The Chicago Bulls head to the 2022-2023 NBA season with renewed hope. After exiting the first round of the playoffs last season, the Bulls are looking to reclaim their place at the top of the Central Division. As much as the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers have something to say about it, can the Detroit Pistons be another team the Bulls should be wary of?
Bojan Bogdanovic heads to the Motor City
On Thursday, the Pistons sent forward Kelly Olynyk and guard Saben Lee to the Jazz in exchange for veteran sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic. The eight-year veteran brings impressive credentials of accurate perimeter sniping (a career 39.2% shooter from three) and consistent scoring (18.1 points on 45% shooting last season).
While pundits believe the Pistons to be in rebuilding mode, this move appears to suggest otherwise, as Bogdanovic joins a roster that features last season's top pick Cade Cunningham, this year's fourth pick Jaden Ivey as well as high-upside players such as Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley III, and Jalen Duren. Aside from having young talent, the Pistons also added experienced vets such as Kemba Walker and Alec Burks, making for an exciting mix of players.
Bullseye on the Bulls
The Bulls will have their hands full in the Central Division this season as they look to stake their claim against a very competitive field. The Pistons may not be the favorite to win the division, but they are certainly a team to watch out for. The Milwaukee Bucks, which won the Central Division crown last season, remain the favorites. All-Star swingman Khris Middleton is now healthy and returning to join two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, which finished third in the Central last season, also made some exciting offseason moves by adding All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell to their young core of Collin Sexton, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley.
The Bulls will have to be at the top of their game if they want to come out on top of what promises to be a very competitive Central Division. But with a talented core of Demar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, and Alex Caruso, they have the pieces to fend off any challenge.