The 2021-22 Chicago Bulls in Review

June 6th, 2022

By Alan Lu

Overall, it was a very successful season for the 2022 Chicago Bulls. After the 2021 Bulls’ team had barely missed the playoffs last year, the Chicago Bulls went out to acquire star forward, DeMar DeRozan in a sign-and-trade with San Antonio, and that immediately helped the Chicago Bulls this season.  They were able to see an uptick in wins and production, and he, Zach LaVine, and head coach Billy Donovan were able to get the Bulls to the playoffs this year before they lost in 5 games in the first round to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Key Players:

DeMar DeRozan scored 41 points in Game 2 of the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, and he had a very good season this year with the Chicago Bulls.
(Photo:
Morry Gash/Associated Press, via Bleacher Report)

DeMar DeRozan
2021-22 (CHI): 27.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.9 APG, 50 FG%, 35 3PT%, 88 FT%, 59 TS%, 23.1 PER, 8.8 WS

He is a skilled forward that did a good job of shooting and scoring the basketball this season, and he also scored 41 points to help the Bulls get their lone postseason win in a first round series against the Bucks this year.

2022 Season Grade: A-
Projected 2023 Rating: 3.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Chicago Bulls

Zach LaVine had a very good season with the Bulls this year, but he will also be an impending free agent in the offseason, so there are concerns about if the Bulls will be able to sign him in the summer.
(Photo:
Stephen Gosling/Getty Images, via Complex)

Zach LaVine
2021-22 (CHI): 24.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.5 APG, 48 FG%, 39 3PT%, 85 FT%, 61 TS%, 20.0 PER, 5.8 WS

He is a very athletic combo guard that thrived as a shooter and scorer for his team this season, but he will need to improve his defense for next season.

2022 Season Grade: B
Projected 2023 Rating: 3 stars (3.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Chicago Bulls
Side Note: LaVine will be an unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the end of the 2021-22 NBA season.

Patrick Williams may only have played 17 games in the regular season, but they were 17 terrific games, and he made 52% of his threes for the Chicago Bulls this year.
(Photo:
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images, via WGN-TV)

Patrick Williams
2021-22 (CHI): 9.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 53 FG%, 52 3PT%, 73 FT%, 64 TS%, 12.7 PER, 0.9 WS

He missed a lot of time due to injury, but he shot the ball really well, especially from beyond the arc, and he had a very good season when he was on the floor this year.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars (3 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Chicago Bulls

Nikola Vučević
2021-22 (CHI): 17.6 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.0 BPG, 1.0 SPG, 47 FG%, 31 3PT%, 76 FT%, 53 TS%, 18.2 PER, 4.5 WS

He provided low post scoring and rebounding for his team, and he did a good job of distributing the basketball, but his shooting percentages were a bit down this year.

2022 Season Grade: C+
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Chicago Bulls

Lonzo Ball
2021-22 (CHI): 13.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.8 SPG, 42 FG%, 42 3PT%, 75 FT%, 58 TS%, 14.5 PER, 2.2 WS

He had a solid all-around season, as he excelled as a shooter, facilitator, and defender for the Chicago Bulls this year, but he only played 35 games due to injury.

2022 Season Grade: A-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Chicago Bulls

Alex Caruso
2021-22 (CHI): 7.4 PPG, 4.0 APG, 3.6 RPG, 1.7 SPG, 40 FG%, 33 3PT%, 79 FT%, 53 TS%, 11.7 PER, 2.0 WS

He didn’t shoot the ball nearly as well as he did last year, and he missed time due to injury, but he did a very good job of distributing the basketball and defending when he was on the court for the Bulls this season.

2022 Season Grade: C+
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Chicago Bulls

Ayo Dosunmu had a very good rookie season with the Chicago Bulls, and he thrived in his role on the team this year.
(Photo:
Kamil Krzaczynski/USA Today Sports, via The Rookie Wire – USA Today)

Ayo Dosunmu
2021-22 (CHI): 8.8 PPG, 3.3 APG, 2.8 RPG, 52 FG%, 38 3PT%, 68 FT%, 60 TS%, 11.2 PER, 3.0 WS

He had a very good rookie season with the Bulls this year, and he especially thrived as a shooter and playmaker for them.

