NBA

Bulls have 'unfinished business' ahead of new NBA season, says Drummond

By Sports Desk October 20, 2023

The Chicago Bulls have "unfinished business" after missing out on the NBA Playoffs in five of the last six seasons, according to Andre Drummond.

The Bulls were expected to improve on a promising 2021-22 term this time last year, but they finished 40-42 for the regular season before missing out on the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Chicago were beaten by the Miami Heat in April's play-in tournament, bringing a premature end to an inconsistent campaign in which they never once posted a four-game winning streak.

Their woes were compounded by seeing guard Lonzo Ball sit out the entire season with a knee injury which has now required multiple surgeries. Having last taken to the court in January 2022, Ball will also miss the 2023-24 campaign after being forced to undergo a cartilage transplant.

Despite Ball's absence, Drummond believes Chicago can look forward to a more positive time of things this season, having kept a familiar core intact. 

"It's definitely been one of my better offseasons, I feel like I got a lot done," Drummond told Stats Perform. "I got some good insight into what is expected of me, so that's what I worked on this summer.

"With the Bulls I feel like we have some unfinished business, which is one of the reasons why I ended up coming back here to Chicago, picking up my player option. 

"We started off really good at the beginning of last year, and I feel like we let a lot of things slip, some due to injuries and some due to just not really having any real chemistry yet.

"Losing Lonzo, a lot of our decision-making has been spread out throughout our team, for guys that aren't used to doing it.

"I think with a year under our belts now, we know how each other play and we know each other a little bit better, we will be able to really build that chemistry."

In June, two-time All Star Drummond exercised his $3.36million option to remain with the Bulls, who open their season at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.

He will again be teaming up with Nikola Vucevic, who signed a three-year, $60m contract extension with Chicago in June, and Drummond is enjoying working with his fellow center.

"The relationship I have with Vuch is unique because he's somebody I've battled against for almost a decade, just playing against this guy year in, year out," Drummond said.

"Then being team-mates with him now and just seeing him on a day-to-day basis, I just really formed a new respect for him, watching how hard he works and how he prepares for each and every game. 

"Being here with him has been a lot of fun. We have two different games, which is why our games work together on the same team. 

"He's more of the outside shooter and I'm more of the brute force down low that gets all the rebounds and does all the dirty work, so our games clash very well."

Vucevic averaged 17.6 points, 11 rebounds and 3.2 assists while playing in all 82 games throughout 2022-23, also shooting 52 per cent from the field, his highest rate since 2014-15.

Related items

  • Report: Malik Monk returns to Kings on four-year contract Report: Malik Monk returns to Kings on four-year contract

    The Sacramento Kings will retain a key piece into the foreseeable future as they look to build upon two straight trips to the NBA's play-in tournament.

    Deft scoring guard Malik Monk agreed to remain with the Kings on a four-year, $78million contract, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported late Thursday night.

    The last year of the deal reportedly carries a player option.

    Monk set career highs last season by averaging 15.4 points and 5.1 assists while finishing second in Sixth Man of the Year award voting.

    Monk, a seven-year veteran out of Kentucky, was due to be an unrestricted free agent on June 30.

    Monk had been linked to several teams searching for an infusion of perimeter scoring in free agency, including the Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic, but those clubs will now need to look elsewhere.

    Monk has averaged 11.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 458 career NBA games.

    While the Kings have yet to win a play-off series since 2004, Sacramento have strung together back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2004-06. In 2023, the club ended a 16-year post-season drought and forced the defending champion Golden State Warriors to a Game 7 in their first-round play-off series loss.

  • Report: Malik Monk returns to Kings on 4-year contract Report: Malik Monk returns to Kings on 4-year contract

    The Sacramento Kings will retain a key piece into the foreseeable future as they look to build upon two straight trips to the NBA’s play-in tournament.

    Deft scoring guard Malik Monk agreed to remain with the Kings on a four-year, $78million contract, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported late Thursday night.

    The last year of the deal reportedly carries a player option.

    Monk set career highs last season by averaging 15.4 points and 5.1 assists while finishing second in Sixth Man of the Year award voting.

    Monk, a seven-year veteran out of Kentucky, was due to be an unrestricted free agent on June 30.

    Monk had been linked to several teams searching for an infusion of perimeter scoring in free agency, including the Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic, but those clubs will now need to look elsewhere.

    Monk has averaged 11.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 458 career NBA games.

    While the Kings have yet to win a play-off series since 2004, Sacramento have strung together back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2004-06. In 2023, the club ended a 16-year post-season drought and forced the defending champion Golden State Warriors to a Game 7 in their first-round play-off series loss.

  • Thunder reportedly acquiring Caruso from Bulls for Giddey Thunder reportedly acquiring Caruso from Bulls for Giddey

    Oklahoma City and Chicago have swapped guards, with the Thunder acquiring Alex Caruso from the Bulls in exchange for Josh Giddey on Thursday.

    ESPN was the first to report the trade, which cannot become official until July 6.

    The 30-year-old Caruso is considered one of the NBA's top defenders, having been named to a pair of All-Defensive teams.

    He is also viewed as an important role player for a potential championship contender after helping the Los Angeles Lakers win the 2019-20 title.

    The Thunder finished with the Western Conference's best record this past season, but were knocked out of the play-offs in the semi-final round by the Dallas Mavericks.

     

    A seven-year NBA veteran, Caruso averaged career highs of 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds this past season, along with 3.5 assists and 1.69 steals while starting 57 of 71 games.

    Giddey, the sixth overall pick of the 2021 draft, started 80 games for the Thunder this past season, but saw his numbers drop from 2022-23.

    After averaging 16.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists in his second season, the 21-year-old Giddey averaged 12.3 points, 6.4 boards and 4.8 assists in 2023-24. He is a career 46.4 per cent shooter from 3-point range.

    He was investigated for having an improper relationship with an underage girl, but the NBA and police were "unable to corroborate any criminal activity."

    The NBA dropped its investigation.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.