Since it seems unlikely that any All-Star free agents are going to join the Bulls this summer, giving them the apparently requisite two All-Stars needed to be a championship level team, the Bulls probably need to keep focusing on growing their young players. The biggest wildcard seems to be Lauri, and his offensive issues. Beyond injuries and lack of assertiveness, the main theory for his struggles seems to be that he does not "fit" in the Bulls' offensive system. My question is, was there ever a system he thrived in, and what type was it? (He doesn't seem particularly adept at the pick and roll, nor does he seem to have a post-up game. Further, his drives to the basket are not often pretty. He mainly seems to have good games when his three-pointer is falling, when he's running on fast breaks or when he's making strong cuts to the basket.) On the subject of young players, I would also like to see Coby White playing with the starters more. He is starting to show more potential as a playmaker than as a hot and cold shooting guard.
I believe Coby is fine where he is. He turns 20 on Sunday, is in the regular rotation and averaging 24 minutes per game. Maybe once the Bulls are officially out of the playoff situation, but what's the rush? I agree the Bulls have to improve at point guard, and maybe he's the answer. The Bulls believe he is for the future, and he is starting to look like he could be, seemingly a bit more comfortable as a facilitator lately. Though it's impacted his scoring and certainly shooting percentage, 31 percent overall the last four games. He could be that scoring/facilitating guy because he has the scoring component. But Satoransky is better for now to give the team a better chance to succeed. Lauri? I just hope they don't fall for it and give up on him now. I don't believe the Bulls will. You can play any "system" and still extoll and exploit a player's strengths. For whatever reason, the Bulls have not done that well this season and have not helped Markkanen. I understand the three-point shooting thing that's been embraced in many places. And Markkanen is, at least theoretically, one of the better big man perimeter shooters. So it was logical to ask him to shoot. The mistake the Bulls might have made with him this season--and to his credit, he's not a complainer or excuse maker—is he does, or can do, a lot of things despite what you may believe. He did a lot of those in his first two seasons. He's not a powerful post player, but he can succeed with mismatches on switches, which most teams do defensively. He can drive the ball on big men. He's got decent enough footwork that he could be good with that. He's good in transition.
The Bulls have put him too often in the home run position of making or missing a three. It doesn't affect some like Zach. Lauri tends more to be a pleaser trying to do exactly what is asked instead of the coach yelling, "No, no, no, good shot." Lauri probably hears the nos. The three-point game works for some; not everyone. I also feel there's a psychological effect of making baskets. And even if someone tells you it's OK to average 38 percent shooting, it's still getting a bit too accustomed to missing two of three shots. Some shooters need the feel of making shots. Even Jordan used to talk about making a few free throws early to get the feel of the ball going through the basket. As inconvenient as it might be for the calculations, humans play the game. It's not just done in box scores and spreadsheets. Some people need to have success in the way they define it to be more effective. Look, Markkanen was spectacular under Boylen for a month last season. I'm confident he will get back to that. He's just better than he's been permitted to be this season.