Where do you start with the Chicago Bulls? They are one of the greatest franchises in NBA history and THE team of the 1990s, winning all six of their NBA titles during that decade.
Jerry Sloan, Bob Love, Scottie Pippen and of course Michael Jordan. The four players who have had numbers retired by the Bulls and just a small group of names who come to mind when you think of the Chicago franchise.
As prolific as the 1990s were, recent times haven’t been the greatest for the Bulls. They won the Eastern Conference title back in 2011 and 2012 but since then times have been tough.
One playoff appearance in the last four years, including back-to-back 13th place finishes in the last two campaigns, mean that the Bulls aren’t the feared outfit they once were.
However, through NBA 2K20’s Career Mode, you can change that and bring back the glory days to Chicago. Here is our guide for how to make your time managing the Bulls successful.
The Chicago Bulls are rated 80 OVR in MyLEAGUE on 2K20, given an 81 rating for offense and a 79 rated defense. They have a relatively high fan interest with 77% and given their history, they have a large market size.
The Bulls don’t have the greatest squad in the NBA, that's no secret. On 2K20 they have just three players over 80 OVR. However, what they do possess is a host of young talent, with all three of these players under 25 years of age.
Zach LaVine, Shooting Guard (OVR 84)
Age: 24Best stats: 95 driving dunk, 95 hands, 95 offensive consistency
Contract length: 3 years
The star man for the Bulls is former Minnesota Timberwolves’ man Zach LaVine. The 24-year-old is a BEAST in the paint, with the two-time Slam Dunk Contest champion boasting a ridiculous 95 rated driving dunk, an 85 driving layup and 95 consistency, which will help when attempting those shots.
His 84 rated speed is above the position average in the NBA too, so he’s a good man to have carrying the ball on those fast breaks, 98 stamina means he’ll be able to play plenty of minutes on the court, which is key in this below-par squad.
Do be aware though, LaVine will be a target from other sides throughout the season. So be prepared to work hard to keep hold of him or trade him should a worthwhile offer come in.
Lauri Markkanen, Power Forward (OVR 82)
Best stats: 96 shot IQ, 95 intangibles, 90 offensive consistencySalary: $5.30MContract length: 2 years
The other key man in this squad is the 7’0” Finnish power forward Lauri Markkanen. Given his height, you would think that Markkanen would be restricted to scoring in the paint, you would be wrong.
Whilst the bulk of Markkanen’s points will come in the paint (87 rated close shot) he is also not too bad from deep, with a 76 rated three point shot.
He’s a big player on those defense boards too (87 rated defensive rebound) and he does have the center position listed as one of his spots in-game, so don’t be afraid to move him inside if you need help protecting the rim.
Coby White, Point Guard (OVR 76)
Best stats: 90 stamina, 90 tangibles, 86 accelerationSalary: $5.31MContract length: 2 years
In the 2019 NBA Draft, the Bulls selected North Carolina shooting forward Coby White - the first player from North Carolina to be drafted in the first round by the Bulls since Michael Jordan - and he has started his time in Chicago in impressive fashion.
He nailed seven three pointers in the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks earlier this month - a franchise record for most threes in a quarter - however his 73 rated three pointer doesn’t quite showcase that ability.
He has a 76 OVR which isn’t that bad, but his defense isn’t too great. He has a B ranking in perimeter D and a D- in post D, which meets the position average, but on a below-par team, you need better than average when you’re going to be up against it in most games.
Contracts and Finances
Well as we’ve already covered, the squad isn’t great.
The good news is that there are five players in the last year of their contract. All of them are fringe players who will create some room in the team salary total, which currently stands at $112.44M, the second-lowest in the competition, with only the Atlanta Hawks spending less.
More good news, the Bulls have plenty of room in the Luxury Tax department. Whilst they may be -$3.44M on in the Salary Cap Room, they are $19.56M in the Luxury Tax Room. So whilst you will have to free up room to make any new signings, you don’t need to worry about finding fund to re-sign the likes of LaVine and Markkanen.
Speaking of new signings, a point guard is an absolute must. Coby White is currently the highest rated at a mere 76 OVR and whilst he has potential and will be a good player to use in that first chance five, if you want to compete up the higher ends of the table, you’ll need a creative spark to help you through those tight contests.
There is a couple of ways you can go about making this signing. You can either wait until the end of the season and use the salary cap space freed up by departing men to make a marquee signing, this method will also likely see you finish lower in the league and therefore pick up a better draft pick also.
BIG SIGNINGS: Free agency is another good way to add to your squad
Alternatively, you can propose a trade, although this looks like an unlikely option given that you don’t have too much to offer in return and it would definitely leave you short in other departments. Therefore we recommend the first option.
Path to the title
If you’re planning on bringing the title back to Chicago, you need to be in it for the long run.
The first year is a bit of a write-off, however, get through there and get rid of some of the dead weight in the side and then you can kick on from there.
WORK TO DO: A season sim has the Bulls missing the playoffs. Can you do better?
The likes of LaVine and White are only going to get better, stick a couple of 85+ OVR players around them, including a creative point guard, and you should be challenging for the playoff spots in year two and then who knows where you’ll go from there.
A championship ring may look like a pipe dream when you begin, but with a bit of luck in the draft and some smart signings, the Bulls could be back on top in no time.