Bulls Mailbag: Worried about Zach Lavigne, Patrick Williams’ knee?

It’s NBA opening week, and it’s a great time for all NBA fans, including those who have questions like you. And it’s almost another Patrick Williams version of the mailbag already.

What would Patrick Williams have to do statistically and/or with eye testing to avoid fans and media filing a game-by-game referendum on whether or not he went bankrupt? – He died.

Here’s a dirty little secret: poll after game franchise doesn’t matter. Perks don’t live and die by rating game after game.

Having said that, Billy Donovan made it very clear, at least to me, on Media Day. He said he wanted to see consistent aggression from Williams. This does not mean catching the shots. This means running the floor aggressively in transition, cutting aggressively when off the ball, attacking decisively on dribbling close to live dribbling, checking effectively, bouncing hard, blocking his own rebounding zone, and then again and again. There are many ways in which players can influence the games without scoring goals. gallery a? Alex Caruso.

Bulls continue to work with Williams to develop this.

I don’t think Patrick Williams can reach his full potential when he’s the fourth-choice on the team right now. I understood Nikola Vucevich’s deal as it showed other teams and players throughout the league that the Bulls were serious about winning. This helped bring in Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually, large offers in free agency did. But, yes, the Vučević trade helped.]

I think Artūras Karnišovas may have jumped to his gun on bringing DeMar DeRozan though. He clearly over-performed and surpassed everyone’s expectations when he was named to the second All-NBA Team in one of the best years of his career. I don’t doubt what he did last year. I’m more focused on DeRozan taking opportunities from PWill for growth. We know what DeRozan and LaVine will have for us every night, but we don’t know how good PWill is. Plus, with the big three bulls from DeRozan, LaVine and Vooch, none of them are above average defenders that PWill has shown they can do. Without breaking the full potential of PWill, I don’t think this team can really come close to contending for a championship when your top three players are mostly attack-minded. I know this is a long point, but I think it needs to be talked about more. What are the thoughts and do you see DeRozan possibly being traded in off next season? – Corey B.

There is a lot to unpack here. I think Williams playing with the juniors plays into his professional nature, which is why I thought Donovan’s pre-season experience starting Jafonte Green and getting Williams off the bench was a good one. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that he tried again during the season.

But as I mentioned in the first answer, you can grow and influence game areas without scoring goals. Williams didn’t do much of that in the first game. Now, it’s one game. So let’s pause for some perspective. But he needs to be more aggressive in general.

DeRozan is 33 years old. Williams is 21 years old. You can run with DeRozan and hope that Williams will improve and then let him take over when DeRozan leaves or retires. (Though I think he has the kind of game that will age gracefully, so I don’t expect it to be for a while.) If DeRozan leaves by trade, that means things have gone pretty south this season. I don’t see this happening.

I wonder about the literal growth – versus another “aggressive” lament – of young Patrick Williams. Is he still 6ft 7in or has he reached 6-8 yet? He definitely looks forward to the athletic powerhouse and was forged at a very tender age. – Matthew Cooper

The official Bulls roster lists him at 6-foot-7. The NBA rosters are widely known to be inaccurate. But elevations are usually generously listed. So I don’t think Williams 6-8. I’m close to 6-4 and sometimes I’m surprised at how low some of these guys are. Now, skill level is a different story.

Along with all the other fans, I couldn’t believe Zach LaVine is actually on a load management schedule. Not only in the first game of the season but in the first game of a decade max. So much for a healthy knee. If that’s the case, the season is already meaningless. Sorry to be a pessimist, but no Zo, shy PWill, and faltering LaVine mean we’re counting on DeMar again — who himself said that’s not the recipe for success. That equals nothing but regular season wins and a quick playoff defeat. noisy du . And I’m not sure what that means in the long run for the salary cap, but it can’t be a good idea to have more than $45 million a year tied up in a couple of bouncers who don’t play at all or ask to stop scheduled games. Damn, that email was frustrating. But I think the LaVine news is just a big deal. ideas? – Brian N.

Thanks for the kind words I didn’t include. They are much appreciated. And bonus points for using “whoopity-do”. This is solid.

While I totally agree that the LaVine news is troubling, let’s see how it plays out. It may take the first month of the season for his knee to adjust to the increased load and forget that flash. But there’s no doubt that his optics need to manage injuries in the first game of five years, a $215 million deal no big deal. Billy Donovan admitted this in his remarks to reporters in Miami.

As for max concerns if the positions of both LaVine and Lonzo Ball remain troublesome, the bulls will be in disrepair. Both deals are clearly guaranteed, and Ball has a $21.4 million player option for 2024-25. Anyone who has lived in the Derrick Rose saga knows how much injuries to high-paid players can hold back a team.

With the success of Ayo Dosunmu’s monster, do you see him staying in the starting cycle even with the return of the Lonzo Ball? Perhaps both are the starting linebackers while Zach Lavigne and Demar DeRozan take over the front positions? What kind of money could Ayo demand if he continued this kind of play all season? – Alejandro D.

