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.
(Opening: Derrick Walton Jr. and Derrick Walton Sr.)
Joining us today is our very first guest on the show. We couldn’t think of a better person to be the first. While we are only on episode #4, he’s actually approaching Episode 400. We’re pleased to welcome Fred Pfeiffer, AKA “See Red Fred” from the Chicago Bullseye podcast.
We’ve got a lot in store for you this episode. Including:
- The state of the Bulls Fan – Are we all mental? Or is there really something to be enthusiastic about?
- Bulls sign point guard Derrick Walton Jr from Miami.
- We continue with our expectations for each Bulls player. Last show we covered all the Guards. This week we’re going to cover the Power Forwards for Chicago.
- More trades to think about with the ESPN Trade Machine
State of the Bulls Fan
Lately I’ve seen so many reports and predictions for the upcoming Bulls season. Last week we laughed at Vegas oddsmakers and ESPN for their projections of under 30 wins and no playoffs. Even NBA-TV has dissed the Bulls upcoming year, again knocking them from any possible playoff expectation. One commentator I heard on NBA-TV referred to the Bulls as “A young core that may be too young” Too young?
What is the proper expectation for a Bulls fan? Are we looking for too much this year? Is there something that the “See Red” blinders are preventing us from seeing that everyone else sees?
What’s going on? We’re a city that’s endured sports draughts that can last a century. Why are we dissed by everyone, knowing that we have a really good group of players that can do great things?
Derrick Walton Jr. Signs with the Chicago Bulls
Bulls sign point guard Derrick Walton Jr from Miami. The Heat had rescinded their qualifying offer for Walton, making him an unrestricted free agent. Walton (6-1, 189) was undrafted in 2017, but signed with the Miami Heat on a Two-Way contract on July 24, 2017. In the 2017-18 season, he played in 16 games for the Heat and averaged 1.8 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 9.2 minutes per game. Walton posted a season-high seven points and five assists in a win against the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 22, 2017. During his time in the NBA G League with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Walton started in all 27 games in which he played, and he posted 16.1 points, 7.1 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.48 steals in 32.4 minutes per game.
The Detroit native played four seasons at the University of Michigan, where he holds career averages of 11.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.15 steals in 31.9 minutes per game. Walton is the only player in Wolverine history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists in his career. As a senior in 2016-17, he was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team and the Big Ten Tournament Most Valuable Player.
Player Evaluations – Chicago Bulls Power Forwards
Last show we started to evaluate the team player by player. As you recall we have covered all of the guards and centers. This week we’re going to evaluate our power forwards.
Wendell Carter Jr.
There are lots of expectations for WCJ this year. Mostly of his own making. We were not really expecting the savage defender and shot-blocker that showed up at Summer League this year. He shocked everyone to the point that there was even talk going around that the wrong Duke player was picked first in the draft! What do we expect from WCJ for the upcoming season? Is Rookie of the Year out of the realm of possibility?
When he started, it was all about #FreeBobbyPortis. Once he was free, he tore up the rims and shot it from outside unlike any big man the Bulls have had. Bobby had a rough start to last year with knocking out Niko and all, but he rebounded quickly. It was obvious that the Bulls wanted Bobby over Niko. But what will Bobby be doing this year with the likes of Jabari Parker and Wendell Carter Jr? He played in every game last season, barring the suspension games. He improved in almost every category dropping 13.2 points per game on 47% shooting. Is this the year that Bobby makes the run for 6th man of the year, or are we all hoping that he does just good enough before the trade deadline so that we can move him for a more important piece of the rebuild?
What can we say about “The Finnisher”? He’s surpassed any expectation and made Gar/Pax look like the geniuses of the league by trading away Jimmy Butler and getting a lot in return. Lauri wasn’t going to win Rookie of The Year last year due to the Ben Simmons Hype, but he had a pretty amazing year last season. A lot of this was due to the Bobby Portis / Niko fiasco, but it was a silver lining in a very dark Bulls cloud. With the re-signing of Zach Lavine and addition of Jabari Parker, Lauri is going to get a lot of action right out of the gate. Practically the entire team centers around the growth of Lauri Markkanen. We have so much hype going on for Lauri that it’s going to be surprising if he can actually live up to all of it. Do we assume that Lauri will be an All Star this year? It’s probably unlikely this year, but he will have his time soon. Where do we place Lauri among his career growth and projected path to stardom during the upcoming season? Is this a breakout year for him or is what we’re already getting good enough?
POTENTIAL CHICAGO BULLS TRADES 2018-2019 SEASON
Fred Proposed Trade:
Chicago trades Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis to Minnesota for Karl Anthony Townes and Tyrus Jones.
Marcus Proposed Trade:
Bulls trade Robin Lopez, Cameron Payne and Bobby Portis to Boston for Kyrie Irving and protected 1st or 2nd round pick.
Kyrie Irving just refused a contract extension in Boston, which means that the Celtics are probably looking to move him out of town. There are rumors of the Knicks or Lakers, but it’s my feeling that Chicago would be a better landing spot for Kyrie for a long term home than chasing a ring. It’s been rumored that the Knicks would team up Kyrie with Jimmy Butler. That would be a terrible team! We should do this trade instead. It would free up Robin Lopez, which would accelerate the playing time for Wendell Carter Jr, and we would be able to get some room for another max contract next year if we remove Jabari Parker from the lineup. Bobby Portis is going to be looking for big money at the end of his contract, and he’s just not worth it. He’s barely a starter. Cam Payne.. Listeners of the show already know where Cam ranks in my book. We wouldn’t need him at all if we get Kyrie and move Dunn to backup PG.
Wyse Proposed Trade:
Chicago Bulls trade Robin Lopez, Wendell Carter Jr, Justin Holiday and Denzel Valentine for New Orleans Anthony Davis.
Fred on Twitter – @cbefred
Chicago Bullseye – http://chicagobullseye.com/
Thanks for listening everyone, Go Bulls!