With one season coming to an end and another one commencing, 2022 was a year like no other for the Chicago Bulls. Apart from some injuries and a slow start to the 2022-2023 season, this was also the year the Bulls returned to the playoffs after almost five years of waiting.
Now, the Chicago Bulls is a team that is filled with history. According to ESPN and several other sources, the franchise is home to the greatest man in the history of the NBA – Michael Jordan.
Other significant figures in the NBA, like Dennis Rodman, who is considered the greatest rebounder to ever play the game, and Derrick Rose, who is the youngest MVP in NBA history, also played for Chicago Bulls. Actually, Derrick did not only play for Chicago but was also from Chicago.
Finding the best Chicago Bulls player of 2022 would have been an easy task were it not for Lonzo Ball’s injury early in the 2021-2022 season.
And since Ball left the court after playing only a few games in 2022, his story ends here. That leaves us with Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic.
Nikola Vucevic is one of the biggest names on the Bulls roster at the moment. Nikola, 32, was drafted number 16 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2011 NBA draft. So he has been in the game for quite some time.
Over the last few years, he has transitioned into one of the best three-point shooting centers in the league. In his first five seasons, he made only 26 three-point attempts. In the 2020-2021 season, he converted 40 percent of his three-point attempts, which was one of the best in the league. He, however, had a downturn last season, as he only managed to convert 31.4 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Then he averaged 11 rebounds, 17.6 points, and 3.2 assists in 73 games in the 2021-22 season. This season, he has played 41 games and is averaging 4.5 three -point attempts, 16.9 points and 10.9 rebounds.
Nikola has been trying his level best, but there seems to be a problem between him and the management, especially the coaching staff. Since last season he has never looked comfortable. Nevertheless, he is one of the top players on the Bulls’ roster, and if he were to leave the team at this point, he would leave a very wide gap. His versatility, combined with 11-year experience, is what the Bulls need now more than ever.
Срећан Божић to all celebrating today! pic.twitter.com/UgGaZNB7Qy
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 7, 2023
Talking of key players on the Bulls’ roster, Zach LaVine is undoubtedly one of them. LaVine has been a Bulls’ player since 2017. A 2-time NBA All-star, LaVine was selected number 13 overall in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He was traded to the Bulls in 2017 and his breakthrough came in the 2019-2020 season. He was the leading scorer in 42 of the 65 games played in the shortened season. Then in 2021, he earned his first All-Star selection.
Last season, LaVine averaged 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in 67 games, and he was selected to play his second All-Star game. He became a vital part of the team after Lonzo Ball suffered a knee injury. He also missed a few games at the start of the year due to a knee injury, but he managed to bounce back strongly.
In the current season, he has played 37 games and is averaging 23.4 points behind only DeMar DeRozan on the Bulls roster. He scored his season-high 43 points during their 132-118 win over the Detroit Pistons on 31st Dec.
Who’s ready for the @nba season? @newbalancehoops pic.twitter.com/aCsLfVXKF0
— Zach LaVine (@ZachLaVine) September 27, 2022
DeRozan joined the NBA in 2009 after being selected number nine overall by the Toronto Raptors in that year’s NBA draft. A five-time NBA All-Star and a three-time All-NBA Team member, DeRozan spent nine seasons with the Raptors where he made five playoff appearances.
The 33-year-old, who plays in the forward position, then joined the Chicago Bulls in 2021 from San Antonio Spurs after signing a three-year deal worth $85 million.
DeMar DeRozan is honestly the best-performing Chicago Bulls player of 2022. He has an average of 21 points in his career, but he has upped his stats year over year and is currently having another great season. Last season, he averaged 27.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.9 assists after appearing in 76 games. Together with LaVine, he played an essential role in pushing the Bulls toward their first playoff appearance in five seasons.
In the current season, DeRozan is averaging 26.1 points per game. He’s the leading scorer on the Bulls’ roster, followed by Zach LaVine.
Some of the Kobes worn by DeMar DeRozan in November. Which is your favorite? 👀🔥@SociosUSA | #BullsKicks pic.twitter.com/8vn2fsD4ex
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) November 29, 2022
Credits on Featured Image: Mack Male from Edmonton, AB, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons