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It’s Time For Bulls To Tank Again

The NBA is as talented and competitive as it’s ever been and the Chicago Bulls lacked the talent before the injuries. It’s time for the Bulls to tank again.

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time for bulls tank again

The last time the Chicago Bulls started a season 2-8 was, well, last year. It’s been less than a month, but with just two wins in ten games, the tank is rolling.

The last thing Bulls fans want to do is sit through 82 games of disappointing basketball for another year. However, it beats losing in the first round of the playoffs to draft a player at 15. The Bulls are on pace to win fewer than 20 games, which is good news if you forgot about the four talented players that should all be back by mid-December. Both Lauri Markkanen and Denzel Valentine have yet to play a game this season, while Kris Dunn has played just one. Bobby Portis was also off to a hot start, averaging a double-double in 4 games before suffering a sprained MCL in his right knee. It goes without saying that their absence has a significant impact on the Bulls’ record.

While a competitive Bulls team is fun to watch, it’s not what they have. And it’s surely not what they need. The NBA is filled with championship contenders and the Bulls just aren’t there. Just a few weeks after winning another title, the Golden State Warriors added All-Star big man Demarcus Cousins. The Boston Celtics are finally healthy and continue to develop their young draft picks. The Toronto Raptors are pulverizing every team they play with their new addition of Kawhi Leonard. Point being, even a healthy Bulls roster is far from contending in this league. If you’re not contending for a championship, why make the playoffs?

To the front office, it’s always been about making money. Tanking doesn’t sell tickets and it’s for that reason they told us the plan this year was to be competitive. You can give the credit for last year’s tank (which they still ultimately failed) to Zach LaVine’s rehab and Dunn missing 30 games. If LaVine played more than half the season and Dunn didn’t suffer fluke injuries, the Bulls could have ended up drafting in the teens instead of lucking into Wendell Carter Jr. at #7. The Bulls won’t be a championship contender anytime soon if the front office continues to prioritize ticket sales over the team’s future. They should be shooting for Zion Williamson or RJ Barrett, not giving Jabari Parker $20 million to take minutes and touches away from the young guys.

The roster will be healthy soon, and will start to win games because of it. There are things, however, that the front office can do to keep the tank rolling. As the season progresses, players get hurt and teams readying for a playoff run need to replace those players to maintain their depth. The Bulls need to get anything they can for Robin Lopez before the trade deadline. His expiring deal increases whatever small trade value he has, and the Bulls won’t offer him a new contract next summer. While he may not be a hot commodity right now, a competitive team could use his size when games slow down in the playoffs. Justin Holiday is the second oldest player on this Bulls roster and averages the most minutes on the team. Holiday is also shooting just under 60% from the field, averaging 12.1 points per game. If his efficient start to the season continues, he may be a good trading piece for a competitive team looking for a shooter off the bench.

There’s a difference between contending for championships and making a playoff appearance. If contending means missing the playoffs for a few years, Bulls fans should be on board, regardless of how hard it is to watch.

My name is Ben Repay and I am a sophomore studying Mass Communications at Purdue University. I've always been an avid Chicago sports fan and look forward to talking all things Bulls with you guys.

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Bulls acquire Otto Porter Jr. for Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker

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Chicago Bulls acquire Otto Porter Jr. from Washington - Locked On Bulls

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