NBA via TNT analyst Charles Barkley believes the time is right for the Chicago Bulls to make roster and personnel changes. The Bulls have not advanced past the first round playoffs since the 2014-15 season.
“It’s time to break up the bullpen,” Barkley told Chicago’s WMVP-AM 1000. The time is now. You have good players, not enough. It’s time to start rebuilding. “
On several NBA betting sites, the Bulls’ championship odds currently rank 20th. Several sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat.
— ESPN 1000 (@ESPN1000) December 7, 2022
“Come on, man, you ain’t close,” said Charles Barkley. “The Celtics and the Bucks are on a different level. [the rest of] Eastern Conference.
Last season, the Bulls finished 46-36 and sixth overall in the East. But the loss of Lonzo Ball to a knee injury before the postseason prevented a chance to beat the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.
Charles Barkley says it’s time for the Bulls to make changes, saying the Celtics and Bucks are “on a whole other level.”
Right now, the Bulls have plenty of talent in Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, Lonzo Ball and more. However, while the team still has at least one star left to be a strong title contender, the biggest story here is injuries.
Ball made just 35 starts in the 2021-22 season. In September, it was announced that Ball would miss the first three months of this season. When healthy, the Bulls are a good team. To be great, the front office must make adjustments.
If the Bulls want to compete for a championship, GM Mark Eversley should consider trading the UCLA product for a reliable goaltender. Charles Barclay makes this point.
The Chicago Bulls are now 3-8 in their last 11 games… 😬
Is it time to blow up? pic.twitter.com/N99Y4UptWt
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) December 5, 2022
Even when Ball returns from a knee injury, he may not be the same player. Chicago is 16th overall in the league with an average of 111.7 points per game. Bulls fans are not interested in settling for mediocrity.
Additionally, the Bulls rank 20th in team floor percentage (49.7%). Chicago is 15th in the NBA allowing 112.8 points per game. During the 2021-22 season, Ball shot 42.3% from the field and a career-high 42.3% from beyond the arc. Can the 25-year-old return and average more points while shooting over 40% from downtown?
DeRozan leads the Bulls with an average of 25.5 points per game. In fact, LaVine is scoring 22.2 points per contest. There are quite a few key pieces, though, and the team needs a rising star like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to give it an extra push.
After all, under coach Billy Donovan, the Bulls are 87-91 in the regular season. Chicago returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 2016-17 season last season after losing to the Celtics in six games in the first round.
The Bulls could make a season trade soon. They have two months to move. The NBA trade deadline is February 9th at 3 pm ET. Charles Barkley was wrong about some things, but this time he made a great point.