The Chicago Bulls have been a staple in the NBA for over 40 years, but they find themselves at a crossroads. With a new owner and a new coach, this team is looking to rebuild their legacy. They’ve already brought in some young talent with the likes of Wendell Carter Jr., Chandler Hutchison, and Coby White.
The Chicago Bulls have a new X-factor for the 2021-22 season, and it’s not Lonzo Ball.
There’s no denying it, and Lonzo Ball is well aware of it: the Chicago Bulls worked hard during the NBA summer of 2021.
The freshly overhauled front staff realized they needed to make some significant adjustments after their 31-41 performance in the 2020-21 season, which placed them tenth in the Eastern Conference and eliminated their chances of making the playoffs. While hiring Arturas Karnisovas as executive vice president of basketball operations and replacing Jim Boylen with Billy Donovan was an excellent start to the year, keeping the previous roster largely intact was not enough.
With too much reliance on Ryan Arcidiancono and Coby White as floor generals, hanging on to a crunch-time liability in Denzel Valentine, and expecting for improved hands from Cristiano Felicio, there was only so much the team could do as a whole.
So, when August rolled around, the Bulls were ready to go, eager to make the most of 2021 Free Agency — and they did.
Now, there are a few things that Chicago should be proud of, like signing DeMar DeRozan, a veteran who was being pursued by a number of other clubs (most notably the Miami Heat). Even though the four-time NBA All-Star is 32 years old, he still has plenty of petrol in his tank. Last season, the swingman averaged 21.6 points on 49.5 percent shooting from the field, 4.2 rebounds, and a career-high 6.9 assists per game for the San Antonio Spurs. He’s also made six playoff appearances, with the most recent one being his first since 2013.
Another bittersweet offseason victory for the Bulls was finally getting Lauri Markkanen off the books. The 7-footer joined the team in 2017 after being drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves and then traded for Jimmy Butler and the rights to Justin Patton with Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn. Markkanen, who attended the University of Arizona, was dubbed “the best shooting 7-footer college basketball has ever seen,” with performances like scoring 30 points against ribbing. However, due to injuries, a poor offensive fit, and personnel issues, the Finland native did not live up to the expectations and was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of a three-team deal (that landed former Portland Trail Blazer Derrick Jones Jr., in Chicago).
The signing of Lonzo Ball was perhaps the most heralded offseason achievement. The 23-year-old is coming off his fourth season in the league (divided between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans), and he’s already created a name for himself (and not only thanks to Big Baller Papa Bear, LaVar Ball). Although he is more regarded as a facilitator than a shooter, averaging 11.7 points per game on 39.7% shooting in his career, he upped his game last year, scoring 14.6 points on 41.4 percent shooting (37.8 percent from three). Other elements of the guard’s game were unaffected, as he continued to average 4.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game (in comparison to 5.8 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.5 steals, over his career thus far).
Despite the fact that he will certainly have a significant effect on the club this season, he will not be the Bulls’ X-Factor in 2021-22.
LaVine is the rightful owner of the title.
In his sixth season in Chicago, the 26-year-old has clearly already made a significant contribution to the team. Last season, he averaged 27.4 points per game on 50.7 percent shooting (41.9 percent from three-point range), 5.0 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game, all career highs. He was also named to Team USA and the 2021 All-Star Team, making him the first Bull to do so since Jimmy Butler in 2017.
However, with a restructured roster allowing for his position to change, Bulls fans will be treated to an altogether different LaVine this season.
For example, while he may be the team’s leading scorer, he doesn’t have to be; with DeRozan thriving with the ball in his hands (he was third in the league in ISO buckets last season) and Ball’s continued commitment to LaVine’s shot improvement, LaVine can balance his shooting with creating more opportunities for teammates and being a solid defensive option.
In addition, LaVine’s scoring should result in a higher percentage of three-point attempts. Since coming in Chicago, the star has steadily improved his three-point shooting, but with players like DeRozan and Ball orchestrating pick-and-rolls (and Nikola Vucevic throwing a nice pass), he’ll likely receive even more chances from deep.
It’s also worth noting that LaVine will undoubtedly begin 2021-22 with a chip on his shoulder, something the team may exploit. It’s no secret that No. 8 is seeking for a well-deserved raise, and with a contract extension on the horizon, fans should expect to see a more assertive, confident version of their shooting guard.
Although a new era of Chicago Bulls basketball is on the horizon, the headline act will stay the same.
The lonzo ball stats 2021 is the Chicago Bulls X-factor for the 2021-22 season. Despite Lonzo Ball being a key figure in this year’s Lakers squad, it appears that he may not be the best option for the future of the team.
- who does lonzo ball play for
- lonzo ball rookie year
- lonzo ball kid