Last year, Chicago finally committed to a rebuild. Although it wasn't what Fred Hoiberg signed on for, the Bulls traded away Jimmy Butler for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the draft's #7 pick, which became Lauri Markkanen.
Suddenly, Robin Lopez was the only veteran left on the team. And with LaVine rehabbing from an ACL tear, the Bulls promptly cratered to the bottom of the league at a neat 3-20 tanking record for one of the loaded 2019 draft's prized picks.
However, Nikola Mirotic, who had his face punched in by teammate Bobby Portis, recovered and went off on a red hot run, ripping seven straight wins to bring the Bulls to 10-20. It was a record that wasn't good, but significantly hurt their chances of getting a top three pick.
Chicago traded Mirotic in December and ended up 27-55, with the #7 pick. Imagine your team being so bad that they couldn't even lose the right way. That #7 pick became Wendell Carter Jr.
Here's why the Bulls are still pretty far away from success by any definition.
1) The weird timing of Fred Hoiberg's dismissal
Everyone knew he had to go. But he was coaching a very young and injury-ravaged roster. He was under the impression that he'd have time to set plays around WCJ and Lauri, and got a total of 15 minutes of those two on the court overall.
Why? It wasn't like Chicago were playoff contenders. Why fire an offensive minded coach who finally had a chance to work with the right personnel?
The oft-vilified (and rightfully so) Bulls GM Gar Forman cited "lack of energy" as a reason. At 3-19? Lack of energy is probably the best thing for this team.
The last thing any Bulls fan wants is going on a winning streak and hurting their chances of seeing Zion Williamson or Barrett in Chicago red.
Hoiberg was in season 4 of his five-year contract, and will get paid into his fifth season as well. So why not give the man a chance to showcase his ideas once?
The league's worst front office saddled Hoiberg with non shooters in Butler, Rose and Pau Gasol in his first year, Wade and Rondo in his second year and a tanking commitment in his third year. The man had been through enough.