Feel-good stories in the NBA don’t usually go south so quickly and so fast, but that will be the legacy of the 2021-22 season for the Chicago Bulls. After being laughed at for signing DeMar DeRozan to a big (but short) deal last summer, they proceeded to go out and give some of the more established teams in the Eastern Conference something to think about over the winter.
Ultimately though, they were undone both by injuries and an inability to beat the better teams in the league. All of this led to a first-round smackdown at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks. There is no shame in this, as the Bulls held their own for brief, fleeting moments, but it felt like the issues we had all thought to be there for the franchise were made public at the same time.
Exit Survey: 3 offseason goals for the reeling Chicago Bulls
DeRozan was incredible, but how far can he take you as your best player in the postseason? If Nikola Vucevic is one of your stars, is your ceiling obvious?
All of this and so much more were brought up by the time exit interviews for the group took place, but it was not all bad. Alex Caruso truly is one of those guys, and he will be back next year to have a bigger impact on proceedings. Lonzo Ball, who flirts with All-Star potential from time to time, was out for basically the whole season.
DeRozan is still an excellent player, one of the 20 best in the league, and as long as they have him playing at this level, they will be competitive and win games. It will also keep fans of one of the most famous franchises in all of sports excited about this team. Here are three key areas the Bulls need to address and remind themselves of this offseason.