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Sports Saturday

Bulls ready for the business of basketball ... whatever that may entail

With the NBA looking to come to a decision soon on how the rest of the 2019-20 season will play out, the Bulls prepare for all scenarios, starting with getting the Advocate Center reopened for essential personnel.

Like everyone else, the Bulls are waiting for the NBA to decide on the fate of the season.
Like everyone else, the Bulls are waiting for the NBA to decide on the fate of the season.
AP

For the Bulls, the waiting game is the only one in town.

They wait to see if their season is finally over.

They wait to see if they can actually get down to business on the coaching and player-personnel side.

They wait to continue the organizational purge that has been underway since executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas was given the keys to the rebuild house.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been meeting with general managers and owners from all 30 teams throughout the week, but as of Friday, the league was still trying to finalize plans for the rest of the season.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the owners are leaning toward Silver’s plan of 20-22 teams restarting the season July 31.

The exact format is expected to be made official by Thursday, which would end the season for the Bulls if that is the case.

The Bulls were preparing for either scenario Friday afternoon. A team spokeswoman released a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times, saying, “In compliance with NBA guidelines, the Bulls continue to work closely with state and local governments, as well as Rush Hospital’s Infectious Disease Specialist, in an effort to start a phased reopening of the Advocate Center beginning Wednesday, June 3. The team is supportive of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision and is aligning its plans with the directive of her office.

“All players and essential staff will adhere to the NBA’s policies to protect the spread of the coronavirus. The Advocate Center will stay closed to all non-essential staff and media until further notice.’’

The great unknown in all of this is whether the Bulls will play another game that matters this season.

If the ESPN report plays out, the play-in tournament will include, at the most, 22 teams.

That scenario would give the league an injection of excitement for a first round that has grown increasingly stale over the years, and it also would limit the number of moving parts that would have to be locked down at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex “bubble’’ in Orlando, Florida.

Dealing with essential personnel from 20-22 teams is less taxing than 30 teams.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, they wouldn’t have to worry about that. At 22-43 (.338) when the coronavirus shut the league down, the Bulls would be one of the eight to 10 teams left on the outside looking in.