The season is over the Chicago Bulls. Here’s an evaluation of their roster and where it stands for 2020-21

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CHICAGO — The NBA has yet to reach its offseason, but the Chicago Bulls might already have made their biggest move in hiring Arturas Karnisovas as vice president of basketball operations to run their front office along with general manager Marc Eversley.

The overhaul appears to be done for now, with Karnisovas saying on a conference call earlier in the month that he did not expect any imminent front-office changes.

But the front office duo still has an entire organization to evaluate. The Bulls did not have a lot of flexibility within the projected salary cap heading into next season, and the uncertainty surrounding the start and structure of the 2020-21 season after the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic only adds to that. So even though the Bulls underachieved during a disappointing 2019-20 campaign, their roster could look a lot similar.

Here’s where each player on the roster stands now that their season is complete.


Zach LaVine

Age: 25

2019-20 stats: 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists

Contract status: $19.5 million next season and signed through 2021-22

Breakdown: LaVine continued to take a step forward in his role as the leading man for the Bulls, with an increased usage rate leading to a career high in points while putting up the second-best effective field-goal percentage in his career. He started converting some midrange jumpers into 3-pointers while still shooting right around his career average from beyond the arc.

And there were games in which he put the Bulls on his shoulders — 13 3-pointers against the Hornets, a 19-point second half comeback against the Cavs to name a few — to lead them to victory. LaVine still has room to grow as a playmaker and on defense, but his continued improvement as a scorer was one of the few bright spots during an otherwise miserable season. His 25.5 points per game were the highest by a Bulls player since Michael Jordan averaged 28.7 in 1997-98.

Coby White

Age: 20

2019-20 stats: 13.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists

Contract status: Rookie-scale contract, with team options through 2023

Breakdown: Before the league entered a hiatus that ultimately ended the Bulls’ season, White had settled into the best stretch of his young career. During his last nine games, he averaged 26.1 points, 4.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds, working himself into the starting lineup.

White went through uneven stretches in his first season in the NBA as shooting struggles made him ineffective, but he became the most electric player on the court during the final stretch. Those flashes of excellence, however, should give Bulls fans reasons to be excited about the future of their young guard and the scoring potential he could unlock.

Tomas Satoransky

Age: 28

2019-20 stats: 9.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists

Contract status: $10 million next season with 2021-22 partially guaranteed

Breakdown: The Bulls were met with praise when they signed Satoransky as a free agent last offseason, but he underperformed in a disappointing season. Although he led the team in assists, he struggled shooting from beyond the arc and could not break down defenses to create points. Satoransky finished as one of only two Bulls to appear in each of the team’s 65 games, but he lost his starting spot by the end of the season because of the ascension of White.

Kris Dunn

Age: 26

2019-20 stats: 7.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists

Contract status: Can become restricted free agent

Breakdown: The Bulls asked Dunn to play a different role this season, moving from primary ballhandlier and point guard into a defensive specialist, a position he excelled in and quickly accepted. Injuries forced him to the starting lineup as a wing, and Dunn developed into a ballhawk on defense. He was second in the NBA in steals before suffering a season-ending MCL injury on Jan. 31, and the Bulls were 6.2 points better defensively with him on the floor. Offensively, Dunn’s game — and shooting from beyond the arc — still leaves a lot to be desired, but he has proved to have capabilities as a defensive specialist if the Bulls want to extend him an offer this offseason.

Ryan Arcidiacono

Age: 26

2019-20 stats: 4.5 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists

Contract status: $3 million next season and signed through 2021-22

Breakdown: Injuries forced Arcidiacono into more playing time than the Bulls initially envisioned this season, but for a team that struggled on offense — especially from beyond the arc — his 3-point shooting percentage is welcoming. If he can continue to hit shots from beyond the arc, Arcidiacono could continue to develop into a solid bench player. But the Bulls hope their rotation is deep enough that they do not have to lean on him too heavily.

Shaquille Harrison

Age: 26

2019-20 stats: 4.9 points, 2 rebounds and 1.1 assists

Contract status: Can become a restricted free agent

Breakdown: Harrison was thrust into the starting lineup on a few occasions thanks to a long list of injuries. He brought relentless effort and intensity on defense each night along with it. He has struggled shooting in his career, but before the season was shut down, he put together some of his best performances from 3-point range, including going a combined 8-for-9 in back-to-back games against the Timberwolves and Pacers. If the Bulls do not retain Dunn, perhaps Harrison could become their new defensive specialist on the perimeter.


Lauri Markkanen

Age: 23

2019-20 stats: 14.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists

Contract status: $6.7 million team option for 2020-21

Breakdown: Markkanen had perhaps the most puzzling and frustrating season of any player on the roster. The Bulls expected him to take a step forward in his third season, but instead his production mirrored numbers from his rookie year.

