The Bulls 2018-19 season is officially over, which means that it’s time to evaluate the team’s performance over the past 82 games.
Introducing: player report cards. Broken down by position, we’ll be evaluating each player’s performance this season, including their top moment of the season and potential future with the team.
Disclaimer: position report cards will not include players that were on the team for less than half the season. Those players will be compiled in their own report card story later on.
It would’ve been really easy to give Antonio Blakeney an F.
It would’ve been really, incredibly easy to say that he had the worst performance of any player on the Bulls this season.
But to give him an F would be saying that he could be better in the future than he was this season. And, aside from a few Summer League performances, he hasn’t proven that he can.
Sure, people can surprise you. But the problem with Blakeney isn’t shooting form or conditioning. Blakeney’s problem is the selfish way he plays the game. It seems like the second he catches the ball, Blakeney is already halfway into his shooting form, not even surveying the rest of the floor before deciding that he’s going to shoot.
Blakeney did the same thing last season and he’ll likely do the same thing next season, so this year was just average Blakeney. There was no improvement and no deterioration on his past performances.
He didn’t drastically help or hurt the team, and after his contract ends at the end of next season, he’ll likely be chucking up shots for another NBA team.
Moment of the season: his one-man fast break against the Suns, ending in a ferocious dunk
Wayne Selden: A
Wayne Selden is not an NBA superstar, but he was a valuable asset for the Bulls this season.
Acquired in a trade that sent Justin Holiday, and his expiring contract, to Memphis, Selden has done a good job filling the hole Holiday left.
Selden has improved statistically on all accounts since arriving in Chicago, averaging eight points per game with the Bulls over his five points per game with Memphis and has also improved from one rebound per game to three.
The only knock against Selden since he arrived in Chicago is that he doesn’t shoot as well as Holiday did, which is especially notable given the Bulls lack of shooting.
But even with that flaw, Selden saved the Bulls around three million dollars off of Justin Holiday’s salary. And if they choose to re-sign him, he’ll come cheaper than Holiday would have if the Bulls had kept him.
Outside of the context of the trade that brought him here, Selden is a solid bench piece that the Bulls can keep around for a small amount of money. And he still has room to grow, which is the best asset for a young team like the Bulls right now.
Moment of the season: every single play of his 20-point eruption against the Miami Heat, when it looked for the first time that the Bulls might have something real in Selden
Zach LaVine: A+
Zach LaVine’s back must be pretty sore right now, after carrying the Bulls on his back all season.
Even though his incredible season didn’t mean anything, LaVine deserves a tremendous amount of credit for fighting as hard as he did with a depleted roster in a dead-end season that saw his head coach get switched mid-season.
There aren’t enough good adjectives to describe LaVine’s performance this season; he took an already promising career with the Bulls to another level. LaVine proved that he’s well worth the $80 million contract he signed in the offseason and proved that he’s fully back from his knee injury a few seasons ago.
There’s no doubt about LaVine’s future with the Bulls anymore, he made clear that he deserves to be a centerpiece in the team’s rebuild.
If LaVine can post 23.7 points, four rebounds, and four assists per game in a season based on a revolving door of drama, imagine what he can do when the team gets it together for real. Imagine what he can do when the rest of the team’s core is intact and together.
Moment of the season: this clutch, Michael Jordan lookalike layup that sent the 76ers home with a loss
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