A long-time NBA blogger/writer from England and creator of Shamsports.com, Mark Deeks is now the lead basketball writer at GiveMeSport.com where he still writes extensively on NBA team-building strategy. What separates him from other writers is his yearly NBA Manifesto, an excruciatingly detailed report that delves into the cap situation, future plans, past season performance, possible strategies for improvement during the offseason, player profiles, and other aspects of all 30 NBA teams. The Bulls report is over 14,000 words alone.
In his Bulls analysis, Deeks lists some potential issues/weaknesses moving forward: management, talent level, a logjam at power forward, defense, finding players that fit the system, and what to do about Zach LaVine.
It’s all mostly spot-on, here are some quick thoughts as you hopefully check out the whole thing:
- I actually quite like the Bulls dynamic at power forward for next season. Start Lauri Markkanen obviously and then have Bobby Portis play that sixth man role he thrived in last season. Noah Vonleh is a restricted free agent. If he leaves, the Bulls really have a two-man rotation at the four. If he stays, Vonleh slots in as a third stringer and picks up spot minutes. The Bulls have more talent at power forward than at any other position and that's a good problem to have.
- Instead, I think you have to list the lack of depth at the small forward position as a weakness, right?
- Read this quote:
Related to the above, but not exclusively about defense. Hoiball, it seems, is going to be the name for a particular brand of pace and space basketball, in keeping with the NBA’s new normal way of doing things. Fine. Good, even, so long as it can defend. But to do so requires having players who fit that system’s ideals. Not everyone needs to run like Ryan Hollins or shoot like Max Hooper. But tell me where Cristiano Felicio and Jerian Grant fit into this. Tell me how Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis are supposed to fit. Etc,
For two seasons, the Bulls front office flubbed up roster construction in unforgiving fashion. But since then the Bulls have been much better at filling out the roster with guys who fit the pace-and-space Hoiball system. As athletic big men who can run the floor well and shoot, they fit perfectly into Hoiball. But then there’s a problem with team defense that’s readily apparent.
- Switching gears, Deek’s final point in his article nails down what the Bulls need to do this summer (reminder: free agency starts tomorrow night).
As much as is possible, use salary cap space to acquire future assets, Brooklyn style
According to Deeks, the Bulls could have as much as $36 million in cap room this summer (although it’ll be lower than that). Offering to absorb bad contracts in exchange for draft picks or young assets should be the game the Bulls play all summer long.
Following the team page, there is extensive work on every player currently on the roster, from Markkanen to Arcidiacono.