hardwood, Uncategorized

Let the Tanking Begin for the Chicago Bulls

Dark days and nights are ahead for the Chicago Bulls. The darkness could last many seasons depending on when management and ownership can construct a roster that is competitive once again. That’s to say, if the disgruntled fanbase provides them with patience they don’t deserve. The rebuild officially began when the Bulls gave away All-Star Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves to be reunited with the one that got away, head coach Tom Thibodeau last offseason.

Jimmy Butler, Tom Thibodeau
Minnesota Timberwolves new shooting guard Jimmy Butler (right) pats head coach Tom Thibodeau on the back during a press conference at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., on Thursday, June 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

The poo-poo plater they received in exchange for Butler is a collection of uncertainty with a package that consisted of an injured Zach LaVine (torn left ACL), defensive-minded non-shooter Kris Dunn, and the No. 7 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft; Lauri Markkanen for an established, clutch, playoff-tested All-Star.

Allow them to introduce themselves:

Now that the Bulls have picked a direction, they can move forward confidently in that direction. The only way for this team to take steps towards a brighter future is by falling all the way to the bottom.

As they are currently constructed, Las Vegas has the over/under at 21.5 wins. That is the lowest of any of the 30 NBA teams. The Bulls will be talentedly inferior the majority of nights they step onto the hardwood. The loosing will come organically as they don’t have the personnel to beat over two-thirds of the league on a nightly basis.

That being said, there are a handful of teams that won’t be as bad as the Bulls but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t susceptible to a loss at the hands of the rebuilding Bulls.

This is where the Bulls can help themselves by making sure they lose those border-line winnable games. Losses that provide developmental opportunities for players on the roster is what the team should strive for. Players like Dunn, Markkanen, Justin Holiday, Bobby Portis and Cristiano Felício. What fans can do is root for their the Bulls by rooting against them. Hoping for the worst is the best possible route to take during this rebuilding process.

Do things right or don’t do them at all. This concept applies to tanking.

So let’s take a look at the schedule and see when those borderline beatable teams will face off against the Bulls. These are must-watch games to make sure the Bulls have the highest odds and most ping-pong balls come the 2018 NBA Draft.

October:

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November:

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December:

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January:

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February:

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March:

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April:

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There you have it, eight-teen possible winnable games for the Bulls during the regular season. Winnable games that if the Bulls are smart they will find a way to lose to better their odds at positioning themselves to select Michael Porter Jr. or Marvin Bagley after the season.

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NCAA Freshman Michael Porter Jr. (left) out of the University of Missouri and Marvin Bagley (right) of Duke University (right) are the consensus top-two NBA prospects ahead of the 2018 NBA Draft  Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Teams are going to have no problem dropping the Bulls into the loss column night-in and night-out during the season. Especially with LaVine missing the beginning of the season as well as Dunn missing time due to a dislocated finger. These are negatives that are actually positives.

Once everyone is healthy, the audition process will be fully underway with the Bulls’ coaching staff and management throwing players at the wall to see who sticks and who is worth keeping around through the immediate and distant future. Especially considering that they will have some spending money the coming off-season to throw at possible realistic free agents like DeMarcus Cousins or Isaiah Thomas as well as their own like restricted free agent LaVine.

Let the losses pile up.

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