There’s a common thread that connects most of the great teams in the NBA right now.
Good point guard play.
The Atlanta Hawks have Trae Young, the Brooklyn Nets have Kyrie Irving, the Philadelphia 76ers have Ben Simmons (for now), the Phoenix Suns have Chris Paul (and Cameron Payne lol)), and the list goes on.
The floor general. The focal point of the offense. Tasked with balancing his own scoring pursuits with giving his teammates opportunities. If you have a good one on your team, you’re in business. If you don’t, then your record at the end of the season looks a lot like the Bulls record has looked over the last handful of seasons.
The Bulls have played point guard ping pong since the Derrick Rose days. Their most effective point guard since they traded away Rose to the New York Knicks in 2016 was perhaps Nate Robinson, or first-couple-games-of-the-Celtics-playoffs-series-in-2017 Rajon Rondo. Zach LaVine could be that guy, experimenting him at point guard just hasn’t been a winning formula.
The Bulls most recent “point guard of the future”, Coby White, categorizes similarly to LaVine in terms of his early career scouting report. Microwave scorer who profiles more as an off the ball option than a guy capable of handling everyday point guard duties. There’s still plenty of time for White to change that trajectory, but if the Bulls are looking to field a more respectable team next season it won’t be with White at full-time point guard again.
Plus White has now also suffered a serious injury, one that may force him to miss time next season and at the least stall his offseason development.
Tomas Satoransky is a fine player, but doesn’t possess enough of that lead guard capability, and isn’t the caliber to play more than a niche role on a very good team.
The Bulls simply need to find a player who can give them better, more consistent point guard play for next season. Can we trust the new Bulls brass to deliver? Last summer, Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley got away with doing virtually nothing to improve a terrible roster (outside of the draft), perhaps because Bulls fans were still in a honeymoon phase after actually evicting GarPax.
For the first time in forever, the Bulls actually got significantly better at the trade deadline when AKME acquired Nikola Vucevic. While Vucevic improved the overall playmaking on the roster, he is not a point guard.
GarPax had billed like six guys as their “point guard of the future” and all of them fell far short from living up to that billing. There’s been some all right signings———the aforementioned Robinson, D.J. Augustin, etc. but no long-term fix.
We should judge AKME this offseason on whether they can finally reverse this trend and bring some stability to this very important position. No more stop-gaps, no more no-hope point guards of the future. Find the man in the draft, go out and get a veteran point guard in free agency, or go out and make a trade for somebody. It doesn’t matter how it’s done, it just has got to get done. Find a guy who knows how to run a team, get him to Chicago, and watch the Bulls begin to win games again.
It’s a to-do list item that is long past due.