An announcement is expected to come on Friday saying that the city of Chicago will host the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. The occasion will mark the first time since 1988 that mid-season festivities were held in the Windy City. That year, of course, it was Michael Jordan who was named MVP of the contest (and dunk champion, for that matter).
The Bulls are in a considerably different position today than they were at the onset of Jordan’s heyday. So Tim Goldrick of NBC Sports Chicago asks if any of the Bulls’ current roster could conceivably be named All-Stars when the game unfolds in Illinois. While Goldrick goes through much of the roster on a case-by-case basis, there really are only a few individuals worth serious consideration given the track records.
The safest bets to be named to the squad, per Goldrick, are rookie Lauri Markkanen and guard Zach LaVine. The former has impressed over the course of his first month in the NBA averaging 15.8 points and 8.2 boards per contest.
By the time February 2020 roles along, Markkanen would be 22 years old and presumably an even larger part of the team’s offense so it’s not unreasonable to imagine him earning a genuine spot on the roster.
LaVine is a unique case given his popularity as a dunk contest legend. In February 2020, LaVine will be just 25 years old, a staggering realization considering that it feels as though he’s already been in the NBA forever (really it’s just been three seasons).
Will LaVine get enough of an opportunity to showcase himself as more than just a dunker in Chicago? The high flyer has yet to officially suit up in Bulls gear after coming over from the Timberwolves, so nobody can really say for sure what he’s capable of as an offensive focal point.
Beyond LaVine and Markkanen, there are a few dark horse candidates that could see their impacts rise significantly in the next two to three seasons, Kris Dunn, Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic chief among them.
Do you agree with this assessment of the young assets on the Bulls roster? If you had to rank the top five Bulls players most likely to earn a spot in the game in 2020, how would you order them? Weigh in below.