This offseason, the Chicago Bulls finally committed to rebuilding their roster. By trading Jimmy Butler and not bringing back Rajon Rondo, they proved that they are put their future before their present. Expect that to be reflected in their record this season.
ESPN recently tweeted out that, according to their BPI (Basketball Power Index), the Bulls have the best chances to end up with the first overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Draft prospects, take note. pic.twitter.com/OsAiHu9g2w
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) September 21, 2017
While this is a sharp decline from just making the playoffs one year ago, it’s definitely possible.
Last July, I compared their lineup to those of the worst teams in the NBA on paper. It truly showed just how thin they appear to be on paper. The only team that I believed the Bulls had a better lineup than was the Atlanta Hawks. Sure enough, they finished second on the BPI list. The Brooklyn Nets, who finished third, ended up tying with the Bulls in my article.
Chicago chose its direction this offseason, and that direction is a rebuild. Considering how deep the 2018 NBA Draft appears to be, they chose the right time to commit to that.
Missouri small forward Michael Porter Jr., Duke power forward Marvin Bagley III and Real Madrid combo guard Luka Doncic have all been in conversation to be the first pick so far. All three are top-tier talents who would help the Bulls out drastically. Before Bagley declared for the draft, I analyzed Porter and Doncic as possible draft picks for the Bulls back in July. Simply put, they would all be welcome additions to a young team that still needs a true star.
Could Chicago defy the odds and compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference this year? It’s possible. However, it may be better for the sake of the franchise that they end up underachieving this year. If ESPN is any indication, that’s likely to happen.