The NBA has some promising young teams, Simon Villanoz , is writing a four part series about the most promising young teams in the NBA. This is the second part of the series if you want to read part one about the Los Angeles Lakers. Here is part two: and it’s about the team from the Windy City, The Chicago Bulls.
This is a team that can easily flip the switch from missing the playoffs to being a top 4 team in the Eastern Conference next year. Bulls fans should not be discouraged by their record or this year’s turnout, but be excited for next season. Let’s start with probably one of the least known players out of their young core in Lauri Markkanen.
The Finnish standout has been a nice surprise for the Chicago Bulls this season. Many considered him to be a project player for years to come despite being an absolute sniper at Arizona. A number of experts, including myself as a fan, were concerned about his rebounding abilities and his strength coming into the NBA. I’m happy that he proved me wrong. Markkanen was averaging 15.3 points and 7.7 rebounds before the All Star break, which is way better than what a lot of people expected out of him this season. Oh and in case you missed it, he also became the fastest player in NBA history to hit 100 three pointers. Markkanen is also only 20 years old, but he has been shattering expectations left and right. Bulls fans should be excited about the future of their franchise with the encouraging player of Lauri Markkanen alone.
Let’s talk about another player who has been shattering expectations in Zach LaVine. In Minnesota he was definitely a promising player, but an ACL tear would raise questions. After being traded to Chicago for Jimmy Butler, I wasn’t surprised that some Bulls fans were hesitant about what they got in return for Jimmy. Remember another explosive player with a whole ton of hype and potential in a Bulls uniform who tore his ACL? Well Zach LaVine has made a statement saying “I’m not him” with his gameplay so far this season. LaVine is averaging 16.9 points off of an ACL injury so far this season. Besides the 18.9 point average he had last year before his ACL tear, this is his next career high average. Earlier this month he dropped 35 points on Minnesota in a promising win for the Chicago Bulls. Look for LaVine to continue to recover and improve going into next year at the shooting guard position. Oh, and he’s only 22 years old.
Kris Dunn is the last piece in the young promising core the Chicago Bulls have. At least, that’s my opinion. After a forgettable rookie season, Kris Dunn was packaged along with LaVine for Jimmy Butler. He is currently putting up solid numbers as a 23 year old. Although he’s the oldest player in their core, he’s averaging 13.5 points, 6.3 assists (leads the team in this by the way), and 2 steals a game. These numbers are good for a young player like Dunn. Add in solid young role players like Denzel Valentine and Bobby Portis and the Bulls can be an all around dangerous team some day. The Bulls are in a good spot right now, and expect LaVine, Dunn, and Markkanen to lead the way to the future for the Chicago Bulls.
Stay tuned for the next edition.