When your own broadcast partner has a promo like this, you know that the Bulls are prepared to tank away a season.
With the regular season set to begin on Thursday, the Chicago Bulls had to pare down their roster to 15 players plus their two, two-way contracts. Since the promo didn’t introduce fans to the roster outside of Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen, we will go through the formality of doing that here.
Here’s how it all shakes out.
(Point Guard) Jerian Grant:
Kris Dunn’s ghastly finger dislocation eliminated some of the drama surrounding who head coach Fred Hoiberg would give the starting point guard job to on opening night.
(Shooting Guard) Justin Holiday:
We live in a world where Justin Holiday may be the Chicago Bulls best player. Let that sink in for a second.
(Small Forward) Paul Zipser:
Paul Zipser thinks he’ll be able to play opening night. Missed final preseason game with a back injury. Zipsanity Year II is on.— Sean Highkin (@highkin) October 15, 2017
(Power Forward) Nikola Mirotic
New year, new contract, same erratic Niko. The difference is the lack of scorers or ball dominant players on the Bulls will empower Mirotic to put up more shots. If you are a fan of the Niko 30-foot heave, this season is must-watch television.
(Center) Robin Lopez
The center position was the only spot on the team that wasn’t an open competition this preseason. The perennially underrated Lopez will continue to play big minutes in the middle, hopefully padding his trade value for the February deadline.
Hoiberg claims there will be a 10-man rotation, though that’s obviously subject to change:
Time to shelve the Valentine as backup PG talk. Hoiberg: "We like him coming off actions as opposed to initiating the offense."— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 15, 2017
The Bulls finally found a player who fits the “younger and more athletic” mold.
Our large adopted son is back for year three.
Dude is still trying to figure out what he got himself into.
Excited for the Bulls season to start. pic.twitter.com/x6gYlhQGyK— Kyle Scanlan (@kylescanlan) October 15, 2017
Portis expanded his range out to the 3-point line, but his body of work during the preseason was somewhat disappointing considering how much coaches and teammates raved about how great of a summer he had.
Ryan Arcidiacono / Kay Felder (?)
It looked like Arcidiacono, who has one of the 2-way contracts, may get minutes as the backup point guard until Dunn returned from his injury. Then the Bulls signed Felder. At the beginning of the season, the Bulls may give both players opportunities (as opposed to sending Arcidiacono straight down to the G-League) until Dunn returns from his injury.
The Bulls point guard of the future suffered an open dislocation of his left index finger contesting a dunk during an Oct. 6 preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks. His timetable to return is 2-4 weeks.
The Bulls other point guard of the future Cameron Payne is shelved for 3-4 months after undergoing foot surgery on Sept. 8.
The ‘centerpiece’ of the Butler deal continues to recover from a torn ACL. But....
He strained his hamstring and missed all of preseason. For the love of God, this guy needs to catch a break somewhere.
Antonio Blakeney (2-way contract)
He will be with the organization in some capacity this season. After starring for the team in Summer League, he had a somewhat disappointing preseason (4.2 points per game on 29.6 percent from the field), and won’t make the Bulls regular rotation barring an unforeseen circumstance.