It’s a numbers game for the Bulls, and one they’ve been losing badly

The buyout market hasn’t been treating the Bulls kindly so far, the standings even worse. Maybe it’s time for the front office to take a look in the mirror and start focusing on reality, rather than some meaningless chase.

SHARE It’s a numbers game for the Bulls, and one they’ve been losing badly
Arturas Karnisovas

Chicago Bulls executive vice president for basketball operations Arturas Karnišovas

Chicago Bulls,

Describing the Bulls as crawling into the All-Star Break wouldn’t be fair because that would assume there’s actual life in the carcass that is this roster.

There isn’t.

All that would seem left to do with 23 regular season games remaining would be wait for an official time of death.

Does it come later this week when they host Brooklyn and Washington, hoping to end an embarrassing six-game losing streak? Or maybe they wait until mid-March, teasing the fan base that they are a play-in team with a real shot at earning that No. 8 seed.

For what at this point?

The flaws of this roster continued to be put on display since this current rut started in Memphis back on Feb. 7. Can’t hold a lead early or late, can’t protect the ball or respect the possession, and can’t hit three-pointers.

It’s the latter that’s been the most concerning, especially because while the Bulls weren’t a high-volume shooting three-point team going back to last season, they were at least efficient.

Yet, when they take the floor Friday against the Nets, the Bulls will boast the worst three-point percentage (26.5%) in the league over the last few weeks, and it’s not real close.

To make matters worse, they did nothing at the trade deadline, instead willing to focus on the buyout market, and are now finding a buyout market that doesn’t have a whole lot of interest in focusing on them.

That became evident on Monday, when ESPN reported that Russell Westbrook chose to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, despite talks with the Bulls and a relationship with coach Billy Donovan from their days together in Oklahoma City.

What about veteran Kevin Love and his career 37% shooting from three? Nope, he’s headed to South Beach and didn’t even entertain the idea of helping the Bulls.

That leaves the Bulls knocking on the doors of both Patrick Beverley and John Wall to try and salvage this season.

There are numbers, however, that scream “Don’t save it!’’ As a matter of fact, poke some holes in it and let it sink.

Sitting in the 11th spot of the Eastern Conference, for the Bulls to move out of play-in territory they would have to jump five teams. Considering the No. 6 seeded Knicks were seven games up in the win column and No. 7 seed Miami was six, forget that climb. Both Miami and New York do have tougher remaining schedules left, and that included three games against each other.

The teams the Bulls can catch were Atlanta, Washington, and Toronto, but so what? The chances of the Bulls making the playoffs currently sit at 8%, according to FiveThirtyEight.

The odds they should be taking more interest in pushing the chips on were the 7.5% chance they have in landing the No. 1 overall pick to draft 7-foot-2 center Victor Wembanyama or the 7.8% chance they have on hitting No. 2 and selecting point guard Scoot Henderson.

Heck, they are only two games from tanking in front of Indiana and Orlando, upping those odds to 10.5% on both Wembanyama and Henderson.

The Bulls will keep their protected first-round pick out of Orlando’s hands if they can land in the top four, and that currently sits at a 32% chance, according to Tankathon.com. If they move two spots and bump Orlando and Indiana up it would increase to 42.1% chance.

Lonzo Ball (left knee) will officially be shut down for the remainder of the season very soon. They should “load manage” Zach LaVine’s knee and really make sure that DeMar DeRozan’s hip is completely healed … like in late March.

It’s a numbers game for the Bulls right now, and one they are currently losing badly.

The Latest
Mansueto has been slow to make moves since taking over the Fire, and it’s hurt the club.
After beginning the season with a three-game road trip — splitting games in Dallas before handing the Liberty their first loss of the season on Thursday — the Sky (2-1) host the Sun (4-0) for their home opener on Saturday.
An osprey and shark tale, toad tadpoles at Montrose and a cicada art contest are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.
Demidov, a playmaking Russian forward who could complement Connor Bedard, and Levshunov, a versatile Belarusian defenseman who exudes confidence with the puck, are almost certainly the two options the Hawks will choose between.
In conversation she always keeps the focus on just one of her grandchildren.