Sunday Bulls Update: Off-Season News Drop

Hello fellow Bulls fan! I thought I’d check in with the old blog here and let you know that I am alive and still writing. I know posts have been few and far between over the last several months, but it looks as though business is about to pick up.

The Big News:

The NBA Players Association and league owners have agreed on a start date for the 2020-21 Season: December 22nd! That’s merely a month and a half away! A lot of details still need to be worked out between the players union and the League, but what we do know is that training camps will start on December 1st, and a 72 game regular season will tip off on December 22nd, which is just in time for the NBA Cash Cow that is Christmas Day.

Dates that have NOT been set include the end of the trade moratorium and the beginning of Free Agency. With the Draft taking place on November 18th, it appears there will only be a 2 week window to conduct off-season transactions before training camps start. Another detail that the league and Players Association need to work out – the salary cap situation is still up in the air, we don’t know how much teams will be able to spend on their rosters for next season.

The Bulls News:

The Bulls have been busy the last few weeks. Billy Donovan has been working on building up his coaching staff. In my last post I alluded to the fact that most of the Bulls coaches under Jim Boylen have been let go, but I didn’t really go into details. For those of you keeping score here’s a quick recap…

They Gone:

-Jeff Tanaka – head athletic trainer

-Jim Boylen – head coach/interim GM

-Roy Rogers – assistant coach/singing cowboy

-Nate Loenser – assistant coach

-Dean Cooper – assistant coach

-Karen Stack-Umlauf – assistant coach/30+ year employee of the Bulls organization

Kept man:

-Chris Fleming – assistant coach/man in charge of the Bulls mini camp bubble

New Additions:

-Billy Donovan – head coach

-Todd Campbell – head athletic trainer/16 years of NBA experience as a trainer/physical therapist

-John Bryant – assistant coach/spent time as an assistant with the ‘76ers

-Josh Longstaff – assistant coach/spent time with the Thunder, Knicks and Bucks

-Maurice Cheeks – assistant coach/NBA Hall of Fame player, long time NBA coach, PG whisperer

-Vanja Cernivec – international scout/first female scout in Bulls history, long career as basketball player and executive in Europe

The Rumor Mill:

A lot of rumors have been swirling about who the Bulls might draft on November 18th. So far, the two names that seem to come up the most are Deni Avdija and Killian Hayes. Avdija is a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none wing out of Israel with questions surrounding his shooting, while Hayes is the next Point Guard Of The Future out of Germany with questions about his ability to go to his right. I plan on posting my draft Big Board later this week or early next, and I’ll have more detailed thoughts on each of those two players.

Watch out Otto! Here comes Avdija. Photo from AHN Fire Digital

Another interesting Draft rumor is that LaMelo Ball, once thought to be a consensus top 3 pick in this draft, is sliding down draft boards after bombing his team interviews. Ball is a very talented point guard prospect, but questions about his work ethic and commitment to basketball have always made him a boom or bust gamble. Evidently, his lack of interviewing skills have teams thinking more bust than boom. If the rumors are true, and Ball has lost some of his luster, he might be available for the Bulls to scoop up at 4th overall.

LaMelo Ball, future Bull? Photo from Yahoo Sports.

As Ball slides down draft boards, his fellow playmaker in this draft, Tyrese Haliburton, has been moving up them. Haliburton has been giving great interviews with teams, and seems to have most of the league convinced that he might be worth a top five or six pick. I’ve been hot and cold on Haliburton since about January when I first started “scouting” prospects for this upcoming draft. He is, no doubt, an excellent passer, with superior vision and basketball IQ, I’m just worried he’s missing that certain I-don’t-know-what that you need to be a Court General in the NBA. But more on that in my upcoming Big Board post.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back soon with my often mentioned Big Board, and any Bulls news that might break. Thanks for reading, and GO BULLS!