Veteran guard Tomas Satoransky doesn’t want to dwell on his future with the Bulls or more changes that could be made to the roster this offseason, but it could all come into play if the regular season ends without a meaningful play-in opportunity.
It’s not a scenario that Tomas Satoransky is choosing to reside in.
Not with nine games still left in a regular season filled with so much uncertainty from night to night.
But it could soon be a reality for the Bulls guard and his teammates.
When the Mar. 25 trade deadline brought in five new players, it was expected to yield wins. A 7-12 record through the first 19 games was never the goal.
If executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas had no problem ridding the organization of the likes of Otto Porter Jr., Daniel Gafford and Wendell Garter Jr. back then, what’s to say he won’t further clean house if this reload fails to at least play a meaningful game in the month of May?
There’s no doubt that Satoransky and a Thad Young could be attractive assets, especially with contracts that expire after next season.
So is there even more pressure riding on this final push the next two-plus weeks?
“I don’t know how others felt, but I felt like we got better after the trade deadline, and I feel like from my standpoint I have a lot of expectations from this group,’’ Satoransky said of that possibility. “That’s why it’s even more frustrating that we haven’t been able to get a better record with this group. It’s never easy, everybody talks about it, there’s no excuses, but let’s be honest, we changed the group when we had nine out of 10 games on the road, and we were constantly playing, and had no time to practice.
“I don’t think it’s a good approach to think [about more trades this offseason]. We just have to focus on getting better and trying to get better with the opportunity we have, whether it’s a film session, a shootaround, because with lack of practices you really don’t have the time or space to do something else.’’
And unfortunately for Satoransky and his teammates, that’s not changing much down the stretch, with a two-day break after the Philadelphia game on Monday, but then a game every other day to close the season out.
Then it could get real interesting for this front office.
The expected historic 2021 free agent class dried up at the top pretty quickly when so many big-name players re-signed with their current franchises, meaning the trade route might be the best path for Karnisovas to explore.
The Bulls likely at least got a feel of how the rest of their roster is viewed by the market back in March, and there were multiple reports that teams were coveting Young.
Could falling short of at least a play-in game change minds of how this roster is currently constructed? Very likely. Just don’t try and discuss that with Satoransky. At least not yet.
Admittedly, Coby White slow starts earlier this season would usually end up as disappointing second halves for the point guard.
That hasn’t been the case lately, however, as White has had several games where he did very little in the scoring department, only to become a factor in the final two quarters.
“I would say it comes with maturity,’’ White said of the development in that aspect of his game. “Early this year, if I started like that, I feel like it would be difficult to move on. But I think it being later in the year, I think I’ve matured a lot more. Move on to the next play. I’m not getting any of the turnovers back, so you just got to keep playing.’’