Chicago Bulls Stats, Odds, Standings and Schedule for 2023-24 NBA Season
Chicago Bulls 2022-23 Season Performance
After a hope inducing 2021-22 season, the Chicago Bulls had a very different experience in 2022-23. NBA lines on the Bulls’ win total were set at 41.5, with the team projected to be near .500. They got close, finishing the season with a 40-42 record.
Most of the optimism for last season came from making the playoffs. That success was sparked by a hot start to the 2021-22 season. However, an injury to Lonzo Ball, which kept him out last season, changed everything.
The Bulls would make a late push to make the playoffs but fell short. They finished 10th in the Eastern Conference, beating the Toronto Raptors in the first Play-In Tournament game and losing to the Miami Heat in the second, missing out on the playoffs.
DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine tried to make up for the absence of Ball, both averaging over 24 points per game. DeRozan made it to the All-Star Game, but neither were selected for the All-NBA teams.
However, the defense played the most significant factor in whatever success the Bulls had last season. They finished with the fifth-best defense rating.
Most of the Bulls’ offseason moves were to re-sign players, keeping the roster pretty much the same. The biggest was re-signing Nikola Vucevic for three more years, worth $60 million. Re-signing Coby White for $36 million over three years was a massive surprise, with most analysts expecting him to leave Chicago. They also brought back Ayo Dosunmu for $21 million spread over three years.
The additions that the Bulls did make in free agency were not drastic. Signing Jevon Carter to a three-year, $19.5 contract will probably have the most impact on the 2023-24 season. Carter could have a chance to start in Chicago, and his defensive ability, with possible scoring upside, makes him an interesting fit. The Bulls also signed Torrey Craig on a veteran minimum.
Regarding rookies, the Bulls did trade up to select Julian Phillips with the 35th pick, another defensive-minded player. The Bulls did pick up Adama Sanogo, who led UConn to a National Championship, after the draft, which could be intriguing.
Given that the Bulls had a clear focus on retaining most of their talent, they did not lose many players this offseason. The biggest would be Patrick Beverley leaving in free agency, having signed a contract with Chicago in the middle of last season after being bought out.
Javonte Green and Derrick Jones Jr. are two other names that left in free agency, but neither averaged over 16 minutes per game.
Coach: Billy Donovan (40-42)
When you look at the Bulls’ roster from last season, it is surprising that they had a chance to make the playoffs. A lot of credit has to be given to head coach Billy Donovan for getting the team’s defense together, which was the main reason for them staying alive.
Donovan has continually put the offense in the hands of his two best players while hiding them on defense. For the most part, he made it work last season and will try again in 2023-24.
Chicago Bulls Strength: Perimeter Defense
Last season, the Bulls had the fifth-best defensive rating, allowing 111.8 points per game, the seventh-lowest. That is somewhat of a surprise, given that the top three players, DeRozan, LaVine, and Vucevic are not known for their effort on the defensive end.
However, the rest of the roster was built with that in mind. Alex Caruso proved to be one of the best point-of-attack defenders all season while being able to switch on to bigger opponents. Similarly, Patrick Williams was great on the perimeter and used his length to defend against taller players. Beverley played a massive role in the defense, and Carter should be able to replicate his production.
A solid perimeter defense is crucial for the Bulls because Vucevic is not good at protecting the paint. If the Bulls’ guards and wings can hold up, keeping opponents out of the paint, they can cover for their defensive weaknesses.
The Bulls roster is still filled with elite perimeter defenders, with even DeRozan showing improvement last season at 33 years old and Dosunmu being solid.
Chicago Bulls Weakness: No Outside Shooting
While the Bulls defense surged, especially late in 2022-23, the offense did not. DeRozan averaged 24.5 points per game, LaVine 24.8, with Vucevic behind them with 17.6. Those three pretty much made up most of Chicago’s offense. The next closest player was Williams, with 10.2 points per game.
On top of that, the three main offensive threats are not the best players for modern NBA, preferring to take mid-range shots. That led to Chicago making and attempting the fewest threes in the league.
It is hard to find offensive success without reliable 3-point shooting, which the Bulls desperately need. Carter could help with that, taking 4.2 threes per game last season in 22.3 minutes, shooting 42.1%. Maybe in a more prominent role, he can be more of a threat from three than others on the current roster. Other than that, offensive improvement must come from within, with very few options, outside of Dosunmu getting better in year three.
Chicago Bulls Predictions
Chicago is a complicated team for NBA predictions. They have two clear stars and a solid third, followed by a strong defense surrounding them. However, the star’s offensive talent can not carry all the defensive-minded players on the roster.
That puts the Bulls in a challenging situation, and they will likely be back in the Play-In again with another .500 season.
Chicago Bulls FAQ’s
Last time the Chicago Bulls won the NBA Championship?
The last time the Chicago Bulls won the NBA Championship was back in the Michael Jordan days, in 1997-98, winning six over eight seasons.
When was the last time the Chicago Bulls were in the Playoffs?
The Chicago Bulls made the playoffs in 2021-22 but missed out in the four seasons before.
Are the Chicago Bulls trending toward another rebuild?
While it does not seem like the Chicago Bulls are headed toward a complete rebuild, there were a lot of rumors at the last trade deadline of them possibly trading away star players.
Can the Chicago Bulls make the playoffs in 2023-24?
The Chicago Bulls did not do enough this offseason to make them an automatic pick for the playoffs in 2023-24, but they might be able to make it through the Play-In Tournament.