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The Bulls will be a lot different, but not much younger

the old guys are the ones who will play

Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

A lot of fun was made of Gar Forman when he claimed his offseason goal was to make his Bulls ‘younger and more athletic’.


Yup, we sure made fun of him.

Anyway, it stuck with me since way back on media day when he doubled-down on those remarks, seemingly prepared with these figures:

We’ve gotten significantly younger. With 10 players with 3 years or less experience, and 12 players who are 27 or younger.

He then went on to talk about the culture in typical Gar format.

What is true is this is indeed a different roster. With the trade of Tony Snell, the Bulls will now see even fewer of their minutes played from last year taken by those same guys this year. This is something that’s John Schuhmann has been tracking. The Bulls, by this metric, will have the 3rd ‘newest’ team in the NBA.

But are they really younger? By Gar’s figures, yes. They have 11 (not sure who’s the twelfth, probably someone getting cut?) who are 27 or younger, and if you go by a simple average age as of 2/1/17 (that’s the date basketball-reference uses for age...and weirdly enough Portis, Mirotic, and Rondo are born within a day of that arbitrary cutoff), they’re at just under 26.5 years old. Last year that number was over 27.5 years.

But when you look at effective age, which weighs by the minutes played, it tells a different story. Here’s a look at last year.

Obviously, Gasol played a lot. But Noah and Dunleavy had too many injuries to really contribute. And Derrick Rose just seemed older than he was, and naturally the guys still around were a year younger last season.

For this coming season, I used the projection from Kevin Pelton that he came up with for his RPM-based win totals (which didn’t look great). Here’s how new Bulls look with those figures.

[this was done before the MCW trade, but he’s a month older than Snell, and his minutes if anything will be taken from younger guys like Grant and Dinwiddie]

That’s not much younger at all, it’s incredibly close to last year!

Again, the Bulls are definitely new. And they’re younger than if they ran back more of the same guys from last year (Moore would’ve fit the ‘27 or younger’ category, for what that’s worth). But while the Bulls bench has a lot of inexperience, if Taj Gibson starts it puts all five starters at 27 years old or older. Those are the ones who will play. Unless it all goes to hell and the youth movement Gar predicted will be indeed sopping up more minutes. That won’t be really that funny.

[You can check my work if you wish, I think I did this correctly though, heh. I was surprised as anybody it came out so close]