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Chicago Bulls preview: Predictions and evaluation for the 2022-23 NBA season

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Last season: 46-36, thirteenth in offense, twenty second in defenseKey additions: C Andre Drummond, PG Goran DragićKey subtractions: C Tristan Thompson, SG Matt ThomasDraft picks: SF Dalen Terry (nineteenth)

Are the Chicago Bulls on the escalator or the treadmill?

Within the wake of a 46-36 season with early highs, late lows and lots of questions along the best way, the takeaway into 2022-23 is three separate questions: First, is that this team all that good immediately? Second, can it possibly get any higher? And at last, as noted above, are the Bulls just stuck in the center with a team that’s too good to tank but not nearly adequate to contend?

It didn’t appear to be we’d be asking any of those questions last December, within the wake of euphoric early-season highs that briefly had the Bulls atop the Eastern Conference standings by a full 2 1/2 games; their play momentarily thrust key offseason pickup DeMar DeRozan into the MVP conversation. Indeed, no matter your thoughts on Chicago’s other strategic decisions, it appears the Bulls can take a victory lap on the highly criticized (including here) DeRozan addition. Even at a price of $27 million a 12 months and a protected future first and two seconds, he was still a bargain.

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