Predicting Bulls’ Breakout Players for 2022-23 NBA Season | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

Predicting the Bulls’ breakout players for the 2022-23 NBA season

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    CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: Patrick Williams #44 of the Chicago Bulls dribbles the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks during a preseason game on October 11, 2022 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.  NOTICE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photograph, the user agrees to the terms of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Chicago Bulls were a force to be reckoned with in the 2021-22 NBA season … until they weren’t.

    At one point, they sat at the top of the entire Eastern Conference chart, not only rubbing elbows with basketball’s elites, but looking like elites in their own right.

    Then the injury virus reared its ugly head, the defense collapsed and Chicago hit the runners. The Bulls eventually plummeted to sixth place in the table and were knocked out of the first round in just five games.

    Chicago could have trouble reversing its fortunes with the East looking as troubled as ever and the same knee injury still plaguing starting point guard Lonzo Ball, who was a catalyst for much of that early success last season.

    Still, the bulls have hope of exceeding expectations, and that process will become infinitely easier if the following three breakout candidates can soar to new heights.

Ayo Dosunmu

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    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 11: Ayo Dosunmu #12 of the Chicago Bulls dribbles onto the court against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of a preseason game at the United Center on October 11, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.  NOTICE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photograph, the user agrees to the terms of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    When Ball’s knee problems first emerged, the opportunity presented itself to Ayo Dosunmu. In the end, he answered the call so brilliantly that the 2021 second-round pick ended as the 2021-22 runner-up All-Rookie team player.

    Exceeding expectations appears to be part of the 22-year-old combo guard’s arsenal.

    His energy and defense shone the brightest during his freshman season, and he didn’t disappoint. By the end of the year, however, all eyes were on his sizzling shooting rates of 52 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from the outside.

    Similar to Ball, Dosunmu leads with his defense and does not dominate the basketball. He shoots when they’re open but keeps the ball moving when they’re not.

    As good as he looked as a rookie, there are many ways to improve. And he should now have the confidence of the coaching staff to really explore them.

Coby White

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    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 11: Chicago Bulls' Coby White #0 dribbles onto the court against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of a preseason game at the United Center on October 11, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.  NOTICE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photograph, the user agrees to the terms of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    Admittedly, Coby White isn’t the cleanest fit for this squad.

    His offense stays ahead of his defense, and his score stays ahead of his table making. When putting together the ideal support player for DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, you want the opposite of both.

    That being said, White has a strong scoring capability and Chicago should continue to find ways to use this to their advantage.

    The 22-year-old is a fiery three-point shooter and aggressive finisher in transition. If that offense bursts at all in Ball’s absence, White should have the go-ahead to get his.

Patrick Williams

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    CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: Patrick Williams #44 of the Chicago Bulls aims to pass the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks during a preseason game on October 11, 2022 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.  NOTICE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photograph, the user agrees to the terms of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

    It’s been two years since the bulls issued the No. 4 to Patrick Williams, and in many ways they’re still waiting for a return on their investment.

    It’s not entirely his fault. A broken wrist wiped out almost all of his sophomore season and left him struggling to scrape the rust during his first playoff run.

    However, even when healthy, the 21-year-old has not always shown the assertiveness it takes to make a big impact. There were flashes of igniting shots, but he’ll need other ways to make himself felt as this offense has a limited number of shots.

    With his size and athleticism, Williams should electric attack the basket, bat the ball, smash the glass and exit in transition. Those are all elements he can embrace, even when surrounded by Chicago’s stars.

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