The Bulls have a lot of decisions to weigh out this offseason.
It seemed like Artūras Karnišovas and Marc Eversley had the ball rolling during the summer of 2021. They added DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso to a roster with Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, the latter of whom they traded for at the season's trade deadline.
They were able to accomplish a winning season in 2021. They earned a playoff berth and competed against the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks -- a series they lost in five games. But they got the ball rolling in a positive direction.
Last season, however, did not go as planned; a losing 40-42 record and play-in boot has them now on the verge of pivoting the direction of the organization in a new direction. Hence, they have a lot of decisions to make this summer that will directly affect the long-term outlook for the Bulls.
"I don't really know what the moves are with this team," Ryen Russillo said on The Bill Simmons Podcast. "From a roster standpoint, there are a lot of other rosters I wanted and a couple of the other teams I was thinking about at least have a top-7, or 8, pick."
On the podcast, Simmons and Russillo recorded a segment listing the "worst general manager jobs" to have in the NBA. Russillo selected the Bulls. He cited Patrick Williams' shoddy play, LaVine's massive contract, Vucevic's extension and DeRozan's age as worrisome reasons. Russillo also recollected Lonzo Ball's situation as an undesirable bullet point.
Russillo is correct. The Bulls dug themselves a hole. Their swiftly constructed team is failing and potentially losing their starting point guard to a career-ending injury. Their players are worried about their offensive fit. And the Bulls have little to no draft capital to buy them time with their core.
They are without their first-round draft picks in 2023 and 2025. They also don't own their 2023 and 2024 second-round picks. The Bulls own two picks over the next three drafts by way of a 2024 first-round and 2025 second-round; not including the lottery-protected first-round pick the Trail Blazers owe Chicago.
Karnišovas and Eversley have internal decisions to make this summer, too. Vucevic is extension eligible and likely desires a healthy figure above or around $22-$25 million per year. Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu both need a new contract, as does Javonte Green. Do they want to bring back Patrick Beverley? He had a tangible effect on the floor last season.
The Bulls own one of the most bewildering, puzzling situations in the NBA. They have a slew of expensive players who are unable to gel together on the floor properly enough to win more than half their schedule.
Do they have enough evidence to continue their plan of continuity?
"They're definitely kind of stuck," Simmons said.