2022 Season Grade:  A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Chicago Bulls

Other Notable Players:

Coby White

He did a good job of shooting and scoring the basketball off the bench, but he didn’t get nearly as many assists nor defend as well as he did last year.

2022 Season Grade: C+
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars (2.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Chicago Bulls

Derrick Jones Jr.

He only played in 51 games in the regular season this year due to injury, but he shot the ball better, and he excelled as an inside scorer and defender for the Bulls this season.

2022 Season Grade: C+
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars (2.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Chicago Bulls

Tristan Thompson

He provided some inside scoring and rebounded well, but he didn’t play as much as he did last year, and he struggled defensively this past season.

2022 Season Grade: C-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on an NBA team

Tony Bradley

He excelled as an inside scorer and rebounder for the Bulls this season, but he didn’t play very much this year.

2022 Season Grade: C
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Chicago Bulls

Troy Brown

He is skilled, mobile swingman that shot the three-ball better this year, but he didn’t seem to have a major impact on the team this season.

2022 Season Grade: C
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Chicago Bulls

Javonte Green

He did a good job of shooting and scoring the basketball, and he also rebounded and defended fairly well for the Bulls this past season.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Chicago Bulls

Other Players on the Roster:

Malcolm Hill (Two-Way Player)

He played very well in limited minutes in the NBA this year, and the rookie swingman played surprisingly well for the Chicago Bulls as he thrived in a 3 and D role off the bench.

2022 Season Grade: B
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe roster player on an NBA team

Matt Thomas

He shot the three-ball well to provide floor spacing, but did little else, and didn’t play much this past season.

2022 Season Grade: C+
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe roster player on an NBA team

Tyler Cook (Two-Way Player)

He provided inside scoring and rebounding skills off the bench, but didn’t play much this year.

2022 Season Grade: C
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe roster player on an NBA team

Marko Simonovic

He didn’t play very well in limited minutes in the NBA this year, and but he showed some promise as a low post scoring big man that can pass and rebound the basketball in the G-League.

2022 Season Grade: D-
Projected 2023 Rating: 1 star (2 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe roster player on the Chicago Bulls

Head Coach:

Chicago Bulls’ head coach Billy Donovan led his team to more wins than expected, and he did a good job of coaching them this year.
(Photo:
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images, via Leaders.com)

Billy Donovan
2021-22 (CHI): 46-36, 1-4 in the playoffs

He did a good job of leading his team to plenty of more wins than expected, and they were able to get the sixth seed in the East this year.  Unfortunately, they ran into the defending champions in the Milwaukee Bucks, and they lost in 5 games in the playoffs.  Compared to last year though, this season was a considerable success for the Bulls.

2022 Season Grade: A-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Head Coach of the Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls’ Projected 2022-23 Rotation:
C Nikola Vucevic
F Patrick Williams
F DeMar DeRozan
G Lonzo Ball
G Zach LaVine
_________________
G Alex Caruso
G Ayo Dosunmu
G Coby White
F Derrick Jones Jr.
18th Overall Pick

The Chicago Bulls’ Picks in the 2022 NBA Draft:
#18

The Chicago Bulls’ Projected 2023 Win-Loss Record:
44-38, 8th in the Eastern Conference

Their Projected Offseason Plan:

The Bulls are projected to be capped out, and they will have an important decision to make, if they will and can bring back star guard, Zach LaVine, who is an impending free agent at the end of this season.  Assuming that they will pour every resource to try to re-sign him and bring him back, the Bulls would then chart their path for contention next season.

They shot the ball well, and they have a good star core if they do bring LaVine back.  They also have DeRozan and Vucevic, and Patrick Williams had a really good second half of the season after returning from injury. 

Re-signing LaVine will most likely be their top priority, and they also have to make good decisions through the draft and trades.  They’ll need to improve their playmaking, rebounding, and defense, but keeping LaVine will assure them that they will make the playoffs next year.  If so, they could be a solid team that could potentially make a deep playoff run next year. Otherwise, they may have to retool their team, and they may have to even consider rebuilding from scratch if they are unable to keep LaVine or get a player of his caliber in the offseason.

I went to No Trade Clause and Basketball-Reference for research purposes.  Thanks for reading.

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