Ah, yes, some optimism to offset the pessimism.

This is a scenario I hadn’t thought of before, and it obviously assumes health for everyone. I would say it’s an assortment that can be used at times. But I don’t consider it a starting lineup because it puts a great deal of responsibility on the DeRozan board.

For Dosunmu’s next deal, let’s just say the bulls know they need to do whatever it takes to get him re-signed. Let’s keep some perspective: It’s not like it’s a max player or anything else. But as the cap eventually rises and is firm, it plays its way into a very nice decade that the bulls will happily push to keep a hold of their own.

Who do you see as the strange man when Lonzo returns? And does Ayo’s appearance as a real player increase the possibility that Billy will join a starting lineup of four guards when Lonzo returns? – Evan B.

Do you mean if the ball returns? I am a child. I suspect. But Donovan said the Bulls should prepare as if he will miss the season. That’s a bit more thoughtful, though all indications are that Ball plans to at least try to play this season. I think in the new year, though, the Bulls are due to bring some clarity soon to their four- to six-week schedule for post-operative reassessment.

I kind of addressed the line-up question of four guards in the previous answer. I don’t see Donovan using an 11-player rotation, so if the ball returns to full health and performance, someone’s role will change. Obviously, this can be determined for the team in case the player is injured. But assuming perfect health, which is a long-term scenario for most teams, I think Kobe White or Jafont Green minutes would be affected more. It certainly wouldn’t be Caruso. And while the Bulls want to make sure Dragić is sharp for potential post-season play, his shooting, passing and capturing talents are also in demand.

Will a situation arise where Andre Drummond will start on Nikola Vucevic? Is that going to be in the realm of possibilities or is Vooch a start no matter how bad he does and no matter how good he does Drummond? – Cooper K.

Never say never in the world of professional sports. But your extreme example is the only scenario in which I see this happening. Vučević had to play as Bam Adebayo did in the opening match every night and Drummond had to play as he did during the All-Star Prime.

I think both Drummond and Goran Dragic would be a great deal. They are both tough physical professionals and can handle any role. However, this organization values ​​Vučević much more than does a vociferous segment of the fan base. They appreciate his passing, rebounding and skill level. Drummond is a starting level talent and can fill it up if Vučević misses a match. But Vucevich is the initiator.

What role does Unit Two play in improving the team compared to last year? Even with the stars out, this looks like the deepest team since 2015. – Ed B.

I think you saw it at the opening. As I’ve said and written a lot, I think the additions of Dragić and Drummond will be huge. Depth is a big reason why I’m not as frustrated on this team as some forecasters.

Curious about your thoughts on not having an extension for Coby White. He was one of the few players the new system kept, so it seemed surprising that they could now lose him for nothing. All it takes is a big show from a bad team outside next season. He’s already proven he can’t handle a running point, so what do you imagine the front office is looking to see this season when they decide whether to extend more than one qualifying bid outside next season? – a house

With the two sides unable to come to an agreement, this is not what the front office is looking for from Coby and more than what the front office is looking for from the restricted free agent market. If it wasn’t weird, I could see them matching or trying to carry out signature and trading as they did with Laurie Markkanen. Losing assets for nothing, especially for a short privileged in draft picks, isn’t ideal.

Why does PWill keep shooting 3 heads? Is the coaching staff encouraging him? Most of them are under pressure and does anyone think he is a 35 percent man? I don’t remember seeing a lot of players of his brilliance who don’t understand their attacking game. – Joe K

This is the last question from PWill. And he’s at least shooting something.

I don’t think its size is that high. Other than attacking the lane for that short withdrawal or transfer opportunity, this shot will be available to him at times due to the defensive interest on DeRozan and LaVine.

I know it was one match, but IU looked solid last night, let alone last year. Looks like he’s ready to take another step. Curious what do you think of its roof?

It’s also nice to have a kid from Chicago on the team again. I guess I’m missing some obvious elements, but outside of DRose and Ayo, there were other important bulls who grew up in Chicago? – Peter C.

You miss some things that are obvious and some things that aren’t. If you include suburbs, here’s one stab at a list of their high schools.

Mickey Johnson (Lindblum); Joan Oldham (born in Chicago, high school in Seattle); Dave Corzine (Hersey); Craig Hodges (Rich East); Randy Brown (Collins); Hersey Hawkins (Westinghouse); Eddie Carey (Thornwood); Kendall Gill (Rich Center); Janeiro Bargo (Robson); vowed Muhammad (Kenwood); Dwyane Wade (Richards); Jabbari Parker (Simon).

As for Dosunmu, I always say: Whatever his ceiling, he will reach it.

Will we one day see Marko Simonovic get important minutes??? – Leo F.

All you have to do is drive to Hoffman Estates, where the Windy City Bulls play.

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