The 2019–2020 NBA season was finally resolved earlier this month when the Los Angeles Lakers took out the Miami Heat in 6 games. An unprecedented year that will be remembered for so many reasons.
Fans of the NBA know exactly what the end of the season means... that would be the vastly superior and far more important NBA Offseason. Before the final buzzer sounded on the season, the rumors were circulating. Free agent destinations, contract negotiations, and hypothetical trade ideas. Not to mention the head coach and front office moves. This is an amazing time for fans of NBA teams that did not qualify for the Bubble. The “Delete 8” as many coined them. Throughout the NBA Bubble, we all received a little taste of what the next few months would have in store.
But which Team came out as the “Delete 8 Champion”
In my opinion… It was the Chicago Bulls. That is my completely non bias opinion… for the most part. Just keep reading if you want to find out why and don’t already know.
The main reason why I am declaring the Chicago Bulls as the undisputed Champions of the “Delete 8” is simple.
They finally made the move many if not all Bulls fans had been clamoring for. #FireGarPax had finally worn down on the ownership and the front office was completely overhauled. John Paxson was moved into a far lesser role within the organization and Gar Foreman has been let go entirely.
These moves paved the way for the hiring of Artūras Karnišovas and Marc Eversley as the Executive VP of Basketball Operations and General Manager, respectively. In addition to Karnišovas and Eversley, the Bulls hired on Pat Connelly as the President of Player Personnel and JJ Polk as the Assistant General Manager to finish off the front office facelift. Bulls fans rejoice!
BUT WAIT… There’s more!
While many can argue this change was well overdue, the Bulls parted ways with 2nd year head coach Jim Boylen and quickly began searching for a replacement. Initially, the speculation pointed toward Kenny Atkinson or former Bull ~legend~ Adrian Griffin. However, the front office justifiably took their time in coming to a decision.
The new front office had their eye on one coach in particular. the opportunity they had been waiting for came once the Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated from the playoffs. This lead to them parting ways with their Head Coach and the Bulls had their guy. No, the Bulls don’t have Chris Paul as their Head Coach… (But will they trade for him?!?- Only time will tell)
Billy Donovan has been a proven winner throughout his head coaching career. From his days as an Assistant coach at Kentucky to his most recent success at the NBA level. In addition to his winning pedigree, he has shown to be a phenomenal developmental coach for young players. The proof is in the pudding with what he did in OKC.
With the combination of “The Last Dance”, and organizational changes the feeling surrounding the Chicago Bulls has been very, very real since April. It has continued to grow moving toward the 2020 NBA Draft in mid-November and the 2020–2021 NBA season reportedly to begin in late December or Mid-January. This leaves new coaching staffs, rookies, and everyone in between a solid month or two to get ready for a shortened NBA season with limited practice or face-to-face time. Bottom line is that with a completely revamped front office and coaching staff, there will be limited time to game plan. This could play to the advantage of a young, athletic Bulls roster… At least to start the season.
However, the question remains; What does the front office have in store for this roster? Will they part ways with any of their core players? Will they play it out for a season to see what they have on the roster?
It does not seem like anybody on the current roster is “Untouchable” when it comes to trade discussions.
Along with young talent, the Bulls hold the 4th pick in the upcoming draft. This pick brings along even more question marks; Do they hold firm and take the best fit for the future? Do they trade back to find a diamond in the rough? Do they trade up to select a once-in-a-generation talent?
All we can do is speculate. Just like anybody else. Which is a blessing to say when you consider the previous front office. Everybody and their cousin knew what moves the Bulls were making. What should be confidential information would get leaked out and the leaked news is usually accurate. Take the “Promise to Chandler Hutchison at #22 in the Draft” as one recent example. We will not know the answers to most of these questions until draft night and even then, we may not understand what the new front office has in store moving forward. However, the fresh front office has invigorated Bulls fans everywhere and have shown with their coaching hire of Billy Donovan that they have a vision and they are putting the pieces in place to see that vision out.
Overall, the Chicago Bulls to have fans excited about the future of the franchise again. No more flaunting the 90’s success, capitalizing on nostalgia like the last 15–20 years. Those days are over, and it is time for AK and Marc Eversley to bring this organization back to real success and relevancy.
With the unprecedented times we are still battling through, the rapidly approaching NBA season is going to provide another breath of fresh air for fans all over. However, if you thought the 2019–20 season was different, I think 2020–2021 season is going to be like; “Hey 2019–20 NBA Season… Hold My Beer”