Power Ranking Bulls Roster Based on Regular-Season Performance
Prolonged absences for players like Patrick Williams, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso eventually cooled Chicago's hot start, and a club that had been competing for the East's No. 1 seed could now enter the postseason just one spot above the Play-In Tournament.
To better understand how the Bulls got here, we're here to assess (and rank) each player's performance.
17. Marko Simonovic
Simonovic failed to earn significant minutes and won't as long as he's hauling around a horrific 26.7 field-goal percentage.
16. Malcolm Hill
There were a few times when the Bulls needed Hill, one of their two-way players, to cover up some cracks, but he has spent much of his Windy City tenure watching from the sideline.
15. Tyler Cook
Cook, the club's other two-way player, stays active on the interior, but for a 6'8" player who isn't a shot-blocker, you'd like to see more perimeter skills.
14. Matt Thomas
Thomas' 38.5 three-point percentage is good, but for a sharpshooting specialist, it isn't great.
13. Tony Bradley
Bradley has some skill on the interior, but if there was more of it, then Chicago probably wouldn't have felt compelled to add Tristan Thompson from the buyout market.
12. Troy Brown Jr.
Brown has shown more promise than ever with his three-point shot (43 makes at a 35-percent clip), which remains perhaps the biggest swing skill for the 22-year-old.
The Middle Class
11. Tristan Thompson
Thompson, who turned 31 in March, might be playing the back nine of his NBA career, but he remains active around the basket. His per-36-minutes averages still treat him as a walking double-double (11.7 points and 10.4 rebounds, per Basketball-Reference.com).
10. Derrick Jones Jr.
Jones is an elite athlete who gave the Bulls some really good minutes at the defensive end. His challenge going forward is finding more of an offensive niche.
9. Javonte Green
Speaking of starters, Green adds enough in that department to have made 44 starts in place of an injured Patrick Williams. Green has done a decent job of converting his offensive chances (54.3 percent from the field, 36.7 percent from range), he just doesn't get a ton of them.
8. Patrick Williams
Williams, the No. 4 pick in 2020, is Chicago's most intriguing developmental project, which makes it a shame that he lost so much developmental time to wrist surgery. He is a primary puzzle piece for this franchise moving forward, it would just be nice to have a better grasp of his full potential.
7. Coby White
A scoring point guard, White's talents sometimes feel redundant on this roster. Saying that, though, he is increasingly getting better at what he does. His 43.3 field-goal percentage and 37.8 percent three-point connection rate are both career-highs.
6. Nikola Vucevic
Vucevic is highly skilled at the offensive end, but given this roster's construction, his defensive limitations are occasionally what stands out the most. It's hard to sneeze at 17.8 points and 3.2 assists per outing from a third option, but it's also impossible to ignore that Chicago has been 2.0 points better per 100 possessions without him, per NBA.com.
The Best of the Bunch
5. Ayo Dosunmu
This season could have really gone south when Ball and Caruso both went down around the new year, but Dosunmu stepped into a starting role and helped keep things relatively afloat. That's an impressive accomplishment for any reserve, but it's a remarkable feat for a second-round rookie.
4. Lonzo Ball
Before a knee injury cut his campaign short, Ball was busy looking like the Bulls' missing piece. His perimeter defense, pass-first mentality and spot-up sniping (career-high 42.3 percent from distance) proved ideal fits for this nucleus.
3. Alex Caruso
Caruso's energy and defensive activity proved contagious in Chicago, to the point where his subpar shooting rates (39.8/33.3/79.5) are mostly forgiven. Despite missing major time with injury, he still leads Chicago's rotation regulars with a net rating differential of plus-8.0 points per 100 possessions, per NBA.com.
2. Zach LaVine
LaVine booked his second consecutive All-Star appearance on the strength of his fiery offense. His numbers are down a pinch from last season, but he is still one of only a dozen players to average at least 24 points, four assists and two three-pointers.
No debates here, as DeRozan's first go-round in Chicago raced past even optimistic best-case-scenario projections. He entered the season with four All-Star trips under his belt, but he has never dominated to this degree. The 32-year-old's 28 points per game are a new personal-best, his 50.4 field-goal percentage is the second-highest of his career, and he leads the entire Association in clutch scoring, per NBA.com, posting a blistering 53.5/50.0/88.7 shooting slash in those high-pressure situations.