Who should be the Bulls starting point guard with Lonzo Ball out?

So who should start at point guard for the Bulls this season?

This class is a multiple choice test. I prefer those since those fill-in exams probably kept me from getting into Harvard. Or Hofstra, for that matter.

A: Goran Dragić. Known as the dragon, the fire breathing 6-3 guard suddenly is the oldest and most experienced player on the Bulls roster, 36 going into his 15th season. Bulls coach Billy Donovan gave it the on the other hand thing at Media Day Monday, noting Dragić was “the most seasoned and experienced” point guard on the roster with Lonzo Ball scheduled for another surgery just this week. But at his age if you need him to close the game starting could produce too many minutes. Dragić has a career scoring average of 13.7 points, averaged as much at 7.4 assists one season and is a high level three-point shooter at 37 percent career, though just 25 percent last season in a dysfunctional year in Toronto and Brooklyn.

Alex Caruso

B. Alex Caruso. He even wore his headband to his Media Day interview, apparently expecting to sweat through the tough questioning. His career scoring average is 6.2 and about 37 percent on threes, though just 33 percent last season when he played just 41 games through multiple injuries. He admitted his style can prove perilous and perhaps he shouldn’t dive for every loose ball until the playoffs, but even Monday doubted he could adhere to that. He’s the best defender among the candidates to start with an offensive-oriented group. Though his strength is more his reckless style than organizing an offense as he was among the league’s steal leaders and a Sixth Man candidate before being hurt.

Ayo Dosunmu

C: Ayo Dosunmu. The rookie became the nominal point guard choice last season with the injuries, starting half the games and averaging 8.8 points and shooting almost 38 percent on threes. The playing load appeared to wear him down late and into the playoffs and when running the team he tended to defer to the veterans, particularly DeRozan, who often became a DeFacto point guard.

Coby White

D. None of the Above (Coby White). The fourth year guard is the most prolific scorer among the group and best three-point shooter. And although Donovan mentions him among possibilities, he seems more destined as an instant scorer role off the bench.

“Anytime you lose a good player, it’s always challenging,” Donovan said about Ball's expected long absence this season. “Lonzo is obviously a terrific player. The injuries are a part of it. I think because of last year we had a lot of different guys at that spot. Ayo played there quite a bit. So did Coby, so did Alex Caruso. Adding Goran right now gives us a really good veteran there. I think we’ll have to see how these guys gel and mesh once training camp starts and we start practicing.

“I don’t want to sit there and say it’s wide open,” Donovan said. “I’m more concerned about how groups function and play together more so than just one position. I do think at the point guard position there is experience that we’ve got with Goran, there’s experience there with Alex. I think there’s now experience with Ayo. Coby has played back there. Who starts, how it goes and the starting job, I’m not really that wrapped up in that right now as much as can we establish who we want to be as a team going forward. I think we have enough back there that we can get the job done.”

That, of course, is the biggest question coming into this season.

Goran Dragic smiles during his Media Day press conference.

It seems apparent that Dragić, a late addition this summer, was added for insurance as the Bulls apparently were getting concerning news regarding Ball’s need for another procedure.

Nevertheless, Donovan was ambivalent about Dragić’s prospects.

“Whether you start him or bring him off the bench, you’re sometimes shortening the game in having him come off the bench,” Donovan said. “That puts him in a situation where you’re maybe able to play him a lot more coming down the stretch.”

In other words, if he's the best pure point guard maybe we should have him finish the game.

“Whatever they need,” Dragić said unsurprisingly. “I’ve got a lot of experience being a vocal guy in the locker room; if they need me, I can come from the bench, be their spark. I’m at that point of my career whatever is needed for me I’m glad to do it. I’m excited to be part of this team and can’t wait for this season to start.

“Every athlete, every basketball player wants to win a championship and the same thing with me,” Dragić said. “I’ve already been close with Miami; unfortunately I got hurt in the Finals and it still to this day I cannot sleep well because I want to be back. I still have that hunger and I feel good. I feel healthy. I’m 36 years old. I’m not the youngest anymore, but I still have that passion and that is the most important. I think looking at the team from last year they like to play fast, uptempo team. A lot of the play, a lot of steals and everything. I like to play that way my whole career. I was playing that way when I came to Miami. Like I said before, whatever coach Billy needs me to do I am here and can’t wait.”

Neither can Caruso, who faced Dragić and the Heat in the 2020 Finals.

“The dude blew his knee out in the Finals and then came back three games later and tried to play,” Caruso recalled. “So you don’t have to worry about toughness with him. That’s part of the international mantra as well. Those guys, if you watched any of the FIBA games or the EuroBasket this past month, you get fouled every play and the refs don’t call it. So I know Goran’s tough. Obviously, he’s a vet of the league. He’s played on a bunch of teams, a bunch of games. He’s not afraid of moments. I love the pickup for us. It’s another great guard to have, another weapon for us to add to the roster. I’m excited to be his teammate and not play against him.”

For his part, Caruso says he’d mostly like to finish.

“I’ve always been team first trying to win games,” said Caruso. “If that’s me starting basketball games then that’s what we’ll do. If that’s me coming off the bench, that’s fine, too. I’ve always been I’d rather finish games than start games. For me, it’s just making sure I’m impacting the game the right way and have a chance to win it when it matters.

"We’re going to be missing (Lonzo) for a little bit more time than we expected,” Caruso acknowledged. “Obviously, that’s something that we’ve got to pick up as a unit. We’ve got great guards behind him, so I’m not really worried too much about who’s going to play the position. We’ve got great options: Me, Ayo, Goran, guys that I think are three different players that bring three different elements to the position I think can benefit the team. Obviously, I think for us it’s about figuring out what’s the best chemistry of certain lineups, certain guys, whether it’s defensively, offensively, mixing with who’s out there. For us, that’s kind of what training camp and preseason is for, to figure all that out. I think we’re in good hands for the time being. But looking forward to having him back soon.”

As for Dosunmu, Zach Lavine at least is predicting a continuation of big things.

“He looks bigger,” said LaVine. “It looks like he’s been in the weight room, getting his body right. Ayo’s as hard a worker as anybody. He’s the most inquisitive guy that I’ve met as a rookie, just trying to get ready, asking questions of me, DeMar, anybody, questions of anything he can do to get better. So knowing him he’s added things to his game. I think he’s in for a huge sophomore season.’’

My answer: A.

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