The Bulls might know the fate of the 2019-20 regular season Friday night.
By then, Thursday’s meeting between the NBA and all 30 general managers will be in the books, as will Friday’s scheduled call with the Board of Governors.
Play on or continue plans for the 2020-21 season?
The new-look front office of executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley likely are prepared for either scenario.
The on-court focus first will be the coaching situation, and then making sure they have a roster that can play with the same philosophy both of them share.
“I like teams that play fast,’’ Eversley said. “I like teams that share the ball. I put a heavy emphasis on basketball IQ. Simply put, we want players who play the right way, play for each other. We want winners on the court at all times. That’s something that’s not going to be easily done or done overnight. I think it’s going to be a process, it’s going to take some time.
“Then defensively, I like players who are versatile. I like players who can switch multiple positions. I believe in rim protections. I think you have to protect your rim and that’s not necessarily blocking shots. I believe in good, positional, sound defense. We want kids who are going to play hard and compete. I think there’s an element of toughness that I would love to see us really focus in on as we build out this roster. But those are just some of the types of things that I’d love to see Bulls basketball evolve to.’’
But to evolve there must be the ability to grow. And that means playing.
If the NBA decides on finishing some sort of regular season, the Bulls will have that opportunity. If it’s a 30-team play-in tournament, Karnisovas and Eversley will finally get to review the roster for next season.
Three Bulls that would most benefit from a restart:
1. Coby White — The rookie is unbeaten as the starting point guard, earning the nod against Cleveland just before the coronavirus shutdown hit the NBA. Five to 10 more games could at least show the new front office that White does have solid enough point guard skills that they could look at a different position when the draft does take place.
2. Lauri Markkanen — Last we left the 7-foot enigma, he was unhappy with the current structure of his own organization. That was reported by multiple media outlets, including the Sun-Times. A big part of that structure has changed in the front office, however, and more could be on the way with the coaching staff.
3. Otto Porter Jr. — The veteran forward makes the Bulls better when he plays. The record and stats back that up. The problem is he has seldom played since being acquired last season, and needs to start showing some reliability.
Three Bulls that will gain nothing from a restart:
1. Jim Boylen — The Sun-Times has reported that the head coach’s fate is all but sealed, with Karnisovas and Eversley hearing enough mixed results on Boylen to make the case that they want their own guy in that coaching seat. Could a play-in tournament and a deep run save Boylen? Unlikely. Especially because this team has shown no ability to win consistently to make a run.
2. Zach LaVine — The guard put up All-Star numbers and needs to stay healthy. See you next training camp.
3. Thaddeus Young — The 31-year-old veteran has hundreds of games on his resume and is what he is. Ten more games won’t change anyone’s mind on that.