There were too many games in which Markkanen was almost a non-factor on offense — and his usage rate dipped from last season — and did not take enough shot attempts. He also was held scoreless or left on the bench for extended stretches in second halves far too often, limiting his impact on games. The Bulls’ offensive scheme did him little favors, often reducing his opportunities to catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, but they also need Markkanen to be more aggressive. Finding out what they have in Markkanen — and reversing this regression — will be one of the most important evaluations for the front office.

Thaddeus Young

Age: 31

2019-20 stats: 10.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists

Contract status: $13.5 million next season with $6 million partially guaranteed for 2021-22

Breakdown: The Bulls asked Young to play a few roles this season, all of which were slightly different than the roles he has played during his 13-year NBA career. He started the season coming off the bench primarily for the first time since the 2011-12 season and reportedly was displeased with his minutes. He attempted more 3-pointers per game than he had in at least six years. He eventually made his way back into the starting lineup, but only after an injury to Markkannen. Young is able to slide into many roles and is still a capable role player on any roster, although the Bulls have not figured out how to get the best out of him.

Otto Porter

Age: 27

2019-20 stats: 11.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists

Contract status: $28.4 million player option for 2020-21

Breakdown: It’s hard to quantify just how different this Bulls season might have been had a foot injury not limited Porter to just 14 games. Perhaps he would have been the offensive threat the Bulls so desperately lacked for much of the year. Their 106 offensive rating jumped to 112.5 with him on the floor. He is one of their best and most consistent 3-point shooters with the ability to create his own shot. Porter’s injury troubles, however, have plagued him for the last two seasons. He is almost certain to exercise his expensive player option for next season, so the Bulls hopefully will find a way to keep their highest-paid player on the floor to see just how much he changes their team.

Chandler Hutchison

Age: 24

2019-20 stats: 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists

Contract status: $2.4 million next season with a team option for 2021-22

Breakdown: Injuries have made it difficult for Hutchison to sustain any momentum or for the Bulls to get a full idea of his capabilities. At times he has shown flashes as a solid rotation player and versatile defender at 6-foot-7, even if his outside shooting needs some work. But injuries inevitably have halted those flashes, and in two seasons he has appeared in only 72 games.

Denzel Valentine

Age: 26

2019-20 stats: 6.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists

Contract status: Will be a restricted free agent this summer

Breakdown: Even as injuries piled up and the Bulls found themselves piecing together lineups frequently, Valentine often found himself on the end of the bench, unable to crack coach Jim Boylen’s rotation. It was puzzling considering the Bulls could have used Valentine’s ability on offense as a playmaker and knockdown 3-point shooter, even if he did not fit perfectly into the defensive scheme. It is unclear whether Valentine has a future in the organization, but the team’s new executives could view him differently.


Wendell Carter Jr.

Age: 21

2019-20 stats: 11.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists

Contract status: Rookie-scale contract will earn $5.4 million next season with a team option for 2021-22

Breakdown: One of the few bright spots for this young Bulls core was the continued improvement of Carter, who averaged nearly a double-double and became the anchor for a Bulls defense that hovered in the top 10 in efficiency when both he and Kris Dunn were healthy at the start of the season.

When Carter suffered a high ankle sprain in January, the Bulls’ season and defensive rating plummeted. Despite being undersized and playing in a scheme that often took him away from the basket, Carter has proved to be an effective rebounder. He still needs to make some strides on offense — and receive a green light to shoot from beyond the arc — but the Bulls have to be encouraged by Carter’s first two seasons.

Daniel Gafford

Age: 21

2019-20 stats: 5.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 0.9 assists

Contract status: $1.5 million next season and signed through 2022-23

Breakdown: Gafford emerged as a pleasant surprise after thee Bulls selected him 38th in the 2019 draft. He finished the season as the leader in blocks among rookies at 1.3 per game, and his 3.3 blocks per 36 minutes were fourth in the NBA. A thumb injury also limited some of his progress, but the Bulls have to be optimistic about their first look at Gafford.

Luke Kornet

Age: 24

2019-20 stats: 6.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.9 assists

Contract status: 2.3 million next season

Breakdown: Kornet was hampered early in the season and eventually required sinus obstruction surgery in mid-November to help clear up some breathing issues. Upon his return, Kornet became another player thrown into a more extensive role than initially expected 1/4 nbecause of injuries. His play was up and down and at times sporadic, and he did not shoot as well from 3-point range as the team initially hoped. Kornet is expected to begin next season as the team’s No. 3 center.

Cristiano Felicio

Age: 27

2019-20 stats: 3.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.7 assists

Contract status: $7.5 million next season

Breakdown: Felicio was forced into the rotation at times this season after injuries depleted the frontcourt, but that was only out of necessity. The good news for the Bulls is Felicio is entering the final year of a contract that has been a disaster from the start. Perhaps the Bulls could use that expiring deal in a trade with money coming off the books for the crucial free-agent Class of 2021.


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