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Evaluating the Chicago Bulls at the All-Star Break

We examine the Bulls going into the All-Star Break, looking at some futures betting lines, injuries and one player to watch in fantasy basketball.

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine dribbles against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Trade Deadline and All-Star Weekend have come and gone, so that means we’re in the home stretch of the 2019-20 NBA season. In this serious post-All-Star Break, we’ll go over the outlook for every team in the NBA. Here, we’ll provide a short glimpse at championship odds and playoff chances for each team. Also highlighted are key injuries to note and a fantasy basketball player to watch the rest of the season.

Where do the Chicago Bulls stand at the All-Star Break?

Record: 19-36
Playoff Chances: 2.2%
Championship Odds: +50000
Division Odds: +50000
Conference Championship winner: +25000

The Bulls have an outside shot at making the playoffs, but won’t get any higher than the No. 8 seed in the East. That would mean a first-round series with the No. 1 overall seed Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo. An early playoff exit wouldn’t be worth sacrificing a potential shot at the NBA Draft Lottery, despite the draft being weak this season.

None of these lines are realistic and it’s unlikely the Bulls make the playoffs, wasting another year of Zach LaVine’s contract. LaVine was a borderline All-Star and has been one of the more dominant scorers in the NBA this season, averaging 25.3 points per game, 11th overall. In another down season, it leaves Chicago questioning its core again and whether these young players can develop into a contender. Is another partial-rebuild on the horizon? Are big changes actually going to happen for once? Only time will tell.

Prediction: Bulls miss playoffs but won’t pick in the top 10.

Key Injuries for Chicago Bulls

Lauri Markkanen, PF/C (hip) — out
Otto Porter Jr., SF/PF (foot) — out
Wendell Carter Jr., PF/C (ankle) — out
Kris Dunn, PG/SG (knee) — DTD
Denzel Valentine, SG/SF (hamstring) — DTD

The Bulls have been without Porter for most of the season. Markkanen and WCJ were both injured in January and have been out ever since. All three starters are hopeful to return after the break and could be the boost the Bulls need to make a push for the playoffs. Chicago opted to keep Dunn and Valentine at the deadline and both have been dealing with nagging injuries. They aren’t expected to be out long-term, though.

Fantasy basketball spotlight: Chandler Hutchison

The development of Hutchison has been one of the few bright spots this season for the Bulls. Hutch was a first-round pick back in 2018 and only played 44 games in his rookie season, averaging 5.2 points per game. He’s missed time this season, only playing 27 games, though his production has been good lately with so many injuries.

Over the past 14 games, Hutchison is averaging points 10.1 and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 48.3% from the floor. He’s playing north of 20 minutes per game in this stretch and could continue to see run if injuries persist. Hutchison’s per 36 numbers are decent, though his shooting could use improvement: 14.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per 36 minutes.

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