could be countered with a simple double team, which isn’t a bad idea, because Chicago doesn’t have a plethora of sharpshooters who will make you regret leaving them open.
It would be great if the Cavs could sweep the four-game season series, but we have no idea what to expect from this team right now. Going 3-1 should be the goal, as Chicago is likely headed for another bottom 10 finish. The first two games against the Bulls should be a good litmus test for the rest of the season. If Cleveland struggles, maybe the playoffs aren’t as close as we initially thought.
POTENTIAL CHICAGO BULLS TRADES 2018-2019 SEASON
Marcus Proposed Trade:
Bulls Trade Cam Payne (PG) to Minnesota for Jeff Teague (PG)
Yeah, it sounds a bit crazy at first, but hear me out. This solves a lot of issues for both teams. First, Chicago has a point guard problem. Minnesota has a cap problem.. They are way into the luxury tax and will need some serious cash to resign Karl Anthony Towns next year. Jimmy Butler is going to drive the team insane this year, and my guess is the whole thing will blow up in Thibs face, especially if he plans on bringing Deng and Noah back from the dead.
What the Bulls get is a solid point guard that can be around for a few years as we rebuild. We can’t wait two years to get a decent pair of guys to rotate in and out at the 1. This solves that problem instantly.
For Minnesota, this is strictly an accounting issue. My guess is that by next year, Cam Payne isn’t even in the league. If he is, it’s a league minimum deal. This clears up $19 million for Minnesota to spend on a free agent.
For the Bulls, it finally gives us some depth, with Dunn leading the second unit with Jabari Parker filling in the gaps, as he would likely be the first one to the bench and first one off the bench to lead the second unit til the starters check back in.
I like the trade if we could do it. Minnesota will like the money in the bank and being out of the red in terms of cap space and luxury tax.
Remember to subscribe to our show. Visit Bullspodcast.com/subscribe to get all the links to where we are. We are on iTunes/Apple Podcasts now, so we do want you to subscribe to us there and also give us a 5 star review and your feedback on the show as well. Just like in today’s show, we’ll read them out as we get them, so get yours in now to be on the next show! We have a surprise coming soon for our intro.. You’re all going to freak out when you hear who we got to do the intro for us. You’ll have to keep listening to the show to find out.
Next week we’re going to have another guest show. I’ll save who it is, but it’s guaranteed to be a great episode next week as well.
Until then, Thanks for listening everyone, Go Bulls!